The range, scope, potential and significance of this anti-establishment would only be realized as the sass drew on and the intensity of social movement escalated. The sixties was an era of great cultural and social upheaval by mass manipulation on the basis Of many social issues the causes and consequences of this era however remain contested.
According to Melisa Kidder, among other, the most prominent causes of the entire anti-establishment movement may be attributed more to social and political than economic factors, and include the demographics of the baby boomers, disassociation of the youth, anti-war sentiment, the Cold War Atmosphere television’s coming of age and the media, and the US Civil Rights Movement 1 . The growth of psychology as well as the experimentation with he arts and psychedelic drugs also affected the counterculture movement as well as the course of the anti-establishment movement in an unexpected manner.
Rosa argued that the science-based, rational society of the twentieth century alienated individuals, especially the youth who were born into a society with an existential crisis after World War 11. 2 According to the interview conducted with , the hippie or counterculture movement was characterized by a certain lifestyle. Explains that in the counterculture movement, the goal was to bring about a change in society according to the arms practiced by the hippies as advocated, such as free love for all, the use of drugs for a different mind-set, ecological values.
For her, there was never a time of greater change, as it seemed that reality was speeding up and reaching a climax. Social factors of the Counterculture Movement Post-World War II Period The causes of the Baby Boom of the sass’s is described by historians as a desire for normalcy after 16 years of depression and war, while others ascribe it to an anti-communistic strategy to outnumber the communistic world. Nevertheless, as the baby boomers reached young adulthood and became socially conscious, they became a notable factor in American society as such a large generation in social cohesion is a force great change, according to Terry Anderson.
A decade after the end of World War II, many young Americans had come to despise the identity of their country. This group of people is known as the Beat Generation, or the Beatniks, they completely rejected the materialistic society advertised and institutionalized by public and media industries as well as the far reaching hand of institution. The beats, along with prominent figures such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, advocated an alternative way of thinking and many other values embraced by the hippies such as a lifestyle advocating the use of drugs.
The beats directly influenced the counterculture movement, as most values pursued by hippies were originally the values of beats. While the beats of the sass’s were a restrictive group of mostly idealist writers, the counterculture movement spread to thousands of youths, most notably from the middle class, to shake the USA as no other youth movement before. There is however a widespread interpretation of historians of the counterculture movement as the reaction f spoilt youths seeking fun to distract from their boring over-confident lives in apprehension of the viewpoint of the counterculture movement as an alternative consciousness.
In the 1 9605. The United States economy was prosperous, and purchasing power of the middle class youth increased alongside entertainment industries. The youth believed that the US government should not overextend their influence, and that a democratic state should be left alone, albeit communistic. The view of a hypocritical nature of the United Stated government came to stifle the youth, as they have come disillusioned by the aggressive actions of the US around the world by the sass.
The foreign policy of the US in dropping atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, the oppression of Cuba by the US, and finally the Vietnam War solidified the oppressive, traitorous and hypocritical nature of the US government in the eyes of the youth. The older generations continued to trust government, while the youth felt disillusioned, leading to deeper questions about the very basis of American values, which would lead to many social movements, including the US Civil Rights Movement. Political Factors of the Counterculture Movement
The Civil Rights Movement Although almost two hundred years have passed since the abolition of slavery in the LIST, yet racial discrimination remained a daily theme in the US in the sass. White racist aggressors were protected by the state and justice departments and FBI officials stood watch as demonstrators were brutally handled and jailed. Although the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had been active since 1 909, and other influential civil rights movements existed before the sass, the protest for African-American rights and against segregation reached a turning point in this era.
Students were a very important factor in this movement, with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SYNC). In a single demonstration gaining national attention in 1 960, a student initiative whereby four black students refused to leave a “whites only” cafeteria was taken, resulting in the desegregation Of many areas. In the sass civil rights supporters saw the emergence of a strong charismatic leader; Martin Luther King Jar. He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, promoting the same non-violent philosophy, giving rise to mass manipulation in the form of sit-ins, boycotts and other peaceful ministrations in the 1 9605.
After many attempts by the government to “destroy” Martin Luther King Jar. , he was finally assassinated by a white segregationist, causing riots throughout the country. Continuous violence against black people in the US along with the death of Martin Luther King Jar. , angered black Americans. Malcolm X criticized King for his peaceful methods, encouraging radical and violent protest. The Black Panther Party for Self- Defense was created in the sass to defend against racial violence and white injustice, yet unfortunately the leader of the Black Panthers Fred Hampton ND Malcolm x were both assassinated.
Despite the large white resistance to segregation, the Civil Rights movement of the sass did achieve much. A major demand of African-Americans is their right to vote given to them by the 15th Amendment in 1 870, yet many states continued to restrict African Americans to vote by use of a comprehension or literary test. In 1 965, these practices were forbidden by congress’ Voting Rights ACTA. As proven by the killing of black militants however, the resistance to reforms of equality remain strong within the nation, despite considerable ground made.
