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Was the 60's counterculture comprised more of activism or hedonism?

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DerekG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:12 AM
Original message
Was the 60's counterculture comprised more of activism or hedonism?
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:16 AM by DerekG
Upon researching the I.W.W. (or the Wobblies), I was astonished to learn how an organization comprised of only tens of thousands of people nationwide could have such a palpable impact on America. But then, I notice that each and every member had a personal stake in their vaunted cause, and faced the labor quandary with the upmost seriousness.

This led me to ponder whether the Sixties counterculture was imbued with such a degree of sobriety. Among the millions of people who made up the movement, how many would you say genuinely sought to play a part in tackling the issues of the time: whether it be the government's genocidal war against the Vietnamese or the Civil Rights movement? And how many would you say merely went along for the ride, embracing the aesthetics of the era (the oft mentioned triad: sex, drugs and rock n' roll)?

And did the activists ever come into conflict with those who espoused hedonism? I could imagine what Fathers Daniel and Phillip Berrigan, or William Sloane Coffin, thought of the disciples of Ginsberg.

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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. Not sure...
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:20 AM by shraby
I was too busy raising babies. (4)
The music made at the time was great though.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. I was there and serious
But I'd say a lot were there for the ride.


Cher
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. "if i can't dance, it's not my revolution." emma goldman
what you call hedonism was liberation, and is why wasps can raise our arms above our armpits today, ergo dance...

not to mention a g'zillion other freedoms and illuminations.


peace
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. ps - fathers berrigan were liberationists too. n/t
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DerekG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I'm not saying it wasn't liberating, but...
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:35 AM by DerekG
What did dropping acid have to do with ending the Vietnam War? Was the 60's primarily a culture war or a political one?

On edit: The brothers Berrigan sought for the liberation of a society in the throes of a machine fueled on war and economic exploitation; their burning of draft cards was an indicator of such. Don't believe for a minute that they would have seen LSD as a means to spiritual liberation.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. both.
how can those be separated?
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. do you know them?
maybe you should ask them that.
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Never did drugs, really never saw any...
Vietnam was political, and lasted so long. But, for some you have to add in the JFK, MLK, RK, factor. The day "Kent State" happened I had a husband back from Vietnam and a small baby. The world just stopped. Civil Rights movement, violence, cities burning, young men dieing, women fighting for rights we are now losing. I look at Iraq and think, what was the f****** point?

"Peace"
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. so true. so painfully true. wow. kent state. "The world just stopped."
yes.
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #5
18. Are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced? :evilgrin:

The "drop out" part of Leary's trip was only temporary for most. Those who turned on, remained...and changed our culture.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:55 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. "and changed our culture." absolutely!
it was still pretty puritan here in the mid-sixties.

and still brutally ethnically segregated!
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:43 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. It is impossible to say *how*
exactly it changed our culture, but there is no doubt in my mind that it did, and tremendously.

Who was it that remarked that it was evidence of a kind of cosmic balance that the a-bomb and LSD were both produced at about the same time?
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #18
42. You got it! There is so much I could add, but I feel that it would
go over the heads and be misunderstood to most posters here.

Timothy had it together and changed many personalities while some of the other's went into being today's ugly yuppie.

Rebellion against the stereo types of society in the 60's had very little to do with the drug culture of today.

The hippie has taken a lot of heat from some that don't know what they're talking about.
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JSJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
24. regardless of the Berrigans...
...acid did, at the very least, show many a young person that dropping acid was preferrable to dropping napalm. And we're talking 300 - 400 micrograms at a time back then (a big wow!). The average dose today, so I've surmised, is about 40 mics. But, one shouldn't discount the role of illicit drugs in bringing together a great many kids towards a common purpose back in the day.
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thebaghwan Donating Member (998 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
30. I would definitely say that it was both.
n/t
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
46. i knew phil...and i would not assume to know what he "believed" about LSD
i spent many days in his company at various peace and social justice conferences and he often refered to God as "she" :7

continue kicking warmongering ass where you are brother phil!
we'll catch up with you later to thank you. Pax
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm not sure either, all I do know is that...
the old saying "Make Love Not War" didn't work. And yet, we all worked so hard to get there, in our own way. We wanted a world that our children would be proud to live in.

