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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Some Background

So I had my husband take a look at my blog to see what he thought about my last posts - and he was supportive, but did comment that my blog was becoming increasingly political. I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing, since it is important for everyone to participate in the political dialog in a democratic society, but on the other hand I don't want to be yet another political blog rant.

Plus, I realized that my last post was interpreted to be me calling our government communists, which was not my intent. Just for the record, I do not agree with those who say Pres. Obama is a Socialist - and I would like to see a health care bill succeed.

So what motivated my last posts?

It all started two summers ago when we were driving up to the mountains. We were listening to the radio and happened to tune into an interview with one of the authors of The 4th Turning. In this book the two historians make a pretty good case for a coming crisis in the US. I don't want to try to explain their entire thesis, so let me just say that their evidence and explanations convinced me to the extent that I was seriously bummed out for a month.

Then the financial crisis happened and subsequent events and attitudes seem to me to all point to a looming crisis. So I am worried. It didn't help matters that Costco started selling a year's worth of freeze dried food. The book doesn't say where the crisis will come from, they don't claim to have a crystal ball, but it does say that it will certainly come - as it has with surprising predictability throughout US history. So I am watching and waiting for a sign - and preparing.

I really hope they are wrong, but history says otherwise.

The other thing that happened recently that has me thinking about communists, is that while organizing my closet I came across the family history that my Grandfather wrote before he died. Most of what he wrote was about their lives before they came to the US in 1951 - my father was 15 or 16 at the time. They had spent the last 10 or so years in Germany - my Grandfather was a sort of diplomat from Bulgaria - and thus had had the pleasure of being right smack in the middle of a really nasty war.

Oddly enough, the fact that they were in Germany at that time saved their lives because when the Soviet army rolled into Bulgaria, they rounded up every government employee they could get their hands on, and executed them. In all, around 3,000 bureaucrats were executed. My grandfather worked in the embassy in Berlin at the time and with the regime change in Bulgaria, all of the embassy staff members were recalled back to Bulgaria. Of the 30 or staff - 4 refused to go back, one of them being my grandfather, another the ambassador, and two others who disappeared. Those who went back were shot.

So if I am a little hyper anti-communist, that is probably the reason why. What with all the rhetoric and blah blah Gingering out there in the politosphere, it is easy to forget that sometimes really bad things do happen. The thing that struck me most from reading what my grandfather wrote, was how random and arbitrary events in people's lives could be the deciding factor of whether you lived or died. And how positively screwed the ordinary person can be if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I am worried about the safety of my family given what I think is coming. That is why I have politics on my mind - I don't consider myself either a liberal or a conservative - if you ask me, everyone should be both depending on the issue within the context of society at the time.




Beth Dunn said...

I like your grandmother's saying! I worry too thanks for sharing! xxoo

Anonymous said...

Your rhetoric is not only typically conservative but typically ultra-conservative, so no need to consider yourself middle of the road. Also, by your story (and other posts) it's clear that you are driven more by emotion and monster-under-the-bed paranoia than reason. For example, it doesn't matter that the authors of this book you mention have no idea of the nature of the end of the world but they insist on its inevitability, which is good enough; especially when one is in the habit of blind faith. The reasoning doesn't matter but the appeal to one's basic paranoia is all anyone needs. I also think you lack a real ability to understand and empathize with the true diversity of humankind (this does not mean someone who prefers Walmart over Sam's but people who are not like you in other very basic ways). I think you lack a basic understanding of history: history that is real and not fictionalized by Fox. For example, nazism was fundamentally against difference, executing members of other religions, races, sexualities. It was born of fierce nationalistic values, stoked and sold using fear: something like what the right in America is doing these days. Your blog is highly representative of your ilk, despite its best intentions (i.e. family, morality, piety, etc). I assume this post will be deleted...which also belies your claimed interest in honest political debate. Long live the republic and the best of luck to you and us all in our attempt to survive each other.

Anonymous said...

So you think Costco sells a year's worth of freeze dried food because they have some inside knowledge of the end of the world? Wouldn't it make more sense that they sell it because they figured out that people afraid of the end of the world will buy it?

Retro Housewife said...

Anonymous 1

I have rhetoric? Nifty!

It very well could be that I am driven more by emotion, but I always worried about monsters in the closet, not under the bed, silly - there's no room for scary monsters under the bed!

Anyway, I am human, I have emotions, and yes, I do feel fear. So do most people. Maybe I am dumb, too, who knows?

You are obviously superior, because I see you use the word "diversity" in your reply. Good work!

Now, as to the authors of the 4th turning. They do not predict the end of the world, it is not based on any religious belief, prophecy or reading of tea leaves. These are two historians who have observed a cyclicality in American society which they attribute to archetypal interplay of 4 given generations.

The dudes have graduate degrees from places like MIT and Harvard, and run a company advising Fortune 500 companies how to adapt to differences in their work force as each new generation enters a new stage of life.

I am guessing you are a boomer because you didn't really read what I wrote very carefully (preferring to make your own assumptions) - but it should please you to know that the dudes are also Boomers.

Go buy it and listen to it - I'd love to hear what you think...AFTER you actually have read/listened to it. It's called The 4TH Turning by HOWE and I forget the other guy's name.

I also don't have TV - which makes it difficult to watch FOX on a regular basis. Although, I do hope to tune into their upcoming special: "Fictionalized History for Stupid People".


PS Who is Sam?

Anonymous said...

A crisis is looming. But the danger is not that this country is approaching communism. The treat actually comes from the increasingly radical conservatives who are becoming fascists.

Retro Housewife said...

I might agree with you if conservatives were in power. Since the Democrats hold power, any abuses are likely to come from that direction.

I think neither party has an exclusive on corruption - Lincoln said, "Power Corrupts" - not "Conservatives are evil fascists and everything is their fault."