Paul Goodman : American Writer, Critic, Psychotherapist, and Anarchist Philosopher
As the movement became the Movement and shifted to a struggle between the Old Left and the New Left, Goodman remained unapologetically free. Many of his former followers abandoned him as he refused to offer a blueprint for building structures for the future, preferring the formulation of here, now, next.
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From : Fitzgerald Bio
"Anarchism is grounded in a rather definite proposition: that valuable behavior occurs only by the free and direct response of individuals or voluntary groups to the conditions presented by the historical environment. It claims that in most human affairs, whether political, economic, military, religious, moral, pedagogic, or cultural, more harm than good results from coercion, top-down direction, central authority, bureaucracy, jails, conscription, states, pre-ordained standardization, excessive planning, etc."
From : "The black flag of anarchism," by Paul Goodman
"There cannot be a history of anarchism in the sense of establishing a permanent state of things called 'anarchist.' It is always a continual coping with the next situation, and a vigilance to make sure that past freedoms are not lost and do not turn into the opposite, as free enterprise turned into wage-slavery and monopoly capitalism, or the independent judiciary turned into a monopoly of courts, cops, and lawyers, or free education turned into School Systems."
From : "The black flag of anarchism," by Paul Goodman
"As our families are, the children in both their present satisfaction and the free growth of their powers, are certainly crushed, thwarted, pushed, hurt, and misled by their hostile and doting grown-ups. Frankly, I doubt that you can find one child in a dozen who is not being seriously injured, in quite definite and tangible ways, by his family."
From : "The Children and Psychology," by Paul Goodman
About Paul Goodman
Through the next twenty-five years he lived with his common-law wife Sally. Goodman had two daughters, Susan (whose mother was Virginia Miller, Goodman's first wife) and Daisy, and a son, Matthew Ready. During this time they lived in decent poverty and an ideal environment for serious people. They got by on little jobs including a $5 per story contract with the MGM story department in New York for plot synopses of French novels. During this time he wrote furiously. He considered himself an artist and produced mostly poems, plays and short stories. He promoted himself vigorously but met with little acceptance of his mostly avant-garde style. He was involved with little literary magazines, theater groups and political activities centered around the Spanish Anarchist Hall (Solidaridad International Anti-Fascista).
Midlife found Paul Goodman drained and fearful in the face of his status as a marginal artist with children to raise. He wrote in a journal: I am at a loss, in our great city, how to do anything at all that could make an immediate difference in our feeling and practice (and so in my own feeling and practice). Therefore I have ceased to want anything, I do not know what we want. It was at this time that he met Fritz Perls, a German Jew who spent the Hitler years in South Africa and fled to the United States as the apartheid regime arose there. Perls had studied with the founding generation of Freudians but soon developed a very unconventional therapeutic practice. Perls' ideas blended well with Goodman's and they were soon involved in a rich collaboration, founding the Gestalt Therapy Institute and writing Gestalt Therapy .
This exposure shifted Goodmanâs career from artist/writer to social critic. He wrote no more stories or plays and fewer poems. His breakthrough book, Growing Up Absurd, was rejected by a dozen publishers before finally seeing print in 1960 and becoming a huge success. Soon the rest of society began to catch up to him as young people began to rebel against the excessive conventionality of the fifties. He was well placed to address the anti-institutional critique which emerged at this time and led to massive change in the years to come. By the mid-sixties he was adopted as sort of an uncle of the youth/student movement, wrote a book a year, and made almost constant campus appearances. His contribution was scholarly yet personal, classical yet revolutionary, and thoroughly natural and anti-institutional.
As the movement became the Movement and shifted to a struggle between the Old Left and the New Left, Goodman remained unapologetically free. Many of his former followers abandoned him as he refused to offer a blueprint for building structures for the future, preferring the formulation of here, now, next. He seemed both saddened and relieved by this and soon settled into his familiar status as outsider critic, but now with a comfortable fame and some financial security.
