Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gen Eds H3: From the Cold War to the Millennium

This is the third post in the World History part of my "General Education in a Nutshell" series. This series involves ten subjects you might study in a general education or "liberal arts" core at a university or college. The first topic in the overall series was philosophy. So far in the world history section:
The Internet and Globalization
1. We might have talked more about the immense impact of the internet and social media in the previous post. However, it is just as well to discuss this epoch-changing, immense shift in world culture as we think about the world situation at the turn of the millennium. 9-11 has slowed down some aspects of globalization, but it has far from stopped it.

In 2016, as I write, there is a blip of some retrenchment on globalization. The Brexit vote this summer started a process of Britain's removal from the European Union (EU). The initial economic consequences have been soundly negative, although we will see what the long term consequences are. Most economists predict that Britain will lose far more than it will gain.

In the US presidential campaign, both major candidates oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) because of the anti-trade climate in the country at present. Donald Trump's primary demographic is exactly the kind of individual most adversely affected in the US by companies doing business outside the country. Hillary Clinton was initially supportive of the legislation (which has been strongly promoted by current President Obama). But in order to solidify supporters of the other Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, she has had to flip on this issue.

Both Trump and Sanders regularly bring up/brought up the fact that Bill Clinton when president had signed into law NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, which went into effect in 1994. Although most would say that this agreement had a net positive effect on the US economy overall, it certainly resulted in a loss of jobs for many American workers whose jobs left the country. As Ross Perot warned in the 1992 election, many local workers experienced the "giant sucking sound" of jobs moving to Mexico.

President Obama assures the American people that the TPP has provisions to guard against sweat shops and other elements of disproportionality that were not part of NAFTA.

2. Many have likened the transformation brought about by technology to the shift in the 1500s from an oral to a literary world. Thomas Friedman, in The World is Flat, points to a convergence of ten forces that together created an inevitable globalization. The ten "flattening" forces he mentions are 1) the fall of the Berlin Wall, 2) the launch of Netscape as an IPO, creating a way to set up webpages, 3) the ability to do work flow electronically, 4) the possibility to upload stuff to the web, 5) outsourcing, 6) offshoring, 7) supply chaining, 8) insourcing, 9) in-forming, 10) all this stuff on steroids.

The "triple convergence" he saw was the combination of these things taken together to create a 1) platform, that made everything 2) horizontal rather than vertical, and 3) brought together people from all over the world who used to be excluded.

We find all sorts of casualties of these changes and there will be more. Barnes and Noble has made some adjustments, but Borders is gone. Just as the "supply chain" bookstore mostly eliminated the corner bookstore, Amazon and print on demand have killed traditional print book sellers and publishers. [1] Ebook sales have leveled off a little but continue to take over print book territory.

Print newspapers and magazines have closed left and right. Only those that have managed to adjust to the electronic world are hanging on. A new model, where the content is mostly free and money is made by algorithm driven advertisement, has taken over.

The physical chain Blockbuster was run out of business by Netflix. Napster and its successors drove Tower Records and other traditional music sales stores out of business. Digital photos drove Kodak out of business. Meanwhile, online education is slowly eroding many colleges who refuse to be anything but residential.

That anyone questions that this is the new reality is utterly befuddling to me. There will probably always be a place for physical books, pictures, colleges. But they are on their way to becoming niche markets.

3. Another feature of the new reality is what Friedman calls the "horizontalization" of economic relationships. So I can self-publish a book through CreateSpace and sell it directly to someone through Amazon. I don't need a publisher. I just need to convince you that it's worth buying or perhaps have someone vouch for it.

Similarly, I don't have to sell something of mine to a "middle man" for you then to purchase used from him or her. I can sell it directly to you on eBay.

