education retreat northeast of Detroit in 1962. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Powered by Beck & Stone, Speech to the Pennsylvania Convention, November 24, 1787, Manzanar: Excerpt from Born Free and Equal, Who Are the Best Keepers of the People’s Liberties. The Port Huron Statement was adopted at the organizations first convention in 1962 based on an earlier draft by staff member Tom Hayden. As a social system we seek the establishment of a democracy of individual participation, governed by two central aims: that the individual share in those social decisions determining the quality and direction of his life; that society be organized to encourage independence in men and provide the media for their common participation. . Where is the Port Huron Museum in Port Huron Michigan located? Port Huron Statement Loneliness, estrangement, isolation describe the vast distance between man and man today. . would fracture, his concept would in ensuing decades be codified in school decentralization, community planning boards and freedom of information acts. The Port Huron Statement of Students for a Democratic Society, written fifty years ago this June, is the most ambitious, the most specific, and the most eloquent manifesto in the history of the American Left. and other killings to follow. The Effect of the Port Huron Statement The Port Huron Statement voiced the philosophy towards politics and social change that a whole generation of student activists in the New Left was adhering to at the time. When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world; the only one with the atom bomb, the least scarred by modern war, an initiator of the United Nations that we thought would distribute Western influence throughout the world. James Miller, a professor of politics at the New School for Social Research and author of “Democracy Is in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago,” suggests that the very concept of consensus at all costs meant that moderates compromised and militants eventually predominated. . It is also, at just over 25,000 words, undoubtedly the longest one. . . The Port Huron Statement was a 1962 manifesto by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), written primarily by student activist Tom Hayden, that proposed a new form of “participatory democracy” to rescue modern society from destructive militarism and cultural alienation. . The proclaimed peaceful intentions of the United States contradicted its economic and military investments in the Cold War status quo. On this assumption rests the monstrous American structure of military “preparedness”; because of it we sacrifice values and social programs to the alleged needs of military power. A. These students wrote all their feelings during the 1960's either if they were in working class or even a higher class. First, it sharply challenged the nation’s basic, bipartisan foreign policy: that every price must be paid, every effort made, to stop the global spread of communism. (Large – 5 MB) In social change or interchange, we find violence to be abhorrent because it requires generally the transformation of the target, be it a human being or a community of people, into a depersonalized object of hate. The Port Huron Statement’s simul­ta­ne­ous praise and cri­tique of America’s labor move­ment applies almost word-for-word to the country’s unions 50 years lat­er. The escalation of Vietnam, which none of us expected, though we opposed. Its last sentence was an apocalyptic downer: “If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable.”. College enrollments were booming in the 1950s and 1960s, and many students objected to the way college administrators attempted to control their personal lives. The Port Huron Statement also had a familiar-sounding approach to the rest of the world. Second, the SDS became a vocal, well-organized opponent of the war in Vietnam (Documents 29–34). The mind-set of the Port Huron drafters — in contrast to the members of the Occupy movement — was that the fundamental values espoused by their liberal elders remained valid and that money had not yet corrupted the political system so completely that it was incapable of being reformed. The Huron Statement mainly addresses the main and lessor problems that America was facing during this time. . These are our central values, in skeletal form. What problems currently exist in the United States? . Port Huron Statement Draft This is the text of the original draft of the 1962 Port Huron Statement, as distributed by Alan Haber to the attendees at the SDS Northeast Regional Conference, April 23, 2006. Today, their “agenda for a generation” survives most famously as a punch line from the 1998 film “The Big Lebowski” in which the stoner protagonist proclaims himself an author of “the original Port Huron Statement, not the compromised second draft.” Purists like Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski might dissent, but last month the historian Michael Kazin pronounced the final draft “the most ambitious, the most specific and the most eloquent manifesto in the history of the American left.”