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How the Counterculture created the Reagan Revolution
#1




Start a movement of self-expressive individualists, get a self-interested society.

The transformation of the rhetorically left-leaning hippies into Reaganoid individualists is fascinating, and a proof of the dialectical process at work in history. Understanding these strange transformations is essential to understanding history.
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#2
Oh, not this nonsense again?

You can only say this if you deny any value to the counter-culture, which you must do because your worldview is so narrowly materialist. Total falsehood is not a basis for understanding culture or history.

Neo-liberalism is the source of Reagan. No neo-liberals were ever hippies, nor were their followers. Reaganism is about free enterprise, not freedom. It is about money, wereas the counter-culture is about living without money.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#3








Reagan arose to oppose the counter-culture, and that's what he did. He wanted to return the kids back to the values of the 1950s. Once the moral majority and Reaganomics took hold, some former hippies went that way. Unravelling trends had some sway. Most of the Reagan fans though were not part of the counter-culture at all. The moral majority and reaganomics believers were from a different part of the country where the counter-culture didn't penetrate too far. The Reagan movement arose to reverse all the cultures and movements of the sixties, and to protect the economic powers against the sixties movements, including the consumer, ecological, peace and feminist/gay liberation movements, and to make society much more poor so people would not indulge in immoral parties and take drugs or explore non-christian religions in order to expand consciousness and thus question authority. The purpose of Reaganomics was to make people work all day long in order to afford the higher prices that Reaganomics imposed upon them. It was thus entirely opposed to the counter-culture and its later expressions.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
Materialism says that the purpose of life is to work hard to get somewhere. Marxism and Reaganomics alike require people to believe in this scam.



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#5
You can say what you like, but the Curtis documentary goes into pretty close detail about how marketing agencies learned to sell products to the new "values and lifestyle" consumers, and how those people voted in high numbers for Ronald Reagan
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#6
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: Materialism says that the purpose of life is to work hard to get somewhere. Marxism... requires people to believe this scam

No it doesn't.

From Marx's German Ideology:

Quote:In all the previous revolutions the mode of activity always remained unchanged and it was only a question of a different distribution of this activity, a new distribution of labour to other persons, whilst the communist revolution is directed against the hitherto existing mode of activity, does away with labour.

Again:

Quote:While the fleeing serfs only wished to freely develop and fully realise the conditions of existence, which were already at sight, and hence, in the end, only arrived at free labour, the proletarians, if they are to fulfill themselves as individuals, must abolish the very condition of their existence hitherto, which has also been the condition of existence of all society up to the present, that is, they must abolish labour.

Again:

Quote:The abolition of private property will become a reality, if we perceive it as the abolition of "labour," an abolition which has naturally become possible by labour itself, that is to say by the material activity of society [namely by the technological achievements.
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#7
(07-29-2020, 05:29 PM)Einzige Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 07:56 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: Materialism says that the purpose of life is to work hard to get somewhere. Marxism... requires people to believe this scam
No it doesn't.

There is a big difference between what Marx put between the pages of various books and what the revolutionaries actually did when they got their hands on power.  A big disconnect.  I remember JPT pulled this trick too in quoting Marx's writing and supposedly making excuses for giving the revolutionaries another shot.  Me, I think they have been given enough shots.  There are actually non Marxist systems that have achieved real results in the real world that should be tried first.  Violence is the proverbial last resort.

But an argument between the theory that never happened and the reality that actually occurred can go on indefinitely.   You are arguing on entirely different premises which don't touch each other.

Now if there is a culture out there with Marxism as one of the viable value set going into a crisis with revolutionaries that actually believe in the books rather than taking whatever power they can and turning a deaf ear on the people, you might get something.  I'm not holding my breath.  I might keep an eye on such a culture and set of revolutionaries if someone would care to suggest them.  I'm not inclined to believe they exist.
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#8
(07-29-2020, 05:52 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Rhere is a big difference between what Marx put between the pages of various books and what the revolutionaries actually did when they got their hands on power.

It's almost like those revolutions occurred in pre-capitalist societies in which "the fleeing serfs only wished to freely develop and fully realise the conditions of existence, which were already at sight" - capitalism, and that Marxists who tried to telescope the capitalist into the proletarian revolution were bound to fail for this reason.

Now, can we talk about how the 60s counterculture contributed to the rise of Reaganism?

Quote:A big disconnect.  I remember JPT pulled this trick too in quoting Marx's writing and supposedly making excuses for giving the revolutionaries another shot.  Me, I think they have been given enough shots.  There are actually non Marxist systems that have achieved real results in the real world that should be tried first.  Violence is the proverbial last resort.

