Generational Ethics Agendas: The Sharon and Port Huron Statements

The 60s generation Presidents have had their moment and their time. As Barack Obama predicted on the campaign trail, this is the moment and time for a new generation to establish their legacy. And to leave their ethics footprint on the world.

Is it really the case, however, that generations have their own ethics? Are our attempts to assign character traits to different generations actually harmful? Is it really better for us to categorize the way we think the world should work only through a generation's eyes? And should we assume that a generation is always of one mind and that its body moves in rhythm to the same music that it shares?

In this podcast, the first in our Great Ethics Documents Project, we are trying to offer new ways to think about these questions. We have found two documents we believe can help. Two different ethics visions of the world at the time of the Cold War. From the same generation that grew up in the Cold War shadow.

Has the world passed these Statements by, so that they have become just another kind of 60s leftover? Or do they remain relevant to today's ethics concerns?

Here they are, the unadorned and free thoughts about the prospects for the free world: The Sharon Statement outlining the principles from the young conservatives who started the Young Americans for Freedom and The Port Huron Statement, the manifesto that became the founding document of the New Left.


(Note: to find The Sharon and The Port Huron Statements online, go to:

The Sharon Statement:

The Port Huron Statement: Then please scroll down to SDS Port Huron to access. This version is abridged.