For reasons not totally clear to me (help appreciated) I think it is
the World War 2 babies and the baby boomers (1946-?) who define a
progressive cohort which is "the pig in the "python", the "age wave",
whose numbers and politics shape the structure of reform in the second
part of the 20th century in the USA.
To me the sixties start with the civil rights movement and move into the
student power and anti-war movements and onward into the various
identity movements and counter culture of the late sixties.
I include the world war two babies because so many of them were so
important at the start (and later) of the sixties - Tom Hayden, Bob
Moses, Charles Sherrod etc.
It is this - something - of people who when they are young fuel the
civil rights and student movements, as they age the womens' and gay and
lesbian and 'identity politics' movement - and if you want to predict
where the cutting age of social change in the states will sooon be - ask
how old we are now.
We are between 60 and (I forget the exact end-of-the-boomers date) about
(I just looked it up) 36. (that seeems too young to me.)
What are our issues: health, life expectancy, retirement, death, coming
into our prime - there is variation. But I think it is in fact (thinking
as I write) that the older-end of us will be the ones who define the
next real battlegrounds of progessive social change in America vis a vis
- social security, medicare, assisted suicide, right-to-die, the use of
alternative and complementary medicine, life-extension, elder rights and
education....etc. Atthe same time another group will be involved with
technology and the internet and I know less about what may happen there.
But our group will be for progressive social change without qute the
kind of activism of our youth but something resembling it. Aging, health
care-giving, retirement, and dying will never be the same in America
once we get done with them.......
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