The world of today is actually pretty much the same as it was in the late 70s/early 80s.
In 1979-80, Russia invaded a border state. The USA and China were arguing about Taiwan. The USA and Iran also had beefs with each other. Same with the USA and multiple Latin American countries just like now. There was an immigration crisis back then (the Mariel boatlift from Cuba, refugees from the wars in Central America, and the “boat people” in California). There was lots of fighting in the Middle East. The USA had recently experienced a humiliating defeat in a Southern Asian nation.
Economically, everyone was worried about inflation, gas prices, high-interest rates, and pending recession. Just like now. Medically, the swine flu epidemic happened in the late 70s with a controversial vaccine introduced in response. Culturally, things like school busing, sex education, and school prayer were major points of contention. Now it’s transgender restrooms/sports, critical race theory, and compulsory medical masks. Then as now, abortion was a hot topic, along with gay rights, and worries about rising crime rates. A wave of riots by minorities, students, young people, and blue-collar workers had occurred a few years earlier. Same shit. Different day.
Politically, Nixon was a Republican who got impeached and left office under a cloud of controversy. Just like Trump. Carter was a Rockefeller Democrat Prez who was perceived to be incompetent. Just like Biden. Ted Kennedy was the AOC of the time (AOC actually interned for Ted). The Moral Majority and the John Birch Society were the MAGA of back then. Nothing new under the sun.
There are a few differences. Globalization was nowhere nearly as advanced back then as it is today. China is much stronger now but Russia is much weaker. The media is much more divided into niche markets. We didn’t have the Internet or social media back then. Back then there were only three news networks with the same Cronkite-style format.
Another difference between now and then is that the wealth disparity is much larger, more like it was in the 1920s. Also, the level of divisiveness now is more like it was in the Civil War or at least Reconstruction, which is largely fueled by the media, and the increased dominance of the cultural left in ideas industries like education and journalism. But not much else has changed.
Categories: History and Historiography
Leave a Reply