Adbusters, Issue 95: The Philosophy Issue

AB95: The Philosophy Issue
(May/June 2011)

Featured during this issue:

inventive Director: Pedro Inoue
Tzvetan Todorov on American torture
Darren Fleet discusses this generation’s “apocalypse”
We discover America’s position in Egypt’s darkish past
Pentti Linkola’s view on inhabitants control
Micah White demands revolution opposed to American decadence
Michael Löwy explores advertising’s impact on our health
We ask: What issues in existence? What concerns in dying?

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For college students of his time, the imagined gray mass of the Soviet Army was a mirror image of the army of gray flannel men who marched off to work every morning in the concrete towers of American industry. ”5 Cut off from his emotions, trained to follow a chain of command, the Soviet soldier and the American middle manager alike seemed to many to be little more S t e w a r t B ran d M e e t s t h e C y b e r n e t i c C o u n t e r c u l t u r e [ 43 ] than worker bees inside ever-growing hives of military-industrial bureaucracy.

4 For Stewart Brand, the national struggle to save America and the world from Soviet assault and nuclear holocaust was intimately entwined with his individual adolescent struggle to become his own person. And Brand was not unique in this respect. For college students of his time, the imagined gray mass of the Soviet Army was a mirror image of the army of gray flannel men who marched off to work every morning in the concrete towers of American industry. ”5 Cut off from his emotions, trained to follow a chain of command, the Soviet soldier and the American middle manager alike seemed to many to be little more S t e w a r t B ran d M e e t s t h e C y b e r n e t i c C o u n t e r c u l t u r e [ 43 ] than worker bees inside ever-growing hives of military-industrial bureaucracy.

How did a social movement devoted to critiquing the technological bureaucracy of the cold war come to celebrate the socio-technical visions that animated that bureaucracy? And how is it that the communitarian ideals of the counterculture should have become melded to computers and computer networks in such a way that thirty years later, the Internet could appear to so many as an emblem of a youthful revolution reborn? For answers to these questions, we need to turn to the biography of Stewart Brand and the history of the Whole Earth network.

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