Young Activists Working for Change

Yves here. This article by Poor People’s Campaign co-founder Liz Theoharis, argues that young activists have been far more effective than is widely acknowledged. Perhaps that is because the press has been very deliberate in burying stories initiatives they do not like, like labor rights or pro-Palestine protests, as well as presenting the image of young people as self-absorbed and disengaged. The latter furthers the impression that any young rabble-rousers are rare, meant to imply not effective so as to discourage that sort of thing.

Reader sanity checks welcome!

By Liz Theoharis. Originally published at TomDispatch

“All Americans owe them a debt for — if nothing else — releasing the idealism locked so long inside a nation that has not recently tasted the drama of a social upheaval. And for making us look on the young people of the country with a new respect.” That’s how Howard Zinn opened his book The New Abolitionists about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the 1960s. Zinn pointed out a truth from the Black freedom struggles of that era and earlier: that young people were often labeled aloof and apathetic, apolitical and uncommitted — until suddenly they were at the very forefront of justice struggles for themselves and for the larger society. Connected to that truth is the reality that, in the history of social-change movements in the United States and globally, young people almost invariably find themselves in the lead.

I remember first reading The New Abolitionists in the 1990s when I was a college student and activist. I had grown weary of hearing older people complain about the inactivity of my generation, decrying why we weren’t more involved in the social issues of the day. Of course, even then, such critiques came in the face of mass protests, often led by the young, against the first Iraq war (launched by President George H.W. Bush), the Republican Contract With America, and the right-wing “family values” movement. Such assertions about the apathy of youth were proffered even as young people were waging fights for marriage equality, the protection of abortion, and pushing back against the attack on immigrants, as well as holding mass marches like the Battle for Seattle at the World Trade Organization meeting as well as protests at the Republican National Convention of 2000, and so much more.

Another quote from Zinn remains similarly etched in my mind. “Theirs,” he wrote, “was the silent generation until they spoke, the complacent generation until they marched and sang, the money-seeking generation until they gave it up for… the fight for justice in the dank and dangerous hamlets of the Black Belt.”

And if it was true that, in the 1990s and 2000s, young people were so much less complacent than was recognized at the time, it’s even truer (to the nth degree!) in the case of the Millennials and Gen Z today. Younger generations are out there leading the way toward justice in a fashion that they seldom get credit for.

Don’t Look Up

Let me suggest, as a start, that we simply chuck out the sort of generalizations about Millennials and Gen Z that pepper the media today: that those younger generations spend too much money on avocado toast and Starbucks when they should be buying real estate or paying down their student loans. Accused of doing everything through social media, it’s an under-recognized and unappreciated reality of this century that young people have been showing up in a remarkable fashion, leading the way in on-the-ground movements to ensure that Black lives matter, dealing vividly with the onrushing horror of climate change, as well as continued conflict and war, not to speak of defending economic justice and living wages, abortion access, LGBTQ rights, and more.

Take, for instance, the greatest social upheaval of the past five years: the uprising that followed the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, with #BlackLivesMatter protests being staged in staggering numbers of communities, many of which had never hosted such an action before. Those marches and rallies, led mainly by teenagers and young adults, may have been the broadest wave of protests in American history.

When it comes to the environmental movement, young people have been organizing campaigns for climate justice, calling for a #GreenNewDeal and #climatedefiance from Cop City to the March to End Fossil Fuels to a hunger strike in front of the White House. At the same time, they have been bird-dogging politicians on both sides of the aisle with an urgency and militancy not previously associated with climate change. Meanwhile, a surge of unionization drives, whether at Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, or Dollar General, has largely been led by young low-wage workers of color and has increased appreciation for and recognition of workers’ rights and labor unions to a level not seen in decades. Add to that the eviction moratoriums, mutual-aid provisions, and student-debt strikes of the pandemic years, which gained ground no one had thought possible even months earlier.

And don’t forget the movement to stop gun violence that, from the March for Our Lives in Florida to the protests leading to the expulsion and subsequent reinstatement of state legislators Justin Jones and Justin Pearson in Tennessee, galvanized millions across racial and political lines. Teenagers in striking numbers are challenging this society to value their futures more than guns. And most recently, calls for a #ceasefirenow and #freepalestine have heralded the birth of a new peace movement in the wake of Hamas’s attacks on Israel and the Israeli destruction of much of Gaza. Although university presidents have been getting more media attention, Palestinian, Jewish, and Muslim students have been the ones organizing and out there, insisting that indiscriminate violence perpetrated against Palestinians, especially children, will not happen “in our name.”

