The proper question is "What became apparent after the mid-1960s" - the mid-sixties was the point at which longer-term changes became unambiguously visible and increasingly dominant; it was the watershed.
The first answer to what happened is that from the mid-60s apostasy from Christianity became dominant - the West became mostly, then almost entirely, secular in its public discourse; then anti-Christian.
But this invites the question why? Why did the West abandon Christianity after all these centuries?
Or rather what for? For what did the West abandon Christianity?
The single word answer is SEX.
With the sexual revolution, in all its emerging facets - still ongoing and expanding - the Left (that is to say, fundamentally, organized anti-Christianity; and secondarily the forces of destruction unleashed by the end of Christianity), after trail and error with economics, meritocracy, egalitarianism etc. discovered its most powerful weapon: sex.
So what happened in the 1960s was the sexual revolution, and the purpose driving the sexual revolution was the destruction of Christianity and its removal from public discourse. And the reason for this is that the Left is anti-Christian.
And the reason for this is that the Left is anti-Good (i.e. evil); and knows that religion is the only effective long-term defense of the Good.
After the sexual revolution had done its work on Christianity, the Left was free to embark upon wide ranging destruction of anything and everything good, traditional, useful, long-termist - and most of all the multi-method destruction of the family - which is where we are now.
But the sexual revolution is at the root of it all. While that dominates, so does the Left, so does destruction.
Note: when I say the Left is evil, I am not - in general- referring to Leftists. Everybody mixes good and evil and the balance or predominance is ard to discern and impossible to measure. I mean that Leftists are servants of evil, work to promote evil; they themselves, taken as detached individuals, might be kind and well behaved; and those who serve the Good might be less kind, less well-behaved - but THAT is not the point.
Correct in so many ways.
Reproductive technology that became available in the 1960s was like the introduction of effective firearms to an armed conflict that previously didn't have them. It changes the balance of power dramatically, and the war is never fought the same way again.
I don't know how you communicate to someone that the sexual revolution was bad without having bad things actually happen to them. And even then its difficult to present the signal (long term effects to important things like the soul) to the noise (immediate gratification, some feeling of worldly control).
There is no doubt that the sexual revolution has brought about tremendous social change.
It was a confluence of a number of factors, including the publication of "The Feminine Mystique" (1963) -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feminine_Mystique, and the availability of reliable birth control, i.e. the pill (1960), which handed women control over reproduction while allowing sexual engagement.
No doubt other factors also came into play, but I see these two as the biggies. Abortion liberalization followed in due course, (i.e. Roe vs Wade in 1973), as the rights of women to choose to postpone having children gained traction over traditional views.
I guess that the Left had been wanting to attack traditional sexual morality for longtime (the Communist Manifesto talks about it) but it was not able to do it without the pill.
Without the pill, sexual promiscuity ends up with reproduction so promiscuity is contained.
Good post, as all your recent posts, and I agree entirely.
'...the Left is anti-Good (i.e. evil); and knows that religion is the only effective long-term defense of the Good.' If I understand your meaning, from your analysis of moral inversion, you are here alluding more to the movement as a whole, and to the evil personal spirit at the helm. The crew and passengers, except perhaps a few, have an inverted 'knowledge': they 'know' that religion is the only defense against what they call good but is in fact evil.
We can't lose an opportunity to refer to Mr Larkin.
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
Up to then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for the ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.
Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.
So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
@d - Larkin's views here, and his own life - show that the sixties was a time of rapid facilitation of an increasingly pressurized demand for sexual license that had been building for many decades.
Given the atheist beliefs and assumptions of Movement writers of the 1950s - Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, for example, life was necessarily about distractions: seeking pleasure (especially by sex, which provides the most intense) and avoiding suffering; Amis tried to follow the first route via promiscuous sex, booze, travel, celebrity etc; Larkin (mostly) the second route - by trying to avoid potentially unpleasant situations.
Yep. It was the sprit of Dionysian ecstasy, don't forget drugs and rock and roll. The left is anti-Christian and the stuff we consider quintessentially 60s is demonic.
I wish I could find an honest history of the occult in the 60s. How, for example did Mick Jagger come to compose the score to this piece of Satanic schlock? And why was his road manager in 1969 one of Charlie Mason's hangers on? And why did the same road manager burn Mick's good friend Graham Parson's in Joshua Tree national park?
Also, youth culture, to this day is centered around Dionysian festivals. Teenagers and young "adults" drink themselves into a stupor and go to clubs where blasting music plays on a continuous never ending loop. The hope for most is that this will end in fornication.
@josh - The immediate stimulus to this post was your comment at Foseti.
Glad to stimulate. I had more to say, but I started to get muddled and I wasn't sure anybody cared to hear what I had to say.
I hope its obvious where I am stealing from you. Also, sorry for my potty mouth and snark.
