Students remain active in a variety of left-liberal causes. Students have marched with unionists at Yale and Harvard, staged anti-contra sit-ins in congressional offices in upstate New York, registered voters in Kentucky, protested campus racism in Michigan and Massachusetts, and staffed the Simon and Jackson campaigns across the country. It may be premature to talk about a “student movement,” but it is myopic to see today’s students as apolitical and inactive.
Many commentators have described us as a pragmatic, even cautious generation. As long as one doesn’t equate pragmatism with a lack of principles or militancy, this is probably correct. The antiapartheid movement showed that “pragmatic” political demands can generate a combative movement. It’s just that we have a difficult time believing in the broad emancipatory projects of our predecessors. How could it be otherwise? Our clearest political memories are of Jimmy Carter, ...
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