From Unexpected Places

An observation Zinn made so many years ago about young people in the 1960s may have lessons for movements today: “They came out of unexpected places; they were mostly black and therefore unseen until they suddenly became the most visible people in America; they came out of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee, and Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. And they were committed. To the point of jail, which is a large commitment.”

Today’s generation of activists are similarly committed and come from places as varied as Parkland, Florida, Uvalde, Texas, Buffalo, New York, and Durham, North Carolina. Below the surface, some deep stuff is brewing that could indeed continue to compel new generations of the young into action. As we approach the first quarter mark of the twenty-first century, we’re stepping firmly into a new technological era characterized by unparalleled levels of digital power. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, as elite economists and think-tankers like to call it, promises a technological revolution that, in the words of World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, is likely to occur on a “scale, scope, and complexity” never before experienced. That revolution will, of course, include the integration of artificial intelligence and other labor-replacing technology into many kinds of in-person as well as remote work and is likely to involve the “deskilling” of our labor force from the point of production all the way to the market.

Residents of Detroit, once the Silicon Valley of auto manufacturing, understand this viscerally. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Ford River Rouge Plant was the largest, most productive factory in the world, a private city with 100,000 workers and its own municipal services. Today, the plant employs only a fraction of that number — about 10,000 people — and yet, thanks to a surge of robotic innovation, it produces even more cars than it did in the heady days of the 1930s. Consider such a shift just the tip of the spear of the kind of change “coming to a city near you,” as one veteran auto worker and union organizer once told me. All of this is impacting everything from wages to health-care plans, pensions to how workers organize. Indeed, some pushback to such revolutionary shifts in production can be seen in the labor strikes the United Auto Workers launched late in 2023.

Overall, such developments are deeply impacting young people. After all, workers are now generally making less than their parents did, even though they may produce more for the economy. Growing parts of our workforce are increasingly non-unionized, low-wage, part-time and/or contracted out, often without benefits like health care, paid sick leave, or retirement plans. And not surprisingly, such workers struggle to afford housing, childcare, and other necessities, experiencing on the whole harsher lives than the generations that preceded them.

In addition, the last 40 years have done more than just transform work and daily life for younger generations. They have conditioned so many to lose faith in government as a site for struggle and change. Instead, Americans are increasingly dependent on private, market-based solutions that extol the wealthy for their humanitarianism (even as they reap the rewards from federal policymaking and an economy rigged in their favor).

Crises upon Crises

Consider the social, political, and economic environment that’s producing the multi-layered crises faced by today’s younger generations. When compared to other advanced countries, the United States lags perilously behind in almost every important category. In this rich land, about 45 million people regularly experience hunger and food insecurity, nearly 80 million are uninsured or underinsured, close to 10 million live without housing or on the brink of homelessness, while the education system continues to score near the bottom compared to the other 37 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. And in all of this, young people are impacted disproportionately.

Perhaps most damning, ours is a society that has become terrifyingly tolerant of unnecessary death and suffering. Deaths by poverty are an increasingly all-American reality. Low-wage jobs that have been found to shorten lives are the norm. In 2023, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, found that poverty was the fourth-leading cause of death in this country, right after heart disease, smoking, and cancer. While life expectancy continues to rise across the industrialized world, it’s stagnated in the U.S. since the 2010s and, during the first three years of the Covid pandemic, it dropped in a way that, according to experts, was unprecedented in modern world history. That marks us as unique not just among wealthy countries, but among poorer ones as well. And again, its impact was felt above all by the young. What we call “deaths of despair” are also accelerating, although the label is misleading, since so many overdoses and suicides are caused not by some amorphous social malaise but by medical neglect and lack of access to adequate care and mental-health treatment for the under- or uninsured.

