The Rebel Within Me

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Robert Ringer


From time to time over the years, there’s a part of me that has been sympathetic to the rabble-rousers who protest against the established order.  I was again reminded of this when I happened to switch on the History channel during a program about the hippie movement of the Sixties.

Generally speaking, I am quite repulsed by genuine hippies, i.e., those cut in the Woodstock mold.  Maybe it’s my acute affinity for soap and water — not to mention clean underwear — but I can’t relate to rebels who see bathing as a cruel and unusual punishment.

Nevertheless, much like today’s Woodstock descendants, from a very young age I have tended to reject establishment institutions, especially government and the multitude of bureaucratic agencies that sprout from it like poisonous tentacles.  The unveiling of massive corruption at the FBI and DOJ, not to mention throughout the Obama administration, have once again reminded me why I don’t trust institutions — especially those in our nation’s capital.

I used to think I was an oddball, but today’s worldwide populist phenomenon has convinced me that tens of millions of otherwise straight-and-narrow people are as fed up with establishment institutions as I am.  Whether in middle America, Catalonia, or Tehran, people are pushing back hard.

Unfortunately, those lost souls of the early hippie era, as well as those of today, went way beyond my focus of discontent.  They had, and still have, high hopes for changing the world through peace, love, and, above all, the use of force.

Of course, the gods of history could have assured them, in advance, that failure was their destiny.  Any group of people whose goal it is to change the world by getting everyone to align with an idealistic vision of eliminating avarice, greed, and thuggery — in other words, changing human nature! — is setting itself up for disappointment.  Thousands of years of human history guarantee that.

In a hippie-run world, everyone would love everyone else, meditate each morning while bowing down to a picture of a naked Yoko and John enjoying an acid trip together, and have his/her ashes spread over India’s Ganges River when they die.  Cynics might be inclined to refer to this kind of life as Kumbayuk.

There’s no question about it, the hippie movement succeeded in changing society in major ways — some good, some bad.  There’s no question that it spawned the women’s liberation movement, which, in itself, produced both good and bad results for women and society as a whole.

The hippie movement also promoted racial and ethnic tolerance, though not religious tolerance.  It also led to the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision to legalize the termination of human beings still in the womb.  And, of course, it brought us loud, incoherent shouting as a substitute for real music.

But perhaps the worst thing that came out of the hippie movement was the popularization of the idea that it’s the government’s duty to “fix” income inequality.  Of course, the idea of wealth redistribution had been around long before the blossoming of Haight-Ashbury into the hippie capital of the world, going back as far as the Roman Empire and perhaps even Athens (at least through the philosophic teachings of Plato, particularly in his work The Republic).

And right here in the U.S., socialist policies were being pushed by many influential people, starting as far back as Teddy Roosevelt.  Falsely portrayed as a heroic believer in individualism in school textbooks, Roosevelt was anything but.  On the contrary, he was such a strong believer in redistributing wealth that he founded the Progressive Party in America in 1912 (though Woodrow Wilson is generally credited with being the president who began the systematic dismantling of the notion that politicians were servants of the people).

Today, of course, governments in most of the industrialized world are nothing more than massive wealth-redistribution machines.  They carry out their chief function based on the false premise that redistributing wealth from the “haves” (an impossible word to define) to the “have nots” (also impossible to define) is not only a legitimate function of government, but a noble one.

The corollary to this premise, of course, is that income inequality is evil.  I find it strange that no one has ever tried to explain why such a premise is correct, other than to insist that the gap between the so-called rich and so-called poor simply isn’t “fair” (the most impossible word of all to define).

In any event, in addition to the use of soap and water, wealth redistribution is where I part ways with hippie rebels.  The fantasy of being Peter Fonda gliding down the highway on that cool Harley in Easy Rider is glamorous and all that, but even Fonda — like his sibling, Hanoi Jane — has never shown the slightest interest in sharing his wealth with those who are less fortunate.  (At least Paul Newman wasn’t a hypocrite.  He actually demonstrated his compassion for those in need by donating 100 percent of his salad-dressing profits to charity.)

