Cultural Revolution and the Native American Spirit

This analog tape recording of Kurt's lecture has been converted to digital file format and made available below.

This analog tape recording of Kurt's lecture has been converted to digital file format and made available below.


Lecture scheduled for January 16, 1970 at Monterey Peninsula College, to be delivered by Dr. Kurt von Meier.

The middle years of the present century have witnessed a broad and pervasive phenomenon which has already begun to assume the proportions of a genuine cultural revolution. This is not merely a superficial change in cultural orientation--in fact it may prove to be one of the most profound changes in the five thousand year history of civilization. The change is different in kind from all historical developments--probably since late Neolithic tribal structures began to give way to organized city-states with cultures based on writing. The revolution is then, in a real sense, a return to archaic values, as exemplified by post-ideological politics, post-historical thinking and post-literate culture. But this new culture includes more than esthetic expressions or intellectual activity. The whole of our being is its implied concern--and with that, as well, the question of the life or death of the planet Earth.

Clues to the revolutionary cultural set can be found in words and concepts such as: total, global, instant, systems analysis, pattern recognition, integral, radical, cybernetic and psychedelic. It is already becoming easy to differentiate revolutionary attitudes toward sex, food, art, education, money, government, law and war. But not all of these ideas are new. Indeed, many of them bear striking, illuminating relationships to precisely those values once widely held throughout native North America, but now ironically on the verge of extinction. It is the process of this irony, in our immediate present, that sup‑forms the principal subject of my concern for this lecture/talk/ discussion/rap--whatever the dramatic form it assumes.

Kurt's contact with Hopi leaders was extensive, as he notes in his lecture. Below is a copy of letter found in Kurt's files which was sent to then U.S. President Lyndon Johnson by Ralph Selina of the Hopi Independent Nation requesting a meeting. "This must be done now before we bring upon our children terrifying destruction of our homeland and of all life on this Mother Earth." the letter states. The invitation was declined.