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Mon Oct 11, 2021, 06:48 PM

What if we are actually in a good place right now?

I was watching a documentary which touched on many of the catastrophes of the first half of the 20th century, as you do. Topics such as the rise of political extremism, the Spanish Flu, wealth inequality and the Great Depression, severe political divisions, etc. These are all events that I have seen people draw comparisons to with current events. COVID is like the Spanish Flu, Trump is like the rise of fascism in the 1920s and 30s, the wealth equality today is like the economy before the Great Depression, battles between political extremists in the streets a century ago seem eerily similar to our current violent troublemakers. However, what if we are actually in a good place and we can be confident of that because of our current situation?

It does sound strange since there are a ton of issues serious things happening in our country and in the world right now. The other thing that stuck out to be during the documentary, other than the similarities between the world of today and the world of 100 years ago, is how much worse it was 100 years ago. Every time we look at similarities between the turbulent times of the 1900s and the turbulent times we are currently in, the event was always far worse than then compared to now. The Spanish Flu was far worse than COVID. The Flu in 1918 killed 2.5% of the worldís population in the time COVID killed less than 1%. 1920s fascism gave rise to Hitler and Mussolini. The 21st century right wing extremism gave us people like Donald Trump. Income inequality a century ago caused rampant, severe poverty. Income inequality today is still there but 1/10th as many are in poverty today as in the 1920s. Standards of living are also far higher in 2021 compared to even 40 years ago let alone 100, despite the massive wealth gap. And political violence today, while certainly present, is more online harassment than bombings and shootings and riots all the time.

The world tends to vacillate between periods of relative peace and prosperity, and those that feel like the end times. We do feel like we are in one of those end times periods right now. But overall, not as bad as the last time. The world of 2021 is luxurious compared to the world of 1921. Not to say there are still massive problems and challenges, there definitely are. But look at how far we have come in 100 years. We are in one of those eras of great calamity thatís obvious. However, if these cyclical eras have always occurred throughout history and arenít entirely avoidable, the efforts to blunt the impact have worked like never before.

Maybe things will keep getting worse and worse and we will soon wish we were dealing with Nazi Germany and the Great Depression again compared to our imminent downfall as a world. Or maybe weíve already seen the worst? Maybe there wonít be a rise of fascism again? Maybe when Covid finally burns out, the death toll will not be anything like the Spanish Flu. Maybe our extremism will be confined to some morons thinking they can overthrow the government by running amock for a few hours in the Capitol before just going home. Again, donít think Iím downplaying our current challenges, Iím not. Covid is very deadly, Trump becoming President was horrible, the January 6th riot was an extremely serious crime, I think these things quite obvious to anyone who doesnít worship a game show how stroke victim.

However, the efforts to contain these problems may have worked. Not stopped them but blunted the effects of the bad times. Meaning, in other words, things were always going to fall off a cliff at some point, itís not avoidable. But that doesnít mean things are falling apart as many fear. Instead itís all a passing storm that we are well sheltered from. We are still on the march towards progress and the cause that people like the members here advocate is absolutely winning out.

Just a thought

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply What if we are actually in a good place right now? (Original post)
Dr. Jack Oct 2021 OP
Walleye Oct 2021 #1
OAITW r.2.0 Oct 2021 #2
Dr. Jack Oct 2021 #3
Groundhawg Oct 2021 #4
Native Oct 2021 #5
liberalla Oct 2021 #10
Dr. Jack Oct 2021 #14
Native Oct 2021 #16
Doc Sportello Oct 2021 #6
Mr.Bill Oct 2021 #7
Doc Sportello Oct 2021 #15
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 2021 #8
certainot Oct 2021 #9
PortTack Oct 2021 #11
tclambert Oct 2021 #12
Joinfortmill Oct 2021 #13
lagomorph777 Oct 2021 #17
KT2000 Oct 2021 #18
Martin Eden Oct 2021 #19

Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 06:52 PM

1. I feel that way myself sometimes in my better moments.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 06:55 PM

2. We need time to change our approach to local problems. Very dumb and very loud people are

creating the confrontations at the local level. Ignorance through Intimidation.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 06:59 PM

3. And I forgot to mention this on wealth inequality

Progressives and liberals always said that if you improve the lives of the average citizens that rich people and corporations would be more successful. Standard of living have improved dramatically in this country compared to even 1980. Despite problems persisting, in many ways far more people are better off today than 1950. And look at what happens, corporations are making more money, rich people are more wealthy, as was predicted.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 07:35 PM

4. I am in a good place right now.

Its healthy for me, I can't do anything about the rethugs, life is pretty good all things considering.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 07:35 PM

5. What's the documentary you watched? It sounds interesting.

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Response to Native (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:24 PM

10. Yes, I'd like to know that also.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 12, 2021, 11:23 AM

16. Thanks

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 07:49 PM

6. Covid deaths have already surpassed those from the Spanish flu

714K and counting to 675K. So we're out of luck on that one but I agree that things may turn out ok in the near future. However, there is that climate change thingy ...

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Response to Doc Sportello (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 08:31 PM

7. But not as a percentage of the population.

Spanish Flu was far worse in those terms.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 12, 2021, 07:49 AM

15. I was correcting the OP's statement about the Spanish flu versus Covid

"Maybe when Covid finally burns out, the death toll will not be anything like the Spanish Flu."

