Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by NiRv4n4, Dec 3, 2011.
Um, how did my name get mentioned? Should I feel insulted?
If you hold true to your stated opinions, then probably not.
That would be legitimately funny if the post I made right before that one hadn't actually directly addressed exactly that. The economic system of the 1950s was for many reasons fantastic. It had problems but it was basically the bidness. The social situation was atrocious and had nothing to do with the economic situation.
edit: because NickyJ that whole conversation spawned off my first response to your post, for which I'm still waiting for an answer
Ah, I didn't see it. Here you go:
Economic, which was actually made by the WWII industry, not policies by either side, left or right. Also, I would want the close-knit family culture of the age. That was one of the main reasons for it being the golden age. It was a time when families got along better, without the common teenage rebellion and accepted law-breaking of this time. It was also a culture less fixated upon money.
Totally biased answer: 1985
Realistic answer: 1970-something (grow up in the 70's-80's, be in your 20's-30's throughout the 90's, and be somewhat stabilized in your career and life now)
If you don't mind all the technology stuff, maybe a bit after 1945 would be great. Postwar growth, great job opportunities until you retire, and part of the baby boomers who are the last generation to collect social security
Honorable mention: The Downtown era.
Also, growing up as a child in the 80's means..... VIDEO GAMES! 90's as well. I can't imagine growing up as a child without some sort of video game. I can't believe back in 91-92 all my quarters belong to the local arcade in the Super Street Fighter II machine.
WW2 industry was driven by state funded demand. Demand being the key technical term. Our economic system was very regulated, far beyond what Democrats today push for. There were positives and negatives to this. Sure, we benefited massively also from the fact that we became the only in-tact industrial power in the world. But if you want a return to 1950s style economy, we can do the following: the government can pass a $4 trillion stimulus plan that can only be used for massive industrial capacity, have lots of government regulation, high taxes, and few politician thinking that billionaires deserve to be that rich. You can have a government in which the conservatives actually compromise on everything rather than nothing, and the Christian-right stays out of politics.
The people of the 1950s expected the government to have their back. They expected the government to protect their rights to form unions. They expected corporations to service them with all their needs like healthcare, retirement, etc, and the government to make sure they did so. Whether it was through lower wages or through taxes, it's the people that pay that stuff. But it was a net boon nonetheless for the middle class because economic policy shifted money from the top on down. Modern conservative political heroes promote the exact opposite.
Unemployment tended to be very low because the government used extensive fiscal policy (something we've seen little of save a half hearted stimulus package a couple years ago) during recessions, and consumers had so much (growing) money that companies were always ready to hire to make more things to sell.
I'm down with close knit family culture as well. There's a few things to keep in mind though. Some of it came from the nature of our economy, being that large oligopolies and monopolies needed dehumanized workers to act as robots in plants around the country. If you research "fordism" you will totally read about this. Basically, to keep these workers content and focused and uncreative on the job, you needed them to have a really easy family life.
This meant subservient women, early marriages, etc. The earlier marriage part might not actually be a bad thing but I think we both agree subservient women is not an ideal social situation!
Anyway, the other problem was that extended families were actually less close knit in the 1950s. Bad marriages tended to mean that the men started drinking and the women had to bear abuse.
If you were a woman you couldn't pursue your dreams. If you were black you couldn't pursue your dreams. People didn't even know what gay meant half of the time (though you might not care about that, such people still existed and suffered immense problems in reconciling their sexuality with their society). If you were disabled, there were no ramps on sidewalks or into buildings. If you were a creative genius with a free-market solution you couldn't start your own company and change the world, you had to give the idea to a corporation for little pay and work your way from the bottom.
The 1950s were a glorious time if you were:
Politically moderate (for the times)
Lucky enough that you could stay in love with the first women you got busy with (as 19 year olds are apt to make the wrong choice).
