transcending capitalism visions of a new society in modern american thought

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Transcending Capitalism

Author : Howard Brick
ISBN : 9780801454288
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 1 MB
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Transcending Capitalism explains why many influential midcentury American social theorists came to believe it was no longer meaningful to describe modern Western society as "capitalist," but instead preferred alternative terms such as "postcapitalist," "postindustrial," or "technological." Considering the discussion today of capitalism and its global triumph, it is important to understand why a prior generation of social theorists imagined the future of advanced societies not in a fixed capitalist form but in some course of development leading beyond capitalism. Howard Brick locates this postcapitalist vision within a long history of social theory and ideology. He challenges the common view that American thought and culture utterly succumbed in the 1940s to a conservative cold war consensus that put aside the reform ideology and social theory of the early twentieth century. Rather, expectations of the shift to a new social economy persisted and cannot be disregarded as one of the elements contributing to the revival of dissenting thought and practice in the 1960s. Rooted in a politics of social liberalism, this vision held influence for roughly a half century, from its interwar origins until the right turn in American political culture during the 1970s and 1980s. In offering a historically based understanding of American postcapitalist thought, Brick also presents some current possibilities for reinvigorating critical social thought that explores transitional developments beyond capitalism.

Transcending Capitalism

Author : Howard Brick
ISBN : 0801425905
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 27. 72 MB
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Understanding why a generation of social theorists imagined the future of advanced societies would not be defined by capitalism but rather as being postcapitalist or postindustrial.

Transcending Capitalism

Author : Howard Brick
ISBN : 9780801454295
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 37. 29 MB
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Transcending Capitalism explains why many influential midcentury American social theorists came to believe it was no longer meaningful to describe modern Western society as "capitalist," but instead preferred alternative terms such as "postcapitalist," "postindustrial," or "technological." Considering the discussion today of capitalism and its global triumph, it is important to understand why a prior generation of social theorists imagined the future of advanced societies not in a fixed capitalist form but in some course of development leading beyond capitalism. Howard Brick locates this postcapitalist vision within a long history of social theory and ideology. He challenges the common view that American thought and culture utterly succumbed in the 1940s to a conservative cold war consensus that put aside the reform ideology and social theory of the early twentieth century. Rather, expectations of the shift to a new social economy persisted and cannot be disregarded as one of the elements contributing to the revival of dissenting thought and practice in the 1960s. Rooted in a politics of social liberalism, this vision held influence for roughly a half century, from its interwar origins until the right turn in American political culture during the 1970s and 1980s. In offering a historically based understanding of American postcapitalist thought, Brick also presents some current possibilities for reinvigorating critical social thought that explores transitional developments beyond capitalism.

Consuming Pleasures

Author : Daniel Horowitz
ISBN : 9780812206494
Genre : History
File Size : 47. 63 MB
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How is it that American intellectuals, who had for 150 years worried about the deleterious effects of affluence, more recently began to emphasize pleasure, playfulness, and symbolic exchange as the essence of a vibrant consumer culture? The New York intellectuals of the 1930s rejected any serious or analytical discussion, let alone appreciation, of popular culture, which they viewed as morally questionable. Beginning in the 1950s, however, new perspectives emerged outside and within the United States that challenged this dominant thinking. Consuming Pleasures reveals how a group of writers shifted attention from condemnation to critical appreciation, critiqued cultural hierarchies and moralistic approaches, and explored the symbolic processes by which individuals and groups communicate. Historian Daniel Horowitz traces the emergence of these new perspectives through a series of intellectual biographies. With writers and readers from the United States at the center, the story begins in Western Europe in the early 1950s and ends in the early 1970s, when American intellectuals increasingly appreciated the rich inventiveness of popular culture. Drawing on sources both familiar and newly discovered, this transnational intellectual history plays familiar works off each other in fresh ways. Among those whose work is featured are Jürgen Habermas, Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco, Walter Benjamin, C. L. R. James, David Riesman and Marshall McLuhan, Richard Hoggart, members of London's Independent Group, Stuart Hall, Paddy Whannel, Tom Wolfe, Herbert Gans, Susan Sontag, Reyner Banham, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

