who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. The two social
was part of
2. A brief comparison
what was done in these
3. More later
This is a crisis log, but it
is a bit of an abnormal one.
Originally this article was planned for
January 22, 2015, but I did not finish it then and postponed it. Now it
is a month later, and I decided to publish it, though it is far from
perfect and also is not yet completed.
What there is today is
an outline of the two social experiments I was part of, indeed
else who is
a baby-boomer and who lived in the West, plus a comparison of
experiments along the six dimensions of economics, health care,
education, politics and civil law, public debate and the climate.
What I leave till later
is my appreciation of the experiment, although this will be fairly
clear from my comparison of the two experiments. (But more needs to be
added, for which I do not have the time now.)
And tomorrow there will very probably be another ordinary crisis log.
1. The two social experiments I
was part of
I realized that it is
quite fair to say that I was a part of two enormous social
each of which lasted 35 years:
Indeed, I realize that the same
holds for everyone who is roughly around my age: I will consider all
babyboomers who lived in the West as the other partakers in the two
- The First Western
Experiment from 1946-1980, and
- The Second Western
Experiment from 1981-2015
As for me: I was born and raised in the
Netherlands, and I lived there nearly all my life (and because I fell
ill aged 28, on 1.1.1979, I travelled a lot less than many of
age and education: In fact I have only spend some time in
Spain, Austria and
Norway, nearly all holidays, and all before 1982 ).
I also realize I first have to answer some questions that relate to the
backgrounds of these two social experiments.
To start with: Why do I call them "social experiments"?
two main reasons.
First, because they really were social experiments, simply
because nobody knew or could rationally predict the outcomes of
either, and especially not of the first, that started with the defeat
of the Nazis, in a Europe that was quite poor, with lots of
destructions by war
and bombardments, with little money, and that in fact spent
approximately the first 20 years, from 1945 till 1965, undoing the effects of WW II and of the
preceding crisis of the 1930ies.
(And since my parents were quite poor, this really lasted till
1966, at least for me and my parents. )
Second, while I know better than most what is supposed to be "an
experiment" in psychology (I am a psychologist, who was mainly
interested in methodology and statistics ) and
while I also know
are some differences between the experiments done in a university and
the experiments that form the basis of the society in which one lives,
it seems quite safe to assert that the two social experiments I was
simply because I was Dutch and lived in Holland, were more
realistic, and far more subtle than the experiments I learned
to do as
a psychologist (that mostly amounted to asking some 15 first year
students some usually rather stupid questions and then "do statistics"
on the answers,
that generally were immediately and quite automatically generalized
from "18 year old Dutch students of psychology" to "everyone").
In fact, the real pity about the two social experiments I was
part of, like
everybody else of roughly my age who was a baby-boomer, is that there
were no good
large and systematic
questionnaires about society that were representative. This would have
possible, and indeed this was sometimes done, but not about the
features of social life, one's income, one's education, what one
thought about politics, religion, science, the amusements available
to one, and the diverse appraisals of those by the various kinds of
people who were living in society, but mostly - in so far as
I saw them - about housing, and for the exclusive benefit of the
Amsterdam, in my case).
Then again, although there are not many good statistical surveys of opinions,
there are fair statistical summaries
of many aspects
of society, although most do not seem know this, since this requires
buying or loaning statistical books, which does not happen frequently.
Next, why do I refer to them as "two experiments"?
The reasons for that are that the plans, perspectives and ideals on
which these experiments were founded changed radically in
1979-1981, mainly due to the arrivals of Thatcher as English prime
minister, and of Reagan as American president: Their plans,
perspectives and ideals were quite different from those that
had guided the West until their arrival, and indeed they also said
Who did not say so where Clinton and Blair, who in fact mostly
worked for the rich and for deregulations, just like Reagan and
Thatcher, but they had another story: They were supposed to be "Third Way" , and
had given up on socialism and in fact also on social democracy,
though both Clinton and Blair wanted the electorate to believe that,
they were "leftists" and "progressives", although this consisted mostly
of lies and deceptions, while Blair - currently the owner of at least
20 million pounds and a Catholic - succeeded in mostly destroying the
Labour Party as a real leftist party.
