Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What Will Historians Decide?

It irritates me that future historians will be able to look back on our avalanche of documents and media and come to consensus on when the U.S. turned the corner toward its current decline and embrace of climate destruction. We can't see it now because we're in it, but likely in the future it will all seem so clear.

I'd vote for the 1970s-era Powell memo, followed soon by Buckley v. Valeo, as setting up the necessary political perspective and tools for corporations to take over government with their big money, short-term thinking, and capitalism-only solutions. Reaganism was the leading edge that followed these specific inflection points.

What do you think the key actions were that have brought us to where we are today? Or am I indulging in "golden age" thinking about my childhood? Clearly, the past was in no way perfect, but it does seem that aspects of civil society and the nature of government have changed.


Note: My thoughts on future historians assumes there are still academic institutions that can support historians, and that access to documents continues. Both are questionable assumptions, I suppose, if climate change leads to the kind of institutional breakdown that is well within the realm of possibility.

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