Sunday, October 6, 2019

802: What is left of the Counter Culture...?

It is 45 years or more ago and I was in the midst of it. Who was I, what did I do, how did I absorb what was happening?
To be honest, I hardly remember. The one thing I remember is that one day my aunt - she must have been 29 and I 18 :-) 
invited me to go to Amsterdam together to see what the PROVOs were doing. We drove there in her Volkswagen Beetle.
The word "provo", introduced by Dutch social psychologist Buikhuisen in 1965 for youth with a certain form of inappropriate - provocative - behavior. 
It was taken over by Roel van Duyn, a leader of the movement in Amsterdam, 
as an honorary name and program for his form of anarchism. Provo challenged authority with playful actions.
The only thing as a legacy of that 'happening' is yet a historical document, which you see behind me.
It is an A4 pamphlet they distributed. One side ridiculed the police, were they ask payment for organizing a nice riot
and the other side mocking the Dutch royal...almost queen who was pregnant and with the swastika the church I assume.
"The relationship between a civilization's socio-economic structure and its culture is perhaps the most complicated of all problems for the sociologist."
This is the first sentence of chapter one of Daniel Bell's book "The cultural Contradictions of Capitalism" (1976)
Daniel Bell, (1919 — 2011) was American sociologist and journalist who used sociological theory to reconcile what he believed were the inherent contradictions of capitalist societies.
And then he writes: "Pitirim Sorokin (1889 – 1968)  a Russian-born American sociologist and political activist,  his idea of the modern world 
having  a "sensate mentality"- empirical, materialistic, technological- is contradicted in good part by the rise of hallucinogenic and psychedelic experience, 
the search for community, and the rejection of "material  possession" by a significant section of the new culture-bearing elites. "
This was the dream of the Flower Power generation....actually generation, I guess
These ideas were put on paper by Theodore Roszak, professor of history at California State University, in 1970 in the form of "The Making of a Counter Culture". 
Roszak makes it clear, that the counter culture was a youth uprising, aimed among other things against the reductionism of science and technology. 
The youth, especially the highly educated youth, says Roszak, denounced the direction in which the "technocratic" society is developing. 
The protest expressed itself in the development of an alternative lifestyle. This was the embodiment of the cultural contradictions of capitalism.
 According to Roszak, the counterculture comprised five elements: various alternative forms of psychology, 
Eastern mystical philosophy, drugs, revolutionary sociology, and pop music. 
Together they had to provide a viable basis for an alternative to the technocratic society, shaped as all kinds of communes that would also help prevent the alienation of a 'normal' life.
Counterculture included aspects such as free universities and hospitals, "food conspiracies" (to help the poor), an underground press, and "tribal" families.
What did survive of this legacy in the 21st century. Love didn't win.....capitalism, greed, shareholders and multinationals did, it seems....
Thank you again for your attention...:-)

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Peter Watson: A Terrible Beauty (2000)