Going along with this horizontal aspect of the modern economy is the decentralization of organizations. [2] One wonders if some of the attitudes of people toward fighting terrorism assume that terrorist networks are top-down bureaucracies of the older type. This is the old "Cut off the head of the snake" approach. But terror networks don't necessarily have a head. They are more like the mythical Hydra--"Cut off one head and two others come back in its place."

Wikipedia is a great example of horizontalization and decentralization. Although some still scoff at it, it is clearly the most influential "encyclopedia" of all time. The information is apparently over 99% reliable. This is an encyclopedia put together by the public and edited by the public. It covers virtually every topic imaginable. No company could have put this resource together by hiring writers, and the expense it would have taken is unthinkable.

Google has to be mentioned as a resource beyond imagination, free to the whole world. Rather than a human sitting down to guess where you want to go, algorithms predict your preferred path based not only on your past searches but on the collective searches of everyone. Google Translate would have been nigh impossible to design on a traditional model but it gets more and more accurate as it self-corrects from the input of the countless individuals who are using it. Google maps has put the nail in the coffin for the traditional road map and atlas.

The Reagan Revolution
4. It seems to me that our next major point where a set of late twentieth century developments coalesce is the election of Ronald Reagan. Perhaps the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union would have fallen anyway, but Reagan played a key role in the actual history as it developed. So we are not necessarily saying that he was the cause of all these events, only that he aptly captures this moment in history.

Reagan won the electoral college by a landslide (although he only had 50% of the vote). He represented the cross-section of at least three strands that we would recognize as part of "conservatism" today. First he represented the older concern for national security. Jimmy Carter before him had been a president who had negotiated peace deals (e.g., between Israel and Egypt). By contrast, Reagan would rouse nationalistic fervor with his talk of the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" and his desire to set up a "star wars" space defense system. [3]

Ironically, Reagan's military build up is sometimes said to have driven the Soviet Union financially out of business, unable to compete with the amount of money he was investing in the military. But of course we should not underplay the significance of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president when the USSR was finally dissolved in 1991. You might argue that Reagan had no plan for peace with Russia. It came to him.

One of the greatest accomplishments of Reagan's presidency was the fact that he made America feel good about itself again. The decade before his election had seen President Richard Nixon resign in disgrace for lying about spying his team did in relation to his Democratic opponents, a scandal called "Watergate" after the complex in which Democratic headquarters were located. The war in Vietnam had ended in disaster and was experienced by the American people as a devastating loss. What was there to show afterward for those 59,000 troops lost?

Reagan made large numbers of people feel proud again about being American.

5. Some of the most long lasting changes under the Reagan administration were economic. Reagan put into play the economic philosophies of Friedrich Hayek, which suggest that deregulation of business is the key to economic thriving. The late 1970s saw economic stagnation, in part the result of economic events and decisions made during the Nixon administration to fix prices, as well as the oil embargo imposed on the United States in 1973 by OPEC because America was supplying Israel militarily. [5]

Reagan's economic approach is generally called "supply-side" economics, where by decreasing or eliminating barriers to the supply of goods and services, you increase economic growth. Then, the prosperity this set up brings to the leaders of industry is meant to generate jobs, increase wages and, in effect, "trickle down" to the ordinary person. [6]

The evidence does seem fairly clear that deregulation causes business to thrive, and this approach does seem to have generated economic growth at least in the short term. There is more debate about the effect such growth has on the average person. Nothing ensures that employers will increase wages and, in this age of increasing animation and computerization, there will only be less and less need for more human hands going forward. [7]

One act of deregulation that has arguably had a massive influence on American culture is Reagan's dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. Created in 1947 in the aftermath of World War II, the Fairness Doctrine required the media to present both sides of controversial issues in a "honest, equitable, and balanced" way. With this principle out the window, a climate has evolved in which particular news outlets clearly cater to specific clientele in a way that has made objectivity a liability.