It hardly matters what you or I think ought to be "given a shot"; it's inexorable and will happen.

But again, this thread is about how the individualists of the 1960s were perfectly integrated into the Reaganite marketing scheme.
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#9
(07-29-2020, 04:51 PM)Einzige Wrote: You can say what you like, but the Curtis documentary goes into pretty close detail about how marketing agencies learned to sell products to the new "values and lifestyle" consumers, and how those people voted in high numbers for Ronald Reagan

The documentary is wrong, then. In 1980, the boomers were the least likely to vote for Reagan among the generations.

Marketing agencies will do their thing, as they always had before, and people buy stuff, as they always had before, but that does not change what the counter-culture and sixties movements were about, and still are about. It was not solely about the "pleasure principle," it was fundamentally about changing our consciousness in our relation to ourselves, our environment and to people. 

According to Theodore Roszak, seen in the videos I posted above, author of The Making of a Counter-Culture, the difference from Marxism is the same difference between us. The counter-culture sought a greater experience of spirituality in a non-authoritarian and personal/interpersonal/universal sense. You deny this experience simply because you don't have an experience of it, and are concerned only about material survival. Survival for what? Only if guided by higher values of some kind, and direct experience of relationship with all Being, can a society ever be just and productive of peace and prosperity.

A society only concerned with economics and class struggle creates an economy and society that does not respect people or the Earth, and creates a society of death because it denies life. Marxism as usually practiced keeps the industrial lifestyle and its productive methods intact, and only proposes that a supposed idealistic paternalistic elite take it over. Marxism turns us into mechanistic cogs, whatever Marx may have understood about alienation. He may have understood this, but his philosophy only perpetuates it. And no Marxist society so-called has ever created wealth or prosperity for its people. People are rendered equally poor. 

And no Marxist society will ever be purely Marxist by your definition. It will decline into the pseudo-marxist forms that you criticize. That's because people and societies aren't perfect, and greedy and ambitious folks are always around to corrupt things.

A higher synthesis is needed. Individual rights and participatory democracy, and even smaller and truly free and well-regulated enterprise and entrepreneurship, must be included from the preceding revolution. And it must be updated to the next revolution with recognition of spirit and life and full recognition that we are embedded in ecology with rights for all kinds of people.

If you believe Marx proposes doing away with labour, surplus capital and the state right away through organic change, then I don't think the hippies were much different in their ideal society. But if you propose "worker councils," that needs to be fleshed out, and this doesn't sound like an abolition of labour, because the people are still called "workers" in that designation.

There's no doubt about the power of commercial capitalism to co-opt everything it can. There was nothing new about this commercial culture; it pre-existed the counter-culture by decades. The hippie society, whatever its merit and its flaws, could not survive fully intact in a commercial materialist society. It was an experiment which released new attitudes and ideals into society, but the USA society remained commercial and materialist anyway. Predominant powers tend to persist. That was not the fault of the counter-culture itself, which stood in opposition to this commercial culture as best it could. The love-lifestyle experiment did not create Reaganomics, but neither was it a strong enough method or movement to supercede and rein in the commercial capitalism that Reaganomics promotes, perpetuates and enables. I hope, though, that certain long-term trends began and will rise again now and then. 

Changing commercial capitalism will take more than denouncing and insulting the counter-culture. It will take a strong alliance of all concerned folks. It will take people-power, democracy and activism as well as changing lifestyles and inner discovery. Simply pronouncing what a pure and perfect Marxism is, and hoping it will appear as if by magic, will not work. There is no such pure society, and describing alone does not bring things into reality. Nor does any violent method.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#10
(07-29-2020, 05:59 PM)Einzige Wrote:
(07-29-2020, 05:52 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: There is a big difference between what Marx put between the pages of various books and what the revolutionaries actually did when they got their hands on power.

It's almost like those revolutions occurred in pre-capitalist societies in which "the fleeing serfs only wished to freely develop and fully realise the conditions of existence, which were already at sight" - capitalism, and that Marxists who tried to telescope the capitalist into the proletarian revolution were bound to fail for this reason.

Now, can we talk about how the 60s counterculture contributed to the rise of Reaganism?

Quote:A big disconnect.  I remember JPT pulled this trick too in quoting Marx's writing and supposedly making excuses for giving the revolutionaries another shot.  Me, I think they have been given enough shots.  There are actually non Marxist systems that have achieved real results in the real world that should be tried first.  Violence is the proverbial last resort.

It hardly matters what you or I think ought to be "given a shot"; it's inexorable and will happen.

But again, this thread is about how the individualists of the 1960s were perfectly integrated into the Reaganite marketing scheme.