Nor are low wages, crises of legitimacy, and falling life expectancy the only significant issues facing our younger generations. Just last week, the New York Times reported that 2023 was the hottest year on record (with climate chaos worsening yearly and little chance of the elimination of our reliance on fossil fuels in sight). Add to that the fact that anyone born in the last three decades can hardly remember a time when the United States was not in some fashion at war (whether declared or not) and pouring its taxpayer dollars into the Pentagon budget. In fact, according to the National Priorities Project, this country has spent a staggering $21 trillion on militarization since September 11, 2001, including increased border patrols, a rising police presence in our communities, and various aspects of the Global War on Terror that came home big-time. Add to all that, the rise of Trumpian-style authoritarianism and attacks on our democratic system more extreme than at any time since the Civil War.

What Time Is It?

Thousands of years ago, the ancient Greeks taught that there were two ways to understand time — and the times in which we live. Chronos was quantitative time, the measured chronological time of a clock. Kairos, on the other hand, was qualitative time: the special, even transformative, time of a specific moment (and possibly of a movement). Kairos is all about opportunity. In the days of antiquity, Greek archers were trained to recognize the brief kairos moment, the opening when their arrow had the best chance of reaching its target. In the Bible (and as a biblical scholar I run into this a lot), Kairos describes a moment when the eternal breaks into history.

German-American theologian Paul Tillich introduced the modern use of kairos in describing the period between the First World War and the rise of fascism. In retrospect, he recognized the existential stakes of that transitional moment and mourned the societal failure to stem the tide of fascism in Germany, Italy, and Spain. There was a similar kairos moment in apartheid South Africa when a group of mainly Black theologians wrote a Kairos Document noting that “for very many… in South Africa, this is the KAIROS, the moment of grace and opportunity… a challenge to decisive action. It is a dangerous time because, if this opportunity is missed, and allowed to pass by, the loss… will be immeasurable.”

2024 may well be a kairos moment for us here in the United States. There’s so much at stake, so much to lose, but if Howard Zinn were with us today, I suspect he would look at the rise of bold and visionary organizing, led by generations of young leaders, and tell us that change, on a planet in deep distress, is coming soon.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Happy (to be an) Old Codger

    Trigger warning: cynicism ahead

    Hope springs eternal. Faith, hope and charity, saith the theologian. Hope was the last thing at the bottom of Pandora’s box. Etc., etc. The Hills are alive … with the Sound of Music …

    On the other hand, how about a dose of realism, from Mose Alison:

    Ah well a young man
    Ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
    I said a young man
    Ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days

    In the old days
    a young man was a strong man
    And all the people’d stand back
    When a young man walked by

    But nowadays the old man got all the money
    And a young man ain’t nothin’ in the world these days.

  2. Jake

    Sorry, but young activists in Austin, Texas over the last decade have been incredibly destructive, anti-democratic, and bordering on terrorist, in my opinion. Someone gave them the idea that meth addiction is a symptom of homelessness and that no meth addict is homeless because they chose meth over everything else. So Austin flooded with meth addicts that prefer to live under the highway and when that was obviously not working and the city was dying from the inside, the young activists screamed “YOU CANT CRIMINALIZE HOMELESSNESS!!!!!!11” and accused everyone who disagreed with them of being republicans. IMO these young activists were co-opted by the real estate industry to rally for a city plan that involved only what makes the real estate industry the most money. Gentrification. I’m acquainted with some of these young activists and a very small number of them actually do get that they were suckered by the real estate industry, but now it’s too late. Austin is already dead and most of those young activists aren’t going to be able to afford to live there anymore. The danger of young activists is that they are so easy to con and don’t have enough experience to understand that radical activism is extremely anti-democratic and can quickly get you recognized as troublemakers who have no qualms with destroying a city just to make a point. That’s the exact experience I lived though. It was demoralizing. And the corrupt city council loves every minute of it.

    1. TomDority

      ” incredibly destructive, anti-democratic, and bordering on terrorist, in my opinion.”
      Sounds like all the same quips any change – for the better – incurs
      Like civil rights, women’s suffrage, various workers movements, civil war, American revolution, Magna Carta, War protests etc. You know – the most Democratic things for basic Life Liberty and Happiness and those pesky inalienable rights.
      As regards the RE – yea they are part of the FIRE sector and have been co-opting the rest for hundreds of years