. In 1964 what issue did the students for a democratic society focus on? It gave the youth an ideological argument for the transformation that they wanted to … It raises a host of concerns that shaped the New Left of the 1960s—poverty, racism, the misguided priorities of an affluent society, the proliferation of nuclear bombs, the paranoia of the anticommunist crusade. TeachingAmericanHistory.org is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Privacy Policy Declaration of the Occupancy of New York City. First, it sharply challenged the nation’s basic, bipartisan foreign policy: that every price must be paid, every effort made, to … Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people – these American values we found good, principles by which we could live as men. Create your own flashcards or choose from millions created by other students. Those sentiments were echoed in Occupy’s founding principles — “constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love.”, “Sure, there were important things we missed,” Mr. Hayden recalled. How are the warnings about militarization similar to the caution offered by President Eisenhower in Document 19? . How are the views different? The statement that eventually emerged from a five-day national convention of the Students for a Democratic Society held June 11 to 15, 1962, contained 25,000 words. Compare the students’ view of the threat of communism with the views expressed in one of the following documents: 1, 2, 6, 12, or 21. As democrats we are in basic opposition to the communist system. The subsequent radicalization and polarization that characterized the late ’60s through Watergate.”, But, he continued, “the core of the Port Huron Statement rings true, and the theme of participatory democracy is relevant today from Cairo to Occupy Wall Street to Wisconsin to student-led democracy movements.”. Port Huron Statement. The young SDS members who wrote it were activists, many of them deeply involved in the struggle for Civil Rights that was then taking place in the American South. “For a long while I thought the Port Huron Statement was a relic of a hopeful past,” Mr. Hayden recalled last week. Quizlet is the easiest way to study, practice and master what you’re learning. . . THE PORT HURON STATEMENT OF THE STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, 1962 Courtesy Office of Senator Tom Hayden TABLE OF CONTENTS Introductory Note: This document represents the results of several months of writing and discussion among the membership, a draft paper, and revision by the Students for a Democratic Society national The Port Huron Statement resonates to this day – for example, in the 17 September manifesto of Occupy Wall Street, which called for a “direct and transparent participatory democracy”. Why might the students later be critical of the war in Vietnam? several years to galvanize. the Port Huron Statement. . . . began as the student arm of the League for Industrial Democracy), by elevating the university to the apex of activism and by validating liberalism and the two-party system, Tom Hayden and his colleagues forged a manifesto that still reverberates. Today, he is the editor of Adbusters, whose Twitter tag #OccupyWallStreet branded the movement last summer. What kind of new social system do they want to create? And if these anxieties produce a developed indifference to human affairs, do they not as well produce a yearning to believe there is an alternative to the present, that something can be done to change circumstances in the school, the workplaces, the bureaucracies, the government? . Under Walter Reuther 's leadership, the UAW paid for a range of expenses for the 1962 convention, including use of the UAW summer retreat in Port Huron. In no instance is this better illustrated than in our basic national policy-making assumption that the Soviet Union is inherently expansionist and aggressive, prepared to dominate the rest of the world by military means. . It is to this latter yearning, at once the spark and engine of change, that we direct our present appeal. It is imperative that the means of violence be abolished and the institutions – local, national, international – that encourage nonviolence as a condition of conflict be developed. The declaration “all men are created equal . We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit. The assassination of J.F.K. But by invoking the spirit of John Dewey, Albert Camus, C. Wright Mills, Michael Harrington and Pope John XXIII, by at once championing and chiding organized labor as a victim of its own success (the S.D.S. . . They were still groggy from the conformist Eisenhower decade and dazzled by the Kennedy mystique, which may be why the Port Huron Statement began circumspectly: “We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.”, Kalle Lasn was 20 in 1962. Tom Hayden was a student at University of Michigan then he went to Mississippi in 1961 to report on SNCC’s voter registration project. Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity – but might it not better be called a glaze above deeply felt anxieties about their role in the new world? – The Port Huron Statement, 1962 Participatory democracy – with its battle-cry "let the people decide" – was the call of 60-some young American activists who launched the Students for a … At academic conferences during this anniversary year, including one recently at the University of California, Santa Barbara, scholars and grizzled activists are revisiting the document. Port Huron Statement (1962) Port Huron Statement (1962) This is my primary source. The Port Huron Statement reflects the dissatisfaction and disillusionment many young people were feeling in the 1960s. But present trends in American anti-communism are not sufficient for the creation of appropriate policies with which to relate to and counter communist movements in the world. The statements by Sharon and Port Huron published in 1960 and 1962 respectively emphasize on the idea of defending the United States citizens. Our