We are moving into the time referred to as Today (1950s – 1995). We continue to have the presence of 3 forces; empowering gift of science, relentless dynamics of capitalist economics, and spirit of mass politics. These forces will continue to lead us into the future but Today’s mood is definitely somber but not black. The real difference from Yesterday to Today is the degree of trust and extent of hope the people feel in their everyday lives.
From the earliest point of this time period, the view of Scientific Technology took a downward turn because of the growing unease with regard to the application of science to technology. During World War II, the world shuttered at an altered view of science with the destructive force of the atomic bomb while others touted it as an instrument of progress. Also scientist move from studying theological implications to the application of their discoveries.
We also have a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to politics and capitalism. You need to remember, in the mid-1800’s, capitalism did not even exist. During the Great Depression (mid-1920’s to mid-1930’s) fears from the instability of this system caused slumps and insight panics. The National Output plunged and unemployment skyrocketed (GNP fell almost 50% and unemployment up 28%). The Communism conflict ended in the mid-1980’s. And in the mid-1990’s, the buying power of the American family falls 15% below the buying power of the early 1980’s. We begin to see that National outcomes remain largely beyond government control and depend on individual enterprise. Globalization due to advances in communication, transportation, and computerization allow entrepreneuners to be a continent away and run a business in another country. Many businesses that were once geographically bound can now be competitive due to the internet. Some third and fourth world countries are still considered depressed, non-capitalistic and are referred to as “Zones of Turmoil” by the NY Times.
Up next, the vision of “Tomorrow.”