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How Useful Is The Term Cultural Revolution

.. he authority to control, that it used fascination rather than compulsion to weave a web of acquiescence. I think you can see history repeating itself, ordinary people did not understand science, and therefore Rozak felt it had a position of misplaced reverence. Did the improvement in education erode the pedestal upon which society had placed science? Inevitably if you educate the masses this will ultimately change the culture – there are certainly echoes of Rousseau here. Rozaks students felt that it ruthlessly eroded their spiritual values, so here again is the question of religion in conflict with science; history again repeating itself? Did this rejection of technocracy by the radical left cause the quintessential paradox with the radical right and left, unknowingly dovetailing themselves into some sort of consensus? It seems the sixties were the time for rejecting all that was traditional including established religions.

Did the growing power of institutions become so repugnant that it caused a revolution in order secure a measure of independence and freedom.? The counter arguments that I have given, again show how difficult it is for historians to conclude that the Sixties Cultural Revolution included Science within its suppositions. History of Religion Religion began to be studied historically in the late 19th century but is the outcome of developments dating back to the Enlightenment. The Christian church, during the period of Enlightenment, went through great revolutionary upheavals. A hypothesis was put forward and upheld that people should have the right to question religious authority. The belief was that human reason and truth were sovereign and not God.

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This was really radical thinking, but also at this time people were beginning to travel to Europe and new words pertaining to far eastern religions came into being such as, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism. Here again we can detect parallels to religion in the sixties. and to the (periodisation) Enlightenment. Britain did not seem to be affected as much by the Cultural Revolution in respect of religion as America. Some historians and social thinkers thought modernisation and secularisation were inseparable, that at this time God withdrew to a deistic heaven and watched his creation from afar.

America did not abandon, religion, at this time, it only appeared to abandon mainstream religion and by doing so many divergent faiths, NRMs arose; albeit many appeared rather ingenuous with names like Jesus People, Divine Light Mission, Krishna Consciousness, Children of God and the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, (the Beatles were members of this group for a short time. Many looked to the Eastern religions to learn techniques such as spiritual transcendence and personal fulfilment. The discipline of studying religion requires a variety of approaches and plurality of the traditions involved, does this enrich the research or does it create perplexity, so was the involvement in religions of other cultures revolutionary. After wars and poverty does culture find itself in a void, does this void need assuaging with more than science, therefore, is this where religion gets the chance to take over as the comforter. Historians, have a very difficult task when practising periodisation and contextulising. How have Marwick and Hobsbawm come to their conclusion on periodisation for the sixties? Was the sixties strictly contained within a single decade, did it start from 1945 until 1973 or from 1958 to 1973? Hobsbawm and Marwick will have studied primary and secondary sources, such as books, film archives academic papers etc to confirm their theories (i) Marwick that a Sixties Counter Culture did exist and (ii) Hobsbawm that the Sixties were part of his Golden Age.

They will have applied subjectivity to an absolute degree in order to confirm that something different was happening, that huge cultural shift were taking place. Is the history of the this period easier to investigate and study because of the great advances made in communications in the sixties, television, film etc were available and could give an immediate primary source. Does this make the historians work easier because he has this form of primary source where he can actually watch an historical event unfolding on the actual date and time. Or, is it only another source for the historian to study and assess in the usual way, assessing they are truthful depictions, and have been treat by the producers with due it objectivity, and that they no hidden agendas have been used for propaganda purposes or exaggerated to such an extent that it turns out to be fiction rather than fact Conclusion I do believe the term Cultural Revolution when applied to the Sixties? is most useful. As many of the events I have mentioned were unique to that time, and their effects on mainstream culture were so radical that the term revolution could be used.

I think it should also be noted that this appeared to be a cultural revolution by the young, how were these young people triggered into such dissent. Allan Bloom, in his book The closing of the American Mind stated (when writing about student uprising at Cornell University in 1969 I know of nothing positive coming from that period, it was an unmitigated disaster for them . He felt the misdeeds of the campus New Left were an intellectual catastrophe comparable only with the experiences of German professors under the Nazis. This is pretty strong stuff, Others felt it was a ten year fall from grace, the loss of the golden age of consensus, the end of an edenic epoch of shared values and safe centralism. I am sure not only Americas conservative population, hankered for the warm and kindly fifties, but also Britain and Europe, but the past is always viewed more favourably than it actually was, and it must be remembered that it is gone for ever, even though the sixties are so close. Time always dims the memories of an era, they become vague and generalised and therefore erode the absolute objective truth.

Arthur Marwicks and Hobsbawmss suppositions on periodisation are equally sound premises. given that they come to different conclusions, but that is the nature of History, nothing can categorically be stated to be absolutely right. Only good research and balanced premises will take you anywhere near the truth. Finally, given all the information in this essay, I believe it does indeed show how useful, the term Cultural Revolution is when applied to the sixties.


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