What did the hippie counterculture dislike about conformist American society and the war in Vietnam?
The hippies generally disliked two main things about America’s culture. They felt it lacked soul and they felt that it was too subservient to authority. The hippies felt that people should “do their own thing.” They felt that people should not worry about material goods and should, instead, seek spiritual enlightenment and seek to understand themselves. In doing so, they felt that they should listen to themselves. They should not simply go along with what they were told to do by “the establishment.”
The hippies disliked the Vietnam War for a variety of reasons. In part, they disliked the war because they disliked the military ethos in which deference to authority was everything. Many, but not all, of them felt that communism was morally superior to American capitalism because (they felt) it was less materialistic. Therefore, they disliked the idea of a war that was meant to further capitalism and inhibit the spread of communism. Finally, many of them argued that all war was wrong and that people should, in all cases, “make love, not war.”