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(04-23-2017, 03:11 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(04-23-2017, 01:31 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: I would suspect that one of the most radicalizing effect upon society is the perception of mass hardship in juxtaposition with conspicuous indulgence by economic elites.
Yes and no.  Yes in that several of the periods of relatively high instability do correlate with periods of relatively high inequality (civil war, 1910's and maybe the Revolutionary period).  No in that others do not (ca. 1830 and 1960's).  And then there is the period of high inequality in the late 1920's and early stages of the Depression in which instability was relatively low.

This may have something to do with the generational constellation of the time. In the 1920s and 1930s the rising adults were the GI Generation, and GIs showed their willingness to work within the system, whether with the corporate New Era politics of the Harding-Coolidge-Hoover era until the economy broke down -- before becoming enthusiastic supporters of the New Deal after the economy melted down and as it started to recover. GI's were not flaming radicals other than the Communists, and even those on the Right knew enough to give up on AmeriKKKlan (get it?) fascism as it discredited itself. Remember -- during the 1920s the KKK in America was much bigger both in absolute and relative numbers, and even had more political power, than the Nazis in Germany at the same time. The 1915 Klan was not a particularly GI phenomenon.

The Millennial Generation is not revolutionary. It is conformist. Obama is not a Millennial,  but he is a good match for a Civic culture. He tried to achieve it, but he didn't quite succeed. As the Tea Party protests showed, America was not quite ready for that. But give rational conformists a good reason to reject the leadership of the time, and they will do so. Just watch history unfold.

Millennial adults did not vote for Donald Trump. Unlike other generations they could see through him and see him as trouble. Millennial adults might support a New Era-style political norm so long as it brings them enough prosperity to raise their children adequately. But they are becoming the dominant generation in raising very-young children. The oldest half of Generation X  have completely left child-bearing years, and Millennial adults (now up to age 35) fully fill the prime years of childbirth. Civic parents are protective parents, and they will protect their children even against political ideologies. GI's could deal with the politics of an America that was much more reliant upon small business and family farms. Whether they can tolerate a plutocratic ideology that ravages children for the maximization of elite profit and gain  is another matter altogether. They can suffer for bosses and ownership. They might not tolerate demands that their children go ragged, cold, ignorant, and hungry.

I consider Donald Trump the antithesis of Civic values. He exemplifies the "every-man-for-himself" ideology that the GI generation would have never tolerated as public policy. In New Era politics and economics of the 1920s, the economy was still competitive (which prevented some excesses) and Big Business did not yet have the large bureaucratic elites that they now have. Today the economy is anything but competitive, and the economic elites insist on getting what they want first, the rest of us being obliged to endure severe privations in the event that something goes wrong. The elites are exempt from any personal sacrifice as if nobility in the worst sense of the word.

...So far I see Donald Trump as a one-term President, and not only due to his age. He offended enough constituencies that even facing a weak campaigner he fell short of even a plurality of the Presidential vote. He has done nothing to attract those who voted against him except for the tiny sliver of Americans in the economic elites who saw him as a dangerous demagogue and would have rather had some other conservative Republican as President. He has used Executive Orders to bypass Congress (even if he has a Congress that might concur so long as it votes strictly on Party lines) that have proved shady upon judicial rules. His economic policies are simply to enrich elites and promise pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die to the common man despite showing a complete lack of religious piety. He offends a coalition of feminists, environmentalists, the minority poor, the middle class of minorities of all kinds, unionized labor, government employees, people on the extreme high end of formal education, and clean-government types; it is easy to see such people as a majority coalition in the 2020s. Should global warming case a crop failure or two he could lose the farm vote and make rural interests part of the late-Crisis-era coalition. President Trump coulod be creating the American political norm of the 2020s, but a norm that rejects his ideology and priorities.

