The 1960’s were defined by both the anti-Vietnam War ‘hippie’ crowd, comprised mostly of the younger generation, and civil rights marches in the sometimes bloody battle for racial equality. The neon, Cold War ‘80’s saw protests against nuclear proliferation as well as its use as an energy source, and South Africa’s Apartheid policies, along with the starving in Ethiopia, were the main social causes.
Even back before and during World War II there were anti-war groups and outspoken public figures.
The recent rise in the occurrence of protests is much different in one distinct way. No matter on which side of the fence you stood on with past issues, and no matter if history has proven you right or not, at least the purpose to protest back then was founded in something real.
|Anti-Apartheid March, 1985|
Nuclear power was being expanded. Because of the Cold War, so were the warheads. Nelson Mandela was real. The Vietnam War was real. They actually existed. Citizens marched against nuclear buildup in the 1980’s not because of phantom science, but because the Soviet Union and the United States did, in fact, have huge arsenals of killer weapons.
Today, we don’t have a major (recognized) world war. Starvation still happens of course, but the protest groups have changed their focus to other issues.
While historically situated on the left of the spectrum, the ‘protest movement’ has lurched to the far-left and has become generally more violent and aggressive in its pursuit of its goals. The new wave consists of the first post-Cold War generation. They are now in their late-teens to late-twenties, and have grown up in a world without the prime example of socialist failure, the Soviet Union.
Western governments fumbled the ball by immediately sending trillions to the ‘new capitalist Russia’ and its former nation-states, instead of spending some of that cash educating the former slaves of communism on the inner workings of the free market system.
Socialism in the former U.S.S.R was soon replaced by a weird form of bribe capitalism which had a level of corruption that would make 1930’s Chicago blush.
Any lessons which could have been instilled in our kids about the dangers and inevitable self-destruction of the socialist state were ignored by our education systems, our educators’ attention fixed instead on inserting the new environmentalism agenda into the lesson plans.
Today’s Generation Whatever sees socialism through the eyes of their messiahs: the Hollywood collective. They see ‘respected actors’ such as Danny Glover and Sean Penn soaking up valuable photo-op time with Venezuela’s Moron-In-Chief Hugo Chavez.
The blurring of the celebrity/learned political genius line has created a false legitimacy in the opinions of such informed people as Al Gore, Michael Moore, Kevin Bacon, Daryl Hannah, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, etc., who speak out repeatedly against the intangible threat of ‘climate change’ while living a lavish personal lifestyle, sometimes making money on the perpetuation of an unfounded ideology.
As an example of the effects, I give you the Occupy movement. The thinking has become so clouded they target capitalism and Big Business for the economic sins of a president they overwhelmingly support.
In Quebec students are rampaging through the streets of Montreal as a reaction to the provincial government’s plan to raise tuition, even though the post-elevation would still place the cost for Quebec students around the lowest in Canada. Ignored are facts, such as Alberta’s long-time contribution to keeping the price of post-secondary education low in Quebec through transfer payments, while our own students struggle to pay their bills.
A complicit leftwing media, an American President who publicly condemns free-market capitalism while forcefully engaging in leftwing socialist economics, and an education system which has shed any semblance of traditional schooling and filled the void with socialist, politically-correct programming for our young have created the Protester Without a Cause.