September 20th, 2013
I’ve got a biggish piece over at TWS about the two worst decades since the Great Depression. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so I’ll just leave this as an open forum for anyone who wants to weigh in with which decade they think was worse.
The 70s. The oughts were just derivative.
For now I would say the 70’s are worse. But we are not done with the new lost decade. I love the line
“suggest an electorate lurching from one party to the other in search of competent political management.”
It is so true can we stop talking about abortion or cap and trade for 5 minutes and fix our patent system, immigration system, health care system or anything?
Don’t get me wrong I am a liberal and pro Obama care, but more because our current system is so skewed up any thing even obama care would be an improvement. Not because I think it is a great system.
I will be contrarian on this. We cannot truly know which is worse the 70’s or the oughts because the 70’s were the only thing that would allow the Age of Reagan. The conservatism of Reagan even reached into the culture on T.V. and movies. Anyone remember Michael J. Fox’s stardom or why the Expendables all came to fame in action movies in the 80’s and all are associated with conservatism?
Also, the family was not the sick joke that today’s family law makes them. There may be no coming back from what we have now on that score.
Still, if Obamaism is the last gasp of last centuries leftism and a new multi-racial conservatism emerges we might say the oughts were not as bad as the 70’s. I have seen no all consuming cultural disaster to rival disco for instance.
In the 1970’s the informal structures that held together society began or continued to fall apart. Since then the structures provided by society have had to be imposed externally by the state. This has been made possible by the increase in wealth in this country which has allowed things like the vastly increased professionalism of large police forces.
The country as a whole is more pleasant now than then, largely because public spaces were reclaimed by public order. A lot less free though.
Good to see another fan of “How We Got Here”–despite minor flaws of historical rigor & copy-editing it’s a great piece of polemical storytelling, or Pop Sociology if you will (even the introductory “Saw a movie on cable the other day…” anecdote which usually misfires in these books). Despite lacking memory of the decade itself he’d well persuaded me that the 70s destroyed middle America/civil society/Athens-Jerusalem.
However, since then I’ve switched to blaming the 1957 (Sputnik)-1966 (“In Cold Blood”) interval–especially divorce and interstate freeways. Once the boomers finally die off we may get the straight story on this. The 00s I think will be defined by phony meritocracy and Internet pron, among other fads