2. A brief comparison of what was
in these experiments
I have outlined the
sectors of society that
to go wrong currently and since 2008 or before in "It's the deregulation, stupid!" and
I copy that schema here, but do so with considerable extensions and
with some changes.
- the economy:
Was till 1980: The economies
of Europe and the US (and
especially the US) were quite powerful and orderly, especially as
compared with the 1920ies and 1930ies; were quite well legally
contributed - if things went more or less OK, as they mostly did - to
increased welfare of all.
There were some crises, but most of these were
minor, and were amenable to government interference along Keynesian
lines. The incomes of everyone in the West
grew, and grew rather spectacularly (for all!) from 1965 - 1980.
Is since 1981: The economies
of Europe and the US are
in a major mess and in a considerable crisis since 2008 (and indeed
also in the early 80ies), while nothing much
effective has been done about this, other than saving the banks
while forcing the population at large to pay for the
debts, and vastly increasing
the salaries of the bank-managers that caused the crisis.
almost completely deregulated (since Reagan
and Clinton, by ever more steps); the taxes on the rich are lower
they ever were since the 1920ies; the incomes of CEOs are higher
than ever; the 10% of the richest grow in riches, while
the 90% grow poorer
Since when: The present
crisis started in 2007-2008, but got started
in principle (in the U.S.) under Reagan, Clinton and Greenspan, namely by
deregulations of the banking world, that were somewhat obfuscated
of PCs and the internet, that also fundamentally changed the economy:
See the crisis
- health care:
Was till 1980: The health
care system of Europe was far better than of the US,
and while medics were quite well off, the end of the health care system
was to give good health care to all, while there
also was little
corruption and not much psychiatry, while most of medical science
was real science. This worked pretty well in Europe until well
Is since 1981: The health
care systems of both the US
and Europe have turned into a major mess: The dominant end these days
doctors and pharmaceutical companies) much rather than good health
care, and both the management of
health care and of
itself are corrupt in major ways (but yes: they do "earn" a whole
Much of medical science ceased to be real science, since the
corporations decided that they
owe all the data of experiments, and have realized they can
of the reports (and get them signed by one or a few so-called Key
with medical degrees, which guarantees these studies get published in
The doctors now are mostly educated in 6 years, and used to be educated
in 12 years, while many diseases - such as: most unexplained
diseases - are
treated as if they are predominantly or only psychiatric
psychosomatic") and as if they can be cured with
psychiatric medicines or techniques (which is mostly plain bullshit).
Basically, the decline of the European health
care is due to the copying of the American profit motive: Now it is good
to make a profit from ill people, and the higher the profit is,
better, while ill people are also widely discriminated as losers or
Since when: (1) The management
care seems to have been always a mess in the US compared with Europe,
but in Europe the American model has been introduced since 2000 under
the pretext of "the blessings of market forces" and "freedom", and has
expensive and worse for patients, if also highly
profitable for medical
doctors and medical managers; (2) the practice of medical
science and health care has grown a lot worse: The "science"
an adjunct of the marketing
and the "health care" got thoroughly bureaucratized. All of this has
ongoing since the 1980ies.
See the DSM-5 series.
Was till 1980: From
1945-1965, most of the educational system was as it had been
before WW II: Higher education - especially in universities - was good,
but it was also, mostly for financial reasons, limited to the few with
good incomes (with some exceptions, such as the G.I. bill after 1945,
funding for a few really talented persons).
Around 1965 this started to change quite rapidly because of the
schools that provided entrance to the universities grew a lot
the universities gave much easier admissions, and they
also were initially easily payable, but also soon started to
and easier courses, and from the 1980ies onwards universities
started to become more
and more expensive while delivering less and less of a really good
Is since 1981: The
educational system, on all levels, in
both the US and Europe is in a crisis, and offers far worse
for far more money to far more (but less intelligent)
people than before. 
As far as I know, all schools and all
education have radically simplified:
Whereas until the late
1960ies one needed to be examined in Holland in at
including at least three foreign languages (and five
foreign languages for those who wanted to study Dutch or medicine),
then one can get full admittance to virtually any study with a mere 6
exams, with one foreign language, and the studies take half
with less than half the content, when compared with what was
the case until
1970ies. (But they now cost a whole lot more.)