"Peace"
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. but it did work. nothing less works. n/t
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
14. but it did work. nothing less works. n/t
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:41 AM by nofurylike
oops. sorry dupe
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:34 AM
Response to Original message
7. Your questions...
... by their nature require some very nebulous answers--individual experence is likely to be quite different from the generalities.

In general, though, it was probably a combination of the two forces. Very few people I knew at the time were anxious to go to a war fought for suspicious motives, and that had an effect on war protest.

Not everyone was caught up in feel-good stuff, though, despite the reputation of the age. If one looks at the graduation rates of colleges in the country at the time, about 55% of graduates, from their degree paths, wanted to go into traditional, corporate business.

Hedonism, as a way of life, was not something universally embraced. Most people of the `60s didn't wholly embrace communal life, or living without means in order to spend all their time availing themselves of worldly pleasures. More likely it was that most people lived two different lives at the time--fitting themselves into the mainstream during the day, and smoking a little dope in the evenings.

As for conflicts in the various movements, there were plenty, but I think not of the sort you suggest. In the more militant groups, there were leaders interested in absolute power (Jerry Rubin comes to mind), but Coffin and the Berrigans were not heard, as I recall, to universally condemn the looser parts of young society at the time. Coffin was much more mainstream than the Berrigans, but none, as I remember it, condemned the perceived hedonism of the "hippie" culture.

It was a complex time, made up of many, many different people. And, perhaps, it wasn't as world-shaking as some people in their fifties remember it--after all, look who's running the country now and what their world-view is... products of that generation.

Cheers.
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
49. Speaking in generalities here . . .
Many sold out and became their parents. Others sold out and used their money to fight the system.

And, no, it was not as earth-shaking as it could have/should have been. Maybe this new generation will not sell out to the system like the boomers did. Trouble is, many of the kids don't know their history, and the result of that is . . . you know the rest.
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JSJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. equal parts hedonism/activism
It was more hedonistic activism than activistic hedonism- or maybe t'was the other way 'round. In either event, it was a great time to be alive. Too bad two thirds of us became Republicans and started voting Democratic (instead of remaining true to our radical progressivism).
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myopic4141 Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Look at who remained and who turned
That should tell how many were activists and how many were followers.
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. Bush was a cheerleader in college, the only thing about the...
60's that touched him was the National Guard. You will get many complicated answers because everyone did live their own life. Different areas of the country, different things going on. I live in the South and that was a whole different experience. Can't see any of the neocons being in the picture. They were as above it then as they are now. Totally disconnected from reality, can't you tell?
That's where Kerry is different, he lived his life and so did McCain.
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. effective contrast! n/t
archetypal, imho.



g'morning
byeee


peace all!
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. yes, the hedonism was the activism, it was about not being
uptight, profit driven (how far we have fallen)

I lived in No California, so it was a lot of activism within the hedonistic

the music was the message and it was great
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ngGale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:53 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Agreed, the music was the message and it was great...n/t
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nofurylike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. yes. social evolution. n/t
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
38. At least in my area (Midwest)
the hippies were always a tiny minority. The Young Republicans were not so much absent as silent.
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:43 AM
Response to Original message
15. I would say hedonism
I don't believe the serious movement was that large but everyone wanted to get in on the fun, which made the movement look larger than it was. I was a teen-ager at the time and not interested in the movement (actually my family was at the time supportive of the war though later we turned against it) but I acted and looked like I belonged. I wore the styles, long long straight hair, short short skirts, beads, round glasses and loved the music.

