Where the wasteland ends
Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email. Three years ago it was possible, Roszak thought, to consider understanding.
But now. We are in for an interlude during which an increasing number of people in.
See a Problem?
This is the great adventure of our age. It is the reclamation and renewal of the Old Gnosis.
Then, perhaps, if the bomb holds off and the environment endures, we will be ready to make the transition to a truly post-industrial society. Out-and-out advocacy. A Gnosis manifesto!
Why the change from The Making of a Counter Culture to this new book? Like the poets Blake, Wordsworth, Goethe whom he sycophantically reveres, clinging for rebirth to their every image, Roszak has set out to electrify—electrocute might be more accurate—his adversaries with ferocious shocks.
So he must take on all enemies—in all fields. Clearly, three years of the Mother Earth News , of Richard Alpert become cult-figure Baba Ram Das, of the Hare Krishna kids and the Jesus kids, of the ecological doomsday-sayers and the expostulators of the third-level of consciousness, have had their effect on Roszak. He has now taken sides, unequivocally, and become a true believer.
But Roszak also takes side on more specific and current questions. He states, for example, as part of his indictment of the post-modern industrial urban technological machine, that the urgent question of rural improvement in underdeveloped nations has been entirely overlooked.
Yet there are many economists—and they are not the fringe freaks Roszak so fawns upon—who are working on just this problem.
One must conclude that Roszak has hardly looked at the literature of underdevelopment, for, if he had, he would have found, with not much digging, the writings of Theodore Schultz and Clifford Geertz, to mention two of the most prominent.
They compartmentalize the world and then worship their own creations. Some of this logic is reminiscent of a pioneering and now classic book to which Roszak does not allude in the field of economic anthropology, by Karl Polanyi— The Great Transformation Polanyi argued that the scientific and industrial revolutions—in their passion above all to objectify —combined to reduce what were once man and nature into factors of production: labor and land.
Roszak, of course, is against planning. He sees a National Economic Plan as technocratic politics, as being in restraint of freedom.
Where the Wasteland Ends, by Theodore Roszak
Yet the final irony is this: that Polanyi had made a point of showing that those very primitive societies which Roszak and others so revere did have plans. It was in his Essay on Bentham and Coleridge that J.
A sensibility that one might call poetic was necessary too, a recognition of the irrational, incalculable heart of the human. Perhaps Mill himself came closer than anyone else to representing such a fusion, for it was he who championed the freedom of the individual, not naively, as a mechanistic automaton competing with other self-interested mechanisms, but as a man who stood within society. Where Mill stepped between Bentham and Coleridge, Roszak, by contrast, disdains to mediate, for example, between B.
Skinner and Allen Ginsberg. Any alliance with this tradition must be spurned.
Publisher Files to PDF Converter - PDF Creator Plus - PEERNET
Reading Where the Wasteland Ends , one cannot help but be struck by the paradox of a man pushing hard with the prod of over-rationalized, reductionist, mechanized analysis at his enemies: excess rationalism, reductionism, mechanism.
And he criticizes rightly those rigid repeaters of the ontologies of Marx or Comte or Darwin, but rigidly repeats the cosmologies of Blake, Wordsworth, and Goethe. What intellectual anti-intellectualism causes is a dogmatic kind of anti-dogmatism which burns The Old Answer at the stake while a few yards away on the other side of the town square it is busy building a pulpit to The New Answer.
politics and transcendence in postindustrial society
It fails to recognize precisely the doubt, the mistake, the human. It gives up in the face of tensions, in the midst of battles. It rushes off elsewhere to kneel before and embrace an invisible mystical absolutism, while the struggle of life goes on right here.
Owen, for example, was at once a systematizer, a rationalist, an early industrialist-entrepreneur, and yet had vision: of a society of small communities where gardens grew around the mills and where people cared for one another. It is from the active tradition of men like Mill and Owen and John Dewey, rather than from Buddha, that real improvements are likely to come. In fact, much of the doomsday fear of technology has been the result of technologically-originated and transmitted publicity about the problem.
One hears often of revolutions of rising expectations as cause for political turbulence.
Is it not reasonable to suggest that those same rising expectations operate in the scientific world as well, and that apocalyptic trembling is as much a sign of betterment as a consequence of decay? Login Access your Commentary account. Email address. Remember me. Forgot your password? Username or email. Reset password.
Go back. But now We are in for an interlude during which an increasing number of people in.