Breaking Age Related Norms

| Sunday, May 1, 2011
By Owen Jones

The post Second World War years were an age of affluence for many countries, but especially the United States because their plant and infrastructure was intact and they earned a great deal of money supplying the products the rest of the world required to rebuild their countries.

America was working flat-out in the Fifties and early Sixties and salaries and national prosperity kept rising. A equivalent feeling of goodwill was obvious in many other countries, but it was relief that the war was over and gratitude that their lives and cities were being rebuilt. This feeling of international joy and plentiful employment also led to a boom in babies.

The so-called Baby Boomers were being born in their millions into a joyful time where money and employment was everywhere to be had. Education was seized upon not just by these youngsters but also by many returning service men and women, who wished to assume a bigger role in that bright new world that was stretching out before them.

With a better education and the mood of liberation that the ending of the War brought about, the Civil Rights Movement began to thrive especially in America were non-Caucasians were still being segregated.

Although it was not known as Apartheid, segregation is simply the English word for the same idea and masses of people were beginning to find it intolerable and not only non-Whites either.

Individuals after the War were much less respectful of Authority, Governments and the Old Ruling Orders for a number of reasons. It was these people who got us all into wars in the first place and it was these people who were denying Civil Rights. Even if they did not condone segregation they did not do much to abolish it.

As Marx or Engels said, nobody gives away power, it has to be taken.

The people alive in the Fifties and Sixties were unlike any generation that had ever preceded them. They had money, education, a healthy disrespect for authority and a higher percentage of individuals who had been abroad than ever before in the past.

Even if they were bearing guns at the time. This was a heady cocktail and civil disobedience raged all over the world from America to Europe to Thailand in the Sixties and Seventies.

The new order expressed itself in music and rock and roll was its name. Never before had youngsters had their own music and they had the technology to replicate it cheaply, the freedom to transmit it and the money to buy it. A whole new industry was started in the Fifties - record labels aimed at teenagers.

Now that the Baby Boomers are getting old, they are breaking other norms as well. Boomers are questioning why the are expected to feel old at sixty-five and quit work. At sixty-five nowadays people often still have twenty years left to live and if the past is anything to go by, they will not merely roll over and die on this one either.

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