6. Reagan's deregulation also fit with a political position that had shifted from Democrats to Republicans in the mid-twentieth century, namely, a bias toward state's rights. The Democrats had of course favored state's rights in the lead up to the Civil War, while the Republicans had championed the ultimate priority of the federal government. During the beginnings of the civil rights movement in the 50s, southern Democrats had continued that trajectory in their opposition to increasing moves by the federal government to undermine racial discrimination in the South.

However, this situation switched as Republicans like Richard Nixon developed what has come to be known as the "Southern Strategy." Republicans targeted the "Dixiecrats" who were opposed to the civil rights movement and desegregation, resulting in large numbers of southern Democrats becoming Republicans over the issue of race. Similarly, Democrats like Lyndon Johnson began to champion civil rights causes.

The current lay of the political landscape embodies the results of those shifts. The Democratic party has largely been the party of African-Americans ever since, while Trump's candidacy in the current election (2016) has brought to the surface white supremacist elements we had hoped had largely disappeared from American culture and the Republican party. Similarly, Republicans have definitively been the state's rights party since the 1960s, while the Democratic party is more the party of federalism.

7. Another wave that Reagan rode was the rise of the "Moral Majority." The late 1940s saw the birth of "neo-evangelicalism," with figures like Billy Graham and C. F. H. Henry leading it. For Graham, it was simply a drive to get as many people in America "saved" as possible. He went around the country and eventually the world with "Billy Graham Crusades," renting out stadiums and pressing the crowds on their need to accept Jesus as their personal Savior.

For Henry, the "crusade" was a little different. His goal and that of others was to give an intellectual respectability to the Christian response to modernism. There had been some initial response at the turn of the twentieth century to the "threats" of modernism--"higher criticism" of the Bible and evolution being the chief worriers. A group of scholars largely from Princeton had published a series of 90 essays called The Fundamentals in response to these forces from 1910-1915.

But by the middle of the twentieth century, the bulk of Christianity had simply continued on its merry way, making fun of evolution and seminary education without any significant intellectual response. [8] For Henry and Harold Ockenga (who coined the name in 1947), neo-evangelicalism was meant to be a thinking man's response to what they thought were corrupting intellectual trends within Christendom and the United States.

As the snowball has rolled, the name "evangelical" has accrued to itself a whole host of religious conservatives, including the fundamentalists from whom Henry initially sought to distinguish himself intellectually. [9] Jimmy Carter was the first president to call himself a "born again Christian," but most "evangelicals" at the time weren't buying it. Although there has always been a thread of progressive evangelicalism (e.g., Jim Wallis), the term is now almost exclusively used of a particular Christian voting block within the Republican party. [10]

8. What crystallized this alignment was the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973, which concluded that states could only pass legislation prohibiting abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy. Roe v Wade decided that it was the woman's decision as to what she did with her body during the period before the third trimester. This ruling was modified somewhat in 1992 (Planned Parenthood v. Casey), when the trimester framework was changed to the viability of a child to survive outside the womb. In effect, that opens the door for state legislation prohibiting abortions after around the 22 week of pregnancy.

In the 1979 election, Jerry Falwell and others used Roe v. Wade as a way of rallying conservative Christians around Ronald Reagan as a candidate. Since that time, a whole host of Christians will never vote for non-Republican candidate. For many Christians, a candidate's position on abortion is the only real question to decide their vote. The argument is that only a Republican candidate will appoint the kinds of Supreme Court judges who might eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. Therefore, the argument goes, a Christian can never vote for anyone other than a Republican for president, no matter what other issues or positions might be in play or at stake.

