Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Schizophrenic Sixties

There were two “sixties”.  I’m not referring to the early sixties (Leave it To Beaver) versus the late sixties (the Beatles anti-war sixties) but to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that people today characterize as the sixties.    The two sixties I am thinking of are of the multiple personalities type, existing side by side in the same body, interweaving, comingling, sometimes fighting for dominance —which ultimately lead to the dominant personality often viewed today as “the sixties” emerging.
One aspect (what Rush Limbaugh seems to view as the sixties) was the re-emergence of thirties left wing progressives (the ones who at any meeting or demonstration or party or anything accuse one another of being Trotskyites or worse — basically New York types or perhaps those that gravitated from their homes in Minnesota and other hotbeds of twenties and thirties progressive thought); the other aspect is what I refer to as the motorcycle-surfer personality.  Strongly anti-statists and paranoid about government “rules” the motorcycle-surfer personality was defiant and libertarian. Populated with people like me: I drove the roads of America for 19 years without a valid driver’s license since doing so would just be cooperating with the “statists pigs” — requiring a driver’s license has never kept bad drivers off the road and was just a way to control, regiment, and keep track of people.
During the sixties the two personalities usually dressed alike and projected similar social views— but for the left wingers this was merely a disguise.   They were (and are now) statists to whom “alcohol, drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll” was a way to hide in the tidal wave of freedom that engulfed America.  And in the end, just the way the Leninists they admire took control of the Russian Revolution, they have managed through persistence and single-mindedness to now dominate the political/media view of the sixties, and to be the primary representatives of the period.  You know the type: any good idea is the only idea —if being gay is OK, then everyone has to agree that being gay is OK; if abortion is OK, then everyone has to agree that abortion is OK; if car pooling is better than driving alone, then everyone has to car pool instead of driving alone; if ______ is OK, then everyone has to agree that ______ is OK.
The people I wonder about are the ones who were there and worshipped freedom (mostly now late boomers) but now chant “Obama, Obama” which is synonymous with statist control through literally thousands of regulations and rules along with tens of thousands of know-it-all bureaucrat apparatchiks whose task is to control every aspect of our lives. This leviathan makes the reviled government of the 1960’s look like parents on vacation.  
Just recently I saw one of those political refugees that I knew from the sixties in South Carolina prattling on about the Republican Party attack on women’s contraceptive rights.   Rights.  Rights.  Rights.  Where did freedom go?  The past is another country.