Hippies Vs. Occupy Wall Street – Love Has Staying Power!
The Hippies – Fighting Hate With Love Vs. OWS – Fighting Frustration With Hate:
Occupy Wall Street failed where others succeeded – WHY? Let me explain why I think it failed, the lessons that should be learned and the connections it might have to Young Naturists America as well as other nudist organizations.
So what was Occupy Wall Street? Basically it was an anarchist “leaderless” movement that, simply put, wanted to end capitalism. They offered up no real solutions to any of the problems but protested the things they did not approve of in society today.
Their name says it all — “Occupy Wall Street” — is a call to action for people to “Occupy” an area of New York City that does not belong to them (they were basically Squatting and claiming their right to a section of the city regardless of any inconveniences or issues that it may have caused).
The Occupy movement bears a striking resemblance to Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin’s “New Left” movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Both the New Left and Occupy movements attracted frustrated people who lost all confidence in the economic and political systems in the United States. Both were out to shake up the status quo with the hopes of conducting a social revolution / social coup.
Neither were really looking to solve the issues and work within the current system. They did not believe in the election system nor did they feel that any change could be brought about unless the administrations were to be taken over and reconstructed from scratch. There were no established goals or benchmarks for success and both were more revolutionaries than “evolutionaries.” They both used negativity to bring attention to their efforts and getting arrested on national TV was considered awesome!
In the case of Occupy Wall Street, the people behind the scenes, pulling the strings, used deception and flat out lies to get attention. With the aid of some reporters they put out fake announcements to attract attention.
Their first big hoax was their announcement that Radio Head (a popular music band) was going to preform when in fact, no such event was planned. People flocked by hundreds to see the band preform and once they got there, they were greeted by scores of Occupiers who began preaching. Needless to say, many people were put off by this publicity stunt, but at the same time it gave OWS the opportunity to address hundreds of new potential supporters. Those that stayed must have quickly forgotten that they were lied to.
In stark contrast to the New Left (and the OWS ideals) was the hippie movement. The hippie movement, which was part of the “Old Left,” was out to address specific social issues and wanted to create something new rather than destroy the existing system. Hippies wanted to end the war in Vietnam, they wanted equal rights, more tolerance and used positive messages to gain support.
Each of the above movements appealed to very different demographics. The hippie movement of the late sixties sparked something within a specific demographic that believed in nonviolent ways to address issues. They attracted people from all over America and ignited something with artists such as Joan Baez, CCR, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and others who all dropped what they were doing and went to support the cause in a little known town in New York called Woodstock.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, was about anarchy and totally shattering the status quo. Since they believed that lies and misinformation were acceptable ways to get attention, they appealed to those with very different value systems (or the lack thereof) than those who supported the hippies.
Just thinking about the impact of these social movements you can see that history does have a tendency to repeat itself. The New Left got its media attention when they protested at the 1968 democratic convention in Chicago. The 8 leaders / activists were arrested and put on trial in what is now widely referred to as the trial of the Chicago 8 (Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner and Bobby Seale). But shortly thereafter, these leaders and the movement they created dwindled and pretty much disappeared without making as much of an impact as they would have liked.
Occupy Wall Street is going through the same thing. They set out to topple the status quo and have very little to show by way of positive impacts. The hippie movement faded over the years as well, but they created a legacy that is felt and talked about to this very day. Their achievements in areas of civil rights and the Vietnam War had a significant impact on the United States. They also had a clear impact on the arts in all its various facets. Their ideals are echoing still today in music, art, and in everyday life.
What I am basically trying to say is that while anger and rage are strong motivators, Love has staying power. Young Naturists America is not about taking away, it’s about building on what currently exists and trying to correct much of the social issues that plague society today. We are not leeching off of others’ success, we are building a subculture that is complete independent and different.
Beginnings are tough and messy. It is easy to hate, but it takes much willpower to forgive. We are faced with many obstacles and people who, at the drop of a hat, will start creating drama. We have decided to let them rant while we continue on with our work. We are not looking to be the biggest social awareness or naturist group. We care about people and want to help them regardless of whether they are members of YNA or not.
We are far more in line with the hippie ideals of working for change. We hold our members to a high moral and ethical value system and believe in the ability of people / organizations working together to achieve a common goal. We try to unite people and to create discussions because we believe that through debating we can achieve a better understanding of what people are about and what organizations truly stand for.
We hope that others will follow our lead and stop spreading hate. At the end of the day – Love Has Staying Power!