For some time after Students for a Democratic Society in 1962 coined the term “participatory democracy,” it was received with more humor than respect by civil rights workers in the South. The concept has become important this past winter, for two reasons. First, a number of SDS leaders have left college and are seeking to apply the idea in Northern ghettoes. Second, many members of the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee have begun to look beyond voter registration to what SDS, in its Port Huron Statement, called its 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 pro...
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