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» » The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition
The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition e-book

Author:

Theodore Roszak

Language:

English

Category:

Politics

Subcategory:

Anthropology

ePub size:

1429 kb

Other formats:

rtf txt mobi mbr

Rating:

4.5

Publisher:

Doubleday (June 1, 1969)

ISBN:

0385020074

The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition e-book

by Theodore Roszak


The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition is a work of non-fiction by Theodore Roszak originally published in 1969.

The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition is a work of non-fiction by Theodore Roszak originally published in 1969. Roszak "first came to public prominence in 1969, with the publication of his The Making of a Counterculture" which chronicled and gave explanation to the European and North American counterculture of the 1960s. The term "counterculture" was first used by Roszak in this book.

He left us last year, but fought to the end, leaving us with, hum, The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation.

There is a chapter devoted to the influences of Herbert Marcuse, particularly his One Dimensional Man and Norman Brown's Love's Body. in which he examines the counter culture's fascination with eastern religions, with Allen Ginsberg and Alan Watts leading the procession. He left us last year, but fought to the end, leaving us with, hum, The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation.

The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition.

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When Roszak wrote "The Making of a Counter Culture" in 1969, the very title of which coined the expression counter culture, two decades of the arms race and a decade of the space race led him to describe American society as a technocracy overly focussed on organisational an. .

When Roszak wrote "The Making of a Counter Culture" in 1969, the very title of which coined the expression counter culture, two decades of the arms race and a decade of the space race led him to describe American society as a technocracy overly focussed on organisational and technological progress and efficiency.

Throughout the West (as well as in Japan and parts of Latin America) it is the young who find themselves cast as the only effective radical opposition within their societies.

Theodore Roszak found common ground between 1960s student radicals and hippie dropouts in their mutual . In a new introduction, Roszak reflects on the evolution of counter culture since he coined the term in the sixties.

He traces the intellectual underpinnings of the two groups in the writings of Herbert Marcuse and Norman O. Brown, Allen Ginsberg and Paul Goodman.

Theodore Roszak found common ground between 1960s student radicals and hippie dropouts in their mutual rejection of. Alan Watts wrote of The Making of a Counter Culture in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969, "If you want to know what is happening among your intelligent and mysteriously rebellious children, this is the book.

Theodore Roszak found common ground between 1960s student radicals and hippie .

When it was published twenty-five years ago, this book captured a huge audience of Vietnam War protesters, dropouts, and rebels-and their baffled elders.

When it was published twenty-five years ago, this book captured a huge audience of Vietnam War protesters, dropouts, and rebels--and their baffled elders. Theodore Roszak found common ground between 1960s student radicals and hippie dropouts in their mutual rejection of what he calls the technocracy--the regime of corporate and technological expertise that dominates industrial society. He traces the intellectual underpinnings of the two groups in the writings of Herbert Marcuse and Norman O. Brown, Allen Ginsberg and Paul Goodman. In a new introduction, Roszak reflects on the evolution of counter culture since he coined the term in the sixties.Alan Watts wrote of The Making of a Counter Culture in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969, "If you want to know what is happening among your intelligent and mysteriously rebellious children, this is the book. The generation gap, the student uproar, the New Left, the beats and hippies, the psychedelic movement, rock music, the revival of occultism and mysticism, the protest against our involvement in Vietnam, and the seemingly odd reluctance of the young to buy the affluent technological society--all these matters are here discussed, with sympathy and constructive criticism, by a most articulate, wise, and humane historian."
Awene
In my humble opinion, this is required reading if we wish to understand the underlying madness that predicates civilization or the "technocracy," what the Counter Culture represents, where it went and why, and how it is breaking through the concrete of a now worsened state of modern decay once again. The growth of initial regeneration of the Counter Culture may have been beaten back to the ground by those whose wealth had been vested in such madness, but we shouldn't have expected the overturning of millennia old life-denying inertia to be accomplished in a single decade. The roots of renewal have waiting for their season to burst forth. Now is that season. This is the book that will help ensure we get there this time.
Perdana
I re-read much of this book on a day whose significance did not exist when it was first published, in 1969. "Black Friday" now dominates the media, seemingly for a week or so, with a particular focus on "consumers," duking it out, trying to get the very best "bargains." Among many, many other "bon mots," the author quotes from a French manifesto, that was published in 1968: "The consumer society must perish a violent death." Well, it sure didn't work out that way, if I may one-up the British in understatement-ship. My first reading of this book took place in the University of Denver library, where I constructively used some "surplus time," as I was waiting to get out of the Army. More than 40 years later, the "counter culture" that Theodore Roszak lovingly, yet realistically described, whose agenda was a transformation of American, and to a larger extent, the world's societies, had only the ephemeral impact of a pleasant summer picnic in the country. The new "utopia" never arrived, as they never do. But even a modest amelioration of the real problems that Roszak describes never occurred either. So what went wrong? Though Roszak obviously was not anticipating having to answer that question, it was the central motivation for the re-read.

My copy was heavily "lined" with significant passages from my 1969 read, and on the re-read, the passages so marked were doubled. He really does have a way of succinctly, and memorably describing the problem. Consider: Education: "We call it `education,' the `life of the mind,' the `pursuit of the truth.' But it is a matter of machine-tooling the young to the needs of our various baroque bureaucracies: corporate, governmental, military, trade union, educational" Democracy: "We call it `democracy.' But it is a matter of public opinion polling in which a `random sample' is asked to nod or wag the head in response to a set of prefabricated alternatives, usually related to the faits accompli of decision makers..." Sex: "Moreover, `Playboy' sexuality is, ideally, casual, frolicsome, and vastly promiscuous. It is the anonymous sex of the harem. It creates no binding loyalties, no personal attachments, no distractions from one's primary responsibilities- which are to the company, to one's career and social position, and to the system generally." In another section, Roszak is devastatingly critical of our adoptions of seemingly scientific jargon, like, "parameters," "structures," "variables," "correlations," etc. to mask subjective political considerations.

