In what senses was the world a dangerous place in the 1960s and 1970s?
The world became a dangerous place in the 60s and 70s as a direct result of the Cold War and the loss of traditional values, along with the creation of a huge welfare state.
After WWII, the Soviet Union and the U.S. began to rise as two opposing superpowers. While the Russians were determined to spread communism around the world, the US had plans to be policeman, arms dealer, and conqueror of the rest of the world. (This is referred to as a military industrial complex because of the revolving door policy between politicians, arms dealers, and bankers.) Thus began the Cold War in 1947, called such because no actual military combat between the USSR and the US ensued. Spying and intrigue were the words of the day for the next 43 years. Both sides toppled many countries for the purpose of installing puppet dictators and spreading either side’s power. Even though the US and the Soviet Union never physically clashed, several real wars were a direct result of the Cold War. One of these wars was the Vietnam war, a proxy war between US and Soviets using the Vietnamese people and Vietnamese communists as pawns. Over the course of the war, 1.5 million Vietnamese, 300,000 Cambodians, and 60,000 Laotians were wiped off the face of the earth. The Vietnam war ripped apart the Vietnamese culture and the toxic defoliant Agent Orange had a hugely negative affect on the soldiers, the civilians, and the ecosystem that is ongoing to the present. Although the Cold War has officially ended, military industrial complex still terrorizes the world.
The assassination of Pres. Kennedy in 1963 caused a chain reaction beginning with the investigation of the assassination and ending with the emergence of Hippies, a massive moral downfall, overt sexual exploration, and a dramatic increase in drug popularity. The Warren Commission on the President’s assassination was obviously rigged to lead the investigators in specific directions. Offended by the notion that they could be fooled so easily, the people lost confidence in the state and realized for the first time that the U.S. government did not tell the truth. People began living in communes, experimenting with sexuality in non-traditional ways, and using powerful hallucinogenic drugs developed by the government that had “leaked” into society. Since the assassination, things had changed–and not all for the better.
The Kennedy assassination also allowed the left wing of the government to finally turn the U.S. into a Welfare State. Vice-President Johnson used the panic and confusion engendered by the assassination to push through massive socialist legislation, convincing the people that it had been Kennedy’s plan all along. This new-found Welfare State began handing out money taken from those who could survive the loss to the “poor.” Unfortunately, the Welfare State’s actions all but wiped out the underclass’ work incentive and trapped the people into a permanent life ghetto. Thomas Sowell, a famous American Economist, once said, “Welfare has not helped the poor, but it has created a permanent underclass in the U.S.” In a misplaced effort to raise the poor people from their class in life, the government began spending four times what it would take to distribute enough cash to bring everyone above poverty level. Ironically, the War on Poverty in 1964 made poverty levels go from a dramatic decline in the 1950s-mid 1960s to a distinct and fairly extreme rise ever since.
Death, moral downfall, and poverty dominated society for the 60s and 70s due to Cold War policies between the Soviet Union and the US, the loss of confidence in the state by the US population, and Johnson’s dramatic increase in the welfare state. Unfortunately, things have not gotten much better.