Kevin Kruse on 2020 as the Year of Disaster Voltron | Summary and Q&A

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December 29, 2020
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The Bulwark
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Kevin Kruse on 2020 as the Year of Disaster Voltron

TL;DR

Historian Kevin Cruz discusses the unique challenges of 2020, including the pandemic, economic crisis, racial tension, election chaos, and the disorienting effect of the information ecosystem.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What made 2020 stand out compared to past challenging years in history?

While individual crises have occurred in the past, the unique aspect of 2020 was the combination of multiple crises happening simultaneously, amplifying their impact and making the year particularly challenging.

Q: How did technology and social media contribute to the intensity of the crises in 2020?

The immediacy of technology, especially social media, has made it impossible to ignore or look away from the crises, with constant access to information and a barrage of opinions. It has also allowed for the rapid spread of misinformation and intensified conflicts.

Q: Will 2021 automatically reset and improve after the challenges of 2020?

While there may be optimism for a better year ahead, it cannot be assumed that 2021 will automatically reset. The lingering effects of the crises and the deep divisions in society will likely continue to impact the year ahead.

Q: What role does the disorientation of reality play in the challenges of 2020?

The erosion of a shared reality and the prevalence of misinformation have made it difficult to have productive conversations and find solutions to the crises. This disorientation contributes to the overall sense of chaos and division.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Historian Kevin Cruz highlights the unprecedented nature of 2020, with its overlapping crises of the pandemic, economic downturn, racial tensions, and electoral chaos.

  • He emphasizes that while the individual crises have occurred before in history, the simultaneous occurrence of all these crises amplified their impact and made the year especially challenging.

  • The immediacy of technology and social media has also contributed to the intense experience of these crises, making them inescapable and overwhelming.

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