Throughout the sass, traditional means of battling government legislature decisions saw a great change, as peaceful mass manipulation led to violent uprising. National Politics, a New Left One of the most famous and influential “New Left” organization was The Students for a Democratic Society (SD), created as the youth became dissatisfied with American imperialist enterprise in foreign policy, while locally there was inequalities between Black and white people. The SD was rejected by the League of Industrial Democracy (LID), as being accused of having communistic allegiance.
Thus the SD became independent, freeing itself room the anti-communistic and liberal left. This shift causes the emergence Of a “new left”, easily distinguishable from the” Old Left”, as unionism and anti- communist hysteria is what characterized most American organizations striving for democracy according to Doug Rossini. This New left focused primarily on social equality, democracy and peace, declaring that America should focus on its real social priorities, such as the abolition of squalor and neglect, and to create an atmosphere of creativity and dignity.
Radical socialist C Wright Mills and political theorist H Marcus were the main influences of students, advocating ideas such as that the close link between economic and political power being the cause of social inequalities in the US. Although in large part due to the draft obligating young Americans to join the war effort in Vietnam, the commitment of students protesting against military recruitment offices in campuses played a crucial role in ending the war.
After a march on the pentagon in October 21 1967 which followed five days Of anti-war demonstration, the anti-war movement was national. Despite the opinion of most Americans that hippies are a laughable young lot, public pinion was swayed from 39% of the populace agreeing with American involvement in Vietnam in 1965, to 61 % in 1971 10. In this era, many different groups of people united under the same banner, and although the separation between these groups increased as the 1 sass went on, civil rights and anti war sentiments were embedded aspirations of the American youth.
These middle class youths turned to their own domestic society to solve problems manifested and overlooked for centuries. To solve these issues, the New Left targeted government, yet more and more young people went another erection, many turned to the spiritual lure of Buddhism applying their ideals directly. The tools of the New Left was mostly cultural, as they excluded themselves from mainstream society, adopting lifestyles of fun, peace, love and freedom. Revolution”, a Beetles song accurately illustrates the break that occurred supporters and opposition of the 1 sass New Left. Political activism and new consciousness is what characterized the counterculture 1. Economic Factors of the Counterculture Stuart hall in Encoding and Decoding in Television Discourse, explains a hegemony as defining possible meaning, and carrying the Stamp of legitimacy thin its mental horizon. It is coterminous with the natural order and what is taken for granted or inevitable about the social order.
Thus the counterculture movement saw the “American way of life” as a restrictive version of reality, insisting that happiness is gained by possessing goods. The end of World War II brought tremendous wealth to the country, empowering the middle class, however it also meant that women would abandon their posts in jobs traditionally reserved for men. The role of women in society became very clearly defined, along with behavioral and fashion codes, as the Nuclear Family added to the massive production and consumption culture, creating the stereotype of the definition of a “good” American.
The consequence of the perception that a housewife and bureaucratic husband as advertised by public and private institutions was perfect happiness, was that American Middle class youth did not miss a comfortable material life, as they striver towards predetermined roles 2. America’s youth came to realize that physical comfort while possessing no liberty did not satisfy them as people. The Beat generation along with writers such as Jack Kerouac, had by he sass already introduced questions on personal freedom, when the “American way of life” combusted the brewing tension.
Young middle class Americans came to sympathize with oppressed Vietnamese, as the war in Vietnam and the draft succeeded in gathering and binding people to a mutual goal 3. The government and private institutions eagerly defended their cultural model based on the nuclear family, and viciously opposed reformation. The Gay Liberation Front in the sass provided an explanation for this in stating that gay liberation and other reforms would cause a revolutionary change in the entire society of the US.
Thus any change of the culture of the nuclear family would threaten the (financial) interests of public and private institutions. It was revealed to the New Left that the materialistic status quo was a manipulation of the people, aiming to keep industry going with the aid of workers and buyers, as well as preventing people to fully comprehend the capitalist system, as it would lead to massive rebellion as seen in the sass. As protest came in most part from the young middle class, the youth realized that the only interest in any US foreign and domestic policy is finance.
People thus came to realize that politicians would not stop killing ND causing pain as long as their interest lies within these actions. In order to stop the supporting of these leaders, the youth spread its values across the country with the aid of different forms of mass media. The counterculture movement was based on the belief that political behavior would change alongside cultural change. This movement aimed to achieve the infinite, banning would not be tolerated from anyone and they would intend to expand their mindset.
