The Saints Are Coming

( – promoted by kestrel9000)

In a thread yesterday over at the GOS, somebody blamed 60s era hippies for the mess we’re in today (again).  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 either.  That hippies are somehow responsible for the trashing of America is a rightwing-inspired urban myth.  They do that a lot, it takes the heat off of them.

If the hippies had won that struggle back 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.

America’s Gulag Just Keeps Growing

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.



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    • OPOL on April 26, 2008 at 18:26
  1. i dont read ‘there’ so much, and you didnt link the ‘blame the hippies’ comment, so im unsure of how they’re being blamed…

    but i would assert that it wasnt the hippies who lost, it was EVERYONE who lost….and that at least the hippies tried to do something about it..

    but its hard to play against people who have such a divergent definition of ‘winning’….especially when theyre making the rules and holding the guns…

    but they cant take the peace out of my heart, so i win in the end, no matter what game they think im supposed to be playing….  😉

    • brobin on April 26, 2008 at 19:03

    20’s at the time were then in their 30’s during the “voodoo economic” times of Ray-Gun, who bullshitted them until they were in their 40’s.  He made over their ideals of peace and love with the ideal of getting a piece of the pie.

    By the time these people were in their 50’s, Bush Jr. came along to remind them that at one time they actually cared about this country more than they did about their country club.

    Hopefully the 6o’s this time will bring about the true revolution that finally puts the Conservative bullshit to bed, once and for all.

    1945 – 1964   Baby boomers

    Hey, they are in their 60’s now……

  2. and worse, they started marketing to us, and re-forming it into a purchased culture to the next generation.

    We had the right idea, love peace & understanding….

    they turned it, my dear friend into ugly lies, just as they do now with the word Liberal.

    They shamed many into voting and living against our own interest, our collective interest.

    We had it right, and must continue to have it right.

    • Alma on April 26, 2008 at 19:12

    a little sooner.  I always felt like a hippy, or flower child.  🙂

    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.

    Don’t ever lose that naivity.  Then they win.

  3. The other part of this that I’m sure ex-hippies like me (and you, Bro) will recall is that there were plenty of people in 1968 and later in the Democratic party who were strongly opposed to ending the Vietnam war and strongly opposed to the Civil Rights Movement.  Those people, including but not limited to Chicago’s Mayor Daley and his Archie Bunker ilk, were the political antecedents of some people who are Democrats now.  Permit me not to put too fine a point on this.

    We lost the battle.  Definitely.  I think we might ultimately win the culture war.  The political war not so much, particularly as far as the Democratic Party is concerned.

    Thanks for a great essay.  

  4. and there was no follow on generation….

    when no one picked up the movement…..

    struggle takes energy……

    the middle of america joined the struggle to end the war and then they went back home……

    leaving the hippies tired and in the minority to face reagun, et al………

    the back lash buried us……

    living through the eighties was a nightmare…….

    and then the great center gave us billy bob….

    and finally we were co-opted……


    most of what was left of that energy went into the developing environmental movement…..

  5. to remember that time period.

    I was four years old in 1969.

    We – my mom and I – lived in a duplex next door to her sister, my aunt Jackie, and my uncle Charlie.

    Both my mom and Aunt Jackie are gone now. Aunt Jackie and Uncle Charlie were hardcore hippies. My mom was a hippie-symp, but she voted for Nixon in ’72. which caused my father and paternal grandparents a lot of angst…I remember, after meeting George McGovern at a whistle stop that my grandparents took me to (he picked me up!) I put a McGovern sticker on her ’67 Firebird. She was PISSED, but there were others who weren’t :)….so there was only so much she could do. Got me out of a spankin’ 🙂

    I remember asking my grandmother what all the little stick men behind Cronkite were. She told me they were boys that died in Vietnam.

  6. Not trying to understand us, and unwilling to try our way, animosity was the only way most could respond. So many early responses to problems being faced today, swept out the door. The futility of “would’a, could’a, should’a,” thinking not withstanding, what a vision that alternative reality brings. A vision not dead, just straight jacketed and thrown in the back room. Discarded by a society built on the premise of “things” being the most important, that the material world is supreme, paying only lip service to the spiritual values all the dirty fucking hippies were trying to make real.

    Oh well. I guess I will just go on being a DFH, go on trying to make real the spiritual values, the brother/sisterhood, the environmental awareness, and the peace that I learned about along the way, with a rag tag bunch of people who I still care about.

    Thanks again OPOL.

    Be well and be at peace.

  7. From last week’s Iraq Moratorium.  More in the reports section on the Iraq Moratorium website

  8. … visiting some friends for the weekend (but, and what else is new?), i was late and they’re not at the house. so i drove around until i found America’s Cup coffee shop on Cookman Street.

    the ride down was great… rock n roll and speeding down the highway. george bush just doesn’t exist there.

    so i’m in a (mostly) peace and love mood.

    peace out, dear OPOL…

  9. now, i’m going to have to go over to dk to rec this.

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