BIRTH OF THREE KINDS OF AMERICA:
have seen how the Sixties gave birth to a new group of Americans
who began looking for an alternative to a completely material
life. Some commentators began calling these Americans cultural
creatives. These Americans saw themselves as multiplex thinkers
who wanted to see a bigger picture of where the world was going
by thinking in terms of organic inter-connections and rhythms.
Each succeeding generation since the Vietnam generation had
more and more converts to this kind of thinking. The economy
and the ecology were seen as inter-connected.
cultural creatives began connecting the ecological and social
values of some of the Vietnam generation with the spiritual
and consciousness values of other members of the Vietnam generation.
Consciousness was seen as a complex range of human awareness
which needed to see problems from multiple angles. For example
smoking lead to poor health and poor health led to more demands
on a medical system that was already over-stretched and increasingly
too expensive. Preventative medicine and better health habits
was seen as a more effective multiplex way of handling economic
and medical problems at once.
living led to less consumption and this in turn lead to less
energy use and strain on the ecology. Simpler living was induced
by leading a richer inner-life that ultimately, led one to less
material desires. In a society that was feeling more fragmented
and artificial this kind of lifestyle began to have more appeal
to some Americans.
the Sixties and Seventies, twenty different cultural movements
sprang up which by the Eighties and Nineties had become one
huge underground movement. Movements that supported civil rights
for minorities and women, that fought the Vietnam war, and that
defended the ecology began fusing with the movements that explored
the new kinds of spiritual psychologies.
of the more introspective cultural creatives had a deeper interest
in meditation and spirituality than the more ecological and
reformist ones, but both kinds of cultural creatives saw that
they had more things in common with each other than they had
with either the religious fundamentalists or the modern materialists
who together still were the majority in America.
religious fundamentalists were from another era, even if many
knew how to use modern forms of technology. They were the psychological
children of the First Wave and small-town America. Many were
Christians who believed strongly in the Bible and who saw material
life in America becoming increasingly morally corrupt. Many
did not like the new urban and industrial life that had sprang
up in America after the American Civil War in the 1860's and
many of these traditional Americans came from the defeated South
which had been a traditionally agrarian society with slaves.
old First Wave America had been long gone by the 1960's, but
the psychology and nostalgia for a much simpler time was still
strong among many Americans. During the 1920's and 1980's these
Americans rose up to attack the new material and industrial
life-styles that were developing in both Second Wave and Third
secular and material life-style that many modern Americans desired
was seen as a retreat from moral values by more rural and traditional
Americans. Yet, in the 1960's many African Americans, union
workers, women and students continued to fight for a bigger
piece of this life-style even as the world was becoming more
increasingly complex. Yet, not all of these people went in this
Third Wave saw a splintering of the student and women's movement.
Many young Americans rejected both religious and modern worldviews
even as they found themselves embedded in a modern culture with
traditional Americans attacking it. The idea of a post-modern
culture with new kinds of social values was becoming more and
more of a new reality for some Americans who were looking for
alternative life-styles. Slowly, the cultural creatives began
to see themselves as a new social force in America.
force which was numbering in the millions by the turn of the
century. A silent force away from the radar of the national
media. To the Cultural Creatives the spiritual life was important
and it was also a very personal journey. Organized religion
had no appeal to these cultural creatives. Neither did many
kinds of big government or big business. These institutions
were seen as older products from an industrial era that could
no longer promise a sustainable form of life-style for anyone
on Earth. This was the big change in worldview for these new
Americans beginning with the Vietnam generation, but also succeeding