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tv   Lectures in History End of the Cold War Youth Culture  CSPAN  June 29, 2022 7:08pm-8:23pm EDT

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okay, so what we are talking
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about today is picking up where we left off on thursday with the end of the cold war. and also, i'm trying to make sure that we stitch different themes that we've had through the quarter and through both quarters together. the program is titled, america to 2025. so, some thinking about the future is important and as i've been thinking about the last part of the 20th century, the 1990s, i think, made sense to really dig into, in terms of how people thought about the future in culture, in popular culture, as well as in politics. so the themes and overviews that i want to talk about in terms of
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this do a little bit of looking back, looking forward, too, and then they're kind of going to be two halves of the lecture, linked to, kind, of politics and linked to pop culture. so i want to talk about the end of the cold war and especially how it manifested in how americans thought about politics, then i want to talk about pop culture and think about the way the 90s thought about the future and thought about the present even, in terms of, like, everything is great or everything is terrible, the future will be perfect or all the future is going to be awful. adding here that as with all my lectures i'm not going to comprehensive coverage, but especially asking people to think about change over time in there like how does ideology, how does youth culture, how do systems of power change over time. so there's going to be, i think, asking you all to think about how the 90s were actually quite
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different then today. and i've got some examples that i think will be interesting. oops! in terms of looking forward, looking back, a reminder how we are combining psychology and history. it's an interdisciplinary program so i'm not going to be talking much about psychology, that's my coteacher nathalie's job, but thinking about how the disciplines have different orientations. and i've really been thinking a lot, and we are going to talk about this in the afternoon, we kind of stumbled last week on experiments, and how, like, history can do experiments, and there's no -- historical research is not grounded in the ability to ask people different questions about the experiences they lived through in the moment. we can do it with oral history, but, like, contemporaneous documents can't be changed. so, that's structuring a little bit of my thinking. i'm not going to talk too much about that this morning, but definitely this afternoon. and then this is also a chance to return to things where we began really, week one, week two, week three
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in fall quarter about national identity, because of how, like, developmental and adolescent psych is all about change, is all about development, how modernity has kind of paused did the nation-state as an individual, as a person, or as a family -- which we read all in the family -- and it just yet, development in adolescents of youth culture. okay. questions about where we are? everybody, is this making sense? sound familiar? okay. all right! okay. so i talked some on thursday about the collapse of the soviet union. and i remember someone -- and i forget who it was -- was sort of like, oh, now i forget how the idea of from generation disaster, the reading we had,
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how a certain group of people would have grown up in the aftermath of the end of the cold war with really triumphant, kind of like, yay, america! america has done it! sort of thinking. so, we thought some about, like, the kind of national narrative of triumph. i really also want to focus not only on the end of the cold war as a national triumph, but in a sort of, like, us versus them, but really go into the ideology -- ideological triumph. the idea that the promise of liberal western democracy and capitalism has triumphed internationally. so some of this -- these, the little post forma thought to different things that once were asking you to think about. national politics and ideology, and then youth culture. so it's not like teenagers -- i'm going to give some, like, geopolitical stuff that teenagers wouldn't have
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been thinking much about. but i think there's something shared in the ethos. so, we are going real, like, nation-state and national ideology. and particularly around capitalism, and just elevating stuff that you all said in our seminar for week seven. in week seven we were reading about, like, international consumerism. do people remember that? like international consumerism? >> [inaudible]. >> yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! girl scouts, that international reading. and one thing that you all said in seminar was the idea that, like, capitalism never ends. that with consumer culture, especially like tech centered youth consumer culture
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-- remember sony walkman, 1980? it's like, oh, this stuff is always demonstrating the superiority of capitalism. like, as long as there's new stuff to consume, capitalism is obviously dominant. and so like, that is, that was very much a shared idea. and so, saying that, like, the collapse of the soviet union, the fall of the berlin wall, were seen geopolitically as success, the evil empire has been defeated, but then also a little bit of, like, everything is great, with not just national conflict, but, like, our ideology about consumer capitalism has been triumphant. so just really, like hitting 1989, fall of the berlin wall, vermeulen in generation disaster points out
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in 1989 as the disaster point. any of you remember why 1989 is important? in 1988 [inaudible] 1989 came up in a lot of the stuff i was looking at as well. so the cultural dominance of capitalism here, even, like, tended to span the political spectrum in the united states so both folks on the right and folks on the left tended to, in some ways, see capitalism as having been validated and so just like things that might have been coded as negative or were coded as negative, like deindustrialization, the decline of factories, were often framed or understood in a sort of like, oh, there was this coming together, the world the 1990s, the real flourishing of is shrinking, technology is connecting us. the tech boom of silicon valley and the dot com bubble it was not seen as a bubble. it was venus like, oh, technology is causing
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unprecedented economic growth. so the 1990 saw, like, government surpluses, booming economy, right? turns out the wages were stagnant, but it seems like wages were rising. it seemed like, you know, technology was going to solve more or less every single problem. there were currents of opposition. and this is an area where, like, thinking about change overtime as possible, like looking through the evergreen newspapers of the 1980s and 1990s, there were lots of examples of people being, like, not entirely on board with things, or the system seems fractured. but nothing in the 1990s happened in the same way that, like in 2000, seattle world trade organization protests -- if people are familiar with this -- that they were big riots against a meeting of the wta in
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seattle, starbucks windows got smashed, and the national media coverage of this was like, how did this people? why are people angry at starbucks? where did this come from? so there were currents in the 90s that, like, exploded in the 2000s. but since 2000, i mean, there was the 2008, 2010 occupy movement, the 2016 bernie sanders campaign, just real sentiments of critics of capitalism across the political spectrum exist now that definitely didn't exist in the 1990s. nick? >> [inaudible] that wages seemed to be rising but weren't, was that related to inflation? >> you see, everyone was kind of like, oh, look, we've fixed inflation! there isn't much of a problem. the idea was that even though economics would later see a, like, stagnant wage growth, like, the media
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was covering stories. i mean, i will say i was a high school student in the late 1990s and there was a time when burger king was offering 3000 dollar signing bonuses. so this idea was that sondland's burgers in bringing summer of 1990. that is -- >> [inaudible] i know it seems i'm incredulous but i'm shocked! >> this is actually, there are things like this in our economy right now that -- there are a lot of entry level jobs that are offering big paychecks to begin, and people are framing it as the great resignation. people are, like leaving, if the job. someone if you have left a job and started moving to another one for better wages in the last couple of months? right. there's another -- matthew had a question.
