Glenn Beck: The New Abbie Hoffman?

Glenn Beck at CPAC 2010. Photo: Gage Skidmore CC

Glenn Beck at CPAC 2010. Photo: Gage Skidmore CC

That’s what Michael Lind claims, in Salon.com:

Street theater. Communes. Manifestoes. Denunciations of “the system.” The counterculture is back. Only this time it’s on the right.

Political factions that are out of power have a choice. They can form a counter-establishment or a counterculture. A counter-establishment (a term that Sidney Blumenthal used to describe the neoconservatives in the 1970s) seeks to return to power by reassuring voters that it is sober and responsible. A counter-establishment publishes policy papers and holds conferences and its members endure their exile in think tanks and universities.

In contrast, a counterculture refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the rules of the game that it has lost. Instead of moving toward the center, the counterculture heads for the fringes. Like a cult, it creates its own parallel reality, seceding from a corrupt and wicked society into morally and politically pure enclaves.

In response to the long era of Republican presidential hegemony that began with Nixon, many on the American left adopted the countercultural strategy. Some withdrew to raise rabbits and home-school their children in rural America. Other radicals on the left made pilgrimages in search of utopia to this or that illiberal communist dictatorship — Mao’s China, Cuba, Nicaragua.

Many devoured books by Noam Chomsky and the late Howard Zinn, who taught them that Washington and Lincoln and FDR were all capitalist warmongers and that America was the greatest menace to world peace…

[continues in in Salon.com]

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  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    Denouncing the system and manifestos do not a counterculture revolutionary make, else you might as well hold Grand Dragons up as new Abbie Hoffmans. If one wants nothing more than to quash progressive thought, I have a difficult time seeing how this is countercultural.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

      well it is a counter culture being that it is in opposition to the mainstream culture,
      a counter culture doesn't need ethics morals or anything else.

  • 5by5

    Wow. Now there's an insult to Abbie Hoffman. A man who actually WAS harassed by the government for real via Nixon's COINTELPRO.

    Beck's little phantoms are all in his wackjob mind.

  • dafuzzmasta

    what… the….

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    did you guys read it?
    it wasn't about glenn beck at all.
    interesting article

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I understand how Glenn Beck represents counter-culture. Just because he is a shill for the party that is opposite that of the President, is that the reason? This really does escape me.

  • tonyviner

    I don't think I understand how Glenn Beck represents counter-culture. Just because he is a shill for the party that is opposite that of the President, is that the reason? This really does escape me.