Hippies and American Values

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Long Term Impacts of Hippies on American Values After the Summer of Love came to an end, the participants in the Hippies movement proclaimed the “death of hip”. Ultimately, the hippies were all of the younger generation who argued that society needed to change and brought to the attention of American society these new, radical ideas that have affected American values today. The generation gap, which has always been one of the biggest issues in every generation, led to this extreme protest of the American society; the adults perspective on society was waning and the younger generation was revolutionary and argued that this change was looming no matter what. The ethics of drugs, sex, Rock n’ Roll and community are all issues brought to the attention of America by this group of Hippies in the 1960s and are still in effect in society today, nearly fifty years later. Undoubtedly, the most defining characteristic of this counterculture was drugs. Timothy Miller explains in Hippies and American Values that dope was used to expand your consciousness such as marijuana, LSD, peyote and other psychedelics; these were good for their cause, but downers and dope that made those who took them dumber were frowned upon by the hippie community. Hippies believed that the America society was confined by the government and the conservatives and those drugs were the way to break out of that societal confinement and become revolutionary. More and more hippies indicated that they had reached some new insight on life through drugs which led to a majority of American supporting the legalization of drugs. It was a way to control their own bodies and minds, freedom as the hippies saw it, which was fundamental to American values. The more open use of dope and the expansion of the mind brought on a sexual revolution and the want of pleasure in everyday life. The idea was that no one would be forced into unwanted sexual activity, but also no person would try and inhibit others

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