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>> so, at what point, again, did this whole -- oh, what was it called -- the seattle world trade -- >> yeah, world trade organization, yeah -- >> world trade organization protests started? was it in the late 90s or early 2000s? >> that's one thing that i don't actually know about the, like, specific groups that protested. they all existed before, but there was some meeting in the summer of 2000 that protests turned into, you know, direct action of people smashing windows against globalization, against the kind of, sort of, international, you know, unfettered capitalism >> and this happened -- did it just happen in seattle? or did it happen in other cities across the country? >> international opposition, but it was, the meeting was in seattle, and so like, the event was only in seattle and it was covered as if it was just
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seattle. and there was lots of, like, media coverage and it was like, what's going on? why are these kids breaking windows? hannah. >> last week you talked about how the shared memory of the cold war was an ideological communism. is that the reason that, like, the afterwards of the capitalism also ideologically? even though that was productive for you? >> yes, i think. so you're asking, like -- the idea that it was triumphant was ideological -- >> thought of the war as ideological between capitalism versus communism? >> exactly, exactly. if there is a victory, there has been a struggle. one side has been defeated. we are going to look at some stuff that grounds this some actual text. but -- spencer? >> i think, i think i understand [laughs]. i'm just going to, i think i'm going to [inaudible] have a conflict thinking, i'm just think i'm just going to chew the fat.
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>> welcome back to it. okay. two things to maybe -- three things -- to come to grant this before, that lead to the next thing. it's just about how there was a, kind of, across the political spectrum the way that the wto protests or the occupy movement were really, like, capitalism terrible and needs to be not just reformed, but changed. that was really absent in the 1990s. and i want to illustrate that in a couple of ways. things that we've thought about, so if you are if you remember, queer activism in the 1970s was very much about, like, antidiscrimination in jobs, and it kind of like hold political inclusion and is lots of like we need to get more gay activists elected to political office. it was very, very, very
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political. a 1980s, 1990, the aid secondary epidemic totally changed queer activism to be very much, like, people are dying. so, the idea that like the system was rigged was a political one but it was not a, like, intersectional radical, like queer identity can lead to a different type of capitalism, which did exist in the 1970s, and maybe kind of exists some on, like, tumblr today. so, queer activism, the civil rights movement i think it's this might answer your question. remember how radical the critique of the civil rights movement in the long civil rights movement framing was, like much for jobs and freedoms, and not just, i have a dream. most activists felt that post-voting rights act 1967 in 1968 1969, that movement had kind of felt in lots of substantive ways. the
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poor peoples campaign by martin luther king, before his assassination, and then after his assassination is like didn't accomplish the goals, it kind of fell apart. so hard-core activists that had, a like, really intertwined critique of politics of, economics. felt that the movement had fallen apart and the 70s were a time of great declension. contrast that with the national triumph, right? like, how did many americans, who were kind of like, hey! we solved the racism problem, segregation is gone, and kind of, full inclusion regardless of race is now not just possible but happening. so there is this real like, oh we've triumphed. if capitalism has trumped, then, oh, the more radical critiques don't need to be listened to. so there's a british jamaican theorist, stewart hall. he has come up in
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some of our readings, does lots of cultural critiques. sociologist, i don't know if we put him in a post-structural school. he has said that the 1970s, 1980, and 1990s globally the left increasingly engaged in questions of identity inclusion instead of critics of capitalism. there is a certain kind of identity politics that is all about who is in the system, who is not in the system, the system is rigged and needs to be overthrown or taken apart. so who is involved, who is not involved is a different question than just what our systems. does this make sense? is this tracking?
