Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Weather Underground

Apropos the comment thread below, I finally sat down and watched the fantastic documentary about the The Weathermen Underground, the radical revolutionary outfit of the '60s and '70s intent on overthrowing the US government. The movie had me at "Hello, I'm going to read a declaration of a state of war...within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice." Some fascinating stuff here that opens room for the sort of debate that we really ought to have more often -- namely about the nature of (and suppression of) dissent and revolutionary change.

Most of the former Weathermen agree that the revolutionary zeitgeist, notably that in America, can be attributed to the madness of Vietnam and the draft. As such, when both came to their end, so did the Leftist unity. There's probably something to this; and it is certainly something that the Left will want to consider, should the situation in Iraq turn into a civil war and thus require an American draft. Are moments such as these the Left's 'one shot' at getting shit done, those moments when madness & coercion are so palpably real; or is it the Left's version of a sale at Wal-Mart -- i.e., shitty goods at half-price?

This, to me, is the most important thing to consider . . . rather than any possible 'Rage Against the Machine' nostalgia I might want to feel for a time in which political change seemed on the doorstep, when radicals didn't need the key because they figured they could just bust down the fucking door.