Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Summer of Love

Social critic and professor Theodore Roszak wrote The Making of a Counter Culture in 1968.

Theodore Roszak

I don't think the Summer of Love left any blueprints behind on how to build a better world. It was much more a showcase for enjoyment, for happiness, for freedom, as people understood it then. But if you probe to the underlying values of displays like that, protests like that, you can perhaps see the seeds of a better social order than the one we're living in now.

[If the ideals of the Sixties had prevailed], it would be a world, where people lived gently on the planet without the sense that they have to exploit nature or make war upon nature in order to find basic security. It would be a simpler way of life, less urban, less consumption-oriented, and much more concerned about spiritual values, about companionship, friendship, community. Community was one of the great words of this period, getting together with other people, solving problems, enjoying one another's company, sharing ideas, values, insights.

And if that's not what life is all about, if that's not what the wealth is for, then we are definitely on the wrong path.

There isn't any question that the 60s left a huge mark in the history of America. It was a watershed event and we have been forever changed by it. The question remains however, where will these changes lead? Will it be a better future or a darker future? And what part shall we play in that future? What responsibility do we have today to make the kind of future we would all want?