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The Culture of Contentment$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171654

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171654.001.0001

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The Reckoning, II

The Reckoning, II

(p.129) Chapter 14 The Reckoning, II
The Culture of Contentment

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the two remaining threats to the age of contentment: unpopular military action and a revolt of the underclass. Any military venture almost receives strong popular approval in the short run, with the citizenry rallying to the flag and to the soldiers who engaged in combat. More widespread wars, such as World War I and World War II, have had adverse consequences. The chapter first considers how military power could be a threat to the culture of contentment in the future before discussing the threat posed by the underclass in the urban slums, along with the possibility of an underclass revolt. It then looks at the reaction of the community of contentment to the miseries and violence of the urban slums and the probable reaction if the violence becomes more extreme. Finally, it explains how recession and depression could exacerbate the culture of contentment.

Keywords:   military action, underclass revolt, war, military power, contentment, urban slums, violence, recession, depression

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