IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

JFK, etc…

Everybody–or at least almost everybody–knows this is the anniversary of the JFK assassination, right?  As I mentioned in an earlier entry, I was much affected by this (and by earlier and later related events, like the Cuban missile crisis) as a child.  I remember crying and not really knowing why.

Anyhow, besides the fact that we will probably never know the “whole truth” about what happened, what, if anything, can be learned about these event?.  Obviously, I’m reflecting from a “peace perspective”.

Well, the world was a very complicated and scary place then.  It still is, I guess, but then fear had a particular “edge”:  nuclear annihilation and communist infiltration (I guess the “edge” now is terrorism, but anyway…).  Interestingly both of those issues are not what they used to be.  Communism, at least in its world wide threat form, is largely gone and nuclear annihilation, while still with us, is much less likely since the world’s biggest nuke owners are doing more talking than sabre rattling these days.  I know, I know…there are those Chinese and there is Taiwan and there is India and Pakistan, and Iran’s weapons, etc…  But the current situation is, I would recklessly venture to assert at least one or two (or even more) orders of magnitude less threatening than what we used to know.  There was a time, for instance, in the early 80’s (I think) when something like 60% of U.S. college students did not expect to live to be 30 because they expected nuclear war.

So, I have this theory that strange times produce strange people and also to quote (I think) the psychologist Alfred Adler, you pay for everything you do out of fear.  There were plenty of strange people acting out of fear (or taking advantage of other people’s fear) to create semi governments within governments and to justify all sorts of things in the name of national security (this still goes one, of course).  It seems to me what happened in Dallas was, somehow or other (no matter what scenario you find most plausible) related to these broader currents of the time.

Conclusion:  change the “currents” and you may get different and even “better” results.  However, if you let fear drive your behavior/ policy, similar outcomes are to be expected.

IGbarb says:  “FDR was right, at least to some extent:  the only thing (or maybe one of the main things) we have to fear, is fear itself!”

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November 23, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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