Beatniks were the pre-cursors to Hippies. They were the generation of disaffected (mostly) youths who refused to accept the "normal" route society took after WWII, that is, get through school, get a career, get married, have kids, etc.
In the general scheme of things, both Beatniks and Hippies were romanticized far beyond their actual influence of society and its mores. Only a relatively small percentage of people became Beatniks and Hippies, yet they have been glorified to be defining movements in our recent history. Most of them, however, had socialist tendencies and were actually "losers" as defined in terms of becoming successful members of society. You know, anti-establishment, anti-military, anti-environment, and all that crap.
Now all you hippies out there will denigrate my post as conservative prose, but for most of us who have helped in some way to make the US the most vibrant, and successful economic force ever in history – where are the Hippies now, and how many of them actually contributed to that success? In other terms, how many of us actually have been employed by Hippies?