The Hippies: Philosophy

Figure 1.--This photograph shows a hippie family in their tent suring 1969. They were in Sunny Valley, Oregon.

The hippie philosophy might be best summarized as peace, love, and freedom. The Hippy movement developed in America during the mid-1960s, almost at the same time the United States committed combat troops to the Vietnam War (1965). It was a totally unexpected development. The hippies emerged suddenly from prosperous 1960s America as a strange new subculture. Most were from comfortable middle-class families. Few had working-class or upper-class backgrounds. Many had grown up in comfortable suburban communities and unlike their parents wanted for nothing. They decided, however, they wanted a different life style. They decided that after high school, they did not want want to study in college or get jobs. Instead, they decided that they wanted to enjoy life. They rather assumed that the necesities of life such as food, clothes, and housing were a given thst should be provided to them by society. There was much talk of altruism, religuous mysticism, music, honesty, pleasure, nonviolence, and almost always drugs. Some talk about the professed aim of hippies. That is probably an exageration becuse most were too self absorbed and concerned with immediate pleasure to have any real aims. A sociologist called them "the Freudian proletariat"--an interesting term because the Hippies were not all that disposed to work and prletariat is a term fir the workers. In the Soiviet Union at the time they would have been arrested as 'socialm paraseites' and put to work in camps. The hippies were a reaction to the America of the 1950s and the capatilist work ethic. Their primary focus was a rejection on hard work and the whole American dream. The Hippy movement rejected what every button-down American embraced. The Hippies were not interested in studying or in preparing themselves for careers. Droping out and tuning into drugs was the order of the day. They opposed violence and in particular objected to the Vietnam War. Peace, love, and freedom are all situations man aspires to, but the hippies growing up in stable, secure of America did not understand what an even basic education would have told them. Peace existed only because America had military power. Few were aware or perhaps even cared to what happened in Communist countries at the time. Today we know much more about secret police organizations like the KGB or Stasi. Love is anothger wonderful thing, but love especially free-love has real life consequences. Someone would have to care for the children. And freedom is also laudable, but wih freedom comes the resonsibility to care for yourself and not depend on others who you demene to care for you and your children because of your irresponsibility.


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Created: 4:01 AM 10/2/2011
Last updated: 4:01 AM 10/2/2011