One could argue that these guys basically enabled what we look back at nowadays and call the summer of love. Interesting, yet tragic. Or maybe not enable – but they played a major role that probably no one really realised. Especially not here in Switzerland..
Should be readily available on your favourite torrent tracker. Just to keep the spirit alive of making stuff available for free for the sake of enlightenment. 😉
Probably the most tragic observation is that Leary felt in the sixties already that the system sort of doesn’t quite work. That there is an imbalance of power, to say it like that. And here we are, almost 60 years later and it feels weird to look at the world today with these things in mind.
The more I read about this specific period of history, especially about the psychedelic movement and it’s interaction with politics and the economy on a global scale, the more fascinated I become. This is so much more than a bunch of hippies going rogue. Something much bigger almost happened, ending with Leary being incarcerated and effectively silenced and removed from the stage, just before entering politics. And the subsequent dissolve of the movement without leaders.
Just thinking about how things might be different is interesting. Not implying it would be the solution to all problems.. certainly not. But reducing this movement and period of time to a best of album and a bunch of images of people with long hair and beards is a gravely oversimplified version of reality. This is when politics started to become lifestyle marketing in the US, when the war on drugs started, globalisation started to take off, banks became a force of the state for good, the beginning of the age of information and global mass media.. basically everything that put us on this track we see today. And no, I still don’t know wether that’s s good thing or s bad thing. Probably somewhere in between..
This was the last time in recent history the status quo has been questioned on such a deep level. Not like any other subculture. And the conformity machine has won.
I yet have to make a clear picture of this, but .. interesting, nonetheless.
The interactions of society, the movement, economy and politics of that era are very interesting. Or did you know that one of the first guys to promote the idea of cyberspace in the nineties (and thus subsequently VR) was a key figure and member of the “acid test” movement in the sixties? The guys who made the “hippie bus” a thing? I think we probably owe a lot more to Albert Hoffmann in recent history than we allow ourselves to admit.
I think we need to dig a little deeper.