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The Lost World: From Cosmic Freedom to Social Discipline

November 23, 2013

The Lost Summer

Doing an online search for The Tibetan Ukrainian Mountain Troupe last night, I came across this delightful picture here. I’m guessing it’s from about 1982-83. To me it says everything about the utopian dreams of an ‘alternative culture’, which saw its last hurrah with the Stonehenge Festivals of the early 1980s and the Cosmic Freedom Festival at Greenham Common in 1982. It was part of a festival circuit which saw urban squatters take to the road in battered buses and lorries in the summer. This movement was dealt a dolorous blow in 1985 with the Battle of the Beanfield, an act of state brutality surely sanctioned at the highest level, partly in revenge for the incursion at the projected cruise missile base at Greenham Common, which saw frantic phone calls between Downing Street and Washington – at least, according to the gossip tree at the festival. To paraphrase René Riesel, social submission has advanced at a frightening pace since then, such is the further intensified dictatorship of the market, facilitated in no small part by the devastating defeat inflicted upon the Miners in 1985.

“There must be some kind of way out of here.”

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