Following a period of conservative rule during the previous decade, the 1960s saw a soaring increase to progressive politics. The majority of the decade would be witness to a slew of protests and popular movements. From the Civil Rights Movement to the anti-war movements, the decade would host a variety of protests for the rights of minority groups. Of the many movements that emerged, one would attempt to consolidate different groups of struggle — the new left movement. This political movement would emerge in response to its environment. Throughout the decade, the influence of the New Left would move from the halls of the college campus to the halls of the capital of the United States.Unlike the old leftist movement in the United States, which had emerged previously across the nation, there was a stark change in focus in its 60s’ iteration, away from the radical views on class struggle. The New Left movement was just as critical of the more conservative agendas and the ones promoted by the Soviet Union (Foner, 1054). Their focus had broadened, not only was there focus on the social struggles, but it also began to include, as specified by Foner, “loneliness, isolation, and alienation, of powerlessness in the face of bureaucratic institutions and a hunger for authenticity (Foner, p.1054). As such, the movement would incorporate a varied group of individuals, usually the most marginalized members of society, along with the growing middle class (Foner, 1054). The joining of the children of the middle class into struggles seemingly different from their own were prompted by a desire to reject the mainstream culture, society and politics (Foner, 1054). It was this rejection that saw the bubbling of interest for social causes within the college campus, where many important platforms would arise. Personal liberation, among other concerns, would also arise as a driving force, as individuals began to push their priorities away from the existing trend of the accumulation of wealth (Foner, 1064). Combined with the global sociopolitical paradigm, these imperatives for action would yiels this new movement. In the New Left movement, there were many seemingly individual struggles that would receive its support. The Civil Rights Movement would see great momentum in the decade, making it natural for the New Left to take interest in their struggle. The challenge of achieving equality for women, too, would be championed by the movement (Fober, p.1066). The gay liberation movement, much younger in existence, also received positive attention by the New Left (p.1068). Along with the Black community, the Latino and Native American movements of the time were also backed by the representatives of the new Left. Environmentalism also became a focus during the decade, as concerns for v the exploitation of the Earth and it’s resources became more pronounced. Finally, the anti-war movement, in all its glory, would be one of the banners raised by the New Left. There were many victories seen by the movement in the respective arenas they championed. The Civil Rights movement would allow for the passing of the Civil Rights Act, which finally answered to some of the needs of the Black community. 1963 saw the passing of anti-discrimination law for women, making it illegal for gender-based discrimination in employment (Foner, p.1066). Harmful chemicals like DDT were banned (Foner, p.1069). This would all be evidence of the consolidation of some form of power by the New Left, especially with the Courts taking their side (Foner, p.1075) Yet, a drastic step back would follow these achievements, exemplifying the movement’s biggest failure: guaranteeing its perpetuation.
In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, barring sex discrimination among holders of the same jobs. 1066Sds 10671068 gaysLainos 1068Indians 1s. Nearly every state quickly banned the use of DDT 1069It is one of the more striking ironies of the 1960s that although the “rights revolution” began in the streets, it achieved constitutional legitimacy through the Supreme Court, historically the most conservative branch of government. 1071In the United States, instead of radical change, the year’s events opened the door for a conservative reaction. 1075
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