If the majority of people had been more into the serious movement there would have been a more lasting political force left. The majority if not in it for the fun were into the whole thing because of fears of being drafted. After the war ended the people all drifted off to their previous lives and most have not been interested in politics since. JMO but most people were selfishly motivated into the whole 'sixties thing'
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
25. I'd say the Munsters were funny, but SO were the Addams Family!
No one is going to tell my those writers were not getting stoned when all those weird shows came out...
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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
27. Plenty of hedonism
It was just sex, drugs and rock and roll for a lot of people.I figured that out when Reagan was elected, yuppies were invented and people of our generation decided to embrace a new Puritanism when faced with the contradictions of parenthood. I have also long believed that Disco was a government plot. (Just kidding - sorta) However, there were there were a lot of true believers, too. Unfortunately, when it came to anything outside of Vietnam they were knit together too loosely with too many different and conflicting sets of beliefs to remain effective once that one issue that affected everyone was over.
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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
28. 1 % of Americans could take down the military/industrial complex (link)
http://www.thesunmagazine.org/bully.html

Neighborhood Bully
Ramsey Clark on American Militarism
(interviewed before bush* started the Iraq war)

-snips-

Jensen: So what do we do?

Clark: I think the solution relies on the power of the idea, and the power of the word, and on a belief that, in the end, the ultimate power resides in the people.

In discussing the effects of U.S. foreign policy, we've been talking about only one part of the story. Another part is resistance - the power of the people. We saw that in the Philippines, when Marcos was deposed in a nonviolent revolution, and we saw that in Iran, when the Shah's staggering power was overcome, as well, by a nonviolent revolution.

Of course, just getting rid of Marcos or the Shah is not the end of the story. People sometimes think that, after the glorious revolution, everybody is going to live happily ever after. But it doesn't work that way. What they've gone through in the struggle has divided them, confused them, driven them to extremes of desperation.

I think what all of this means is that we each have to do our own part, and become responsible, civic-minded citizens: we have to realize that we won't be happy unless we try to do our part. And if a small portion of us simply do our part, that will be enough. If even 1 percent of the people of this country could break out of the invisible chains, they could bring down this military-industrial complex - this tyranny of corporations, this plutocracy - overnight. That's all it would take: 1 percent of the people.

We also have to realize that we're going to be here only one time, and we've got to enjoy life, however hard it is. To miss the opportunity for joy is to miss life. Any fool can be unhappy; in fact, we make whole industries out of being unhappy, because happy people generally make lousy consumers. It's interesting to see how the poor understand all of this better than the rich. This morning, I was in court over in Brooklyn, representing a group of Romany - they're often called Gypsies, but they don't like to be called that - who were claiming recognition for losses in the Holocaust. The Romany lost 1.5 million people, yet nobody pays any attention to their claims. In fact, last year, the city of Munich, Germany, enacted legislation that is almost a verbatim reproduction of 1934 legislation prohibiting Romany from coming into the city: they'll be arrested if they do. The Romany might be the most endangered people on the planet - even more so than the 200 million indigenous people around the globe. They are fugitives everywhere they go, persecuted everywhere. Yet, like the traditional indigenous peoples, they are people of exceptional joy. They sing and dance and have fun. They can't see life as so much drudgery.

I saw that same joy among the civil-rights protesters in the 1960s. Watching them sing as they marched, I couldn't help but realize that you feel better when you're doing something you feel is right - no matter how hard it is.

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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
29. The idea that...
.. hedonism and purposeful action are somehow mutually exclusive is not one I share.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy - not all of the great accomplishments of history were made by martinettes, in fact, probably few were.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
31. The profound selfishness of Baby Boomers make the 60s a joke
Why did they protest the war? They did not want them or their friends to get shot. Once war went away, the protests stopped. There was not a real change in our country.