As we already mentioned, Jerry Falwell founded the "Moral Majority" in 1979 as a rallying force for those opposed to abortion, as well as those opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment, [11] those in favor of school prayer, and those in favor of traditional family values. In 1977, James Dobson started Focus on the Family, which included a regular radio broadcast promoting similar values. Numerous other Christian outlets emerged to mobilize conservative Christians in relation to contemporary politics (Marlin Maddoux, Phyllis Schaffley). At times, the dividing line between specifically Christian concerns and the political concerns of the Republican party have undoubtedly blurred. [12]

Civil Rights Movement
9. Hostility to Supreme Court "activism" tied into a sentiment from the civil rights era, namely, the sense by many in the South at that time that the Supreme Court was making law rather than making decisions on the basis of existing law. The phrase, "activist judges" has been used as a rallying cry for Republican campaigns since that era. "Strict constructionism" is a rallying cry for those who believe that the Supreme Court must only decide on the basis of what is explicitly said in the Constitution, that it cannot extend the principles of the Constitution to areas that the Constitution does not explicitly address.

Going even further, "original meaning" advocates like Justice Clarence Thomas make decisions not only on what is explicitly said but on what was in the heads of the legislators who put it there. In other words, even if a strict constructionist today would not read the words of the Constitution necessarily to imply certain values, the meaning of the words of the Constitution is locked into what the original legislators were thinking. If they owned slaves, then equal justice for all cannot include slaves, for example, even if slaves aren't mentioned explicitly. [13]

Roe v. Wade arguably provided a respectable way to channel anger toward the Supreme Court by those in the South who were forced to integrate during the sixties and early seventies. It's hard today to champion state's rights and anti-Supreme Court activism on the basis of slavery or racism. But abortion provided a way of using a positive moral issue to channel resentment over desegregation and the overturning of Jim Crow laws.

10. World War II empowered both women and African-Americans in the United States. Both had served their country nobly during the war. While men were overseas fighting, women went to work to generate the kinds of supplies needed for war ("Rosie the Riveter"). Over 2.5 million African-American men served in the Armed Forces during the war.

This was not a genie that was going to go back easily into the bottle. Women and African-Americans had shown that they were just as capable, just as intelligent, just as American as any white male. So a new wave of feminism was launched, and soon also the civil rights movement.

The first chink in the armor--perhaps the first instance of what would come to be considered Supreme Court activism--came in 1954 with Brown vs. the Board of Education. In this decision, the SC reversed a decision from 1896 (Plessy vs. Ferguson) that concluded that "separate but equal" education for blacks was possible. The court of 1954 by contrast concluded that there was nothing equal about the separation of blacks from whites in Kansas. No doubt the recent shock of the Holocaust was fresh in the minds of many Americans at that time.

11. This opened the door wide open to begin to do what should have been done immediately after the Civil War. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the "colored" section of a Montgomery, Alabama bus after the white section was filled. It inspired a movement. Four days later, a local pastor named Martin Luther King Jr. led a boycott of the Montgomery Transit System. Finally, in another SC decision (Browder v. Gayle, again considered as activism), it was ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. [14]

This civil rights movement would only gain steam. In 1961, there were Freedom Rides to the south to challenge in a non-violent way the refusal of southern states to abide by Supreme Court decisions (again, considered activist) that prohibited segregated restaurants and other public places. (The background of "anti-activist judge" rhetoric should by now be abundantly clear.) These Freedom Riders--both blacks and whites--peacefully violated Jim Crow laws and made police drag them to jail. They were sometimes physically abused.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous, "I Have a Dream" speech on a "Million Man March" to the Washington Mall. President John F. Kennedy had already called for civil rights legislation that would outlaw discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. He would be assassinated (Nov. 22, 1963) before it was passed. His vice president, Lyndon Johnson, would see it through as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Lyndon Johnson was then elected in 1964 in one of the largest landslides of US history. His theme after election was "The Great Society." The goal was to carry forward the vision of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and JFK's New Frontier, to end poverty and racial injustice. 1965 saw the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which prevents racial discrimination in voting. Under Johnson, Medicaid and Medicare were created.

The late 60s were a tumultuous time in US history. Not only was the civil rights movement in full steam, but US military involvement in Vietnam was ramping up, along with opposition to it. Malcolm X, who represented a more militant wing of the African-American struggle, was assassinated on February 21, 1965. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. At the same time, Thurgood Marshall was appointed as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in 1967.

