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Liberal FASCISM�180�BUILDING A POLITICS OF MEANING�Huron Statement, the signature

document of the New Left, was for�nli itc nverwrought verbiage a well-intentioned
statement of democratic optimism�and admirable honesty. The authors#chief
among�Their aim was to create a po1itical system that would restore "human
meaning" (whatever�that�is). "The goal of man and society," they insisted, "should
be human�indeDendence: a concem not with image of populanty but with�finding a
meaning in life that is personally authentic." This urge for�"^ ""cprfion should
be translated into a politics that could unleash�'1-" ""nrealized potential for
self-cultivation, self-direction,�understanding, and creativity."31�And then there
was the quest for community. The Red Diaper�Babies of the 1960s inherited from
their parents the same drive to�create a new community organized around political
aspirations.�the movement, the beloved community itself, where we might be�able to
find in Yale psychologist Kenneth Keniston's words, 'the�qualities of warmth,
communion, acceptedness, dependence and intimacy which existed�in childhood.' "
Mark Rudd likewise remi'"'hrase for liberals and leftists alike�in the 1960s was
"commu''""" "community action" "community outreach," "communities�of�mutual
respect"�As Alan Brinkley has noted, most of the protests and conflagrations of
the 1960s had their roots in a desire to preserve or create�s. The ostensible
issue that launched the takeover of�Columbia Universitv in 1968 was the
encroachment of the campus�into the black conmmity. The administration's
appeasement of�Black Nationalists was done in the name of welcoming blacks to
the�Comell community, and the Black Nationalists took up arms because�they felt
that assimilation into the Comell community, or the white�community generally,
amounted to a negation of their own community#that is, "cultural genocide."�For
millions�rf Germans the Nazis seemed to offer hope for community and�meaning and
authenticity, too.�[ost of the basic beliefs and even the outward fashions of
the�present world-youth movements can be traced back to the period in Europe just
before and after the First World War. The�t is indeed uncanny how despite all the
historical differences, the German movement preempted so many�ofthe issues
agitating the American movement oftoday, as well�as its literary fashions.35�. Of
course, the vimlent anti-Semitism of the Nazis makes it�difficult to see (and
impossible to forgive), but the dream of a unified, classless Germany was deeply
heartfelt by many Nazi joiners;�and if reduced to that alone, it was not an evil
dream at all.�But just as the line between "good" totalitarianism and bad is
easily crossed, dreams can quickly become nightmares. Indeed, some�dreams, given
their nature, must eventually become nightmares. And�for the Horst Wessels of the
American New Left, whatever admirable idealism they might have had quickly and
unavoidably degenerated into fascist thuggery.�The most famous of these figures
was Tom Hayden. The son of�middle-class parenis in me Detroit suburb of Oak Park
(near Father�Coughlin's parish) and the chiet author of The Port Huron Statement,
Hayden played an admirable role in the early civil rights stmggle in the South.