[CAVEAT: The Kindle version is newly abridged, "compressing the original 125,000 words to an Internet-friendly 24,000 words and eliminating most of the sections on "Consciousness III." Updated? Charles Reich wrote a new preface and final chapter." Damn. As you see below, I'm most interested in the stuff that is outdated and embarrassing!]
[From the first link:]
In 1970, The New Yorker Magazine ran a 39,000-word excerpt of ‘The Greening of America' -- the longest in its history. Then the book was published. It caused a firestorm. Written by Charles Reich, a distinguished professor at Yale Law, it showed how a once-free America had become a Corporate State that made no one happy. And then it suggested a remedy.Ah, soon the system has to change. Hope and change, baby. It's 42 years later and look at all this change. It's change as far as the eye can see.
The way out? It wasn't political change — for Reich, politics came last. The first and most important thing: Consciousness. As he saw it, America had outgrown "Consciousness I," which had helped form a nation of free individuals. It had outgrown "Consciousness II," which was corporate and heartless. Now it was time for "Consciousness III," in which people would turn away from the quest for traditional success and forge a new, personal path to satisfaction.
In short: Change the way you think, help others do the same, and soon the system has to change.
I love reading these pop culture books of the past, that is, my past. Especially circa 1970.
I also got the Kindle version of Roger Kimball's "The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America," which I have already read and enjoyed, because I wanted to be able to cut and paste a little something of what Kimball says about "The Greening of America," which he memorably savages:
ADDED: From Woodward and Armstrong's book "The Brethren," about the Supreme Court, describing the funeral of Justice Hugo Black:
Though it spread like the measles, Consciousness III is difficult to describe because, as Reich notes, the very attempt to say what it is draws on intellectual habits that Consciousness III rejects: “Authority, schedules, time, accepted customs, are all forms which must be questioned. Accepted patterns of thought must be broken; what is considered ‘rational thought’ must be opposed by ‘nonrational thought’— drug-thought, mysticism, impulses.”
Not entirely, though. Reich does allow that the “foundation” of Consciousness III is “liberation.” He adds that “the meaning of liberation is that the individual is free to build his own philosophy and values, his own life-style, and his own culture from a new beginning.” More generally, Consciousness III comes into being when an individual frees himself from the “false consciousness” that society imposes. People infused with the spirit of Consciousness III do “not believe in the antagonistic or competitive doctrine of life,” they “do not compete ‘in real life.’ ... People are brothers, the world is ample for all.... No one judges anyone else.” Also, everyone rather likes himself: “Consciousness III says, ‘I’m glad I’m me.’”
The minister selected to deliver the eulogy went to Black’s library and found various books that Black had underlined, including The Greening of America, by Charles Reich, one of his former clerks. The minister selected some of the underlined portions to read at the funeral. During the eulogy, Brennan gently nudged Stewart. “Hugo would turn over in his grave if he heard that,” Brennan said. Only Black’s intimates knew that Black thought Reich’s book absurd, and that Black underlined the sections he disliked.AND: More about the new edition, from the second link, above, written by the editor of the new version:
The other reason to read The Greening of America is for its brilliant and original suggestion of a way out: the radical, idealistic "Consciousness III."...Then why did you edit most of this stuff out?
Last year, we saw the emergence of the "Occupy" movement, and, with it, ideas that would be instantly familiar to anyone who had read The Greening of America.
Now we are in the middle of a Presidential election, with a campaign that sounds a lot like a debate between a "Consciousness II" Administration (which argues that the federal government can best protect us from an unregulated marketplace and a shredded safety net) and "Consciousness I" Republican candidates (who tell us that the solution to all our problems is a return to a time when men took care of their own business and government barely existed).Because you've got another alternative but you're not going to embarrass yourselves by telling us the details of what it is.
In short: "The Greening of America" is reappearing at a time when it can contribute to — and shape —the national conversation.