In "The Closing of the American Mind," philosopher Allan Bloom critiques the cultural shift towards relativism and the devaluation of the humanities in higher education. In this context, Bloom argues against the prevalence of rock music and its impact on young people. He argues that rock music represents a cultural decline, a loss of the great tradition of Western civilization, and an abandonment of reason and the pursuit of truth.
According to Bloom, rock music encourages an anti-intellectual and hedonistic mindset in its listeners, who are primarily young people. He argues that the beat of rock music stimulates a kind of "savage, ecstatic release" that overrides reason and critical thinking. He also notes that the lyrics of rock songs are often nihilistic and promote a "do your own thing" mentality that lacks any sense of moral responsibility.
Bloom claims that the influence of rock music is particularly damaging because it is one of the most pervasive forms of popular culture and reaches a massive audience of young people. He argues that this exposure to rock music, combined with the trend of relativism in higher education, is leading to a generation of students who are not equipped to engage with the great ideas and values of Western civilization.
In his view, rock music and the broader cultural shift it represents pose a serious threat to the future of democracy and the transmission of the cultural heritage of Western civilization. Bloom argues that the pursuit of truth and the preservation of the great tradition of Western civilization are essential for the survival of democratic societies.
The arguments made by Allan Bloom in "The Closing of the American Mind" have been widely debated and criticized. Some have argued that his view of rock music is overly negative and ignores its potential for artistic expression and social commentary. Others have pointed out that his critique of relativism is too sweeping and fails to take into account the diversity of perspectives and ideas that exist within the broader cultural landscape.
In conclusion, Allan Bloom's critique of rock music in "The Closing of the American Mind" reflects his broader concerns about the state of higher education and the cultural values of Western civilization. He argues that the influence of rock music represents a threat to the transmission of the cultural heritage of Western civilization and the survival of democratic societies.