Do not get me started with Baby Boomers. Lets just agree that they are a cancer.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. Cancer is an interesting analogy
The "us" you want to agree includes some Boomers though. I was not a very liberated or active Boomer and thought the heady movement thing more a fatuous fad for too many and broadly ineffective and counter productive for the few young political leaders who only seemed to connect with their surf board while riding the wave. Which died under their feet. In their utter faith thatbparades and placards and songs could change the world to their image they did not understand the very real down to earth fear the power potentates had for this expression of raw political power. Some did and entered politics.

As usual it seemed downright embarrassing considering the real sacrifices and protests of the Czechs and Poles. We had really petty generational divisions that not even turning the whole nation against the war could bridge. It seemed like a lot of serious problems and opportunities were just so much wind in a big arrogant ego trip whether you were Tricky Dick or movement leaders. They eclipsed the heroic and more substantial Civil Rights movement, blundered through the war throes of the Democratic Party and seemed spitefully fatalistic and disengaged as everything fizzed out into more war and more Nixon. By the time Watergate came these agitators for change and justice that had set themselves at the vanguard of all other reforms and revolt seemed non-existent.

I guess I am still under the impression that the whole country is and was still off the beam with no generation or group really superior to any other and everyone in need of just plain growing up.

Since that boomer group includes me I better shut up and take a liberal dose of political chemo.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #31
39. "Cancer" speaking here
The majority of baby boomers were never countercultural or leftist, despite the impression you get from documentaries.

Looking at 1968, when there were riots and demonstrations all over the world, you'll get a better idea of where most young people's heads were by reading old issues of Seventeen than by looking at documentaries about Berkeley in the 60s.

The typical female college freshman wore miniskirts, but not in a "hippie" style. Look at the magazines of the period: form-fitting sweaters, white knee-highs with "Pilgrim" shoes, pigtails tied with pastel colored yarn, crushed vinyl raincoats, pants and tunic outfits. Long hair for males was not yet widespread, and most of the guys looked like Richie Cunningham.

In my small Midwestern college, no more than 10% of the students were actively antiwar or into the drug scene.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
32. Since when...
...does a bunch of middle class white kids jumping on a trendy bandwagon constitute a true "counterculture"?

I think the answer to your question lies around you. Look at the eventual paths of those kids, look at what has and hasn't changed. Now, using your example of the Wobblies, what does that tell you about the commitment of those millions?

And don't blame the Beats, those guys were more truly countercultural than the eventual 60s generation. After all, no one turned the Beats into eventual mass marketing pulp. Plus, their music was far better than the Boomers'"counterculture."
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
33. It was not a monolithic enterprise.
Many things were going on.
The establishment likes to focus on the hedonistic side,
for obvious reasons. It must be admitted that we didn't
do a very good job of staying the course politically, but
the government fought us tooth and nail, and we were young
and ignorant and shallow. Still there was much that was good,
and much that we had right, and it is still right.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #33
50. Right...a brief listing of big activist groups in the 60s:
SCLC, SNCC, Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, PLP, SDS, CPUSA, Weathermen, SWP, NOW. There were a lot of different organizations and activists with different political ideas-- from reformist capitalists to hardcore Maoists to Black Nationalists. Not all were hedonistic-- many organizations explicitly forbade drug use, for example. Even the hobo counterculture of the IWW had some hedonistic elements. I think the main differences existed in economic v. political organization, and especially in the differences in objective historical conditions (i.e. most of the white working class (and unions) had been effectively "bought off" in the 60s, which is why the 60s was largely a movement of white student radicals and the black working-class and bourgoisie).
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. Thanks, sometimes I think I'm just pissing up a rope.
Edited on Tue May-25-04 07:08 PM by bemildred
There were a lot of ideas floating around. It's one thing
I miss. Now it's like in the fifties, everything is inside
the box, everything is dogmatic (except on the web, where you
can read any wild-ass idea you could think of). It might as
well be the middle ages for all the thinking going on.

