The Beats and Hippies – some thoughts.

The Beats and the Hippies did not want to be part of any warmongering, elite-driven war such as the Vietnam war. They did not want the hypocrisy of a conservative society that espoused one thing and did another. They rejected the austerity, elitism, racism, destructiveness and false patriotism. They wanted something simpler, less damaging, more inclusive, more sincere and more meaningful. They saw the heart of America and the UK, with its lip-service to religion, its greed and selfishness, as an empty lie. It was rotten at heart, uptight and conformist and based on hierarchy and power. It was corrupt.
Corporate America sent its youth to war for economic gain. They made money out of blood.
The elite did not fight and most avoided sending their own sons into battle. They disproportionately sent the poor and coloured.
Church was a club. If Jesus had come back they would have murdered him.
The laws were flouted. Money talked. If you were rich you could get away with murder. If you were poor or black you got electrocuted.
There was no heart or substance. It was all cash and power.
The Hippies and Beats saw a better way of living. They were, and are, right.
Their legacy is in spiritualism, environmentalism and civil rights.
BTW – Jack Kerouac was an early leader of substance but was undermined by Catholic guilt and alcoholism and became a sad character who was confused, increasingly right-wing and ended up a drunken bum.

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