Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Radicalism" and the Aging Left

This is amusing:
"The campus is no longer aboil and the history department is no longer the lure for leftists that it once was. And yet a distinctively Madison radicalism persists." [Progressive Magazine editor Matthew Rothchild] mentions the city's food co-ops, A Room of One's Own, WORT radio, a visible gay and lesbian community, and myriad activist groups, saying that, in a sense, "radicalism has spread wide its roots in the hospitable soil that Madison has always had to offer."
There's really nothing radical about organic food co-ops, feminist book stores and teh Gays anymore in any urban area. What Rothchild calls "radical" is merely considered a "niche market" to folks on Madison Avenue.

There's a popular consensus in Madison that the radicalism of the 1960s -- the kind that Rothchild wants to insist still exists -- died after the Sterling Hall Bombings of 1970. Most folks who can remember that event seem to recall fewer public demonstrations and a student body gradually more interested in sports and other distractions. That's a good thing: the times changes, so did the city and everyone's better for it.

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