Much of Roszak's book is a review of the serious intellectual forces that helped shape the "counter culture" revolt. There is a chapter devoted to the influences of Herbert Marcuse, particularly his One Dimensional Man and Norman Brown's Love's Body. Another chapter is entitled "Journey to the East..." in which he examines the counter culture's fascination with eastern religions, with Allen Ginsberg and Alan Watts leading the procession. Rightly, his chapter on the influence of drugs, including LSD, as promoted by its "high priest," Timothy Leary, is called "The Counterfeit Infinity," a phrase from Coleridge. It seemed so simplistic: change your consciousness, and society will follow. Alas. And then there is an entire chapter devoted to one of my "heroes" of the period, and still today, Paul Goodman. For some inexplicable reason, Roszak focuses on Goodman's so-so novel, The Empire City yet fails to even mention his classic, Growing Up Absurd. And quite rightly, Roszak criticizes Goodman for stating that it is only boys, and not girls, who have difficulties growing up in contemporary society.

One of the many "takeaways" I obtained from the re-read, and an issue that resonates with the current struggle between the 1% and the 99%, a metaphor for a much more polarized, elitist society came from Roszak's discussion of Marcuse's concept of "surplus repression." "Surplus repression is what `a particular group or individual' imposes on others `in order to sustain and enhance itself in a privileged position." Or, as Genghis Khan less eloquently said: It is not enough that I succeed; all others must fail.

Roszak is no Pollyanna. He can be sharply critical of the many poseurs who joined, like flies, what was only a summer picnic; realizes that youth on their own, without some experienced guidance, will be prone to repeating the same mistakes (and did they ever!); and realizes how strong marketing forces (hum!) can co-opt the disenfranchised into the system (and did it ever, to repeat myself).

Roszak commences his book with an epigraph from William Blake, and ends with a chapter devoted to him, and the (sometimes) validity of shamanistic approaches. And he uses the word "technology" in a grating way, as though in itself it is an evil whereas I would focus on the power elites' misuse of it. Again to the author's credit, he does quote imminent sources like Toynbee, on the dangers of embracing the irrational, long before the global warming denial lobby came along. Overall, Roszak is a bit too "new-age" for my tastes. Nonetheless, his book is a stimulating read (and a re-read). He left us last year, but fought to the end, leaving us with, hum, The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation. We can always hope. 5-stars.
saafari
This book is by far the most seminal book one can read in attempting to get an accurate and unvarnished understanding of the sixties counterculture; the social and historical reasons for its rise, its intellectual underpinnings, and the way in which its actions were informed and indeed propelled by its unique constellation of integrating values into a cultural ethos.
Recently the counterculture has been viciously attacked, intellectually trashed and intentionally trivialized by a series of books and articles by mainstream neoconservatives who wish to discredit the counterculture once and for all by blaming it and the "permissiveness" it spawned for the manifest ills the mainstream society has actually engendered through the evolution of its own corrupted, nonrepresentative, and nondemocratic political process. Many ignorant youthful authors have succumbed to attributing fallacious ideas and notions of this ethos in a way that is not only inaccurate and disingenuous, but which serves to trivialize the quite serious cultural critique it comprised.
All that is set aside here. Remember, this book was written more than 30 years ago, even as the counterculture was rising, so it is very much a observational history, one done at ground zero of the demonstrations, sit-ins, when the tumult and strident calls for radical new solutions rang clear, and the heady air of nascent social and intellectual revolution was in the air.
Here one finds the counterculture placed in its proper context, and not just discussed 'en passant' as the demonized triage of sex, drugs, and rock and roll'. One can hardly understand the sixties in such simplistic terms, and Roszak helps one to understand the complex welter of social, economic, and political factors that led to its emergence. In its essence the counterculture was a social and political reaction to the hypocrisy of the mainstream materialistic culture from which it sprang, and as sociologist Philp Slater has commented elsewhere, most of the individual elements of the value system of the counterculture stem from values the mainstream culture in fact claims to hold but actually does not practice and employ.
This, then, is book with remarkable insight, perspective, and historical verve. Rosazak nails quite accurately the tensions, problems and contradictions associated with the rise of the counterculture and the innate problems its continued existence eventually portended for the materialistic mainstream culture. Of course, as history shows us, the sixties ethos was flattened by the overwhelming onslaught of the establishment and the Ohio National Guard, and the political and social ethos of the counterculture melded into the domain of increasingly isolated private and personal philosphies of hippies being assimilated into the mainstream.
The fact that its ethos is now blamed for much of the discontent and confusion of contemporary America is a likely result of what happens when one tries to merge antagonistic ideas and notions into a cultural system that is inconsistent with its own. This is a wonderful book, and one needs to read before the victors of those fractious times so revise the official version of the history of the 1960s that those of us who were there will no longer recognize it.
Ynap
A delightful book that was written over 25 years ago. Very informative !
Nuadazius
This is a classic....written in the 60s during the time of social revolution in America it portrays how change can come about in a democratic society...
Rocky Basilisk
Excellent old book.
Perongafa
The review title really says it all. I love sixties music and I've read a lot about the counter-culture, but this book really hits the spot.
I read The Making of a Counter Culture for the first time at Buffalo State College in 1970. It read even better in 2014.

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