Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation

By Robert Folsom and Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the March 2018 Socionomist


The February 2018 issue featured the first segment of our look at the American security state from 1966-1982. The second segment, featured in the March issue, looks at rising anti-authoritarianism during the presidential administrations of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon and its effect on intelligence agencies in the aftermath of Nixon’s resignation. Following are some excerpts from that issue:

A Radical Change in Politics

The Security State Grows, Again

LBJ had run on a peace platform regarding foreign policy in 1964, but after his election, he escalated the Vietnam War. During his time in office, the FBI grew from 6,000 to 7,000 employees, and by the end of his administration it was “engaged in an undercover and covert war against radical America, a war that went far beyond combating violence.” …

HUAC, the Subversive Activities Control Board and even a proposal to use the detainment camps designated in the Internal Security Act of 1950 all came back to life after 1966, when social mood became predominantly negative. …

Socionomists have shown that negative mood damages the images of politicians, and LBJ’s image was no exception. Aware of his declining popularity, the president shared his concerns during a November 4, 1967, meeting with Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, National Security Advisor Walt Rostow and CIA Director Richard Helms. In turn, Attorney General Ramsey Clark “commanded the FBI to spy on Americans in concert with the United States Army and the National Security Agency …. Some 1,500 army intelligence officers in civilian clothing undertook the surveillance of some 100,000 American citizens …. The CIA tracked antiwar leaders and black militants who traveled overseas.”

The Army and CIA reported their findings to the FBI. The programs under which these activities took place were code named “Shamrock” (begun in 1945) and “Minaret” (begun in 1967). In addition, the Army had a “Garden Plot” plan, begun in 1968, which provided for armed intervention during civil disturbances. …

Authoritarian vs. Anti-authoritarian: Protests Become More Prevalent and Violent

After a steep decline in 1966, the DJIA rebounded. But in early 1969, just after Richard Nixon was elected president, it entered another decline that would prove to be deeper than the one before. The U.S. went through “a period of political repression, which, at its greatest height in 1966-71, exceeded in intensity any other time in the 20th century with the possible exception of the 1917-20 and 1947-54 periods.” …


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