Since when: Both schools and
universities have been
giving less and less real education, normally in the name of
since the 1960ies - and note this is one of the changes the
neither really see, nor really feel, nor really understand: To be able
to know and understand what they miss they need what they miss - a
(half way) good
See my published columns.
& civil law:
Was till 1980: Until 1980, most politicians, political
parties and lawyers and
judges were unexciting, by and large honest, while most jobs for these
kinds of people were mostly filled -
especially in politics and the law - by second or third rate intellects
that knew they were neither great physicists nor great
also not great artists nor great writers, but who were mostly honest
competent, and were also mostly conformistic.
Is since 1981: Politicians,
political parties and legislatures have for the most part grown quite
corrupt both in the US and Europe, and seem
to attract and protect precisely the wrong kinds of careerists:
naturally born posturers, great liars and very successful deceivers
(already feared by
the ancient Greeks). Also, it has turned out there are no
really independent courts: the courts follow politics
Since when: Politics
became much more of a top down
driven careerist thing especially since
and 1970ies showed anything can be sold by TV, with sufficient
dishonesty and pretty faces telling plausible lies; so now politicians
are for sale to lobbyists; now opinions
can be created and bought or manipulated by marketing / public
relations campaigns; and judges turn out to be not independent from
politics nor able to constrain politics, and indeed
for much that is new - such as: computing and internet - there is no
and in any case no effective or correct legislation.
See the crisis series.
- public debate:
Was till 1980: Until the nineties, there was a fair amount
of public debate, that
mostly - whatever the rationality of those partaking in it - was at
least honest. (I don't think much of it was rational, but this may
well be due to my personal taste or my high education.)
Also, until the nineties,
although the growth of "public
relations" was ever continuing, most
corporations did not yet deal with everyone not in the
corporation as a sort of hardly human
opponent worthy to be lied to,
deceived or flattered by their "public relations officers".
Is since 1981: There
is hardly any intelligent public debate - language has grown very
(i.e. massive lying and deceiving for private profit); "public
talk and marketing rule
almost every important topic: much of the political public debate - if
- is along public
relations lines, and gets conducted in Orwellian doublespeak, where
nearly any term is somehow ideologically loaded.
corrupt - "Propaganda"
a grasp of what is going on.
Since when: Ongoing with the decline of education and
with the rise of marketing /
relations" as the tool of choice of governmental bodies,
corporate bodies, and political parties, the standards of public
debate have grown ever and ever lower, and indeed many questions that should
be intelligently discussed in public are
either not discussed at
all, or only in marketing / public
relations terms that make a rational
debate, discussion or argument impossible.
Was till 1980: The climate
gets warmer and warmer and is effectively out of control, with
unforeseeable and unstoppable social consequences.
In fact, at least as regards the greatest part of the problem, the
number of human beings, this was clear at least since 1950ies, when Aldous Huxley repeatedly warned that there were or soon
would be too
many human beings to take proper care of (given the technological and
Also, while it may
have been the case that around 1970, with between 2 and 3 billion
disaster that has since been developing, while few did much to
prevent it, might have been stopped, it wasn't stopped - and
now that there are, a mere 35 years later,
over 7 billion people (which is about three times as many as
are seconds in a life of 70 years, which is 2 207 520 000
seconds, as compared with over 7 000 000 000 people), which makes the
problem quite unmanageable.
Is since 1981: As I said, in 1970 there were between 2 and
3 billion people alive; in 2015, there are over 7 billion people alive
(more than twice as many). It may be
fairly assumed all want a good house, a washing machine, a
refrigerator, at least one car, at least one computer and at least one TV, plus everything that comes
with these, such as good roads, reliable electricity, good daily food,
the incomes to pay all of these and leave some money,
The problems are not twice as big, but many more times, and
is not much done about it, apart from putting windmills all over the
place and developing solar panels, both of which help some, but not by
far enough. In fact, I see no solution to the problem until
a cheap and renewable source of energy, that is also not dangerous (as
is the current atomic energy).
Since when: The 1950ies (Aldous Huxley, Rachel
As is, this article is over 45 Kb. It also is partial and incomplete,
which is in part due to my own failings in health and knowledge, and in
part due to the size of the theme: I am discussing much of the history
of the West since 1945, and that
is not easy to do well.
