Re: New SDS

Michael Meeropol

Thanks for the invitation (see below):

Well for what it's worth, I was always very impressed with the "decentralization" of the pre-Marxist-Leninist SDS --- the national organization provided communication (I thought New Left Notes always had VERY interesting information) and the National Secretary did a lot of travelling around both to LEARN what was going on at various local levels and also to be a conduit of information.

If there ever is a national organization that has the potential of challenging the status quo the way SDS (and the Panthers as well) did in the late 1960s (After Mike Klonsky was elected National Secretary at the 1968 convention he actually got a SLOT on "Face the Nation" --- is that likely to happen with the current leader of DSA?) --- anyway if EVER there is a national organization that can challenge the status quo, it might want to take a page from the decentralized "old" SDS ---

By the way, I think one of the reasons PL was able to make inroads into SDS is that SDS explicitly repudiated the anti-communist heritage that they "inherited" from SLID (Student League for Industrail Democracy) --- Had PL not had such a rigid approach to programs within SDS, they might have made a good contribution.   

The record of the 1968 convention where the origins of the split that ultimately destroyed the organization in 1969 first appeared, might be a useful indicator of what NOT to do when a relatively loosey-goosey organization is challenged by a disciplined sub-group.   The chants of "PL out!  PL out!!" did not help keep the organization "big tent" enough to accommodate PL and the Revolutionary Youth Movement folks --- who a year later became Weatherman.  Instead it promised that at the national level, SDS would be riven by a major conflict -- making the 1969 split virtually inevitable.

On Fri, Sep 3, 2021 at 9:25 PM <fkalosar101@...> wrote:

Maybe that's where old guys like you and Meeropol could pass some real insight to young people--as opposed to the dead-end cultism and nostalgia that are currently passing from the scene like the Grand Army of the Republic. 

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