Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized by Paul Goodman, Susan Sontag, Casey Nelson Blake

By Paul Goodman, Susan Sontag, Casey Nelson Blake

Paul Goodman’s starting to be Up Absurd used to be a runaway top vendor whilst it was once first released in 1960, and it turned one of many defining texts of the hot Left. Goodman was once a author and philosopher who broke each mildew and did it brilliantly—he used to be a novelist, poet, and a social theorist, between a bunch of different things—and the book’s shock good fortune validated him as one in every of America’s most original and trenchant critics, combining huge studying, an astute brain, utopian sympathies, and a splendidly hands-on approach with words.For Goodman, the sadness of children was once a focused type of the sadness of yank society as an entire, run via organizations that offer employment (if and once they do) yet now not the type of significant paintings that engages physique and soul. Goodman observed the younger because the first casualties of a humanly re­pressive social and economic climate and, as such, front line of power resistance. Noam Chomsky has acknowledged, “Paul Goodman’s impression is all approximately us,” and positively it may be felt within the robust localism of today’s renascent left. A vintage of anarchist inspiration, becoming Up Absurd not just deals a penetrating indictment of the human bills of company capitalism yet issues the best way ahead. it's a story of yesterday’s formative years that speaks on to our universal destiny.

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Extra resources for Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized Society

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In this book I shall therefore take the opposite tack and ask, “Socialization to what? ” If this is so, the disaffection of the young is profound and it will not be finally remediable by better techniques of socializing. Instead, there will have to be changes in our society and its culture, so as to meet the appetites and capacities of human nature, in order to grow up. This brings me to another proposition about growing up, and perhaps the main theme of this book. Growth, like any ongoing function, requires adequate objects in the environment to meet the needs and capacities of the growing child, boy, youth, and young man, until he can better choose and make his own environment.

The question is an important one and the answer is, I think, a terrible one: that people are so bemused by the way business and politics are carried on at present, with all their intricate relationships, that they have ceased to be able to imagine alternatives. We seem to have lost our genius for inventing changes to satisfy crying needs. But this stupor is inevitably the baleful influence of the very kind of organizational network that we have: the system pre-empts the available means and capital; it buys up as much of the intelligence as it can and muffles the voices of dissent; and then it irrefutably proclaims that itself is the only possibility of society, for nothing else is thinkable.

The run of orthodox psychoanalytic practice has been quietist, as the social scientists claimed. But the most surprising implication has been drawn by the social scientists themselves, when they finally got around to making use of modern psychology: they have found in it techniques for harmoniously belonging to the organized system of society! A curious thing has occurred. Unlike the majority of their predecessors for a century and a half, most of our contemporary social scientists are not interested in fundamental social change.

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