I have been accused of being anti-establishment and more than once asked if I was starting my own cult. (Wanna come over for some kool-aid?) I would argue that I’m not anti-establishment, I’m anti-not-questioning the establishment. The difference may not be evident to some but there is a BIG difference.
When someone is anti-establishment they have a knee-jerk reaction that any and everything mainstream is bad. On the other hand there are a lot of people who absolutely never question the status-quo. I tend to question everything but sometimes find that I can live with what the establishment has to offer. Other times I can’t. But here’s the thing, I don’t expect the line I draw to be the same one everyone else draws. I believe we should all be making our own choices and building the lives that make us happy. I think too many people go along, unquestioningly and are unhappy as a result. I also think that going against the mainstream and even being aware of the plethora of choices
is too difficult shouldn’t be so difficult. (Edited for clarification)
I don’t think either culture is perfect or better than the other. For me, the ideal wouldn’t be a mainstream OR a counter culture society but one where those who feel comfortable in the mainstream society would be okay with asking more questions and those in the counter culture would be accepting of those embracing mainstream establishments after the questions have been asked. I believe in promoting a society where everyone feels safe and encouraged to be themselves. Because the reality is that I, nor do most people, fit into a neat little conformist or nonconformist box.
As for me, I am certainly anti-establishment in some areas. We are, for example, choosing radical unschooling as the way we raise and educate our kids. We know that it isn’t possible, practical or even desirable for everyone. But it works for us. On the other hand we embrace technology and pop culture and you will pry my Lady Gaga filled iPod from my cold dead hands! 😉