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Where have all the flowers gone?
There's never a Beatnik around when you need one.
In 1955, songwriter Pete Seeger penned the quintessential anti-war folk song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” which would later resonate with the public expressing opposition to the Military-Industrial Complex's involvement in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. Today, there is a noticeable absence of comparable songs that rally people against governments’ decisions to prolong the conflict in Ukraine—decisions resulting in significant loss of life and expenditure.
The absence of widespread protest and condemnation from the public seems to be emboldening our politicians to persist with their controversial war strategies. The silence and apparent indifference can inadvertently be interpreted as consent, raising concerns about the potential escalation to a full-scale armed conflict between NATO countries and Russia. While the use of nuclear weapons in such a scenario remains unlikely, it was a genuine fear during the 1960s, leading to the construction of fallout shelters in backyards and drills that taught children to seek shelter during a nuclear attack.
Professor Salim Mansur from Western University joins me in discussing this perceived indifference among the public towards an impending global conflict, drawing a comparison to the protest movements of the Beatniks and Hippies in the 60s. They contend that Western culture underwent significant changes over the past fifty years, with any semblance of reason and objectivity being supplanted by wokeism and subjectivity. They conclude that the West has become a culture of nihilism, narcissism, and hedonism led by the self-absorbed and immature and that our anti-intellectual culture could potentially lead to the end of what remains of our civilization.