|No tea for me, thanks
||[Oct. 13th, 2010|07:58 pm]
the Tea Party is the natural successor to the Hippie movement. Followed by comments from some claiming to have been true hippies and also conservatives. The basic argument is that the Tea Party and the hippie movement share four fundamental core values:An argument that |
* A craving for independence;
* A celebration of individualism;
* Joy in the freedom offered by self-sufficiency;
* And an acceptance of the natural order of things.
And that these shared values should send all counter-culture types into the arms of the Tea Party Movement.
See, that sounds great, and I believe in those things, too. I don't like the amount of government regulation that invades our lives; I'm not crazy about the Nanny State.
But I also am deeply aware that I am not the product of my own bootstraps, separate from government spending and regulation. Every one of us benefits daily from government oversight and spending, whether we are driving on an interstate or buying a loaf of bread without pausing to consider what its sawdust content might be. Yes, there is bad government regulation that hurts the little guy in business, but there is also good government regulation that lets us buy food and drugs produced halfway across the country without too much fear that we will be poisoned.
Just look at the mortgage industry if you think that government oversight isn't necessary to keep businesses in line - as soon as it was relaxed, those businesses boned the entire country.
Moreover, while the philosophy stated by the Tea Party is "celebration of the individual," a whole lot of the people involved seem to want to dictate who I worship, how I manage my reproductive life, and a host of other issues that a true celebration of individuality would not regard as an acid test of who was is a "real" Tea Party member. I know that there are a decent number of people in the Tea Party who are not Christian fundamentalists, but the Party appears to harbor the fundie vote despite the fact that it's very much about control.
I can't abide that. As much as I believe in the alleged values of the Tea Party, I don't the find the follow-through to be as much about freedom as party claims, nor the politics realistic.
A good summary. I find the tea party pretty scary.
I don't see the Tea Party as being a successor to Hippies at all. Most hippies didn't judge others, didn't insist others obey laws they themselves broke, and didn't spew hatred. It's the anti-hippy movement.
There is a certain aspect of libertarianism that isn't judgmental, but most of it is owned by the fundies.
As a true sixties hippie, I've thought about that. I don't see the joy and spontaneity. I see the paranoia and delusion (funny, I thought it was the drugs that did it to us, but they manage just on koolaid). I don't see the sense of community and the non-conformity. Although the TP's talk about independence and the individual, all I hear is the same thing from all of them (much like Ayn Rand, who celebrated the indivituality of the artist by draping him in cliches).
I have a hard time understanding why any "control" by a duly elected government agency is bad, but total control by megacorporations is good.
The New Yorker this week sees them as having a very different sixties antecedent: the John Birch Society,
which Glenn Beck is busily recycling on his "Beck University."
Knowing hippies who became conservative, and reading the comments of conservative hippies to the article, I can't simply dismiss his arguments as so much hot air. But I also am not drinking his Kool-aid.
"And an acceptance of the natural order of things."
This is both the sticking point and the divergence. They have one idea about the natural order of things, which does not necessarily match other people -- and certainly does not match the beliefs of many counter-cultures. They probably do expect everyone to see the same "natural order", but others are not going to.
I find it interesting that they chose as a keyword one of the things we dumped into a harbor when declaring independence from Mother Britannia. Whether the event happened or not, it was a strange choice.
That's not accidental - they consider themselves heirs to those founding fathers and their rebellious act.
If you read the article, the proffered definition of "natural order" is that you can't make people be better or force them to behave in a certain way. Their solution to that definition is that it's not important to offer people help or opportunity to change and grow, thereby alleviating themselves of any pesky guilt over the imbalance of opportunity. However, there is a large component of "our way IS the natural order" packed in.
I can't argue that all government spending is in the best interest of the country, but the tea party appears to want to throw out the baby with the bath water, and then burn the bath house to the ground.
One could say this is another way the two groups are alike: quite often, the ideals espoused are just a pretext for being very dramatic in their spare time.
Except at least the hippy poseurs were cute and in it for drugs and sex, the tea partiers aren't cute and seem to think grim furious patriotism is fun.
I missed the Hippie years by about fifteen years, but when I think about putting hippies in one of two categories --
* human nature is innate — that our personalities and other essential human attributes are built-in, unchangeable, and naturally occurring.
* everything about humans is “constructed” — that we only are the way we are because of the particular cultural environment surrounding us, and that as a result people can be changed
-- I very strongly put hippies in the second category. Have I read too much Robert Anton Wilson?
I think the guy is coming from "hippies wanted to change a government they saw as corrupt, and WE want to change a government we see as corrupt, and therefore we're all alike!!"
Not so much....
While I agree with your conclusions, the idea that a lack of government oversight caused the mortgage crisis is ludicrous, considering the main culprits were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with several White House administrations starting with Clinton who actively promoted risky loans with the goal of getting more people into houses, whether they could afford them or not. The mortgage crisis was one of the main arguments for LESS government involvement in the marketplace.
I'm all for regulating stuff so abuses don't happen. I'm not for the government actively running parts of the economy.
The loosening of the regulations on how mortgages could be made, who could make them, and how they were serviced is directly responsible. Allowing companies to turn mortgages into investment trust securities, and opening up a front end awards system to mortgage lending allowed a whole raft of corruption to enter the system. Yes, the mess started with Clinton, but it just kept getting worse. Prior to the regulations relaxing FNMA was simply a mortgage insurance program that was quite successful in getting people into homes and keeping them there.
You lead in with "tea party", but then you argue against hard line libertarianism and religious fundamentalism.
I'm arguing what I see as the practical tenets of the movement, rather than the ideals. The ideals aren't so bad; what's carrying the movement in most cases is what alarms me.
2010-10-15 04:47 am (UTC)
Just in case you haven't seen it. It's about tea.
2010-10-15 01:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Just in case you haven't seen it. It's about tea.
I love that video!