Will the children of the Greatest Generation defend the Republic as well as their parents did?

Summary: The scandals have Washington aflame, almost as much fun for the imperial courtiers as starting a war. Last month was the great North Korean crisis. Soon their attention will turn to something else. More important than this trivia is our reaction to these revelations.


It’s back to the future for America!

We are reliving the 1970s, with the revelation of government surveillance programs run against political dissidents and minority groups. This challenge came first to the greatest generation. They grew up during the Depression, fought fascists, and brought America through the Civil Rights conflicts that closed the wound opened in April 1861. They were not men and women to allow the Republic to fail on their watch.

The Greatest Generation then passed the Republic into the care of the Boomers, for whom even the routine operation of the Constitutional machinery has proved too burdensome.

Now it’ s our turn to face a similar challenge, since our reaction to 9-11 has plunged the Republic into crisis. Articles of the Constitution fall like ten pins. Government power grows like crabgrass. Frequent use of agents provocateur by the police and FBI. The Executive wages war on leakers and whistleblowers (six prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act), which has inevitably evolved into an attack on the press.

Now, four decades after Nixon’s resignation, betting is open on these questions:


History in motion, summer 1963
History in motion, summer 1963

(1) Are these scandals on the same scale as those unveiled during the 1970s? (The post 9-11 legislation and Court precedents might make similar actions now legal, de jure or de facto)

(2) If so, will we have the equivalent of the Watergate and Church hearings to investigate these affairs — and inform America?

(3) If so, will the public care about this news? Will we force punishment of those responsible — and push through reforms for the future?

My guesses are Yes to #1, Maybe to #2, No to #3. Post your answers in the comments.

Next year, when we know the winners, they will receive the applause of a grateful nation.

For More Information


Recording our eroding rights. One by one they go away:

  1. An Appalling Threat to Civil Liberties and Democracy, 8 August 2010
  2. Cutting down the tree of liberty, 9 September 2010 — Government secrets trump fair trials.
  3. Let’s gaze upon the corpse of the Fourth Amendment, 12 October 2011
  4. Another bill before Congress pushing the USA further into the dark of endless war, stripping away our liberties, 28 November 2011
  5. An important article to read about another example of the fading rule of law in America, 29 December 2011
  6. How to Fund an American Police State (aka Weaponizing the Body Politic), 5 March 2012
  7. Our leaders explain that we’re sheep. Our role: to obey. Rebel sheep will be imprisoned or destroyed., 7 March 2012



19 thoughts on “Will the children of the Greatest Generation defend the Republic as well as their parents did?”

  1. It has always bothered me that the when the GIs and lower level officers of the “Greatest Generation” became our country’s leaders, they gave us the war in Vietnam.

    1. Conversely, I have faith that the GI’s and officers of the past 20 years will restore the neglected Constitution and bring integrity back to U.S. governance. I didn’t serve but know many who did and I think they are that good.

      1. Perhaps you are right, but I find your words terrifying.

        Restoring the Constitution — whatever that means in such a context — is very much NOT THEIR JOB.

        I cannot imagine how they could attempt this without making the situation much worse. However, I fear that our search for leaders with easy solutions we’ll turn to the military. There are several posts on the FM website discussing the evidence for such an outcome.

    2. Touche!

      Amazing I didn’t think of that, with Best & the Brightest one of my favorite popular history books – and The Pentagon Papers a favorite original history source.

  2. Perhaps it would be better to stop calling them the greatest generation, there’s enough smoke blowing up asses as it is. Maybe we could call them the previous generation.

    1. merocaine,

      Good point. Americans have great self-esteem just waking up in the morning; perhaps we should avoid feeding the fire.

      Still, their accomplishments were great. Not gods, but IMO they left the world in better shape than the found it. Not so sure my generation (Boomers) will be able to say that.

    2. what you are living through is the transition from generations to versions. an emergent symptom of these movements within symbolic reality is the decoupling of value and exchange value. you can only know the value of a thing by understanding the consequences of its non existence. with regards to the predated humans including the over 60 set remember the last word of the sentence changes the meaning.

      1. gretagrain,

        Thank you for posting this detailed explanation! It’s always valuable to see analysis from a very different perspective, esp with the reference to the Wikipedia page for more info.

  3. Peter Ehrlich

    you are viewing the circumstances somewhat inversely. all three questions are irrelevant. the desire is to maintain the fantasy. the purpose of desire is simply its replication

    1. That’s an interesting comment, but I don’t understand. Please explain a bit more!

      “all three questions are irrelevant.”

      It’s unclear to me why these are irrelevant. Especially, how can this be irrelevant:

      Will we force punishment of those responsible — and push through reforms for the future?

    2. you create your future out of your memories of the past. all three questions source back in some dimension to a presupposition that there is a scandal. in order to understand one must at least temporarily presuppose that the other is true and correct. here you see that you cannot understand what you do not already know. the only objective standpoint is the antagonism of the real. the real is that which is impossible..unable to be symbolized into the order that generates the three questions!

    3. authority is a force that must be ignored. there is no real need for ideology to be a totality. for example, why can you NOT think of something else?

    4. what precisely are you reforming in the future? are the ‘reforms’ producing results and can their interactivity be falsified? what are the emergent effects of the interactivity?

  4. Subjective backward referral or “antedating” of sensory experience, part of the Wikipedia entry about Benjamin Libet.

    Libet’s early theory, resting on study of stimuli and sensation,was found bizarre by some commentators, including Patricia Churchland, due to the apparent idea of backward causation. Libet argued that data suggested that we retrospectively “antedate” the beginning of a sensation to the moment of the primary neuronal response. People interpreted Libet’s work on stimulus and sensation in a number of different ways. John Eccles presented Libet’s work as suggesting a backward step in time made by a non-physical mind. Edoardo Bisiach (1988) described Eccles as tendentious, but commented: …

    1. I added the description to your link, and an excerpt.

      Can you explain the relevance of this theory to the post? It’s over my pay grade, but sounds interesting!

    2. your perception is usually fluctuating within a 1/2 second delay..when the brain encounters what seems to be repetitive stimulus it begins to anticipate so that the perception of cause and effect are reversed by your delayed mind. the delayed awareness of the mind of itself can enable the anticipatory state

    3. a possible relevance to the post is that the questions seem to be generating out of the answers themselves yet the fall can only be seen in retrospect

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