Theodore Roszak, the sociologist who coined the term counterculture, has died at 77. His book “The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society” was extraordinarily influentional. Or should I say, is extraordinarily influential: the book was published in 1969, but it remains the definitive critique of the alienating effects of techno-capitalism, and his proferred solution -- youthful dissent -- is the air that every self-styled political non-conformist breathes.
More than any other book (including No Logo), Roszak's Making of a Counter Culture was the chief foil for the argument that Joe Heath and I advanced in The Rebel Sell. In his last work, Roszak argued that "the idealistic values of the 1960s would inspire millions of baby boomers in their last years"; the sad truth is that he was right. The hippies didn't sell out when they became yuppies, they simply traded their VWs for SUVs. And now that they are heading into retirement, they are looking for authenticity. The hoax, unfortunately, remains the same.