(Cross posted from Docudharma)
In a thread earlier today over at the GOS, somebody blamed 60s era hippies for the mess we’re in today. Nothing could be further from the truth in my opinion. We did not win the culture wars in the 60s, we lost. It wasn’t us that ended up running things, it was the other side, the Nixonites. The neocons are direct descendants of said rightwingers (they did NOT descend from the hippies). There was no point where the evil rightwing bastards turned things over to the hippies. That hippies are somehow responsible for the trashing of America is a rightwing-inspired urban myth. Takes the heat off of them.
If the hippies had won that struggle in the 60s we’d live in a more humane world today.
Sure some of our guys switched sides at some point, got caught up in consumerism or got seduced by the other side (hoping that they too could become millionaires or something) but most of us are still pretty much like we were back in the day. We still yearn for a world full of peace, love and understanding. We still believe that people are capable of wonderful things, that war is NOT inevitable, and that we all deserve much, much better –
...well maybe not all of us.
Good people need the force of law to deal with evil people. That’s why the hippies lost. The law allowed the Nixonites to brutally attack us and this they did with glee – it takes special character to violently attack unarmed pacifists, it’s not the sort of job just anyone can do. They showed us no mercy.
We could never out-evil those who were then and remain now truly and deeply evil. Without the protection of the law, we were toast - and the law failed us because it became heavily politicized and stopped serving the interest of justice. Justice has been a rare bird in this part of the world for a long time now. We have 5% of the world’s population, and 25% of the world’s prison population – and this in the richest nation in the world (not that that is true anymore).
What’s wrong with this picture?
The U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world when it comes to locking up its citizens, due in large part to madness of our incarceration policies.
We need to re-establish the rule of law, not as it applies to the man in the street - we have more than enough of that, but as it applies to the men and women at the top – and we’ve had virtually none of that.
If the hippies had prevailed, if our society had followed their lead, we’d have a world much closer to being ecologically balanced. We’d have mature alternative energy technologies and organic food grown on family farms would predominate. We’d likely be at peace in a peaceful world and we’d be actively engaged in helping other nations help themselves in purely benign relations with our fellow earthlings. Though the world would certainly still be imperfect, we’d be masters of diplomacy and things would be generally better in this world for virtually everyone. We might have fewer millionaires and billionaires but trust me nobody would miss them.
The important point is that we would not be killing each other - we’d be taking care of each other.
Oh I know, I’m hopelessly naïve. People couldn’t possibly be good to each other. How ridiculous. I should just grow up and face the brutal fact that we are nothing but ignorant and mean-spirited savages.
That kind of thinking is what has brought us to this point. We had choices. Peace, love and understanding are the choices the hippies urged. Fear, war and empty-headed consumerism were the choices forced down our throats by the rightwing. It wasn’t inevitable – and it wasn’t us. It could’ve all been very different.