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on the right as well, american conservatives also to a certain extent felt that american capitalism was obviously dominant, it was triumphant, and there wasn't a lot of, we need to teach people how great capitalism is. there was like rah rah, yay american. the main strand of the grassroots activism in the 1980s and then carrying on into the 1990s was all about family values and morality. do you remember the all in the family reading that starts with the vp under gwb. we now have to center family values? evangelical christians formally entered politics in a way that most evangelical christians throughout the united states had a very tenuous relationship with
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politics. that is the world of cesar, that is the world, that is not the sacred world. that is the secular world. 1979 jerry falwell forms an organization called the moral majority. lots of american evangelicals said politics is an area for morality, for encouraging family values. it was not linked to the whole communism is bad, but it was the feeling that, we have won and now we just have to keep these kids from getting perverted, and becoming immoral. hannah, did that help make sense about the ideology? kind of like the shared thing? the most important or example that everyone points to as the ideological expression of this idea is an essay by an economist, francis fukuyama, called the end of history. have people heard of this? show of hands? >> i have heard of the end of history but it is one of those things where if you asked me if
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i have heard of the paper th3 end of history by francis fukuyama,, i would say i have heard of the end of history, i do not know who this person is or this essay. >> it is familiar, i am going to illustrate that in a little bit, so fukuyama was a scholar, he wrote an article and a publication called the national interest, a couple of years ago he turned the article into a book and lots of people look back on it and i have seen conversations about how fukuyama's argument is more sophisticated than people think of it. it is going to seem, or the outline of it will seem a little silly based on what happens next in the world. i think it's important to think of it as descriptive of how people thought, as opposed to fukuyama saying this is how things are. it's more like,
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this is the ethos right now. the pull quote i have here, the triumph of the western idea is obvious in the total exhaustion of systematic alternatives to western liberalism. if all of the berlin wall, that summer, it is like the triumph of the west is evident. i will even call it up, i will link it on canvas so people can read it in totality. this is the very beginning of it, here it is in jstor, very beginning. in watching the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to contain the feeling that something fundamental has happened in world history. the past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end of the cold war and the fact that piece is breaking out and many regions of the world. it
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is interesting, peace in quotation marks because of the idea that the cold war did not have much objects. most of the analysis lacked any framework between what is contingent and what is accidental and world history. and, are particularly superficial. here, this paragraph he does some of his defining and background and context. here is the poll quote, triumph of the west and the western idea is evident in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to western liberalism. so, with the fall of communism there are no alternatives to western liberalism. like, this is it. hannah? >> -- the relationship between capitalism and western liberalism in this use of it?
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>> in this they are completely intertwined, here this paragraph, or this sentence. but the century that began full of self confidence in the ultimate triumph of western liberal democracy. so, 1900, self confidence that ultimately western liberal democracy would triumph over monarchy, he says, and then totalitarian absolutism, at its close seems to be turning full circle to where it started, not to an end of ideology or, as a convergence between capitalism and socialism, but to an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism. economic and political liberalism, so fukuyama is defining them, this is economic liberalism, political liberalism, but all of these are wrapped up into one. >> i just wanted to make sure i am chewing the fat and not breaking my teeth. basically i
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am feeling an attitude of almost like, if you aren't hurrah, america, capitalism is great, it feels like there is a confusion on that part. we won, what are you talking about? the idea of there is no large systematic thinking. in my mind i am basically thinking people exist outside of america, and people exist in the foothills of god knows where just living in existence things. so people exist, themselves. basically, i get the feeling it is very like we've won, we've done the good, we are prosperous, blablabla, and criticisms come up and there is a saying of a dirty communist living in the hills or something, i do not know. >> yes, or what you are
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suggesting earlier, it is almost like what is the criticism -- where is the need to respond to these criticism? >> exactly, we've won. >> it is self evident, it is evident, way one. and then the next decade there have been unmistakable changes in the world communist countries. this means the soviet union slash russia and china. so, even the communist bastions are now embracing a kind of economic liberalism. so it's no longer even an ideological conflict anymore. nick? >> i wa'ot alive through most of the 90s but what did you feel like at this point in time experiencing global politics? do you feel like it was inevitable march toward western liberalism? >> i think you'll see it,
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that's why i want to turn to pop culture. >> is this shared by minorities that were actively experiencing the exploitative, oppressive nature of capitalism? was this shared by them or where they just invalidated by this idea that success had been met? >> i'm going to let that question percolate, i'm not going to answer that. i think we'll see a little bit of it, it will come up. that is a question about who matters in ideological frameworks and who doesn't. so, i didn't copy all of it but this whole journal was the first article journal, fukuyama's was the first article and then there were massive responses from people who are very prominent, including the democratic senator daniel patrick moynihan, who created the report. we read some about the moynihan report and not straight not white
