IN 1970, at least as far as the calendar was concerned, the 60s came to an end. But as with all comets, brief as they may be, the tail, as well as the aptly-named coma, has proved extensive.
The 60s was a decade which looked forward breathlessly to a complete end to censorship. All restrictions were to be cast off in a paradise of artistic freedom. There were numerous failed prosecutions throughout the decade and campaigners such as Mary Whitehouse, attempting to hold back the tide of licentiousness, were dismissed as eccentric dinosaurs whose time was over. They were routinely and unquestioningly ridiculed by the media. But in more recent decades there has been a complete withdrawal of this assumption of the existence of a basic right to express any view, idea or opinion, without fear of censorship.
Given this particularly startling volte-face, it might have seemed reasonable to assume that the complete polarity shift which has taken place from the anarchic, ‘anything goes’ 1960s to today’s iron-cast rule, weaponised with the demonisation and censorship of anything which can be deemed even potentially ‘offensive’, is the result of some sort of massive change in the identities of those who govern us.
But here’s the curious thing: it is not. This complete reversal, denying as never before the once-presumed right to freedom of expression, has come about not as the result of a counter-revolution. There has been no revisionist movement struggling against the odds to kick out the progressives who had laboured so long and hard to make the 60s an irreversible phenomenon. In fact, quite the opposite. Many of the people who now rule over the intellectual prison camp which the West has become represent the same people and organisations who, half a century ago, were themselves leading the charge ‘against authority’ and spouting their anarchic battle cries against the very concept of authority, whether that be in theory or in practice.
Because of this, it’s pretty clear to me in retrospect that the ‘anarchy’ of the 60s was not the innocent, inevitable and spontaneous by-product of the dawning of the age of Aquarius, as it was endlessly sung about, but actually a tool for the demolition of the old country to clear the way for a much more effective replacement system of authority. The capture and reshaping of the entire education system paved the way for the dismantling of the institutions themselves, under the false banner of ‘progressiveness’, replaced by vacuous replicant organisations masquerading as their legitimate successors. This has resulted in the inevitable erosion of the public’s respect and trust for everything which had once made this country a comfortable and benign place in which to live.
This process of disillusionment and bewilderment is completed with the devaluation of any pride which people had felt in their country and particularly in its glorious history, replaced by an orchestrated campaign of debilitation using guilt and shame. Pride in our country is dismissed as unhealthy and evil, with the invention of ridiculous terms such as ‘othering’. At least, dismissed in every field except the realm of organised international sport. This alone can be officially encouraged, for the purpose of safely siphoning-off any residual nationalistic feelings into an area that is assessed by the Committee for Public Safety as harmless and meaningless.
Additionally, the consistent promotion and normalisation, via Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley, of recreational drug-taking, similarly misrepresented as symbolising growing personal freedom, has in reality created and fostered a dependency culture which inevitably imprisons its adherents.
Today it’s the vacuum created by the emasculation of all the country’s long-established institutions under the false flag of ‘freedom from authoritarianism’, which has actually resulted in the removal of everything which might have helped us in our struggle to retain what remains of our personal freedom. How remarkable it is that the very same people who stormed the barriers in the 60s in the cause of freedom are the ones who support the infinitely more narrowly defined and unforgivingly policed barriers being erected in the 21st century.