Sunday, May 03, 2009

A brief history of the last 44 years

"Keeping up with the Joneses" has been around for most of the modern era in America, meaning since the 20s; it got a big shot in the arm in the 50s (and was also criticized in the press, in fiction, and in plays and movies then).

The counterculture (hippie, yippie, New Left) of the 60s was in part a rebellion against just that shallow status-seeking materialistic culture. It failed to thrive because of many internal contradictions and fallacies, and also because of conscious sabotage and fighting against it by the reactionaries (read "conservatives" [Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, et al]) who were appalled at change, growth, and evolution. Not only did they want to roll back the clock from the 60s and 70s, they wanted to roll it back to pre-FDR and probably back to pre-Teddy Roosevelt.

So here we are again having been in that meme basically since the 80s and it's all come crashing down, except for the insiders who have gotten filthy rich on it before it crashed.

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