December 20, 2004

Hitchens on the Hippies...

... here:

If you look back to the founding document of the 60's left, which was the Port Huron statement (also promulgated in Michigan), you will easily see that it was in essence a conservative manifesto. It spoke in vaguely Marxist terms of alienation, true, but it was reacting to bigness and anonymity and urbanization, and it betrayed a yearning for a lost agrarian simplicity. It forgot what Marx had said, about the dynamism of capitalism and ''the idiocy of rural life.'' Earlier 18th- and 19th-century American communards had often been fleeing or preparing for a coming Apocalypse, and their emulators in the 1960's and 1970's followed this trope as well, believing everything they read about the impending crash, or the exhaustion of the world's resources.

A not uninteresting contrarian take from Hitchens. In addition to this possible conservative influence, the Haight-Ashbury gaggles, as Hitchens suggests elsewhere in his piece, were infused with a very healthy dose of solipsism and narcism. Amidst all the tiresome clamor for 'rights rights rights!' there was very little by way of broaching responsibilities and the like. The legacy of much of the 60's movement, all told, has proven to be a net negative, imho. Political protest as carnival and entertainment, probably as much as anything else, has done its level best to dumb down our political discourse (but hey, much of the music was good!).

Posted by Gregory at December 20, 2004 03:52 AM

Don't forget the hippies induced Nixon to crank up drug prohibition which has been an outstanding success.

If you count financing criminals and terrorists a success.

Posted by: M. Simon at December 20, 2004 08:10 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No accident, as the Marxists would say, that South Park most frequently targets the Hippies, and their spiritual descendants, Hollywood.

No greater self love than a celebrity, particularly a hippie celebrity.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at December 21, 2004 01:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Excuse me.

Has everyone forgotten that the overwhelming organizing principle of 60s demonstrations was almost unlimited sex?

I suppose you and Hitch can rationalize all you want, but getting laid was what it was all about. The words were just a cover.

Posted by: John at December 21, 2004 04:48 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

anything wrong with that, as long as condoms and common sense are employed?

Posted by: tony at December 21, 2004 04:55 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

You bring back memories. I was a student in California in the '60's when Berkley was experiencing Mario Savio's Free (Filthy?) Speech Movement. Our College created the President's Ad Hoc Committee on Student Rights and Responsibilities. As I recall, there were around seven students and a Faculty Advisor. Seven were obsessed with the Rights, and I was left asking about the Responsibilities. It's been 36 years and I still don't have an answer.

Oh well.

Posted by: Terry at December 21, 2004 07:11 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"Narcism?" Is that a Freudian slip? Or did the narcs have their own, like, movement?

And do I get bonus points for being a high school dropout who knows it's spelled "Berkeley?"

I know, I know, it's pedantic... sorry....

Posted by: Karim at December 23, 2004 07:26 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The legacy of much of the 60's movement, all told, has proven to be a net negative, imho.

Since I consider the Asian Killing Fields a result of the US stopping its fight against evil communism, and the main result of the 60s, it is a HUGE negative.

How many Asians would have had to die for you to be sure the Peace Now (genocide soon after) movement WAS, indeed, a net negative?

The denial by the Left of its responsibility in supporting the genocide policy is scandalous.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at December 23, 2004 05:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Playing texas holdem at right now is a great idea, i thing!

Posted by: texas holdem at December 24, 2004 11:44 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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Posted by: casino games at December 24, 2004 01:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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