You left out Emmet Grogan and the diggers. :-)
I see by your handle you know a little history.
:thumbsup:
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qwertyMike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
35. ACTIVISM
Society much more hedonistic now. Less caring.


Never did drugs, never saw many.
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cestmoi Donating Member (211 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
36. You don't mention the ECOLOGY movement & QUESTIONNING authority
THE SIXTIES PROVIDE A JUMPING OFF POINT. IT GAVE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THE IMPETUS TO OPEN THEIR MINDS TO OTHER POINTS OF VIEW.

SOME PEOPLE SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE LIFE. OTHERS USED THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRIFT.



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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
37. The Civil Rights movement
attracted almost no countercultural hedonist types. People who volunteered for voter registration drives and so on knew that they were literally risking their lives, so that tended to "keep the riffraff out." The college students who volunteered to go to the Mississippi Delta were the types who today would be volunteering in homeless shelters.

The antiwar movement included a lot of mass demonstrations, no particular commitment was required for these, and it was kind of fashionable (and to tell the truth, kind of fun) to demonstrate. You could attend a demonstration in the afternoon and go out partying at night.

There was a core group of really dedicated people, and they could be seen in later decades, plumper and grayer, protesting nuclear weapons, intervention in Central America, and the wars in the Middle East.

The next time you attend a demonstration, look at the gray-haired people in the crowd. They're most likely "veterans" of the anti-Vietnam War movement.

(BTW, when I was attending demonstrations in Portland last year, I noticed that there were a lot of middle-aged and older people, a lot of teens and early twenties, but very few people in their thirties.)
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
40. The two were pretty separate until Vietnam heated up
Edited on Tue May-25-04 10:28 AM by starroute
In the 1966-68 period, the anti-war activists and the hippies were very different groups, and most young people weren't part of either one.

Even as late as the 1968 protests at the Democratic Convention, the Yippies (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, et al) were a small minority among the protesters. And if you look at photos of the people getting their heads beaten in, you'll see that they don't look very hippie-like.

But the two groups converged in 1969-71. Maybe it was Woodstock giving the counterculture a sense that it could wield real political power. Maybe it was Nixon's election making the activists despair of being able to work within the system, at the same time that the increasing availability of pot and LSD offered a utopian promise of changing consciousness instead.

At the same time, an entire generation took up the trappings of both groups -- long hair, love beads, peace signs. You can see the changes in photos, and you can hear them in the pop music. The environmental movement (first Earth Day, 1970) also appealed to both interests.

In 1972, this convergence began to fall apart again. The activists dove into McGovern's campaign and then largely burned out. The hippie style faded and gave way to glam-rock and other more decadent images. Marijuana and LSD were superseded by sex and cocaine.

It's true that the counterculture, even at its 1969-71 peak, never had the moral seriousness of the Wobblies. But that's because it consisted largely of 20-ish middle-class kids. And that, in turn, was because the McCarthyism of the 50's had effectively destroyed the possibility of any genuine radical movement in this country. The Boomers were doing the best they could -- but they lacked backup.

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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. huge amounts of heroin came into USA in the dead soldiers caskets
Edited on Tue May-25-04 11:40 AM by amen1234

and the returning Vietnam Veterans were addicted to heroin....the military began a giant urine testing program....bush* stopped showing up at the ANG after the military began physicals for drugs....


WAR and DRUGS are very closely intertwined....think of today's Afganistan....remember ollie north? convicted of lying to Congress about his guns-for-drugs trading with the enemy....


AND LSD was a new drug, coming out of U.S. Military experiments in controlling people....Timothy O'Leary had volunteered for a U.S. Military test program while in college....if not for WAR, we wouldn't have had any of the LSD or the imported heroin...WAR and DRUGS are very closely related ....

