The Rockism way of looking at the world is to demand the same authenticity as Existentialism, but with a more ordained outlook in regards to what is “authentic.” The follower of Rockism tends to exalt the freedom that comes with the rock and roll attitude, but they may feel that the true Rock path has become endangered by profane forces. Generally the Rockist sees the Rockism spirit as a transcendent spiritual principle. However it is one which has become sullied by a devolution into cliche and unoriginality. This is similar to the Folkism practiced by Bob Dylan in the early 1960s which led to Hippieism. Rockism sees this phenomenon in all aspects of life, not just in music — in this way, Rockism is quite similar to Hippieism, and much of its musical and political ideas indeed overlap.
Rockism came to life in the mid-20th century, as a countercultural reaction to mainstream postwar conservativism. Essential a mix of two lower-class styles of music (white folk music and black blues music), Rockism found many converts among youths who found their contemporary climate stultifying and restrictive. As such, Rockism came to symbolize an unshackled new liberalism of thought and behavior, in which new ideas and lifestyles were now possible. Reaching its apotheosis in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Rockism then fell into decline as more “commercial” forms of music began to drift from the original ethos of originality and authenticity. Today, Rockism has far less influence on overall culture but its adherents still keep its flame alive and occasionally surge back onto the cultural landscape (such as during the Grunge revolution of the early 1990s).
The primary method of practicing Rockism is by listening to rock music and attending rock concerts. However, the Rockism lifestyle also involves a strong skepticism towards mainstream culture.
I think that’s what it is with rock music. It helps you hang tough, I guess.
— Angus Young
You see, rock and roll isn’t a career or hobby – it’s a life force. It’s something very essential.
— The Edge
There’s just no great rock albums anymore. There’s a lot of rock music out there, but it’s very bland and disposable.
— Marilyn Manson