Monday, December 07, 2009

1914 and all that.

Unlike most people, I don't think the Sixties were a big deal. In my mind the great change in the West occurred with the First World War. In the intellectual sphere everything changed then. Central Europe died, Russia(Communism) was born, Tradition in the arts was put aside and modernity embraced. The rot of Western Civilisation set in.

Now whilst I agree that the Sixties were a period of great change, I always had the impression that it was more a time when the veil came off rather than anything new was dreamed up. People's habits did not change as a result of the Sixties, the habits had changed long before; rather a veneer of respectability covered everything and until the Sixties people still paid lip service to traditional ideals.

The profound changes in the Catholic Church were more probably a reflection on the fact that the faith was in reality for most a socially conditioned habit rather than the result of an active faith, and so when it became socially acceptable to leave, people did. Likewise the great sexual liberation of the Sixties was not so much a liberation as an acknowledgment of what was really going on behind the veneer of domestic respectability.

With that in mind this paper should make for interesting reading. This article is also of some worth.