On the death of Charles Manson, used as political cudgel! Old Socialist comments

The vulgar popular press, of today and yesterday, have/had the power to direct and control the way we see the world! Look at this headline from November 20, 2017 from the Financial Times:


Then look at the cover of the once very powerful Henry Luce publication ‘Time Magazine’ of July 7, 1967:

TimeJuly071967HippiesNovember 20 2017

The cover of Time marked the official recognition of the ‘Hippie‘ and ‘The Summer of Love’. The ‘Hippie’ was the newest American cultural actor, as the expression of disillusion with the Post War world of the Organization Man: a best seller published in 1956, that gave empirical weight and shape, to the melodrama captured in the 1955 best selling novel The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson. Were the Beats of Howl, published in 1956,  and On the Road, published in 1957, simply the precursors to the ‘Hippie’?

My friends and I grew our hair long, and took the bus to Hollywood Blvd. from our backwater of Lynwood, California: to buy our bell bottomed jeans. We bought the L. A. Free Press, and visited, later on, Art Kunkin’s bookstore. Not to speak of flashing the Peace Sign to people on the street, as we walked to go shopping, or pay the gas and light bills, on the offices located on Long Beach Blvd.

One very real expression of the influence of the ‘Hippie Ethos‘ , in popular music and culture, was the Beatles 1967 release of  ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The Beatles made that ethos mainstream for so many people young and old, to the consternation of the respectable bourgeoisie.

The popularity of books like the Organization Man and The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit were indicative of the discontent with this world, that was alive, active in moral imaginations of the children of the Depression. Who were caught in a world, where economic striving replaced any semblance of mutual care, that was the ruling ethos of the Depression.  At least, as presented in the movies of the period: the American Good Guy as presented in ‘My Man Godfrey’ of 1936, or the collection of movies by Frank Capra, dubbed Capra-corn by some.

In American popular entertainment ‘Mad Men’ , and its ant-ihero Don Draper, expressed a kind of perverse nostalgia for the world of white male heterosexual dominance, and the ethos of success defined as capital accumulation, in its obsession with the collection of the  trophies of that success. This world view rules, is the very sine qua non, of the editors Financial Times. The death of Charles Manson, offers an opportunity for these editors to publicly shame those deviationists from the cult of capital accumulation, called ‘Hippies’: as sharing in the actions of a deranged leader of a cult which committed mass murder, that had noting in common with that ‘Hippie Ethos’, except that they shared contiguous historical space.    

Old Socialist 








About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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