The dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Lyrics from the famous song in the musical “HAIR”. The song ends with the line: Let the Sun Shine In
The dawning of the Age of Aquarius


Lyrics from the famous song in the musical “HAIR”. The song ends with the line: Let the Sun Shine In: The musical was staged in 1967 and after the August 1968 Student Riots of Chicago became very popular. What these lyrics expressed was the general feeling at that time with the Viet Nam war in its height. The students expressed their feelings of fury for the course of affairs with their fury turning to violence.
What did they accomplish? What did they change? Evidently nothing to brag about. Forty years later the policemen who quelled the riots (with mayor Daley ordering to shoot) held a reunion. What were they reminiscing? The students? A few gathered to talk about what they did back then. Who were the former students that gathered? Some of them still hip, or hip-ish. The great majority of the students had become “mainstream”. Some were in the financial community! part of the “establishment” they were against, back then. They understood the meaning of the saying :If you can’t lick them…join them: There is a difference between a riot and a revolution. Riots are violent protests against something specific, or an issue of a political or a social nature, like the Detroit riots of 1967. The Chicago riots were the expression of anger mixed with detest for the “establishment” perceived as responsible for the assassination of Martin Luther King, in April 1968 and Robert Kennedy in June 1968. To make their point the Yippee crowd used a pig which they named pigassus and which was their “nominee” for the presidential election. They wanted to ridicule the Democratic convention in Chicago which was to culminate in the nomination of the party’s candidates for the presidential election. Chicago’s Mayor R.J.Daley had the most influential Democratic Machine in America. He was the king-maker in his days.
His son is now Mayor of Chicago and a friend of president Obama, a Chicagoan.
Riots in America were mostly of racial causes and in that sense expressions of social unrest.

The May 1968 French Riots (1968 was a tumultuous year on both sides of the Atlantic) were against consumerism and the old ideals of morality. They resulted in the gradual shift of France to a more liberal attitude. Like their American counterparts, the French students gained nothing. Yes, change began, of the kind the students and French workers (millions of them participated bringing the economy to a standstill) struggled for. But the immediate reaction in both cases was a social conservatism. In the US the republicans won the presidency and the June 1968 general elections held in France gave General De Gaulle a stronger hand. The leader of the French students Daniel Con Beti, now at 62, is a member of the European Parliament.
The lesson of experience is that riots do not bring about an immediate change. They begin a gradual shift. This means that those dreaming of change had better pursue their dream by working within the system to alter “this” then “that”, to gradually steer opinions and attitudes to the direction they want. Violent action produces counteraction which awakens the society’s conservative reflex. Step by step change has worked.
Mankind has always yearned for change, political, social, economic and ethical. It wants the “age of Aquarius” because it does not feel happy with the course of affairs. People want change but they should be careful in their pursuit of change. The Germans wanted change in the late twenties-early thirties and Hitler gave it to them. Tea Party-ers want change, now, but their bigoted, utopian, provocative approach to it only deteriorates the not so good state of American politics and pushes further away the dawning of the age of Aquarius, for America. For Greece, sadly, the dawning is very, very far away from present times. It is beyond even the outer limits of the realm of fantasy.The country refuses to take off the shoes of lead it has worn for decades, which make every step forward a very hard, exhaustive, effort of strength, even though the dire straits it is in require agility. It is sinking with the weight of the lead shoes pulling it down. There is fierce resistance to any change by those profiting from the state of affairs which t h e y have created and which is responsible for the approaching catastrophy… the Unions, as well as the groups of private interests which have enjoyed an endless party for decades. Greece simply does not want to let the sun shine in, or, does it? calmly, assertively, effectively.

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