United States in 1960s

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

1965: The Dawn of Our Current Age

Different writers here and there have talked about 1965, fifty years ago, as a year of transition. It was a year in America when trends came into focus, culture was altered, and life changed—politically, socially, culturally, morally, and in the Catholic Church. Perhaps historian James T. Patterson provided the most detailed elaboration on these developments [...]

The Contradictions of Multi-Generational Liberalism

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds significant differences between younger and older liberals, differences that are not encouraging either to orthodox religious believers or to the older liberals. The Next Generation Left (NGL) are at one with older liberals on the social issues, notably abortion and homosexual marriage, and it is primarily [...]

What if the 1960s took a Christian Course?

The 1960s were intended as a rebellion against the materialism, mindless conformity, soullessness, and general inhumanity and immorality of commercial and bureaucratic (“corporate and militaristic”) America. The answer, it was thought, could be found in freeing ourselves from a society gone wrong by rejection of social forms, pursuit of intense experience, and “doing your own [...]

The Beatles and the Dawning of a New Age

On its 50th anniversary, A Hard Days Night has been released in a newly restored digital version to universal critical acclaim. A precious cinematic artifact of social history, even a catalyst of cultural change, the first Beatles movie is now looked upon as more than just a piece of filmmaking, with its four heroes praised [...]

Recollections of the Kennedy Assassination

This past November 22, our nation observed its annual day of media mourning and conspiracy catharsis, rendered more intense and poignant by being the 50th anniversary of the assassination that continues to fascinate and haunt a great many people, even some who were not yet born in 1963. Since I live without television, this date [...]

Recollections of a World That Is No More

There are fewer than ten years separating the ages of my wife and me, a difference hardly worth mentioning in a marriage of more than thirty years.  Yet the distance between the two worlds we grew up in, the forces that shaped the cultural and religious horizons of our two lives, remains so vastly different [...]

Out of the Wreckage

The Sixties wanted Paradise Now: a paradise that ignores the distant and difficult in favor of the immediate and effortless. We wouldn’t transcend life’s conflicts and difficulties by striving after a higher unity, we’d abolish them by denying them recognition. Each would do his thing and follow his bliss, and all would be well. As [...]

The Historical Roots of 1960s Radicalism

The rebellious fervor of the Sixties, with its rejection of traditional standards and authorities, seemed a sudden break from what came before. At a deeper level, however, those developments simply brought to fruition what had long been in the works. What happened at that time was a further step in a centuries-long process of social [...]

The Sixties Regime in Power: The Dangerous Shortcomings of the Managerial Class

Apart from short intervals of confusion, every society has networks of influential people who cooperate to maintain their authority and advance their goals. There is always a ruling class, and we have seen that the Sixties were a period in which a new one consolidated its position. That class, which for the most part still [...]

The Irony of ’60s “Liberation”: The Age of Aquarius Ushers in a Ruling Class of “Experts”

It has been half a century since the inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the opening of the Second Vatican Council began the period we call the Sixties. Those were heady times. In America there would be a New Frontier, in the Church a new springtime and even a new Pentecost. The windows of the [...]

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