Do Hipsters Represent the End of History?


Hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as the end of civilization

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall Francis Fukuyama opined that the end of the Cold War also represented The End of History as liberal democracy was the only game left in town. Fukuyama later claimed that his thesis was incomplete. So if we’re not at the end of history, where are we?

The fine people at Adbusters are telling us hipsterism represents the end of Western Civilization. Doug Haddow explains:

Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every aspect of music, art, government and civil society.

But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change, all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together. Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

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3 Responses to Do Hipsters Represent the End of History?

  1. […] the West struggles with its absence of meaningful culture and asks whether hipsters represent the end of western civilization, Japan may already be ahead of the curve in the realm of stagnation and […]

  2. […] is also affecting Hipster culture as trends now move more quickly and with more force than they once did. Previously what was cool in […]

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