THE PORT HURON STATEMENT
In 1962 Tom Hayden wrote the manifesto of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In The Port Huron Statement, Hayden introduced the concept of participatory democracy and identified its two central objectives: that the individual share in those social decisions determining the quality and direction of his or her life and that society be organized to encourage independence in men and women and provide the media for their common participation. Following is Hayden's preamble to The Port Huron Statement, or the New Left's "state of the nation" declaration.
We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.
When we were kids the United States was the wealthiest and strongest country in the world; the only one with the atom bomb, the least scarred by modem war, an initiator of the United Nations that we thought would distribute Western influence throughout the world. Freedom and equality for each individual, government of, by, and for the people--these American values we found good, principles by which we could live as men. Many of us began maturing in complacency.