Whole Earth Catalog; Fall 1969

"Yet, closer look at two exceptionally influential publications of the era, the Whole Earth Catalog (fig. 4.2) and Radical Software, reveals a very different arrangement of forces. Far from rejecting mainstream culture, these two publications actually embraced its technocratic ideals, its faith in expertise, and even its information technologies. In their view, mainstream America offered a cornucopia of high-technology tools; given the proper instructions, readers could use these tools to transform their collective consciousness and thereby build a new, more collaborative society. Though it is tempting today to recall the youth movements of the 1960s as a single antinomian uprising, these publications remind us that at a fundamental level, parts of the counterculture were not countercultural at all. On the contrary: in the pages of the Catalog and Radical Software and their many imitators, the technocratic ideals of Daniel Bell's postindustrial society and the bohemian dreams of the counterculture became one."—Geoff Kaplan, Power to the People, p 133