What do humanists think of romanticism?

Some time ago, I contrasted the principles of Secular Humanism, as defined in the Free Inquiry website, with transcendentalism (the American version of European romanticism), as defined in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and noticed they oppose on each and every aspects (except freedom/individualism):

_Secularism vs. mysticism
_Free market vs. social utopism
_Objectivity vs. subjectivity
_Empirical sciences/Reason vs. Intuition
_Materialism/Naturalism vs. Idealism
_Epicureanism vs. buddhism/hindhuism

I would like to know what our humanist community members think of romanticism, transcendentalism, and the hippie movement that it heavily influenced (through the Beat Generation in part).

Edit: What I find ironic is that these other (aristocratic, romantic, transcendental etc.) individualists, although they want to act with others as (aristocratic, romantic, transcendental etc.) individualists, yet they expect from others to be treated humanistically (with fairness, objectivity, compassion, materialistic care and generosity, etc.).

You want romanticism?

This does not sound extremely romantic to me.

I like folk music, in particular American contemporary folk music (e.g. Joan Shelley). I know romantics loved “roots” (folk) cultures, but romantic art borrowing folk art is very different from folk art per se.

I understand Romanticism as a framework, of the same amplitude as Humanism or Confucianism.

It encompasses many different values (see original post), and has developed under different forms in the course of history (European romanticism, American transcendentalism, symbolism, surrealism, Beat Generation, hippie movement). These movements were each accompanied philosophically by the idealist school of the day (German idealism, existentialism, Frankfurt school, French post-structuralism).

European Romanticism stands historically and theoretically in straight opposition to (Enlightenment) Humanism, as do its subsequent updated forms.

I don’t know if humanists realize that.

Romanticism: I write romance a lot.
Transcendentalism: I have no issues with it.

There are some great works of literature with these two things.

The hippie movement? I have this to say:

Watched the video.

There are many issues (fight against foreign dictatorships, environment, poverty), alluded in the video, that should be discussed, but on rational grounds, otherwise it will bring new problems.

A bit astonished to have to point it out on a Humanist website.

The hippie framework, for it being highly subjectivistic, irrational, impulsive, emotional, collectivistic, absolutely does not allow rational discussions.

And the virtue signalling with the peace and love symbols, the flowers, the nice slogans, doesn’t alter this truth.

Your video and the way you present things (never talked to an American hippie before) made me realize that I may be a bit biased on the hippie subject. This because my father is and has always been a hippie, but in the French version (so a movement I am importantly acquainted to from that perspective).

And the French version certainly differs from the American version, due to the very different contexts (the geographical (the landscape and the size of the two countries are different), political, sociological, and cultural contexts).

To just take one example (cultural context), IMK, although the two versions have common cultural ground (the American 60’s psychedelic culture and the English 60’s British rock culture), the French surrealism, a brain-torturing pretentious artistic movement, had much more influence on the French hippie version, while the, I believe, more sincerely naive naturalist American literature (Thoreau, etc.) had much more influence on the American hippies.

(See the Situationist International, and May 68, (unfortunately, the key information are more in the French article), to have a glimpse, if you are interested).

But that doesn’t contradict my point: the hippie framework was a highly subjectivistic, irrational, impulsive, emotional, collectivistic (+ pretentious in the case of France) framework, which can not serve as a basis for social and political debates/changes.

I was very shocked when I saw the aftermarth of the American hippie movement in the movie Forrest Gump. And I think it is just one small part of the picture.

We do no talk enough about how the Haight-Ashbury thing really ended up, nor about how the Osho sect (not mentioning Charles Manson) and other sects really were, and their consequences

Actually, if I remember correctly, the Manson kids were runaways, who hung out with hippies, but weren’t actually hippies. Many of the Manson kids just hung out on the beach and deserted areas, occasionally falling in with the hippies because they didn’t have anywhere to go. Manson took them in and brainwashed them, because as teenage kids they were ripe for the picking.

Sure, but what you depict is that there was a direct link between him and the hippie community, and he actually even lived in Haight-Ashbury.
Charles Manson was a famous one, but we can infer there were many other cases like that, of psychopathic gurus.
Why? Because, as I think we all agree, it is very easy for psychopathic gurus to develop in a (sub-)culture based on irrationality, collectivism, radical subjectivism, etc. (+ a community made of teenagers and 20 something…)

And my point was on guys like Osho (who were numerous and of whom we have actual traces), not Charles Manson, I understand Charles Manson was a bit something else (although, for reasons explained above, his case is worth mentioning).

It should be noted that at the time (approx 1968-1972) there were “hippies” and “freaks”. You could also argue other categories such as “flower child” but that one basically falls under the “hippie” category.

I was a freak. Still am, I suppose. A Hippie was, to most at the time, someone who was into peace and love and flowers and probably music and pot. A Freak was likely similar but with the added distinction of being more informed in terms of politics and philosophy. Crosby, Stills, and Nash wrote, “Let your freak flag fly.” They were freaks. As a freak, I liked hippies but recognized they were not as interested in serious conversation. LSD was also pretty influential back then.

Ah? I thought it was the Diggers and Yippies who were more politically active?

Some groups fit the general description of a hippie but were more politically active and involved in protests. Examples of these groups included the “Diggers” and “Yippies.”
The freaks and heads were the hippies who sought freedom through spiritual connections using hallucinogenic drugs, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

(this website)

Ha, I haven’t heard of those. Of course that’s a general problem with labels.
And thanks for the link. I don’t disagree with it.

May I ask which public intellectuals or political figures did the freaks followed at that time (from your perspective)?

Okay, I was 16 in 1969 and a drummer in a rock band just outside NYC. My perspective was not the same as that of someone from the southern US.

We were involved in sit-ins and general protest against the Vietnam war (police action). I was immersed in rock music of the time so most of my friends were freaks/hippies/yippies. At that time the six-o-clock news showed much more of the gore of war than today’s news does. Personally, I think the gore needs to be seen in order to truly appreciate its horror. Parents can keep the kids away.

Any politicians against the war were obviously favored. I remember bumper stickers that read “Why change Dicks in the middle of a screw” referencing Nixon obviously. We freaks were also very favorable of anyone supporting civil rights. We were against the industrial military complex of the time which is interesting since I joined the USAF in 1972. I joined because I needed to grow up and not because I supported the war. Life can be complicated.

I don’t really know what to say because war is an enormous and obviously sensitive subject, and I lack too much knowledge about this war.

That’s fine. Please note that, yes I am a Vietnam era veteran but all of my time was served from the US. I am very fortunate to never have been sent to war and I despise those who lie to make it seem as though they were in combat.

But to really understand the freaks/hippies/… in the US, you have to understand the horrific impact of that war. The music of the time provides some great hints. Listen to I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die by Country Joe and the Fish, or Monster by Steppenwolf, or Wooden Ships by Crosby Stills and Nash.

Most of those are esoteric. I rarely hear people throw around those terms. Are you in an academic setting?

Didn’t get what you mean. What are “those”?

These terms are those

These intellectual movements have been highly influential in modern and contemporary western countries.

(It was the term “esoteric” that got me confused, because these movements are indeed esoteric)