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      “…don’t have enough experience to understand that radical activism is extremely anti-democratic and can quickly get you recognized as troublemakers…”
      WOW do you have a hair across your a$$ – too personal to be a general complaint imho – ‘radical activism is extremely anti-democratic’ – tell that to the original Boston Tea Party which was an American political protest on December 16, 1773, by the Sons of Liberty in Boston in colonial Massachusetts, those radical activists – i was in Chicago for the ’68 Dem convention protesting Vietnam war – guess i had no qualms with destroying a city just to make a point – and i would agree that you can’t criminalize homelessness when our government gives billions with no accountability to the grifting corruption machine in the Ukraine or talks out of the side of its mouth and gives bombs, bullets and lots of cash to Israel to commit war crimes upon the Palestinians – i would agree that there is a good chance of getting yourself on a list along with your photo these days if you protest the status quo and props to the kids, and anyone else of any age, taking that chance – i would suggest you calm down and reconsider who and what you’re aiming your anger at, it seems sadly misdirected –

    3. Albe Vado

      It’s always bemusing to see people who have literally no idea what they’re talking about opine about homelessness, and to watch them comically strawman what actual activists and advocates are saying. In my experience someone like you has zero understanding of any of the literature, and has very likely never talked to more than about three of the ‘untermensch’ in your entire life.

  3. upstater

    The word “class” does not appear in the essay. Perhaps it does in the book. Class, after all, is what it was and is all about. Until there are way to develop class consciousness and cohesion with a working class party, activism remains flashes in the pan.

  4. Michael Fiorillo

    It saddens me to write this, but given that so much of the “political” message during 2020 was embodied by crooks and grifters – Patrice Cullours, Ibram X. Kendi, et. al. – and that hashtags are not movements, I’m much more inclined to think of the events of spring-summer 2020 as a pandemic-precipitated social spasm with a dusting of (mostly idiotic, i.e. Defund The Police) politics on top.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    As Lambert Strether has written many times, generations don’t have agency. A generation is a category, and like so many categories used in U.S. discourse (“Caucasians”), it is empty. It does not act. So I give Theoharis credit for blurring the category. Protest has a long history in the U S of A, and analyzing it along generational lines has never amounted to much.

    That written, I’d also posit that the two greatest leaders of protest in the U S of A right now, the two most effective, are Medea Benjamin and her gang at CodePink plus Cornel West, who is currently rousing the rabble in all the right ways. Neither is all that young.

    Yet Theoharis makes this slip: “Add to all that, the rise of Trumpian-style authoritarianism and attacks on our democratic system more extreme than at any time since the Civil War.” Oh? Did she write this piece before Matt Taibbi was given the purest of McCarthyite treatments by Wasserman Schulz, non-voting delegate Plaskett, and Garcia? Has Theoharis noticed the recent “antizionism is antisemitism” sense of the Congress? That the overwhelming majority of Democrats have voted again and again for war in Ukraine and in Palestine, and that war is the health of the state (as Randolph Bourne wrote)?

    What Theoharis doesn’t mention but is the historical elephant in the room is the adage: The Democratic Party is where social movements go to die.
    –Many of the travails of the union movement in the US of A stem from its adherence to the Democratic Party, which has used the unions as ATM machines.
    –The current rubble of U.S feminism–witness those lovelies, Wasserman Schulz, Plaskett, and Garcia plus warmonger extraordinaire Hillary Clinton–stems from upper-middle-class feminists flocking to the Democratic Party where they could have careers and avoid effecting social change.
    –Likewise, the Democrats gave in on equal marriage, as I recall Obama “evolving,” and there is no leadership left to speak of among gayfolk. The late and insightful Urvashi Vaid knew that marriage would deflate the movement, which now seems to have devolved into accommodationist “queerness” acceptable to the Democratic Party. Vaid once wrote about poverty among lesbians, and now the current “queer” thinking is that lesbians don’t exist.
    –The term “black misleadership class” is used here at Naked Capitalism, picked up from writers at Black Agenda Report. Again, the civil-rights movement was blunted within the Democratic Party.

    So: Protest has to remain outside the U.S. party structure. This is not easy to do, given the amount of money parties control, their determination to control their bases, and the ambitions of the powerful to dominate the political economy (and loot public goods).

    1. Gregorio

      I get so sick of hearing that tired old “threat to our democracy,” trope. The U.S. is 100% a plutocracy, nothing can be a “threat” to a democracy that has never existed in the first place.

    2. Neutrino

      Poor people don’t count as people beyond means to ends for programs and grifts. Substitute any other group that doesn’t generate enough donations to feed the beast or provide the right photo ops. Money has rights in Washington that degrade what remains of people’s rights.

