Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Post of the Week Created with Sketch. 1950s of the Future: Freedomland vs. Stepford Wives

 
Qu’elle Future!

When the 1950s and early 1960s are discussed by the retrospective experts of academia and PBS hush-toned documentaries, traditional families are generally portrayed as vehicles for an oppressive patriarchy. They are nothing more than little capsules of conformity; individual bulwarks against personal expression and freedom; a suppression of human nature and appetites.

Culture was reflected in the popular radio and television shows at the time. Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Ozzie and Harriet were all shows that seemed to reinforce this notion. Today, they’re used by the progressive left and the radical feminist movement as examples of an oppressive, conformist society. They mean to scare people into thinking this would be America’s future if conservatives had their way, especially if President Trump is re-elected. Women would lose their right to vote! Birth control would be banned! Abortions outlawed!! (Okay, this one wouldn’t be bad) America would be awash in Old White Man power and no one will stop them! But these are just outlandish caricatures of the views of the time.

They had it backward from the beginning. The American trajectory from the 1950s and 1960s was headed to prosperity, equality of opportunity for the sexes, and declining racial disparity. But a funny thing happened on the way from Baby Boom to Woodstock: a growing federal government “safety net” and conscripted cultural conformity. For all the high hopes of a rebellious Hippie Generation – the protests, fighting the Man, and questioning authority – the left grew up and became exactly what they purported to be against. What the left is doing now, is…whitewashing history to advance their own agenda and using fear of a return to a false history to do it.

The Civil Rights movement was well on its way – the support and outspokenness of political and civic leaders together, with a strong foundation in Christian churches helped shift momentum towards equality. And government intervention, like the 1968 Fair Housing Act, actually did little to nothing to help black families rise out of urban poverty. In 1970, 42% of black households owned their homes. In 2017, it was 41%. As for women in the workforce, the number has increased exponentially, as well as the number of women with higher education degrees. But is it making for happier women? Studies show it has not, further, it has created a backlash of sorts and a return to a more traditional view of gender roles in the home.

These trends create a terminal problem for the radical idealism that started in the 1960s through the 1970s. The Baby Boomer generation set out to change the world, and by god they did, just not for the better. The welfare state created a dependent class and the war on families and traditional American values of patriotism, individual freedom, and self-reliance became sources of shame, not pride. If only the Donna Reeds of the suburbs and Alice Kramdens of the cities would unite in burning their bras and kicking their oppressive husbands to the curb – only then would we finally breathe the air of freedom!

But being a contrarian is different from being a nonconformist. The left conflates the two, then uses it to declare their ownership of individuality, human progress, and justified rebellion. What they want to do is claim their political and cultural views of an egalitarian utopia as morally superior, while ignoring basic human nature. It is an impossible task. So they double down on silencing and shaming anyone who dares utter a contrary word to their dogma.

Michelle Obama railed against women who voted for Trump. Hilary called them traitors. Joe Biden stated out loud that black voters who were undecided on whether to vote for him or President Trump “ain’t black.” And Carla Hall, writing an op-ed in the LA Times agreed with him. One needs only to look at the resistance to Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court to understand the left’s devotion to the abortion cause.

The press, too, has closed its collective mind. Instead of indulging intellectual curiosity and holding the powerful accountable to the people, it plays its dutiful part of partisan lapdog perfectly and obediently. Mostly gone are the days of a local street beat, now swallowed by the petty, junior-high catty club of a national press corps and cable news. News has always been big business, but now it’s far more business than news. The explosion of social media has transformed the enterprise into a multiple platform superhighway of information into a narrow road of approved viewpoints and carefully curated narratives. The side that chided Nixon for paranoia and witch-hunts are now engaging in the very behavior they once rebelled against. They’ve turned the Red Scare on its head and play the part of Walter Winchell finding Russians under every voting booth. “Russia!” has nearly overtaken the left’s use of bigot as a catch-all accusation to into which they dump any truth they find inconvenient.

