The Roaring Twenties was a decade of economic growth, prosperity, and exuberant hope in the U.S. after a swift recovery from wartime devastation and lack of economic activity during World War I.
Many would argue that when trying to predict the future it can be helpful to look at the past and assess today’s trends. In fact, the story playing out today is quite similar to those of previous eras of great technological change. History truly does repeat itself.
So here we are, in the 21st century and slowly emerging from, what felt to many, as pandemic jail. After months of enduring lockdowns, quarantines, and the lack of social interactions, many of us are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As the vaccine drive has been steadily accelerating in many nations worldwide, economies are reopening, hopes rise, and people are longing to make up for “lost” time. It almost feels like we are on the cusp of our centuries very own “Roaring Twenties”.
The so-called “Roaring Twenties” were last century's post-pandemic decade of the 1920s in Western society and culture. That decade saw the world experience an economic and social revival following the 1918 flu pandemic. It was a period of economic growht and prosperity, with a distinctive cultural edge in major U.S. and European cities, such as Berlin, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, and Paris. It caused a boom in spending to inflation, as well as rapid growth of consumer goods of automobiles and electricity.
So, could something similar happen once again with a period of increased travel and more social events? There are a lot of valid reasons to believe so as some parallels sound rather legitimate.
After all, a long awaited summer and a soaring stock market have lifted optimism significantly and fueled predictions of a new Roaring Twenties. This time, we hope, however, we manage to do it without the Depression at the end of it. Like the 1920s, short-squeezes and massive market manipulation might once again come to represent the 2020s. “Roaring Kitty,” the self-created alias of Keith Patrick Gill, turned a USD 53,000 investment into as much as USD 50 million on the now-infamous Reddit-fueled GameStop short-squeeze.
It is more than understandable that people will be more than relieved when this pandemic is finally over. They have been confined in some way for a very long time, which gives reason to believe that they will be relentlessly seeking out social opportunities in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and bigger social events and venues.
Looking back at World War I and the 1918 influenza, the parallel to today’s pandemic lies in the fact that both times have been very punishing for young people in particular. Young people have sacrificed a lot during this pandemic on behalf of the older generation. Whereas today, the younger generation was forced to give up their freedom to keep the older generation safe, the war was very much about young people being sent off to die by an older generation they had been taught to trust but then felt very let down by.
Only time will tell, whether the same response will happen in the aftermath of this pandemic as the crisis is far from over. In fact, in many underdeveloped parts of the world, making such parallels is unthinkable. India, in particular, is still very much engulfed in crisis and the virus continues to rage in South America. Even in developed countries with succesful vaccine drives and falling cases, damage and trauma remain from more than a year of isolation, illness, and death.
We thank you for the continued support.