    3. ISL

      You highlight one of the reasons I stopped frequenting Tom Dispatch – his audience is highly partisan and one finds the same bias or rhetorical phrases throughout the writing. As a result, the analysis tends often to miss dimensions. For example, you will not find Larry Johnson or Scott Ritter. Can’t go against the MSM narrative strongly as it might affect donations, is my interpretation – One of the reasons I take morning coffee with NC (while half listening to The Duran), and frequent Consortium news, MoonofAlabama, Sonar21, sites on the blog roll, etc. (thegreyzone, requires wine in the evening)

  6. Carolinian

    Sorry but color me unconvinced by any of this. And oh by the way where are those Black Lives Matter protests at the moment? Could it be the whole thing was really about Trump and 2020? I’ve already expounded at length on the bogosity of the “Cop City” protest and think Antifa in general is pretty fake as well.

    One could certainly make the case that the young people protests of the 60s lacked authenticity given that they were as much about the draft as the fate of the Vietnamese and were so easily diverted into the Me Decade of ID pol. But the current version seems more like the selfie would be repeat of the 60s with its own black costume fashion statement and even shorter attention span.

    It is indeed a class war these days and middle class kids conducting lifestyle rebellion don’t have enough of a dog in this fight–despite the shortage of jobs and housing. The new uprising against genocide in Gaze shows promise but we’ll see how long it lasts. It’s hard not to be skeptical.

    1. funemployed

      I’m also unconvinced, but I do think even the middle-class kids are grokking to the fact that they are pretty well screwed, and that the “wisdom” of their elders is anything but. I do think the default response is closer to fatalism than “activism,” but I can’t say I blame them.

      What path would you tell a righteously inflamed 27 year old to take in 2024? Best I’ve got is “don’t have kids.”

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        That is a tough one but, fwiw, I’d give the advice of the great labor historian (and machinist, organizer, union official) David Montgomery: “Stick with the working class, even when they’re throwing you out the shop window.”

    2. Felix_47

      Getting rid of the draft was a genius move by the plutocracy. And essentially eliminating income taxes for half of the US population was a second genius move. If everyone had a kid at risk of fighting in Ukraine and paid a meaningful level of taxes….everyone…..we would see a lot more voters and have a lot better outcomes. People aren’t stupid unless they are paid to be stupid…….. Young radicals and progressives should be clamoring for the draft. That they do not suggests they are happy with things as they are.

    3. J.

      Hi Carolinian, why do you say the Cop City protests were bogus?

      The Stop Cop City petition effort collected double the required signatures. More people signed the petition than voted for the mayor.

      There are multiple reasons Atlantans don’t want Cop City. One is police violence, as described here:

      Another is the constant cost creep, in a city that can’t pave its potholes. The price to the city went from 31 millon to 67 million of the 90 million total, and recently the total increased even more to 110 million:

      Supposedly the city won’t have to pay extra but we all know how that ends.

      And it was sited badly in a place that regularly floods and is environmentally important:

      You may have lived in Atlanta for awhile but it seems like you have not kept up with current events.

  7. ISL

    As several commentators have noted, the absence of inclusion of class in the piece is telling – particularly the PMC versus the rest; however, it is a capitalism-based analysis, and I ask the question, is it really appropriate for an economic retrograde transformation to a post-modern feudalism (hat tip to Yanis Varoufakis) with the big question: who will be the first trillionaire?

  8. funemployed

    So what is “activism”? Who is an “activist”? When did this become a thing? Was Dr, King and “activist”? How about Malcolm X or A Phillip Randolph or Kwame Ture? Is “activism” a specific type of political activity, like walking around on streets with signs after getting police permission? Is it always NGO based? Who decides who is and “activist”? Are strikes “activism”? If the activists win, do the passivists lose?

    Maybe this isn’t the place, but I realized I had an icky feeling about the word, and had never thought about it before. Maybe y’all can help?

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      You are right to feel discomfort with the word.