But the counter-culture was not "individualists." The individualists of Reaganomics already had existed since the start of the republic. Individual initiative, competition in free enterprise, deregulation, laissez faire, were already the tenets of the first revolution that created the USA. It was already the dominant society; it was not created by its critics in the sixties. The collectivists were the marxists, socialists and new dealers who already existed as well from the second revolution. 

The counter-culture is the third revolution. It is individualistic in its free expression and non-conformity, but collectivist in its dedication to a society of love for all people and the planet, and communal, non-possessive methods of living.

Reaganomics re-established conformity and thus stifled individual expression. It promoted old-fashioned restrictive morality. It used the abortion issue to rally superstitious Christians. The goal was to concentrate wealth and leave most people poor, who thus did not have the time or the money to experiment with lifestyles.

Maybe it's the rise of the counter-culture again and not your marxist utopia that is inevitable. Maybe they are not so different either. How do you know what is inexorable?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#11
In the counter-culture, the human potential movement, the new age movement, and other fields, it was said by one of its practitioners that we were now going to discover what it fully means to be a human being. It was THAT significant.

People had discovered being human to some degree before, no doubt. The Greeks demonstrated the spirit of victory and beauty. The Christians discovered agape and spiritual healing, and their medieval followers discovered amour and dedicated devotion, expressed in unequalled, soaring craftsmanship. In the age of revolution, in Wordsworth's words, blessed was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven. And the dreams of Natural Man were no longer confined to some island who knows where, but in the very world which is the world of all of us. Wordsworth truly did have the best words. The transcendentalists put us in touch with the Oversoul and Walden Pond. Through the 20th century, the depth psychologists, existentialists, modern artists, new scientists and beat poets explored the forbidding darkness of the void of commercial and communist culture, and opened the door to the next level to come.

Only in the sixties though, did we discover how to live without recourse to external authority; how to truly live from the heart and to release our impulses; to be authentic with each other instead of behaving according to some program or internalized gyroscope. Natural Man returned again, in full flower. Psychedelics tore a hole in normal consciousness that can't be closed again on Planet Earth, and the new life (as the late Tom Wolfe described it) and the new culture followed it up with the most widespread distribution of both ancient and new spiritual wisdom and practices ever seen. As Joni Mitchell sang of Woodstock, it was the time of man (although soon we learned to say "human" instead). It was the time when we learned to be human, and its legacy lives on in its discoveries and in the authenticity of our being. And so do all the liberal political and social movements that the era unleashed, which as John Lewis said, will make good trouble for the old and unfair ways.





So did this cause Reaganomics? Really? I hardly think so.

It did unleash human self-empowerment, which Reaganoids co-opted and appealed to in a totally fraudulent way. It's not the new culture's fault that many people were fooled by the charming faux-macho actor. But the counter-culture itself was also collectivist and, yes, not so different from the authentic Marxism Einzige describes, except that it correctly realizes that no just, equal, workable society can ever be built unless there's an enlightened spirit among us that reveals to us the miracle and divinity of humanity, and all of life and being, and which liberates us from our own personal reactive fears, greeds and indulgences. Human society will always be composed of flawed human beings. But the dawn of a new society depends on renewal among humans, always and forever. May human potential continue to unfold and transcend more of its flaws. There's something in the air! The revolution's here. And you know it's right. And you know that it's right. We have got to get it together. May the spirit of the sixties be kept alive!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#12
It is important to realize that the counter-culture, cultural creatives, human potential movements, new age movements, consciousness movements, are not "sixties" or "seventies" or "yesterday," something that contributed to the me decade and the century of self. It is a revolution that may have reached its pivot point and launching pad in the 1960s, but as it is expressed by a cosmic cycle, it is today and tomorrow, an ongoing process.

And I propose that the left-wing and liberal social and political movements will be combined with and nourished by the new worldview and new consciousness. If in the past it was co-opted to some extent by ideologies and philosophies of self-reliance and selfish greedy positive thinking and prosperity religion and so on, as it continues to unfold, the insights of this movement that we are powerful conscious beings, whose center is love and its expression is sharing what makes us feel alive for the benefit of ourselves AND others, will serve liberal movements that seek justice and humanity in our political policies.

So from the soil and foundation of the human potential movement, many things will still grow.



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#13
Reaction to the counterculture created Ronald Reagan, much of whose appeal was the attitude "I'll show those young whipper-snappers a few things or two!"

The big problem with the Boom Awakening was not that people in the counterculture turned reactionary; it is instead that people who had no idea of any purpose other than self-indulgence found the reactionary culture forming as the Nixon-Reagan "silent majority" easy to con. They were feathering their nests while others were reaching for the stars or acting upon conscience.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#14
Did you guys even watch the documentary? It's not that long.
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#15
(07-31-2020, 12:37 AM)Einzige Wrote: Did you guys even watch the documentary? It's not that long.

