The 1950s was probably the Neo-con wet dream!
Back in the 1950s society was very rigid, conformist and conservative. The class system was exact and everyone knew their place.
The white male culture reigned. The superiority was intrinsically understood and permeated all culture.
· Women were second-class citizens with far fewer rights. They were not expected to work, had lower pay if they dared to, and should know their place – which was subservient to their husbands. Their role was to produce and rear children, look after the house – cook, clean and provide for their man.
· Sex was dirty. Contraception was not available. There was no sex education. Abortion was illegal.
· Sexually active girls were sluts. Pregnancy made you an outcast. Single parent mothers were branded shameful and could be involuntarily incarcerated in homes or abandoned by their families. Their babies labelled bastards and taken for adoption.
· There was heavy censorship of all matters sexual – in books, films, paintings and photographs, with draconian penalties for what would nowadays be considered mainstream soft porn.
· Homosexuality was illegal and heavily penalised with draconian sentences and moral outrage. Homosexuals were hunted down, beaten up, imprisoned and persecuted.
· Racism was rife. Blacks were considered subhuman, treated abysmally, given menial jobs with low pay, poorly housed and racially abused.
· Nationalism and patriotism ruled. We were told we were superior because we were British; we ruled the world. We had Empire Day to mark our supremacy over all other races and cultures. We sang Rule Britannia and meant it.
· The monarch was supreme and the symbol of our superiority. The national anthem was played at the end of the day on TV and at cinemas. We were expected to stand and pay homage.
· Religion ruled. You dressed up in your Sunday best for church, took your place behind the important ones in the hierarchy and were taught your position. It was the symbol of power and hierarchy.
· Work. The workplace reflected the hierarchy of the day. The sexism, racism and classism permeated everything though humour, bullying and casual abuse. The pay reflected one’s position in life and status. Each class of society had its uniform and etiquette designed to impress and maintain the divide. Those who moved out of their class were made to feel uncomfortable.
· Elitism was the order of the day. The class system ruled supreme. The working classes were kept down and exploited. The middle classes assumed an arrogance towards the working class and looked up and respected their betters. They had their lesser clubs (Rotary and Masonic) and knew their place. The elite had their public schools, old boy network, clubs and institutions on a whole other level. They dressed accordingly and played their part in the pageant but behind the charade of pomp, uniforms, hats and medals reality lurked in the form of greed and a lack of restrictions on behaviour. It was all a front. The Bullingdon Boys epitomised the culture.
· The establishment elite were not subject to the same rules as the hoi polloi. They creamed off the profits and lived a life of luxury with servants, travel, private education, their clubs, sports and parties. They were sexually promiscuous, gave free rein to paedophilia and homosexuality, used drugs and alcohol and covered it all with a thin veneer of propriety. Hypocrisy ruled. This behaviour was covered up. Addictions, brutal behaviour, abuse, pregnancy and criminal behaviour was glossed over and covered up. Nobody wanted a scandal.
· Abroad the establishment waged numerous wars establishing an Empire across the world, fighting off rivals and subjugating populations. They deployed the army, police and courts to create colonies which they could then exploit, loot and pillage. The spoils from these colonies went straight back into the coffers of the elite. The colonial system, with its Raj, its embassies, courts, governments, cricket and polo, and clubs provided the training ground for the elite. They were trained to be arrogant and superior and made to feel that they deserved their position in life; they were born to rule. Eaton, Harrow, Cambridge and Oxford churned out the next generation of aristocrats. They were destined to take their place as Managing Directors, Chief Executives, Colonels and Brigadiers, Lords, Prime Ministers and rule supreme. They could practice their hypocrisy, live their lavish lives and maintain the status quo.
· Big business was deployed to make the maximum profit for the shareholders (the establishment elite) without regard to the health, safety or welfare of the workers or regard to the environmental damage.
· On the home front the media (owned by the wealthy), the courts (run by the wealthy) and the police and army were deployed to maintain order and reinforce the status quo. Working Classes were dealt with harshly, Middle Classes received a slightly better deal – unless their transgressions involved things that might disturb the order, and the upper classes lived by different rules.
· Taxation was optional for the wealthy with tax loopholes and underhand investments. The tax burden disproportionally fell on the Middle Class and poor.
· Public institutions – schools, health and social services – were considered a waste of capital which could be better invested for profit. Besides, the elite had no need for these services, they went private, and the poor did as they were told. They were expendable, of little worth, and you did not want them becoming too educated and starting to think and become aware.
· The media promoted the propaganda and lies that maintained the status quo and convinced the masses that there was no alternative.
· The system was to all intents and purposes fascist.
Then came the sixties.
Youth culture developed a rebellious attitude.
Overnight deference went out the window.
Satirical TV (such as That Was The Week That Was – and later Monty Python) exposed the hypocrisy, ridiculed the ruling classes, exposed the inequality and highlighted the sex scandals and licentiousness.
The class system, uniforms, cultures, hierarchy and hypocritical double standards were discarded.
The monarchy was derided as irrelevant parasites.
The hypocrisy of the institute of Religion was exposed – the lip-service, the controlling mechanisms – and then the paedophile scandals.
Equality was espoused – racism, sexism and the class structure (with all its privilege) was challenged.
Multiculturalism and equal rights for women was championed. Civil rights groups demanded fairness and equality.
A sexual revolution was happening. Women were allowed to be sexual. There wasn’t the stigma and double standards. Contraception, sex education and abortion were brought in. Homosexuality was decriminalised and Gay Rights established. Censorship was rolled back through court actions such as the Lady Chatterley’s trial.
Environmental groups began challenging the elites plundering of the environment for profit and demanding an end to pollution and destruction.
Colonialism and Empire was exposed and challenged for its racism, violence, war and exploitation.
Anti-war groups challenged the militarisation of the world, the naked greed, the lust for power and the violence used to promote the self-interests of the ruling elite.
Trade Union groups demanded fair pay, greater safety for workers and better conditions.
The establishment elite were under attack.
The response of the elite
Now we are being told the liberal agenda is responsible for the moral decay of the country.
Liberalism has undermined social structures.
Racism against immigrants is OK. We are being swamped with terrorists and criminals. They have to be kept out. Walls and strict controls are great.
Christianity is under threat from Islam. We should defend our culture.
Nationalism and patriotism are good. A global perspective is bad. The EU is terrible. Foreigners are the problem.
Equality is nonsense. PC is ridiculous. We should express our racist and sexist views when we want and put these women and races in their place.
Abortion, sex education, contraception, sexuality and porn are evil.
The economy is all that matters – environmental concerns, health and safety and rights are an impediment to its growth. Global Warming, environmental destruction and species extinctions are fake news.
Trade Unions cause trouble.
We have to wage wars to keep us safe from foreign threats. The UN and NATO are useless and a waste of money.
The tabloid press has upped its propaganda against socialism, or any attempt to create a fairer society. It promotes celebrity and supports the gross inequality. We should look up to our betters.
We need censorship to protect our children.
Homosexuality is unnatural.
What we are being told is that we need to get back to the good old days of the 50s where the elite could do as they please, siphon off the cream, and everyone else existed to be exploited and knew their place!!
Well this sixties rebel is not prepared to give up the freedoms and improvements that have been hard-fought over the years.
I stand for a better country and a better world based on equality, tolerance, universality and personal freedom.
Long live the Liberal Revolution!!