Pacowy wrote: The country I grew up in is long gone.
And why is that? Because no one spoke up when it mattered?
To me most of it flows from changes in the way we interact with the rest of the world. The country I grew up in was a strong world economic power, but part of that rested on the destruction of the industrial capacities of other countries and the time they needed to recover from WW II. We got into bad habits, including relying on dirt cheap petroleum from the Middle East. I don't need to rehash the cultural, military and terrorist clashes we've experienced from that.
The country I grew up in faced the very real threat of World War III. Relations among the superpowers are now much more stable, but China has morphed into an economic superpower, so we face tougher competition.
I think even the definition of the "rest of the world" has changed - with multinational corporations, it's not us against them, it's us asking "hey why are you outsourcing our jobs"?
With the advancement of the internet and social media, I think there is greater accountability in gov't than once was the case. I'm not a fan of some of the changes that have been made in the name of "security", but I think they stem at least in part from the problems that arise from the "smaller world" we now live in. I'm leery of information-gathering on American citizens, but am at least as concerned with Google and social networks as with Big Brother govt programs.
So, to summarize, some is good, some is bad, but not much, if any, relates to people not speaking up or changes that originate from bad government.
There, that should be enough chum for a whole bunch of sharks. Have at it!