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The Counter Culture Of The 1960's

1357 words - 6 pages

The 1950‘s was a time noted for its high expectations and widespread conformity. The children growing up in the 1950’s were from the baby boomer generation. By the 1960’s some of these children began to migrate away from the ways of their upbringings. These children called themselves the Hippies. Even though the Hippie kids had grown up in the richest economy America had ever seen, they sought an alternative lifestyle to the one their parents led.  This trend spread and eventually progressed into a nationwide movement, popularly known as the Hippie Movement. The Movement created its own entirely new sub culture that enthralled the nation. The Hippie Movement of the 1960’s transformed people’s perspectives on cultural matters, moral values, and created a new unique genre of fine arts.
The Hippies were driven by many motivations both socially and politically. They wanted a peaceful and tolerant country with equal civil and social rights for everyone. Socially their motivations were for tolerance, anti material, and love. The birth of the movement was when the Hippies started to question the conformist materialistic system they were raised on in the 1950’s. This social crusade is accurately described by Jefferson Airplane’s song, Volunteers:  “One generation got old. One generation got soul. This generation got no destination to hold... Hey now it’s time for you and me. Got to revolution” (Jefferson Airplane). People started a “revolution” against the conformist ideals and pushed for a more tolerant and free minded society.  The Hippies created a motto for the migration away from the oppressive society, “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” (Timothy Leary).  They wanted people to “tune in” to their movement and drop out of the society.  More radical Hippies joined together and formed self sufficient communes. They wanted to make a peaceful Utopian society that would replace the corrupt mainstream culture. These communes were a form of rebellion for the Hippies against their parents and society. The communes were anti-materialistic and anti-establishment, very unlike their parent’s suburban havens. By forming communes the Hippies were also weakening the strict moral values that society held. They believed in loving each other and doing whatever you want to be happy. The spirit became a big focal point because the Hippies held their emotions to such high significance. Timothy Leary, ex-Harvard professor, spread the use of psychedelic drugs for spiritual awareness, to find new meaning in life, and just because, “If it feels good, do it”( ****).  Owsley Stanley heightened the use of LSD when he began to manufacture the drug.  Stanley provided the drug, hidden in punch, to 6,000 Hippies at the “Family Dog” music festival in San Francisco. This was the first of the psychedelic rock music festivals to come in the Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco. Haight Ashbury became the core for the Hippie movement. A group called the Diggers led many of the organized...

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