We explain what the hippie movement is and what is its origin. Why it arises and what were its consequences. Hippie Ideology.
What was the hippie movement?
The hippie movement (also written hippy or jipi) became known as the emergence of an American countercultural demonstration in the 1960s , which later expanded to the entire world and professed the values of non-violent anarchy , pacifism, revolution sexual, concern for the environment and rejection of the capitalist status quo and the materialism of the West.
The spirit of the hippie movement was opposed to consumerism and professed simple and detached life , contrary to the homogenizing tendencies of the system. His imaginary valued artistic and musical expressions such as psychedelic rock , groove and folk, as well as unusual experiences for the time such as free love, recreational drug use (especially marijuana, LSD and other hallucinogens) through which they aspired to elevated states of consciousness, and religious doctrines from the eastern world.
The movement emerged as a youth stream under enemy of the Vietnam War and the American government of the time, and its lifestyle and fighting values persisted in later generations (the so-called neo-hippies) after they were absorbed by the system around 1980. Many hippy redoubts still exist .
Some of the main hippie icons are artists and musicians such as The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Carlos Santana, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and many others.
Where was the hippie movement born?
The beginning as such of the hippie movement took place in the 1960s, thanks to the popularization of the values of the previous beat (or beatnick ) generation , whose criticism of the system was inherited by the hippies, although not their cynicism, existentialism and funeral attire (brown and black). Hippies preferred a more positive and colorful view of the same claims. However, the word hippie comes from “hipster”, which was the nickname for the beatnicks as the poet Allen Ginsberg.
San Francisco was a Mecca city for hippies , in that sense, since both movements converged there. There they would receive the influence of the contestant folk music and Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, famous for their communal lifestyle and frequent use of drugs. Shortly after, psychedelia emerged and in 1967 the so-called “summer of love”, where the different tendencies of the movement converged, from countercultural and alternative products, beat poetry and Hindu mantras, North American aboriginal icons and almost 20,000 people gathered in this city .
The media attention popularized the movement and almost 50,000 people from all over the country attended the famous Woodstock concert in 1969. Official communes had been created and there was already an intense conservative reaction, which tried to associate the movement with racial crimes and even with the criminal trajectory of the famous murderer Charles Manson, whose long hair and scruffy beard made him look like another hippie.
Why did the hippie movement come about?
Hippies arise in response to Keynesian policies applied in the United States after World War II , and whose purpose was to reach the welfare state through the scientific and rational organization of work (“Taylorism”) and the promotion of chain work (“Fordism”), which had anonymizing and homogenizing effects on the life of the population .
This model encouraged constant consumption as a mechanism of social and economic growth, which produced a numbness of the social struggles in the United States , encouraging comfort and gentrification. The family became the nucleus of society , strongly controlled by conservative, sexist, racist, religious and deeply anti-communist values, promoted by government macartism, in the middle of the Cold War against communism (Korea, Vietnam, etc.).
Youth thus raised the banner of social struggle, in the hands of female liberation and racial equality (the “black panthers”). Thus, the hippies decided to withdraw from society and create a new one on their own, embracing other values that did not lead to warmongering and supremacy.
Consequences of the hippie movement
Despite the absorption of the hippie movement by the system, it lasted for decades and even today it is possible to perceive its alternative and pacifist legacy .
The hippies played a decisive role in the internal opposition to the Vietnam War and the radical policies of the time, and provided decisive support to the struggles for gender equality, race and the acceptance of homosexuality in the West. His influence in the arts , cinema , literature and culture in general is recognized.
The hippies were deeply contestants, which in their time was equivalent to saying anti-war, anti-capitalists, opposed to gentrification and mediocrity of the consumer society . They disagreed with the traditional concepts of family , religion , morals and good customs, and embraced exploration, innovation, universal fraternity, sexual freedom and nomadism, so they undertook frequent trips throughout the US.
They were radically iconoclasts, at least for their time, leaving their hair long and wearing flower clothes, in clear contravention of a society that distinguished gender roles very rigidly. In addition, they openly supported environmental and eco-socialist initiatives , often embracing anarchism , libertarian socialism or communal life.