Editors Note: Watch for upcoming posts detailing my journey through firearms training.
Why Today’s Turbulence Is Different From The 1960’s
Many people are beginning to compare current events in Europe and America to those of the 1960’s. They point to the violence, the so-called “societal polarization”, and the feelings of unease, chaos, and whirlwind rapidity that characterize the social environment, and compare it to similar events that unfolded in 1967, 1968, and 1969.
Many specifics are at play in this. First and foremost is the ongoing racial strife. In America, and now in Europe apparently, the “Black Lives Matter” movement protests against police violence in a manner evocative (though noticeably different) of the civil-rights movement and the “68’ers” forty-eight years before. Even the 1960’s, however, did not see the open murder of policeman by Leftist elements, as has happened twice in recent weeks in America. In that same vein we have the broader spectacle of violence. Political violence was endemic in the 1960’s, when leaders in both the United States and Europe were regularly assassinated. Today, rather than assassinations, we have terrorism, and the steady stream of Muslim-perpetrated atrocities in Western Europe and (to a lesser extent) in America. In response to this disorder we also see the rise of the “Silent Majority”, defined by Donald Trump in America, and individuals such as Norbert Hofer, Marine Le Pen, and Victor Orban in Europe. This is the narrative at least.
This is a reassuring juxtaposition for the mainstream elites, because they have very positive and sure views on the 1960’s. To them, the anarchy and disorder of the sixties has always been easily categorized as the painful contractions of a postwar world beginning the process of “progress”. To them, the “dialectic” is clear: the late 1960’s turbulence was the friction created by the forces of progressivism rubbing against the forces of reaction.
This is one way events in Europe and America today are framed by the elites. In such descriptions, the acts of terrorism, rape, and violence carried out by Muslims in Europe, and the protests (and real or imagined violence) by native Europeans against Muslims and Muslim immigration, are merely unfortunate side effects to be endured while the West’s new utopian future is ushered in. After all, “progress” dictates multiculturalism and a world without borders, so any “hiccups” are more than made up for by the nobility of the mission. It is just another iteration of the 1960’s, in which violence- unfortunate but largely unavoidable- ushered in civil rights and gay rights.
At the same time, the elites are starting to scratch their heads, increasingly aware- at some level at least- that the reassuring comparison is lacking. These descriptions sometimes bleed through from 1960’s comparisons, and in other instances entirely define the sentiments being expressed. For an example of the entire continuum, take the recent piece in the international edition of Der Spiegel by Mathieu von Rohr, “Apocalypse Now” (a very 1960’s title!). In it von Rohr declares the following:
Has the world gone mad? This question is occupying the minds of many people these days. It feels like the world is out of step, that multiple crises are encroaching upon us and that the distant world of international politics is about to get dangerously personal. How are we supposed to deal with the feeling of living in an era that we no longer seem to understand?
“I’m tired of living in interesting times,” a Twitter user wrote several days ago. His words were retweeted more than 1,000 times. Everyday, people on social media ask: What is wrong with 2016? When will it be over? What more does it have in store for us?
Note the fact that von Rohr approaches the situation from a place of unsurety. “Has the world gone mad?” Von Rohr attempts to put a 1960’s spin on things, but soon the narrative is cracking. And this is very much appropriate, because the turbulence today is wholly different than that of the 1960’s.
The 1960’s turbulence was caused first and foremost by demographics. In the years immediately following WWII, young people on both sides of the Atlantic got married and had children in record numbers. These children became the “Baby-Boom” generation. They grew up in a period of economic abundance far beyond that of any generation in history, and this, coupled with their large size, is what lead to the famous discord of 1960’s. By then, the massive Baby-Boomer cohort had moved on to their teen and twenty-something years. The economy was so strong that between their parents and the government, they were able to lead easy lives as students and vagabonds and intellectuals. They gravitated to utopian beliefs and protest politics precisely because they themselves were so insulated from reality. Where people their age in the 1930’s were struggling to eat, and those in the 1910’s and 1940’s were confronting mortality in the killing fields of war, those generations’ children and grandchildren, in the 1960’s, finding themselves in a situation of abundance and plenty, felt free to turn on their ancestor’s “hegemony” and “traditionalism”, and attempt to turn their societies upside down. As a result, all the resulting “turbulence” of the decade can be attributed to these factors of economics and demographics. As the 1970’s began, these same Baby-Boomers began having kids, starting careers, and entering “reality”. As a result, while their politics continued to influence the nations of the West, the “turbulence” of the 1960’s receded.
Contrast that with our current situation. In Europe, Islamic terrorism has become almost a daily occurrence not because of temporary demographic contortions or economic issues, but rather because Europe’s elites have engaged in a radical process of massive proportions involving the mass importation of (often violent and illiterate) twenty-something men from Africa and the Middle-East. Mass criminality and mass-rape are the obvious results. On the geopolitical level, the politics of Western nations are (as one might have suspected) now intertwined with those of the Muslim world, and turbulence in Turkey, Mesopotamia, and Persia now create waves that are felt in our own lands. ISIS has re-ushered in the Islamic caliphate, and countless Muslims living in Western lands- who never considered themselves Westerners nor respected their Western governments to begin with- now flock to its banner.
Beyond merely problems with Muslims, every other identity group now withdraws from civic loyalty as well. Black members of the American military quit service, become invested in Black Nationalist politics, and train their weapons on police. White people such as ourselves, understanding that our national governments have been usurped by a cult of ethno-masochist Suicidalists and their “rootless, cosmopolitan” influencers, turn our loyalties to Identitarian groups at the expense of our national governments. The massive influx of immigrants from every corner of the globe creates a “Tower of Babel” situation in which social trust and the sociological integrity of our nations whither away.
As a result, the modern “turbulence” we are confronted with is nearly the exact opposite of the 1960’s. For unlike then, what we are seeing now is not a temporary occurrence, which will disappear once demographic and economic equilibrium returns. Because of the insane and indescribably-destructive actions perpetrated by Progressives over the last fifty years- actions catalyzed by the utopian beliefs that sprang up in the 1960’s- there is no more equilibrium. As a result, we now see the cognitive dissonance firsthand in columns like the one by von Rohr.
Many of us simply don’t understand the world anymore. It will probably be up to the historians of future generations to accurately categorize what exactly it is that we’re experiencing in these times of transition. This is, however, not the time to give in to panic — it is time to have confidence in one’s own values and keep fighting for the society one believes in. Geopolitical turmoil is best overcome when one is grounded in clear convictions, which holds true for both citizens and countries as a whole. First of all, a clear compass is needed in order to take responsibility for foreign policy, confront dictators and manage the crises that we’re witnessing.
And there we have it. “Nothing makes sense”… “We must hold true to our convictions”… “a clear compass is needed”… “Diversity macht frie”… Future historians are not needed to understand what is happening however. The cold stark truth is that after a lifetime spent reshaping Western lands, the 1960’s generation has finally returned them to “reality”, at least in one regard. This is the fact that humans have had to abide by the “law of the jungle” throughout our entire history. Nations such as Norway, Finland, England, and America had done much to beat back this darkness, and create civilizations of peace and prosperity. Their descendants however (chiefly the Baby-Boomer generation), having never lived in this darkness, forgot about it. As a result, through their utopian remaking of the West, they plunged us right back into it. Such is the true progression of history. All it means is that we, the first generation confronted with this “Archeofuture”, as Guillaume Faye calls it, must start again at square one, reject the “clear compass” that brought us here, and begin hacking out a civilization, from the darkness that is now descending.