All this talk of the 60s and Mick Jagger (of 'Sympathy for the Devil' fame), made me think back to Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita", which is the original 'Sympathy for the Devil' piece and in some ways predicts the evolution of the secular-modern ethos for the next century. I don't quite know what to make of it, myself, since I can't tell if the Satan figure at the centre of the piece is an ideal or anti-ideal for the author.
But specifically I remember the scene where one of Satan's henchmen diagnoses a dishonest bureaucrat with cancer and advises that, rather than bother with painful and futile medical treatments, the bureaucrat should take his ill-gotten money and spend it on a Dionysian orgy with women, wine, and song, drinking a cup of poison at the apex of the festivities....
Now, the immediate humour of the moment is that it is ludicrous to even imagine a 1930s Soviet bureaucrat of the type presented (whether honest or dishonest) doing any such thing, but this gesture logically follows from the Satanic system of values. In fact, within them it parses as heroic and rebellious, and heroic because rebellious. Nor is there anything in the Stalinist system of values that can convincingly gainsay it. (Because the Stalinist prescription for personal morality is a sort of completely self-negating stoicism. In practice, you are either capable of it, or not. If you are not capable of it, then you can do nothing; keep your head down and hope you don't get shot.)
And thus sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, which are a slow-motion version of the suggested orgy, manifest in real life on the scale of society.
I think, whatever his personal values, Bulgakov saw the logical connection between the 50s and the 60s in a way we don't really grasp nowadays.
@Ara - Even as a child in the sixties, I found it puzzling why the media adulated nasty people in such a systematic fashion - even when the media were supposedly critical of them (such as the horror reports on Hells Angels) a child could tell that they were actually being envied.
Movies took horrible characters and made them a focus in such a way that the injunction to emulate them was as clear as it it had been printed in subtitles - yet because implicit it was deniable.
TV drama, comedy and sitcoms were all about normalizing extra-marital sex - and had been completely successful (outside of tiny devout religious circles) by the early seventies; then it was unmarried cohabitation - which was normalized by the late seventies.
And so on.
But the strategy was quite different. The envy of the nasty nasty stuff of the sixties - that made you admire evil such as violence, gangs, heroin, crime, was from the late sixties increasingly dominant; while the normalizing-sin stuff got going much earlier - with promiscuous people who were happy people just having fun and being kind (while those who opposed them were the opposite).
Both are still going strong - but pushing back the boundaries all the time. A good more recent example was the TV sitcom Friends - which was a great normalizer. After a while the show simply began ticking-off all PC/ Liberal/ Leftist talking points and litmus tests). Friends was also a superb comedy done by very talented people.
Another example was Northern Exposure - which I would rate as the best ever 1 hour drama series I have seen. But it was also overall a systematically PC normalizer - picking-up the work of the sixties and extending it to the more recent issues of the sexual revolution, New Age and so on.
Aside: At the time I watched Northern Exposure the first time, I was deep into Joseph Campbell's Jungian mythology - and this was the perspective from which Northern Exposure was written - both explicitly and implicitly. What was interesting is that the Indians were portrayed as much more conservative and controlled than the whites, and also morally more authoritative than the whites and also more spiritually aware than the whites (there were no real Christians or Jews among the whites, only vague sentimentalists and hypocrites) - yet this counter-current from the Indians had no effect on the overall Liberalism of the programme as a whole...
Sorry, going-off on a tangent here!
'The Master and Margarita' is not a PC-normalizing work per se, but it has a gaping problem. The only two real moral voices in it are the Stalinist establishment, and Woland's vaguely dismissive dealing out of 'just desserts' in the form of humorous punishments (along with occasional acts of philantropism); the whole thing is in many ways a foreshadowing of the unprincipled selfishness and the 'ironic' sort of rebellious stance popular on the Left. It becomes apparent that the former worldview has no real arguments against the latter, which is why I said that Bulgakov may have anticipated the trajectory of the 60s.
(Rather than hateful, Woland's attitude towards the population of Moscow verges on contemptuously-benevolent: "Well, they're just people as people have always been. Perhaps a little ruined by the housing shortage, but still...." In this he's similar to a different literary Satan, the one that appears to Ivan Karamazov. In fact, it's almost as if Dostoyevski's portrayal of Satan was given his own novel to run amok in.)
Jesus is present, but in a secondhand account that is implied to have been filtered through Woland's worldview, and gets all of the substantive points wrong (whether this is an intentional cover-up, or because Satan genuinely does not understand Christ) while maintaining 'historical plausibility'. Again, this neatly foreshadows the kind of non-threatening Jesus seen in Leftist churches.
From what I understand, the book is very heavily disliked by Orthodox commentators in Russia, and you can begin to understand why when you realize that Woland's 'inverted Gospel' was the only source of information about Christianity for a large number of Bulgakov's readers, for many years....
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