Barack Obama became the first African-American president in 2009. Far from ending the racial divide, it has brought race to the foreground. If anyone thought racism was over in 2008, they were wrong. Similarly, although the "war on poverty" did significantly decrease poverty, it has not eliminated it and, in fact, has had the unintended consequence of creating a phenomenon known as "generational poverty."

The Cold War
12. The United States and the Soviet Union emerged from World War II as the two primary world powers. The end of the war saw the Soviets approaching Berlin from the east and the Allied troops approaching from the west. In the aftermath of the war, the landscape of Europe largely divided along the same lines. Eastern Germany and countries to its east like Poland, Czeckoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and other areas between soon became part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. These countries became communist, effectively under the control of Russia.

Meanwhile, countries that had been part of the Allies during the war (or that had been liberated by the allies) remained democratic states: western Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and (after dual occupation for 10 years) Austria. In 1949, the United States and 11 other western nations formed NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with the goal of containing the spread of communism. In response, the Soviets created the Warsaw Pact in 1955.

The tensions between the US and Russia would continue until the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991. This is generally known as the "Cold War." Although the US and the USSR thankfully never engaged in direct combat, these tensions and the preparation for such combat had a major impact on the policies and actions of the United States throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, the Korean War of the 1950s and the Vietnam War of the 1960s/70s were largely proxy wars fought against the spread of communism.

13. The Korean War was a result of a situation in Asia similar to that in Europe. The Soviets had liberated the northern peninsula of Korea from the Japanese, while the US had liberated the southern part. In 1950, with the support of the USSR and communist China, north Korea launched an offensive to unify the Korean Peninsula. China had itself become communist in 1949 when Mao Zedong took over Beijing and declared the nation the People's Republic of China.

The newly formed United Nations (1945) then came to the aid of southern Korea. An armistice was signed in 1953, although no peace treaty was signed and North and South Korea remain technically at war. As a democratic nation, South Korea is an incredibly prosperous nation, while North Korea remains one of the most impoverished and oppressive places on the planet.

14. A similar situation developed in Vietnam in the 1960s. The area had been under French control for the first half of the twentieth century, but after France was taken over by the Nazis, Japan was given full access to the country until it was defeated in 1945. In the nine years that followed, an uneasy situation between the north and the south developed, with Ho Chi Minh and the communists in control of the north (allied with communist China and the Soviet Union) and the hereditary emperor in control of the south.

Over the decade that followed, the US would become more and more involved in trying to contain the communist north from taking over the south. In 1965, regular US combat units were deployed for the first time. But the conflict dragged on and on, with some 59,000 deaths of US soldiers. Opposition to the war in the US steadily increased, and it became a political football in US elections. Vietnam was the first television war, the first "living room war," a fact which no doubt fueled anti-war sentiment.

Nixon would withdraw troops in 1973. Then President Ford evacuated the remaining Americans when Saigon fell in 1975. The effect on the American population was demoralizing. We would not regain our military confidence again until the first President Bush speedily won the first Iraq war in 1991. His son probably expected a similarly quick end to the second Iraq war in 2003.

If the end of the Vietnam War had been demoralizing, the nation faced in the end of 1974 the forced resignation of President Richard Nixon. Nixon faced impeachment for perjury over the Watergate scandal, where he and various members of his team had bugged and carried out various spying on his Democratic opponents. His fall has contributed to a deep suspicion of politicians that has become endemic to American culture.

15. A key element to the Cold War was the nuclear arms race. The US had effectively hastened the close of the war with Japan by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshema and Nagasaki. It was not long, however, until the Soviets had also developed the bomb as well (1949).

In the ensuing years, both countries raced to improve their bombs and their methods of bomb delivery. Missile silos are scattered across the United States with Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) ready to launch. Any number of submarines also have nuclear missles from which an attack could be launched if the USSR struck our land-based missles were disabled (SLBMs). The SALT I treaty with Russia in 1972 froze the total number of missles between the US and the Soviets.

