Hip Capitalism Fails


March 14, 1968: Selling the underground press on Haight and Clayton.

“By 1971 the original 1967 ambivalence among one element of hippie culture with the urban setting manifested itself in what I call the Long March to Tennessee, led by Steve Gaskin. Steve Gaskin was a philosopher-guru who held meetings at the beach and was associated with Family Dog Production Company, the producer for many of the early rock and roll bands in the Haight Ashbury. Gaskin and his followers, which grew to several thousand people, increasingly found it impossible to pursue their version of spirituality in an urban setting and developed an ideology of the countryside. In a dramatic event, they formed a caravan of buses and vehicles of all sizes and shapes and drove to Tennessee, leaving the urban hippie in the Haight Ashbury. This was a period of great disease in the Haight, overlapping with the heroin war. The basic problem of hippie culture was that it had no economic base. It was based upon selling dope to one another, ripping one another off, and cashing checks from home. That was about it. There was an attempt in 1968 by a group of headshop owners and poster shop owners to articulate a concept of hip capitalism, but it too was based on the kids using the checks from home to buy posters or cigarette papers or whatever. The hip merchants didn’t make it, hip capitalism fell on its Levi-ed ass, and never got off the ground.”
SF Found
W – Stephen Gaskin
NY Times: Stephen Gaskin, Hippie Who Founded an Enduring Commune, Dies at 79
Vanity Fair: What Life Is Like When You’re Born on a Commune


Stephen Gaskin speaking to his followers in 1970 in San Francisco.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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