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The Real Economic Underpinning of the 60's
The Prime Economic Driver
"Free love" undermined and almost destroyed the Prime Economic Driver.
The PED is the commercialisation of the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive is - "procreate". Human economies have been driven since Babylonian times by the channelling of energy generated by the Prime Directive into militarism and/or consumerism.
If procreative energy is allowed to dispense itself freely, without recourse to economic (including militaristic) activity, economies slow down. The controllers (and the main beneficiaries) of economies tend not to like this.
The sixties were fuelled by the redirected Prime Directive by-passing and thereby undermining the Prime Economic Driver and being channelled into non-mainstream consumerism. This was caused by the interaction between three major factors: economic circumstance, women’s attitudes, and improved hearing.
Economic circumstance is self explanatory. The middle-class children of the western world felt secure. We had no experience of material desperation. Educated, wrapped in swaddling bourgeois self-centredness, naively certain in our distinctions between right and wrong, we were the storm troopers of moral self-righteousness. We carried the weight of our mothers’ love and our fathers’ expectations of great things. Cynicism came later. But all this has been said before. Economic good times has often been cited for the phenomenon of the sixties. This is not new.
Nor is it new to say that “free sex” was one of the ingredients, but what is not often pointed out is that it was the WOMEN who were the precipitators. Men have always been into free sex. We have always been ready to dump our lust on just about any passing body. Men are and have always been hard-wired sluts of the highest order.
No, what changed was the way in which women began to associate giving love with natural freedom; the way in which women chose to try to reflect and contribute to the new optimism.
In a sense, the men had nothing to do with the hope and optimism of the sixties. They were simply experiencing women who were experiencing their own new outlook. We contributed very little but the inclination not to pursue careers in the expected manic way. We performed music and enjoyed playing at pop stars, but the underlying theme, the continuity, the all-embracing mood was coming from the women. The men didn't need to pursue materialistic well-being in order to achieve women; the women were giving themselves away.
Women and the possession of them by men is very closely tied up with the western economic model. The frightening thing for the establishment in the 60s was nothing to do with their fear of alternative points of view. It was, pure and simple, the fact that these young men were getting laid by these young women even though the young men didn’t have cars or houses or credit cards or yachts. They didn’t even have to pledge undying love in a contract of marriage. In fact, these young men were getting laid BECAUSE they had no money or goods or an offer of a lifetime commitment. I can still picture the pain and frustration on the pinched faces of the passing business men in their suits and dark cars and positions of power as we used to sit idly in the parks or on the pavements. What was grinding their souls into dry powder was not the fact that we, the young men, were lazy or indifferent. It was the fact that we were in the company of beautiful young women who were into us (with nothing) and not into them (with their untold power and material well being).
The horrific truth, of course, is that women are still, even in these “enlightened” times, at the core of the male run and dominated economy. Women are the real wealth which underlies all other forms of wealth. Men drive themselves into absolute stupors of achievement in order, with facility, to be able to trade in women. Even in the sixties, whilst we young men were lounging about in the comfort of non-earning lifestyles, we were using women. It was the women who pacified us. They were the ones who got us to calm down long enough to think some of these things through - only what we didn’t think through were our own economic relations with the women. We simply interpreted their generosity and goodwill in an ego-centric manner - we simply assumed they loved us because we were pretty and had wonderfully creative imaginations and could play music. It might be a mistake to idolise women to the degree of saying that they knew precisely what they were doing, but the fact was that it was essentially the women who had anything worth giving, and it is clear that they were responding generously in response to the supposed ethos of the times. It was consistent with the times that those who had gave, and those who didn’t took. It was happening with the small change. It was happening with the dope. It was happening with the rent. And it was happening with the sex.
The third ingredient, though, was the hearing. Being stoned enough to listen with any precision was a new experience for the western children. Vast quantities of emotion and information were being conveyed through the wonderful medium of hi fi systems. The heightened auditory awareness of the times meant that even things that never occurred to pop stars as they wrote songs would become self-evidently central features of particular tracks. What made the music of the day so powerful was not so much the creative genius of the self-obsessed pop stars. It was more the profound concentration which was being brought to bear on the listening end. It was the listening which generated the broadening socio-economic awareness more than what was being listened to. It is no simple coincidence that the hi-fi industry blossomed with such technical expertise in those days. Nor was it that even the most down and out drongo hippy would have a stereo of some quality stashed away somewhere. It was a listening revolution.
© 2013 Deacon Martin