That said, I feel obliged to thank Robert Mueller, James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and the rest of the Deep State Corruption Crowd for reminding me that I’ve been right all along in my belief that politicians and bureaucrats are all about money and power and that they achieve their nefarious ends though deceit, intimidation, and the use of force.  If that makes me a rebel — or even a watered-down version of a hippie — so be it.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

40 responses to “The Rebel Within Me”

  1. patg2 says:

    Kumbayuk. I like that. I'll add it to my collection of neat new words. The feminist movement started in the 19th century, with the movement to grant women the vote, and the impetus to pass laws to protect human beings still in the womb. What came after the hippies was a corruption of true feminism. Hence, killing human beings still in the womb is now legal and acceptable, or so they say.

    The problem with current society, influenced by hippies, no doubt, is the total focus on self. Give of yourselves to others, and prosper. Even when you manufacture a good product or provide a good service, you are giving of yourself. Hopefully, you will be amply rewarded both materially and emotionally. For spiritual reward, giving of yourself is a requirement.

  2. Mr Ecks says:

    The Indian river would be the Ganges Mr Ringer.

    Genghis Khan is something else entirely.

  3. notpropagandized says:

    "If that makes me a rebel-or even a watered-down version of a hippie-so be it."
    Methinks that you should say, "a soap and watered-down version of a hippie".

  4. larajf says:

    Anyone who wants anything for free needs their heads examined…and definitely should not be in public office or anywhere like classrooms. Time to take back the world from the freeloaders!

    • Jean says:

      Unfortunately, we currently have the "snowflake generation." From what I've learned through interacting with far too many of them, they not only believe everything in life should be free (except, of course, their labor which is valued at the minimum rate of $15 an hour), but they want others to think for them and tell them exactly how to live their lives. In one of my conversations, I explained that there are two features that separate humans from animals – the ability to reason, and free will. When you willingly give up one or in this person's case, both, you've chosen to become the house pet of whomever you claim as your master.

      • larajf says:

        I'll sometimes connect it to prison, and other times with slavery & point out it's the Democrats trying to keep people enslaved and didn't we fight a war to protect against that?
        Makes their poor heads explode.

        • Jim Hallett says:

          Prayer U has a great short video about the Dirty Dees and their role in promoting slavery and opposing Civil Rights vs. Republicans who were opposed to slavery and promoted civil rights. Progressives always b.'s. us with the notion that they are superior and champion individuals, when it is EXACTLY the opposite.

    • Jay says:

      Take it back in the same manner it was let go.

  5. IHeartDagny says:

    "These people are stupid" is a phrase I've come across a lot since I've started reading Twitter with the President using it as his main source of communication over the heads of the "hippie" gatekeepers. Barring the totalitarian owners of the site shutting the phrase down, I think it will become a trend as people wake up to the crimes of the left.

    Your article reminds me how the left has an absolute ignorance of old adages and Biblical quotes that have proven, over time, to be Wisdom and are life lessons they should pay attention to.

    Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl-chain of all virtues. ~Thomas Fuller

    Try making a leftist understand that along with the "necessary evil" quote regarding government. Of course, they don't believe in "evil" (when applied to them or their desires) or "virtue" (when applied to people who don't agree with them), so there's that stumbling block.

    "Thou shall not steal" must take a back seat to all the greed (of others) the left sees. Of course, THEY are the authority on what is greed and what is not. They are justified in every new tax, fee, and charge they impose as we continue to return them to office. They will tell you so if you ask them. The long-term effect on the economy and on national mood matters not to them. They will insist the rocket ship this economy has become is ALL due to EVERYTHING Zero put in place prior to Donald Trump taking office.

    Bottom line, the left are historical dunces and immature children in adult bodies who have been allowed to wreak havoc on our (and European) society by craven and lazy "conservatives" for half a century. The fact that WE have a problem voting the left and the craven right out of office is where some of the fixes MUST come from. Article V Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on these creeps is a must if we are going to turn back the tide of the "hippies".

    • Richard lee Van Der says:

      RE Moderation quote: "The Golden Mean, that which lies between excess and deficiency." Aristotle. And that requires a great deal of judgment.

      • IHeartDagny says:

        Hence, we must go back to the idea that "these people are stupid" that I broached at the beginning! :-)

  6. Scott theczech says:

    Human nature notwithstanding, I'll never understand the urge ofone to force another to give their time, talent and treasure to one's cause. If a cause is so worthy, force and fraud should not be necessary. Bonds were invented long ago to help manage this urge: if the project is worthy, people will invest in the bond…if not, then the initiative fails. Humans need to evolve to higher, more noble means of promoting the general welfare.

    • Richard Lee Van Der says:

      Like STOP allowing USELESS people to emigrate. There are already MORE THAN enough people here who qualify for less than nothing, and have bad attitudes to boot! And then allow MORE of that kind or level in? Absurd.

