William Murchison is using the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock to reflect on the 1960’s. But unlike most, his reflections are not very groovy.
He quotes Richard Lyman, president of Stanford during the time, in lamenting the damage to rational discourse:
Rationality itself was widely scored in the 1960s and suffered setbacks. It has never entirely regained its place in its supposed Temple, the University.
And I heartily agree. The impulses of the Sixties did lasting damage to higher education and, therefore, to the West.
Murchison does not buy that peace and love crap, either:
Peace and love — mere dumb show; dish towel disguises for the awful passions hiding below, starting with the passion to have it — whatever "it" might be — all one's way, without reference to norms, traditions, dignity, tolerance, free speech, the received wisdom of the species.
Sums up the Sixties pretty well, no?
A personal reflection: I’ve more than once ruminated that if I were a youth in the Sixties, I would have been alienated from my own generation. Being a youth in the Seventies wasn’t all that great either, however. Bad music, bad politics, and hilariously bad clothing. It took me twenty more years to learn how to dress after my Seventies teenagehood. (And some may think I still don’t know how to dress.)
I would have been much more at home as a youth in the Eighties, which I think is an underrated decade mainly because the Lefty literati hate the conservative triumphs of the time. The Eighties were an excellent time for popular culture, at least compared to the previous three decades. And, yes, the politics were tolerable for a change.
Of course, the mainline churches never did grow out of the Sixties and Seventies.
Hat tip to TitusOneNine.