Heads, Freaks, Timothy Leary and politics.

r.woolley (r.woolley@uclan.ac.uk)
Thu, 29 Jan 1998 12:52:39 GMT+0

I am a final year English student and I am doing my dissertation on
the Counterculture and the Vietnam War. Everything I have read so far
suggests that the hippy movement was apolitical, in the sense that
they rejected mainstream politics, for example the Anti-war protest,
and the Civil Rights movement, whilst advocating universal
bohemianism. However, others suggest that there was a strong link
between music and politics, in the music of Bob Dylan, Country Joe
and the Fish and Phil Ochs. However, while Timothy Leary suggested
that everyone should "Turn on, tune in, drop out", Alan Ginsberg
advocated the intermingling of politics and the hippy subculture, ie.
the Yippies. Although it is evident that the hippies attempted to
create a utopian nation, which with hindsight appears to be
impossible, why and to what extent did they reject mainstream
politics, ie. the Anti-war movement, etc. How did the freaks, heads,
hippies (whatever you want to call them) essentially react to
political activists like John Lennon, for example who tried to
combine music and politics. In essence, what I'm trying to discover
is whether politics was a fundamental part of the hippy culture, or
was the Counterculture essentially a 'drop-out' movement?


Rebecca Woolley