I remember standing in long lines to take off my shoes to get on an airplane.
It is funny how so little has changed.
Hogwash. What stood out in the 50's and 60's relative to air travel was the dress. We all wore Sunday-Go-To-Meeting clothes, there were no security checkpoints, and our family and friends said goodbye when we walked through the door of the plane.
Do I really need to explain my point so explicitly. . .
Do I really need to explain my point so explicitly.
I am not saying that people took off their shoes in the 50's.
I am saying that the "duck and cover" drills we had in the 50's
and 60's are similar to the "take your shoes off" drills we have now.
They are both rather pointless knee-jerk reactions to a threat we are
afraid of as a society-- they don't have any practical purpose other
than to make society at large feel like we are doing something.
And, the absolutist rhetoric of evil communists is the same as the absolutist rhetoric of evil Islamists.
As is the way that both are portrayed as existential threats from people who hate our freedoms.
Add to this conservative politicians profiting greatly from hyping the fear of commies in the 50's
is very similar to the conservative politicians hyping the fear of Islamists today.
Ok. I agree with all of that. Did your experiences of the 50s and 60s (assuming you had some) impact your outlook into adulthood? Do you accept the myth concept that the Cold War and our involvement in it was an unnecessary fear of the unknown monster under the bed?
I know you do, David. Until recently, I always accepted it as real, too.
I'm not saying it wasn't. I'm posing a question about the possibility that it wasn't as real as I thought it was.
The fear was certainly real. Of that, there is no doubt. BUT, was the fear necessary or was it based on a myth?
Keep in mind, that the word myth doesn't necessarily mean false.
A myth can be true, even if not factual. [ ?? ]
It's where shades of gray come in between areas of black and white. That's the basis of my question.
Since I was born in 1970, way past the "duck and cover" days....I can't relate to any of that first hand, but I have posed a very similar question to my parents and their friends...did all of that have any affect on you/looking back do you feel you were in some way being brainwashed. Most common answer...I don't really remember feeling much, or thinking much about it....as if it were just as routine as a fire drill.
I'm more interested in the start of the cold war at this point.
I agree, I think, with the assessment that there has to be a boogie man.
That if there isn't a real one, human nature is to create one.
I've likened similar sentiments on a smaller scale in a business or work setting.
I've called it the Frank Burns syndrome.
Frank was the surgeon on M.A.S.H that everyone loved to hate.
I've seen the dynamic play out many times in my career.
There was always a "Frank". If the Frank-du-jour left the group
then it seemed to be only a matter of days before the new "Frank" was identified.
I've been doing a lot of reading about different theories
of why and when it started.
All of them probably "true", David, in some respects, but none of them giving the complete picture.
Reading your thread,
I feel almost like a Jew who is denounced for "exaggerating" how bad the nazis really were.
It was metastatic communist slavery, whose implacable goal
was permanent world despotism, ruthlessly enforced,
with 100% extermination of freedom of any Individual rights whatsoever, even as to any freedom of thought.
As soon as the term "Cold War" was popularized to refer to postwar tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, interpreting the course and origins of the conflict has been a source of heated controversy among historians, political scientists, and journalists. In particular, historians have sharply disagreed as to who was responsible for the breakdown of Soviet-U.S. relations after the Second World War; and whether the conflict between the two superpowers was inevitable, or could have been avoided. Historians have also disagreed on what exactly the Cold War was, what the sources of the conflict were, and how to disentangle patterns of action and reaction between the two sides.
While the explanations of the origins of the conflict in academic discussions are complex and diverse, several general schools of thought on the subject can be identified. Historians commonly speak of three differing approaches to the study of the Cold War: "orthodox" accounts, "revisionism," and "post-revisionism." Nevertheless, much of the historiography on the Cold War weaves together two or even all three of these broad categories.