AGAIN, INTO THE ABYSS
Posted by Tim Bryce on October 7, 2015
BRYCE ON LIFE
– Comparing the 1960’s with the 2010’s.
I am trying to understand America’s anger issue which has led to a new level of violence. The only thing I can compare it to is the upheaval of the 1960’s. Back then, the icons of the times included such things as Watts, Berkeley, Kent State, college unrest, Charles Manson, Richard Speck, My Lai, the Weather Underground, SDS, protests to the Vietnam war, birth of the Black Panthers, Yippies, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Chicago 7, and urban riots. Some of this represented social change, some had revolutionary aspirations, others were racial in nature, and the rest twisted violence.
Frankly, such anger and violence is happening again, just fifty short years later. The icons this time are represented by such things as shootings in schools, movie theaters, churches, gas stations, be it by blacks, whites, or the execution of law enforcement personnel. We have suffered through riots in Ferguson, Baltimore, and many other skirmishes elsewhere. Both the new Black Panther party and the Nation of Islam are calling on their people to arm themselves. In response, whites are doing likewise. Protesters now shut down highway systems as opposed to practicing peaceful methods. There is no respect for the rule of law, police, or any form of authority. Then there is the matter of a disgruntled public who no longer trusts its government, where incompetence, gridlock, payola and cronyism are perceived as more prevalent than serving the needs of the American taxpayer. This has led angry voters to turn to anti-establishment candidates, such as Trump and Carson, as opposed to traditional politicians. And the media fans the flames of hatred simply for profits (after all it makes for great ratings).
There is commonality between the two periods; a racial divide between blacks and whites, a social divide between the “have’s” and “have not’s,” a political divide between liberals and conservatives, the development of a victim’s mentality, and differing perspectives of what America should be. Whenever people feel they have been ignored or taken for granted, frustration builds until people begin to take matters into their own hands. All of this hints at a full-blown revolution. This fortunately didn’t happen in the 1960’s, but the 2010’s may be another matter altogether. Of course, we should be mindful of such things as the Arab Spring in 2012 which led to the overthrow of governments in the Arab world.
Back in the 1960’s, Charles Manson referred to this cataclysmic period as “Helter Skelter” (from the Beatles’ song) where a race war ensued, followed by armed insurrection and a civil revolt which would redefine America. One could argue this is where we are heading today.
There are two important variables contributing to all of this: our declining morality and terrorism. In the 1960’s terrorism was a relatively unknown concept, but in the 2010’s it is common knowledge, particularly the subversive aspects of it, such as random shootings, executions, and building pipe bombs and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), the instructions for which can be easily found on the Internet. In other words, we are much more cognizant today of how to apply violence for reckless political statements.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two periods was in the practice of civil disobedience. Even though some violence did ensue in the 1960’s, the intent was to follow non nonviolent means, a la Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For example, as bad as the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago was, the confrontation would have been much bloodier if the protesters had been armed. Today, as the people on both sides arm themselves, it seems Manson’s vision of America may very well come to fruition.
So, where are the peacemakers of today? Certainly not at the White House, where the President uses the bully pulpit to flame outrage as opposed to calling for calm. The clergy calls for peace, but support for today’s organized religion is greatly diminished to the point of impotence. More members of the entertainment industry call for strife than peace. Ultimately, calm is called by local government leaders concerned with saving their communities, unfortunately offering too little, too late. Law enforcement is ultimately charged with maintaining the peace. In the process, they too have become targets for punishment.
Like the 1960’s, there are many social issues on our plate for the country to digest, such as same-sex marriage, condemnation of the Confederate flag and other icons of the old South, race relations; not to mention long standing issues back in the news, such as abortion, prayer in school, etc. As to race relations, I personally believe most of the problem has been manufactured. If America was truly racist, why would we have elected a black president, not just once, but twice. No, there are forces at work who want to pit black against white for no other reason than to destroy the American way of life.
After the 1960’s, I never thought we would have to go through such turmoil again, but maybe it’s a cleansing experience we have to suffer through every fifty years. Regardless, the fuse has been lit, but is there anyone who can put it out before it is too late?
Perhaps there is something in the water after all.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim’s columns, see: timbryce.com
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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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