Recently Opher penned the question of whether we are better off now than 50 years ago and as comments showed its simply not a yes or no answer. Most surely none of us want to go back to standing in a teller line to get cash, trying to find a pay phone and have change to make a call, or watch the outrageously usually bad television shows Hollywood served up to us (Gilligan's Island, really). On the flip side we'd probably like to go back to an economy that concentrated on real full employment, a solid middle and upper middle class and social mobility.
One thing that was definitely different was our naivety and ignorance on a whole host of subjects. We pretty much accepted the Warren Commission report or that Rock Hudson was a real ladies man. We assumed the US government was a source of good around the world. We believed what our politicians told us. We thought for sure corporate America would never sell us an unsafe product.
A lot has changed over the past 50 or 60 years. We're not so naïve or gullible. We have massive numbers of news outlets and people willing to dig for the real truth. We know now that the US government isn't much better than some of our past enemies. We know politicians will tell us anything to get elected with probably little thought or care how they are going to fulfill their promises.
When we were much more clueless we were a much more united society, even if what we believed was total nonsense. Sure there was the hippy era but even the hippies had no idea of the deceit being bestowed on society. We likely found happiness more internally, today we get it from a nifty gadget or the latest adult toy to amaze and delight.
For those with some gumption and brains they see the façade that has been built. Republican, Democrat they both claim they are for the average person but their loyalties lie with their big money donors. It seems to me the ones that sit home on election day have it right. You are only voting for one or another supporter and enabler of the plutocrat crowd. Does anyone really think that either Trump or Clinton would have done anything material for the masses? Of course not. Goldman Sachs pays big money to buy elections and our political system and they expect a return on their investment.
The information genie is out of the bottle. We will never go back to a 1960s world in terms of what we can know or learn. Sure, there are the brainless twits that actually think what they are being told on Fox News or MSNBC is the truth just like hundreds of years ago when people thought the world flat. However, they are moving in the minority.
The question is will ultimately this new found source of gigantic information unite us or permanently divide us into fractures and schools of thought? I think for sure the latter. We have found much of our history to be false and now we have become jaded, suspicious, nervous, untrusting and really pissed off.