What causes a culture to become more conservative? How do we notice it happening?

by phil on Wednesday May 12, 2010 11:31 AM
historical patterns

These pictures from the 1970s of Iran before the Islamic Revolution suggest the existence of a once, more tolerant Iran:

For my entire life, America has appeared to be on the inexorable march toward liberalization, with California set to legalize marijuana, and gay marriage being legalized in more and more places. But I wasn't around for the three times when we became distinctly more conservative just in the last century: Prohibition, the 1950s all-American family, and the Nixon crackdown. What are the precursors to this? Is it the product of being in "serious" times, when the economy's down and crime is up? Or is it simply a cycle with a generational phase, where each generation reacts to the previous one? Where are we headed now?

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