Daniel Bell And The Decline Of Intellectual Radicalism

Author : Howard Brick
ISBN : 0299105504
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 18 MB
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What causes a generation of intellectuals to switch its political allegiances—in particular, to move from the opposition to the mainstream? In U.S. history, it is the experience of the “Old Left” intellectuals, who swung from avowal of socialism or Communism in the 1930s to apology for American liberalism in the 1950s, that raises this question pointedly. In this highly original and broadsweeping study, Howard Brick focuses on the career of Daniel Bell as an illustrative case of political transformation, combining intellectual history, biography, and the history of sociology to explain Bell's emerging thought in terms of the tensions between socialists and sociological theory. The resulting work will be of compelling interest to Marxists and American intellectual historians, to sociologists, and to all students of twentieth-century American thought and culture. Daniel Bell's route to political reconciliation was a tortuous one. While it is common wisdom to cite World War II as the force that welded national unity and brought Depression-era radicals to an appreciation of democratic institutions, the war actually turned the young Bell to the left. Opposing the centralized power of American business and military elites at war's end, Bell shared the “new radicalism” that infused Dwight MacDonald's Politics Magazine and motivated C. Wright Mills' early work. Nonetheless, by the early 1950s, Bell had declared the demise of American socialism and endorsed the welfare reforms of the Fair Deal. Brick's study finds, however, that the “new radicalism” of the mid-1940s helped to shape Bell's mature perspective, giving it a richness and critical edge often unrecognized. Brick finds that the heritage of modernism, as manifested in social theory, knit together the process of political transformation, combining disdain for the false promises of liberal progress, estrangement from society at large, and reconciliation with a reality perceived to be full of unconquerable tensions. Brick locates the foundations of Bell's mature social theory in the historical context of his early work—particularly in the political concessions made by the social-democratic movement, in the face of the Cold War, to the reconstruction of capitalist order in the West. The crucial turning point, in World politics as in Bell's thinking, can be located in the years 1947–49. After that point, the different strands of Bell's thinking came together to represent the contradictions in the perspective of a social democrat trapped by the “iron cage” of capitalism, who saw in his political accommodation both the road to progress and the rupture of his hopes. This peculiar paradigm, shaped by the experiences of deradicalization, lies at the heart of Daniel Bell's social theory, Brick finds. At the present critical point in American history, as a new generation of leftist intellectuals undergoes a process similar to that of Bell's generation, Brick's work will be especially important in understanding the historical phenomenon of deradicalization.

Beloved Community

Author : Casey Nelson Blake
ISBN : 9780807860427
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 79. 71 MB
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The "Young American" critics -- Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford -- are well known as central figures in the Greenwich Village "Little Renaissance" of the 1910s and in the postwar debates about American culture and politics. In Beloved Community, Casey Blake considers these intellectuals as a coherant group and assesses the connection between thier cultural criticisms and their attempts to forge a communitarian alternative to liberal and socialist poitics. Blake draws on biography to emphasize the intersection of questions of self, culture, and society in their calls for a culture of "personality" and "self-fulfillment." In contrast to the tendency of previous analyses to separate these critics' cultural and autobiographical writings from their politics, Blake argues that their cultural criticism grew out of a radical vision of self-realization through participation in a democratic culture and polity. He also examines the Young American writers' interpretations of such turn-of-the-century radicals as William Morris, Henry George, John Dewey, and Patrick Geddes and shows that this adversary tradition still offers important insights into contemporary issues in American politics and culture. Beloved Community reestablishes the democratic content of the Young Americans' ideal of "personality" and argues against viewing a monolithic therapeutic culture as the sole successor to a Victorian "culture of character." The politics of selfhood that was so critical to the Young Americans' project has remained a contested terrain throughout the twentieth century.

Forging Rivals

Author : Reuel Schiller
ISBN : 9781107012264
Genre : History
File Size : 65. 94 MB
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Forging Rivals tells the story of the rise and fall of postwar liberalism, vividly recounting the attempts of working people, labor lawyers, and civil rights litigators to create a legal system that promoted both economic opportunity and racial egalitarianism.

Age Of Contradiction

Author : Howard Brick
ISBN : 0801487005
Genre : History
File Size : 25. 48 MB
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In Age of Contradiction, Howard Brick provides a rich context for understanding historical events, cultural tensions, political figures, artistic works, and trends of intellectual life. His lucid and comprehensive book combines the best methods of historical analysis and assessment with fascinating subject matter to create a three-dimensional portrait of a complicated time. In one of the only books on the 1960s to put ideas at the center of the period's history, Brick carefully explores the dilemmas, the promise, and the legacy of American thought in that time.

American Dreamers

Author : Michael Kazin
ISBN : 9780307279194
Genre : History
File Size : 62. 34 MB
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A panoramic history of liberal politics in America by a forefront historian and author of A Godly Hero analyzes the impact of major movements throughout the past two centuries, from abolitionism and industrial-age labor disputes to the civil-rights movement and the emergence of alternative political groups.

Political Visions Illusions

Author : David T. Koyzis
ISBN : 0830876545
Genre : Religion
File Size : 58. 45 MB
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Named Best Book (Culture) in the 2004 Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards! The end of the Cold War has brought about more than the triumph of some political ideologies and the disappearance of others. In fact, the collapse of communism has created a vacuum quickly being filled by various alternative visions, ranging from ethnic nationalism to individualistic liberalism. But political ideologies are not merely a matter of governmental efficacy. Rather, political ideologies are intrinsically and inescapably religious--each carries certain assumptions about the nature of reality, individuals and society, as well as a particular vision for the common good. These fundamental beliefs transcend the political sphere, and the astute Christian observer should thus discern the subtle ways in which ideologies are rooted in idolatrous worldviews. In this comprehensive study, political scientist David Koyzis surveys the key political ideologies of our era, including liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, democracy and socialism. Each philosophy is given careful analysis and fair critique, unpacking the worldview issues inherent to each and pointing out essential strengths and weaknesses. Koyzis concludes by proposing alternative models that flow out of Christianity's historic engagement with the public square, retrieving approaches that hold promise for the complex political realities of the twenty-first century. Writing with broad, international perspective and keen analytical insight, Koyzis offers a sound guide for Christians working in the public square, culture watchers, political pundits and all students of modern political thought.

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