The sense of community and the income equality of the
1950’s were the result of two generations who forged a new social
contract out of shared suffering.
The older generation had fought and won World War One and
the young adults had fought World War Two or had older siblings
who fought. Some women served in the military.
Women also fought on the home front by going to work in
The people of that time decided the use their government
to fund public services and to regulate the excesses of pure
All men upon reaching the age of 18 were required to either
serve in the military or serve in their communities.
This forced men of different classes to meet each other as equals which
fostered a measure of respect and understanding between the classes.
The people of the 1950’s also voted to create a public fund for themselves which they called Social Security.
This fund was a way to prevent fellow citizens from falling into poverty in old age.
The America of the 1950’s was an America that rejected poverty in the form
Women had the vote but very little power in the workforce or in politics.
Racial equality varied from state to state.
Economically, the people of the 1950’s believed in progressive taxes,
regulated utilities, fully funded public education and community service.
If we’re returning to the 1950’s, we might as well get it right.
I offer this film by Encyclopaedia Britannica.
It was used in the high school civics classes of the time.
The film, Despotism was produced in 1946.
This is how the Establishment of the 1950’s defined Democracy and good citizenship.
As communities go, so goes the Nation.
Where does your community stand on a scale between Democracy and Despotism?
Rob Goldstein(c) 2016