This article seeks to develop the significance of the 1960s as a period of cultural revolution. Early Baudrillard is treated as the cultural revolution's equivalent to Marx. The idea of unproductive expenditure is seen as the era's central idea. having discussed, as does Baudrillard, typical 1960s' phenomena as examples of unproductive expenditure, the question of the eventual fate of the cultural revolution is explored. The article analyzes 1980s' and 1990s' phenomena as the unintended results of what the 1960s initiated. Finally, we suggest some positive lessons that can be utilized in contemporary debates if we are prepared to moderate typical 1960s extremism.
Assessing a Revolution: Baudrillard, Unproductive Expenditure, and the Legacy of the 1960s
STANLEY RAFFEL IS A READER IN SOCIOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF HABERMAS, LYOTARD AND THE CONCEPT OF JUSTICE, MATTERS OF FACT, AND (WITH PETER MCHUGH, DANIEL FOSS, AND ALAN BLUM) ON THE BEGINNING OF SOCIAL INQUIRY. HE HAS ALSO WRITTEN NUMEROUS ARTICLES ENGAGING WITH VARIOUS ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL THEORY.