Those old enough to remember 1972 have a significant 50th anniversary to look back on, though maybe not to celebrate.

A collective madness was in the air. Youth revolted against it scarcely knew what, for it scarcely knew what. Revolt itself was good, revolt for its own sake, the more violent the better. Violence proved commitment; commitment justified violence; violence would purge society of corruption, cleanse civilization of dross. “Violence,” said Frantz Fanon (1925-61), a radical thinker much in vogue at the time, “is man re-creating himself.” Or as Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) put it, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” That justified the gun.

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