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           In the 1960's, young people questioned America's materialism and cultural and political norms, much as they've always done.  Seeking a better world, some used music, politics, and alternative lifestyles to create what came to be known as the hippies’ counterculture. The hippies’ solutions to the problems of institutionalized American society were to either participate in mass protests with their alternative lifestyles and radical beliefs or drop out of society completely. Americans in that era faced many controversial issues-from civil rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear arms, and the environment to drug use, sexual freedom, and nonconformity.(lisa law,pp1)

The origin of hippies ‘ history can be traced back to period of beat generation and the invention of a psychedelic drug known to be LSD(Lysergic acid diethylamide) which played an important role in the birth and growth of hippies movement across the states. Beat generation represented a group of American writers who did experimentation with drugs and alternative forms of sexuality. They were inspired by the love of the eastern religions and spirituality and hatred for materialism. Their writings were mostly focused on obscenity and liberation of the youth from the conventional way of living which ultimately made them into youth cultural heroes.

The second major influential element that caused the arousal of hippies was LSD which was first synthesized on November 16, 1938 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland as part of a large research program searching for medically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives. First when it was created its use was restricted to laboratory tests for its hidden potentials. Doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and CIA officials took special interest in its ability to alter the human mind which they thought if used smartly could have positive consequences on their work while dealing with patients or suspects. But unfortunately it was triggered in the wrong hands and flourished among the general public. This powerful drug when used by the public they were surprised and heavily endorsed by the pleasure that it gives. LSD is considered an entheogen because it can catalyze intense spiritual experiences, during which users may feel they have come into contact with a greater spiritual or cosmic order. This new experience led them to the utopian world which consequently alienated them from the rest of the society and stuffed them with hatred for the capitalist way of living.

Enchanted by the beatniks’ philosophy of life and endorsed with the drug propagated spirituality, the youth between the age of 15-25 found its new way of living. But it wasn’t until January 21st 1966 that the hippie movement was launched in Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco where the Trip festival was organized ensuring the LSD for its consumers and some hippie musical concerts. Where tens of thousands of young people participated with their colorful dresses. This established them as a new counter culture because not only their dressing style, music, dance and behavior were very different from the general American people but they were the strong opposition of the authority.

Hippies’ dressed up in colorful clothes. They wore bell-bottomed pants and brightly colored t-shirts. They didn’t care about the fashion at all and had long loose hair on both men and women. They wore used clothes and mostly were bare footed. They wander naked in public usually and specially in musical concerts. Their hatred for the rest of the society compelled them to leave urban areas and settle in less populated places to be close to the nature. They loved gathering and preferred living in communal. they shared almost every material things that they had like money, home and even life partners. Together they used to dance, sing and sleep. But sooner some of them left their communal as if they didn’t give up the American style of living. They came to the streets and started protesting the authoritative style of governance. They strongly opposed the World War II and Vietnam war. In that decade the assassinations of john F. Kennedy and the martin Luther king Jr stirred the hippie’s hatred for the authority. But their mode of protestation was very peaceful. Their love for nature made them celebrate the earth day which is still celebrated up till now.

Banning drugs in San Francisco, negative consequences of overdose LSD and deaths of many hippies’ celebrities slowed down its propagation in the US but majority of them flew eastwards to central Asia and Europe where they are still practicing their norms. Although short lived the hippies counter culture was the most influential culture that history has ever witnessed. In less than two and a half decade it shook the most powerful nation on earth to its roots. For better or for worse the influence of the hippies’ was pervasive. As the hippies influence on the world wasn’t cultural, it was technological. In April 1977 Steve Jobs introduced the apple tool, the first personal computer. He was a hippie. Later internet and Google has been facilitated by the hippies’.

            At the heart of American experiment is the quest for utopian world. A place where individuals can live together in harmony while enjoying the freedom to fulfill their personal destiny. The hippies’ sought that utopia through music, through drugs, through communion with nature, through love and peace. Failure was perhaps inevitable but their brash rejection of the status quo reset the priorities of a generation , open the door to whole universe of innovative products and businesses and reminded a nation obsessed with regimentation and conformity that the pursuit of happiness was and always will be a vital part of the American dream.

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