It seems to me that becoming a hippie in 2008 is more expensive than living in the mainstream. Now, you can look at this in the long term & think, well, non-sustainable living isn't really cheaper...but that isn't my point. My point is, in the short-term, it seems to be more expensive to eat locally grown food & buy earth-friendly clothing. You can save money on makeup & hair care (of course, if you have a real job you might have to invest in a few grooming products - & again, if you use the "green" stuff it's going to cost you more than the Dollar General store stuff). So, my question is this. Was it more expensive to be a hippie instead of a conformist in the 60's?
I don't really know the answer to this question, but naturally that didn't stop me from chiming in:
That's an interesting question, and one that should be answered before all the people who could answer it personally are gone: how did the economics of being a hippie work out? From what I've read, it seems like there was a lot of begging, borrowing, and stealing going on, as well as a few people who just bought into the culture with their parents' money. (Kinda like Marx and Engels*, but I digress...) I suppose some people made and grew and cooked things and sold them to others with money, but beyond that, I don't know.
When I was a kid in the early 1970s, there was a place in town we called "Hippie Corner" where all the long-haired, dirty, scummy hippie types would hang out, smoking. This was near a bus stop and located right outside of a mental health clinic, so one or both of these factors may have come into play. I never saw anything enviable about hippies and the hippie culture, mainly because of the scuzzy bedraggled types I saw at Hippie Corner.
I remember hearing a Fresh Air interview with someone - it might have been Tom Wolfe, or more likely Robert Stone - where he talked about the days of hippie communal living, and it amounted to: one guy had a big barn, and everybody else lived in it for free...until the day the guy found an unattended candle burning in the hayloft, and he realized that his deadbeat moocher hippie friends were also dangerously stupid, and he kicked them all out. There seemed to be a lot of "sharing" going on, but most of this required that one person first be in a position of "having."
But I don't know. This era from my early youth, and slightly before, has never really interested me, so I've never studied it very closely. Does anybody else know? If so, leave a comment for Risa!
*Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto while sponging off of friend Friedrich Engels' father - a wealthy bourgeoisie capitalist banker.