It’s telling, that not only do self-proclaimed Progressives continually mischaracterize traditional gender roles. Being the keeper of a home is one of the most important and crucial responsibilities for the continuation of our strongest ties: that of the family. The left likes to use women who gravitate towards traditional household roles as depressed and neglected. But that’s usually the situation in which modern feminists find themselves. Even in 1958, The Donna Reed Show episode (aptly titled “The Male Ego”) Donna’s husband laments the modern housewife, “What happened to the days beyond recall when a man made decisions? Women control the PTA. They own 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. They dictate where we live, how we live…Today the PTA, tomorrow the world!” this doesn’t sound like a man with a tight grip on the goings-on of his wife.

In 1972, Ira Levin wrote the satirical novel The Stepford Wives, and it was immediately adopted as the cause around which a generation who thought themselves counter-culture warriors rallied. But the left only wants to ‘stick-it-to-the-Man’ if they aren’t the Man. They would be burning their face masks like they burned their bras. They would object to a public school system that indoctrinates instead of educates. They would truly welcome contrarian ideas and hypothesis about climate. They would recognize the undeniable science about the unborn. They would welcome the heterodox views of minority groups, who want to make freedom, not government dependency, a priority and reality in their lives.

When the post-political elites (they are above the petty politics of debate and know liberalism is the only accepted ideology) discuss traditional mores, it’s with the poison tongue of disdain. They robotically repeat condescending tones, reassuring themselves of their faultless views. They are unable to see the nuance in the sexes because they have banished the idea from their mind. They are unable to accept the dignity of work and independence because they see themselves the savior of the minority underclass.

This is how post-modern ‘art’ sells in the millions of dollars: that something so hideous could demand the fawning admiration of an elite class that should, well, know better, considering they’re supposed to be the arbiters of fine taste. And I wonder if they truly believe a post-modern ink-spot to be the most profound art since the Mona Lisa – or are they just lemmings in a pop-culture driven crowd, moved only by the sheer force of their depraved needy acceptance of their well-heeled peers? It is less about strength in the herd, than acceptance in the herd.

It’s similar to organizations like the NBA or companies like Sony publicizing support for BLM or espousing critical race theory nonsense. It would be silly if it weren’t so dangerous. Do these companies comply with the radical left as they fawn over Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog because they believe it, or because they seek immunity from cancellation in the herd? They bop along in their privileged world, unable to hold or accept views opposed to their own.

I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 47 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    JennaStocker: What they want to do is claim their political and cultural views of an egalitarian utopia as morally superior, while ignoring basic human nature.

    Progressivism in a nutshell. Great post-summarizes my thinking to a tee. I could barely sit through Pleasantville with its naked disdain for the 1950’s. As you say, they got that decade completely wrong. And I don’t just think that they are conformists, I know they are conformists. None of them dare buck the orthodoxy because if they do, they are out of the social club. The thing they want most. I don’t even think of the press as a business anymore. If they were a business, they wouldn’t ignore half their audience. No, they are a social club. And so is the entire Washington establishment.

    We are now the counterculture.

    • #1
    • October 21, 2020, at 8:38 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    JennaStocker: I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

    I love this point, Jenna! Conforming, behaving, repeating their dogma, walking in lockstep–that’s what they live for. I just wonder if in a country like America whether they will realize how imprisoned they are in their own beliefs? Great post!

    • #2
    • October 21, 2020, at 8:39 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: What they want to do is claim their political and cultural views of an egalitarian utopia as morally superior, while ignoring basic human nature.

    Progressivism in a nutshell. Great post-summarizes my thinking to a tee. I could barely sit through Pleasantville with its naked disdain for the 1950’s. As you say, they got that decade completely wrong. And I don’t just think that they are conformists, I know they are conformists. None of them dare buck the orthodoxy because if they do, they are out of the social club. The thing they want most. I don’t even think of the press as a business anymore. If they were a business, they wouldn’t ignore half their audience. No, they are a social club. And so is the entire Washington establishment.