      I’m old school, and consider the Three Commandments for Leftists to be: educate, organize, mobilize the working class. In my experience (and I’m not exempting myself because it’s hard, wearing work, which I’ve moved in and out of over the course of my life), few “activists” have the insight, commitment or stamina for organizing, which requires great patience (as well as the confidence to seize opportunities), and tolerance for tedium and rejection. It’s painstaking, un-glamorous work. The insight part is critical, as in being able to meet people where they’re at, and proceed strategically from there in a way that builds trust, awareness and solidarity. Today’s purported Liberal/Left is comically unable to do that, and in all honesty – and I’ve been in, around and observing Left/labor politics in NYC since I was 12 years old a long time ago – in my experience that’s pretty much always been the case, with some exceptions. When the New Left (which had some origins in the old working class-based Left of the ’30’s and ’40’s, but was largely Bourgeois/Petty Bourgeois in origin) fractured and dissipated in the early 1970’s, what remained fled/devolved into Identity-focused academia and NGO-world. Given that, it was to be expected they could no longer speak effectively with workers.

      Maybe I’d frame it this way: the less you sacrifice, the more likely you are an “activist.” Randolph, Malcolm X and Kwame Toure all started as organizers, later becoming spokespersons (like the non-organizer but strategically-engaged)King). All of those men dedicated their lives to educating, organizing and mobilizing, and two of them were martyred for it. That’s a lot more than “activism.”

      And while a strike is organized mass action, not activism, activism obviously can play a role in its success.

      Just my wordy two cents…

      1. funemployed

        Thanks Michael. Your airport sucks but I know it isn’t your fault ; ). I guess I just kinda do get it. I’ve spent my life studying social and political change and I’m pretty sure I’m not that special among my generation. but actually wtf are we supposed to do. Power is what matters. Organizing is how you get power but the only means for doing so are controlled by others. Sooo… wtf are we supposed to do?

  9. Susan the other

    Constitutional declarations might be compelling and ring true for long periods of time, speaking of Chronos, but meaning dissipates as society evolves. Oil spreading too thinly over the surface of water. You look up one day and think, What a lot of empty talk. I don’t think we have defined what our social obligations to each other are in a post-industrial-but-still-capitalist society. It’s turning into an oxymoron. Our society has been in an entrenched systemic state of inequality since the 60s, imo. So where does this leave “freedom and equality,” let alone peace and brotherhood and etc? Democracy creates oligarchy. And blabla. Which is why I believe the whole concept of “profit” needs to be redefined into something coherent which we can live by; something equitable and sustainable and compatible with the environment. Right now Profit is not something that we can use as a socially unifying concept because it separates us. Profit promotes the rampant destruction of Nature itself. It has become the great emulsifier, not the great equalizer. We need to redefine our terms.

  10. Gulag

    “Younger generations are out there leading the way toward justice in a fashion that they seldom get credit for.”

    Have there ever been any genuine organic protest movements (leading the way toward justice) who gave 2 cents of concern about whether they got credit from the powers that be?

  11. Jams O'Donnell

    “When it comes to the environmental movement, young people have been organizing campaigns for climate justice, calling for a #GreenNewDeal and #climatedefiance from Cop City to the March to End Fossil Fuels to a hunger strike in front of the White House. At the same time, they have been bird-dogging politicians on both sides of the aisle with an urgency and militancy not previously associated with climate change.”

    And where has it got them so far? Next to nowhere. Remember the 1% (or 99% or whatever they were called) camping out in Times Square (or wherever) a couple of years ago? Not really – they are a dim and distant memory. They also got – nowhere, after getting ‘somewhere’. And my take on that is that all these temporarily disgruntled movements fail to stay the course and achieve nothing permanent because there is no deep tradition any more in the US of informed, class driven socialist theory to ground and bind together these ephemeral movements. There is instead a ‘pioneer spirit’ ‘feel-good’ type of anarchism, which again is not based on any sort of reasoned Anarchist theory that a group can use as a glue to aid cohesion. The US establishment have over the past 90 odd years, banished Marxist and socialist thought from actual practice, and to the extreme periphery of political discussion. Until this changes, I can’t see protest movements in the US amounting to anything much, as they have no background of theory to give them temporal stability.

  12. Big River Bandido

    The writer conflates “activism” with “protest” — I could be charitable and chalk that up to naïveté but it really sounds more like tendentiousness in the face of imminent publishing deadline. A lot of people of all ages have figured out that “political demonstrations” nowadays are mostly just theater and psy ops and have zero effect on policy. Certainly I figured that out by the end of my time in college, and I’m the same age as the writer.

Comments are closed.