#1 Marxism in the 1960s Counter-Culture
04-01-2011, 02:22 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
I'd love if we could discuss and if I could be given any good reading on the subject as to whether Marxism influenced/inspired/fueled the 1960s Countercultural movement, and the 1950s Beatnik movement. I just find it odd that SO MANY facets of American culture (dress, values, mores, traditions, etc etc) could change so radiclly in just ten years. I think there has to be some component to it.
Given there were radical Leftist inspired revolutionary movements like the Weather Underground, I've got to wonder if the Counter Culture overall--Not just the Anti-War movement or radical elements--were unknowingly used and twisted by Marxist thought. Not even the Marchers, but even the kids who were dressing in jeans and t-shirts--the WORKERS attire--and listening to the music, and so on.
The Cultural Revolution of the 1960s in terms of clothes, sexual attitudes, social mores, values and sentiment totally transformed America in just a single decade, and every single victory they gained in the '60s is still with us today, and the cultural left even still is gaining ground with Multiculturalism and the like.
Consider that in 1950 and for decades prior, most Americans dressed the same way (dress shirt and slacks or the like), had traditional values towards a lot of aspects of life, generally believed in God or if they didn't, had decency towards those who did, believed in American exceptionalism, etc etc. The American culture--Americana. And all of that changed in just a decade into the lack of common decency, informally dressed (Jeans and T-Shirt) multicultural and culturally relativist society of today.
04-01-2011, 03:09 PM
As usual, the take-home message was more like the punchline from a game of Telephone than it was like a real revolution. Students (and later others) popularized the free love, do-your-own-thing, fake compassion aspects of the message but not the self-denial, collective duty, and delayed gratification parts. We are reaping that harvest today.
04-01-2011, 04:28 PM
Karl Marx is one of the faces on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is probably the most influential album by the most influential band of the decade. Lots of people in the 60s were reading Mao's book, too.
I am not a communist or a marxist, but I really hate to write off everything that was accomplished in that decade in that category. As a single woman, I appreciate the gains that were made for women in the 60s and 70s (other than the sexual promiscuity thing). There are plenty of black people who feel the same way about the Civil Rights Act. Some of the programs of the Johnson administration/"Great Society" were better than others-Head Start was a good one, ADC probably wasn't.
I like the colorful art, like Peter Max's work. I also like some of the hippy clothes-the hippy chic stuff, not the dirty hippy stuff. The Beatles, Stones, The Doors, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, etc.-that is some of the best music ever made.
I don't even have a problem with people protesting the Vietnam War, I have a problem with the way a lot of them did so, like calling soldiers "baby killers" and spitting on them. Considering that part of the reason they claimed they were protesting the war was because they didn't want american youths sent overseas to be killed, well, it seems kind of hypocritical to me to then treat them so badly when they come back. My dad always said "the politicians might have gotten the army in a bad war, but that's not the soldiers' fault".
I was a little kid in the 60s, and don't really remember that much of the social unrest. The only historical event I clearly remember is the moon walk in 1969. I vaguely remember MLK's assassination. My parents were not hippies. My dad served in Korea just after the war ended, and my mom had always been conservative in her personal conduct, if not in her politics (until she got the creepy boyfriend and decided to shack up with him). My mom listened to Elvis, the Kingston Trio, Barbara Streisand, Shirley Bassey and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in the 60s. She only liked the Beatles songs that Paul wrote, and thought:
1. The Stones were disgusting pigs
2. The Who were animals
3. Jim Morrison/The Doors were drug addicts (only Morrison was)
4. John and Yoko were crazy
5. Elvis was hot (he still was in the 60s, before the white jumpsuit phase)
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