representatives in Congress really do not represent us, the people, they represent their own interests, and we allow it. “This new generation, whether anarchist or simply disillusioned by stolen elections, is far more cynical about politicians and elections,” Mr. Hayden said. SDS called for the creation of a “New Left,” that is, a new kind of liberalism. . (D) The Port Huron Statement, written by Students for a Democratic Society, was an important foundational document of the emerging New Left of the 1960s. . Paul Berman, who teaches journalism at New York University, said that the statement’s appeal to young people was natural and that neither its tone nor its prescriptions could be blamed for the later atomization of S.D.S. that the economy itself is of such social importance that its major resources and means of production should be open to democratic participation and subject to democratic social regulation. In June 1962, a group of mostly white, middle-class college students met in Port Huron, Michigan, to draft a manifesto for the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Mr. Hayden, who was steeled by a Catholic social conscience, was 22 when he began drafting the manifesto in March 1962 in his Manhattan apartment. The Huron statement was drafted to address… That was 7,000 more than the Communist Manifesto, which started a global revolution, and 24,300 more words than the Declaration of the Occupancy of New York City passed last September by a general assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which in three weeks produced the magnitude of protests that would take S.D.S. . . A PDF file of a scan of the draft document is also available. As a Cold War document, the Port Huron Statement is significant for several reasons. While these and other problems either directly oppressed us or rankled our consciences and became our own subjective concerns, we began to see complicated and disturbing paradoxes in our surrounding America. The Port Huron Statement advocated "participatory democracy," and I do not think we have that even today. . SDS called for the creation of a “New Left,” that is, a new kind of liberalism. Feminism, but Betty Friedan’s book wasn’t out. The Port Huron Statement appears in numerous textbooks and has been the subject of thousands of student papers. As a Cold War document, the Port Huron Statement is significant for several reasons. It remains vital to understand their denial or attainment in the context of the modern world. [W]e can develop a fresh and creative approach to world problems which will help to create democracy at home and establish conditions for its growth elsewhere in the world. Do the students see communism as a problem? The Port Huron Statement was a broad critique of the political and social system of the United States for failing to achieve international peace and economic justice. How are they critical of American Cold War policies and actions? “If you ask me what is the most powerful, personal and collective feeling of people in the Occupy movement, it is a feeling of gloom and doom, that they’re looking toward a black hole future,” Mr. Lasn said. But Occupy has learned the lessons of S.D.S., says Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University professor and author of the forthcoming “Occupy Nation.” “The primacy of nonviolence is a reaction to the ’60s, as is don’t have hierarchal organizations and don’t have visible leaders,” said Professor Gitlin, who was president of S.D.S. . Third, by criticizing America’s faith in technology, affluence, and materialism, the statement provided a foundation for the counterculture of the 1960s and beyond. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present, and a commitment to social experimentation with them, is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise, one which moves us and, we hope, others today. So begins the legendary Port Huron Statement (PHS), the 75-page manifesto published June 15, 1962, that would come to define the historic student movement of the 1960s. Similar? The "Port Huron Statement" sought to see the values of the people that are essentially in the constitution rung up as the times in which the Huron statement was written revealed that the individual (the people) were not deciders in the direction of America but a chosen few. Summary of “The Port Huron Statement” – Humanities Essay (100 Level Course) The first passage, an agenda for a generation, begins with the author diving into an explanation that we as children of the United States grew up into the best and most comfortable world. The two statements rely on the Declaration of Independence as the primary source of their arguments. . The SDS manifesto, known as the Port Huron Statement, was adopted at the organization's first convention in June 1962, based on an earlier draft by staff member Tom Hayden. .” rang hollow before the facts of Negro life in the South and the big cities of the North. Professor Kazin, who teaches history at Georgetown and co-edits Dissent, recalled, too, that “for the anti-war militants who flooded into S.D.S. “The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present, and a commitment to social experimentation with them, is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise, one which moves us and, we hope, others today,” the … In a participatory democracy, the political life would be based in several root principles: that decision-making of basic social consequence be carried on by public groupings; that politics be seen positively, as the art of collectively creating an acceptable pattern of  social relations; that politics has the function of bringing people out of isolation and into community, thus being a necessary, though not sufficient, means of finding meaning in personal life; . The Port Huron Statement The Port Huron statement was given by a group of students that were a part of the Students for a Democratic Society and was primarily written by Tom Hayden. B. THEY are mostly in their 70s now, those quixotic college students who drafted the Port Huron Statement at a ramshackle A.F.L.