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Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going
(09-14-2018, 03:18 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(09-13-2018, 11:39 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: The only part of the Boom Awakening that seems to have persisted other than in a fringe is the rise of the Fundamentalist/Evangelical segment of Protestant Christianity. It has proved much more compatible with the economic elites than any of the others because of its unqualified acceptance of economic inequality and rigid hierarchies.  It's hard to see any other part of the Boom Awakening getting a revival. X and Millennial adults will never get the Boom Awakening, which for now is a good thing. No, I consider Woodstock and hippie culture irrelevant to our time.

I reviewed for you all the aspects of the Consciousness Revolution that are relevant today, and it was quite a list. It is not the "Boom Awakening." That is an incorrect name. Some people still get the hippie/Woodstock aspects as well, and the New Age aspects, regardless of age, and it will remain an example of alternative life. Little revivals have continued. It is a permanent part of our culture, forever. However, that aspect specifically is not as relevant now to the specific issues of our 4T. But most of those were already articulated, and the issues joined, during the 2T as well, and it's all of a piece. There is no difference between today's issues and those that were front and center during the 60s and 70s; they are the same.

But the Tea Party, Donald Trump, and GOP fronts have won -- so far -- although they can still be discredited due to gross failure, both technical and moral. For them to maintain and entrench their victory they must entrench their current hold with repression and perhaps violence. We may end up with some great reforms of America, perhaps a result of a Constitutional Convention whose purpose is to close the seams in our political system.

I dread any military coup, but if that is what it takes to prevent a President from becoming a despot or the President from starting an unjustifiable and catastrophic war -- then such might be necessary and justified after the fact. It will be necessary that some junta decides to restore electoral democracy quickly -- at best on the official schedule and in accordance with the Constitution. 

Should the Tea Party, Donald Trump, and the GOP fronts collapse due to criminality and incompetence, then such will be due to the electoral process or to some coup that thwarts some criminal conspiracy. A free election will involve people mostly in Generation X and the Millennial Generation who have concerns other than the cultural ephemera of the Consciousness Revolution. Boomers can no longer sell the Consciousness Revolution except as nostalgia for which younger generations have no bond. By 2020 people under 60 will have more practical concerns than 'rainbows and unicorns' -- such as political freedom, civil liberties, personal and public debt, employment, and health care.

OK, the Civil Rights struggle is entrenched enough that nobody is going to restore Jim Crow practices -- and it has served as a model for environmentalism, feminism, the rights of the handicapped, and same-sex rights. We need also understand that the Boom Awakening also brought about the Religious Right, much of it a reaction to the cultural ephemera of the Consciousness Revolution. It is Jerry Falwell against the Woodstock culture, and in the cultural struggle, Jerry Falwell and his ilk won. America's plutocrats are as rapacious as ever, and they want a political order that follows its commands. Although the Consciousness Revolution has so faded that it is no longer a meaningful target of the Right, something more important is under attack: the fundamental new decencies of the last 4T of the New Deal and the Great Society (LBJ was taking the New Deal to a reasonable direction).

The Hard Right wants the 40-hour workweek, labor unions, poor relief, old-age security, and Medicare privatized or eliminated. It has no problem with public infrastructure except that it is not in the hands of monopolistic gougers who have bought cheaply what the taxpayers built. It wants not only abortion but also contraception outlawed. It wants a social order much like that of Russia in which most people are nearly destitute and oligarchs have all the benefits of a modern economy. If you look at the theological objective -- it is that the masses suffer with smiles for the indulgence of a plutocratic elite in return for promises of a better world in the Afterlife... with the threat of a fate worse than death in This World and eternal damnation in the Afterlife.

Combine the worst parts of the American historical tradition, and you get the worst possible result in this 4T. I can imagine America as a Christian version of Iran, another nightmare of inequality, irresponsible government, a brutal legal system, fanaticism, and repression.  I can also see the end of such an order as free people do to an Evil Empire what they did to the Evil Empires of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo just to survive with some dignity.

