“Alongside Wells there arose Randolph Bourne, the first prophet of what in the 1960s would be called youth culture. Bourne came of age in the Greenwich Village of the pre-WWI years when the lyrical left was besotted with utopian ideas of a new revolutionary culture that would break down the barriers between art and politics. Bourne’s “political discussions were actually lit by a spiritual viewpoint,” explained his friend and fellow mystic Waldo Frank.”
“Bourne’s anti-war writing would be repeatedly revived, first in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and again with tremendous force in the Vietnam War era; most recently he’s been recast in the light of Foucault and postmodernism as an intellectual pioneer who introduced Nietzschean themes into American intellectual life. But unlike the Bourne legend, the real man was never persecuted for his anti-wars views and in fact was not anti-war as such; rather, in WWI he was anti-American and culturally philo-German. It was Bourne who pioneered the use of moral equivalence when, in a defence of Germany, he emphasized the parity between “the horrors of capitalistic peace at home” with the “horrors of war in Belgium.”
“Bourne said his friend and biographer Van Wyck Brooks, wanted to “think emotions” and “feel ideas.” The young prophet of multiculturalism established a number of conceptual tropes that took an unrelenting hold among liberals. They found in his writings their own irresolvable tensions and anomalies raised to a literary level.” ─ The above taken from, The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 15.