Have We Totaly Lost the Spirit of ’45?

I believe we have totally lost the spirit of ’45. This is a new generation and each generation comes with its own difficulties, strengths, and concerns.

According to The Spirit of ’45, a documentary by the film-maker Ken Loach, the generation that lived during and just after the end of world war II was extremely happy to welcome in, what we today would most likely consider, the welfare state. The documentary celebrates the year 1945 and the culture’s emphasis on public control of the railways and mines and banks, jobs, housing, and healthcare. The documentary which stars octogenarians who personally lived through this historical time expresses how the average Brit’s life was enhanced during this time. Much of the emphasis of the documentary is on healthcare and the NHS.

The National Healthcare System (NHS) is a system which started in 1948. It allowed people who had not been able to afford healthcare the ability to be seen by medical professionals. Before the NHS, many Brits who had been injured in the war or from working in the mines had to continue to survive as best they could if they had no means to pay for medical attention. The film expresses that the average person saw the implementation of the NHS and the other public works as a public victory as opposed to an individual one. But that was a different time and a different generation. This was a generation that saw each individual as a survivor of war and its associated atrocities and who similarly to them had endured. They had a shared pain and empathy that does not seem to be present today.

Today, this is a new generation that looks for control – but the relative peace and prosperity that prior generations passed down to them may make the sharing part more difficult to digest. The generations after WW II have not had to endure world war and the generation just after world war II, the baby boomers, probably saw the easiest and most affluent historically recent time on earth. So, sadly just as the generation of ’45 is dying out, so also sadly is that ’45 spirit.