Ed Driscoll

How We Got Here

James Hudnell has a nifty piece at Big Hollywood today titled, “The New Counter Culture: Liberty”, in which he writes, “It’s not a conservative vs lefty argument. It’s freedom lovers verses the statists. It’s liberty vs tyranny.” It’s the dynamists versus the stasists, to borrow Virginia Postrel’s language. But let’s jump back a bit. Hudnell writes:

Once upon a time in America, the 1960s to be exact, a generation of young people dissatisfied with the status quo decided they wanted to change society for that they felt was the better. They resented the culture of the time, which was a conservative, somewhat conformist society born out of the 1950s. Taking a cue from the Soviets who called anything that was against Communism “counter-revolutionary” they referred their movement as the “counter-culture.”

From this we got the hippies, the yippies, underground comics, groups like the SLA and the Black Panthers, all sorts of pressure groups and social movements. These were mostly influenced and orchestrated by the left. In fact, leftists had a big hand in shaping a lot of those communities and they infiltrated academia, education, government, media. Over the years they effected a lot of change to our society.

You can judge for yourself how well that worked out. But you can’t deny they managed to get a lot of what they wanted. Except what resulted is a typical example of human irony.

The counter-culture wanted to be free of what they considered a constricting, conformist society. Yet what did they turn it into when they got old and assumed power? They created a society more restrictive and conformist than that “evil” repressive 50s culture they love to vilify. They have become the new scolds. They have ushered in an “Age of Unreason” where you have to do what they say or else. They tell us what we can eat, what we can say, what kind of car to drive, what kind of light bulbs to use, on and on. They lecture us about our “carbon footprint” and “sustainable lifestyle”. They claim that the government, which they have spent the last eight years railing against, can solve all our problems if we abdicate what’s left of our personal freedoms, without question.

The “establishment” these days is left wing. Look around, from the administration to most of the entertainers on TV, the message is left leaning despite the fact that the country is more right leaning. “The Man” is a leftie tyrant. You don’t dare speak against the system or be scorned by the media and all the yapping chihuahuas of the echo chamber.

The comics of late night and cable are a perfect example of this. They’ve become nothing more than palace eunuchs, simpering at the thought of offending the hive mind. They do not serve the same function of comics past. Johnny Carson at least lobbed mild jokes at presidents, Democrat and Republican, all in good fun. Now, today’s comics don’t find this administration something to laugh at, even though it is one of the richest targets for sarcasm in recent memory. You have a pompous, egoist of a president with almost no accomplishments to show for all his hubris. It’s funny enough on its own. Then you throw in the collection of crazies from Nancy Pelosi to the wacky czars. It’s low hanging fruit to anyone with two brain cells to rub together. Can you count all their collective brain cells on one hand?

To make sense of the zigs and zags of the left — from Woodstock to the White House (with radical chic factions such as the Black Panthers and Weathermen metaphorically just offstage at both destinations), Reason managing editor Jesse Walker believes he’s found the linchpin: don’t miss “The Five Faces of Jerry Brown.”

Update: Surprisingly funny — and timely — scene from the British Coupling series from a couple of years ago:

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