Hippies 2.0

This post is in response to Caprice Part II and will be brief. Much of the content of this post is based on the BBC documentary ‘Century of the Self’ (post linked here) Part 3 (video linked here).

In the documentary, the makers interview leaders of the hippie movement who were promoting the idea that, by becoming a more conscious individual society would inevitably become better and more “free” because each of its individuals were more conscious contributors to society. However the documentary basically says that the idea of “improving the individual to improve society” evolved into a general sentiment among the population that their individualism was tantamount to bettering society. This the allowed companies to capitalize on this individualist movement so that they could sell somebody their individuality. It then goes on to say that because people starting caring more about being individuals, they lost sight of being better individuals for the (simultaneous) purpose improving the society in which they lived.

This lead to Reagan and the 80’s (nuff said).

The sentiment that ‘the individual is more important than the group’ has grown since its ‘conception’ at the end of the hippie movement. I think changing this paradigm is a major ‘breaking point’ for changing the human condition for the better, because people will realize that, “going to work everyday just so I can make more money and be the individual I want be,” is really a limiting factor on one’s ability to “obey their whims” and express their creativity.

I think that the hippie movement has a lot to offer in terms of ideas and values that geared toward bettering society by means of bettering the self. Thus I would argue that as long as an active philosophy is propagated throughout society, it can have tremendous impact on they way society manifests. I do agree that one individual thinking actively will not break the system, but I don’t see how a society composed of individuals who think actively could possibly not change itself to be more peaceful and creative.

Maybe the term is “Hippies 2.0.”

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One Response to Hippies 2.0

  1. deadondres says:

    Wow…I am so happy you posted this.

    You have just cracked open Pandora’s box with a crowbar.

    Sooooo much of what you are talking about ties into criticism and essentially everything that I studied in my last couple years of school, and if had gone on to grad school what I would have researched…

    The notion of individualism is actually in ways opposed to many ancient conceptions…its rise goes back very very far and ties into three things…IMO of course

    1. The decline of the aristocracy/rise of the merchant class begining in the renaissance and earlier.

    2. The enlightenment and its influence on thought and finance (private property).

    3. The influence of Eastern notions for many Western thinkers including the transcendentalists and other philosophers

    These all exploded in the 60’s and the hippies just took off with it…

    This ties into Modernism/Postmodernism/New Sincerity and I will have quit a bit to add.

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