Wednesday, July 16, 2008

paul goodman

Tom Hoffman has a series of very interesting quotes from paul goodman on his blog, illustrating the point that a quality writer from 1964 might be thinking more deeply about the present than 99% of the blogosphere:
Very rich quotes, please click.

I looked Goodman up on wikipedia and googled around

I found it difficult to situate him with regard to the double headed monster of progressivism until I realised that at first he was embraced by the new left as saviour but later he turned against the new left when they jettisoned content from the Enlightenment and began to see all social thinking as brainwashing

These reviews helped, and the one by susan sontag is very touching:

under the sign of saturn by susan sontag
the relevance of paul goodman by john judis

This Goodman quote from the john judis article:
"If we start from the premise that the young are in a religious crisis, that they doubt there is really a nature of thing and they are sure there is no world for themselves, many details of the present behavior become clearer. Alienation is a powerful motivation, of unrest, fantasy, and feckless action. It can lead.. to religious innovation, new sacraments to give life meaning. But it is a poor basis for politics, including revolutionary politics."
And this one from the wikipedia entry:
For instance, after a hostile exchange with student radicals who had heckled him "heatedly and rudely" at a campus appearance in 1967, Goodman wrote, "suddenly I realized that they did not believe there was a nature of things. [To them] there was no knowledge but only the sociology of knowledge. They had learned so well that physical and sociological research is subsidized and conducted for the benefit of the ruling class that they were doubtful that there was such a thing as simple truth, for instance that the table was made of wood--maybe it was plastic imitation...I had imagined that the worldwide student protest had to do with changing political and moral institutions, and I was sympathetic to this. But I now saw that we had to do with a religious crisis. Not only all institutions but all learning had been corrupted by the Whore of Babylon, and there was no longer any salvation to be got from Works."
I renew my request for people to read Furedi, one of the few modern writers who is applying this sort of analysis to today's world:
how the left became conservative
truth slips from view in the sea of post modern knowledge

1 comment:

Bill Kerr said...

added a couple more links to new goodman quotes on tom's blog