PortHuronStatementNotes - Port Huron Statement Begins from...

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Port Huron Statement Begins from the premise that American ideology/identity make us feel safe and engender complacency. The violence and blatant injustice that provoked the Civil Rights movement and the nuclear brinksmanship that constituted the Cold War, however, has shaken these students from that complacent slumber (1). The students began to see the contradictions rife in American society by noting contesting their identity of Americans and developing their own subjective framework: “While these and other problems either directly oppressed us or rankled our consciences and became our own subjective concerns, we began to see complicated and disturbing paradoxes in our surrounding America,” (1). This breeds disillusionment: “Not only did tarnish appear on our image of American virtue, not only did disillusion occur when the hypocrisy of American ideals was discovered, but we began to sense that what we had originally seen as the American Golden Age was actually the decline of an era. The worldwide outbreak of revolution against colonialism and imperialism, the entrenchment of totalitarian states, the menace of war, overpopulation, international disorder, supertechnology--these trends were testing the tenacity of our own commitment to democracy and freedom and our abilities to visualize their application to a world in upheaval,” (2). Disillusionment will either inspire us to act for change or cause us to fall into despair. Where does their alternative lead? This is the heart of their critique of American society, and it also shows the limits of their resistance: “In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox; we ourselves are imbued with urgency, yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. Beneath the reassuring tones of the politicians, beneath the common opinion that America will "muddle through," beneath the stagnation of those who have closed their minds to
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course 790 376 taught by Professor Murphy during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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PortHuronStatementNotes - Port Huron Statement Begins from...

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