    We are now the counterculture.

    We are the the rebels! And its telling how in denial much of the entertainment industry & Washington are in the same boat: they think speaking out against President Trump puts their careers in danger – oh the self-importance! 

    • #3
    • October 21, 2020, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

    I love this point, Jenna! Conforming, behaving, repeating their dogma, walking in lockstep–that’s what they live for. I just wonder if in a country like America whether they will realize how imprisoned they are in their own beliefs? Great post!

    Thank you, Susan. And imprisoned is such an apt description. It’s a bit like the cliques in grade school: only opinions approved by committee are acceptable. One wonders how co-dependently they live? Sad.

    • #4
    • October 21, 2020, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “For all the high hopes of a rebellious Hippie Generation – the protests, fighting the Man, and questioning authority – the left grew up and became exactly what they purported to be against.”

    If you listen to the songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s, there is a lot of emphasis on *individual freedom*…that emphasis is absent from today’s “progressive” left, with their orientation toward collectivism and conformity. It’s not totally clear to which they are the same people, though…many 60s & 70s leftists, such as David Horowitz, have disclaimed leftism.

     

     

    • #5
    • October 21, 2020, at 9:04 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    David Foster (View Comment):

    “For all the high hopes of a rebellious Hippie Generation – the protests, fighting the Man, and questioning authority – the left grew up and became exactly what they purported to be against.”

    If you listen to the songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s, there is a lot of emphasis on *individual freedom*…that emphasis is absent from today’s “progressive” left, with their orientation toward collectivism and conformity. It’s not totally clear to which they are the same people, though…many 60s & 70s leftists, such as David Horowitz, have disclaimed leftism.

     

     

    I agree with you about the songs of the times resonating with a freedom theme, but I think it’s more of a freedom absent responsibility. That responsibility is a resounding factor in the WWII generation. Good point about former radicals like David Horowitz. The conservative group I belonged to in college brought him in to speak (with the help of YAF). The leftist illiberal student groups valued free speech so much, they staged a big protest to prevent him from speaking. But he spoke. Freedom won that day. I doubt if it would today.

    • #6
    • October 21, 2020, at 9:12 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Relevant thoughts from David Brooks:

    The Baby Boomers grew up in the 1950s and ’60s, an era of family stability, widespread prosperity, and cultural cohesion. The mindset they embraced in the late ’60s and have embodied ever since was all about rebelling against authority, unshackling from institutions, and celebrating freedom, individualism, and liberation.

    The emerging generations today enjoy none of that sense of security. They grew up in a world in which institutions failed, financial systems collapsed, and families were fragile. Children can now expect to have a lower quality of life than their parents, the pandemic rages, climate change looms, and social media is vicious. Their worldview is predicated on threat, not safety. Thus the values of the Millennial and Gen Z generations that will dominate in the years ahead are the opposite of Boomer values: not liberation, but security; not freedom, but equality; not individualism, but the safety of the collective; not sink-or-swim meritocracy, but promotion on the basis of social justice.

    I’m afraid there’s some truth to this…even a stopped (analog) clock gets it right twice a day.

    Another factor, I think: more kids are growing up largely outside a nuclear family environment…even when both parents are in the home, more and more time is being spent in day-care situations. I’ve heard it argued that the collectivist approach to child-raising in the early Israeli kibbutzim tended to encourage conformity in the children, and this article by someone who grew up in one of these environments tends to reinforce that conclusion:

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/19/kibbutz-child-noam-shpancer

     

     

    • #7
    • October 21, 2020, at 9:14 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Relevant thoughts from David Brooks:

    The Baby Boomers grew up in the 1950s and ’60s, an era of family stability, widespread prosperity, and cultural cohesion. The mindset they embraced in the late ’60s and have embodied ever since was all about rebelling against authority, unshackling from institutions, and celebrating freedom, individualism, and liberation.

