and Global Civil Wars
Greetings again from beautiful Silicon Valley where high speed
internet comes out of your ears everywhere. I was just doing
a little research for Dongwei's " Inside America"
English for Chinese series. I discovered a few insights so I
will share them with you.
During the 60-80's two powerful trends were occuring in America.
Politically and culturally a great de-centralization and fragmentation
process was occuring. More groups were demanding their rights.
Blacks, Hispanics, native Americans, Asians, women, gays, disabled
people, and senior people.
The family was also fragmenting with higher divorce rates, more
single parents, more people re-marrying, more people living
alone, more people co-habitating without marriage, more children
born out of wedlock.
At the same time the US government was getting bigger and more
centralized. American corporations too. This strange push-pull
between these two opposite forces signalled the struggle between
the second and third waves of civilization squaring off against
Also shorter cycles of consumer-led activity with a halt in
real earning power led to desires multiplying while at the same
time being denied. A high consumption ethos led by heavy advertising
was clashing with an old Puritan work ethic.
Global militarization continued with increasing domestic impoverishment.
The fragmentation of the family was paralleled by a high-tech
consumer explosion and a culture faced with ADD. This is short-hand
for Attention Deficeit Syndrome. A psychology based on a high-speed
life-style with an increasingly short attention span in both
adults and children.
Life was getting chaotic and less orderly as the old second
wave industrial era started to unravel. Also all American institutions
were becoming discredited even as more was demanded of them!
Congress, the courts, the U.S. Presidency, schools, universities,
and U.S. Corporations. We are still at this watershed now.
The soft media-based cultural civil war between the second and
third waves in America echoed the more violent American civil
war in the 1860's which led to the industrial era. This American
civil war based on the struggle between an agrarian south and
an industrializing north later had it's echo in the European
civil war of 1914-18. This global civil war of the second wave
finally climaxed in 1945.
It is my contention that the second American civil war of 1967-77
has led to a national transition with new cultural groups locked
in bitter stand-offs today in America. National TV was the arena
for this process.
Why is this important for the world today? Because CNN is now
showing us all that the American experience in the 60-'70's
is now going global. The 90'-00's has seen America become just
another national arena for all kinds of cultural and national
groups fighting on a global level not just the US. government,
but the Multinational Corporations too.
The world entered the first global " third wave "
war on 9/11. It was the planet's Sarajevo. The 1914 of the third
wave. The inner war of the planet versus the outer " second
wave " war of 1914. 1914 was indeed the beginning of the
second wave climax. What kind of " inner " third wave
war climax will we have eventully? No one can say.....Hiroshima
was th climax of 1945.
Today the majority of Americans want gun control, enviornmental
protection, and a national health insurance, but they cannot
get it because of vested interests and because of contradictions
in the old second wave system. More people are living longer
in America and fewer people are being born to support them.
This is true also in Europe and Japan and increasingly China.
Only a digital welfare society on a global level will solve
this problem. Only global institutions can protect the earth's
enviornment. But once more we have nothing, but contradictions.
Americans and most people on the planet increasingly feel "
entitled " towards more and more welfare. But the political
will to solve these entitlement demands with new kinds of third
wave technology and new kinds of social engineering is still
The 1980's was the transition point between the new American
civil war and the new global one. That's why the Cold War ended
in the 1980's. Soon 9/11 followed to usher in and warn us all
of the new challenges to come.
We must all be systems thinkers now....we must all stop thinking
with a 19th century mentality as we plunge into the 21st century.
Think about this.