There are several reasons. The baby boomer bubble has been collapsing, leaving behind emptier schools, vacant homes, poorer children and grandchildren, debt, rising insurance and healthcare costs, and global warming. Many of the boomers, even if formerly hippies, are afraid of losing control and dying, and so they are creating for everyone a hyper-conservative society disguised as something Liberal. Meanwhile, other boomers are simply increasing money-obsessed conservatism. Most boomers are taking us towards rhetorics of war and censorship, trying to satiate their paranoia, and their aging brains.
As they age, they regress into childhood, bringing back spectres of anti-communism and nuclear war, right into today's possible agendae. Meanwhile, the millenials are being swooped along by this, both gratifying or patronising it, and using it to attack many, many members of the establishment, most of whom are boomers or silent-generation.
So, the rhetoric of women's rights, e.g., is being taken to logical or absurd conclusions, and being used to dismantle a lot of the former hierarchy - a hierarchy which was not built upon a computer/internet age. Of course, those who file lawsuits don't see themselves as doing this. However, they are part of a bigger process - and they do not represent the poor so much as the ascending millennial elite.
A lot of what is going on today is a disguised attack by millenials upon the boomers. That's not always a bad thing, since boomers were the ones who somehow enshrined the whole dyNasty of supply-side economics, which is a failure, even as billionaires, including Trump, keep trying to advance it further. In this process, the division between the rich and the poor/er is only increasing, with the wealth falling into fewer and fewer hands, mostly old boomers, but also others. In general, boomers, whites, and other groups, have been losing wealth, compared to past decades.
There is a relative loss of wealth and control by the general population, especially by more disenfranchised groups. Meanwhile, the computer/internet has provided people with vast tools of empowerment, networking, and self-delusion. Revolving mainly around information, which is a form of symbolism, the computer/internet is not yet seen to be the generally useless tool that it can be, if used unproductively. Currently, if an individual feels they are hooked up with a group via the internet, they feel far more empowered than they really are. It is like the value of internet ads being much less than they really are, or tech companies prior to the dot.com collapse.
Nevertheless, the country is handing over its paper newspapers, its media, its communications grid, its politics, its control, to an internet which can be fully incapacitated in the blink of an eye, by an EMP nuke, a large solar CME, hacker attacks, or by the insanity of opportunistic despots. Currently, it is as if we are putting all our money into tree leaves, thinking them gold, or something.
That is not to say that awesome research, communication, cooperation, commuting, data processing, etc., has not been enabled by the computer/internet. The problem is that we do not yet have a new system for figuring out how to direct these better advances, versus the self-destructive trends occurring.
We are going through a phase where most of society and institutions are stunned by the interned and advances in processing power = AI, robots, etc. You can look at many specific problems today and discover, if you really analyze it, that it is arising out of new computer/internet technology and our own inability to manage it. For example, privacy rights. Laser-printed guns. Flash-mob terrorists. Destructive tweets. Crashing retail stores. Flight of capital to Chinese sellers. New pornography. Illegally purchased drugs, guns, etc. Even addictions, poor sleep, and psychological dependencies, leading to a kind of chronic, unchanelled social hysteria. I could go on and on.
But, a fundamental problem, along with all the ill health effects, is that virtual reality is not real reality - but so many people are feeling that it is. Let's name it, "fiat," reality, to distinguish it from VR games, etc., even though it includes the latter. Fiat Reality = "FR", aka, (False Reality, Faux Reality, or Fake Reality).
FR is a form of narcissistic superstition derived from getting selective information catering to ego through confirmation bias, selection bias, self-similarity bias, in-group bias, prognostic bias, and appeals to emotional or prurient interests. Used as a substitute for social, parental or self-control, the information feeding FR is more and more manipulated by parties seeking some kind of monetary, psychological or political advantage, if not yet all-out social power and control.
The devises and logics used in presentation of these informations more and more cater to the personal and private sense of self, often by turning truth on its head. For instance, the government or corporations can present fully fake news to the user while at the very same time warning the user to beware of, and hostile towards, so-called, "fake news," coming from some perceived enemy, though it even be the truth.
The user, in a bubble, loses outside reference - and sometimes en masse with similarly manipulated members of same-group/s - so that escape becomes psychologically difficult. The user more and more feels a need to einforce his/her assumptions, the more lies are repeated, over and over, in the same echo chamber bubble - addictive operant conditioning.
I am not saying that everyone is now an internet zombie. I am describing tendencies. And, I am also noting that not all change from the past is BAD. Good or bad, we have not yet built a social-economic-political system for dealing with the changes emerging from the computer/internet NOR from these psychological changes. In the UK, 25% of new school children are unable to speak in full sentences, due to time being married to some screen. And, truly, it is a screen for our alliances and values - and futures. So.
Well, in today's still non-Borg world, the effect that constant FR is having on society is this: People are tending to demand more, to selectively expect, to concede less, to expect immediate confirmation, to oppose slighter difference, and to basically want a continuing rise in pleasure, wealth and power which seemed to have been offered near the beginning of the computer revolution, in the 1980's Age of Reagan.
Along with continuing indebtedness, the greater mass of American society has been bubbling itself by technology, to expect more and more - i.e., becoming more and more selfish, despite the fact that Supply Side economic and the corporocratic elites and government/s have been disempowering them in REAL reality, over the years. Got it? They are on an informational drug, which cannot supply forever, without leading to outright social unrest and violence.
The messages offered over the corporate media and tools like FB both try to keep them in line and agitate the alienation. The users are in fact the used - and they patronise the select authorities, with nary a complaint, whilst taking all their angst on each other, in a dutiful fulfillment of chronic divide-and-conquer manipulation and exploitation.
Note that we have rising population, reduced income, a depleting environment, and rising entropy in other areas - so the longer this goes on, the more it seems to make sense that this goes on - because choices are just flying out the window on our merry way along the road of good intentions.
We are living in The Great Overreach. We lash out to bring down sex abusers, or racist statues, or other-party NAZIs, and so on, because we sense some injustice but it is so diffusely surrounding us that we attack like tribal primates, in broad brushes, with big mouths and sharp, forked reptilian tongues.
Taken as a whole, this is not a search for justice - it is a mass display of selfish, limbic pre-warfare. Very few in these countless dyadic contests think enough to turn a check or take a breath - but instead, it is the old habit of shoot first, ask questions later, of which I have written so much. Grab as much as possible now, or it will all be gone tomorrow. An emerging, deadly, infantile Tragedy of the Commons, because we are all bugged out by bubbles and LEDs - and we overreach, we overreach - all because the empathy is gone. History: DELETE. Really? As simple as that?
Why not? In this Fourth Turning, and Sixth Great Extinction, and new lunge to restore American Empire, what more would you expect from a lot of primates half-baked by the sun? Like something out of the Bible, replete with red seas and pillars of fire. Why not? Just push a button.
As simple as that.
(Note: I have more to post later: re: the new nature of information; the freedom of speech; 3D printed guns, a review of 'value distention', etc.)