    The emerging generations today enjoy none of that sense of security. They grew up in a world in which institutions failed, financial systems collapsed, and families were fragile. Children can now expect to have a lower quality of life than their parents, the pandemic rages, climate change looms, and social media is vicious. Their worldview is predicated on threat, not safety. Thus the values of the Millennial and Gen Z generations that will dominate in the years ahead are the opposite of Boomer values: not liberation, but security; not freedom, but equality; not individualism, but the safety of the collective; not sink-or-swim meritocracy, but promotion on the basis of social justice.

    I’m afraid there’s some truth to this…even a stopped (analog) clock gets it right twice a day.

    Another factor, I think: more kids are growing up largely outside a nuclear family environment…even when both parents are in the home, more and more time is being spent in day-care situations. I’ve heard it argued that the collectivist approach to child-raising in the early Israeli kibbutzim tended to encourage conformity in the children, and this article by someone who grew up in one of these environments tends to reinforce that conclusion:

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/19/kibbutz-child-noam-shpancer

     

     

    I agree more with your personal assessment regarding kids being raised outside the nuclear family than with Mr. Brooks’. The generation born into the Great Depression and the onset of fascism, then fought valiantly in WWII seemed to settle back into a pursuit of the American Dream. It was the peace dividend earned by that generation that allowed the Boomers to flippantly attack authority in an age of unprecedented world peace followed by today’s standard of living.

    • #8
    • October 21, 2020, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Stad Coolidge

    JennaStocker: Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Ozzie and Harriet

    All precursors to The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Just kidding, but I’d love to ask these leftist women if they’d rather be Donna Stone or June Osborne . . .

    • #9
    • October 21, 2020, at 9:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Stad (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Ozzie and Harriet

    All precursors to The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Just kidding, but I’d love to ask these leftist women if they’d rather be Donna Stone or June Osborne . . .

    I think you’d be met with blank stares. What’s the point of knowing subject matter when they can cosplay a caricature written by Hollywood? (or in the lovely Donna’s case, ridiculed by it).

    And interesting the leftists today constantly think 1950s men were all Don Draper types – as if none of them had honest, faithful, nonalcoholic fathers. What an odd prism to look through.

    • #10
    • October 21, 2020, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Progressives are very happy to praise the 1950s when it suits them. They love the higher federal tax rates, high level of unionization and flatter income distribution.

    • #11
    • October 21, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Progressives are very happy to praise the 1950s when it suits them. They love the higher federal tax rates, high level of unionization and flatter income distribution.

    I agree – today we don’t hear much about the overt political environment of the 1950 (hard to pin the fascist puppet label to Ike). Besides the factors you rightly named, I’d add the lionization and idolatry of the Kennedys. But I think the real animosity is aimed at the traditional mores of the time.

    • #12
    • October 21, 2020, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Progressives are very happy to praise the 1950s when it suits them. They love the higher federal tax rates, high level of unionization and flatter income distribution.

    As evidenced by their newfound love of Dwight D. Eisenhower

     

    • #13
    • October 21, 2020, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Progressives are very happy to praise the 1950s when it suits them. They love the higher federal tax rates, high level of unionization and flatter income distribution.

    As evidenced by their newfound love of Dwight D. Eisenhower

     

    I’d like to know the contrast in numbers of films made about Kennedy v Eisenhower as well as the number of schools named after each. Says a lot about the importance of “character” that seems so en Vogue these days…

    • #14
    • October 21, 2020, at 10:30 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JennaStocker: The Baby Boomer generation set out to change the world, and by god they did, just not for the better. The welfare state created a dependent class and the war on families and traditional American values of patriotism, individual freedom, and self-reliance became sources of shame, not pride.

    The Boomers get an unfair rap here – the oldest of them were barely of voting age when the Great Society stuff was shoved through Congress, and it was conservative Boomers who set about trying to undo or at least reform it once they really came into their own in the 80s. The radicals of that generation were radicalized by others ahead of them. No generation is ever singly guilty of, or responsible for the ills of their time. Historians like to divide things neatly into generations and eras, while claiming hard dividing lines between them, but these are artificial markers that obscure (often deliberately) the continuity of peoples.