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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
43. What... You Have To Choose ???
:evilgrin:
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
44. I was associated with a high-school SDS group in 1965-66 in Milwaukee.
:hi:
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. Dirty Commie
SARCASM DISCLAIMER
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
45. STRONG activism...the greastest decade of the century for social change
Edited on Tue May-25-04 12:46 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
The sixties were the age of youth, as 70 million children from the post-war baby boom became teenagers and young adults. The movement away from the conservative fifties continued and eventually resulted in revolutionary ways of thinking and real change in the cultural fabric of American life. No longer content to be images of the generation ahead of them, young people wanted change. The changes affected education, values, lifestyles, laws, and entertainment. Many of the revolutionary ideas which began in the sixties are continuing to evolve today.


Books That Defined the sixties:
The Silent Spring - Rachel Carson
The Games People Play -Eric Berne
Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
The Feminine Mystique - Betty Friedan
Unsafe at any Speed - Ralph Nader
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test - Tom Wolfe

Youth predominated the culture of the 1960's. The post World War II Baby Boom had created 70 million teenagers for the sixties, and we swayed the fashion, the fads and the *politics* of the decade.

During the sixties, college campuses became centers of debate and scenes of protest more than ever before. Great numbers of young adults, baby boomers, reaching military draft age and not yet voting age at 21 (minimum voting age did not become 18 until 1971), caused a struggle which played out on many campuses as the country became more involved in the Vietnam War.

In 1966, James S. Coleman commissioned by the government, published Equality of Educational Opportunity, a landmark study that led the way to forced integration and bussing in the 1970's.

Problems in secondary schools, discovered in the fifties, were being addressed in books such as James B. Conant's The American High School Today. A return to the teaching of basic thinking skills was seen to be part of the solution. In grade schools across the nation, phonetics made a come back as reading specialists try to fix what was wrong in American education in the fifties.

The term "blacks" became socially acceptable, replacing "Negroes." The number of Hispanic Americans tripled during the decade and became recognized as an oppressed minority. Cesar Chavez organized Hispanics in the United Farm Workers Association. American Indians, facing unemployment rates of 50% and a life expectancy only two-thirds that of whites, began to assert themselves in the courts and in violent protests. The Presidential Commission of the Status of Women (1963) presented disturbing facts about women's place in our society. Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, Pauli Murray(National Organization of Women) questioned the unequal treatment of women, gave birth to Women's Lib, and disclosed the "glass ceiling." The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to include gender. The birth control pill became widely available and abortion for cause was legalized in Colorado in 1967. In 1967, both abortion and artificial insemination became legal in some states..

The first teacher allowed to teach pregnant (and showing) was in 1968.


The Supreme Court decided in 1962 that prayer in the public schools was unconstitutional. As the 1960's progressed, many young people turned from mainstream Christian religions to mystic eastern religions such as Transcendental Meditation(Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) or Zen Buddhism.


People became more concerned with their health and their environment. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring awakened the environmental movement and the Sierra Club gained a following. Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at any Speed, led to the consumer movement.



GREAT social changes...peace corps...civil rights...education...desegragation(bussing)....evironmental awareness movement ....health care (medicare)....head start....womens rights....protests for the end of the veitnam war.....it goes on and on

BEST damn decade of the friggen century!!! imho
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qwertyMike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
47. The Weather Underground
Edited on Tue May-25-04 12:23 PM by qwertyMike
Multiple bombings of Government buildings, police stations. Each with a message. NOBODY killed in all the bombings, except 3 members who died in an explosion in NYC while making a bomb.

O yes, they probably did some drugs too.



http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/weatherunderground/m...
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. exactly! ........thank you qwertyMike
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
52. There was something for everyone to do
The very act of living your life as you saw fit was a part of the revolution. Nothing takes hold unless a large majority becomes a part of it.

Kids said F U to established authority and that caused a lot of things that were previously accepted and taken for granted to be looked at critically and accepted or thrown out something new taking it's place, some good and some not so good.

You didn't need to be a part of an organization to change the culture.
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
53. I was too strung out on LSD to remember much of anything except
that Timothy Leary was my god.
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