The geriatric quality of America's current political leadership will create a vacuum -- and Millennial figures will fill that vacuum as elected officials and political advisers, whether the first president of the 2020s is a late-wave Boomer or an early-wave X. Even the GI's faced limits on their political tenure. At one time I expected to see the scene in which someone like Dan Inouye or Frank Lautenberg as the last GI retiring from the Senate would greet the first Millennial entering the Senate. That did not happen. The Millennial generation is largely smart, pleasant, rational, and competent; by 2020 that will be much of the solution, even in places in which Boom and X reactionaries seem most entrenched.

Millennial adults have even more at stake with the rejection of a new feudalism that Donald Trump exemplifies, a feudalism that takes the inequity of the feudal era and melds it with the exploitation of a Soviet-style nomenklatura in commercial and administrative bureaucracies. Such elites can thrive in a climate of fear and superstition while all others suffer. But even Millennial adults have their limits. I can see them as revolutionaries of the amoral, anti-religious, iconoclastic French Revolution. They might even introduce their 21st-century equivalent of the guillotine for use against those who insisted upon extreme indulgence for themselves to be paid for with great suffering for others.

We Americans really messed up in the most important election since the Civil War. FDR and perhaps Obama were so obvious that people didn't have to think much. Many other elections weren't so severe in their consequences. The generational constellation made such turkeys as Harding and Dubya inevitable. The Gilded Age offered little worth writing about, but government was practically insignificant in those days except to the grafters. Reagan is understandable; someone had to cut American expectations down from the extravagant hopes of the Boom Awakening. Donald Trump is the worst President since at least Buchanan. If the core principles of good government are kindness, caution, and compassion, then Donald Trump lacks all three. So do his political allies who have shut out the rest of us for at least two years and probably four.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


Messages In This Thread
Low activity - by X_4AD_84 - 08-09-2016, 06:12 PM
RE: Low activity - by Odin - 08-10-2016, 06:57 AM
RE: Low activity - by TeacherinExile - 08-10-2016, 01:38 PM
RE: Low activity - by Odin - 08-10-2016, 03:38 PM
RE: Low activity - by TeacherinExile - 04-17-2017, 10:20 AM
RE: Low activity - by Mikebert - 08-10-2016, 08:16 AM
RE: Low activity - by Dan '82 - 08-10-2016, 01:18 PM
RE: Low activity - by Ragnarök_62 - 08-10-2016, 05:24 PM
RE: Low activity - by Eric the Green - 08-11-2016, 02:08 AM
RE: Low activity - by Eric the Green - 08-11-2016, 02:41 AM
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RE: Low activity - by Eric the Green - 08-12-2016, 11:22 AM
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RE: Low activity - by Classic-Xer - 08-20-2016, 06:36 PM
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RE: Low activity - by taramarie - 08-20-2016, 10:26 PM
RE: Low activity - by The Wonkette - 04-16-2017, 12:07 PM
RE: Low activity - by David Horn - 04-18-2017, 09:17 AM
RE: Low activity - by Warren Dew - 04-16-2017, 12:20 PM
RE: Low activity - by Odin - 04-16-2017, 03:25 PM
RE: Low activity - by taramarie - 04-23-2017, 03:32 AM
RE: Low activity - by ChrisP - 04-23-2017, 12:36 PM
RE: Low activity - by taramarie - 04-23-2017, 01:26 PM
RE: Low activity - by luschen - 05-03-2017, 08:17 PM
RE: Low activity - by Mikebert - 04-23-2017, 05:41 AM
RE: Low activity - by ChrisP - 04-23-2017, 12:35 PM
RE: Low activity - by Mikebert - 04-23-2017, 03:06 PM
RE: Low activity - by Mikebert - 05-09-2017, 08:07 PM
RE: Low activity - by pbrower2a - 04-23-2017, 01:31 PM
RE: Low activity - by beechnut79 - 04-23-2017, 02:41 PM
RE: Low activity - by Mikebert - 04-23-2017, 03:11 PM
RE: Low activity - by pbrower2a - 05-04-2017, 10:02 AM
RE: Low activity - by Skabungus - 05-05-2017, 09:42 AM
RE: Low activity - by David Horn - 05-08-2017, 09:41 AM

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