I’ve been noticing something lately, as I wander through various social groups and talk to people who seem to be the independent-minded type: nobody talks about revolution anymore.
I am not a child of the sixties. I’m a child of the nineties. But I’ve always admired the sixties- and seventies-era idea of getting tired of the way the current system works and trying to tear it down. Free love, free food, the careful and spiritual expansion of consciousness, all attempts to create a world that is better than the one the revolutionaries found themselves in.
What happened to that ethos? Although we are living in a time, it could be argued, that is just as unstable and unpleasant as the sixties, I have not heard a single young person even hinting at the idea of revolution. I haven’t heard anybody suggesting that this society needs to be changed. What I hear instead is talk of work. Of making money. I hear of drinking problems and parties and drug abuse. I don’t hear anybody trying to change the world, I only hear people trying to ignore it.
And I’m not saying that I’m immune from this. I spend a good deal of my day ignoring the world. I spend a lot of time trying not to think about $120 a barrel oil and genocide in Africa and cyclones in Burma and human-rights abuses here and abroad. Perhaps it’s a psychological defense mechanism. But it seems to me that a better way to solve the problem would be to return to the “hippie” ethic of trying to eradicate hate, to enjoy life, and to create a world that is more comfortable for everybody.