The New ’60s

About a month ago my girlfriend got me to watch No Impact Man, a documentary about a guy you probably know about. He gradually reduced his impact on the environment over the course of a year, eventually excluding electricity and toilet paper, and eating locally all within New York City. He was talking to an aging hippie who had an urban garden, about how he felt that there was a sort of revival of the ‘60s and ‘70s going on right now, with the local food movement and environmental concerns. This time though, it has a more professional edge, a seriousness about it.

I’ve thought this way as well for some time, and I would add that increased usage and acceptability of psychedelic drugs—especially marijuana—are a part of this movement. Legalization of marijuana in this country seems drastically more feasible every year, and I’m seeing more and more studies on psilocybin mushrooms and LSD, their benefits in treating depression and alcoholism, amongst other qualities. The US government reacted very harshly to the drug culture of the ‘60s because of the perceived threat they posed: drugs spread fast, encouraged radical thinking, and were mysterious.

So then we had the “war on drugs,” which has turned out to be a ridiculous mess.  We’ve managed to prove that our country’s insatiable desire for drugs can cause massive social damage at home and abroad under the “right” conditions. We cause drug wars in Mexico and we fill our jails with young minorities. Now however, we are beginning to realize that this has been a colossal mistake.

Just as we are beginning to see that the way we’ve treated our planet has been a colossal mistake, and the way we’ve been producing our food, and organizing our social system, and thinking about how we relate to the cosmos. It’s all happening in a more fantastic and real way than even the 60s.

There is no decade you can ascribe to the “new ‘60s”, and that is because the ‘60s are now a permanent part of our cultural consciousness. The ideas embodied by the ‘60s received a harsh reaction, but now they are back and will continue to become more relevant. Ahead of us is permanent and increasing change, and the increasing realization of our ideals. It’s a good thing.

The other reason we can’t ascribe a decade to the “new ‘60s“ is that we haven’t had a nameable decade since the 90’s. the 2000s? the ‘10s? teens? Last century things didn’t really get interesting until the roaring ‘20s.  that isn’t even true, there was a war to end all wars the previous decade, but the decade can’t be called anything so it becomes that much less important to us. In conclusion, the ‘20s are going to be great because they’ll have a name. I can’t wait.



About Prometheus

I write about the coming technological singularity and its implications for our sense of identity, individuality, meaning, and existence. I argue that the most significant aspect of the singularity is the convergence of our consciousnesses into one superconsciousness, and that we should be very happy about this.

Posted on May 12, 2012, in Values and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Liked your post. Unfortunately the world has become more sophisticated since the ’60s. I like to draw a comparison between H.G. Wells time machine. In one scene there are innocents living on the earth, the Eloi, in relative peace and harmony engaging in the finer aspects of living. Dispersed among them are mysterious entrances to an underworld where live the morlocks who, well, see:, for a better description. There exists, in like fashion, the unseen hand of the pharmaceutical industry, the financial industry and many other components beyond the reach of the people. It is this oligarchy and its lobbyists who control our economy and allow us to play the game of representative democracy. Cheers!

  2. Great post. I definitely feel this way as well. I absolute love the 60’s, and what it represents. A lot of my opinion about it has been formed into certain genius’, such as Timothy Leary, but as I have learned more of the cultural aspect of it I see that it wasn’t entirely organized in a very intellectual or ‘serious’ way. If it would have been a generation of Genius’ like Leary, it would have took, but it seemed chaotic, so there was a strong push against it. I believe these principles are coming back, and being expanded upon, but there will be a larger intellectual base behind it, and it won’t be so ‘chaotic,’ and this will allow it to truly take this time.

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