Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, July 08, 2016

What rough beast . . . slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

I'm kind of an old guy now, and I lived through the '60s -- the Civil Rights Movement and massive police and KKK violence in response, the Vietnam War protests and the Chicago convention, the assassinations, the urban riots, the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers . . .

It seemed as though everything was spinning out of control. People got scared enough to nominate Barry Goldwater,  and then elect Richard Nixon, but eventually everything calmed down and the country held together. The truth is though, the underlying fractures in our society didn't heal, they just got painted over for a while. Is this historical moment more dangerous, or do we have more cultural resources now to overcome the turmoil and fear?

I'm not sure yet. Has progress been an illusion, or are we just seeing the one step back after two steps forward? We'll just have to stay tuned.

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

I lived through the 60s as well. I marched for civil rights and to end the war in Vietnam. I remember the volatility and the violence of the era. Today seems much more dangerous to me, and I am not sure why. Maybe because there are so many guns, because people are so stressed, because the income inequality is so profound, because our planet is being destroyed, because all the promises have been broken, because we are the most successful failed species ever. I'm just not sure.