Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hipster Revolutionaries

Barack Obama's association with Bill Ayers is yet another intriguing story. The Weather Underground was as militant as any other radical organization of the 1960s and 70s. The were definitely the most violent. I posted about them a while back. Read about it here.

A comparison of the Weather Underground and early American anarchists reveals some interesting discussion points. The Weathermen bombed a lot of government buildings, including the Pentagon and the State Department. However, only one person died in their attack, and he was a member of the group. Early American anarchists attempted many assassinations upon high-profile leaders, including Henry Clay Fricke and President William McKinley.

In the case of the 1970s, the major revolution came not from the radical left, but from the conservative right. In the case of the early anarchists, the revolution was not quite as obvious. Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency and changed the course of American history. Was his "victory" one for the right or for the left?


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