I was not making a claim about which was worse percentage-wise. What I wrote is true when talking about the death toll. Covid has surpassed the Spanish flu in terms of the death toll.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:17 PM

8. Interesting. And thank you for posting.

I keep on pointing out that as bad as Covid 19 is, it can't hold a candle to the 1918 flu epidemic, specifically in terms of percentage of population.

For one thing, back in 1918, even in places like NYC, a lot of people did not have indoor running water, and so handwashing was at best occasional. Now, we all (at least the very vast majority of us in first world countries. I know it is not the same in other places) have indoor running water, and handwashing is common and normal. That alone is probably the single best public health measure ever.

On the other hand, with world population very near 8 billion: there are far, far too many humans on this planet. I don't think any kind of natural and not catastrophic lowering of population will be enough to save us. In all reality, the carrying capacity of this planet is at best 1 billion, and given the environmental damage already wrought, it may be half of that. If there is not a sudden and severe lowering of the numbers of humans, we are all doomed.


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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:22 PM

9. we are in a much better place merely because Limbaugh croaked but media and analysts have

routinely found music on the radio when they should have been monitoring - but who the fuck with brain would want to listen to a bunch of racist lying dumbfucks as they dominate 40 states with 80 senators? who the fuck with a brain would want to even read the ignorant blathering irrational lying bullshit in Limbaugh's daily transcript from 3 hrs/day on 600 very loud stations? but if they did they would realize how closely every rw radio blowhard in the country had to follow the Limbaugh spin, and how closely it led the Republican Party.

the same analysts still do not get it, and they still do not acknowledge the importance of rw radio and of Limbaugh - trumps neighbor, golf partner, and Putin tool. the pessimism enables the grassless and other trump asskissers. in their ignorance and underestimation of Limbaugh/talk radio they don't realize that is a major reason the GOP is hitting rock bottom - GOP lost its head, are grieving, and are incapable of rationalizing their corruption, hypocrisy, and idiocy like Limbaugh could. they're fucked and if dems and progressives knew that the man chins and sinemas would have a lot less leverage.

rw radio and trumpism rot with Limbaugh and that is all good

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:27 PM

11. Thank you Dr Jack! As a student of history, it's always good to take the historical perspective

POC rightly remind us that we are, or many of us are now upset because these kinds of tactics- white supremacy, male power dominance, inequality of all spectrum now affect us, but they have always lived with this. And they are right.

Iíve been called a polyanna among other things for trying to push for action with a ďletís make things betterĒ attitude. I refuse to ever say we are doomed, we are f..ked. What good is that?

So, thank you again. Yes these are difficult times..letís rise to the occasion and move on

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:32 PM

12. I don't know. It seems as if a major factor saving us from Trumpism was Trump's incompetence.

If he hadn't been so blindingly stupid, he might have successfully subverted democracy. Even as stupid as he is, they still haven't put him in handcuffs.

So if someone just as crazy but a little bit smarter came along, we could be in trouble.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:39 PM

13. Let it be so.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Tue Oct 12, 2021, 12:13 PM

17. Voter suppression/nullification are ending our democracy and we are not doing anything about it.

I can't feel the least bit optimistic now. Our fate is in the hands of two evil assholes and they have shown they want to kill America. LBJ would have twisted their arms right out of their sockets.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Tue Oct 12, 2021, 04:19 PM

18. Hindsight is 20/20

Last edited Tue Oct 12, 2021, 08:09 PM - Edit history (1)

the present is really a blur for most of us. The end times are upon a growing number of people in this country - but they are invisible. That is by design. Capitalism wins out - the commodification of everything and it is veering to its end stage.

For example - the homeless problem is growing with no end in sight. They are invisible to any tabulation of living standards achieved. They do not count among those who do not have running water or indoor plumbing. We have reduced the tabulated mental illness population enormously because they are now on the streets and unrecognized.

Desperate drug addicts infect more communities with theft, muggings, and assaults - even more so since Covid.

Some areas are having their stepping stone to the middle class destroyed and that is home ownership. Where I live, working people are priced out of the housing market by cash offers and bidding wars who use the homes to drive up home and rental prices for resale down the road. Some just sit empty. The only alternative may be to try for a manufactured/mobile home to place on property held by investment companies. Not much growth in those living units and the threat of increased site rental or closure of the entire site is real. Or the clerk who checks you out at the drug store may be living in her car.

RW media has whipped too many into a state of rage and anger to the point that civil discourse has changed for all of us. Public temper tantrums happen now more than ever before with the exception of the Wild West. But like the Wild West, more people are armed with weapons for a walk in the neighborhood and going to the store. That changes how we behave with others. Another invisible factor.

Families have been shattered by the political divide in this country - and that is by design but invisible to the statistics.

I am not trying to give a litany of complaints but rather insight into difficulties that are below the radar, especially for data collectors. More people have been marginalized and intentionally left invisible. We are in different times now and a homeless dead person is just as dead as the Spanish flu victim.

Something else to consider is the effect of government money injected into the country. After WWII, the GI Bill sent many to college who otherwise could not afford it. Home buying became accessible for the vets. Money was pumped into defense - our major aircraft manufacturers, other weapons development and later, nuclear research. Government's infusion of money is often under the radar.

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Response to Dr. Jack (Original post)

Tue Oct 12, 2021, 06:21 PM

19. In the last 100 years we have continued to ravage ecosystems

Much that lived a century ago is now gone forever.

We have burned through so much more of our finite resources, and brought on the crisis of catastrophic climate change.

Human civilization might now be less resilient and less able to recover the spark of democracy if lost amid ecological devastation and the conflicts over diminished resources on this overpopulated planet.

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