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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mass nervous breakdown ...

A book I am currently reading contained a passage the set me thinking about a number of things including the direction that western society as a whole has taken since the 1960s. To quote the passage -

"Hardly anyone foresaw the incredible technological advance since WWII, or the mass cultural/psychological nervous breakdown of the late sixties."


This passage is from a book on writing fiction and is, more or less, a throw away comment by the author, Gardner Dozois, then editor of a popular Science Fiction magazine. He goes on to discuss the many mistakes and failures of those whose imagination tends toward the ideas of the 1930s 40s and 50s in terms of space travel, future life on earth and so on. But the last part of his remark really got my attention - the fact is that our culture, as a whole, underwent an earth shattering loss of confidence in ourselves and our future in the late sixties.

For many of us it probably wasn't immediately apparent, but the student riots, sit-ins and campaigns against teachers, authority of any sort and the mass appeal of mind bending drug use all started the trend. Anyone remember the mantra chanted by the flower waving 'peaceniks' of the 60s and 70s? "Better Red the Dead" was the mantra at every rally for disarmament and the idea that war was unsurvivable, that defending what your fathers had fought and died to create, was pointless all stem from those drug hazed days. So to do all the 'Campaigners' against every form of -ism they can invent.

You would have to be terminally naive to not recognise that there was a lot wrong with our society back then, but it certainly wasn't as bad as it is now depicted by those who can see nothing worthwhile in our society and wish to create a socialist/fascist state to control us.

As things stand we seem to be on a path toward self destruction. We have lost confidence in our governments, we have lost confidence in sciences and we are run by single issue campaigners to the extent that we often feel we are unable to express ourselves clearly on any thing in case we 'offend' someone's sensitivities. The latest piece of legislation to hit the statute books in England and Wales, the Equalities Act, is a case of legislation gone beserk and it enshrines the point I've just made. Under the provisions of this Act, someone who is offended by something another employee has said or shared with someone else, whether the 'offended' person actually heard or saw it themselves or not, they can sue the employer ...

Local Authorities now routinely expel groups using council owned property if they are afraid that someone may be offended by their lack of 'inclusiveness' or by the Chairman's choice of idiomatic expression. Nor does it stop there.

How could this have happened, you may well ask? You may even ask why it happened, and there doesn't seem, on the face of it, to be a clearcut answer. One thing that certainly has emerged is that the former KGB funded many of these groups in an effort to undermine the western democracies, but they were also ably aided and abetted by the Fabian Society and various other home grown 'socialist' groups who have worked insidiously to insert themselves into positions from which they could control education, state services and key policy makers.

Propaganda is a powerful tool and it has been used effectively to undermine our confidence in the justice system, in government, in religion and in our own achievements. How far will it go and where does it stop? Those are questions I cannot answer, though I can say that when I look back at the collapse of the Roman Empire and later still that of Byzantium, they underwent a similar collective nervous breakdown when everything became questionable, everything became a matter of challenge and disobedience and finally social and economic breakdown.

The one thing that does stand out from that is that all the precious 'freedoms' the campaigners have claimed to have won, they have in fact curtailed - and worse, they have undermined us so completely our society will probably not survive much longer. The riots in North Africa and across the Arab world may yet be the spark that ignites one of civilizations many recorded major collapses - and how long and in what form it re-emerges may take some time to become apparent.

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