in: Telos, Volume 52, p. 5-20
ISSN: 0040-2842 (print), 0090-6514 (electronic)
The category of new movements can best be divided into subcategories of cultural movements, which oppose the social life of the present, & political movements, which resist the modern state. Both are often viewed as recurring historical phenomena of protest. The ecological movement, however, embodies a new social trend with a new self-image. Description of new movements as Romantic or populist implies that they are recurrences of older movements. To determine whether there is in fact anything new in current movements requires examination of the type of society they attempt to create. A distinctive feature of modern societies is that social movements are themselves the sources of change, & have the power to challenge cultural traditions. Distinct cultural models can be identified as based on organic, mechanical, & cybernetic concepts of work; these in turn imply differing fundamental normative orders. Where both capitalist & socialist movements represent responses to the mechanical & industrial cultural model, the new movements represent responses to the cybernetic & postindustrial model. These are not yet unified; the logical next step is for sociological research to be followed by intervention to create a unified movement. W. H. Stoddard.