||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (July 2008)|
Antiestablishmentarianism (or anti-establishmentarianism) is a policy that views a nation's or society's power structure as corrupt, repressive, exploitive or unjust.
Antiestablishmentarians adhere to the doctrine of opposition to the social and political establishment. Their purpose is to subvert from within. This doctrine holds that establishments lose connection with the people and have their own agendas which frequently destroy the things they blindly don't address.
In a country with an established religion (e.g. England), "antiestablishmentarianism" can mean support for the end of the special status of the established religion. In the 19th century, some English people opposed a movement to disestablish as the church exclusively recognized by the government as the official religion of the country. That countermovement was antidisestablishmentarianism. Antidisestablishmentarianism is usually cited as the longest word in the English language, but according to some, it is exceeded by many others.
Modern day use
The modern use of the anti-establishment label became widespread in the 1960s.
The mindset this label describes prospered under the anxiety and frustration/anger with the United States government during the Vietnam war, as well as many other national governments during a similar time frame. Anxiety over the draft led to doubts concerning the implicit purpose of the war effort, and the moral legitimacy of that implicit purpose. The same attitude of doubt and independent moral scrutiny was, during this time period, applied to many established institutions of the day: race relations, gender relations, sexuality, cultural norms, musical creativity, drugs and drug prohibition, as well as various socio-economic concerns.
In this connotation, the phrase has at times been applied retroactively to historical phenomena that occurred before the 1960s; for example, the attitudes of both the German Nazi and Communist parties in the early 1930s; or the American radical movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In India the group of writers and painters during the 1960s who called themselves Hungryalists are the most important contributors to antiestablishment literature.