Not particularly creative and didn't want to be
Perfectly healthy/not disabled
Had no ADHD type things that make fitting into a factory-culture physically difficult
Not predisposed to being a geek/nerd
Not a kid from an abusive family in a time with few services and escapes
Emotionally healthy in a time when men with troubles weren't allowed counseling so had to drink their problems away
So basically a minority of the population was truly free or accepted during the 1950s. But left-wing industrial policy meant that everyone in the country was getting wealthier.
Actually the biggest difference economically is that finance had its heaviest peacetime regulation ever and unions were their strongest ever.
I'm optimistic about the future. That's why I voted that now would be the best time to be born.
I have always wondered this myself. You can almost understand why people in prehistory held "primitive" superstitions. They were living on the edge of life and death every single day, and never knew beyond their own hunting grounds. It'd be quite a different experience from our lives in the present day.
Gah, the results of this poll is so disappointing! Absolutely 0 from Age of Enlightenment, the most essential and impacting era ever. That, was my second choice. After a few minutes of reasoning, I concluded the classical age, well, that is if I were in the following:
Pre-Roman Greece (pref. Periclean Athens)
Pre-Roman Egypt (including Hellenistic Egypt)
Han or Qin Dynasty China
Early Roman Republic
Augustan Rome till Rome under the Five Good Emperors
Pre-Punic War Carthage
Buuuut, considering that about 70% or so of the population of that time was concentrated in all of those, I have good odds! The fact is, that I've experienced today: and we've reached a time in which scientific discovery is rare. The things that we "accomplish" as commoners have already been done elsewhere in the world. The improvising artisan no longer exists! In a more simplistic world like a classical age would give me a more personal connection to the earth, history, and philosophy.
And I also really don't know very much else why. Perhaps it's just the feeling that I aspire to get of riding in a chariot down the open Persian steppe, or sailing in a Bireme in the Eastern Mediterranean, or walking down a valley in open, rural, France. It's mostly a wish for a world that is pure in its essence, which is what we lack in today's society.
As long as you were a white male above the poverty line, sure.
EDIT: Oh, and lets not forget straight. FSM help you if you were gay in the 1950s.
EDIT2: Damn Hygro for putting more effort into your education here at CFC.
I wouldn't want to live in the 60s/70s, but I'd love to be able to go back in time to the 60s/70s to see Cream Live, and Derek and the Dominoes Live, and the Dead at the Winterland and the Fillmore in 73/74, and see the Allman Bros, and see Traffic, and Led Zeppelin in the late 60s, etc.
As this situation is impossible, I'd much rather live in the period I am right now, where I can get just about as close to those shows as possible without actually being there. Also modern medicine rocks, yo. Also certain substances are super easy to get these days in Cali, holla!
Living during the Age of Enlightenment? I'm somewhat more happy to be enjoying the effects of the Age of Enlightenment, rather than rolling the dice to see where I fall in a society that was extremely hierarchical and quite bad for most people not in the elite.
I'd tend toward growing up in the 80s, or in the 90s like me. It was pretty cool. Otherwise in the far future. Here's a stock answer.
I really don't see why the Enlightenment was so important...rather Eurocentric view, and one could easily say that geopolitically the 19th century was immensely more important in terms of how the modern world is right now...or for that matter the 20th century. Etc. Besides that the only ones living really nice lives back then (generally speaking) were the aristocracy.
That's part of my point. I'm trying to find a time period where I have the best chance of living a good life, and I suspect that the last 50 years are the best off times yet. Earlier times might have been better for societal elites, but the masses are probably doing pretty well right now, compared to 2 or 20 centuries ago.
I don't buy the "dehumanization of combat" angle, especially since you're claiming it comes from incremental technological advances. High explosives and gun carriages meant that you could be killed by somebody you couldn't see, but that had been the case since pretty much the creation of missile units. What's the difference between Antigonos Monophthalmos or Harold Godwinson being killed by some unknown archer and some poilu blown to bits by a shell fired from a gun he can't see? The only kind of fight in which you know who your enemy is for certain is hand-to-hand (which you did have to have in the First World War).
