I recently saw the 1960s musical “Hair” on its revival tour as it passed through Dallas. In the 1960s, unkempt, unemployed and often ill-behaved young people sitting around doing nothing save for drugs and sex were called hippies.
Today we are reminded of the hippies by the crowds showing up in cities across America – all spawn of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.
Credit the hippies, at least, with having some clarity. At the root of the hippies’ discontent was the fact that they objected to the prospect of conscription for the purpose of fighting the Vietnam War.
Most of the Occupy Wall Street crowd can’t really tell you with any specificity what it is that’s bothering them. Well fed, nominally well-clothed and almost 100 percent possessed of smart phones, iPods and iPads, they stand in incoherent protest against the very economic system that made all of their comforts possible.
They see not a trace of irony in the fact that Western capitalism has succeeded so thoroughly that it is possible for vast numbers of people, Occupy Wall Streeters among them, to enjoy the comforts of economic success without the burden of producing even the tiniest lick of economic output.
Most of the hippies grew up, cut their hair and got jobs. You have to wonder if the occupy Wall Street Crowd, forty years of ever-increasing statist welfare coddling later, will ever feel compelled to do the same.