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Debates Forum

  1. 26 Jan '14 12:59 / 2 edits
    Its of some interest to me to ascertain what happened to the 'flower power' movement and whether it can be considered a success or not.

    Firstly to its alleged demise, what seems to have transpired as far as i can ascertain is a counter-culture of conservatism primarily in the United states which was ideologically at odds with the permissive ideology of flower power, this coupled with the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam robbed it of its focal point, a punk counter culture in the UK highlighting the abhorrence of 'rock gods' and violence at certain music venues swayed public opinion.

    To its success, it certainly influenced public opinion in the wake of the Vietnam war and even penetrated the armed forces to the extent that latterly up to as much as a third of American troops had used drugs during their time serving in Vietnam.

    Its legacy is certainly quite extensive, as Jim Morrison prophesied in the Doors classic song, 'peace frog', 'blood will be born in the birth of the a nation', subsequently there followed a moral acceptance of , 'alternative lifestyles', including gay and lesbian, an acceptance of unmarried couples living together without reproach, the acceptance of alternative religions, particularly eastern which has spawned an interest in personal health such as yoga, vegetarianism and health foods and of course the acceptance of the recreational use of certain drugs such as marijuana.

    If anyone who lived at the time can explain why flower power and the psychedelic epoch so suddenly seems to have disappeared or to what extent it may have been considered successful i would like to know - regards Robbie.
  2. 26 Jan '14 17:09 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Its of some interest to me to ascertain what happened to the 'flower power' movement and whether it can be considered a success or not.

    Firstly to its alleged demise, what seems to have transpired as far as i can ascertain is a counter-culture of conservatism primarily in the United states which was ideologically at odds with the permissive ideo ...[text shortened]... or to what extent it may have been considered successful i would like to know - regards Robbie.
    "The expression was coined by the American beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles."

    "In particular, Ginsberg wanted to counter the "specter" of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang who supported the war, equated war protesters with communists and had threatened to violently disrupt planned anti-war demonstrations at the University of California, Berkeley."

    -- wikipedia

    By this reading, a pro-war violence-prone atmosphere preceded "flower power" so FP was a reaction to it, not the other way around.

    There were very strong pro-war and conservative/John Birch/ None Dare Call It Treason/Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan elements already in society before FP came around. Look it up. FP was successful in giving the anti-war movement what Ginsberg wanted -- a sense of integrity in using peaceful means to end the war. Violence to end violence would have compromised the movement. The war eventually ended, and FP was no longer needed. It's hard to say that FP ended it, but it did make the process honorable -- and safer -- for all involved on both sides.

    I believe the other things that happened in society that you mention would have happened anyway.
  3. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    26 Jan '14 17:26
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Its of some interest to me to ascertain what happened to the 'flower power' movement and whether it can be considered a success or not.

    Firstly to its alleged demise, what seems to have transpired as far as i can ascertain is a counter-culture of conservatism primarily in the United states which was ideologically at odds with the permissive ideo ...[text shortened]... or to what extent it may have been considered successful i would like to know - regards Robbie.
    As an older guy, I can honestly say you've hit on most of the reasons in your post. The biggest reason the flower power movement faded was the end of the Viet Nam war, with no common enemy to fight the movement slowly disolved in to groups advocating communial living, alternative marraiges, drug friendly enviornments, enviornmental groups etc. Crazy as this period was, it gave birth to enviornmental groups, equal rights for gay's and lesbians, and was an ally to the civil rights movement. The flower power folks of the 60s and early 70's are now grandparents, but their ideology lives on.
  4. 26 Jan '14 17:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    "The expression was coined by the American beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles."

    "In particular, Ginsberg wanted to counter the "specter" of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang who supported the war, equated war protesters with communists and had threatened to violently disrupt planned anti ...[text shortened]... I believe the other things that happened in society that you mention would have happened anyway.
    ok, many thanks, what about the whole psychedelic hippie culture, the non consumerism, permissive free love, back to nature thing, why did that end so abruptly because from what i can gather people seriously and sincerely felt that they could change the very fabric of society. Do you consider flower power as successful? Why do you say they would have happened anyway?
  5. 26 Jan '14 17:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by bill718
    As an older guy, I can honestly say you've hit on most of the reasons in your post. The biggest reason the flower power movement faded was the end of the Viet Nam war, with no common enemy to fight the movement slowly disolved in to groups advocating communial living, alternative marraiges, drug friendly enviornments, enviornmental groups etc. Crazy as this ...[text shortened]... ower power folks of the 60s and early 70's are now grandparents, but their ideology lives on.
    do you consider it as a successful movement Bill?
  6. 26 Jan '14 17:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    ok, many thanks, what about the whole psychedelic hippie culture, the non consumerism, permissive free love, back to nature thing, why did that end so abruptly because from what i can gather people seriously and sincerely felt that they could change the very fabric of society. Do you consider flower power as successful? Why do you say they would have happened anyway?
    I don't have a solid theory about all that. You might want to start with

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_hippie_movement

    Edit: this covers some possible reasons for the movement fading.

