A historian's comments on current events, foreign and domestic.
ProfessorInteresting parallel suggestion. For my part, I think what we will see will play out very differently, for a variety of reasons.Fewer young Americans are on the left as such it seems, although there are more in academia.Academia itself, with its jungle like growth of special academic interests and fields, many of them ever more remote from even many younger peoples' interests and needs, is viewed with more suspicion by more segments of society, and may be treated more harshly, especially by the government itself, if it takes up sides with its left student fringe consituents against far right fringe protests expressions.In general, I don't see the situation re left and right activism as very analogous to that of the 60s. I think outcomes are likely to be quite different. The 60s didn't amount to much really. I do think we are as little likely to find any issue to pull Americans together. Even a natural or WMD disaster is very unlikely to effect such a thing here anymore, in fact quite the opposite; I think Katrina is a good example of the kind of pathetic situation likely to emerge in such a scenario.All the best
https://www.thoughtco.com/events-that-led-to-civil-war-104548My basic criticism to your post is that 1970 was 'summer' era in generational calendar. We are now deep into winter without renewal. The similarities to pre civil war era with a triggering event should be clear.Above link gives a list of 9 events like bleeding kansas, harper's ferry. In retrospect we may see Trump's election as similar to Lincoln's, a provocation to one side of electorate, causing emotional secession. Obama did same for other side. The tit for tat keeps growing. 2020 election could be last straw seeing seeing secession of texas, california or formation of massive terror organizations like under mussolini or mao. Revolutionaries against nationalists likd chiang kai shek could be result, city against suburb/rural, white against black, minorities. The seeds of this conflict were laid in WWII, depression and 60s. Depression created social welfare state, war created military industrial complex and 60s had civil rights, women's liberation, gay rights. All of these continued on own momentum. Costs for MIC, welfare state, keynesian policies rise all the time. Programs, wars always increased. Rights for individuals and groups not in majority also continually increase. Someone has to foot the bill for 1000 bases abroad and permanent warfare, NSA,CIA, Homeland, medicaid, soc. security, veterans affairs, etc. Middle class taxlayers should do this. Unfortunately this has been disappearing due to job exports. Waitering is main job increase in recent years. Two incomes holds people barely over water and everyone is in debt. So the ideology that evolved between 30s to 60s to take care of population, police the whole world permanently and make 'all men are created equal' a reality has run into a brick wall of costs. Now everybody is blaming everybody else. On the surface it is about the most obvious thing, values: abortion, religion, race, ethnicity. Underneath however the pie is shrinking and everyone is worried that their group keeps getting same share. Meanwhile whoever gets to be POTUS is neutralized by the bureaucracy created by the MIC, welfare state, 60s PC ideology and the financiers businessmen like Wal Mart that profit from all of this while everyone else gets poor.Russia, China, Iran and others have noticed that the ballast of past, similarly to soviet ballast, is making USA and allies sink and are exploiting this to unite Eurasia under another flag. America cannot win abroad, internally it is bankrupt. Civil conflict, bankruptcy and a new system without bloated security/welfare state, PC pseudo religion(like singing marseillaise among communists internationally) would bring USA back down to reality. UK is not anymore a global empire as it got too expensive. Modern social welfare states in Europe function with a low military budget. Germany is a huge exporter. You can't ship all jobs abroad and still have a middle class. Massive immigration before civil war and WWI also caused racial strife, similar to Europe and America today. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Peace dividend is best with less miltary, domestic peace when ethnic conflict due to racial/ethnic/religious homogeneity is reduced. You provoke problems when you ignore reality. Thatcher called European dreams of single cur.
(cont.)currency, united Europe 'cloud cuckoo land'. Lincoln said 'you can please all of the people some of the time, Some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time'. Europe disintegrates as trade, work, saving habits are different in north, south. USA has created massive dichotomies which don't add up. Piper has to be paid and time is running out. Charlottesville is like john brown's raid. Right wing was led by agent provocateur, false flag against right wing, like hitler's invasion of Poland. Deep state wants Pence or neutered Trump. Trump has been tamed. Afghan war continues, alt right are exiled from White House. Obama care lives. Bankers, generals control white house. America's strategy is a complicated house of cards. Anything could go wrong- financially, militarily, socially and all will unravel.
Dear Dr. Kaiser.I like that you here gently invoke Turnings theory without referencing Generations theory. I subscribe to the former more than the latter, because the cycles of American history seem to me to reflect a simple strategic game more clearly than they reflect the complex generational psychology proposed by Strauss and Howe.Further, I believe the protest events of the past few weeks mark the beginning of a Crisis, while the past sixteen years reflect merely an extended Unraveling. Thus each of the now four American Crises can be framed as pitched conflict between closely-related opponents: son against father (Revolution), brother against brother (Civil War), cousin against cousin (WWII) and now, neighbor against neighbor (Culture War). It is interesting to note that the climax of the present Crisis, expected in 2026, will coincide with the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which relative to the Constitution is now a nearly forgotten document. Jude Hammerle
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