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pathologizing queer blackness. the report was all about why are black families falling apart? there must be something pathological about the family. there was an across the political spectrum response it really had the kind of popular and academic media coverage that wasn't much listening. and there is a little bit of how did the 2000s highlight exactly what you asked? >> -- gay, like, white gay man and lesbians, white gay men becoming very, like, capitalized. i remember when i was a kid the gay material stuff was more like -- perverted isn't the word i'm looking for, but it was spooky, it was not normalized, it was communism to heteronormativity,
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whatever. but, it feels like -- i know there is a connection, a lot of queer people will criticize white gay men as being advertised to being mortgages and cars and stuff, if you read pride magazine it's a straight suburban ad thing. gay vacations. i don't know. >> that's what i was trying to suggest about where activism when, it went to hiv/aids, and then it went to marriage equality, especially when the second bush administration in the 2000s began, and state governments began outlawing gay marriage, marriage became a real battleground. and then, the obergefell decision, 2014, legalizing gay marriage, there were npr reports that were like this gay organization had an advocate for marriage quality forever, what will it do now? it is like, now we're going to disband, it has been achieved,
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full inclusivity. this is about a certain kind of identity based politics being all about inclusion as opposed to systematic critique. yes yes, yes. >> because capitalism is triumphant. because capitalism is triumphant, why would there be an alternative is the mindset. you have equal access to participate in capitalism. >> yes, yes, full equal access. you can compete on anyone's ground and on anyone's terms. >> so, from what i am understanding capitalism is like with a gay marriage, did i just hear that with gay marriage legalized, the gay
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community can engage in capitalism? >> sort of, it's more that as opposed to thoroughly connected critiques of all parts of a society that would marginalize and exclude people. it's not about, like, a whole society that is wrapped up in excluding and marginalizing some people. the critique of that falls away when you et included. so when you can have the two kids, white picket fence, golden retriever, despite being a same-sex couple, you can have your television set, you can live in suburbia, why would you have a more interconnected critique? is that making sense? >> i think so. >> but wouldn't the critique be considered invalid because if your group gains inclusion while others remain excluded then there still not inclusion, even though you feel like you
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are on one side of it, inclusion does not exist unless everyone is included. >> yes, and so this is a tension in a lot of social movements and in a lot of groups that advocate for equality, is like, is it about us or is it about everyone? there are lots of things about as long as one of us is in chains, that is a critique, that is directly interacting with that other, more superficial critique. i want to make clear that there were lots and lots of people, this is why things like the protests of the world trade organization pop up in 2000. there are lots of people that are like, nop, no,
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no, no, this is not enough, the dominant ideology is not including the critique that we have, more change has to happen. >> so, i'm curious what intersectionalism looked like at the time in the relation to that, then. >> yes. this is all, 1989 is, someone has to help me find when patricia mccallum's all in the family was written. what is the date of that? it is after the article kimberlé crenshaw wrote, after the book we read from bell hooks. feminist
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theory, right. it is after that. the combahee river collective was in the 1970s. there was lots of widespread activism and intellectual critique of it. it just was not finding purchase in mainstream politics. >> all of these people only talk about intersectional isn't but on the street, man, it is so weird to talk about history about something that i was technically alive for half the decade. >> that has been your question all along. >> it is hard, i am doing it. >> it is how social activism made it so that they were able to go to school and publish these pieces. there was enough progress achieved but the critique was not fully considered or actualized into later. does that make sense? >> does, i do not know how often people articulated in that way. i do not know how often that was subconscious. we would really have to look into
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how did mainstream organization respond to critiques that they were not actually in. that is where we would see that. i want to talk one more thing, to more things about the end of history and then i'm going to come back to something that will illustrate this. the reason fukuyama describes this as the end of history, and this is the thing that i think is the surprising piece that is superficial. the operational definition of history, that according to fukuyama, history is the hegelian struggle, dialectical struggle between two opposing forces. history is best understood and all through the 20th century has been liberal economics versus authoritarianism and communism. there has been this struggle. that has produced history, and the conflict comes history. two
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poles conflict generates history. what happens when one of those is gone? it's the end of history. there's no longer any history happening. i am not saying i am setting this up in the right timeline but thomas friedman, in a book, i know i have the name of it, it's something like the olive tree. tom friedman in the 1990s, he writes for the new york times, he wrote a book where he posited that no two countries that both had mcdonald's had ever gone to war with each other. at the time he wrote it he was wrong, the u.s. had invaded panama, both of those had mcdonald's, but since the 1990s through the 1990s and into the 2000 there has been more and more evidence of liberal economics and democracy