The Discussion

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Make love not war:)
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): today it seem to be make war- not love instead
[13:18] oola Neruda: that sounds like someone from the outside looking in... to figure out what was going on
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least in some places
[13:18] oola Neruda: i think the people involved were having individual experiences of searching and learning
[13:18] oola Neruda: growing
[13:18] oola Neruda: experimenting
[13:19] oola Neruda: becoming
[13:19] herman Bergson: I get the feeling we lost it legacy here at all
[13:19] herman Bergson: The techno society won
[13:20] oola Neruda: hmmmm most of my people are still activists
[13:20] oola Neruda: the stars are gone from their eyes... they are more "sober" but fighting still
[13:20] herman Bergson: Good to hear, oola...
[13:21] oola Neruda: and there were some victories.... some losses... some victories
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): can you mention some Oola?
[13:21] herman Bergson: But fights in the rear guard, I fear
[13:21] CB Axel: I think those people are still there, but now they're just liberals or progressives.
[13:22] oola Neruda: good point CB
[13:22] oola Neruda: yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: hmmm indeed CB.....
[13:22] CB Axel: They're trying to work within the system for change.
[13:22] herman Bergson: and in no time called Socialists, to kill  them off
[13:22] oola Neruda: it is hard to have children and a low paying job at the same time...
[13:23] oola Neruda: and bringing your kids up in a commune is not quite the same in theory as in reality
[13:23] oola Neruda: so some of those people started community gardens and help feed the poor
[13:23] herman Bergson: Communes seem to be totally out of date these days
[13:24] oola Neruda: they are rearranged
[13:24] oola Neruda: neighborhood projects
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes ..makes sense
[13:24] CB Axel: Or running small farms
[13:24] oola Neruda: yes
[13:24] CB Axel: selling their crops in farmers' markets
[13:24] oola Neruda: and screaming at the tops of their lungs about climate chang
[13:24] oola Neruda: change
[13:25] CB Axel nods
[13:25] oola Neruda: and population growth
[13:25] oola Neruda: in hopes of saving our children from a LOT of SUFFERING IN THEIR FUTURE
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): screeming in the desert, but there are not many people in the desert
[13:25] herman Bergson: I was from the Flower Power generation....and it seems it has evaporated.....
[13:26] herman Bergson: The Multinationals and globalization seem to have won
[13:26] oola Neruda: the caterpillar emerged from the cocoon and took on fighting for it's offspring
[13:27] oola Neruda: so it looks different from the caterpiller it was
[13:27] CB Axel: But people are still fighting against those things, Herman. They're just fighting from inside the system.
[13:27] oola Neruda: yes
[13:27] herman Bergson: That's true, CB....
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hm
[13:27] oola Neruda: scientists.... people running for office... volunteers...etc
[13:27] herman Bergson: There are several critical publications, books....
[13:27] oola Neruda: journalists
[13:28] CB Axel: I like that imagery, oola. A caterpillar in the 60's is the butterfly today.
[13:28] oola Neruda: ty smiles
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes indeed.....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:28] herman Bergson: There is a change going on.....
[13:29] herman Bergson: Some begin to say....stop that idiotic idea of economic growth, for instance
[13:29] herman Bergson: Even our super most liberal prime minster said....stop fattening the the  people who created the profits
[13:30] oola Neruda: and the oil companies have not changed... their quest for money is the same as ever...but more sophistocated.... than ever...... oil is money.... money is power..... power can wage wars..... (look around for those)  Bush for example
[13:30] oola Neruda: look behind the door when trump talks.... you will find oil
[13:30] herman Bergson: I learnt that oil companies are the worst in this world....real  selfish criminals
[13:31] oola Neruda: they know exactly what they are doing and they protect their "winnings"
[13:31] herman Bergson: But they become scared...loosing their power
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I hope the oil will flow over Trump and drown him
[13:31] oola Neruda: lobbyists.... money.... not a healthy planet... just money
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when that door opens
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): this we see also with brazils president who have no issues burning the rainforest down cause he need MORE MONEY
[13:32] herman Bergson: when all energy comes from wind and solar panels they are gone...these oil companies
[13:32] oola Neruda: yes
[13:32] herman Bergson: and they fear that moment
[13:32] oola Neruda: and Indonesia burning the forests to get palm oil
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(
[13:33] herman Bergson: Did the 21st century learn something from its past?
[13:34] herman Bergson: One positive point....environmental awareness
[13:34] herman Bergson: Now we KNOW what the oil companies are doing
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but do we use less energy?
[13:34] oola Neruda: while our lobsters have vacated our waters and moved to Maine... where it is more to the temperature where they can thrive.... thus our fishermen are not thriving.... other species are moving to cooler waters.... and our maple trees are dying because of climate change and the syrup people are unable to see a future in it
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not sure, we build more and more things needing power like server halls and similar
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Amazon ect
[13:35] oola Neruda: alternatives.... they are avaiilable but the oil people resist them.... with LOTS OF MONEY in the "right hands"
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): here in my city Västerås they have built a huge one
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for all Netflix movies
[13:35] herman Bergson: wow...Bejiita
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and at the same time they built a new generator blick at our local power station but not sure it pulls so huge amounts cause I have only seen that one running now latley
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it have to take lot of power to run
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or of they take power from elsewhere too
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the generator upgrade was more to switch to wood chips as fuel
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as I get it
[13:37] oola Neruda: yes and we are sitting on our hands.... not decreasing carbon in the atmosphere..... and it will wait to bite ut .... soon
[13:37] herman Bergson: So you live in Västerås Bejiita...:-)))
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Power meet and that stuff
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u know about this place?
[13:38] herman Bergson: Gonna have a look at it with Google earth :-))
[13:38] herman Bergson: I also have been to Davenport, for instance ^_^
[13:38] herman Bergson: and Helmond :-)
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): by the way if im right our power station should be the worlds largest combine power station (producing both electricity and heating at the same time)
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i know
[13:39] oola Neruda: using what for fuel?
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well..I guess we saved the world again today.....
[13:39] oola Neruda: fuel
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wood chips in the latest block
[13:39] herman Bergson: so time to move on....
[13:39] oola Neruda: cutting down more trees?
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all block are separate more or less with their own turbine and generator
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the one built before this one runs in trash
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): on
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in beginning was oil and powdered coal
[13:40] oola Neruda: very good
[13:40] oola Neruda: trash
[13:40] herman Bergson: unless you still have that final question. let me thank you all again for your participation
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before my power runs out ill say cu soon all
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting once again
[13:41] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ....^_^

[13:41] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

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