-C.I.O. . . This continued interest is the more impressive, since the statement … When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world; the only one with the atom bomb, the least scarred by modern war, an initiator of the United Nations that we thought would distribute Western influence throughout the world. The Port Huron Statement of 1962 was a product of its time. Tom Hayden is at far left. First, the permeating and victimizing fact of human degradation, symbolized by the Southern struggle against racial bigotry, compelled most of us from silence to activism. “The environmental crisis, but Rachel Carson’s book hadn’t come out. Start studying The Port Huron Statement (1962). Communist parties throughout the rest of the world are generally undemocratic in internal structure and mode of action. © 2006-2020 Ashbrook Center “For the S.D.S, the prime enemy was apathy. He does not feel the Occupy movement needs to look to the Port Huron statement for guidance. Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people--these American value… Like the political and economic ones, major social institutions – cultural, education, rehabilitative, and others – should be generally organized with the well-being and dignity of man as the essential measure of success. The Soviet Union, as a system, rests on the total suppression organized opposition. The Port Huron Statement was the most important manifesto of the New Left student movement of the 1960s. He called it “participatory democracy” and, while S.D.S. from 1963-64. The Port Huron Statement. We might deliberately ignore, or avoid, or fail to feel all other human problems, but not these two, for these were too immediate and crushing in their impact, too challenging in the demand that we as individuals take the responsibility for encounter and resolution. The Port Huron Statement’s core message is timeless but not dogmatic: we all need participatory democracy. Second, the enclosing fact of the Cold War, symbolized by the presence of the Bomb, brought awareness that we ourselves, and our friends, and millions of abstract “others” we knew more directly because of our common peril, might die at any time. This movement recognizes you don’t have to preach to people that they’re alienated.”, In 1962, though, fewer people were. Yet while American campuses were awakening from apathy, they were still several years away from radicalization. Why are the students uncomfortable with the world as it is? He was a budding journalist from the University of Michigan whose job as the principal author of the collaborative manifesto was to synthesize an inchoate angst that had been germinating in several nascent, and largely unpopular, political movements. “But frequently students would read it and say how surprised they were at its sounding like the present.”. What might the students say about the way in which the Voice of America covers civil rights (Document 11) – would they approve of this coverage? manifesto, The Port Huron Statement, it was written by college students, who created there ideals for a Democratic Society and expressed their views in the America they lived in. “While most people haven’t read it, it’s still extremely relevant” for its guiding principles, said David Graeber, an anthropologist and anarchist who has been active in the Occupy movement. For the final, published Port Huron Statement, click here. “I’m not quite sure we need a manifesto to say that.”. And this was the night the students made the "Port Huron Statement". Its guiding vision was codified by Arnold Kaufman, a philosophy professor at Michigan. . As we grew, however, our comfort was penetrated by events too troubling to dismiss. The economic sphere would have as its basis the principles: that work should involve incentives worthier than money or survival. . Many of us began maturing in complacency. A Students for a Democratic Society national council meeting in Bloomington, Ind., in 1963. That is why Mr. Hayden addressed the manifesto to the Young Left as much as to a New Left. This source was written in Port Huron, Michigan by a student meeting. . It … Participatory democracy as a framework can unite single-issue movements around a … after 1965, participatory democracy seemed too hazy and abstract both in meaning and application to guide a revolution.”, In 1969, the Port Huron Statement was absent from an anthology, “The New Left Reader.” But a decade later, it was excerpted in Diane Ravitch’s “American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation.”, “Sadly,” she said recently, “I find what is most dated is a sort of naïve belief that human nature itself might be transformed through appeal to idealism, and that somehow our institutions will be malleable in the face of idealism mobilized.”. “We would replace power rooted in possession, privilege or circumstance by power and uniqueness rooted in love, reflectiveness, reason and creativity,” the statement said. We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit. 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