Probably the closest the US and the USSR ever came to nuclear war was in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 while Kennedy was president. After Cuba had become communist in 1959, Kennedy tried to restore the government with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. Cuba then invited the Soviet Union to station nuclear weapons on the island, much as the US had secretly placed in Italy and Turkey.

An agreement was thankfully reached whereby the Soviets removed its warheads from Cuba, the US promised never to invade Cuba again, and the US removed its nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy (which the US public did not even know were there).

The philosophy during this era was "mutually assured destruction" or MAD as a nuclear deterrent. Both powers more or less were set up to annihilate each other no matter who started a nuclear war. Therefore, it was in the interest of neither to ever start one. The situation has changed significantly now that many nations have nuclear weapons and there is the possibility that a terrorist will obtain and set off a "dirty bomb" that is hand delivered.

Most recently, Iran has been the greatest fear. The Obama administration has received sharp critique for recent arrangements made with Iran that have at least stalled its development of a nuclear arsenal. The argument is that without this arrangement, they would pretty much have nuclear weapons already. By making the Iran Nuclear Deal this year, Iran will remain some time away from having them, and other courses of action can be pursued if and when they resume movement in that direction.

16. The United States was shocked in 1957 when the Soviets successfully launched a satellite, Sputnik, into orbit. Thus was the space race begun. Similarly, in 1961, the Soviets beat the United States to launch the first human into orbit (Yuri Gagarin). Finally, JFK reluctantly decided to make a mission to the moon a matter of national security and pride. In 1961, he gave his pitch to a joint session of Congress and on July 20, 1969, the first humans stepped on the moon.

President Dwight Eisenhower had started the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 for peaceful purposes of space science. Kennedy would now charge it to developed manned space missions, to the moon as soon as possible.

17. One of the darker moments in the Cold War were the years from 1950-56 when Senator Joseph McCarthy held hearings on Capital Hill to investigate individuals accused of being communist sympathizers. His "House unAmerican Activities Committee" wreaked havoc in the lives off Americans who were blacklisted not for any actions they had taken but for their supposed ideologies. His era is a warning to any time when some politician begins to talk about ferreting out people who are "unamerican" in their views.

18. In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, signalling the end of oppressive and impoverishing communism in Eastern Europe. By 1991, the Soviet Union would crumble.

19. A final key event of the post-WW2 period must be mentioned, namely, the founding of Israel in 1948. Palestine had been under the control of Great Britain since not long after the end of World War I. Over the previous half-century, Jews had steadily moved to Palestine as part of a "Zionist" movement, a sense that it was God's will for them to be in possession of the land of Israel. In 1947, the United Nations proposed two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem a somewhat neutral territory under UN control.

When British control came to an end on May 14, 1948, David ben-Gurion declared the existence of The State of Israel, with then President Harry Truman giving his support the same day. The following day, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and forces from Iraq entered Palestine to secure Arab control. Ten months later, the State of Israel not only controlled all the original territory designated by the UN, but 60% of that designated for an Arab state.

The current polarization of the Muslim world with the west and the United States largely stems from the creation of Israel and US support for it. It was not the case before, demonstrating that the religion of Islam itself is not the root cause of the alienation. With every attempt to reduce Israel, it has expanded. The Six Day War of 1967 resulted in a similar expansion. Only a minority of Arab nations have come to recognize Israel as a nation (e.g., Egypt).

No one has made any major progress on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis since Jimmy Carter. The Palestinians refuse to compromise and continue to lose land. Israel has no real motivation to negotiate, since they slowly incur on Palestinian territory with every passing year.

