Radical Sociology

By J. David Colfax; Jack L. Roach | Go to book overview

(24)
Getting By with a Little Help
from Our Friends *

BARBARA AND AL HABER

THE Radicals in the Professions Conference ** was a response to an essentially personal crisis that is widespread among people in the movement: the crisis of remaining radical beyond the college or graduate school years, or beyond the two-years' initiation period into the movement.

This is not to say that the crisis is politically insignificant. The New Left has mobilized a large number of people over the past five years. But the work of building a radical movement that can be successful is far from done. It cannot be done only by students serving two year hitches, or by a hundred or so "thirty year men" struggling on in organizational bureaucracies or urban ghettos.

The personal crisis and the needs of the movement intersect. The movement is the focus of moral reference for post—college radicals, and must therefore be a part of their personal "salvation." And the movement has a large number of unspecified tasks to do over the next decade. So far it has not been able to use its available pool of people to do those tasks. The result has been an undereffective politics and a growing number of movement people in private crisis: moving into establishment positions and cynicism; trying to do isolated and peripheral acts of radicalism inside or outside of professions; or clinging to the ghetto with a diminishing sense of political meaningfulness....

The people who came to the conference were of many kinds and many

____________________
*
Reprinted in slightly abridged form with the kind permission of the New Left quarterly Our Generation 5, No. 2 (September 1967), 3837 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal 131, Quebec, Canada.
**
This conference, held in 1967, was organized by the Radical Education Project.

-388-

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