Paul Ray, and Sherrie Anderson in the book "cultural Creatives" (Three Rivers Press, 2000), proposes that a new culture is silently shaping within America, and that the change is manifesting everywhere. According to this book, one quarter (fifty million) of all americans, as well as a corresponding number of Europeans, have made a comprehensive shift in world view, values, and way of life. These people are not aware of the potential power of this collective body.
The book points to visionaries in the 60's and 70's who saw a convergence of various "fringe" movements, including feminist, ecological, spiritual, human potential, to form a coherent new politics.Mark Satin, a draft resister, identified "an entire third force in politics in the 70s. George Leonard's "ransformation" in 1972 predicted that a civilization wide social shift was coming. Marilyn Ferguson's "The Aquarian Conspiracy, Alvin Toffler's "he Third Wave", Fritjof Capra's The Turning Point", Hazel Henderson's The Politics of the Solar Age, and theodore Roszak's Person/Planet made similar predictions. So far the predicted transformation has not occured.
the Battle in Seattle of 1999 gave another hint that something was happening. Richard Flacks, sociologist at U. of California, Santa Barbara(who helped form the radical 1960's anti-Vietnam war group Students for a Democratic Society noted (San Jose Mercury-News: "This was historic, cutting edge...The linking of groups that have rarely been in coalition before-the labor and the environment- is a real breakthrough in social movements in American History.
Social and consciousness movements flow together. (social movements: direct action in conventional political or economic areas is focused on changing actiona and policies in the real world; consciousness movement: change to the individual psyche, culture, worldview; change is private an apolitical.
A sense of the general movement in culture supported by author Ralph H Turner argues tha over the past generation a large general social movement has unfolded in western Europe that encompases all of the new social movement's concerns: "a sense of personal worth, of meaning in life, is a fundamental human right that must be protected by our social institutions". Ray and Anderson believe that the people at the center of the general movemnt for change are a particular set of people that are the shared constituency of the social and consciousness movements.
Why dont we see it? The authors suggest business as usual; government, corporations, media, and movements caught in narrow specialized viewpoints.
Marilyn Ferguson, in "The Aquarian Conspiracy", discusses a new, ecologically friendly paradigm shift, which is a spontaneous change in consciousness and perception. This change of perception, the book argues, would bring about a total renewal of our society.