The Port Huron Statement at 40

“‘If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable.'” Tom Hayden’s reflections on the 40th anniversary of SDS’ mission statement, which has been surprisingly neglected retrospectively but which has defined the shape of progressive struggle since. Hayden does a wonderful job of capturing the complex sociological trends that coalesced in the nascent student Left of the ’60’s. The extent to which he claims John Dewey and C. Wright Mills as its major intellectual forebears and shows how the genuine American leftism that arose distinguished itself from European Marxism is particularly illuminating. —The Nation [thanks to wood s lot]