Interesting analysis

Author: Mark (262 Posts - Joined: Jul 23, 2015)

Posted at 10:19 am on Dec 6, 2018

Of all the theories behind the spurt in populism – the 2008 crash, immigration – the passing of the “greatest” generation from both high office and the electorate is under-discussed.

Experience of trauma does not instil risk aversion as a matter of course. But having lived through the near ruin of civilisation, that cohort of westerners did not trifle with dangerous ideas after 1945. Obituaries that attribute Bush’s caution to high-born Waspery or the Episcopalian Church miss the formative effect of war.

To see what happens when societies become incautious, look around. What unites Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon with France’s rioting gilets jaunes and the UK’s fiercest Brexiters is not just their will to upturn the existing order. It is their belief that transient economic strife is the worst that could possibly happen.

None of these people actively desire civilisational meltdown. They just under-rate the prospect of it happening as an inadvertent result of their actions. How could they not? Unintended consequences, the precariousness of order, the independent momentum of ideas: to keep these dangers in mind takes a bitterer experience of history than is available to most people under 90.


Link: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/populism-thrives-as-memory-of-war-fades-and-greatest-generation-passes-1.3721389

Replies to: Interesting analysis


Thread Level: 2

Each side sometimes thinks that something worse than transient economic strife could occur...

Author: NedoftheHill (20522 Posts - Joined: Jun 29, 2011)

Posted at 3:13 pm on Dec 6, 2018

...and each side ridicules the other side when the other side suggests out loud that something worse than transient economic strife could occur.

R says the D's playing with fire? D's ridicule.
D says the R's playing with fire? R's ridicule.


Thread Level: 2

The greatest generation spawned the baby boomers who in turn spawned the millennials.

Author: iairishcheeks (8919 Posts - Original UHND Member)

Posted at 10:57 am on Dec 6, 2018

There's some irony and perhaps a vicious circle.

Thread Level: 2

Which is why the stability and cautiousness of H.W. was crucial after the fall of the eastern bloc.

Author: Frank L (30991 Posts - Joined: Sep 20, 2007)

Posted at 10:43 am on Dec 6, 2018

What a chaotic situation that was with Ukraine and Belarus having nukes on their soil, all of the new “stans”, and the former satellites all upended. Also how do you reunify Germany without upsetting the apple cart? We were lucky to have him for those 4 years.

And you are correct, watch what you wish for from these accelerant bomb throwers.

Ned and I have frequently had this discussion.