No need to man.  I remember Lynard Skynard's reply to Neil Young.  You know , "Sweet Home Alabama" was a tip off to me when I heard it the first time. They did another song, called "Simple Man."   I'd reckon that was one of the first skirmishes in the culture wars.
---Value Added Cool
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#16
(07-31-2020, 12:37 AM)Einzige Wrote: Did you guys even watch the documentary? It's not that long.

I've seen that thing before.

What I would concede to your point, Einzige, is that although the counter-culture and its various allies was a necessary and valuable step forward in human liberation and development, it was not sufficient. It was a generally-liberalizing influence. But many participants were moderate or conservative, using the movement's self-empowering and self-expressive trends to justify the self-reliance meme of Reaganomics, or at least helping business big-shots to reach their goals of "success" without any concern about what their businesses were doing.

In my Lifespring training (similar to est) in 1980, the trainer predicted Ronald Reagan would be elected president that year. He didn't say he favored him, and if I had had my horoscope scoring method available then, I might have predicted this too. Of course I was severely biased against him, and had the wrong chart, so I might have made the same mistake I made in 2016. The scores between Reagan and Carter were fairly close too; after all Carter had been elected in 1976 with a better score than Ford.

An activist value-set of concern for the oppressed and the poor and exploitation of the People by Capital does not always jive with human potential movements and self-expressive cultures. It's not a question of either/or though. Progressive people need to support both trends. I know that most San Francisco hippies were liberals, even if not always activists. Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe and the Fish made their left-wing political sympathies clear. I watched the first big anti-war demonstration on April 15, 1967 as it marched through San Francisco, with reporters observing as the numbers were swelled by all the hippies who joined in. Mutual influence worldwide between the two movements was constant and deep in 1968. Woodstock was also an anti-war protest.

Progress depends, I believe, on an idealistic view of human nature, not a materialist one. If we believe that we are capable of further developing, of having love and compassion and not just fear, we will more likely develop that way. It will work much better than believing in some revolutionaries who promise to overthrow the system by violence and then impose a dictatorship of the proletariat.



"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#17
(07-31-2020, 12:37 AM)Einzige Wrote: Did you guys even watch the documentary? It's not that long.

I did watch it long ago... although I thought it had more to do with media manipulation than with anything else.

All attempts at cultural change have effects, including reaction by people who do not want the change. Reagan is a reaction by people who believe that we all owe something to the capitalism for such freedom and prosperity as we have. Such people won, and America has taken three steps into and one step back from what culminated in the inhuman plutocracy that Donald Trump offers. 

It may be difficult for people on the Left side of the spectrum to recognize a difference between Reagan and Trump aside from their quirks of personality and that even in intellectual decay Reagan was more coherent (Reagan was a trained actor playing a role, and Trump assumes the role of a studio boss, which makes a huge difference -- and Trump plays his role badly!), but the generational cycle suggests that while Reagan tried to unite Americans through the mindless vulgarity of the shopping mall, Trump does much to splinter us into hostile mobs at odds with each other. 

I see Donald Trump as someone who did not participate in any way in the Boom Awakening except to indulge himself in new and unprecedented ways -- at least sexually, materially, and in his bloated ego. As I have often seen, irrespective of time and place, the hollower the personality, the more flamboyant the excesses; think of German air ace turned major Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering. People of genuine philosophical substance and cultural richness do not need flamboyant gestures to express themselves. I say this as someone who well knows the severe gaps in his personality.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#18
In short, the thesis of this episode is that business had a hard time figuring out how to sell things to the new individualists produced by the Second Turning,until they hit on the idea of lifestyle marketing.
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#19
(08-01-2020, 12:30 AM)Einzige Wrote: In short, the thesis of this episode is that business had a hard time figuring out how to sell things to the new individualists produced by the Second Turning,until they hit on the idea of lifestyle marketing.

Americans are a shallow people. So, the counter-culture could not liberate everyone who latched onto it. Commercial marketing tempts a lot of people, certainly MANY more people out of the counter-culture, than those influenced by it. It was in the 1950s and 1920s that their products became status symbols. The counter-culture was against status symbols.

There's nothing in that video that I would not be familiar with already, ad nauseum! How many of the videos I posted, did YOU watch??
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#20
(07-29-2020, 05:59 PM)Einzige Wrote: It hardly matters what you or I think ought to be "given a shot"; it's inexorable and will happen.

Why? Because it says so in an old book written from an Industrial Age perspective? Confrm your projection by real world observations.
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