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does not mean that there won't be conflicts. at the time there was this widespread and shared idea. i want to talk about the legacy and then i want to move on to the response of the left to just really kind of, and this is going to spencer's thing of i have heard of it but if you put a gun to my had. i was wondering where was the end of history in the evergreen library catalog? i was legitimately looking for the book to see if we had an e-book for it, but this was fascinating, pay some attention to the topics that people use for this. can folks see the book titles? this is the book, 1992, that fukuyama turned the article into, the end of history and the last man, but then date 2000, the curious fate of american materialism. do folks remember derrida? from
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mohammed to bin laden, homicide bomber phenomenon, liberation theology activism, the shape of the signifier, 1967 to the end of history. we spent so much time on postmodernism. american fiction in the 1990s after the end. and then, i just thought this was kind of our program. the marketplace utopia and the fragmentation of an intellectual life. it's just really getting back to this idea of utopias. is this connecting with >> i guess my question is what people? this is american utopian thinking and history is over. we solved all of the is after history? conflict. >> i think that's what people in the 90s were grappling with. okay. so anyway, i thought the
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legacy was very interesting. this is trying to really nail home the way that mainstream american political left was put in a vice by the end of the cold war. matthew? >> very quickly, what was the full name of fukuyama's book? >> the end of history and the last man. >> the last man, okay, thank you. >> we could take 15 minutes just talking about that, right? the last man? why is it last man, not last human. what about gender is in there? why does it have to be a last man? >> in academic or historic things it often means people. if all men are created equal -- this is technically and 20th
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century it did not occur to me that man would be a gendered option. i was like yes, old-timey english. yes. >> yes, but also how the article has a question mark and the book doesn't. people are returning to fukuyama's book, i have seen conversations about how there is a lot of smart in it. it is really understood at the time as, yeah, we've won, now what? there is going to be no conflict, eventually the world will come at peace and it is very utopian to think about where we are going. at the same time, it is utopian to think about where we are going, this is an article, i was browsing through the journal. so, this national interest, so this is national interest, same issue a couple of pages later, i do not
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know who allan tonelson is. i did not look him up. he writes this manifesto for democrats. the cold war, what should democrats do? and the answer is a complete overhaul on their foreign policy, he goes up here and talks about the party has lost the white house in five of its last six tries, michael dukakis's ten state hall was a encouraging showing. the democratic party needs all of the help they can get. what should they do? abandon internationalism, abandon the no longer affordable strategy of grounding american security and prosperity and a congenial world environment. instead, the party needs an approach that emphasizes the restoration of military and economic strength, that is more discriminating about foreign policy commitments and more willing to use force unilaterally to secure important interests. it
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advocates tougher trade policies and seeks greater self sufficiency, a new nationalism. and the same time where its like, we have one, what should the left do? get tougher. i link it there. this is the time to talk just briefly about bill clinton. and, bill clinton's utopian thinking. bill clinton in 1992, his campaign song was fleetwood mac's don't stop thinking about tomorrow. yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone, don't stop thinking about tomorrow. bill clinton was this very charismatic figure that was very much like, the future is bright. he came from a town called hope, arkansas. so he was the boy from hope. literally the boy from hope. like, the future is bright, in all of his state of the unions,
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which were always very long, he would always discuss what new technological achievements are happening? what are the tech breakthroughs that are going to make our life and society better? his policy, he and many people like him dubbed themselves third way democrats. this maps onto the old end of history framework, the democrat party had been the party of the left and critiques of capitalism. supposedly. that there were only two sides of the culture wars, there were only two sides of the economic wars, the party of johnson and the great society was no longer viable, so a third way needed to be found. that was like we needed to reform some of these systems. we need to do things like welfare reform because there are too many people on welfare and we're too soft on crime, there need to be crime
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bills, increased mandatory sentencing requirements, three strikes and you are out. it was the democratic party in the 1990s that actually, quote, unquote, got tougher on a lot of issues. i think this is connecting? the idea that the system is rigged and needs to be overthrown, which existed in some circles, is not what the main political parties were saying. >> is that just because what i am thinking is absent of the perspective's of the people still experiencing a very dichotomous worldview, that being the oppressed and the oppressors? they still think there is conflict, they still think that there are things to be done, they do not think there is a triumph. is that view just absent that perspective? >> it is somewhat absent that perspective. there is also
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still oppression, still marginalization, what prescriptions do we have? the drug of communism has poisoned everyone. that is bad, that is not the prescription. there needs to be more liberal democracies. the exclusion and oppression is not because the system is terrible, people are not being included in the right way. one of the reasons for crime bills and many of the legislative architects of them. the black community is being decimated by crime. the crime is killing lots and lots of african american folks, there were a lot of black legislators who supported and wrote the legislation because of what it did to communities. as opposed to being like, oh mass incarceration is leading to violence they were thinking we need mass incarceration to protect communities.
