Contradictory Impulses in the Psychedelic Sixties

Joshua Canzona
Responding to academic efforts to create a static typology to describe the psychedelic counterculture of the American 1960s, this paper emphasizes the contradictory impulses of the time. Through an investigation of varied 1960s experimentation with chemically induced mysticism, social activism, and innovative technology, we can gain a sense of the tensions within sixties counterculture and a better understanding of the passions that fueled it. It will be argued that one underlying and unifying
more » ... lying and unifying theme is a consequentialist ethic willing to transgress every boundary in the pursuit of good vibes. The results, of course, were mixed.