The time has come for Americans to focus on a new kind of conspiracy in our country—a movement called the New Left. In recent months the effects of the New Left have been seen in many places: in demonstrations against American policy in Viet Nam, in civil disobedience, in calls for young men to resist the draft, in campus turmoil, in attacks against law and order, in desecrations of the American flag.
What is the New Left?
Actually, the New Left as a movement is difficult to define. If you visit a New Left meeting, you will find some of the participants smartly dressed, others with dirty T-shirts and baggy trousers. A high percentage are Beatniks—wearing long hair and beards, unkempt clothes, and sandals. A few are Hippies, experimenting with drugs and enamored with esoteric rituals such as “love-ins,” “be-ins,” and “happenings.” If you listen to their conversation, you will hear a steady flow of obscene and foul language. Sexual promiscuity is not considered in bad taste.
Most of the participants are students. The New Left is predominantly a college-age movement found in the college and university community—but not exclusively. Besides undergraduates, the New Left contains a wide assortment of other participants: college faculty members (mostly young), graduate students, guitarists, writers, intellectuals of various types, ex-students still “hanging around” the campus, curiosity-seekers, Communists, Trotskyites.
“We have within our ranks,” comments the national vice-president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the largest and best known of New Left groups, “Communists of both varieties, socialists of all sorts, three or four different kinds of anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, syndicalists, social democrats, humanist ...1
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