by Skip Stone
People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties.
Few authors or researchers have adequately explained the phenomenon of the hippie movement of the 1960s. The ongoing fascination and attraction many have for this period and the hippy lifestyle indicates that it has a special appeal to those who cherish personal freedom.
I believe there's a little hippie in all of us. It's a latent part of the human spirit that manifests when conditions are right. In this book, I will explore those conditions and the resulting manifestations and try to make some sense of it all.
There is no denying, that after more than thirty years we are still intrigued by hippies and the 1960s. Look at the 90s revival which included two Woodstocks, the Austin Powers movies, the rebirth of colorful hippy fashions, and the increasing use of psychedelic plants and chemicals.
To be a revolutionary you have to be a human being.
Today we see a new movement of young hippies ready to take up where we left off. We have reached a turning point where we can look back at what happened, learn from our mistakes, reorganize ourselves, and with the help of this new, enthusiastic generation and modern technology re-ignite the movement.
Fortunately we are now able to get beyond the negative stereotype once foisted upon the "flower children" by the media and society. We must spread the word, because so much of the hippy philosophy is positive and loving, something sorely lacking in today's world. Many people find the hippie message of freedom, tolerance, love and peace a threat to the status quo. These individuals need to understand that we only want to improve the status quo for everyone. This book will show just how we did that back in the sixties.
Understanding the hippie phenomenon is the key to laying the groundwork for the new movement. As we examine various aspects of the hippy movement, keep in mind that the influence of these aspects is ongoing. Like a stone tossed into a pond, the big splash is followed by ripples that spread through society over time. It's my contention that the impact of the hippies was so great, that now, almost two generations later, we are still integrating it into our collective psyche.
The hippie meme* is so strong and deep that it is likely to continue manifesting its power for decades if not centuries. It's like Christianity, whose early adherents had to go underground after the reactionary forces tried to undermine and eradicate that movement, only to surface again and again, in distant lands where tolerance was more than a dream.
Like Christians, hippies will rise again and again, until the social structures that inhibit freedom crumble, and man learns to live in harmony with his fellow man and Mother Nature. These are the things we strive for and dedicate our lives and actions to achieve.
The first section of this book is an overview of the events, philosophy and lifestyles of the hippy movement. In the second section I've organized information about the hippies so it can be easily found. This book is meant to set the record straight about hippies, and to be a reference work for students and writers. But I hope it will also serve as a catalyst for others to explore further the influence of hippies upon society and help lay the foundation for the new hippy movements to come.
* A meme is a contagious concept (like a virus) that spreads quickly causing people to change their behavior.