Next Week: From Waterloo to World War II

Major Take-Aways:
  • Luddites tend to be run over by history.
  • Supply-side economics tends to grow economies but should probably be balanced with appropriate measures so that the majority have a clear benefit as well.
  • There is an ethical dimension to economics which goes beyond mere numbers.
  • Our professed reasons for certain political and "moral" positions are often not what we say they are, but rather the result from our cultural background, group affinities, and personal histories. 
  • We also tend to become more and more certain about ideas we were once tentative about, then we overwrite our past memories to think we were always that certain. 
  • Communism is a failed economic and political system. It does not lead to economic prosperity and its twentieth and twenty-first century instances were highly oppressive.
  • Beware any politicians who want to investigate other Americans for their ideas rather than their actions (hate speech is a special category, though, where certain actions are instigated by speech).
[1] Walmart eliminated most of the corner grocery stores as an earlier phase of this transition. Now the "middle man" is more and more being eliminated altogether.

[2] Check out The Starfish and the Spider for a somewhat extreme version of this reality. It is at least worth noting that the organizations Jim Collins examines in his books largely date from the period before this convergence fully was in place, although his principles still largely seem to apply. For example, the "dot-com bust" of 2001 would demonstrate some of his take-aways.

[3] As we'll mention below, the Soviet Union or U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was the communist collection of nations with communist Russia at the center. It is generally believed that Reagan's star wars idea was impossible to pull off at the time scientifically.

[5] OPEC stands for "Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries."

[6] Opponents of this approach thus often call it "trickle down economics." George Herbert Walker Bush, who would become Reagan's vice president, called it "voodoo economics" during the 1980 campaign when he was still running against Reagan.

[7] The notion that machines might eventually replace human workers is an old idea, going back to the 1800s and the English textile industry. Called "Luddites" after a man named Ned Ludd who in 1779 destroyed two stocking frames, individuals who are resistant to technological advances and the resulting cultural shifts have often been made fun of. In particular, thus far technological development has always created new kinds of human jobs, since someone has to create and maintain the machines.

However, some feel that we are reaching a new level of technological development, where the machines can make and take care of the machines. With the advent of "artificial intelligence" (AI), we can imagine a world where human workers are not needed at all. If such a world continues to unfold, we will have to fundamentally rethink the purpose of work and the way economics might work in that world.

[8] George Marsden (Fundamentalism and American Culture) and Mark Noll (The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind) have dubbed this collection of "dispensationalists," holiness people, and Pentecostals, "fundamentalists." This is an ironic name for this group, since those who wrote The Fundamentals were largely Calvinist intellectuals.

[9] David Bebbington's description of evangelicals (Evangelicalism in Modern Britain) has become very popular: individuals with a commitment to 1) authority of Scripture, 2) activism to change society for Christ, 3) centrality of the cross, and 4) importance of personal conversion. However, this is arguably an attempt to find common ground across quite different periods of time which differed significantly from each other in character.

[10] For more on one person's analysis of twentieth century evangelicalism, see Molly Worthen's, Apostles of Reason.

[11] The ERA was a proposed amendment to the Constitution which passed Congress and was signed by President Carter but fell three states short of being ratified. It aimed to put equal rights for women into the Constitution. Although it failed as a law, its values have more or less been adopted by both parties and the culture at large.

[12] In 1967, Robert Bellah called this phenomenon, "civil religion." It is the inability of many Christians to tell the difference between their Christian devotion and their patriotism or, in this case, their political affiliation.

[13] Although these categories are well-known, I appreciated the descriptions of Jim Garlow in his Well Versed (171). However, I disagree with many of his applications of Scripture. For example, although the argument is very common in certain Calvinist circles, there is simply no biblical mandate that restricts the function of government to restraining evil. Governments can do good too (cf. Ps. 72; Rom. 13:4--"do good").

[14] Justice Clarence Thomas might have dissented under his original meaning approach. If the creators of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 would not have included where you can sit on a bus under "equal protection under the law," he would have not have considered such laws unconstitutional.

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