the broad movement and when we can date it to

Steven Welzer
3 min readJun 12, 2024

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There was an idea during “the Sixties” (which really comprised more than a decade … probably from the Kennedy election in 1960 to the final helicopter departure from Saigon in 1975) about “The Movement”:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2558823.The_Movement_Toward_a_New_America

Like with the idea of “revolution,” it was an amorphous concept and people were all over the map in regard to interpretation and explication. Some saw it in terms of a revival of Marxism. Some were religious-millenarian about it. There were New Leftists, communitarians, counterculturalists, feminists, and environmentalists; Yippie!s, freaks, freeks, oddballs, and gurus.

It shook things up. It did not just dissipate after 1975. Rather, people set to grappling with what had happened, what it meant, and what was going on (still).

I think a broad movement was initiated. As you know, I call it “the greening of society.” That’s after the book that everyone was reading in 1970:

That same year was the first Earth Day. It was symbolic. David Korten says it indicated how we were in the middle of the beginning of something profound:

https://davidkorten.org/great-turning/

https://davidkorten.org/great-turning-book/

I believe we can date this beginning to the decade between the publication of Silent Spring in 1962 and the publication of “The Blueprint for Survival” in 1972. Eco-communitarianism is the best over-arching description of the broad movement, but that term is too esoteric (and too much of a mouthful) to resonate, so I think it’s better to just say “Green.” Sub-movements include deep ecology, permaculture, conservation biology, Transition, Green politics, social ecology, relocalization, eco-socialism, participatory democracy, post-industrialism, post-imperialism, post-Marxism, indigenism, bioregionalism, ecopsychology, voluntary simplicity, degrowth; the creation of ecovillages as lifeboats and basecamps.

The books and the treatises:
1960: The Waste Makers (Vance Packard); Introduction to A. S. Neill’s Summerhill (Introduction by Erich Fromm).
1961: Compulsory Mis-Education (Paul Goodman); Black Elk Speaks ( John G. Neihardt).
1962: Silent Spring (Rachel Carson); “The Port Huron Statement of SDS” (Tom Hayden); The Other America (Michael Harrington).
1963: The Feminine Mystique (Betty Friedan); Science and Survival (Barry Commoner); The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon).
1964: The Meaning of the Twentieth Century (Kenneth Boulding); The Technological Society (Jacques Ellul).
1965: The Destruction of California (Raymond Dassman); The Pillage of the Third World (Pierre Jalee).
1966: The Age of Imperialism (Harry Magdoff).
1967: The Betrayal of the Body (Alexander Lowen); The Myth of the Machine (Lewis Mumford); The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
1968: Small Town in Mass Society (Arthur Vidich and Joseph Bensman).
1969: The Making of a Counterculture (Theodore Roszak); Gandhi’s Truth (Erik Erikson); The Costs of Economic Growth (E. J. Mishan); The Subversive Science: Ecology (Paul Shepard).
1970: The Greening of America (Charles Reich).
1971: The Closing Circle (Barry Commoner); Participatory Democracy (Terrence Cook and Patrick Morgan); This Endangered Planet (Richard Falk); Fundamentals of Ecology (Eugene Odum).
1972: Conserving Life on Earth (David Ehrenfeld); The Limits to Growth (Meadows, Meadows, Randers, Behrens); The Domination of Nature (William Leiss).
1973: Small is Beautiful (E. F. Schumacher); The Wandering of Humanity (Jacques Camatte).
1974: In Search of the Primitive (Stanley Diamond); The End of Affluence (Paul Ehrlich); Civilized Man’s Eight Deadly Sins (Konrad Lorenz).
1975: Ecotopia (Ernest Callenbach).

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Steven Welzer

The editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a movement activist for many years (he was an original co-editor of DSA’s “Ecosocialist Review”).