Myth Of The 20th Century – Episode 27: The American Dream, Cities, Promise and Peril

Welcome to the Myth of the 20th Century. The podcast airs on Fridays.

— Brought to you by —

Adam Smith, Hank Oslo, Hans Lander, Nick Mason, and special guest Dark Enlightenment

Notes:

If you’re like most Americans, you live near a big city. Once the envy of the world, setting records for the height of their skyscrapers and showcasing some of the most stunning architectural wonders of art-deco design in places like New York and Chicago, starting in the Depression American cities began a marked decline. Following the war, efforts to clear out “urban blight” were made through a series of social and civil engineering projects designed to move entire ethnic white communities out of the city centers, mixing them with black populations, and creating an entirely new infrastructure designed around the suburbs outlying the city and all connected by the automobile and the newly created interstate highway system. The economic boom of the 1950s was spurred on by this massive infrastructure redevelopment, but as the tumult of the 1960s, the Vietnam War, and oil shocks of the 1970s exposed the vulnerabilities of these newly created megalopolises, people began to question these soulless commutes on the highway and the vast time, energy, and monetary expenditures necessary to keep the system going. Like the Hippie movements of the 1970s where people went off to live in small communal farms away from the chaos of the modern city, after the 2008 financial crisis millennials are increasingly turning to solutions like Tiny Houses to try to scrape by some semblance of what they had growing up in the suburbs in which they can no longer afford to live. The shape and character of the American Dream is surely defined by its people, but when the majority of them cannot afford to live in these vastly expensive and globalizing cities, yet cannot find work outside of them, the prospects for the ordinary American begin to look uncertain – as does the stability of the system itself.

Timeline:

1941- The Managerial Revolution is written, redefining organizational structures, government departments, and American corporatism.
1944, June- FDR signs the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, aka the ‘GI Bill’.
1945, September- end of WWII with the surrender of Japan.
1947, October- Levittown launched as a suburb in upstate New York, marking the beginning of the Suburban Era
1948, May- Shelly v. Kraemer decides racial covenants on real estate are illegal.
1950- Introduction of the Diner’s Club Card, the first major ‘credit card’ carried by the general public in America.
1954, May- Brown v. Board of Education decision desegregates schools across the USA, increasing racial integration.
1954, November- Berman v. Parker reinterprets the 5th Amendment, allowing private property to be taken by the public for just compensation.
1956, June- President Eisenhower signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, giving rise to the American Interstate Highway system.
1958- ‘entertainment and travel card’ created by American Express, assisting expansion the global credit system.
1964, May- President Johnson announces his ‘Great Society’ initiative aimed at increasing home ownership, reducing poverty through direct infusions of financial aid, and eliminating racial inequalities.
1973, October- OPEC institutes oil embargo in response to Yom Kippur War and US aid for Israeli military forces, sparking the first 1970’s oil crisis.
1977, October- President Carter enacts the ‘Community Reinvestment Act of 1977’, enticing commercial savings and loans banks to diversify their investments into low to moderate-income communities, regardless of racial composition.
1979, March- Iranian Revolution, oil production in the Middle East begins to collapse, creating the second 1970’s oil crisis.
1993, July- President Clinton reaffirms support for the Community Reinvestment Act, attempting to simplify standards and create internal consistency, further fueling the rise of homeownership.
1999, November- President Clinton signs the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, undoing the Glass-Steagal Act of 1933 and restrictions between mergers of commercial investment banks and savings and loans banks.

References:

– The Managerial Revolution, Burnham (1941)
– A Quest for Community, Nisbet (1953)
– The Organization Man, Whyte (1956)
– Rise and Death of Cities, Jacobs (1961)
– A Timeless Way of Building, Alexander (1979)
– The Machiavellians, Defenders of Freedom, Burnham (1988)
– The Collapse of Complex Societies, Tainter (1990)
– Falling Down, Schumacher (1993)
– The Slaughter of Cities, Jones (2004)
– Infrastructure, Hayes (2005)
– Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation, Lind and Weyrich (2009)
– Chicago’s Murder Problem, Sailer (2016) – https://www.unz.com/isteve/chicagos-murder-problem/
– 10 Towns that Changed America, PBS (2016) – http://www.pbs.org/video/2365709534/
– Weimerica Weekly – Episode 27 – Tiny Houses, Landry – http://www.socialmatter.net/2016/06/01/weimerica-weekly-episode-27-tiny-houses/
– Dr. E. Michael Jones discusses his book The Slaughter of Cities – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTrBXSwwsdI
– John Legal vs. Juan Illegal – The Problem with Illegal Immigration – https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/6n8mdq/john_legal_vs_juan_illegal_the_problem_with/
– http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/infrastructure-policy-lessons-from-american-history
– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_U.S._public_works_projects
– https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

Subscribe to

The Myth Of The 20th Century

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

Liked it? Take a second to support Social Matter on Patreon!
View All

6 Comments

  1. Enjoyed the guest. Love your podcast.

    We’ve lost so much. The greatest travesty of this issue, like all political and social issues in recent history, is that white people still somehow get blamed. We have been systematically cleared out of entire neighborhoods and schools, but are chastised for “white flight” when American cities turn into hell holes.

    1. My first inclining of this “heads I win” “tails you lose” double-standard was when I watched Lawrence Fishburn tell his son in ‘Boyz n the Hood’ about the evils of gentrification. I thought it was white flight that caused those neighborhoods to go bad in the first place? Now that they’re coming back it’s bad? It’s a lose-lose when your opposition is playing a racial war and you’re playing muh civic nationalism.

  2. Chiraqi Insurgent July 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    This one was even better than the Detroit podcast. Glad you guys referenced EMJ because he blows it wide open, even though I disagree with him on race (he’s a civic nationalist of some sort). When the grandchild of Chicago’s Mayor Daley spouts platitudes about diversity, you know this city has gone to s***.
    Apropos this podcast, I found Black Pigeon Speaks’ videos on the suburbs to be highly informative.

    1. BPS is great. EMJ gets so much right I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I do believe he believes in the universalist principles of Catholicism as a way to save the souls of our great cities. I’m *slightly* less optimistic. Chiraq is probably the best case and point.

    2. EMJ is not much of a civic nationalist.

      He will counter-signal white nationalism because he believes it to be inferior to a resurgence of traditional Catholic and American Protestant identities, which he believes to be the bedrock of American life. He is pro-white, in the sense that he does not feel the USA should be turned over to foreign hordes who are several degrees removed from the original founding stock.

  3. All those overpriced houses in the suburbs that Millennials and Generation Z can’t afford will be snapped up by millions of Chinese and other elites from the developing world.

    Our country has been stolen away from us. What’s amazing is that mass uprisings are not already sweeping the land.

Comments are closed.