In any case, I have outlined that there really were two enormous social
experiments in the West, the first from 1946-1980, and based on
centrist and vaguely leftist political ideals, and the second from
1981-2015, and based on
mostly rightist political ideals.
I think a lot could be learned from these experiments, though
this is in fact rather unlikely, for in politics and economics mostly
the present short term rules the attention of most, while also these
days there is not much room for intellectual argument in the ordinary
media, and especially not for critics.
But I will try to give later my appreciation of these two experiments
that occupied most of my life somehow, although it probably is clear
that I much prefer the first 35 years, even while these were
poor until 1966, over the second 35 years, and it probably is also
In the first experiment, the interests of all were taken
serious and somehow served (I am not saying: equally or
fairly); in the second experiment, nearly only the interests of the
rich were taken serious and somehow served (and that quite
unequally and unfairly), indeed to the extent that the incomes of most
ordinary people have fallen considerably since 1980 (when
corrected for inflation etc.) - and this change was engineered quite
craftily and on purpose by the rich and their politicians, ever since
 Here it may be added that I belong to the
best educated part of Holland, and that many with my degrees - or less
- got pensioned around age 53, in the 1990ies or early 2000s,
spent rather a lot of the next 10 or 15 years travelling, which they
could do because they were healthy and rather rich (and I am not
healthy since 28 and am one of the poorest Dutchmen).
 I want to stress - since that is often forgotten these
days - that both for my parents and for most other (non-rich) Dutchmen,
years from 1945-1965 were mostly poor and committed to undoing the
damages of WW II and the preceding crisis. Also, while I do not
complain, my parents, like many other proletarians, were quite
poor in the 1950ies and early 1960ies, though they worked hard: There
always was enough money to eat and to pay the rent etc. but not much
else (and a TV and a refrigerator only got in my family's house in the
1960ies, as did a shower).
This - that I was mainly
interested in methodology and statistics - again was in part also due to the fact that I did not
that most of psychology, as I was taught it in the University of
Amsterdam, was really scientific.
If you want to know more about the science of psychology, try "The
Trouble with Psychology" by Paul Lutus. (Most of that was clear to
me in 1980, which was so mostly because by then I had then been for
years very much interested in philosophy of science and in
Also, while I had a B.A. by 1981, I in fact only took my M.A.
psychology after I was thrown out of the faculty of philosophy
student, as the only student censored that way for honestly
saying what he thought, since WW II.
Finally, statistics and methodology were scientific; most of
was either not scientific at all, or was so only very
partially. Also, this is complicated by the fact that much of
psychology that is "empirically studied and tested" in fact has
very poor methodology and usually also often rather
The last is evidenced by the fact that most research is done on 18-year
old students of psychology (because these are easily available, naive
and need not be paid), while the results of investigating these - also
generally quite small - groups of young Dutch students tend to be
generalized automatically and without any questioning or problems to
 I gave the Wikipedia link to the "Third Way", and you
may read this, but no: I never believed in anything like it: It
and it seems utter bullshit, total crap, to this philosopher (who is far
from ignorant in social philosophies) and indeed
seems now to have
mostly disappeared after giving Clinton and Blair support for their
personal careers, when these stopped their presidencies.
And here is the last line from the "Third Way"
in the Wikipedia:
William K. Black said that "Third Way is
this group that pretends sometimes to be center-left but is actually
completely a creation of Wall Street--it's run by Wall Street for Wall
Street with this false flag operation as if it were a center-left
group. It's nothing of the sort."
And that seems
quite correct to me, and it also has the merit of saying who were
Clinton and Blair: Goldman Sachs and Wall Street (and yes: Both of
also very active in Europe).
 I think this is the main
(next to the theories of a rather crazy sounding psycologist) for the
thesis that "today's youth is far more intelligent than their parents
or grandparents": Many more study - because the standards are far
lower. (As for me: I disbelieve all statements that suddenly
people have become more intelligent. First, it would be a quite
extra-ordinary and unaccountable biological change. Second, if
there is any
direction, the average intelligence seems less to me, simply because
many more people are kept alive these days by medicine.)