Counterculture Essay

Counterculture Essay-85
Rationality, itself, involved the instrumentalization of human and natural resources, for any number of purposes, good and bad.

Rationality, itself, involved the instrumentalization of human and natural resources, for any number of purposes, good and bad.Nature itself was “dead” and thus offered no normative source of values.3]Weber— Roszak’s focus on the repressive power of the technocracy and objective consciousness pointed to the relevance of Max Weber’s idea of “rationalization of the world” as the power driving modern life.

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An initial answer arrived early in the form of (1969) by Theodore Roszak, a young historian in the California state college system. Roszak posited a conflict between a youth culture, devoted to exploring new forms of social, intellectual and spiritual life the power of “the technocracy”, a form of life propelled by what he called “objective consciousness,” a philosophical descendent of the Cartesian split between self and the world.

At the core of the book was a series of chapters dealing with writers and thinkers such as Herbert Marcuse and Norman O.

And yet counter cultural thinkers and writers drew upon the very traditions they sought to undermine for their ammunition against the established cultural order.

The summer of 1967 saw the culmination, in George Cotkin’s words, of a post-war “new sensibility” that became evident in various “feasts of excess,” including San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and the Monterrey Pop Festival between June 16 and 18.

Norman Brown was probably the most radical in his critique of human society(not just bourgeois or socialist forms) and of the structure of the self. For Brown the underlying logic of existing forms of human existence had to do with the fear of death.

Culture itself was a function not just of sexual repression, but more fundamentally of our fear of death and the attempt to deny time.

Finally, the sources of the proposed cultural revolution of that summer were found in American, European and Eastern thought.[1] Here, I would emphasize that there was more to the Summer of Love than hanging out in Haight-Ashbury and getting high at rock festivals.

The 1960s saw the proliferation of communes around the country, devoted to living out new ideas of the family, marriage and childrearing, rethinking education at all levels, and creating a self-sustaining way of life through small scale technology.

As with the New Left, the participation mystique was a central aspect of the counter culture. The more mainstream Esalen Institute, founded in 1962 at a spa in the Big Sur area, was dedicated to cultivating personal growth for those who had the money and inclination to do group work there.

What might an intellectual history of that summer and of the counter culture look like?

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