    • #15
    • October 21, 2020, at 11:42 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: The Baby Boomer generation set out to change the world, and by god they did, just not for the better. The welfare state created a dependent class and the war on families and traditional American values of patriotism, individual freedom, and self-reliance became sources of shame, not pride.

    The Boomers get an unfair rap here – the oldest of them were barely of voting age when the Great Society stuff was shoved through Congress, and it was conservative Boomers who set about trying to undo or at least reform it once they really came into their own in the 80s. The radicals of that generation were radicalized by others ahead of them. No generation is ever singly guilty of, or responsible for the ills of their time. Historians like to divide things neatly into generations and eras, while claiming hard dividing lines between them, but these are artificial markers that obscure (often deliberately) the continuity of peoples.

    That’s fair. My parents are Boomers, and I think they’re living the American ideal (and managed to raise three conservative kids). And yes, generational divides are not bright lines, just a blurry gray area at best. Heck, I’m right at the very tail end of GenX, but definitely not a millennial. I guess my main point is the twisted narrative that pop culture assigns to the coming of age and adults of the 1950s & 60s.

    • #16
    • October 21, 2020, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JennaStocker: I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

    This is not my experience. They conform because they are convinced that theirs is the normative experience, and assume that all others are retrograde deviants. 

    One of the great temptations of “progressives” is embedded in their self-adopted title for themselves – they worship whatever they think of (or are told must be) as “progress”. “Progress” is defined as a perpetual movement away from sin and hate and bigotry, and towards enlightenment, love, and peace – it’s why they’re always so keen to control “history”. They really well and truly believe in their core that anything in conflict with “progress” is actually hateful because it means holding on to the past, which is evil. This is why Cultural Marxism is an article of religious faith for them – by constantly struggling to atone and pay penance for the evil that is their own past, they are “progressing” forward, but since they benefit from this repressive and evil past (both materially, and even having been born at all, being the descendants of evil hateful people) they are complicit in, and therefore guilty of those past evils, regardless of whether they were even there – this of course only increases the need for atonement.

    Why would they ever think they are wrong? “History” only shows how much hate there was in the past (and anything that contradicts that received history is just propaganda written by people full of hate) – and in any case, history is only useful as something to atone for.

    In their view, they’re not conforming to anything at all but moving in truth and progress – ask a fish if it knows it is wet.

    • #17
    • October 21, 2020, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

    This is not my experience. They conform because they are convinced that theirs is the normative experience, and assume that all others are retrograde deviants.

    One of the great temptations of “progressives” is embedded in their self-adopted title for themselves – they worship whatever they think of (or are told must be) as “progress”. “Progress” is defined as a perpetual movement away from sin and hate and bigotry, and towards enlightenment, love, and peace – it’s why they’re always so keen to control “history”. They really well and truly believe in their core that anything in conflict with “progress” is actually hateful because it means holding on to the past, which is evil. This is why Cultural Marxism is an article of religious faith for them – by constantly struggling to atone and pay penance for the evil that is their own past, they are “progressing” forward, but since they benefit from this repressive and evil past (both materially, and even having been born at all, being the descendants of evil hateful people) they are complicit in, and therefore guilty of those past evils, regardless of whether they were even there – this of course only increases the need for atonement.

    Why would they ever think they are wrong? “History” only shows how much hate there was in the past (and anything that contradicts that received history is just propaganda written by people full of hate) – and in any case, history is only useful as something to atone for.

    In their view, they’re not conforming to anything at all but moving in truth and progress – ask a fish if it knows it is wet.

    Well said. Many likes.

    • #18
    • October 21, 2020, at 11:58 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

    This is not my experience. They conform because they are convinced that theirs is the normative experience, and assume that all others are retrograde deviants.

