Source:FORA-TV– Hollywood actor, political activist, and lifelong Hippie Peter Coyote, talking about the Counter Culture in 2009.
“Actor and activist Peter Coyote describes important ways in which the 1960’s counterculture succeeded. Despite the movement’s failed political agendas, Coyote explains how its concepts of tribe, compassion and well-being are now tightly woven into today’s mainstream culture.
Out of the 60’s counterculture explosion came a radical street group called the Diggers, who became the heart and soul of the Haight-Ashbury experience. Named after a group of 17th century free-thinkers in England, the Diggers dedicated themselves to building a new morality in place of the money-hungry capitalistic society, cutting through the cultural propaganda via the medium of both street theater and “free” programs.
They began to distribute free food, provide free medical care and sponsor free rock concerts in Golden Gate Park featuring musicians like the Grateful Dead. They burned money, left its ashes and set out to create the condition they described.
Peter Coyote’s memoir, first published in 1998, recounts his time as one of the group’s founders and beyond. He weaves his experiences into a collection of stories from his life in San Francisco to communes and gypsy years on the road becoming part of the Free Family.
Ordained practitioner of Zen Buddhism, activist, and actor, Peter Coyote began his work in street theater and political organizing in San Francisco. In addition to acting in 120 films, Coyote has won an Emmy for narrating the award-winning documentary Pacific Century, and he has co-written, directed, and performed in the play Olive Pits, which won The Mime Troupe an Obie Award. He lives in Mill Valley, California.”
I think Peter Coyote hit on the head (so to speak) and I’m not sure what I can add to it other than to point out why I believe he is right.
If the goals of the counter-culture movement was to end war, racism, capitalism, etc, then of course they failed. If anything those things are more prevalent today. Especially when it comes to capitalism where most of the world now has some type of private enterprise private market economy that comes with basic property rights. Back in Peter Coyote’s time the 1960s, maybe half of the world had an open economy that was liberated (liberated, great liberal word) from state-control.
But what is called counter-culture is all around us. Americans now more than in the 1960s are free to be Americans, which is individualistic, which is the freedom for the individuals to be individuals. The freedom for one to be themselves and not feel the need to live in some type 1950s collectivist society where young people were expected to grow up and become their parents and grandparents. What Baby Boomers did (and I include Peter Coyote in this group) was to break out from the parents and grandparents lifestyles and decided to live their own lives instead, even if their parents didn’t approve.
The part of the 1960s that I approve of is the so-called Hippie Revolution or culture. Which was about the freedom for people to be themselves and not feel the need to have to fit in with the establishment. And we’ve been on this track ever since which has freed millions of Americans all sorts of ethnicities, races, sexualities, cultures, lifestyles, etc, to be themselves.
But when you get into the anti-American, anti-private enterprise, anti-war at all costs, anti-law enforcement, pro-anarchy, anti-American form of government, including the U.S. Constitution, where I break away with the New-Left in America.