Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


The Anti-War Movement

Will it gain traction? (15-Feb-03)
Summary During the Vietnam war there was a "generation gap," a clash between older and younger generations, leading to a popular antiwar movement; there's no generation clash today, and today's antiwar movement just looks anti-American and foolish

The generation change that's occurred in America in the last few years guarantees that the anti-war movement will not gain traction in America. There may be an "anti-Bush" movement, and Bush may be defeated in 2004, but not an antiwar movement: There'll be no public demand to withdraw from the War on Terror the way there once was a demand to withdraw from the Vietnam War.

That doesn't mean that there won't be antiwar demonstrations, even large antiwar demonstrations. But when all is said and done, these demonstrations will just be a footnote to the history of our time, just as the anti-draft riots are a footnote to the history of our Civil War.

People are often surprised to hear this, since they expect to see antiwar demonstrations similar to those that occurred during the Vietnam War era in the 1960s and 70s. But what these people don't understand is that the today's generations are very, very different from the generations of the 60s-70s.

The antiwar demonstrations of the 60s were caused by a well-publicized "generation gap":

The older generation of the 60s were the heroes who had fought in World War II, and considered that the violence and atrocities of that huge, massive war were so bad that they vowed that no such war must ever happen again. Many of them believed (incorrectly) that World War II could have been avoided if we had stopped Hitler early, and they believed that to avoid another massive world war against Communism, they had to stop Communism early. Hence, they fought in Korea and in Vietnam to stop Communism early.

The younger generation of the 60s were the "baby boomer" generation, born after World War II, who had no personal feeling for or memory of the violence and atrocities of that war, and who saw no point why they should shed blood to stop Communism.

It was the clash between these two generations that produced the American "awakening" that occurred in the 60s -- including the antiwar movement, women's lib, and the environmental movement.

Today, there's no such generational clash. Today's opinion-makers are the same baby-boomer generation that led the antiwar demonstrations in the 60s, except that today they've been shocked by the events of 9/11 into understanding what great danger the country is in today. The baby boomers didn't feel that danger in the 60s, but they do today.

And there's no "generation gap" with the younger generation. Generational Dynamics predicts that today's youth do not fear a new war, because they'll be the heroes of that new war. In fact, men haven't been called heroes for decades, but today the policemen and firemen who ran into the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 have been called heroes. The youth of today are looking forward to being called heroes too.

Instead of two generations clashing, as they did in the 60s, these two generations are in accord. The people of today's older generation, feeling heartsick with the knowledge that we're unavoidably sliding into war, are confronted by the valor and bravery of a younger generation of heroes who are not afraid of war.

That's why there's no generation gap like there was in the 60s, and that's why the antiwar movement won't gain traction in America.

Here are some specific predictions from Generational Dynamics, as applied to the present time:

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