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>> this is individual versus system. if the individuals are just not on welfare or not committing crime, instead of poverty has put people in positions where they have to commit crime focused on poverty and people's response to poverty. is this a shift to individual versus systemic in the 70s and 80s? >> i think so, somewhat, but the real way to answer is what were people saying? to go to the literature and say what's actually where they saying? i can see systematic critiques that would have existed in the 1990s that do not look like a bernie sanders campaign in 2016. just to have a different flavor to overarching, there could be a very systems thinking. that would blame systems that would not say the answer is socialism. because socialism has been disproven, so what other answers might there be? is that a little
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clear? >> i'm just wondering, what is the key difference between the neoliberalism of the 90s and the fiscal conservatism of the 80s? and, also why is it that the gop continually acts like it's the party of bernie sanders when it's the party of bill clinton? >> i don't think i can answer the second one in terms of the difference between them. this is why it was third wave. the economic neoliberalism of the 1990s would reject some of reagan's policies in the 1980s. i'm struggling to think of specific examples. they would say things like to prevent outsourcing. they would say outsourcing is a bad and american corporations shouldn't be encouraged to outsource. we should have tax incentives to keep things at home. we should
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invest in tech training to support the workers that are being suffering. here is a systematic answer to a problem that is caused by the capitalist system, so they would have a critique of it, whereas i think the right would have less of that critique, the right's answer was often people need to buy american cars. gm will not ship cars overseas if people are buying american cars. >> this may be somewhat disconnected, but i'm very curious how y2k factors into this and how that is poking the ideology, whether that is more connected to preventative measures, yeah, things like that. >> i have y2k on a slide in like three slides. >> this is a good opportunity to change and go from the end of cold war, the supposed end of history. so one quote. this is from the bottom of the first
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page of the end of history, but i'll show it on the slide instead, for how folks like fukuyama then link this to culture as well. in fact, what fukuyama is saying is this phenomenon being the triumph of liberal economics and politics. this triumph, this phenomenon exists beyond politics. it can also be seen in the ineluctable going everywhere, not able to be stopped, spread of consumerist western culture in such diverse context. this gets to spencer's thing about peasant markets, color television sets now omnipresent throughout china, clothing stores opening in moscow. the beethoven piped into japanese department stores, and rock
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music enjoyed alike in prague, rangoon, and tehran. so, rock music, american pop culture. i do remember lots of things about blue jeans, people in the soviet bloc not having access to blue jeans, and blue jeans being a sign of a freedom on the march. in fact, a french social philosopher says there was more power in blue jeans and rock and roll than the entire red army. >> -- was a stewardess. the people on the flight, yeah, a stewardess, back in the day in russia and on the flight they would pack, jam everything they could with blue jeans because once they got to moscow they would make hundreds and hundreds of dollars per pair of blue jeans. she was like, oh, no, they love their blue jeans. >> it's a symbol of freedom. i
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think it is interesting to think about or transition to what was rock after the triumph? this is setting up the 90s as optimistic or pessimistic. so, like, brief detour to our own home, a reminder that nirvana practiced right there. there's a clip on youtube on nirvana from the evergreen state college television studio playing right there. kurt cobain grew up in aberdeen, he did not attend evergreen, he had lots of friends who did. one of his friends was the founder of the riot grrrl movement. folks know about riot grrrl in the 90s? this is deeply ingrained in your blood even if you hate it. >> with three r's. >> that sounds less familiar.
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>> kathleen hanna was a fan of kurt cobain, she graduated evergreen. she wrote on one of his walls at one point that he smells like teen spirit, she meant the deodorant, apparently kurt cobain claimed he did not know what the deodorant was and thought they were linked to the kind of conversations that they had about social inequality, anarchism and about the decadence and the oppressiveness of american consumer culture. so it's also very interesting to think about rock and roll as american freedom and then rock and rollers are like, this freedom has me feeling left out. matthew? >> is that where cobain got the title of smells like teen spirit? >> yes, it was written on his apartment door by an evergreen
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grad. he turned that into the lyrics of a song they were jamming about. and, so i will show briefly. i have lots of different articles from the cooper point journal from the 1990s. there strategic plan for evergreen which then in this issue, there's lots of discussion. well one discussion of evergreen or alien abductees. here's so bruce smith. that's he had 34 offspring with that alien that he drew. maybe maybe one of those offspring is now a student here. i did think that there was lots of this critique of evergreen strategic plan. i found really interesting because of how like relevant it seems today that like the assumption that just cooperative
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teaching will spread cultural sensitivity and knowledge can be exploitative people of color. sometimes get tired of always being the teachers once again victims are made to be responsible for solving the problems caused by the dominant culture. i mean, this is like intersectional theory like lived in critique, you know in critiques of evergreen's model then anyway, lots of lots of interesting stuff on that super secret panel hides the truth about ufos amnesty international. oops. defense human rights so i mean one one place that you know, the left really went was a full-scale doubling down on human rights violations. and how how exploitative and how destructive things are so like there, you know, there's lots of systematic critiques that wasn't the solution of socialism that wasn't the solution. um, this is neat. everything everywhere is political. oh, i did want to show
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especially nathaly this open door lecture and film series, maybe some of you also took nancy koppelman's class with an athlete. she was a she was a student at the time here and she wrote about evergreen and if you know nancy, this is so funny evergreen is so fractured. we need to have a central schedule of program lectures and files that are open to the community films that are open to the community respect the integrity of the program stay for the whole don't don't leave. but then everything everything was political. there's tv coverage and but then here is a little coverage of nirvana and i think it's it's funny. my favorite part of this what's the only thing like i'm lifting this up is just like how everyone in the olympia community like what would no
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nirvana and so it's very offhanded the album sells for way too much in seattle. and then here's the press kit nirvana consists of kurt with a d and two k's cobain extreme less basis christ novolacek and not of ex drummer chad chanting so that the the publicity photo they had was with the old drummer who stopped touring with them as they instead brought in a new drummer dave scream. there was a punk band in the area scream. that's dave grohl. no, no, no. no, it's it. it's the same guy. dave scream is dave grohl. how does the abolitionist narrative of like the the talks that you're talking about with? kurt cobain, how does that fit within the idea of like socialism has failed if abolition is is still a thing like what after abolition what? what would the alternative to get what i'm saying?
