This is the first of several testimonial-commentary documents that I want to offer for MIMís SDS archives. I was active in SDS in its zenith year of 1969; I spent some years as well as a member of one of the SDS-derived RYM II parties. I intend my personal reflections on these years as a contribution to MIMís summing up of what went right and what went wrong during that time of rapid advancement of the revolutionary forces in amerika. But I particularly offer these few articles as an express challenge to former comrades of that time to come forward with their own recollections and interpretations of those historical events as a service that they are uniquely positioned to render to the international proletariat.
Now, revolutionary justice requires me to begin at the end. Thatís because the end of my SDS/RYM II involvement was political degeneration and many long years of turning my back on the revolutionary struggle. This was an ongoing crime against the peoples of the world oppressed and exploited by the amerikkkan imperialist system which materially sustained me and which I in turn supported by abandoning the fight against it. So I begin with self-criticism for all those years of degenerate ďapoliticalĒ retreat into the warm bowels of empire. And I make this self-criticism in particular to the peoples of those nations that MIM cites as combining in the 60ís and 70ís to radicalize significant portions of the populace even here in the amerikan dreamland: the Black nation within u$ borders fighting for liberation, the Vietnamese people in their death struggle to halt extension of u$ empire, and Chairman Mao and the Chinese people, who were building socialism and fighting revisionism to show the way forward in defeating this monster of imperialism. See, it took not just one or two, but the simultaneous conjuncture of all three of these momentous struggles to raise so many amerikkkans so quickly out of the depths of parasitism and to deliver them through the anti-imperialist movement to the doorstep of the planetís actual humyn community. So thatís bad enough: that amerikans in the stupor of their stolen luxury are so slow on the revolutionary uptake that it takes so very much heroic suffering and dying to move them toward the side of the worldís oppressed majority. But, once propelled there by the sacrifices of others, to then dis the whole thing in a hurried scurry back to the rathole of imperial privilege Ö well, thatís just pouring the blood of the peopleís struggles directly down the drain. And I and thousands of former SDSíers and RYM IIíers are guilty of precisely that crime. And any recollective analysis of those more politically advanced times that does not begin with their fact of their criminally degenerative aftermath necessarily starts off as some brand of opportunist cover-up and essential falsification of the main political lessons of those times.
In subsequent articles I will address more of the nuts and bolts of my SDS/RYM II involvement and lessons to be learned there. But for now, just as I have challenged former comrades of the 60ís and 70ís to come forward with their own recollections and perspectives, I also challenge those same folks to come clean in their particular self-criticism for our eventual collective squandering of the peopleís revolutionary energies.