    One of the great temptations of “progressives” is embedded in their self-adopted title for themselves – they worship whatever they think of (or are told must be) as “progress”. “Progress” is defined as a perpetual movement away from sin and hate and bigotry, and towards enlightenment, love, and peace – it’s why they’re always so keen to control “history”. They really well and truly believe in their core that anything in conflict with “progress” is actually hateful because it means holding on to the past, which is evil. This is why Cultural Marxism is an article of religious faith for them – by constantly struggling to atone and pay penance for the evil that is their own past, they are “progressing” forward, but since they benefit from this repressive and evil past (both materially, and even having been born at all, being the descendants of evil hateful people) they are complicit in, and therefore guilty of those past evils, regardless of whether they were even there – this of course only increases the need for atonement.

    Why would they ever think they are wrong? “History” only shows how much hate there was in the past (and anything that contradicts that received history is just propaganda written by people full of hate) – and in any case, history is only useful as something to atone for.

    In their view, they’re not conforming to anything at all but moving in truth and progress – ask a fish if it knows it is wet.

    Yes, that’s well said. But I think for the vast majority of people who scoff at the values of 1950s America have only a superficial knowledge and self-awareness to believe this. Most just look at the caricature and say, yep, what an oppressive display of white male patriarchy. Cue Redemption Road or Pleasantville, even American Beauty is cut from this cloth. It’s a disdain for the traditional, prudent, conservative. I really think we’re closer to agreement than otherwise…

    • #19
    • October 21, 2020, at 12:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Good post but… is that Cyberman smoking?

    • #20
    • October 21, 2020, at 12:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Good post but… is that Cyberman smoking?

    Lol. I’m going to quote my husband, “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”

    • #21
    • October 21, 2020, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    Yes, that’s well said. But I think for the vast majority of people who scoff at the values of 1950s America have only a superficial knowledge and self-awareness to believe this. Most just look at the caricature and say, yep, what an oppressive display of white male patriarchy. Cue Redemption Road or Pleasantville, even American Beauty is cut from this cloth. It’s a disdain for the traditional, prudent, conservative. I really think we’re closer to agreement than otherwise…

    Don’t forget Deliverance – they’re sure that one is a documentary.

    • #22
    • October 21, 2020, at 12:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    Yes, that’s well said. But I think for the vast majority of people who scoff at the values of 1950s America have only a superficial knowledge and self-awareness to believe this. Most just look at the caricature and say, yep, what an oppressive display of white male patriarchy. Cue Redemption Road or Pleasantville, even American Beauty is cut from this cloth. It’s a disdain for the traditional, prudent, conservative. I really think we’re closer to agreement than otherwise…

    Don’t forget Deliverance – they’re sure that one is a documentary.

    Is that why they hate Jon Voight?!

    • #23
    • October 21, 2020, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Ekosj Member

    There are two problems comparing the world of the 40’s – 60’s with today. One is known but often unconsidered. After WW2, except for America, much of the world’s manufacturing capacity was a smouldering ruin. To say we had captive markets is an understatement. Eventually, the world rebuilt and the US faced serious economic competition for the first time in 20 years.

    The second is unknown. We don’t know just what happened, but the impact is clear…

    Consider the following remarkable chart. Average real wages vs labor productivity. Since the ’40s, real wage growth was in lockstep with productivity growth. Then something changed – dramatically – in 1973. Starting then and ever since, real wage growth has disconnected from productivity growth.

    What happened in 1973? What paradigm shifted under our feet? And it is a paradigm shift. The break from what went before is crisp and clear. But what caused it? Women entering the workforce? The dawn of computers and automation? The end of Breton Woods? Energy shocks? What? I haven’t heard a definitive answer.

    Whatever it was it ushered in 40 years of pain for working families. Only recently has real wage growth picked up again. But the drop in wage growth and the economic security it brings cause a host of problems. Not all of them economic.

    • #24
    • October 21, 2020, at 12:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  25. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Consider the following remarkable chart. Average real wages vs labor productivity. Since the ’40s, real wage growth was in lockstep with productivity growth. Then something changed – dramatically – in 1973. Starting then and ever since, real wage growth has disconnected from productivity growth.