Arguably, the decentralization of combat led to just the opposite effect. Instead of a group of lock-step automatons supposed to expose themselves, standing up, for many, many painful minutes at a time to enemy fire, individual initiative and working in small groups was not only ideal, but enshrined in formal doctrine.
I don't buy that the cause was any more or less "glorious" than previous or later wars, either. The fact that there weren't unequivocal "good" or "bad" guys doesn't matter, because there have almost never been unequivocal "good" or "bad" guys. And I don't think that "glory" is necessarily about the enemies you fight, either, so long as they're actually enemies and not civilians. If anything, glory is a mindset on the part of the soldier, and everybody knows that there were just as many Ernst Jüngers in the armies of the First World War as there were Erich Maria Remarques.
Germany and Austria-Hungary had democratic institutions just as strong as the UK and Japan did. Arguably, France was a military dictatorship for a significant portion of the war in a way that not even Germany was (I've spent time debunking the so-called "silent dictatorship" elsewhere and don't need to waste time on it here). Russia, of course, was an autocratic hellhole. The State Duma, apart from being comprised of hangers-on and courtiers of the tsar, voted its own dissolution for the entirety of the war. One might as well say that the Nazis' Reichstag gave them a veneer of democracy. At least the Ottoman Empire had a constitution and a parliamentary assembly, and furthermore integrated an early form of "party democracy" into the mix. Hell, in Germany, socialists (at least, the ones not avowedly working towards revolution) were admitted to the Reichstag; in the United States, they were harassed and jailed on trumped-up charges.
So, no, you can't even say that it was "understandable" that people would think about the entente powers as democratic, fighting against some autocratic foe, because that's a fairy tale, based on wartime propaganda and Wilson's attempts to justify the fighting ex post facto.
You also get a more personal connection to dung, dirt, dung, disease, dung, body odor, dung, illiteracy, dung, slavery, and dung. Life sucked back then except for the lucky few, and even then, compared to the life of the modern middle class, it still sucked. You do have good odds: good odds of, say, dying in infancy. And if you don't die in infancy, you get to live out a crapsack life. Hooray!
I actually agree with everything in this post. Dachs, you are without doubt a hero.
Thank for the info Dachs, I did some research into the governments of the time before making that post, but evidently not enough. Regarding the dehumanization of combat angle, I feel like there's a fairly significant difference between arrows and explosive artillery or poison gas due to their different magnitudes of effect, but I'm not particularly firm on that opinion.
I noted that this bit you're responding to is in hindsight. Hindsight, from our perspective, has widely flavoured the popular perception of WW1 in a less justified light than it has with WW2.
I've never heard that Germany had equal democratic politics as the UK. I would like to hear more about that. Gosh they had a freaking KAISER for god sake who actually helped run the GOV.
Sure, but even in the case of direct experience without hindsight, you get a lot of differing opinions. Take the difference between Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen and their poetry. Both men wrote during the war and neither survived it.
And the UK had a freaking KING who actually helped run the GOV, the difference being that the king's mediation kinda sucked (see: Buckingham Conference) and the kaiser's was kinda pointless.
While the German "democratic tradition" was not nearly as long-standing as Britain's was, the franchise was much wider. (When Bismarck made the North German Confederation's constitution and incorporated universal manhood suffrage, the British ambassador complained that the law permitted too many poor people to vote.) Both countries had militaries that sometimes cut the civilian government out of the loop on key policies, although at least none of the Germans mutinied. And in both cases, the civilian government had enough of a brake on the military authorities that neither case could be really considered a dictatorship.
This topic inspired me to write an essay for AP English (we can choose anything we desire). I voted <3000 BC.
And here it is (it's long, it's not professional, it might not be good at all, but here it is)
Separate names with a comma.