Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
Autonomy: Alternative Culture
Written by Aaron Peterson
The 1960’s… An era commonly known for it’s escapism through the counter culture mainly focused on psychedelic culture and the ideas of apparent ‘peace and love.’ The proponents of this commonly called hippies sought to drop out from society, believing that by dropping out from society that could be themselves separate from society. Independent culture was rooted out of new ideas of sexual liberation, ideas of peace and New Age ethos. The hippie movement was of course, a mistake in it’s own. It sought to be separate from society through the practices of dropping out and accepted the notion of being left to itself. This in direct opposition to the idea of ‘alternative culture’. No, the two are not the same, a counter-culture is not an alternative culture and it cannot be the other way around either.
An alternative culture promotes the creation of a culture that seeks to replace the currently dominant culture by creating the roots for a new culture. In contrast with the 1960’s hippie counterculture, dropping out is not the cause of the day. Instead, the cause of the day is to draw as many in as possible and to create new cultural institutions to directly replace what is seen through the lenses of being an enemy. Alternative culture seeks to found itself on a generic set of principles, that being the creation of a new structure and ethos in order to serve as a replacement to modern culture which is accepted by the “mainstream” of society.
By entering into the mythology of “mainstream” and non-mainstream, a key mistake is made, which breeds the ideas of lifestylism. That is shutting out of the majority, the masses, from the new culture and creating a trend. In the case of the American counter-culture of the 1960’s, this is what lead to the co-opting of the American counter-culture and caused a mass marketing of it. It was toned down to the point, where it was no longer seen as threatening when it was realized profit could be made off of. Effectively by denying the idea of the necessity to replace culture and to fight against the current predominant culture, the mistake was made and the nails in the coffin were put in the American counter-cultural movement.
As an inverse to the idea of a counter-culture, alternative culture promotes the idea of autonomy. That is building a revolutionary and liberated zone of culture. This being a base for a cultural movement that seeks to destroy another predominant cultural movement through all means necessary. Whether this mean building new institutions and the likes in an attempt to replace existing parts of society. The ultimate goal being liberation.
When we look at culture, when we think of culture. We think of the currently existing cultural phenomenon of the day, whether traditional or post-modern. In the most radical of minds, it is rarely even considered that there can be a cultural war on culture itself and that culture can be directly opposed. To oppose currently existing culture is to strike against the very ideas of the time, it is to create a new socio-economic-politic al base which is destined to rise, if the conditions are fitting to replace the existing culture. It is autonomy from what is seen as oppressive and what is seen as exploitative. Foremost, it is an idea that pushes for not only self-reliance, but an attack on lifestylism which was prevalent in the idea of the US counter-culture. This in order to birth a new society from the bowels of the old.
Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
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