    What happened in 1973? What paradigm shifted under our feet? And it is a paradigm shift. The break from what went before is crisp and clear. But what caused it? Women entering the workforce? The dawn of computers and automation? The end of Breton Woods? Energy shocks? What? I haven’t heard a definitive answer.

    Here’s an interesting chart on real (ie, inflation-adjusted) median family incomes, from 1984 to 2019…unfortunately, it doesn’t go back any earlier. Note downward trend starting around 2000, which was the point at which China started quickly becoming a major exporter, due both to Clinton-administration trade policies and to its own economic liberalization.

    See my post Even smart people get it wrong sometimes.

    • #25
    • October 21, 2020, at 1:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. Flicker Coolidge

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    JennaStocker: I think they’re more Stepford than they will ever acknowledge. They conform not because they think they’re right, but because they’re afraid they’re wrong.

    This is not my experience. They conform because they are convinced that theirs is the normative experience, and assume that all others are retrograde deviants.

    One of the great temptations of “progressives” is embedded in their self-adopted title for themselves – they worship whatever they think of (or are told must be) as “progress”. “Progress” is defined as a perpetual movement away from sin and hate and bigotry, and towards enlightenment, love, and peace – it’s why they’re always so keen to control “history”. They really well and truly believe in their core that anything in conflict with “progress” is actually hateful because it means holding on to the past, which is evil. This is why Cultural Marxism is an article of religious faith for them – by constantly struggling to atone and pay penance for the evil that is their own past, they are “progressing” forward, but since they benefit from this repressive and evil past (both materially, and even having been born at all, being the descendants of evil hateful people) they are complicit in, and therefore guilty of those past evils, regardless of whether they were even there – this of course only increases the need for atonement.

    Why would they ever think they are wrong? “History” only shows how much hate there was in the past (and anything that contradicts that received history is just propaganda written by people full of hate) – and in any case, history is only useful as something to atone for.

    In their view, they’re not conforming to anything at all but moving in truth and progress – ask a fish if it knows it is wet.

    Yes, that’s well said. But I think for the vast majority of people who scoff at the values of 1950s America have only a superficial knowledge and self-awareness to believe this. Most just look at the caricature and say, yep, what an oppressive display of white male patriarchy. Cue Redemption Road or Pleasantville, even American Beauty is cut from this cloth. It’s a disdain for the traditional, prudent, conservative. I really think we’re closer to agreement than otherwise…

    Yes, and this is not the starting point or the cause of their “religious” experience. I tend to think that there is a significant cause and effect, in that Faith in God has been taken away and people have been actively raised within the religion of disenfranchisement, dissatisfaction and Wokism, and therefore people hold so tenaciously to the religion they’ve been raised with. For the woke, this religion is the default and all others, especially Christian and Jewish adherents, are seen as their equivalent of heretical and sinful.

    • #26
    • October 21, 2020, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Ekosj Member

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Consider the following remarkable chart. Average real wages vs labor productivity. Since the ’40s, real wage growth was in lockstep with productivity growth. Then something changed – dramatically – in 1973. Starting then and ever since, real wage growth has disconnected from productivity growth.

    What happened in 1973? What paradigm shifted under our feet? And it is a paradigm shift. The break from what went before is crisp and clear. But what caused it? Women entering the workforce? The dawn of computers and automation? The end of Breton Woods? Energy shocks? What? I haven’t heard a definitive answer.

    Here’s an interesting chart on real (ie, inflation-adjusted) median family incomes, from 1984 to 2019…unfortunately, it doesn’t go back any earlier. Note downward trend starting around 2000, which was the point at which China started quickly becoming a major exporter, due both to Clinton-administration trade policies and to its own economic liberalization.

    See my post Even smart people get it wrong sometimes.

    The median household income measure is an aggregate of the following:

    The median real ( inflation adjusted ) wages of men actually has declined by about 4% since this data set began in 1978.


