Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Epochs change the way governments change : with almost as many opposed as in favour

It is routine for new governments to make massive society-wide changes, confident they will be sustained, based solely on the fact that they got a full 52% of the 2/3 of voters who bothered to turn up, while their opposition, which got only 48% of that same vote, will greet those changes with obedient, if sullen, silence.

Epochal change works the same way : a new way of thinking seems to have hegemonic power mostly because the opposition to it, while massive, knows it is a little short of 50% of the population and so remains obediently if sullenly silent.

Mostly this is because that same opposition tends to feel - at least temporarily - rather dispirited, discredited and bereft of popular new ideas, while their not much larger opponents are feeling exalted, uplifted and as if riding the crest of the wave of the future - at least temporarily.

All this is a long windup to say that while might-is-right Modernity was definitely in the hegemonic ascendancy while young Martin Henry Dawson was growing up in the small town of Truro Nova Scotia, it probably wasn't that popular with his main influences, his parents, judging by what we know and can submise about them.

Strong Presbyterian evangelicals, they were unlikely to believe that inward moral character-based manliness should be replaced by outward physical masculine strength and aggression, anymore than they believed that 'masculine' boxing should replace 'sissy' basketball down at the local YMCA.

The adult Dr Dawson probably never lost faith in might-is-right Modernity between 1940-1945, because he never had any such faith to lose....

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