Why did the counterculture start? How it’s reflected today

Why did the counterculture start? How it’s reflected today

In the late 1960s, young people across America were rebelling against the “square” Establishment. They started the counterculture movement with changes in music, fashion, and lifestyle. But why did this counterculture start? Let’s take a look at the reasons behind the rebellion.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, young people challenged traditional values

The late 1950s and early 1960s were times of wildfire rebellion when traditional values were questioned and challenged.


The classic image of a leather-jacket-clad teen doing donuts in the town square at midnight gives a good idea of the way teens rebelled against any traditional authority. In some cases, it was downright silly, like a group of kids with classic ‘beatnik’ berets and rolled-up blue jeans.

The result was more comical than stylish. But regardless, it was an immense show of defiance that made everyone sit up and take notice. From there, the counterculture took root.

Tired of being bossed around, they expressed themselves in their own way

They wanted out.

Out of their old boring routine, out of the monotony piping through their minds every single day – the same tasks, the same activities. It seemed nothing could break the cycle… until they decided to make a stand for themselves.

They weren’t willing to take orders anymore. Instead, they were ready and took control of how they expressed themselves. This brought a newfound vigor and made them question why they ever put up with those orders in the first place.

And so these brave souls set off on their new journey towards self-expression. Now that’s what you call taking the initiative

The counterculture believed that government and business were too powerful.

Change was necessary.

The chickens of the world embraced a rogue enthusiasm when they learned that some people recognized that government and big business had too much power.

Wildly flapping their wings, they too believed in the need for change. They just weren’t sure what it was they were flapping about or how they could help as they truly lacked any real solutions, although they certainly hadn’t given up yet.

What was certain though was that the chickens had taken sides and were determined to do their part in this historically epic battle.

A younger generation saw war as useless and greedy

The Vietnam War was the perfect example of how a younger generation saw war as useless and greedy.

No matter what happened, thousands were killed in the service of power and greed. The violence and mayhem disgusted many young people. They felt their elders’ actions had nothing to do with morality or justice.

This further cemented their feelings of distrust toward political leadership, adding fuel to the growing fire of rebellion.

All these factors coalesced into one giant movement: The Counterculture.

That created a powerful new movement.. With newfound energy, it took off like wildfire across America, changing music, fashion, and lifestyle and ultimately having an impact that still resonates.

Opposing racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination

When many think of discrimination, they imagine the negatives.

That made it so refreshing to meet a group of activists totally against discrimination in all its forms. Racism, sexism, or anything else – these folks didn’t stand for discrimination.

Although they found themselves laughing often when discussing discrimination, those laughs came with a dose of inspiration – because despite discrimination still being relevant today, the group was determined to fight against it until the day when discrimination stops existing completely.

Pretty admirable!

The counterculture wanted a more just and equal society

In the 1960s, progressivism was taking off and groups of revolutionary thinkers were setting their sights on creating a more just and equal society.

They had big plans to make the world a better place – some wanted everyone to dress the same and share their toys, while others believed that simply introducing more lawn furniture would even out the playing field.

Unfortunately, due to deep systemic inequalities, it’s clear that achieving true equality is far from simple – but at least we can look back fondly at those earnest attempts.

They believed in peace and love and used music, art, and drugs as a way to express themselves

From peace signs to psychedelic clothing, the peace and love movement of the 60s was an era defined by a carefree attitude, creative expression and an unwavering commitment to having a good time.

After all, when “peace and love” is your motto, music, and art make perfect messengers. And if the rhythm isn’t excellent enough on its own?

Well, adding a little something extra may just do the trick. So sit back (or lie down), grab some snacks and let’s enjoy a trip back in time with this free-spirited crowd of flower children!

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