Saturday, 16 November 2013


Perhaps it's because I did the French Revolution yesterday morning and the beatniks in the afternoon, or perhaps it's because of the post 'What Revolutions Do' (see post below) that I think I can define counterculture as something that happens when revolutions cannot. Without a discontented army, without a starving populace, and without the necessary apparatus in place to replace what you depose, revolutions don't happen. However malcontent must manifest itself somewhere, and that place seems to be 'counterculture'.
Where does this get us? The somewhat unfortunate conclusion must be that even at it's very best, counterculture might influence, in some way, the over-riding power play, but it will usually hopelessly overestimate this influence, for only total catastrophe will bring fundamental change. Mostly, counterculture just feeds the beast. Also countercultures which demonstrate no interest in changing anything at all, like hair metal, might be considered just as valid as those that do, such as hippies. It is really just a question of how you wish to get through the day. It also makes Marxist critique of culture almost an entirely peripheral pursuit on the level of belonging to the boys scouts or girl guides (which of course, many paid up members resemble).
So Brand might be right on one thing, you may, if you dare, simply not participate. Otherwise you would have to get very angry indeed.

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