Streets Of Rage

January 22, 2017

Chicago Police helmet and billy club Author: Bill Abbott

Those of you who’ve read Todd Gitlin’s fantastic account of ’60s Era political activism are well aware of the New Left’s descent into chaos, infighting, and terrorism during the course of that decade. However, I’m not sure how many of you realize just how much destruction the sectarian left inflicted upon our society during the 1960s and the ensuring decade. That’s why this blog post, which explores another book about this tumultuous chapter in American history, is so fascinating. Although I’m not sure I agree that we are on the same trajectory as the baby boomers, there are some unsettling parallels, including the near universal support among the left for using violence against its perceived opponents, and passive acceptance of the terror visited upon completely uninvolved parties who are allegedly obstructing the militant left’s objectives.

Beyond any legitimate critiques of President Trump-whose administration has yet to take any significant executive action-the fact that the left, ranging from conventional liberal apparatchiks to hardcore Marxists, has become completely unhinged is not a good sign for political comity in the days ahead. While some progressives have taken anti-Trump Democrats to task for their hysteria, and even questioned the utility of identity politics, the vast majority seem obsessed with demonizing their opponents and purging those engaged in heretical thinking. It’s a far cry from large scale urban terrorism, but it would still be wise to keep George Santayana’s admonition in mind over the next 4 years.

Addendum: For some more historical context, here is Ayn Rand on The Return of the Primitive



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