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what did that look like? i think i think so. or was it just an opposition to the rest of the ideological? support of capitalism i want to just keep mulling on it. or i want you to keep mulling on it. so here's another thing there's a there's another issue where there's a review of the concert that they have. in olympia, that's like it was a good show, but it was way too popular. too many screaming teenage punk rockers nirvana mania poorly dressed record executives to step away from new lincoln continentals handing out diamond studded cards. so there's a little bit of what's the right word? cynicism about like even nirvana is too popular.
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so this is where i wanted to just have us think some about pop music pop culture of the 1990s as moving between two poles of optimism and pessimism that either like everything is great or like well socialism might have failed and we're not going to advocate for socialism, but boy american culture sure is oppressive sure is dominating sure makes us feel left out. i mean, you know the the lyrics did i read out the lyrics of tell smells like teen spirit. the first stanza is load up on on guns bring your friends. it's fun to lose and to pretend she's overboard and self-assured. oh, no, no, i know a dirty word. listen to the actual song don't listen to me. like terrible representative of nirvana definitely don't listen to me. but like boy american culture
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sure, like that's not so if i would just ask you is nirvana an example of optimism or pessimism about the future you'd probably say pessimism. okay. i want to do this with a couple of other acts. okay, so in a different note. the back street boys are they optimistic about the world or pessimistic about the world? optimistic tupac shakur optimistic about the world or pessimistic pessimistic boys to men optimistic or pessimism rage against the machine celine dion ultimate my heart will go on my heart will go on does anyone know the band garbage? guard one of garbage's big singles. i'm only happy when it rains very happy to run i only know that they did the bond the song for one of pierce brosnan's last
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bond movies. which one did they do? what is it? the world is not enough the world is not enough optimistic or pessimistic. having any other context i mean they pessimistic but as an very optimistic. i i got i got i got some really like the more i thought about it the more fun it became like marilyn manson customers creed kind of like christian rock band sort of like creed is like rei are you? you know obviously something with families. so like the point is not that there's one or the other it's just that like i feel like there was a lot of disaffection and a lot of like hopeful optimism, so i came up with another another couple of examples of this just of like dichotomies about the future. so, i don't know if you're a big
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action movie fan from the 80s and 90s, but in the original terminator that is a bad vision of the future arnold schwarzenegger comes back to try and kill sarah connor because she's going to have a son john connor who will be the leader of the human resistance army to the so, you know, they're ai led the robots to to launch nuclear strikes against all of humanity and to try and seek to exterminate humanity john connor is the only hope and boy that is a negative film in 2000 in 1991 terminator 2 arnold schwarzenegger comes back as the hero. and in fact, he is the robot that learns to care for john connor learns to care for human life doesn't actually kill anybody john connor the kid eddie for a long tells him like he can't kill anybody so he only shoots police officers in the knees. and the you know, there is no fate but what we make so 1980s.
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it's like the future is terrible 1990s. it's like well there might be nuclear war and robots might be trying to kill us but some of the robots can learn to love deep in their hearts. there's been there's a new new ish. hbo documentary about woodstock 1999. so there were two festivals to celebrate woodstock's 25th anniversary and 30th anniversary 1994. there was lots of like peace and love and harmony and it was like not a greatly run festival, but it it certainly emphasized the peace love and harmony woodstock. 1999 is like this dystopian vision of people like tearing things down setting stuff on fire and mud it. acid like i hear stuff about like woodstock in bed i might be maybe there might have been bad drugs. there's there's a great documentary. i just remember like an idea of like a woodstock or maybe the woodstock and like people losing their mind in mud. and yeah being like it. yes like that image you're saying i'm like, i feel like i have a specific thing of it.
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just no reference there was much more of that in 1999 like bonfires and real like media coverage of it is like lord of the flies people are turning against each other. yeah kai, question with all the questions representation like everyone did that have an effect on. takes out yeah, so i mean, i think this is a question like what what did these depictions do for politics? i think it's i'm trying to. to show that there was like there was a lot of optimism and there was a lot of ambivalence and it didn't map neatly onto the political parties. that there's a lot of like that that bill clinton is the boy from hope. um, and that technology can make the way and so another thing i have down here is there was all this conversation of the internet as the information superhighway it would lead us as the bridged to the 21st century. that have been another like campaign slogan of clinton in
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1996. we need to like get on the bridge to the 21st century. but then no queasy asked about y2k. we're all gonna die like the computers are not going to understand the difference of 99 to 0 0 they're going to every all computer systems are going to go back to zero zero zero the bug is going to knock out power plants airlines are going to crash. it's going to be mass hysteria. so like tons and tons of coders spent lots of lots of time to actually fix the problem, but the idea of like the future is really really dark with y2k is contrasted with like the information superhighway. and keeping this idea of like it's like we have all this because you say you talk about utopian thinking it's not all i can think of it's like we're stuck in this like utopian thinking. but it's not like utopian thinking from the start of like a communist scene is utopian thinking of start of like a horror movie about a family like i just keep thinking about like