Culture of the Counterculture The social and political forces driving the counterculture movement were forged from a conservative society, however the New Left proves that a break n in points Of views from the youths and adult population existed whether or not the they were part of the counterculture movement. According to Young elation that sprouted the counterculture movement was clearly born from domestic and political excess in the US. The post-World War II era, the US Civil Rights Movement, the war in Vietnam and the Cold War environment launched an inevitable time of change in America as argued by Greg Hairless 5.
It seemed that the apprehension of the world in the mass consciousness was inevitable despite conservative youths being numerous. Thus the many youths including the New Left activists encouraged an alternative form of consciousness, based on the values of peace, love and equality, striving to better institutions within the capitalist system. The counterculture however to aimed to end institutions of the time, as seen in their goal of a new consciousness. Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n ‘Roll Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is more than a famous slogan.
This slogan represents the ideals and culture of the counterculture. “Sex” refers to sexual liberation which experienced at a total revolution in the 1 sass across the action as well as internationally. Although much of the “hippie” and counterculture movement was simply a means for fun and the use and experimentation of drugs and especially music was simply a way to obtain a “good time”, the usage of certain drugs, especially LSI was based on a strong spiritual message within the counterculture movements 6. Sexual liberation As well as in the broad society, sexism was an issue in the counterculture.
Although many historians argue that women did not achieve liberation throughout the 1 ass’s, due to centuries of western paternalism, the fact that organizations were created to keep women from having premarital sex insinuates more sexual freedom experienced by women, although some women complained that the sexual liberation was about male access to women instead of actual liberation. The abandonment of Christian principles has led women to find a moderate balance for their sexual lives, as usually happens when an extreme is experienced.
Although most hippies could not emancipate themselves from gender roles as portrayed by society, the counterculture movement launched a path towards equality of gender, and began with freedom of sexual intercourse 7. The Use of Drugs Experimentation in the sass’s was rife, especially with drugs as LSI seen in context of freeing the minds of the youth from the narrow vision, while opening one’s mind to new realities. Aloud Huxley and Timothy Leary tested and paved the way for drug use to be taken up in the counterculture.
The consumption of this and many other hallucinogens made many youths passive, also contributing to the idea that change should be focused culturally instead of politically. Like the Beats before them, the hippies saw the use of LSI as a means of achieving spiritual enlightenment and artistic creativity. Psychedelic forms of art was caused by the consumption of LSI as well, finding expression in music along with psychedelic rock. The achievements of the counterculture in the realm of culture Were vast, and most visibly and everlasting was its effect on music 18.
Although the counterculture is often described as a movement of love and peace, many disagreed on the ideals and means of obtaining peace and love. The Woodstock festival originally named “3 days of peace and music”, gathering 500 000 people and being a current point of reference of the climax of the counterculture era. Psychedelic Rock was used by the same people using L SD, becoming a transcendental experience conveying the ideals of the counterculture. The self-described “alternative consciousness” promoted by the counterculture did not mean a rejection of western society, but intended to complete it and improve society as a whole.
Although the counterculture included rebellion, the goal was to achieve harmony and understanding Of wholeness as praised by Eastern Philosophy 9. Legacy The Counterculture movement of 1 960 caused a radical shift in the implementation and instrument of US reason and supremacist liberal ideology as explained by this displacement of values was achieved despite immense counter subversive thinking that was purposely aimed at distorting the image of the youth generation of the sass’s to public imagination.
Due to this rhetoric propagated by the elite in whose interest it was, the hippies were seen as a dirty, misguided, irresponsible and frivolous group of spoilt middle class white children, looking for more than their comfortable lives and attempting to change the values of American Family and Community.
Although the hippie movement did eventually die out due to many reasons such as the end of the US Civil Rights movement, the Deaths of important counterculture leaders, and especially the media and initialization Of the advent of consumerism and the initialization of the economic marketplace, it is a turning point in the history of oppositional politics in the United States. Despite or rather because of the allegations of the transcendental nature of the counterculture movement, the perceived future was for many a unpredictable utopia.
These unexpected, unrealistic expectations and invocations of the hippie movement opened new, alternative paths of radical assent, circumventing the “dead end” of contemporary’ cultural politics. The aggressive questioning of the conformed American identity caused a struggle for social and cultural justice, allowing the demotion of the assimilations liberal mentality. Conclusion The reviewing of American values allowed the inclusion of Native, African and Hispanic Americans into American society.
Literature about the sass demonstrates conversation and conflict as having irreversibly undermined the prevailing norms of national representation. The impact of the counterculture movement caused a cultural schism to form between the western world and he US, as the west gradually changed into unfaithful Americanizes. According to Deride and Routines, loyalty to legacy involves a sort of infidelity, recasting the legacy of the sass’s and keeping it alive. In order to keep this legacy alive, it may not be repeated, but must be made present.