Left and Right

SDS: The New Turn

Left and Right Journal cover

Among the activist organizations of the New Left, two and only two have had a direct impact on American life: SNCC And SDS (the Berkeley phenomenon has been important, but has not been contained in anyone organization.) SNCC, founded in 1960, was the first, and its militance, direct action, and spirit of participatory democracy provided the inspiration for the now far larger Students for a Democratic Soclety founded two years later. In the years following 1960, the Negro struggle provided the sole focus for New Left activity, and hence, SNCC, albeit a cadre rather than a mass-membership organization, was alone in the moral and political forefront. But then a great widening of the struggle took place in the winter of 1964-65, which thereby served as the first crucial turning point for the New Left; for the Berkeley Free Speech eruption in December 1964 and the shocking Johnson escalation of the Vietnam war two months later ineluctably brought to the fore the issues of university education and the ever more repellent war in Vietnam.

Volume 3, Number 1; Winter 1967


Rothbard, Murray N. "SDS: The New Turn" Left and Right 3, No. 1 (Winter 1967): 9-17.

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