      • Scott Theczech says:

        Emigration in the US wouldn’t be nearly the problem it is were two primary things allowed to occur: self imigration (deportation) and the “invisible” wall. People should only be allowed to work if they are in our country legally and employers need to be held accountable for violations, hence – the invisible wall. Second, people will self-deport if they are unable to find work and/or benefits. There is no need to spend billions on physical walls and complicated emigration rules.

        • says:

          "IMMIGRATION in the US wouldn't be nearly the problem if two primary things were allowed to occur:
          self-EMIGRATION (self- deportation) and the" etc. etc. etc. Otherwise, I agree with you….

  7. david says:

    Ah I see.. when right wingnuts like Ken Starr waste multi-millions going after Clinton over a bj that's okay.. but Mueller and Comey are power hungry nuts.. I see…

  8. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    I remember the 1960s very well! Where did they come from (caused from?) all of a sudden? When I was in college, the dorms were quiet, and male and female, not both together! I went back a year later after graduation and found the dorms rockin' n rollin'! How could Real Students work in THAT environment?! That was one of many UNgood changes that began during the 60s. Was no one with a brain in charge any longer?

    • Robby Bonfire says:

      I once visited a "frat boy" house on Landfair Ave. adjacent to the UCLA campus. Whoa, not much distinction between what I experienced and a day care facility for little 3 and 4 y.o. minds.

  9. RealitySeeker says:

    Excellent article…. One of the few beneficial accomplishments of the "movement" was to successfully "rebel" against the "draft". The idea that the shitheads in Washington can conscript young men and send them to any shitholes was worth rebelling against. "Flower Power" was a good lesson in how to beat back the Washington war-mongers … Now, Washington because it can't force it has to sucker the youth into fighting, and that's becoming increasing difficult. Washington is going to need a nuclear Peal Harbor in order to recruit enough suckers to fight for US hegemony…

  10. Rocketman says:

    I grew up in the 60's too Robert. When the hippies always started talking about how they were going to change things for the better, tearing down the system, and eliminate war, poverty, suffering and racism, I always thought "tearing it down is fine, but what EXACTLY do you replace it WITH?" When asked that question they would just talk in generalities or look at you dumbfounded like you just stepped of the rocket ship from Mars.

  11. BrowsingThrough says:

    I had my doubts about the “these people are stupid” phrase when “IHeartDagny” brought it up, but then I read the simplistic and infantile comparison presented by ” david”, and understood. I’m OK with the phrase now.

  12. johnlpettimore says:

    For professional reasons, I have lived in a Northern California town that prides itself on having a big counterculture. It's full of hippies, in other words. I have learned to hate them in the last five years. The whole story would require a book, but as a species, they are, first of all, incredibly selfish. They want the entire community and culture to be frozen in about 1972, and the consequences have been horrific. As one example, housing prices here are in the stratosphere — it costs almost $900,000 for the average home here, because the hippies will not allow anyone to build anything new. They are also brutally intolerant. They absolutely do not allow disagreement — you either toe their line, or you're evil. The side effects of their "culture" are brutal — an enormous drug problem, including regular, lethal overdoses. A huge crime problem. An army of homeless and mentally ill people wandering the streets. There are exceptions, but in my experience, people who buy into this point of view are incredibly toxic, and destructive.

    • Jim Hallett says:

      While it has been a few decades, I also spent a few years living in northern CA. and it's huge counterculture. I would agree with your assessment. They talk a good game of progressive baloney, yet are Very selfish and Very Intolerant! They have little to No knowledge about FREE markets, and would prefer a socialistic commute. NO THANKS!!

  13. B Wilds says:

    RR, I enjoyed your post as usual. The growth in inequality is a "pox on the house" of society. For decades the rich and powerful have been increasing grabbing a larger slice of the economic pie. In 1929, before the Great Depression, Marriner Eccles described a lack of "effective demand" by saying: "The United States economy is like a poker game where the chips have become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and where the other fellows can stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit runs out the game will stop. The game stopped when players ran out of chips." More on this subject in the article below.

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  20. jessicabarden says:

    I read about income inequality in the magazine of Coursework Writing Services last week. I must say people should step out against it like you did Robert!

  21. itsmonika says:

    Whatever the tragedy, people will definitely protest, but it is the government's duty to control people's emotions.