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  • Thursday, February 17, 2005


    Generational History

    I'm not quite sure how to approach this subject. There are some swirling concepts whacking around in my skull but I don't have a grasp of how to lay them out. Here we go.

    "Living History" isn't just the title of Hilary Clinton's book. In a very real sense, history that is still within the memory of living people is still alive and breathing, changing as time passes, changing as the mores change. The collective judgement on an event can change depending on the age of the people experiencing the event. A person who was 20 years old when the US invaded Iraq in 2003 will have a different perspective on the event than someone who was 40. I think the generational perspective matters more than the usual liberal or conservative labels.

    Another example might be the possibility of reinstitution of the military draft. Someone who might be drafted will certainly have a different opinion than someone older than draft age.

    I'm still not getting to the heart of what I'm trying to convey: The cyclical nature of historical events around the lifespan of a single human being. The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe goes into some of this but I think I'm talking about a slightly different take on this subject. But I'm lacking the proper framework for explaining what I mean. Darn my inarticulate brain!

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