After the 1960’s American society seemed to split into two groups:
- The older authoritarian moral-based society (rooted in Victorianism).
- The new non authoritarian (and often anti-authority) immoral-based society.
Even after all this time I still see traces of it in this society all the time. These two societies now seem very rooted in this society. Even after the 60’s, there’s still a ‘silent war’ going on between these two societies. I, myself, have been impacted by this ‘silent war’ and have suffered as a result of it, as I think many of us have. It’s a war few people, I think, are aware of. It’s not all that dramatic and it’s hidden by all the multitude of other stuff that this society produces, but it is there.
With the 60’s we saw a breakdown of Victorian authoritarian moral-based society and the rise of a non authoritarian immoral-based society (such as portrayed with the hippies). The adolescents, in particular, rebelled against the older society, often going directly against the conventions of older society. With the influence of the media, mass communication, TV, music, etc. they were able to affect a big change in the youth of this country. In some sense, there was a ‘conversion’ that took. This created the rise of a new society primarily made up of the younger generation with their own ways and conventions. In a sense, it created a ‘youth culture’. This new culture was at odds and rebelling against the older culture, often taking views completely opposite of the older culture. Many young people identified themselves with this new ‘youth culture’ and not with the older culture. It was sort of like a new society was created in a way.
Though the society was broken down into two types the older society was not destroyed completely. It’s actually still very strong, but it left the US with two types of societies that are at odds with each other. The older society is a continuation of the culture of the past. The new society is doing nothing, really, but rebelling against the older society. Because of this, the new society is nothing but a reactionary society, reacting to the older society. This is why I consider the new society to be a lower form of culture, as it is not based in ‘living’ but only in ‘reacting’, namely through rebellion, against the older society. As such, it is not a culture designed for a self-sustaining existence, nor is it a culture based in creating healthy people. This is why this ‘youth culture’ is only effective during certain periods of a persons life (about teens to their thirties) at which it dies out and is again replaced by older society values.
I see this war quite often as, apparently, I am perceived as being part of the older society. As a result, people will react to me that way and, in so doing, reveal to me this conflict.
Two interesting effects that I’ve noticed is how I am treated by the male and female:
Male – The new society male will typically treat me like I’m this naïve kid, who doesn’t know anything about life. I’m often treated like I need to grow up and ‘live’. Typically, to ‘live’ to them means to drink, take drugs, party, womanize, cuss and swear, and act macho.
Female – The new society female will treat me similar to the male. I also tend to be looked at as being too ‘nice’, boring, and such. This female tends to like lower grade guys who will do anything for them so they can get sex. In effect, they are nothing but whores, really. It seems I’ve viewed as this ‘nice Mr. goody’ guy by them and treated like I’m a nobody.
If you look you can see some common themes:
– Both think the older society is naïve and doesn’t know anything about life. But their solution to life isn’t all that great nor is it all that impressive. It definitely isn’t any better than anything the older generations created.
– They seem frightened of having to have a morality or some sort of restriction on their life.
– They are hedonistic, only pursuing their whims and wants.
– They lack a discipline and self control.
– They ‘play act’ these people they aren’t, like a macho male.
– They generally look down on the people who represent the older society. They have this mistaken notion that they are somehow ‘better’ than the older generations are.
They seem to need to follow trends more than the older generation. This is because of their lack of any belief system or culture. In a way, trends, fads, and following the herd become their new ‘culture’, especially for the females. As a result, they tend to bounce around too much in their beliefs and lifestyles. One minute they believe this, the next it’s that.
In the end, after all their rebellion and fancy explanations, many end up resorting to older society ways. In fact, I’ve been stunned how many, in later years, often become staunch supporters of old society ways. This is totally opposite of what they said in their youth. Many, I have found, are actually stricter and more controlling with their kids than their own parents were. All this after they sat and condemned it all!
Over the years I’ve begun to be disgusted with the new society. It seems more like a thorn in our side. It’s a society based in rebellion and being anti-everything. This is not a good point of view in life . . . and I think it shows. It’s created a bunch of immoral people that have this hatred of authority and society. It’s created all these people who have all these explanations why the old society is so bad but have nothing good, really, to put in its place. It’s like an endless blind destroying of culture. Though I think the ‘youth culture’ has had some good points (I was brought up in it) my feelings is that it is a bad thing overall, and that we would be better without it.