Quote:And we can't hope to create a new and restored world by only paying attention to economics. We live by bread, but also roses. Quality and personal issues are always on the table in a society whose problems stem specifically from its materialism, over-fondness for technology, social and spiritual alienation and cultural depravity. So, those kind of counter-cultural movements will always be on the table, and will return, because the need for them remains, whether our current younger generations see that need or not. To the extent that they don't see the need, the stronger and larger will the counter-cultural movements of the sixties return. People may easily ignore what I say, but that does not mean I am incorrect.

Man does not live on bread alone, but he still needs bread.  Maslow's hierarchy of needs operates in earnest, and driving people en masse down the hierarchy of needs is unconscionable. But such seems to be what our economic elites want for all but themselves. I consider the crasser forms of materialism representations of the commodity fetish characteristic of people who continue to grasp for low stuff after their basic needs have receded deep into the rear-view mirror. Technology? It can give us easier access to some of the finer things in life -- if one means literature, cinema, music, and art -- and of course education. People can of course use technologies for indulgence in mass low entertainment. The same computer that can provide one with this

can also provide some really-harmful $#!+ as well. It's up to us to make choices that bring us fulfillment and not degradation.

Advanced technology can bring us more leisure because we will no longer need to work so many hours  for basic needs as we used to. That will require social reforms to match the bounty of the capacity for productivity that people once thought impossible. But remember -- we will still need bread... heating fuel, clothing, transportation, medical care, and of course formal education.


Quote:...The shortening of saecula suggests that people are taking on some adult characteristics earlier and more competently than they used to. Long apprenticeships used to be the norm even for some menial occupations. and young adults were typically into their twenties before they could express themselves culturally and in consumer habits. That of course is over, but something has changed: lifespans are longer, which means that we have never had so much influence of people in their seventies and eighties. Such means that there are often four influential adult generations. More elderly people remain around, and they still have the ability to shape events.

How might that change the saeculum, is the question.

If anything it might lengthen the saeculum. It is possible that the presence of four adult generations influencing public life and the economy will mitigate the worst tendencies of the ages of the generational cycle. So imagine a Crisis Era in which an active Adaptive generation in its seventies and eighties can stanch the fanaticism and cynicism of younger adults, a High in which there are still active Idealists to make cultural life less bland and unreflective, an Awakening Era in which some sober realists can tell Civics that big projects cost real money and young Idealist whipper-snappers that their counter-culture has already been tried and found flawed, and an Unraveling that unravels less because active Civics are still around to remind people of the need for some social structure. (We may have seen the latter as the Civic component of life went from elderly GI adults to young adults of the Millennial Generation; it was awkward, but things could have been far worse).

I can imagine the younger part of the Silent Generation having influence until the early 2030s as kids born after 9/11 begin to appear in large numbers in the workplace and in popular culture. Could Bob Dylan be a living model for young creators of the Homeland Generation?

We shall see. In the absence of knowledge of events, I can only return to the theory with a healthy critique of some of its assumptions. The biggest reality behind the generational cycle is the human life cycle. This Crisis Era may be a muddle, but some alternatives with greater clarity (such as global thermonuclear warfare or genocide that costs hundreds of millions of lives) are obviously unwelcome. I am tempted to believe that Donald Trump is far from the last act of the Boomer Generation, with people with beliefs more like mine who have been shut out of institutional power and electoral politics being around to bring the Crisis of 2020 to a (I hope!) wholesome conclusion. Because Generation X and the Millennial Generation will have the bulk of elected offices and by then command of executive positions the conclusion will not be something like the Woodstock festival. It will be too pragmatic and rational for such -- which is far superior to what Donald Trump and his coterie offer. We cannot achieve the perfect, but we can achieve something benign.

I see optimism in the low approval ratings of Donald Trump. We will go through spectacular failures simply to discover what works and what cannot. Time for another Consciousness Revolution? Only about twenty years after the end of this Crisis Era. Maybe if I live into old age and have as good health as we have seen among GI elders who took care of themselves, I might influence the new Idealists -- that peace and love are wondrous things, but dope (aside perhaps from cannabis) is to be avoided. Just imagine Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix without dope killing them.
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.


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RE: Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going - by pbrower2a - 09-14-2018, 06:56 PM

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