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Liberalism Radicalized: The Sexual Revolution, Multiculturalism, and the Rise of Identity Politics

—Kevin Slack is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College.


[1] Matea Gold and Michael Memoli, “Democrats Put God, Jerusalem Back in Platform over Objections,” Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2012, (accessed April 26, 2013); “The First Gay President,” Newsweek, May 21, 2012; Andrew Sullivan, “Biden Says Transgender Discrimination ‘Civil Rights Issue of Our Time’,” Politico, October 30, 2012, April 26, 2013).

[2] Dorothy A. Brown, “Fighting Racism in the Twenty-First Century,” 61 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1485 (2004), 1486.

[3] CNN, “Republicans Want to End Perception as ‘Stuffy Old Men,’” March 18, 2013, May 13, 2013).

[4] Halimah Abdullah, “How Women Ruled the 2012 Election and Where the GOP Went Wrong,” CNN, (accessed May 13, 2013).

[5] Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Vital Center (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1962), p. xiii.

[6] Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neoconservative: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (New York: Basic Books, 1983), p. 75.

[7] Princeton University Professor Cornell West, quoted in “Obama: Progressive or Pragmatist?” Al Jazeera English, April 21, 2012, (accessed April 26, 2013).

[8] See Ronald J. Pestritto, “The Birth of the Administrative State: Where It Came From and What It Means for Limited Government,” Heritage Foundation First Principles Report No. 16, November 20, 2007, (accessed April 26, 2013).

[9] Wilhelm Reich, The Function of the Orgasm: Discovery of the Orgone, tr. Vincent R. Carfagno (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1986), p. 21.

[10] “Morals: The Second Sexual Revolution,” Time, January 24, 1964.

[11] Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (Greenwich, Conn: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1955), p. 21.

[12] Wilhelm Reich, The Sexual Revolution: Toward a Self-Governing Character Structure (New York: Pocket Books, 1975), p. 28.

[13] Reich, The Function of the Orgasm, pp. 144, 170–171.

[14] Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, tr. Vincent R. Carfagno (New York: Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, 1970), p. 360.

[15] Reich, The Sexual Revolution, p. xix.

[16] Ibid., pp. xi, 36, 251–253.

[17] Ibid., p. 30.

[18] Ibid., p. 17.

[19] Reich, The Function of the Orgasm, p. 175–176.

[20] Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud (Boston: Beacon Press, 1974), p. 126.

[21] Ibid., p. 166.

[22] Ibid., pp. 87–88.

[23] Ibid., p. 166.

[24] Abraham H. Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being, 2nd ed. (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc., 1968), p. 3.

[25] Ibid., p. 194.

[26] Abraham H. Maslow, The Journals of A. H. Maslow (Monterey, Cal.: Brooks/Cole, 1979), p. 949; The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (New York: Penguin, 1972), p. 175.

[27] Jack Kerouac, On the Road (New York: Penguin, 1976), pp. 179–180.

[28] Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems (San Francisco: City Lights, 2001), p. 9.

[29] Philipp Gassert and Alan E. Steinweis, eds., Coping With the Nazi Past: West German Debates on Nazism and Generational Conflict, 1955–1975 (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2008), p. 165.

[30] C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 168.

[31] Ibid., p. 231.

[32] C. Wright Mills and Patricia Salter, “The Barricade and the Bedroom,” Politics, October 1945, p. 315.

[33] C. Wright Mills, White Collar: The American Middle Classes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1951), p. xx.

[34] Mills, The Sociological Imagination, p. 171.

[35] David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character, abr. ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961), p. 254.

[36] Mills, The Sociological Imagination, p. 10.

[37] William H. Whyte Jr., The Organization Man (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956), p. 378.

[38] Paul Goodman, Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized System (New York: Vintage Books, 1960), p. 118.

[39] Whyte, The Organization Man, p. 295.

[40] Riesman, The Lonely Crowd, pp. 256, 239, 259.

[41] Mills, The Sociological Imagination, p. 168.

[42] C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), pp. 3–4, 311–315.

[43] C. Wright Mills, The Causes of World War Three(New York: Ballantine Books, 1960), p. 183.

