Flower Power and the Evolution of Democracy in the USA

Just to remind readers, the title above is the short title. In the first instance I put the title as: Flower Power, Breaking Down of Morality and Generation of Discontent in the USA. Unfortunately the title is too long, so I shortened it to what it is now.

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America is currently known as an imperialist, war mongering country. Today it is fashionable to bash and critique the U.S. for all of the world’s problems – from green house emission to wars and to the cultural dominance of Hollywood.

But despite that, I think it is quite interesting to study the contemporary development of democracy in the U.S.

One thing I like to read about in my free time is the events during the 1960s. This decade is basically known as the Woodstock Generation. It is also as the period of Flower Power – in which American society went into an upheaval – mostly due to the Vietnam War.

It is not surprising that some of the songs of that age are protest songs such as by Edwin Starr (War), and Scott Mackenzie (San Fransisco).

In the 1960s, the Woodstock generation broke the grip of conservative moralism prevalent in the US at that time.

The catch-cry “Make Love, Not War” represents the rejection of conservative and ideals that define public and private morality. The so-called “free sex” movement represent an absolute break from the old morality norms.

The Flower Power was successful. In the early 1970s Nixon was impeached and Vietnam was abandoned.

However, this success was wasted.

Of course, Jimmy Carter then took over from the unelected Gerald Ford. But, the forces of conservative moralism crept back, beginning with Reagan and Bush Sr. There was the Clinton interlude (8 years of it), but today the man in power is Bush Jr, a conservative icon. However, America today is more pluralistic than America in the 1950s.

I wonder, what can we learn from the American Flower Power movement? I suppose : one thing is that to overcome the present status quo, the existing foundation of the social order must at least be shaken – like what happened in America in the 1960s.


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