    I count FP as successful to the degree that it met Ginsberg's goal of keeping it non-violent. I don't know if it ended the war sooner -- too many what ifs involved. I think pressure builds for historical changes to society and then something happens that is the mechanism and "face" of the change. If FP hadn't been the mechanism and face of the change, something else would have.

    We shouldn't overlook the civil rights movement; even rock and roll and how the war affected the drug culture, woman's lib and the birth control pill. Those elements were occurring and influencing society more or less independently of FP.

    Sorry this is US-centric.
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    26 Jan '14 19:26
    Hippie free love turned into disco free love and then AIDS started.
  8. 26 Jan '14 19:40
    Originally posted by JS357

    There were very strong pro-war and conservative/John Birch/ None Dare Call It Treason/Barry Goldwater/Ronald Reagan elements already in society before FP came around.
    I'm surprised to find you linking John Bircher's with the other groups. Bircher's are quite unique, and I suspect most are not favoring American interventionist wars.
  9. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    26 Jan '14 20:13
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    do you consider it as a successful movement Bill?
    Yes, a moderate success. It would have had a deeper impact if the flower power folks had pursued their movement more in the courts of law, rather than just chanting and carrying signs, but for a bunch of pot smoking hippies with no central plan, I thought they did a fair job in getting their point accross.
  10. 26 Jan '14 20:25
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I'm surprised to find you linking John Bircher's with the other groups. Bircher's are quite unique, and I suspect most are not favoring American interventionist wars.
    One common factor was anti-communism.

    "During the Vietnam War, members gathered millions of signatures on a petition to Congress calling for an end to all aid and trade with communist nations who were supplying the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong."

    http://www.jbs.org/accomplishments/accomplishments
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    26 Jan '14 20:50
    Originally posted by JS357
    One common factor was anti-communism.

    "During the Vietnam War, members gathered millions of signatures on a petition to Congress calling for an end to all aid and trade with communist nations who were supplying the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong."

    http://www.jbs.org/accomplishments/accomplishments
    They also supported a withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

    Apparently they thought there were plenty of Communists to fight in the US without going overseas.
  12. 26 Jan '14 21:49
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    They also supported a withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

    Apparently they thought there were plenty of Communists to fight in the US without going overseas.
    That actually fits. In this 1965 video Robert Welch says the Vietnam war is a tragedy and a deception because, he says, like the Korean war it is stage managed by Washington with communists behind the scenes on both sides, and with no will to win. (I paraphrase because I can't find a transcription.)

    This is rather different from the anti-war motives of the flower power movement, but I agree he was not pro-Vietnam war.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1EFlMKV6sY
  13. 26 Jan '14 21:59
    Originally posted by bill718
    Yes, a moderate success. It would have had a deeper impact if the flower power folks had pursued their movement more in the courts of law, rather than just chanting and carrying signs, but for a bunch of pot smoking hippies with no central plan, I thought they did a fair job in getting their point accross.
    many thanks
  14. 26 Jan '14 22:16
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Its of some interest to me to ascertain what happened to the 'flower power' movement and whether it can be considered a success or not.

    Firstly to its alleged demise, what seems to have transpired as far as i can ascertain is a counter-culture of conservatism primarily in the United states which was ideologically at odds with the permissive ideo ...[text shortened]... or to what extent it may have been considered successful i would like to know - regards Robbie.
    It's interesting really. The generation during Vietnam rebelled against the status quo, but in the states today they seem to rally around the status quo, even when at war abroad.

    Have the powers that be tamed the younger generation? It seems that they have. Of course, so long as Obama says he is in favor of legalizing pot, he will always be cool I suppose.
  15. 27 Jan '14 00:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    It's interesting really. The generation during Vietnam rebelled against the status quo, but in the states today they seem to rally around the status quo, even when at war abroad.

    Have the powers that be tamed the younger generation? It seems that they have. Of course, so long as Obama says he is in favor of legalizing pot, he will always be cool I suppose.
    The absence of a draft (conscription) has a ton to do with it, in at least 2 ways. First, the draft selected the articulate, politically interested, and the moneyed as much as the undereducated, uninvolved and poor. College students were just as targeted as anyone, and having their room and board paid for, had the means and the time to devote to activism. Second, the military has become a place the undereducated and poor can go for employment (if they qualify).

    But also I think the civil rights movement and the woman's lib movement made it clear that activism could bring results.

    What do you think of the Occupy movement? It is said to be an "...international protest movement against social and economic inequality..."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement