January 30, 2012

Charles Murray's "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010"

My review of Charles Murray's new book on the evolution of the class system over the last half century appears in the February issue of The American Conservative, available to subscribers online now.

By the way, I've read various discussions over the last few days of Murray's new questionnaire for determining what your class is on a 0-100 scale and how insulated you are from the rest of America, but most of the talk is based on an extremely crude version of the chapter in Murray's book that somebody posted online with a lot of pictures. Don't bother with that. 

Murray himself posted a rough draft of his quiz online about a year ago. The final version in the book is much better, reflecting the feedback he got from that early version. I discuss it in a little detail in my review, but I just wanted to point out here that you shouldn't trust the dopey caricature that somebody put online.

On a different subject, one of the cool things that Murray does to make all his data come alive is to describe what daily life was like in America on the day before everything started to change: November 21, 1963. For example, the most popular car in America, the Chevy Impala, cost a little over $26,000 in today's money, which is probably about or little more than what people pay for family sedans these days. But the average asking price of the homes in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the lovely suburb just over the border from the northwest side of the District of Columbia, was only $262,000. You can't get a typical house in Chevy Chase for only ten times the cost of a family sedan these days. 

As Murray's subtitle suggests, he uses the 1960 Census as his anchor point for many of his graphs. But, as his chapter on 11/21/1963 demonstrates, the whole Kennedy era makes a good baseline, not radically different from the preceding decade.

But that raises a question that Murray doesn't particularly try to answer that I've been thinking about again. I believe I may have a fairly unusual answer to the old question: Why, in the popular imagination, did The Sixties not start until JFK's assassination? Why does 11/22/1963 show up around a lot of inflection points in a lot of trends? Why do the Eisenhower and Kennedy eras seem more of one piece than do the Kennedy and Johnson eras? 

I'll probably write up my idea of what exactly was it about the Kennedy assassination that put an end to one era and started another later, but I'd like to hear your suggestions first. Comment away!

177 comments:

Anonymous said...

The gulags were closed in the 1950s and all the political prisoners were given amnesty and there was a loosening of Communist stuff back in the 1960s...

I would ask the question "How did things in Russia change that subsequently caused the change in the U.S."

Peter said...

Steve, my vague impressions of this book is that it's a largely an updated version of the Bell Curve with the 4 chapters on race removed. Nothing much wrong with that - the book's central message was largely ignored because of those chapters, and great to see an update. But is this fair as a description?

dearieme said...

In Britain, Philip Larkin identified the start of the sixties:

"Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP."

andrew hartman said...

birth control, pot, vietnam, civil rights....

Anonymous said...

over christmas i was at my aunt's house and we were looking at some of the family pictures she has up. her husband looked at one and said something like, "that's such a pre-1964 picture." my aunt said that it was from about 1962 but she didn't know what he meant.


my uncle actually believed he could see the difference between america before the beatles appeared on ed sullivan and "the sixties." of course, hes probably wrong, but hes generally not an irrational man. that schism is real and profound to many people in this country.

Anonymous said...

Bell Curve with the 4 chapters on race removed.
the long march marches on

Anonymous said...

Johnson got the civil rights and immigration laws passed. Robert Hume

Harry Baldwin said...

There are a few obvious reasons "the 60s" started after Kennedy was assassinated. I'll belabor them anyway.

Loss of innocence after the assassination, the sense that things were falling apart.

Lyndon Johnson being able to ram through the liberal agenda with the idea that this was JFK's legacy--the Civil Rights Act, the Immigration and Naturalization Reform Act. The effect of the latter was slow in materializing, but the former seemed to immediately radicalize blacks.

Teddy and Booby Kennedy inherited the JFK mantle and used it to push a more liberal agenda.

Johnson dramatically escalated the commitment of American troops to Viet Nam (still two words in those days), provoking resistance to the draft.

Coincidental: legalization and increasing use of the birth control pill in early 1960s. Huxley and Leary begin promoting use of LSD. The British Invasion in 1963-64.

Anonymous said...

The Kennedy Assassination was the first unmistakable failure of American institutions.

The respectable men in charge could not keep a US President from being killed by a basically solitary fringe whacko.

This was inconceivable. Either the Men In Charge were not in charge, not so in control, or there were great sinister forces at work.

The Kennedy assassination unleashed a flood of smearing of the Right, which maybe contributed to Goldwater's nomination. If you were a soft Goldwater supporter in 1963, maybe you could be persuaded that Goldwater couldn't win and Rockefeller/Lodge/Nixon could. Get called a Kennedy-murdering fascist Klansman by Rockefeller and Lodge etc., maybe you don't give a damn.

The Kennedy assassination also unhinges the Left--if their sainted paladin was struck down by dark forces in American institutions, how could they trust institutions?

Within two years of the assassination, you have the Civil Rights Act passed by the great and the good, the Men in Charge, followed immediately by first ever wave of black race riots in America.

And within a few years, the country has half a million troops in a distant military action with unclear strategy, tactics and purpose.

All that said, if Kennedy doesn't get assassinated--say Connally catches the bullet, or say Oswald hits Gen Walker with a kill shot and gets caught, or whatever--things aren't very different, but you don't have a clear dividing point.

--Discordiax

wwwww said...

60 s kennedys death 63 nixon watergate farewell 1974

Anonymous said...

Ok so Kennedy and Kruschev signed the No More Nuclear Tests Treaty...

So if Kennedy had stayed alive maybe he would have become drinking buddies with Kruschev and some type of USSR/American elite alliance would have resulted.

But then Lyndon B. Johnson got into office and to keep the USSR/American animosity going.... he couldn't attack the USSR....so Vietnam was the next best choice.

Hmmm.........

TGGP said...

Steve last raised that "why the sixties" question here.

Peter said...

In much of the country buyers can buy houses for about ten times the cost of a new car. Chevy Chase is not typical.

ATBOTL said...

Still waiting for Murray's prediction of out of control white public schools to happen.

Murray is no friend of white people.

beowulf said...

The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was less than a year later. One thing the politicians have learned since then is elective wars go down easier with an all-volunteer army.

Kennedy apparently wanted to withdraw from Vietnam. For backfill, can't recommend highly enough Jim Douglass's book JFK and the Unspeakable.
http://www.ctka.net/2008/jfk_unspeakable.html

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this an example of what is seen elsewhere with historical periodization and nationalism, academics and the commentariot decided that a new period has begun and eventually the idea gets picked up by the masses. Because of increased literacy and access to information the notion is picked up by the masses even quicker. For the idea of the new periodization to take hold it has to relate to actual social or political changes.

Your question is a good one, intuitively one could argue that thanks to centuries of calendar use people are psychologically primed to think of time as divided by years or decades. However, there is also the even older way of viewing time as divided by reigns of kings. Perhaps that explanation for why the 60's began in Dallas in '63 is because it was then the old king died and, to borrow a Russian phrase, everything that followed was Smuta. Academics and journalists are not immune to being influenced by this type of thinking, so back to my initial comment.

robert61 said...

I'm submitting this to humblebrag: "...we concluded that anybody whose first reaction is to contact Charles Murray to discuss one’s taste (or lack thereof) in beer was kind of missing the point of his survey."

Anonymous said...

The Kennedy assassination makes for a good starting point for the Sixties, but note that the Port Huron statement of the student radicals was issued in 1962; there were plans to stir the pot even before Kennedy was killed.

Chief Seattle said...

I always date the peak of post war America as 1969, with the moon landing, the 747 being developed, the cold war in full force, the awesome rock music, general prosperity, solid cars, etc. And then it all turned downhill, not too long after Nixon took us off the international gold standard in 1971. By 1974 we had the oil shock, had lost Vietnam, ended the moon program, the beginning of a decade of inflation.

The change is so drastic, so fast, that I honestly wonder how much of the vast accomplishments during the 60s were drug fueled - possibly amphetamines, and the 70s were an attempt at recovery.

Anonymous said...

The comparison of the car and the house both show how tricky it is to compare eras.

The car may cost the same in inflation adjusted dollars but the car you get today is wildly better in every conceivable way than the vehicle then. So we're very much better off in a way that Murray may or may not be measuring.

The house, on the other hand, may seem the same but it probably isn't. The average size of a new house now is more than twice as big as it was in Kennedy's day. And in any decent neighborhood it would come with AC, which seems like a small deal but makes my life livable. (Granted, all the homes from JFK's time still exist, so you have to average the sizes, making the size of a new home in Chevy Chase something like 50 percent larger rather than 100 percent larger, — but still, it makes the price increase considerably less.)

Also, housing prices have only gone up on the coasts and around Chicago, where big government types prevent you from restricting. You can certainly buy a lovely 2,500 square foot home in a very nice suburb of Dallas, like Frisco or McKinney or South Lake for $260,000 and it will be much, much nicer than the Chevy Chase house of 1960.

(The downside to the Texas model is that in these days of easy credit, undesirable people can scrape together that much money so every time Whites/Asians move a bit further out from Dallas and create another nice suburb, NAMs move in and start the schools sliding downhill. The east coast model, where zoning restrictions make decent houses unbelievable expensive makes all but the richest people spend so much on their homes that they have to devote their lives to work and have little left over for other stuff, but it does allow them to insulate themselves from the underclass in a way you can't in Texas. Fortunately, Texas has a solution to this. It has huge school districts and it tracks the hell out of students. Your functional kids will never even see the non-functional ones, at least, not above grade school.)

Acilius said...

"Why do the Eisenhower and Kennedy eras seem more of one piece than do the Kennedy and Johnson eras?" Well, there are some obvious explanations. Under Eisenhower and Kennedy, US involvement in Vietnam was building gradually and very much outside the awareness of the average citizen, while it was impossible to ignore the Vietnam War in the Johnson and Nixon years.

Also, during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations the Civil Rights Movement was mostly a regional affair, an opportunity for Northern whites of all classes to feel smugly superior to their Southern cousins. In the days of Johnson and Nixon, however, African Americans demanded that Northern whites do more than congratulate themselves on living in states that had voted for Lincoln.

Matt said...

Kennedy's death was the turning point because he was replaced by LBJ.

What followed was the Great Society (which messed up incentives) and the Civil Rights act (which messed up communities).

Professionals (Doctors, shrinks, lawyers, Realtors, etc.) got larger roles (and more money) because they were the people society tasked with ordering the new disorder.

Anonymous said...

Because it triggered a dialectic chain. The assassination "broke" the psychology of US Liberals, which in turn resulted in radicalization (in tandem with the Vietnam war), and the unleashing of the Great Society, race radicalism, Third World Immigration, the follow-on schism within Liberalism resulting in the neoconservative reaction against the Great Society resulting in Reaganism, etc. etc.

Or something like that.

/Okes

dufu said...

Why does Kennedy's death mark the point of transition into The Sixties? Because it coincided with other events that marked the defining cultural and political events of that era.

The Civil Rights movement achieved its first lasting victory with the passage of the CRA in July of '64. With the Johnson Administration came the escalation of the Vietnam War, along with the War on Poverty which massively expanded the welfare state.

In February of '64 the Beatles arrived in America marking the resurgence of rock n roll whose popularity had waned somewhat following the Elvis era. Its Dionysian influence would take hold of many among the youth.

And lastly, the Boomers started to go to college to have their heads filled with garbage by pinko professors. (Though I believe that the number who were so influenced is vastly overestimated in the popular consciousness. They were a vocal minority however.)

Stuff Black People Don't Like said...

I plan on attending Murray's talk at AEI in earlier February.

Wouldn't the simplest explanation of his book be this:

Mass immigration has benefited a select number of whites, while negatively impacting the vast majority?

Raising a family in high-density Black areas is bad enough, but throw in the children of immigrants...

School systems immediately collapse, forcing those whites who can escape to search for new, safer communities to raise a family in.

BTW Steve, please tell me you saw "The Grey"... Liam Neeson is quietly becoming this generations Charles Bronson.

Anonymous said...

I still think Lyndon Johnson had a lot to do with it. His "Great Society" program(s) and his expansion of the war in Viet Nam had far-reaching effects, which eventually included the erosion of both US finances and public trust in government.

We would have gotten the Civil Rights Act with or without the Kennedy assassination, but the harm done by ever more frantic attempts to enforce egalitarian dogma over human nature is conveniently dated from that milestone.

Drawbacks said...

'Nathan Zuckerman was there - from the "triumph of gossip" and "personal betrayal" of the 1950s ("McCarthyism as the first postwar flowering of the American unthinking that is now everywhere"), to the "American berserk" of the 1960s, "when Oswald shot Kennedy and the straitlaced bulwark gave way to the Gargantuan banana republic" and all that followed: Vietnam, Richard Nixon, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy and an America where "blowing people apart replaced the roundhouse punch in the daydreams of the aggrieved", where "only annihilation gave satisfaction that lasted", to the "enormous piety binge" of Bill Clinton's blow-job fiasco and, finally, to the proof that not only did we learn nothing, but we learned nothing with incredible vigour and resolve: the post-9/11 Bush years.'
Zuckerman, not Portnoy, explains modern America

Chuck Rudd said...

Just like 9/11, people "remember where they were" on 11/22/63. There is a certain bias now which gives that date a specific weight even though it may not have necessarily ushered in changes that wouldn't have happened anyway.

The media may have turned at this point. In that they do control much of the narrative, is there any possibility that the media developed what we now call 'liberal bias' after their guy was assassinated?

Anonymous said...

Unlike killings before or after, the graphic horror of JFK's headwound had a stunning effect on the collective unconscious of the babyboom gen then in high school and at its most impressionable. Basically, the detonation of the skull stood for the detonation of the illusion of the DDE and JFK years that all was safe, all was secure, all was proper. Suddenly we saw that the most popular beautiful, gifted man of the universe could have his skull blown apart in a twinkling. Our conclusion was not surprising: live for the day. We enacted that pscho drama for the next 49 years.

DPG said...

Interesting question. As someone who was born much later, I associate the 1960s culture with hippies vs. the silent majority. Think Forrest Gump and Jenny.

JFK was a liberal progressive who represented a firm belief in our political structure as a positive agent. After his assassination and the inception of Vietnam, I think the left may have grown more cynical and anti-establishment. Hence the comparisons between JFK and Obama. Obama was someone liberals could restore their image of government.

Nanonymous said...

I just took Murray's quiz and scored 36. Which gets me closest to "a first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents (33 typical)". Except that I am not upper middle class. Strangely, in Murray's scoring there is no category such as "middle class person with middle class parents". Which probably speaks of his own biases.

Anonymous said...

"I believe I may have a fairly unusual answer to the old question: Why, in the popular imagination, did The Sixties not start until JFK's assassination?"

Because this happened a few months afterward...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Invasion

And a few months after that was...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

Then a few months after that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident

Anonymous said...

I strongly believe that future historians will adjudge the election of John F. Kennedy and the subsequent Kennedy'Johnson adminisration that lasted until 1968 as perhaps, the greatest turning point in independent American history, comparable only to the Civil War of exactly a century previous.
I would argue too, that the ramifications of the Kennedy election will prove to be bigger and more profound than the war between the states.Put bluntly, they have set the USA on an irreversible path toward self-destruction and bakanization.If the other fork in the road was taken back in '60, then I'm confident the USA would have perpetually gone onwards and upwards giving the world a civilisation and technology the likes of which it will never see.
Quite frankly, Kennedy was a race hustler.That's how he got in, and that's how he wrought his mischief.All the defining Democrat legislation from that reign of error form so-called 'civil rights' to the Immigration Act of 1965 are the poison pills that will ultimately kill the brave idealistic reoblic of 1776 - the nation of so much promise and opportunity such that will never be seen again.

Peter A said...

In retrospect we can see that part of the problem in the late '50s and '60s was that the right wing went off the rails. There was too much focus on rolling back "Communism", which turned out in the end to be a paper threat. Never the coherent universal leftist ideology it's proponents (and detractors) claimed, "Communism" was really just a cover for Russian and later Chinese (and even today Korean) nationalism. By turning their back on the traditional conservative values of isolationism and immigration restriction to fight this phantom, the Goldwater/Reagan right undermined any constructive opposition to 60s leftism. America changed for good in 1964 when the Goldwaterites succeeded in destroying the old Taftist isolationist, limited federal government, conservative GOP, in favor of the radical libertarian internationalist ideals that still run the party. While the left deserves plenty of blame for the 60s, the flipside is that much of the right also favored political solutions that were just as "radical" in their deviation from American tradition as anything that LBJ came up with.

No Name said...

Great that Murray has written another book. Should point out that in the '64 election LBJ dishonestly ran as a Southern mainstream politician.

He was for "Civil Rights" of course, but against "Sending American boys to do what Asians boys should be doing" and posed as a fiscal supporter of a balanced budget.

Needless to say things like the '65 immigration act were even discussed while liberal plans for Court ordered busing, appointing liberals like Goldberg to the SCOTUS, and plans to expand the war were kept secret.

No Name said...

One other point, the problem wasn't the ending of segregation, what killed race relations was the demand of equality of results and integration.

Once CR bill was passed, we got busing, affirmative action, quotas, and housing laws. Not to mention the cries of "racism" as actual "racism" declines and declines.

Anonymous said...

"Why, in the popular imagination, did The Sixties not start until JFK's assassination? Why does 11/22/1963 show up around a lot of inflection points in a lot of trends? Why do the Eisenhower and Kennedy eras seem more of one piece than do the Kennedy and Johnson eras?"

Recently, I was thinking about Steve Jobs(after reading Isaacson's book), and my thoughts about the 80s led me think about the 60s. I think there are more than one way to gauge the sixties. One could say there were two sixties, the Kennedy era and the Johnson/Nixon era. Or could say there were three sixties, with Kennedy era, Johnson era, and Nixon era. Of course, there are almost no total shifts in history, unless something like the Russian Revolution or Nazi seizure of power happens. So, the various stages of sixties blend into one another.
Kennedy era was clearly a break from the Eisenhower era though there were continuities. One could even say the Kennedy era extended up 1966 or even 1967. Though there was increasing social unrest, the thing that defined the Kennedy era--the power of optimism--was alive well into 1967. Summer of Love may have different from the folkie movement or teen idol music, but in the film MONTEREY POP, things still look clean and healthy, as if hope and harmony will prevail. Same mood could be found in albums such as PET SOUNDS and SGT PEPPER. The anthem of 1967 was 'All You Need Is Love'. It was as though, even with the death of Kennedy, the torch of good feelings and youthful hope had been carried by Beatles who exploded on the American scene in late 63, Beach Boys with their sun-beach music, the glory of Motown. Kennedy died but his spirit still defined the times.

Anonymous said...

American really 'lost its innocence' in 68 with assassination of RFK, MLK, and the shocking Democratic convention riot. In 67, Stones released BETWEEN THE BUTTONS and SATANIC MAJESTIES, two pretty albums, with songs like 'Ruby Tuesday' and 'She's a rainbow'. In 68, they came out with BEGGAR'S BANQUET, their first truly nasty album(and a great one). Brian Wilson, who worked on SMILE in 67, lost his mind and slid into his own hell, foreshadowing what was to come with Altamont. And by 68, even the establishment began to think the war in Vietnam couldn't be won; the tipping point had been reached. And the counterculture, though brewing since early 60s, became downright ugly and hateful by 68. Even up to 67, counterculture was defined by good feelings, good vibrations. That was gone. Lennon publicly went off the deep end in 68(with Yoko), and in 69, Stones released one of their most scathing songs, 'Gimme Shelter'. Though we tend to think of counterculture as one entity, up til 67, it was optimistically climbing toward a peak, but from 68, it was sliding into some kind of hell. Thus, one could argue that Kennedy's dream of the New Frontier was alive, with a certain innocence, until 67. Upon taking the presidency Johnson pushed forth the unfinished project of Kennedy with his Great Society programs. When he won by a landslide in 64, it was as if most Americans happily accepted the new order and said goodbye to conservatism for good. Though urban riots got out of hand as early as 65 and unrest about the war got worse by 66, the mood was still upbeat overall around the country. For one thing, the economy was still booming. So, one could argue the Kennedy era really died in late 67 or in 68, especially with double deaths of MLK and RFK and when riots and street fighting took on a whole new dimension. In 67, Stones were singing, "Let's spend the night together". In 68, it was "Street Fighting Man". If during the Kennedy era, there was some semblance of unity between the old and new--with the old accepting the new and the young tolerating the old(cops and young seem to get along in MONTEREY POP and many old folks greeted SGT PEPPER as a bridge between pop and art), things got sour between the generations in 68. Old vs young became us vs them. Even among Democrats, there was fighting between the old guard and young guard. Nixon formulated this into silent majority vs the radical minority. The nation that had been united by good feeling during the Kennedy era was now divided. Races also became more divided, with whites opposing forced integration and blacks resorting more to violence. (There were some good feelings during the Eisenhower era but they were more of stability, a sense that America could finally rest after the Great Depression, WWII, Cold War scare, Korean War, etc. In contrast, the good feelings of the Kennedy era was energetic and adventurous, as if Americans could do anything if they just put their minds to it.)

Anonymous said...

Though many people tend to see the Reagan 80s as a rerun of the Eisenhower 50s--at least politically--, the success of the Reagan presidency has more to do with the (successful)fulfillment of the spirit of the Kennedy era. 60s began with great optimism with Kennedy but then crashed and burned. The rocket finally got to the moon, but the political/social locomotive got derailed, and the nation was divided. Reagan was more like Kennedy than Eisenhower in his high spirits and optimism.(Eisenhower was more laid-back, at least in style). Reagan's politics and ideology were somewhat different from Kennedy's--though both cut taxes and were arch-anti-communist(and Reagan was also, in some ways, still a New Deal liberal when it came to government despite his rhetoric)--, but he began the decade with 'can-do' spirit. He was gonna revive the US economy, he was gonna restore American confidence, and he was win the Cold War. He did all that. He also survived a scandal that could have worse than Watergate; he also survived an assassination attempt. So, the promise of a new America that failed in the 60s finally succeeded in the 80s, and I think that's why even so many boomers came to love Reagan; unlike the tragic story of Kennedy, Reagan survived and finished what he set out to do; also, if boomers were restlessly impatient in the 60s and caused many of the problems that derailed the decade, they were wiser as they approached their 30s and 40s in the 80s. (But that too came to an end with LA riots under the Bush presidency. And Clinton, smart guy that he was, understood the new economy and society. He knew that many giants of the new economy were economically 'conservative'--free trade, lower taxes, global markets, etc--but culturally 'liberal'. Many voted for the GOP purely for economic reasons. If the Democrats were to abandon the blue collar union working class and embrace the pro-business new economy, they could win over the new rich, and that's just what happened. With Democratic Party being pro-business, there's no more reason for the culturally liberal giants of the new economy to vote for GOP.)

Douglas Knight said...

Americans think that the 60s started on that day, but the French know better.

Anonymous said...

"The respectable men in charge could not keep a US President from being killed by a basically solitary fringe whacko."

What about Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley?

fondatori said...

The "60's" started after Kennedy because the American past is now 'remembered' entirely from the perspective of Baby Boomers. Therefore the 1950's (when the boomers were children) are 'remembered' as a time of 'innocence', the 1960's (boomers are young teens) remembered as a time of 'lost innocence', the 1970's (boomers in the late teens and 20's) as sexy and wild, the 1980's, 90's and even early 00's (boomers working) as a period of work and growing prosperity and the current time as a period of decline.

In contrast, the period before the 1950's is unremembered - a time of legends.

Baby Boomers - the fulcrum of history (according to them).

Truth said...

Murray's wrong; the "Coming Apart" began in 1965, when that dumbass married, and had kids with his Asian Wife!

Anonymous said...

White America is very religious in its thinking. There are leftards who worship MLK and PC, and there are rightards who worship literal word of the Bible and Israel as fulfillment of Prophecy. It's not really secular vs religious, but religious vs religious.

Pup said...

There is a funny paradox about PC. It is both radical and anti-radical. Though pushed by radicals, it's because they dropped radicalism. What is meant by this?
During the 50s and 60s, many leftists(among whom Jews were prominent)were far-out radicals who really wanted to see the American system replaced by something very different. They really believed in the revolution, direct or indirect(Alinsky). Since radicals were in the minority, the left couldn't be for political correctness; they needed their freedom-of-speech to be protected, and so ACLU back then agreed with people like Nat Hentoff: total freedom of speech for all. Though leftist radicals loathed right-wing elements, they figured curtailment of freedom-of-speech for the right could end their speech too.

But as the boomer radicals grew up, they made peace with the democratic-capitalist or 'bourgeois' system, which actually turned to be lucrative for many of them. Since they dropped radicalism as strategy for overthrowing the system, freedom of speech for radical ideas was no longer so important. Since they no longer believed in Marxism, Maoism, or whateverism, what need for protection of all speech? Besides, former radicals had made it into the institutions and didn't have to worry about protection of freedom of speech since so much of leftist values and ideas had become part of the mainstream or no-longer-radical. So, the left was no longer interested in protecting all radical speech.

So, PC is both radical and anti-radical. It is radical in the sense that it's been imposed by former-radicals of the 60s and 70s. But it is anti-radical since the leftist-powers-that-be made peace with mainstream 'bourgeois' society and now control America; these people have too much to lose if real radicals of the angry left or mad right to rise to power. The Clintons are the face of anti-radical radicals in the mainstream.
Same goes for gays too. Gays were for total freedom at a time when homosexuality was illegal in many states. Since they needed freedom to combat the system, they were anti-politically-correct. But now that mainstream society not only tolerates but promotes gays, gays don't see much good in total freedom for radical free speech. Gays, in the bosom of the mainstream, wanna maintain the status quo and shut down on speech that might be radically anti-gay.

Jorn said...

The seeds of the Sixties were happily germinating well before LBJ, sometimes overseas. The postwar generation turned 18 in '63. The Vietnam draft raised the stakes. Birth control lowered the risks. So it would still have happened the same during a 2nd JFK term.

Baloo said...

Biggest single thing was LBJ, though everything everybody else has mentioned figures in. LBJ explicitly wanted to top FDR, and a less megalomaniac VP might have been more prudent. That's a good alternate-history question. Imagine a plausible replacement for Johnson who would have NOT done all that hideous Great Society stuff, either because he didn't want to, or because he lacked LBJ's congresional clout. Symington? Jackson? Smathers?

Truth said...

The Murr and the Derb; saving white America!

http://amnation.com/vfr/archives/006911.html

Kylie said...

Televion.

We saw it all on TV and much of it was unscripted if not unexpected: the immediate aftermath of the assassination*, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, war footage from Viet Nam on the nightly news.

I'll never forget how shocked people were to see Oswald killed right in front of them (so to speak).

Suddenly, television was not the kindly friend who brought wholesome family dramas and comedies into your living room. Even the televised McCarthy hearings didn't have the same impact because, though parts of them were spontaneous, they nevertheless had a formal, scripted feel to them: Congress going about the business of governing the country. In the assassination and its aftermath, TV showed us people going about the business of living and dying--much more immediate and unmediated images.



*I don't remember when the Zapruder footage of the actual assassination was first televised.

Luke Lea said...

One factor not mentioned so far was the revolution in household appliances. Together with the refrigerator and electric range, the automatic clothes washer and dryer and the automatic dishwasher made full-time homemakers obsolete.

This was the greatest advance in labor-saving technology since the mechanization of agriculture and it had a lot of unintended consequences: on female employment, male wage rates, suburban real estate prices, the demand for automobiles (and freeways), the way we raise children and care for the old, breakfast and dinner as family rituals, female independence, male status, marriage stability, etc.

Before this revolution half of all economic activity was in the informal sector. It did not show up in official GDP statistics. Afterwards everything was measured in money, including a lot of overhead expenses associated with the two-earner family: a 2nd automobile, clothes for the workplace, fast- and pre-packaged foods, childcare and organized after-school activities, elder care, paid housecleaning services, etc.

On paper it looked liked living standards were up when in reality they were down.

For an alternative see here: http://sites.google.com/site/lukelea2/introduction

Dutch Boy said...

Civil rights organizations were actually Jewish fronts with the aim of ending the right of free association (not insuring "rights"). Without a right of free association, gentiles could not keep Jews from achieving power, which they now have in spades. Since Jews are revolutionaries as a rule, the decline we have witnessed followed as B follows A.

Anonymous said...

It all relates to LBJ. He was effectively able to impose the policies that JFK couldn't: Kerr-Mills and the beginning of Medicare/Medicaid; an acceleration in the expansion of welfare, e.g., AFDC, combined with an increasing use of federally-funded mandates to the states (do what we want and we'll give you money); the civil rights acts and their expansion into affirmative action programs; and increased involvement in Vietnam. All of this funded by the first major use of deficit spending. LBJ was followed by Nixon who was in most ways even more of a big-government liberal than LBJ.

RKU said...

Well, I haven't read the book or the review, but Murray's always struck me as something of a fool, and a pretty dishonest one at that. It sounds like his book this time should be dedicated to his neocon paymasters at AEI.

I can't remember the exact details, but back in the 1990s Murray published a book suggesting that the solution to all our social problems would be to have the government give something like $10,000 in cash per year to everyone living in our ghettos, no questions asked. Presumably, that particular intellectual project was financed by the American Association of Urban Crack Dealers...

gumbic jones said...

Kansas City school loses accreditation. Gee, I wonder why.

There seems to be a kind of
no-bull's-eye rule in American discourse. We can shoot missiles at the target, but we can never hit the bull's eye. No matter how close we stand to the target, never hit the bull's eye. So, even though we've covered the target with arrows to the point where only the bull's eye is left, we still can't hit the bull's eye. Thus, Nicholas Wade in NY Times wrote many articles IMPLYING truth about race, but he could never sum it all up into 'race is real, so are racial differences'. You can provide all the evidence and analysis but you cannot sum it up all up into a simple statement of fact.

So, concerning the Kansas City school, we can say it happened, we can offer all the data, we can offer many explanations, but we cannot pull them all together and say 'too many black students don't have the smarts and have bad attitudes, and this is owed to racial differences.'
Since most Americans are incapable of thinking--out of lack of ability or courage or both--, their notion of truth accords only with officially approved explanation. So, if there's tons of data that indicate/imply racial differences but the official line is 'failure owes to economics', most people will go with 'economics is the reason'.

So, what happens when the target board has no more space but the bull's eye? Well, the PC forces just pull out the arrows on the board and take aim all over again at everything but the bull's eye. And all over again, even though arrows keep getting closer and closer to the bull's eye, no one is allowed to hit the bull's eye. And since Americans addicted to pop culture have no cultural or intellectual memory, they don't know when the same tired cliches are being pulled out all over again.

Anonymous said...

Western youth has a tendency to rebel against their parents. Leftists use this to advance their agenda. A lot of births were postponed during the Great Depression and WWII. This led to a baby boom in 1946. 1946 + 17 = 1963. 17 is the traditional age of striking out on one's own in Western culture.

Anonymous said...

Bankster coup d'etat - like Caesar.

Petunia said...

In 1963, the first of the baby boomers were on the threshold of adulthood: 17. More poignantly, a huge mass of young women were coming of age. Birthrates had been declining since '57 so that's not the defining feature.

Since I tend to come from the view that believes, "where there's a will, there's a way", I view the birth control pill as less a catalyst and more as an honest indicator of what people's values were and what they desired.

I think the great untold story is that centuries' long trend toward liberalism along with scientific advancement met up with the baby boom catapulting us further along and faster to civilization demise.

Older men increasingly sent the younger men off to war, divorced their own first wives, and relaxed morality and the law to take part in a hedonistic feast. Because life is so much about "give and take", these men acquiesced on the various -isms of Marx in exchange for "good times". Feminism is annoying, but it's the price to pay for extra-marital loving.

Many people blame Jews for these things, but I believe good old-fashioned sin and dwelling in "good times" weakens people and makes them vulnerable to being preyed upon, whether it's by evil-doers, exploiters, haters, or even, yes, germs.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I would have to say, respectfully, that the true cost to purchase an automobile has fallen dramatically. you talk about a Chevy Impala costing 26 thousand in today's dollars. Put aside for a moment that the same 26 thousand dollar car is superior in almost every way today, including AC, safety features, etc.

The 1960s era car would typically get 100 thousand miles before heading to the junkyard while today's car gets 200 thousand miles

Marc B said...

That is because we view decades as eras, and eras do not directly follow the linear timeline of decade transition. The 1990's kicked in late 1990 with the Iraq War and with the emergence of alternative rock/culture in 1991 with the Lollapalooza/Nirvana). The 2000's emerged as a distinct decade in 2001 on September 11 for most of us. Events and trends separate the decades, making them distinct. The 1980's were largely a 1970's hangover in most of the country until late 1982/early 1983, even with the bellweather election of Reagan in 1980.

Culturally, the Kennedy era was more similar to than different from the 1950's under Eisenhower. The manifold influences of the Frankfurt School's Cultural Marxism exploded onto the scene post-Kennedy, and those influences paved the way for what became the far-out 1960's later on that is more familiar. It also marked a time when permanent cynicism and distrust in our institutions took root, and the trust in government in particular plummeted. Nobody trusts the federal government. Even those on the left who argue for it's continual expansion feel it's legitimacy is undermined due to constant collusion with big business intersests.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Sailer's domicile in the expensive Los Angeles metroplex is impacting his thinking?

After all, houses in the United States are more affordable than they are in any other english speaking country.

Google "U.S. Housing More Affordable Than Housing In Rest Of English-Speaking World" for the details.

The media elite and the thought leaders of the US tend to congregate in the places that are particularly expensive.

Even averaging in the expensive coastal cities, the US as a whole is inexpensive. If you strip out the expensive coastal cities the remainder of the USA is of course particularly inexpensive.

tjkinva said...

The sixties would have unfolded largely the same way that events actually did. Kennedy's assassination shocked the U.S. because: 1) our president was assassinated; and 2) the deed was done by a communist loser. The shock value serves as a line of demarcation, but everything that happened subsequent was already in the works, largely by Kennedy's own hand:

1. Vietnam would have been Kennedy's fiasco, not Johnson's. People who think Kennedy would have pulled a rabbit out of the hat with Vietnam only need to look at his handling of the Bay of Pigs, getting worked over by Khrushchev, etc. Prior to his own assassination, Kennedy authorized the assassination of South Vietnam's president Diem. This pretty much de-legitimized any subsequent South Vietnam government, since Diem was the last democratically elected president of South Vietnam. Vietnam was an endless cycle of missed opportunities, but we all know that...

2. Civil rights and racial protests were bound to happen. The 1960 presidential election was the last election a Democrat could count on black votes while placating the segregationist south.

3. Much of the immigration change that we're dealing with today is because of Teddy Kennedy. Because of his legislative shenanigans, immigration from European countries (meaning white people) was stopped, with new sources of immigrants from the 3rd world (meaning non-white people).

4. Drugs and the pill were already changing things in 1963. It is only with hindsight that we can see how large those changes were.

5. The growth of government and the welfare state would have happened regardless if Kennedy had served out his term or not.

Anonymous said...

Everyone on this blog knows that some quite nice neighborhoods of the USA have gone up quite a bit since 1963.

Just looking at Steve's backyard, in the city of Manhattan Beach the average house has gone up in value about 20X in that time period.

Other really nice places like Aspen, La Jolla, and Soho are also up by a similar large multiple -some even up 30x



Instead, if one is to focus on "affordable family formation" one will realize that there are a number of places where housing is MORE affordable today, when one considers mortgage payments as a % of average income.

Most notably, suburbs of Pittsburgh.

This blog tends to attract pessimists, who like to talk about the more expensive parts of the USA.

There seem to be very few people here celebrating the almost miraculous affordability of family formation in much of the USA.

Think about it, the typical young European-descended male and female each with IQ of 110 can get training as an electrician and nurse, respectively, earn $60k per year each, and use that combined $120k income to buy a nice 4 bedroom house for $280k in some place like the suburbs of Pittsburgh, or Southern Utah, or New Hampshire.

A house for $280k in a school district that demographically resembles the USA of the 1950s

If mortgage rates are at 5%, you are talking about mortgage payments of only $14k per year on an income of $120k

The affordability of family formation in much of red state America is truly without parallel in most of the developed world.

Just use google to read about the cost of family formation in Japan, or Singapore, or Europe, or Australia or Canada. What we have in red state America is very special.

Anonymous said...

"The Kennedy assassination unleashed a flood of smearing of the Right .."



Which is pretty hilarious, considering that he was murdered by a man of the Left.

Pre-Boomer said...

In 1963 I was a new foreign service officer with a three-month training stint in Washington and then a post in the Middle East. I was shocked by the war fever that I found in Washington. In the classified material I read I learned about the clandestine groups we were supporting versus those groups supported by the communist countries. I was naive and had thought that the U.S. was maintaining the higher ground, given our great riches compared to other countries, our enviable geographic position, and our history of avoiding international conflict as long as possible. Finding myself in the administration of what appeared to me to be a childish fan of Ian Fleming and at a post heavy in security agents was awkward and uncomfortable and I resigned early in 1964. Looking back, I think Kennedy's election (and the ludicrous choice of Johnson as VP) amidst charges of flagrant voting fraud probably was the "loss of innocence" turning point.

Anonymous said...

The respectable men in charge could not keep a US President from being killed by a basically solitary fringe whacko.

This was inconceivable.


Except it already happened before, idiot.

If anything, the over-the-top security measures taken by the Secret Service these days are a display of the weakness of the United States. The less relevant the president becomes, the greater lengths taken to hide the fact.

peterike said...

Some cultural tidbits.

"The Catcher in the Rye," though published in 1951, becomes huge in the 60s. Starting in 1961 it becomes the "most censored" book in American high schools and holds the title for two decades, thus ensuring that generations of "hip" teenagers start thinking that a narcissistic nihilism is the coolest of all poses. America's intellectual class never again escapes adolescence.

1963, "The Bell Jar" is published, making incessant self-absorption and nihilism necessary for a generation of young female intellectuals who would go on to poison the arts, the academy, journalism and politics.

1963, "The Feminine Mystique" is published. Chaos ensues, families are destroyed.

January 1970, the first no-fault divorce law is passed in California, consummating the trends started by things such as "The Bell Jar" and "The Feminine Mystique."

For me, the cultural markers (yes, the Beatles etc.) are far more important than specific political/historical events in shaping the corrosive zeitgeist of the 60s.

Anonymous said...

Why, in the popular imagination, did The Sixties not start until JFK's assassination?


For the same reason that "the 20th century" did not start until 1914. And the same reason that "the Sixties" did not end until Watergate in the early Seventies. We use these terms to describe broad cultural movements and forces, and these rarely line up precisely with the calendar.

Anonymous said...

JFK was a liberal progressive who represented a firm belief in our political structure as a positive agent.


He was no different from FDR in that respect. Individual politicians cannot change the course of a nation, they can only be the figureheads for larger movements. You can't blame "the Sixties" on JFK or LBJ. Many millions of Americans fervently desired what these men proposed.

Conatus said...

How about Gerlernter's essay(1997?) in Commentary, 'How the Intellectuals Took Over.' He says "Starting in the late 1940's, admission and hiring policies were transformed; broadly speaking, intellectuals took over the faculty and the student bodies. I mean "took over" in the sense of progressing not from zero influence to total control but from a subordinate to a dominating position."
This change came to fruition in the early 60s when critical mass was reached and you had a new class of rulers. Snobs with soft hands that only held pencils and pens. In the public forum subtle verbal distinctions came to dominate what you would see in the wild,i.e. what goes on in the streets of formerly American cities. What is in front of your eyes now counts for less than an elegant phrase.

Anonymous said...

C.S. Lewis died that day.

MDR

Anonymous said...

The 60s came to most of America in '69 or '70..

Things we had my parents didn't have:

Porn, contraception & aborion, LSD, pot, speed, coxaine, leftist teachers, material luxury college educated parents,, TV, welfre & insurance, college track education, ambitions unconnected to the real world.

So we saw pregnant and stoned and alienated peers from the age of ten and 11 .. like nothing experienced by our parents.

Anonymous said...

Watch the Ken Kesey / Magic Bus movie Nd it's clear that the 60s hadn't happened uet in 1964.

Anonymous said...

You are all overlooking an event of world-wide importance which was in full swing when Kennedy was assassinated: the Second Vatican Council. This event de-stabilised the Catholic Church and effectively took it out of the conservative camp. An unchanged and confident Catholicism would have been a mighty bulwark against all of the trends and attitudes which are rightly mentioned here.
Instead we got a divided church which was mesmerised by its own problems and forcibly swung to the Left by Pope Paul VI, who filled the episcopates of the world with people of his own stripe.
And don't forget the powerful moral brake which was the Legion of Decency, destroyed by the American bishops almost as soon as they got back from the final session of the Council in 1965.

not a hacker said...

The end of '63 may in fact be a salient dividing line irrespective of the assasination. After all, with 1964 came the Free Speech Movement and its demand that adults defer to wet-behind-the-ears youth. If the Berkeley administration had just stood up to them, the rest of us would have our free speech today, not to mention not having to put up with Critical Mass and OWS.

Vilko said...

1964 was the last year of the Baby Boom. It was the beginning of the European-American demographic decline, which became more and more visible in the following decades.

I guess that in people's minds the Kennedy assassination in 1963 was the first of a series of bad news announcing decline, but whose importance wasn't immediately understood.

Peter A said...

Quite frankly, Kennedy was a race hustler.That's how he got in, and that's how he wrought his mischief.

That is ridiculously bad history. In 1963 the liberal wing of the Republican party were the chief proponents of Civil Rights legislation. Eisenhower was more aggressive on integration than JFK. Nixon took over 30% of the black vote in 1960, accusing Kennedy of being a "race hustler" is simply untrue. Kennedy was, in fact, constantly accused by the left of dragging his feet on civil rights. Johnson was a very different man politically than JFK, and RFK was radicalized by his brother's assasination, he had not been such a leftist prior to '63.

sid storch said...

Fortunately, Texas has a solution to this. It has huge school districts and it tracks the hell out of students. Your functional kids will never even see the non-functional ones, at least, not above grade school


This is fascinating - wish you'd elaborate (people often give the short version for fear noone's interested).
sid.storch@gmail.com

Gerald said...

I was a 6th grader in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and yes - for my generation - everything changed on that day and America has gone from bad to worse ever since except for two things: coffee and beer.

Similarly, the historian John Lukacs dates the beginning of the 20th century with another assassination, the murder of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914, the event which sparked World War I, and eventually, Hitler and...just about all the bad stuff we have today.

Of course, our neocon friends tell us we are now living in the bold new world of Team America, the Benevolent but Necessarily Quite Violent World Hegemon, which really got started on September 11th, 2001.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... Just clicked over to the American Conservative web site and saw an article saying that the government should build light rail in Detroit.

This is almost too silly to believe. A depopulating city, with plenty of excess capacity on the roadways is the last place that you want to build light rail.

How is the idea of light rail in Detroit conservative in any way?

AnotherDad said...

Seems overdetermined:

 birth control pill (loosened sexual mores, feminism, family breakdown)

 Civil Rights Act (destruction of working class white schools\neighborhoods; later cultural delegitimization of white culture)

 Vietnam (cynicism, legitimizing rebellion, delegitimizing white establishment and established white mores)

 Great Society (welfare, increased female gov.—makework—employment, eroding white family structure, enabling African style families for all, with Uncle Sammy as “big man”; rise of intrusive, busybody “managerial state” eroding patriarch and policing the new order)

 Immigration Act (longer term, but eventually destroying value of white working class—especially male—labor, and feeding back into family breakdown; and further deligitimization of white cultural mores)

 rise of the Jews—from meritocracy and establishment deligitimization (continuing attacks on white American history, culture, legitimacy; and white sexual\family mores; directing and cheerleading the destruction)

All these threads—each requiring bookshelves—intertwine, merge and reinforce one another. The result is that the dominant of Anglo (North European) culture—self-reliant, nuclear family, open, public-spirited, law abiding—which had all sociological indicators—legitimacy, marriage, crime, education, employment—on an upward trend line, for blacks as well as whites, through 1960, has been utterly delegitimized, subverted and culturally overthrown.

Anonymous said...

Svetlana

helene edwards said...

Kennedy was a race hustler.

Except that he wasn't. Many people present at the time say he was far less enthusiastic about black rights than his brother, and of course he was stuck with Brown; if anyone ever argued that not using federal power to enforce it was an option, I missed it. Nobody back then predicted what blacks have turned into. If Kennedy had truncated the Vietnam excursion, kids may never have gained any influence and "racism" might never have gained the scare power it has.

Ray Sawhill said...

My guess is that JFK's assassination represents a huge turning point. Up till that time, post-WWII America is on an optimistic upswing. Everything seems to be going right. We're goin' places, we won the war, we're laying down highways and subdivisions, public universities are springing up everywhere, everyone's on board for the ride ... Starting with the assassination, the foundations of that optimism start to visibly crumble: Riots, more assassinations, protests, Vietnam's a gigantic boondoggle and humiliation. Even the big post-WWII infrastructure projects start to reveal their lousy side: Pruitt Igoe, ticky-tack, schools as prisons, over-devotion to car culture, etc. And ever since the country and its mood have been on a long, slow downhill slide.

Is there another event that could stand in for that turning point better than the assassination?

Anonymous said...

the graphic horror of JFK's headwound had a stunning effect on the collective unconscious of the babyboom gen then in high school and at its most impressionable. Basically, the detonation of the skull stood for the detonation of the illusion of the DDE and JFK years that all was safe, all was secure, all was proper. Suddenly we saw that the most popular beautiful, gifted man of the universe could have his skull blown apart in a twinkling.

Except you do realize that that headwound in all its "graphic horror" was only seen for a dozen years by a couple hundred people: those folks in Dealey Plaza who happened to be looking in the right direction at the right time, the Warren Commissioners and their staff, the editors of Life Magazine, Jim Garrison and the folks in the NOLA courthouse that day in 1969, and a handful of amateur "investigators".

The rest of us didn't see it until Geraldo showed on national TV in 1975, somewhat after the events of "the 60s".

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, JFK was a very bad president and the man who set in train the motion that will ultimately destroy the wonderful enlightenment experiment of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson etc.'Civil Rights' and the 1965 Immigration Act will see to that.
That said there is something about JFK that evokes the legend of Christ and in the USA of the 60s, a deeply christian nation, this had profound resonance and gave the man a totally undeserved martyr and hero association something that is never given to his loyal handmaiden LBJ who caught all the guff for actually implementing he madness.Put it this way, if that silly bastard Lee Harvey Oswald had never murdered Kennedy we would be discussing JFK in totally different terms, I've no doubt he would have been shown up a a poseur, a loser and an embarrassing abberration (rather like dubya in fact).
'Camelot', Jackie, JFK's blond good looks and well groomed demaenor, the affairs with Marilyn, the beautiful kids all add to the legend.He was the golden boy of a magical era, a golden age.He suffered the 'martyr's death', cut off in his prime and his pomp and keeping with Greek legend, hubris was stifled and he is remembered as heroic, ascended to godhood, the ancient fables of martyr and all-conquering blond sunlight hero combined.
Nixon on the other hand, who we discussed yesterday, jowls, stubble, deep voice and all who lost the televised debates was later cast as satan.With Watergate he was seen as wiping his ass on the sacred document of Washington, though some claim Nixon was tortured and martyred by gangs of pygmy demons intent on destroying him, but alas, he didn't look heroic.

Anonymous said...

In a popular newspaper piece about Nixon recently (yet another tired rehash of the 40 year old Watergate tapes, but with the added bonus of a few choice ethnic slurs thrown in as meat for the dogs), the writer actually began the piece thus....."From his throne in Hell, Richard Nixon must be chuckling..."

agnostic said...

Fluke catastrophes don't have enduring, society-wide impacts. Just look at 9/11.

As for The Sixties, America was already heading that way by 1959, the first year that the homicide rate begins to increase steadily for decades.

Psycho was the #1 box office movie in 1960.

Boy-crazy girl groups hit it big with "Maybe" by The Chantels in 1958. The hormonally out-of-control girl groups continued from the Shirelles in 1961 until the late '80s or early '90s.

PublicSphere said...

James Piereson's theory is that the left couldn't bear the fact that Oswald was a leftist, so they had to somehow pin the assassination on Dallas's right-wing Climate of Hate.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/03/004-the-sixties-again-and-again-36

agnostic said...

As for policy and ideology, the Kennedy era felt like the Eisenhower years because that's where it started.

A rising crime rate erodes people's faith in technocracy, but it doesn't happen all at once. The fetish for experts running society top-down began in the mid-'30s with the New Deal (also when crime rates began falling).

When the crime rate started rising in 1959, people gradually lost their faith in the experts to solve all of our problems. They saw concrete proof that the men in white coats weren't gods.

Kennedy's New Frontier and Johnson's Great Society were soon judged as failures, unlike the unchallenged technocracy of the Roosevelt-Truman-Eisenhower era.

The mid-century administrations got lucky because they had no rising crime rate to vividly prove their silly theories wrong.

Also worth remembering that the Civil Rights movement got started in earnest in the '50s. The Superman radio program for kids in the '40s regularly attacked white bigots, including one episode where the villains were the KKK.

Again the '60s were the erosion of that kum-bay-ah faith in using the welfare state and legal system to lift blacks to the equal status of whites. People saw clear proof that it wasn't working (riots, busing, etc.).

By the mid-'70s, all that black power stuff was dead. Blacks had to earn white esteem and take more responsibility.

These all show that there was nothing special about JFK's assassination. His administration was part of a gradual shift from the technocratic mid-century toward the Romantic New Wave age.

The basic change is the trend in the violence rate, and the larger shift is already visible by the late '50s and early '60s. JFK's assassination just serves as a salient memory point. It wasn't causal.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't only the left that got radicalized at that time. There was a general breaking of the culture bubble across society. Nobody ever took "America" seriously without inflection again. It was the true birth of snark.

Anonymous said...

nobody's mentioned the scots irish yet, so i will - it was as much an ethnic struggle as it was political, in fact , abbie hoffman called a german-scotirish judge something in yiddish which meant he was a stooge of the goy.

Anonymous said...

Every American should read JFK and the Unspeakable. There is zero chance that the CIA and military didn't do this, with help in the cover up from LBJ and the FBI.

bobn said...

Here's a C-SPAN video of a talk Murray gave on this material, last year:

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/298817-1

In that talk, he states that he specifically concentrated on whites because he was doing a study over time, and wanted to minimize variables.

This makes the information that much more impacting, IMO.

jack strocchi said...

The Pill and Vatican II

Mr Lomez said...

It seems the cultural sea change of the 60's would have happened whether Kennedy was shot or not. 11/22/63 is just the most salient single event in the years the first wave of baby boomers were coming into adulthood.

For whatever complicated reasons, this new generation of voters was loud and potent and, perhaps, irresponsibly idealist -- but these political/cultural impulses were in place well before Kennedy or the Beatles or LSD or whatever else. The question shouldn't be what happened in the 60's? It should be what happened in the 50's? (A few guesses: McCarthyism, Red Scare, sexual puritinism, the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement...)

not a hacker said...

sorry OT, but in 1983 Robert Nisbet saw environmentalism as a new religion:


http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmSpectator-1983may-00008?View=PDF

Anonymous said...

Chevy Chase is a Scotch-Irish enclave in crumbling Montgomery County. The current insanity being pushed on the middle-class of MoCo is high density, urban-style housing built exclusively for immigrants.

This relates well to your architecture post of the other day but the new housing will not be occupied by poor blacks or Jewish union members but recently imported Indians from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Chevy Chase will be fine but the surrounding county will be pretty well destroyed. Sorry a bit off topic.

agnostic said...

The quiz show scandals broke in 1958, with a Congressional hearing in '59. That was big news; they were very popular, back to the heyday of radio.

It may not have been one of those "Do you remember where you were when...?" moments, but people started to open their eyes to corruption instead of putting blind faith in the elite. Turns out they weren't omnibenevolent gods.

agnostic said...

A more concise proof that the JFK assassination didn't cause the Sixties:

The Sixties was an international shift away from the mid-century and toward the Eighties.

We should look for shared causes to explain shared outcomes in shared times.

No other political assassinations took place around then, except for JFK.

So it must've been something else.

The West saw a rising crime rate, and somewhat although not entirely related to that, a rising fraction of adolescents and young adults in the population.

The only way to salvage the JFK theory is to say that the people in all those other Western countries were as devastated by the assassination as we were. Plausible for some small number in a handful of countries, but we were not that beloved then.

Most of Western Europe was still bitter that they were in ruins, while the arriviste Americans were taking more control of the world.

Whiskey said...

JFK's assassination was the start of the 1960's because it was the "first" massive traumatic TV event. For the first time, people across America saw the killing live or near live, on TV. With a direct and emotional impact that only 9/11 really reflected.

In other words, technology (which had been around for years) combined with an event (Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley had all been assassinated) to create a national emotional trauma. It was the start of the media event, where TV in particular dominated everything, including national political discourse, and thus gave enormous power to those able to work it, and those who decided what went on TV and how it was covered.

And like most indicators, you could put other events (Nixon-Kennedy debates, Little Rock integration, Civil Rights marches) as the start. But this is the one most agree upon. Horrific event right in you living room. Courtesy of TV.

formerly no name said...

"The Sixties" didn't become a salient phenomenon until 1965. Before 1965: No US ground combat units in Vietnam, no bombing of North Vietnam, no significant antiwar protests, no antiwar "teach-ins" on college campuses, no hippies and no LSD except for the CIA and a tiny elite of experimenters .

Also, LBJ gave the speech outlining his "Great Society " programs on Jan.4, 1965.

Clinching items from 1965:
http://ronaldreaganweb.com/thesixties/timeline6466.htm

March 3 - Owsley starts LSD factory, making large quantities of acid available for the first time
March 24 - SDS organizes first Vietnam War teach-in at Univ. of Michigan 3000 show up. Teach-ins against the war begin.

April 17 - SDS leads first anti-Vietwar march in Washington. 25,000 attend including Phil Ochs, Joan Baez and Judy Collins In Washington, D.C., SDS stages the first large national demonstration against the war.


August 31 - Burning draft cards becomes an illegal and punishable act. Burning draft cards had become a popular protest method against the war.


September 5 - San Francisco writer Michael Fallon applies the term "hippie" to the San Francisco counterculture in an article about the Blue Unicorn coffeehouse where LEMAR (Legalize Marijuana) & the Sexual Freedom League meet, and hippie houses.

formerly no name said...

The Kennedy Assassination was the first unmistakable failure of American institutions.

Remember Pearl Harbor?

Hacienda said...

Can't anyone here see the forest and not just trees?

It was a world phenomena. America had little to do with it. Even all the white countries added up only had a partial and diminishing role in it. Total WORLD phenomenon.

That's a HARD thing to see. It's even harder when you are too FOCUSED.

Anonymous said...

Steve, if you haven't read it, check out Jim Pierson's book on the assasination. Basic thesis: the left decided to create the myth that JFK was killed by a right-winger over civil rights a la Lincoln, rather than a left-winger over foreign policy (the truth). Hence the deliberate way his funeral was staged to look like Lincoln's, all the Schelinsger/Sorenson mythologizing, the way Bobby and Teddy and many others made him out to be a liberal saint when in many was his was basically a center-right presidency.

My candidate for the date "The Sixties" began: Oct. 1, 1964, when Jack Weinberg was arrested on Sproul Plaza, Berkeley CA, for distributing CORE leaflets. 32 hour sit-in followed, Mario Savio became a star, and the whole culture of protest of which OWS is just the latest was launched.

Anonymous said...

SAT testing for college admissions became more popular?

Wes said...

I don't think Kennedy's assassination had anything to do with any of the cultural changes that were developing, I think it just makes a dramatic jumping off point. Everything that happened in the 60s and 70s would have happened if JFK had lived. It just makes a nice turning point image in the public mind, like 9-11.

Also, doesn't the spirit of a decade take a couple of years to get started? The 80s didn't feel like the 80s until 82 or 83.

formerly no name said...

It was a world phenomena. America had little to do with it. Even all the white countries added up only had a partial and diminishing role in it. Total WORLD phenomenon.

Every country not in the Soviet Bloc was part of the American Empire. For explanation see events of 1941-45.

Anonymous said...

The political left became more cynical after Kennedy. They became more accepting of more radical elements ( i.e. Frankfurt school, Critical theory, cultural Marxism, and etc ).

Anonymous said...

" The affordability of family formation in much of red state America is truly without parallel in most of the developed world "


Isn't it foolish to live in an expensive city and bemoan the fact that your children can't afford to buy nice four bedroom houses in a demographically desirable school district?

Isn't the solution to go live in a place where the four bedroom houses in great school districts are inexpensive?

That is if affordable family formation leading to grandchildren really is important to you,

anony-mouse said...

It wasn't the assassination itself-it was a touchstone to the events that soon followed in 1964:

1/ The first baby boomers were drafted.

2/ The Beatles solidified Rock music as the world's form of popular music

3/ First Americanized Toyota 'Corona' went on sale in the US

4/ First completely planned (i.e post Pill introduction) kids entered nursery school. Of course that means that the first unplanned-but-could-have-been-planned kids did the same

papabear said...

Whiskey, did you delete your blog?

Anonymous said...

The car may cost the same in inflation adjusted dollars but the car you get today is wildly better in every conceivable way than the vehicle then.

Wildly better in every way? Maybe, but not in one respect, cars then looked better.

high noon said...

"Every American should read JFK and the Unspeakable. There is zero chance that the CIA and military didn't do this, with help in the cover up from LBJ and the FBI."

That's the best, so far. Another good one is "Brothers" by David Talbot.

"Basically, the detonation of the skull stood for the detonation of the illusion of the DDE and JFK years that all was safe, all was secure, all was proper. Suddenly we saw that the most popular beautiful, gifted man of the universe could have his skull blown apart in a twinkling. Our conclusion was not surprising: live for the day. We enacted that pscho drama for the next 49 years."

And all in the mid-day sun, surrounded by "protectors", and at the 33rd degree latitude, 3 years of presidency, with
his enemies, like Dulles, then appointed to that "court of induiry", the Warren Commission. W.C. is a worthy shorthand.

Who needs fiction. You really can't make up a tale of higher strangeness than 20th (and now 21st) century America. It's only gotten weirder.

Anonymous said...

nobody's mentioned the scots irish yet

Conatus mentioned this: "Gerlernter's essay(1997?) in Commentary, 'How the Intellectuals Took Over'". It should be quite obvious that "intellectuals" taking over means in reality Jews.

Anonymous said...

My Russian comments were hinting at the Scotch Irish...

Maybe the Scotch Irish officially gave up on their Communism/Russia dream and embarked upon a new utopian ideology.

And 1963 Marks the Shift....which coincides with the events of Russia in the 1950s (the growth of anti-Scotch/Irishmanism)

Put another way Communist Ideology didn't finish us off and we started to get the upper hand in Russia starting in the 1950s....so the Irish switched to another ideology---Multiculturalism to evolutionary destroy their enemies.

1963 marks them hopping from Russia over to the US

Anonymous said...

"There seems to be a kind of
no-bull's-eye rule in American discourse."

It's like Galileo could do his studies, collect all the factual data, do all the math, and put forth all the evidence that demonstrated that Earth revolved around the Sun. All such was allowed by the Church.

What he couldn't do was say, 'Earth revolves around the Sun'.

Anonymous said...

JFK's assassination was the start of the 1960's because it was the "first" massive traumatic TV event. For the first time, people across America saw the killing live or near live, on TV. With a direct and emotional impact that only 9/11 really reflected. - Whiskey.

Im not sure thats true. The Zapruder 8mm film wasnt seen until the 1970s and I dont think there is much TV of the event.

cmcoct said...

The assassination was a conspiracy, and the US gov't conspired to cover-up that conspiracy. They didn't know what happened, and they didn't care. ("The public at large must be convinced that Oswald was the real assassin, and any speculation about a conspiracy must be cut off") (Katzenbach memo 11-24-63, before the body was even in the ground!)

All of our major institutions failed us then; the FBI, the Secret Service, the courts, Washington generally, and most importantly, the press. Especially the NYT, WaPo, Time,and CBS.

On that day America stopped really existing as country with free thought, free expression, a nation of honest discourse. We just been sliding slowly into hell since.

If JFK wasn't assassinated? No Vietnam, no Immigration Act of '65, and the Cold War ends . . .

Anonymous said...

The "swinging sixties" famously began only in mid-1967 (arguably a year or two before, but they were totally underground until '67), and were, to paraphrase John Lydon, enjoyed by about twenty people in London.

The nature of the adulation of Kennedy baffles me. Yes, it is partly because he died young and violently. But it was already a phenomenon before then. In the public consciousness he represented a brave new world that swept away some sort of latter-day dark age in American history. Of course the reality is that the 1950s was probably the best decade in American history and Eisenhower one of its best presidents. These things are fairly regularly acknowledged or at least alluded to, but cognitive dissonance of a fairly major order allows people to continue seeing Kennedy taking the US out of darkness and into light. Weird.

The sixties were a much more interesting decade than the fifties, and contained some great high points - e.g. the moon landings - but overall weren't that good for the US. Urban decay, riots, Vietnam, assassinations and suchlike made for a disharmonious era, and nuclear war seemed highly likely for a timr. In Britain the period represented another gradual progression in the painfully slow recovery from the Second World War, with finally the emergence into the mainstream of legitimate youth culture and creativity. Elsewhere in Europe the sixties were a generally good period, with affordable package holidays available to northern Europeans for the first time - mainly thanks to Franco - and of course West Germany's economic miracle.

articles said...

"Put another way Communist Ideology didn't finish us off and we started to get the upper hand in Russia starting in the 1950s....so the Irish switched to another ideology---Multiculturalism to evolutionary destroy their enemies."

I've considered that there was a not necessarily Irish-centric incorporation of or containment of communist influence within this country. Kind of a macrophagic approach, if you will, which allowed for the existence of contradictory elements within society without destroying the host. I think Sailer or someone was hinting at this idea in the post on abstract art a few months back. It could be explained as the balancing of disparate forces of influence by some sort of controlled chaos, that entails a need to constantly counteract the impact of one group or another. This may be necessary not in the sense of leveling the playing field but rather because the government's other manipulations inadvertently gave someone an advantage they didn't earn or win by their own efforts.

No Name said...

Good Grief, I thought once the boomers started aging and dying we'd finally get over the absurd "the CIA/FBI/Mafia/Nixon/Lambchop killed JFK" nonsense.

I guess not. It still seems to be the biggest crank/loon hobby horse out there.

Anonymous said...

What?? The only risk that followed on from the Kennedy assassination was that Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., might have needed to look for a real job. The riots that followed the King assassination actually destroyed social capital. Since then no one is safe in assuming that a fellow citizen is on the "same page."

Anonymous said...

Of course the underlying rot was already well advanced by the time "the Sixties" came along.

Yockey writing in 1948:
http://home.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/fpyockey/proclamation.html
(...)
"The message of Hollywood is the total significance of the isolated individual, stateless and rootless, outside of society and family, whose life is simply the pursuit of money and erotic pleasure. It is not the normal and healthy love of man and wife bound together by many children that Hollywood preaches, but a diseased erotic-for-its-own-sake, the sexual love of two grains of human sand, superficial and impermanent. Before this highest of all Hollywood's values, everything else must stand aside: marriage, honour, duty, patriotism, sternness, dedication of self to a higher aim. This ghastly distortion of the sexual life has created the erotomania which obsesses its millions of victims in America, and which has now been brought to the Mother-soil of Europe by the American invasion."
(...)

Hold on, know what you're sayin', but mainstream (Harvard) sociologist Carle Zimmerman had some strikingly similar observations in 1947:
http://bonald.wordpress.com/book-reviews-society/family-and-civilization/
(...)
"3) The atomistic family. As individualism and impiety spread, the ideological foundations of the domestic family are undermined, leading to the atomistic family. In an atomistic society, marriage is seen as a temporary and socially unimportant contract between independent individuals. As atomism spreads, divorce becomes common, adultery loses its stigma, sexual perversions of all sorts come to be accepted and even celebrated, children rebel against their parents, childbearing comes to be seen as a burden, and the population implodes. A society cannot survive without the will to produce a next generation, and so the decedent society is eventually replaced by a new civilization embracing a more virile (trustee) family type, and the cycle begins again. Greece after the Peloponnesian War, Rome during the late empire, and the contemporary West have the atomic family as their dominant type.
Zimmerman sees Western civilization headed for destruction if it cannot revive the domestic family. One of the heroes of his story is the Emperor Augustus, whose anti-adultery and anti-celibacy laws can be seen as a rational attempt to protect the Roman family and hold Rome’s destructively atomistic tendencies at bay."
(...)

Luke Lea said...

Don't underestimate Owsley acid. Have there been any surveys of how many took it, especially among upper-middle class college students of the era in elite colleges and universities. It was a cultural solvent and accelerant like no other mass-produced drug.

conspiracy theory ii said...

I'm sure there are some out there who are wary to assert their belief that Kennedy was, in deed, assassinated; however, it was a measure of last resort due to his brinkmanship in relation to Castro.

Truth said...

" Whiskey, did you delete your blog?"

Is it Christmas already?

beowulf said...

I thought once the boomers started aging and dying we'd finally get over the absurd "the CIA/FBI/Mafia/Nixon/Lambchop killed JFK" nonsense.

Can't speak as to FBI, Mafia, Nixon or Lambchop, but as I linked to last thread (with audio!), former CIA officer and Watergate felon E. Howard Hunt taped a deathbed confession that (as Mark Lane had alleged for years) he was involved in the conspiracy to murder Kennedy.
But its a free country, you can ignore any facts you want.

Bill said...

Haha, his quiz nailed it for me.

"A first- generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and moviegoing habits.
Range: 42–100. Typical: 66."

I got exactly 66. My dad worked at a brewery and was shop steward, and my mom was a schoolteacher.

This part of the explanation is really good:

"That sort of thing happens, but even then it is often artificial—your parents made you help out in a soup kitchen during high school and you volunteered for Habitat for Humanity during college, so you have had brief exposure to some of the most downtrodden people and disorganized neighborhoods. The truth is, such experiences still leave people with little idea of what life in an ordinary working-class or middle-class neighborhood is like."

I had a scholarship at a private school where most kids were upper-middle class or higher, and once, for Thanksgiving, we had to distribute food to poor families. I walked in with the cans of food and such, saw the miserable, strung-out single moms and their kids (it was the 80s), and knew exactly who they were -- my less competent neighbors from the projects down the way who, when not accepting alms from benevolent overlords, were busy trading crack and sex on street corners.

For the rich kids it just did not compute. They really didn't get it at all. As I look back on that, taking them there was a really bad idea. In their minds, it was bad people who were doing this to these poor creatures, and since it couldn't have been their own fault, it must have been the low-down, blue-collar brutes (like my dad's family) who were responsible, and must be punished.

I think the upper-middle-class/upper class elites are the most out of touch, politically stupid Americans of all. Why, then, are we subjected to an unending chain of Ivy League grads as presidential candidates? These people are NOT QUALIFIED to run our country!

Give them posts as ambassador to Liechtenstein, but keep them out of the White House fer chrissake.

Anonymous said...

11/22/63 was the most tragic day between ww2 and 9/11. But the changes were coming with or without Oswald. Rising affluence made the country spiritually, morally and culturally softer and weaker and gave us the leisure to indulge the excesses of the left, rebellion against authority, drugs, rationalization of libertine behaviors, statism. The 60's were the beginning of the end for America and we have not come close to recovering from it.

Anonymous said...

The FIRE happened:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g

RKU said...

No Name: Good Grief, I thought once the boomers started aging and dying we'd finally get over the absurd "the CIA/FBI/Mafia/Nixon/Lambchop killed JFK" nonsense.

Well, I've personally never read a single book or major article about the JFK assassination, or even given it much thought. But looking at it logically, the only real reason that such "conspiracy theories" are so inherently implausible is the existence of our independent, honest, and highly reliable mass-media. Major conspiracies tend to have large numbers of moving parts and active participants, and surely some of these would come to light or gossip to their friends or that sort of thing. And once a few of these bits began to come out, surely all the editors would put the shocking story on the front page of the NYT and blast it all over the TV news, and hundreds of other reporters would begin hunting for additional strands until the whole "conspiracy" unraveled.

So it all comes down to one's judgment on the honesty, reliability, and independence of our mass-media, both today and in the past, about which each commenter will need to form his own judgment.


On a different, perhaps unrelated matter, I very much doubt I'll read Murray's book, but I did read Steve's review of it, and something really jumped out at me. One of Murray's major points is the rapid growth of a "white underclass", which has increased in size by 150% since the early 1960s. But apparently he defines "white underclass" as being families in which the wife needs to work in order for them to avoid poverty. Thus, a two-earner non-poor family which would be poor if the wife quit or lost her job is an "underclass" family, and that seems an *awfully* strange definition to me. But I suppose Murray wants to make the "white underclass" as large as possible so that he can prove his "anti-racist" credentials and become a court intellectual to Romney or something.

Anonymous said...

I say, while you boys are chewing the fat on what changed in '63, chew on this. I think it goes a whole long ways to the answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOYuhLNwh3A&feature=related

Jim Bowery said...

GenoType claims to falsify Murray's primary explanation with this observation about the undergrad degrees of the 1%:

Note that mathematics and physics are on the bottom. Computer science and mechanical/electrical/civil engineering didn’t make the list.

Whiskey said...

No, I did NOT delete my blog, google did or I suspect a bot for some reason I don't know about. Anyway, its back up. I'm not complaining, just mystified.

Weird.

Anonymous said...

It should be quite obvious that "intellectuals" taking over means in reality Jews.

For anyone doubting it, see How the Intellectuals Took Over (And What to Do About It):

"And big changes were made, great big ones. Starting in the late 1940's, admission and hiring policies were transformed; broadly speaking, intellectuals took over the faculty and the student bodies ... One dramatic sign was the big influx of Jews. The intellectualizing trend went a lot farther than bringing in Jews, of course, but Jews are a dye marker that allows us to trace a new class of people as it moves into the system -- a new class distinguished by intellect and not social standing ... When intellectuals were outsiders, their loves and hates never mattered much. Today they are the bosses and their tastes matter greatly."

And so on. Nothing new to the readers of this blog but very well written. Plus, it was written in 1997.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious why an HBD atheist -- like yourself, Sailer -- even particularly cares about the end of White America.

Not only from the reductio ad absurdum that inevitably applies as universal worldview -- that is, we are nothing but our cells, and that would include any ideas, including moral standards from man (and thus created by him) -- but more specifically on this topic.

If White America ends, what is that but another example of natural selection?

The problem with the Sailers of the world -- and his acolytes, such as the risible and effete Derbyshire -- is that something like demographic winter means...what? If there is no higher being, and each man is simply G-d, if the state isn't, then what is tragedy, love or any other emotional stricture but construct of man?

And what can be truly tragic, outside the most subjective (and hypocritical, in Sailer's case) view, of much of anything, including the end of one's race?

I mean, without G-d, and any higher guiding purpose from such a being, where is beauty or meaning beyond cell replication?

How many evil house plants have you met? And what the hell (another made up conceptualization exposed by HBD/Darwin, natch) difference does Third World suffering next to First World delusions of a higher order?

All just bipeds. The difference is, the Third World strain actually has some interest and purpose in perpetuating.

Again, natural selection's biggest joke: the high-minded liberal atheist, typically white, is breeding himself out of existence.

If there is a G-d, and higher order, then thank G-d. If not? Who cares.

Anonymous said...

Darwinism, BTW, is itself cannot explain the universe.

Why?

Because it's a blinkered system, that can only allow for and interpret through linearity.

Perhaps a perfect mathematic construct -- and that's being so generous as to be disingenuous -- it is, even on that basis, little more than proof of Godel's Standard of a perfect formula meaning little to nothing, even being imperfect, in a broader context.

Trace the universe back to the "big bang". OK, what's the antecedent? What's the spark?

High density heat?

So gases, particles, heat, etc., rather than G-d, have always existed, even before time: they are beyond nothingness.

A ridiculous theorem, that assumes that matter has always existed, even as it argues for a linear narrative to explain man and his world.

The problem is, the narrative inevitably falls apart in its beginning. Contradictory and oxymoronic.

Linearity, thus, cannot explain existence. This is proven whenever one critically studies a linear construct. It's heterodox to itself.

The entire construct leads us to a foreword with no author, and no sense.

This is the world of HBD and Steve Sailer. An empire of dirt.

Anonymous said...

"It should be quite obvious that 'intellectuals' taking over means in reality Jews."

This was true for a while and still in some real tough fields. But in many lesser fields, it seems like the ideologues took over with advent of PC and affirmative action.

Petunia said...

Speaking of class and your article, Steve... I'll buy that subscription Thursday, payday :) Father's wealthy, but miserly :(

On the drive back from relatives on New Year's, my husband flipped around on the radio and settled on Dave Ramsey.

What can I say? It got to me and when I got home, I redid our budget and slashed my spending money severely.

Alan Stewart said...

We remember Nov. 22,1963 because we know that a period of dramatic changes occurred between 1960 and 1966 and the assassination was the most dramatic event of that period. If the President had been shot in 1962 or 1964 we'd remember that date in the same way.

Humans remember using stuff like that as opposed to picking out, say, the day the use of the pill reached a certain % of young unmarried women.

Kylie said...

"The entire construct leads us to a foreword with no author, and no sense."

Rather like your comment here.

"This is the world of HBD and Steve Sailer. An empire of dirt."

I'm afraid you've confused the HBD world with the tabloid world and Steve Sailer with Rupert Murdoch.

No surprise there as you apparently confused the topic under discussion, that of class markers in white America over the last half-century, with the topic of Darwinism's failure to explain the creation of the universe.

Hacienda said...

"If there is a G-d, and higher order, then thank G-d. If not? Who cares."

I care.

Anonymous said...

Thread comments get really weird after a few days.

My guess is Steve's theory about the start of the 60's has to do with golf course architecture. LOL

Truth said...

"No, I did NOT delete my blog, google did or I suspect a bot for some reason I don't know about. Anyway, its back up. I'm not complaining, just mystified."

I guess one of the justice department higher-ups thought that your sycophantic, fawning pro-Isreal blog was dangerous to state security.

Truth said...

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha...

Oh God, I couldn't get that one out without spitting out my OJ.

Anonymous said...

The Zapruder film wasn't seen by the public until the mid 70s.

Overlooked in the Kennedy discussions is Ruby shooting Oswald - the first televised murder - a greater sensory shock than the news of the assassination.... and another symbol of institutional incompetence.

steve burton said...

Typical RKU. Can't be bothered to read what Murray writes, but it doesn't stop him from going public with idiotic criticisms and mischaracterizations.

"I can't remember the exact details, but back in the 1990s Murray published a book suggesting that the solution to all our social problems would be to have the government give something like $10,000 in cash per year to everyone living in our ghettos, no questions asked."

I mean, jeezus. To say that you "can't remember the exact details" is the grossest understatement. You obviously haven't got the first clue what that book was all about.

beowulf said...

And once a few of these bits began to come out, surely all the editors would put the shocking story on the front page of the NYT and blast it all over the TV news...

If this is snark its genius. If you're being sincere... honestly, you need to read more.
books.google.com/books?id=lBVDOQxEgVsC&pg=PA393&lpg=PA393&dq

beowulf said...

"This is the world of HBD and Steve Sailer. An empire of dirt."

I'm a big Nixon fan, but this comment reminded me of the most brutal political putdown ever. Adlai Stevenson (reading a JK Galbraith speech) in 1952 said:
You roll back the stones, and you find slithering things. That is the world of Richard Nixon.

Svigor said...

Kennedy apparently wanted to withdraw from Vietnam.

If he hadn't, "liberals" would say he had, anyway.

I think fondatori provides an elegant explanation. Have no idea if it's true, though.

There is a funny paradox about PC.

"Who-whom?" is not a paradox.

Then Kylie comes along and mentions the glaringly obvious: Television. Americans seem to have a big ole blind spot (no pun intended) where the TV is concerned. They don't seem to like thinking about it much; they certainly don't like anyone criticizing it.

He was no different from FDR in that respect. Individual politicians cannot change the course of a nation, they can only be the figureheads for larger movements. You can't blame "the Sixties" on JFK or LBJ. Many millions of Americans fervently desired what these men proposed.

It's true that the apex figures aren't the drivers, but that doesn't mean we have to choose from apex leaders or the masses. The masses are fed a carefully-packaged version of the truth that the institutions serve them. The media framed all of this stuff the way they wanted to; it's like the old saying about preferring to control who runs for office, rather than who wins.

Nobody back then predicted what blacks have turned into.

Because nobody cracked a book? 19th century Southerners predicted what would happen. See Occidental Dissent for details.

The recurring theme as to why America went nuts after the mid-sixties: because we could afford to. All sorts of things go on at parties that don't fly in day-to-day life. But if a society becomes wealthy enough...party time!

The nature of the adulation of Kennedy baffles me. Yes, it is partly because he died young and violently. But it was already a phenomenon before then. In the public consciousness he represented a brave new world that swept away some sort of latter-day dark age in American history.

The first TV president.

Rising affluence made the country spiritually, morally and culturally softer and weaker and gave us the leisure to indulge the excesses of the left, rebellion against authority, drugs, rationalization of libertine behaviors, statism.

Right. Combine that rising affluence with the open sewer of a media controlled by a hostile elite, and a march through the institutions, and there you go.

red november said...

"Im not sure thats true. The Zapruder 8mm film wasnt seen until the 1970s and I dont think there is much TV of the event."

Do people study ANY HISTORY at all? Even popular, recent history that must certainly appear regularly on the internet or docudramas?
The full color, head exploding Zapruder film (stills, admittedly, were in full color in Life magazine during the mid-60s. Can't remember the exact date, but I was only 10 when JFK was killed and I vividly remember the color pictures, the red blood, the pink suit, and poor LHO doubled over in agony and thinking he was probably innocent. Nobody, not even my 15 yr old brother or my 75 yr old grandmother, believed the official story and everyone thought Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald, was taken out deliberately, as he himself claimed.


"Can't speak as to FBI, Mafia, Nixon or Lambchop, but as I linked to last thread (with audio!), former CIA officer and Watergate felon E. Howard Hunt taped a deathbed confession that (as Mark Lane had alleged for years) he was involved in the conspiracy to murder Kennedy.
But its a free country, you can ignore any facts you want."

That's what they do. While direct perps are mostly dead, you'd be surprised how many family members and political (if not biological descendants) are still alive and still determined that the Official Story as Perpetrated by the Warren Commission be kept in the text books and the Wikipedias, depsite overwhelming evidence of tireless researchers for the past 50 yrs now.
Another great book on the era is "Me and Lee" by Judyth Vary Baker. She claims to have been Oswalds's girl friend and even has pay stubs from where they both worked. Her existence in New Orleans is well documented and answers questions about Ruby and Oswald's association, and especially about Ruby's claim of being injected with cancer.
There are so many compelling reasons for so many people to keep this case closed (officially) that it must indeed rank as the defining moment for the 20th c. American.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Steve-o, here's the money quote from the comment thread, Tyler Cowen on David Brooks on Charles Murray:

"[RmDeep - Jan 31 at 12:41 pm] This thread is hilarious as all the high-g atheistic libertarians belatedly realize that social conservativism is not for their benefit, but for the benefit of the left half of the bell curve."

RKU said...

Jim Bowery: GenoType claims to falsify Murray's primary explanation with this observation about the undergrad degrees of the 1%

This indeed seems like a very effective refutation of the core of Murray's apparent framework. I find it extraordinarily unlikely that physics and math majors rank near the bottom of the 1%ers because of their lack of intellectual ability, while economics majors rank at the top for opposite reasons. Presumably Murray's research budget was just too tight to have an intern spend a few days gathering the data.

Now I have little doubt that the typical physics/math major could quite easily become a 1%er if he so chose, or at least have a much greater likelihood of doing so than an Ec major. But that simply underscores the enormously perverse incentive structure of our current stupid system, in which smart, productive people must often become useless parasites doing stupid, boring things in order to become wealthy, hence gain greatest social status.

I remember a while back when that Borslaug(sp?) fellow died, the American biological scientist who'd created the "Green Revolution" and saved the world from starvation. He was almost totally unknown to the American public, certainly compared to the second cousin of the average drug-addled long-cancelled sitcom star. I think Chomsky said that a society which had it public priorities thus oriented was probably doomed or something like that.

Anonymous said...

The JFK assassination showed that the world could change drastically in an instant. Nothing was secure anymore, hence all was changeable.

And as James Piereson showed, the Kennedy family and Democrat party elders decided immediately to spin the assassination as due to racial hate within US society.

That was a lie adopted in haste for what seemed like noble ends to the perpetrators. But it had the effect of kicking the props from under all of society and turning loose the idealistic anarchy we label as "The Sixties."

Jeff W. said...

The left changed its strategy. About 1963, they abandoned class warfare and adopted a strategy of race warfare.

Formerly the left's target had been the bourgeoisie. After 1963 it was the white people.

Pre-Boomer said...

RKU - the name you were searching for is Norman Borlaug, the great agricultural scientist whose work in Mexico was funded in the main by the Rockefeller Foundation.

RKU said...

Beowulf: If this is snark its genius. If you're being sincere...

Well, as I'd originally said, "it all comes down to one's judgment on the honesty, reliability, and independence of our mass-media." Obviously, the vast majority of the commenters here tend to trust the media almost 100% of the time about everything, hence should never consider the possibility of any ridiculous "conspiracy theory"...


Steve Burton: Typical RKU. Can't be bothered to read what Murray writes, but it doesn't stop him from going public with idiotic criticisms and mischaracterizations.

Well, since I consider Murray a shill and a fool, I'm not going to read that old book of his, but just to be fair I spent five minutes on Amazon seeing whether my recollection was totally mistaken. Turns out, the book had appeared in the mid-2000s rather than the 1990s, and $3000 of the money goes straight to the health insurance companies (who are presumably big AEI donors), so the net cash grant to all the ghetto-dwellers in America is actually $7000 per year. But otherwise, it sure seems like I was correct.

Now I'm not saying that *all* of the $7000 per year in cash would go to crack-dealers. Probably the whiskey-retailers would get their slice as well. But I still think it would be much cheaper and more efficient for the government to cut out the middlemen, do a wholesale purchase from the Latin American producers, and just distribute vast quantities of free crack. More bang for the government buck so to speak. Given that Murray seems to ignore this obvious efficiency argument, I still suspect that the crack-dealers probably funded Murray's book.

catperson said...

I think what caused the 1960s was the Flynn Effect. Once 20th century nutrition increased brain size and complexity beyond a crucial threshold, Western populations became intelligent enough to question authority, tradition, and bigotry, and think beyond their own genetic tribal instincts.

But if others believe that the assassination of Kennedy caused the 1960s, and believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the one who did it, then Oswald single handedly changed the trajectory of history. Folks used to debate whether the ultra prestigious Time magazine should name Einstein or Hitler as the most influential person of the 20th century, but perhaps they forgot a name.

jpbenney said...

My impression of Coming Apart is that is could be a warming to the United States that in the long term it faces the same problems that Europe, Canada and New Zealand have now of a radically selfish and atheistic culture producing ever-bigger government with nothing to pay for it. The modern European culture was created gradually via a militant, socialistic and atheistic working class forcing reforms on a conservative ruling class over something like eight generations (with many setbacks I should note). Such changes as the legalisation of birth control and homosexuality would have taken place in Europe during the 1920s rather than the 1960s or 1970s had popular opinion been reflected.

In the United States, however, such issues were nonexistent until the tail end of the 1960s (e.g. Stonewall). The peak in the "sexual revolution" was in the early 1980s, a time when homosexual practice grew to become a mainstream issue and Roe v. Wade became a touchstone on both sides of politics. More broadly, the values of nihilism and creating turmoil did not remotely ease within popular culture until the Clinton era when the radicals had won most of their reforms.

The key difference is that some sections of teh US populace were uninfluenced by radical ideologies, and that the 1990s saw a much stronger reaction to moral libertinism than found within Europe or Canada or New Zealand. That has allowed big government and its implications to be a much more serious issue in the US, and alternatives to be discussed more freely.

What Murray is showing is that this reaction to 1970s and 1980s nihilism was and is not a mass movement as many conservatives imply. The original Decadent movement in Britain and France or the "third ways" of Allan Carlson in early twentieth-century Europe were also very much ruling class movements, and they failed to stem the militant atheism of urban workers. This means there is little likelihood that atheistic nihilism can be stemmed in the United States either.

Anonymous said...

"Now I'm not saying that *all* of the $7000 per year in cash would go to crack-dealers. Probably the whiskey-retailers would get their slice as well.;

I think Milton Friedman and James Buchanan were for giving cash to people instead of having govt programs. It sounds good, but in reality many people don't know how to spend money. Heck, remember when people purchased "invisible" dogs in the 70's. They just walked around with the collar and the leash.

Anonymous said...

***I'm afraid you've confused the HBD world with the tabloid world and Steve Sailer with Rupert Murdoch.***

Empty statement. Unsurprising.

HBD is an inherently Darwinist/Evolutionary theorem. The idea that this is somehow separate from tribalism, or the explanations attendant to humanity's existence, is innumerate. It's not even clever reductive, but rather sophistry that misses the forest for the trees.

But, that's typical for HBD, whether that be on the low-end or high-end. An ass is an ass, no matter what end you're on.

