Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Counterpunch: Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip

By Ron Jacobs
Counterpunch

Iron Curtail Journals (Allen Ginsberg)When poet Allen Ginsberg journeyed to Cuba, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Britain in 1964, homosexuality was illegal in most of the world. So was marijuana. Furthermore, those laws were usually enforced by those in power. Ginsberg was already an internationally known figure because of his poetry and the obscenity trials some of those poems had produced when they were published in the 1950s. The counterculture of the 1960s was germinating in some western countries, but for the most part, it was limited to a segment of the arts and literature world. When it came to the political situation in Ginsberg’s nation of birth, the underlying context was anti-communism. US residents of virtually every political stripe (except for those few who were actually communist) considered the Soviet Union an existential threat and believed the United States was the fairest and best place to be in the world. This was despite the vicious racism displayed by police and politicians on television screens across the nation. In other words, US residents believed the propaganda of the national security state they lived in. Some things don’t change much at all.

 

Keep reading.

Related content
Iron Curtain Journals