What ever happened to the 60s counterculture, anyway?
This is taken from a rant on Facebook, and since I doubt anyone who doesn’t know me on Facebook so much as glances at this blog I hope you’ll forgive my repetition.
I think what happened is they matured enough to understand that if they waited 20, 30, 40 years they could pull off a gradual revolution, insinuate themselves in public thought and politics quietly. They were cooking frogs. The problem is their communist ideal was loudly dying all over the world while they were trying to push it over here. Communism is entirely discredited, it’s been proven to not only be a bad idea, but to have monstrous consequences. We don’t have to talk about theory anymore, we have fact and evidence, 60 million people dead to man-made famine and government mass murder.
These other guys who have insinuated themselves on the right, former yuppies and the counter-counterculture – 60s & 70s new conservatives – have an entirely different outlook. They look back at Italy and Germany and they say to themselves, “if they’d just got this one thing right, or not done that other thing, we’d all be speaking German right now”. They’re wrong of course – a thorough view of the Third Reich shows us that it was facing systemic collapse from the inside. Even if you set aside the obvious evil of any totalitarian regime it’s plain to see that they’re all doomed to failure. If you doubt that, go ahead and show me the last nation that achieved totalitarianism and lasted more than a few decades. The problem is it’s not so obvious because people’s view of that piece of history is murky at best, so it can sound seductive. It can even be talked about openly in the right circles, and it’s basically taboo to call people on it and point out what their social-economic model is based on because any time the word “Nazi” is used in a sentence it’s automatically deemed hyperbole. They’re the real danger, not the Marxists, but I digress.
From my perspective though, and a lot of old hippies learn this the hard way as they’re trying to chill with the younger crowd, is that the new counterculture is not socialist. We’re not all about peace and love and understanding. We share some ideas about civil liberty with the hippies, but we also believe in personal and economic freedom. The new counterculture is libertarian at a fundamental level. Sometimes we’re lead to believe this or that is a socialist ideal; the anti-copyright people for instance. That’s not socialism though, that’s about the individual – I have the right to do what I want with my hardware and my property. More importantly I have privacy, and if I have that copycrime is unenforceable. Copyright is inherently collectivist, as it asserts the right for one to control the behavior of many for the supposed benefit of “all”, which in the collectivist context always means the ones doing the controlling.
So where are we going? We’re too cynical from 20+ years of pervasive advertising and pop culture to fall too deeply in love with dear leaders like Obama, that’s why the youth counterculture is dumping him like a hot potato. We’re also not stupid enough to be contrarian and destructive for its own sake like the punks and stoners from the last couple decades. A lot of us get subverted and reprogrammed in college by liberal professors but at our core we understand what we are – anti-authoritarian, independent, self-interested. We’re all about doing unto ourselves, about personal choice, about looking out for number one and getting the hell out of the way of other people’s lives. Not because we were taught that way, but because we were taught the opposite – peace, love, sharing, that we are put on this earth to serve and care for one another. I guess that’s the shitty thing about moving your culture into the mainstream, you start being the Man that everyone else is trying to stick it to.