A Word About “Bourgeois Civil Liberties”

A Word About “Bourgeois Civil Liberties”

Objection after objection has been made that by obstructing [Dow Chemical] recruiters, we have been denying others—the recruiter and those who wish to see him—the right of free speech and assembly. In a sense, this is true. . . . The institutions our resistance has desanctified and delegitimatized, as a result of our action against their oppression of others, have lost all authority and hence all respect. As such they have only raw, coercive power. Since they are without legitimacy in our eyes, they are without rights. . . . Our critique argues that the social order we are rebelling against is totalitarian, manipulative, repressive, and anti-democratic.

These lines, under the heading “Resistance and Bourgeois Civil Liberties,” come from Interorganizational Secretary of SDS Carl Davidson and appear in New Left Notes, November 13, 1967. Because they reflect the thinking of some people in the American Left, I should like to raise a few questions, and if Mr. Davidson cares to reply, space will be available to him

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