In 1967 his son Mathew died tragically in a mountain climbing accident. Friends say he never recovered from the grief this caused him. Soon his health began to deteriorate and his writing mellowed into the reflections of an old warrior. He died of a heart attack on August 2, 1972, just short of his sixty-first birthday.
By: John Fitzgerald
From : Paul Goodman Biography, by John Fitzgerald, from Anarchy Archives
This person has authored 4 documents, with 8,233 words or 53,273 characters.
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1961 ~ (2,423 Words / 16,053 Characters)
We propose banning private cars from Manhattan Island. Permitted motor vehicles would be busses, small taxis, vehicles for essential services (doctor, police, sanitation, vans, etc.), and the trucking used in light industry. Present congestion and parking are unworkable, and other proposed solutions are uneconomic, disruptive, unhealthy, nonurban, or impractical. It is hardly necessary to prove that the actual situation is intolerable. Motor trucks average less than six miles per hour in traffic, as against eleven miles per hour for horse drawn vehicles in 1911. During the ban on nonessential vehicles during the heavy snowstorm of February 1961, air pollution dropped 66 per cent. (New York Times, March 13, 1961.) The street widths of Manhattan were designed, in 1811, for buildings of one to four stories. By banning private cars and reducing traffic, we can, in most areas, close off nearly nine out... (From : bopsecrets.org.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (441 Words / 3,100 Characters)
Anarchism is grounded in a rather definite proposition: that valuable behavior occurs only by the free and direct response of individuals or voluntary groups to the conditions presented by the historical environment. It claims that in most human affairs, whether political, economic, military, religious, moral, pedagogic, or cultural, more harm than good results from coercion, top-down direction, central authority, bureaucracy, jails, conscription, states, pre-ordained standardization, excessive planning, etc. Anarchists want to increase intrinsic functioning and diminish extrinsic power. This is a social-psychological hypothesis with obvious political implications. Depending on varying historical conditions that present various threats to the anarchist principle, anarchists have laid their emphasis in varying places: sometimes agrarian, sometimes free city and guild-oriented; sometimes technological, sometimes anti technological; sometimes Communist, sometimes... (From : The Stan Iverson Memorial Library, Infoshop & Arch....)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,430 Words / 14,909 Characters)
WHAT IS most significant, it seems to me, is the earnest attention paid to the Children and Family as a subject, the desire of parents to be Informed and thereby do their best, rather than following their wit and impulse; or to say this another way, what is significant is the importance assigned in our society to Psychology itself? for Psychology is still by and large the family-psychology that Freud made it discussing the problems of jealousy, infantile dependency authority, submissiveness and rebelliousness, and sibling competition: and problems of spite, moral prejudice and other reaction-formations springing from instinctual deprivation. This interest in the Children is of course hopeful, for the increase of wisdom cannot fail to remedy abuses, and has already done so quite spectacularly. But this interest is also itself a symptom of an unfortunate social situation. Earnest folk pay such special attention to the children, and in general to the... (From : http://www.tao.ca/~freedom/goodman.html.)
Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1961 ~ (2,939 Words / 19,211 Characters)
I am asked for my thoughts about the content and style of anti-war films, and how to make such a film. First of all, such a film must at least not do positive harm by predisposing its audience toward war. The images of senseless violence, horror, and waste that are usually employed in the commercially successful antiwar films do have a titillating effect and remain in the soul as excitants and further incitements. Let me show how this works. In cinematic conditions of bright screen and dark theater, lasting for many minutes and tending to fascination and hypnosis, images of horror easily detach themselves from the kind of intellectual and ethical framework in which they are usually presented, and they attach themselves to quite different subliminal ideas. We must bear in mind how a child wakes up screaming with his nightmare of the animated cartoon he has seen, the nightmare now expressing a kind of wish. A... (From : http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/goodman.htm.)
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