Note: I dedicate this diary to our friend Patric Juillet who requested it.
P.S. I use the word hippie merely as a term of convenience. Most of us eschewed it back in the day and either called ourselves freaks or rejected labels altogether - but the phenomenon that we were was undeniable.
It's hard to believe but there is still a lot of hippie hating going on. It can even be found here at daily kos from time to time. How ignorant or brainwashed does one have to be to rail against those who tried to save us from the fate that bedevils us now? If we'd heeded their cries for sanity and change we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. Not saying it would be utopia but it wouldn't be the hell on earth the establishment conservatives have created for us.
Imagine no possesions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people Sharing all the world.
John Lennon - Imagine
The hippies were powerful proponents of universal brotherhood, peace, love, tolerance, understanding and ecological stewardship. They tried to change our culture and point out that it was superficial, mean, hateful, wasteful, rapacious, violent, greedy, selfish and unsustainable.
And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson
If the hippies and their message had prevailed we wouldn't be pouring trillions of dollars into stupid and immoral wars of choice. We'd have (arguably) switched to alternative forms of energy, adjusted our lifestyles, reined in the greedheads, and made life bearable and reasonable for the vast majority of people. We'd have true universal healthcare. We'd live simpler, cleaner and healthier lives. Americans would not be consuming 25% of the world's resources. Our food would not be poisoned, the oceans would be thriving and the air would be clean and unburdened by excessive co2 and other greenhouse gasses. Global warming, ocean acidification and oil well pollution would be nonexistent or at least much lesser concerns.
Gulf Awash in 27,000 Abandoned Wells
More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.
The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing.
If we'd listened to the hippies and their allies, the Gulf of Mexico would not be facing utter ruination, we would not have been attacked on 9/11, George Bush would never have been president and Iraq and Afghanistan would be conducting their own affairs as they see fit. Millions of lives would not have been sacrificed at the alter of war for corporate profits, our government would not be spying on us and plastic, superficial and misleading infotainment and disinformation would not be clogging our air waves and polluting our brains. Corporations would be small and manageable and would not be allowed to defile and befoul our environment, drive US policy or own our government. Corrupt politicians would be properly sanctioned and excluded from public service and corporate lobbyists would not exist. We'd have a safety net providing real security for all, the Military Industrial Complex would have been dismantled, journalism would be alive and WalMart would be a small store in Arkansas. Gays would be not only accepted but loved, racial harmony would prevail, equality would reign, pot would be legal, no one would have been tortured and we wouldn't be getting raped by the robber barons at the top.
This brilliant video by our fellow kossack and my esteemed friend joeyess says it all.
I've been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one. And I believe it could be someday it's going to come.
Cat Stevens - Peace Train
Peace and love brothers and sisters, peace and love.
More about hippies:
What We Need Are More Hippies
In Defense of Hippies
The Power of Love
The Saints Are Coming
Talkin' Bout A Revolution
Remember Where You Heard It First
No Time Left To Compromise With Evil
To Senator Obama, from a Dirty F*ing Hippie