***No surprise there as you apparently confused the topic under discussion, that of class markers in white America over the last half-century, with the topic of Darwinism's failure to explain the creation of the universe.***

Do understand Sailer's Central worldview, that HBD explains all, or nearly all?

As an evolutionist adherent, the point is simple: all that's happening to Whites, at least at the moment, would appear to be dysgenic self-hatred. Which is little more, when carried far enough, than biological natural selection.

Why the hand-wringing and emotional veneer over science. The Sailer View debases the entire world through objectification -- any notion of morality is man-made, and therefore subjective -- begging the question as to why Whites should be exempt outside slight tribalism posing as a moral basis.

I'm sure you're still confused, which seems to leave you at the starting gate.

The real question, again, is why a Darwinist is acting like the end of Whites, or much of anything else, can truly be a "tragedy".

edgy gurl said...

"Why the hand-wringing and emotional veneer over science. The Sailer View debases the entire world through objectification -- any notion of morality is man-made, and therefore subjective -- begging the question as to why Whites should be exempt outside slight tribalism posing as a moral basis.

I'm sure you're still confused, which seems to leave you at the starting gate.

The real question, again, is why a Darwinist is acting like the end of Whites, or much of anything else, can truly be a "tragedy"."

You know, anonymous, you're an excellent rhetorician. Otherwise, I could drive a fleet of 18 wheelers through your logic. Ugh. I'd be surprised if you'd been reading this blog for long. For instance, Sailer can come across as quite the Catholic schoolboy complete with the Madonna-Whore complex and the Victorian morality of Darwin, gasp! He's not the least bit relativistic or atavistic as you might think had he truly Darwinian worldview. Nevertheless, I think he's quite similar to his ideological forbears, Darwin and Galton, with this squeamishness in the face of the true nature of man. Pay attention. Yes, you've followed these beliefs to their logical conclusion, out of keeping with your nature. Likewise, Sailer, Murray, Darwin, Galton, et. al, come across as quite schoolmarmish flinching in the face of the reality of HBD they've discovered.

I've resolved to enjoy such incongruities and inconsistencies. I mean wouldn't these guys feel a little better if they became priests, parsons and missionaries fighting the good fight despite assured failure. Instead they become xanax and rolaids popping, teeth gnashing, harbingers of doom. Now if you think they are altering moralistic states with atavistic Dr. Hyde frenzies, I'd like to see the evidence. ;0) Mostly, however, you just have to deal with their cowardice in the face of bravery approach or ignore them. Such is life.

red november said...

"And as James Piereson showed, the Kennedy family and Democrat party elders decided immediately to spin the assassination as due to racial hate within US society."



"Racial hate?" Maybe a part of it. We are so used to accepting every "civil rights" bill or law that comes down the pike, we forget how controversial some of them were in some areas of the country.

However, RFK went along with the program far more because he was culpable of planning hits on Castro and it is (still) against the law for the U.S. to murder foreign heads of state. Castro, btw, knew that the Cuban communists had nothing to do with the murder, and was later at pains to communicate that to the Kennedy family and anyone else who would listen. Members of the Kennedy family even went to Russia during the 60s, and assured that government that they knew it had nothing to do with the hit.
RFK's reputation for sneaky ruthlessness didn't come from nowhere. Pretty well documented--wouldn't raise an eyebrow nowadays, but back then people still thought that government & CIA efforts should adhere to legal protocol at least publicly. There was a lot of that sort of thing that RFK had reason to worry about and one of the reasons he suffered from such crushing guilt concerning the assassination.
Another thing. When forces this strong and numerous have beaten you at your own game, you buck them at your own danger. RFK did intend to reopen the investigation once he was president. Best way to head that off was to make sure he never got there.

There's nothing new about political assassinations in the U.S., and one of the odd things about the 60s is how surprised everyone was. We were shocked. Shocked, that that could happen.

Anonymous said...

And lastly, the Boomers started to go to college to have their heads filled with garbage by pinko professors. (Though I believe that the number who were so influenced is vastly overestimated in the popular consciousness. They were a vocal minority

The Boomers were mostly a generation of followers rather than true believers with any depth. JFK was cool. The Beatles were cool. Bob Dylan was cool. Leftoid college professors were cool. A few decades later, Reagan was cool, the Pope and Jerry Falwell were cool.

So, the promise of a new America that failed in the 60s finally succeeded in the 80s,
and I think that's why even so many boomers came to love Reagan; unlike the tragic story of Kennedy,


Reagan was charismatic, just like Kennedy. They both sold the same dreams. Nixon and Carter didn't.

Part of the attract of Reagan to boomers was that he was so far-out, so far to the right, that the pre-boomer generation rejected him. John Wayne for president. Reagan was no Nixon or Goldwater, no darling of the pre-boomers.

Things we had my parents didn't have: Porn

Porn (and prostitution) were always around. Maybe not at the 7-11 or the Mom and Pop store, but always around. And many of the Mom and Pop stores did sell porn to teenagers, very secretly.

contraception & abortion

You mean the Pill and legalized abortion for convenience. My grandfather when he was 16 could buy a pack of "rubbers" from the local drugstore.

LSD, pot, speed, coxaine,

LSD, yes. All of the other Drugs were available in the worlds of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. Many of them were on the drugstore shelves, and not necessarily behind the counter.

Pot, though illegal, was very common in the South, for both blacks and whites, but uncommon in the North until "Reefer Madness" made it famous. Southerners back then weren't the uptight Silent Moral Majority holy rollers they are now.

Opium addiction was even more common in the "good old days" than it is now.

And I won't even mention alcohol.

But there has been progress in other areas. The mass human sacrifices in the trenches of WWI are a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

One reasons people might think of the 60s as starting with Kennedy's assasination is that so many baby boomer 60s-era songwriters put it in their lyrics: "who killed the Kennedys?", "I forgot the day John Kennedy died", "... living Kennedy's dream", etc.. I imagine for many 60's era songwriters Kennedy was the first president who they had ever voted for. It was the type of thing a songwriter could work with. Not so much the Eisenhower administration.

Anonymous said...

Another reason people might think of the 60s as starting with Kennedy's assasination is that so many baby boomers, who shaped a lot of these cultural markers, remember the day Kennedy died from a school playground, gradeschool or highschool. It was one of the first "big-things in the outside world" they had personally experienced, which intruded into their daily lives. It also coincided with adolescence for a lot of them and came to demarcate the "pre-them" days from the hip times when they were the cool kids.

cinc210 said...

Well, most of the growth didn't take place in heavy red states but the swing states, NV, Az,Co, Va, NC, Fl. Texas is the only real red state to really grow and also Ga. MS, La, Al, and AR which is sort of a swing state grew slowly.

Anonymous said...

The culture of the 1960s only spread in the 70s - and went mainstream even later, around the time Habitat stores opened everywhere.

I can remember finding - around 1978 - a bunch of working class 'lads' (from my local pub) in a local park, looking for psilocybin mushrooms. I knew then that the student drug culture had gone mainstream. Up until that time, most working class Brits only used alcohol.

For an accurate picture of 1966 England look at the World Cup Final crowd - 95% in ties - ties ! and many also sporting hats - or take a look at this 1964 video of Liverpool soccer supporters (my son watched it and said "where are all the black people?").

Laban

Anonymous said...

Where are all the human beings? All I see are tie-wearing robots.

Anonymous said...

Another reason people might think of the 60s as starting with Kennedy's assasination ... It was one of the first "big-things in the outside world" they had personally experienced, which intruded into their daily lives.

Consider also that the daily lives of young Boomers were very sheltered, very insulated from the Big Things of the real world. That also was a factor.

Anonymous said...

One reason historians will probably always tie Kennedy to the 60s is: 1961, "... before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon..."; 1968, Apollo 11 lands on the moon. It is impossible to separate Kennedy from the space program, and it is impossible to separate the space program and first lunar landing from the 60s.

Anonymous said...

Let's scan the last 2,000 years of British history in five paragraphs. Up until the late Victorian era, the default mode was uncertainty about this years crop and whether you would have enough to eat. For the first 1200 or so years (longer in Scotland and Ireland) there was also the risk of strangers descending to kill or enslave you. Or perhaps you were doing the killing, if you were Saxon, Scot, Dane, Norman, Viking. Life expectancy was short and medicine primitive. Your wife could die in childbirth, your children in infancy. Unsurprisingly, this was a religious era. Nothing concentrates the mind like personal acquaintance with death - not on a six-month tour of duty, but in your home and everyday life.

The basic instincts needed regulating too. Copulation meant children, and of the two available models (monogamy or winner-takes-all), Christian Britain went heavily for the first, with a leavening of the second for princes and mighty lords.

Over on the mainland, the risk of the descending stranger continued on a large scale up to 1945 - and to pretty much this day in Kosovo and Bosnia. But isolated by the sea, with her Navy key to keeping the descending stranger at bay, the nations of Britain developed a culture, Christian, scientific, patriotic, mercantile, which reached its full flowering in the Victorian era and was still very much alive in 1945. To be born British was to have won first prize in the lottery of life.

Some things changed in the hundred years before 1945. Technology had expanded life expectancy, infant mortality was slashed, there was enough to eat. We had again - twice - beaten off the descending stranger.

The generation growing to maturity after WW2 - the Sixties children - grew up in a world where the possibility of sudden death existed (nuclear attack) but somehow never seemed relevant to everyday life. What could one do about it ? Otherwise they were safe - safer than any generation in history had ever been. They felt able to forget the Christian culture that had brought them thus far - indeed to begin the forty-year task of dismantling it. The invention of reliable contraception, enabled a base instinct (I'm not knocking it, btw) to be satisfied without worrying about children being born. And if they were, another new invention, the Welfare State, would care for the child. Christianity began its long decline, hastened by a host of cultural revolutionaries who are now growing old. To a lesser extent this process happened in all of Europe.

Laban

Anonymous said...

Does Murray make any mention of the fact that the leading lights of the new upper class are Jewish?
In the past, the elites and masses were united by white-Christian-ness. Today, the underclass is white gentiles and upper class at the top is essentially Jewish-dominated(and liberal elite wasps just follow along).
Also, with the rise of trash culture, white underclass is more likely to indulge in 'wigga culture'. Ironically, the rap industry is controlled by upper class white people, essentially Jews in music industry.

Defeated said...

"the Second Vatican Council. This event de-stabilised the Catholic Church and effectively took it out of the conservative camp."

Catholics became Episcopalians. They lost the fire to carry on their role as guardians of the public morality. They were much more important than southern Fundamentalists, because they lived in the cities. Irish Catholics were trained in the old country to defend the faith and they weren't going to be cowed by ridicule or threats - too much blood had been shed. The wealthy Protestants, and their children, were often humbled, or at least puzzled, by the piety of their catholic servants.

You might have been a special snowflake, but you'd better have been ready to share a room with your brothers and you'd live by the same rules. For good or for bad, those days are gone forever.

Defeated said...

I read Murray's book. I think he is a little out of touch when it comes to blue collar jobs getting easier. Regarding letter carriers and delivery jobs, computerized sorting has led to longer routes and more mail. New cleaning contracts usually result in more square footage to clean. Many construction jobs which used to be two man jobs are now one. Eight hour days don't exist for non union construction jobs facing illegal competition - two days work in one 12 hr day.

Try keeping that up into your fifties.

Middle class retreat to the exurbs has only made days longer with long commutes.

Floda resident said...

Bravo, Mr. Sailer !
I have now read both, the book "Coming apart" by Murray, and your review in The Ametican Conservative. For some reason you are presented in TAC (hard copy, to which I do subscribe) as a VDARE.com's Monday mornig columnist.
With greatest appreciation of your work,
and with warm blessings (you probably do not need them from me, but still ...) to all your remarkable family,
your truly, Florida resident.

Anonymous said...

1963 is an inflection point in values.

WWII values: hard work, self discipline, save for the future, education, respect for others, raise a strong family, self reliance, achievement.

Baby Boomer values: no hard work, self indulgence, spend it now, school sucks, mememe, pets not babies, government services from other people’s money, under achievement.

Drugs, the pill, Vietnam, affluence are just excuses.

If you are too young to really know the 40’s and 50’s from first-hand knowledge and rely on the lies liberals and secular progressives taught you in school you won’t get what I am saying. Please do your homework and get with the program before you and I lose our freedom.

The progressive experiment is done and it has failed. It is not too late.

Old Timer