In “Blinded By Nostalgia“, Yuval Levin looks at lingering narratives about the future that are left over from the post-WWII anomaly (“America’s postwar strength was a function of unrepeatable circumstances.”) that was cheap oil, a perceived social consensus, and near-global dominance. All of these conditions no longer exist—and never existed.
But still, the author so eloquently typifies what I continually rail against (summing up my critique of our whole culture, to be honest) with this supposedly reasonable, mediating call to realism: “To regain our footing in the twenty-first century, we need to get over our blinding nostalgia for that unusual time.”
1. What does “regain our footing” mean, exactly? Occupy or sabotage more countries, extract more resources, grow our population endlessly?
2. Who is “we”? The article explains quite well that nostalgia for the ’60s mostly tends to gloss over the burning neighborhoods, the foreign
quagmires bloodbaths, the counter-culture and growth of the police state, and the countless other blights on an otherwise rosy picture of the American glory days. Did most Americans really have a “footing” then? Can they regain what they never had in the first place? And why would they want to gain a footing—however defined—in the first place?
3. Why do people worship the Baby Boomers?