The Chimes of Freedom Flashing
Caleb S. Rossiter - Former Radical
Like the generation that spawned it, the Movement wascomplex yet elemental,
cooperative yet individualistic. In terms of politics, it included moderates,
liberals, radicals and, on the far fringe, anarchists. Ideologically, to borrow from
Talleyrand's dictum, some saw the war as an unavoidable blunder of a reformable system,
while others saw it as an unavoidable crime of a system in need of being overthrown.
Goals ranged from a negotiated peace to a victory for the NLF that would cripple
the neo-imperialist beast. Most concretely, though, what most people actually did
was vote, march, sit-in, or trash. Some, including me, did all four at various
times, but everyone eventually came to rest somewhere along the continuum from Voter to
Marcher to Sitter to Trasher, a continuum from acceptance to denial of the System and its
accepted methods of change, from reason to revolt, from hope to despair, from loyalty to
disloyalty, and from larger numbers to smaller.
Source: Rossiter, Caleb S., The Chimes of Freedom Flashing: A
Personal History of the Vietnam Anti-War Movement and the 1960s, Washington DC: TCA
Press, 1996, page 227.