Culture Wars/Current Controversies

What Really Happened to the Class of ’68?

I saw one of the Hoffman/Rubin debates in the 80s. Rubin was fairly prophetic in predicting a fusion of the cultural left with the business and political class, though Hoffman was right that the “enlightenment” of the boomers was actually pretty benighted. In the 1960s, the former New Deal liberal paradigm was challenged by the New Left and the New Right. New Left got the upper hand on cultural issues and the New Right got the upper hand on economics, foreign policy, and state authority. And now the two have merged to create the present neoliberal paradigm.

By Jesse Walker, Reason

Here at the Friday A/V Club, we look at the junk left in our cultural attic, not the junk that gets nominated for prestigious awards. So I won’t dwell on the fact that Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, which is up for six Oscars on Sunday, took the three-ring lunacy of the Chicago 7 trial and somehow managed to reduce it to the pat platitudes of a Stanley Kramer movie. In fact, I won’t dwell on the Chicago 7 trial at all. Suffice to say that the government tried to prosecute seven activists (originally eight) for their roles in the protests at the 1968 Democratic convention, that a lot of crazy shit happened in that courtroom, and that the defendants were eventually acquitted on all charges, though some of them didn’t get a full acquittal until they appealed the original verdict.

Now let’s leap ahead a decade and a half.


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