    Women, on the other hand, have seen median real wages increase by 24% over the same period.

    Though, to be fair, they started from a much lower level.

    Only in the past few years did men’s wages grow.

    I don’t know about you, but I find the real decline in men’s wages a shocking statistic. And I haven’t heard a whisper about it.

    • #27
    • October 21, 2020, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Consider the following remarkable chart. Average real wages vs labor productivity. Since the ’40s, real wage growth was in lockstep with productivity growth. Then something changed – dramatically – in 1973. Starting then and ever since, real wage growth has disconnected from productivity growth.

    What happened in 1973? What paradigm shifted under our feet? And it is a paradigm shift. The break from what went before is crisp and clear. But what caused it? Women entering the workforce? The dawn of computers and automation? The end of Breton Woods? Energy shocks? What? I haven’t heard a definitive answer.

    Here’s an interesting chart on real (ie, inflation-adjusted) median family incomes, from 1984 to 2019…unfortunately, it doesn’t go back any earlier. Note downward trend starting around 2000, which was the point at which China started quickly becoming a major exporter, due both to Clinton-administration trade policies and to its own economic liberalization.

    See my post Even smart people get it wrong sometimes.

    The median household income measure is an aggregate of the following:

    The median real ( inflation adjusted ) wages of men actually has declined by about 4% since this data set began in 1978.


    Women, on the other hand, have seen median real wages increase by 24% over the same period.

    Though, to be fair, they started from a much lower level.

    Only in the past few years did men’s wages grow.

    I don’t know about you, but I find the real decline in men’s wages a shocking statistic. And I haven’t heard a whisper about it.

    I don’t know how much this relates to my original post, but I can’t overstate the importance of these statistics. There is so much untapped potential understanding of the state of politics, culture, and socioeconomic environment of America right now and YES, it’s mind blowing not more are talking seriously about it. Tim Carney wrote a pretty good book (although I found it a little condescending) “ Alienated America”, that attempted to analyze this, but didn’t go far enough about this specific data set. I absolutely agree it has much to do with the propensity of upward mobility, especially in married households. Women overtaking men as main family (or coupled) breadwinners, education disparity, blue collar work opportunities, all tie together – and with a culture valuing work over home/family security, and the high cost of raising kids encourage single member HH, or at least make for a society hostile to marriage and family. I could go on, but I’m sure people more knowledgeable about this have a better perspective. Thanks for bringing this up!

    • #28
    • October 21, 2020, at 4:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    I don’t know about you, but I find the real decline in men’s wages a shocking statistic. And I haven’t heard a whisper about it.

    I have seen it discussed on blogs, but can’t remember seeing any traditional-media articles about it.

    Part of it is certainly the erosion of high-paid manufacturing jobs in industries such as steelmaking, in favor of offshore sourcing of products and commodities…too many politicians and ‘experts’ have been dismissive of the importance of manufacturing and of the conditions required for its success.

    Part of it is probably the fact that so much K-12 education…assigned reading materials, for example…seems to be focused on girls, which may have led to a reduction in literacy levels among boys and consequent constraints on future career success.

    • #29
    • October 21, 2020, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. Django Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    Yes, that’s well said. But I think for the vast majority of people who scoff at the values of 1950s America have only a superficial knowledge and self-awareness to believe this. Most just look at the caricature and say, yep, what an oppressive display of white male patriarchy. Cue Redemption Road or Pleasantville, even American Beauty is cut from this cloth. It’s a disdain for the traditional, prudent, conservative. I really think we’re closer to agreement than otherwise…

    Don’t forget Deliverance – they’re sure that one is a documentary.

    I remember seeing an interview with the stars of the movie where Ned Beatty said that women “got it” whereas men generally didn’t. Must be true because I have no idea what he was talking about. 

    All I saw was that evil exists and you are occasionally forced to deal with it. BTW, I already knew that. 

    • #30
    • October 21, 2020, at 8:04 PM PDT
    • 3 likes