Counterculture, capitalism, and the constancy of change

Sutherland, Thomas (2014) Counterculture, capitalism, and the constancy of change. M/C Journal, 17 (6). ISSN 1441-2616

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Drawing upon the thought of Timothy Leary, the purpose of this article is to examine the uncomfortable relationship between his conceptualisation of ‘counterculture’ as the perpetual generation of the new, and the processes of accumulation that drive post-industrial capitalism - the very system that this account of counterculture seeks to undermine. The argument, in short, is that the countercultural, as defined by Leary, plays an essential role in the accumulation of capital that drives our economic system, and accordingly, it cannot be plausibly understood as external to the structural conditions that it opposes. This is not to suggest that counterculture does not produce new possibilities, new opportunities, and new ways of living, but instead to illustrate the contradictions that might emerge when the notion of counterculture as resistance to capitalist hegemony is coupled with the identification of counterculture as an authentic repetition of the new.

Keywords:counterculture, capitalism, becoming, JCOpen
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
ID Code:24302
Deposited On:27 Sep 2016 12:52

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