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that like i don't watch a lot of horror, but just that like a horribly like ruining the family like that, you know that comes up a lot. so i'm just keep thinking that. that wasn't until the pleasantville. like like all like society gets really like we're all going to be so homogeneous. we're all going to be in cookie cutter little boxes. no one's going to fit in so it's like yeah, it's positive but like oh no queasy. just as a anything connection that i'm just thinking of octavia butler parable of the sower. yes. i think that a lot of people are like, oh my goodness. she predicted like so much and we're so close to it, but it seems like that narrative was just so much more common than we yes often think yeah. yes and at the same time like octavia butler didn't get the recognition during your lifetime that she's gotten since so like there's a there's a lot of like where was mainstream culture not listening to parable of the sower. matthew you said a pleasant film
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and i want to note the there are some movie in 1998 called pleasantville with kirsten dunst and tobey maguire. and isn't like part of it in black and white and parts of it in color. yeah. origin to the town in the form of color and like the mom -- in in the in the bathtub and that causes the tree to both catch on fire and gain color and so people start like they have no colored size. it's not subtle. it's not subtle. increase and like, you know, it's and it's a popular critique. so also like i'm wanting to i'm not wanting to overstate the like that everyone agreed with the end of history. it's just interesting how that framing really has to shape everything like history is over. the future is now what's the future going to be? so another example, i have i see your hand evan like the matrix. i was thinking about these two
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films within two like two months of each other the matrix and phantom menace. that like weirdly the matrix is the one where like technology has constrained us humans are enslaved to robots. we need to break out of it and there will be a savior who will come and like at the end neotrimps. he flies out like the oppression of the machines is going to be over the matrix has like an optimistic story arc. and is one of the like dark gritty it's like not a great picture of the future the phantom menace is like this little boy anakin skywalker is going to be darth vader and kill a lot of people like it's like a bad narrative arc, but that movie is bright. it's colorful. the pod ray scene is fun. it's like there's all this bright. i don't know. it's just really interesting to read like the and then the aesthetics like yeah it very much a spectacle which the matrix is too. so there's just i feel like there was this people's minds were being torn in multiple different directions. is this tracking folks evan? okay.
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firstly matrix is overrated and defense is a guilty pleasure, but i'm just wondering like it's vaguely connected to information super highway and like how we think of the internet when you think definitively we came to like what is now called the post fact world where the facts are what you you know what you are your party believes. ah, we talked about that in week. two or three or four um, i think there's a real artifact of the the bush years. i was talking about like the post postmodernism and relativism and like went you know, i would say mid-2000s and then people are really citing the like the 20 teens the mid-20 teens as being the start of a real like information accuracy. network or dichotomy i saw another hand. okay, cool.
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okay, i'm mindful of the time. so the last thing i wanted to end with was just another one of these examples. i saw this on social media and i love i love the image. stay back, yes. so they're bringing back. scott neal wright, sam neill, jeff goldblum and laura dern they're bringing the original cast back. but so just like jurassic park the dinosaurs break out they eat a lot of people like technology has cloned a dinosaurs. that was a huge mistake shouldn't have happened. but at the same time like the catchphrase like the main thing is like life finds away. there's some there's like real hope in jurassic park and it's just bright and gorgeous and the the image. i mean, even the nighttime scenes of the t-rex. yeah. yeah. it's a literal amusement park. where are we in 2020. it's jurassic world dominion. i can't even see their faces jeff and you can't even so yeah, right. i couldn't recognize him right
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like where's the future in 2022? it's like oh, is not good. like there's not a lot of like the future is good happening right now in our culture. this is tracking. yeah. movie is the time rex. yeah. curious about your thoughts on like how much this kind of polarizing like utopian dystopian outlook towards the future is like tied to either the age of the people who are creating the media or the age of the people that it's directed towards like i don't know. i guess i'm just thinking about like adolescent psychology and development and like is the more pessimistic narrative directed towards, you know adolescence and emerging adults who are more like geared towards activism and change and all right. yeah. yeah, that's i mean, i like my my historian hat is all often.
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like what i was saying is like i'm not being comprehensive. this is just like looking at some change over time and looking up some snapshots an examples that are illustrating the broader trend, but i think that that's like a real strength of the generation disaster book like focusing on like no who are the people who saw 1989. is this like breaking point who was raised in an environment where it's like we're triumphant and you can have any toy you want so long as your parents save the right money for it and you ask them to get you the right tickle me elmo and not the knockoff one. um, so yeah, i like to cry not a comprehensive. i like the question. to build up what channel we're sharing to to see that there is like the end of this enemy this them in the distance that we had as america and then constructing like we will we need an enemy who's gonna be enemy. now, who do we fight in creating in our own society? well, these people are trying to create dystopia with their political beliefs and the other side point against the us and them somehow created in culture. yeah advancement through that. yeah creating this sort of this facade of an enemy. yeah. yeah us is that and that's kind of linked to evan's question too
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is like when did americans become i mean americans have always thought that other americans are the enemy that's not new but there's like there is a new texture to it. it seems much more great for sure. yeah. yeah, and i guess i'm just thinking like is there something in the way people age and develop that would make them more committed to a feeling of like we won and now i'm like coasting through to the end of my life versus when you're like emerging you're like building your own world and emerging into adulthood like are you less committed to? feeling like you made it. yeah, you still want to fight. yeah. it's kind of a baby boomer question, too. okay, i mindful of time. i think we should leave it there. so we'll see you after lunch. we'll come back to watch a depiction of the future with star trek. thank you all.
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