Social Mood Conference  |  Socionomics Foundation

By Robert Folsom and Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the February 2018 Socionomist


 

The April 2010 issue of The Socionomist said that authoritarianism begins with a negative social mood trend, which spawns a desire in some people to coerce others to submit to authority. Four such trends played a role in the development of the American security state. The May 2014 issue notes that each of these episodes followed a similar script, and each built upon institutions created during previous trends. The February 2018 issue continues our look at the security state’s development, with a focus on the years 1966-1982 and the rise of the anti-authoritarians. Following are some excerpts from that issue:

On June 5, 1970, President Richard Nixon was worried that his intelligence chiefs had not gone far enough. So he ordered FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, CIA Director Richard Helms, NSA Director Noel Gayler and DIA Director Donald Bennett to the White House. …

Nixon had a big problem, and he wanted it solved. He had won the presidency in November 1968, a time when voters were profoundly afraid. That year was arguably America’s most turbulent since the Civil War. It included the highest number of U.S. combat deaths in Vietnam (16,899), the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy and nationwide waves of urban riots and student protests. …

So Nixon had run his 1968 campaign on the promise of law and order, and narrowly won with a plurality of voters. But that campaign was two years ago; now it was June 1970. In 18 months would come 1972, and his reelection campaign. …

Yet if 1968 had been politically turbulent, the first half of 1970 appeared to be descending into something even worse. After Nixon went on television on April 30 to announce the invasion of Cambodia, campuses across America erupted in protest. On May 4 came the Kent State shootings, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed student protestors, killing four. The raging demonstrations and “national student strike” that followed included some 760 colleges and universities. When 100,000 people descended on the U.S. Capitol on May 9 to demonstrate against the war, Nixon ventured out of the White House “to argue policy with student protestors camping near the Lincoln Memorial.” …

Thus when the President met with his spy chiefs on June 5, he bluntly reminded them that the country was in turmoil—and that another long hot summer of war protests and domestic political violence seemed imminent. …

  • Read Parts ONE and TWO of this report.

 

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