[44] Mills, The Sociological Imagination, p. 113.

[45] C. Wright Mills, “Letter to the New Left,” New Left Review, No. 5 (September–October 1960).

[46] Mills, The Sociological Imagination, p. 229.

[47] Tom Hayden, “Introduction: Agenda for a Generation,” in Port Huron Statement, 1st Draft, 1962, pp. 1–2, (accessed July 22, 2013).

[48] Hayden preferred this term to “power elite” as “more accurate because of its focus on the joined political and economic institutions.” See Tom Hayden, Radical Nomad: C. Wright Mills and His Times (Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers, 2006), p. 135.

[49] Allen J. Matusow, The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2009), pp. 217ff.

[50] Leroi Jones, in “The Task of the Negro Writer as Artist: A Symposium,” Negro Digest, Vol. 14, No. 6 (April 1965), p. 65.

[51] Matusow, The Unraveling of America, pp. 252, 270.

[52] Herbert Marcuse, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse, ed. Douglas Kellner, 5 vols. (New York: Routledge, 1998–2004), Vol. III, p.77.

[53] Todd Gitlin, “Foreword,” in Tom Wells, The War Within: America’s Battle over Vietnam (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1994), p. xvii.

[54] Marcuse, Collected Papers, Vol. III, p.188.

[55] Chicago Office of SNCC, “We Must Fill Ourselves With Hate for all Things White,” in Black Protest Thought in the Twentieth Century, ed. August Meier, Elliott Rudwick, and Francis L. Broderick (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1971), p. 487.

[56] Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), p. 37.

[57] Hal Draper, Berkeley: The New Student Revolt(New York: Grove Press, 1965), p. 98.

[58] Paul Potter, “Naming the System,” speech at march on Washington to end the war in Vietnam, April 17, 1965, Students for a Democratic Society Document Library, (accessed April 26, 2013).

[59] Tom Hayden, “Student Social Action: From Liberation to Community,” in The New Student Left, ed. Michael Cohen and Dennis Hale (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), p. 281.

[60] Carl Davidson, “Toward a Student Syndicalist Movement, or University Reform Revisited,” position paper delivered at SDS convention, August 1966, Students for a Democratic Society Document Library, (accessed April 26, 2013); Gregory Calvert, “In White America: Liberal Conscience vs. Radical Consciousness,” speech delivered at SDS Princeton Conference, February 1967, , (accessed April 26, 2013).

[61] “SNCC Position Paper (1964),” in Sarah Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement & the New Left (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 234; Casey Hayden and Mary King, “Sex and Caste,” in Evans, Personal Politics, pp. 235–236.

[62] “Liberation of Women,” New Left Notes, July 10, 1967, in Evans, Personal Politics, p. 240.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Evans, Personal Politics, p. ix.

[65] CBSDC, “Ginsburg Wants To See All-Female Supreme Court,” November 27, 2012, (accessed April 26, 2013).

[66] Marcuse, Collected Papers, Vol. III, p. 134.

[67] Gore Vidal, The City and the Pillar (New York: New American Library, 1965), p. 155.

[68] Paul Goodman, “The Politics of Being Queer,” in Nature Heals: The Psychological Essays of Paul Goodman, ed. Timothy Stoehr (New York: Free Life Editions, 1977), p. 216.

[69] Huey Newton, “A Letter From Huey to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters About the Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements,” in The Huey P. Newton Reader, ed. David Hilliard and Donald Weise (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002), p. 157.

[70] Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986).

[71] Lawrence et al. v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003); Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992).

[72] Peter Irons and Stephanie Guitton, eds., May It Please the Court: The Most Significant Oral Arguments Made Before the Supreme Court Since 1955 (New York, The New Press, 1993), pp. 350, 353.

[73] Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977), cited by Justice Kennedy in Kennedy v. Louisiana, 554 U.S. 07 (2008).

[74] Lawrence et al. v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).

[75] Lawrence et al. v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003); Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).

[76] Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013), Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Respondents, 6.

[77] Marcuse, Collected Papers, Vol. III, p. 157.

[78] Mills, The Sociological Imagination, p. 7.

[79] Ibid., p. 158.

Authors: Kevin Slack