How did the US act post-WWII?


Post-World War II, the United States engaged in various policies and actions that significantly shaped both domestic and international landscapes:

  1. Silencing and Surveillance: Following World War I and leading into the post-WWII era, the U.S. passed laws such as the Espionage Act which silenced opposition and enabled widespread surveillance. This laid the groundwork for a burgeoning surveillance state during and after WWII, persisting as a core element even after other wartime measures had been discontinued 1.

  2. Military and Citizenship: The U.S. firmly linked military service to citizenship. Veterans from WWII were integrated into various influential roles, shaping policies and intellectual discourse in the U.S. 2.

  3. Neoconservative Foreign Policy: Post-WWII, under neoconservative influence, the U.S. followed a doctrine of preventing the emergence of any rival global power, which included controversial foreign interventions 3.

    American Citizenship

    Christopher Capozzola discusses the impact of World War I on American citizenship, including the loss of individual and religious freedoms, the silencing of the press, and the birth of the surveillance state. He also notes the dynamic relationship between obligations and rights, and how the tension between government and the people was intensified during this time.

    Lex Fridman Podcast

    Christopher Capozzola: World War I, Ideology, Propaganda, and Politics | Lex Fridman Podcast #320
  4. Social Democracy and Capitalism: Economically, the U.S. adopted social democratic measures, like the New Deal, coupled with a version of capitalism which supported government spending on infrastructure and social programs during the Cold War. This period also included high tax rates to support Cold War endeavors 4.

  5. Kindness as Policy: On the philosophical front, post-WWII policies in the U.S., such as the Marshall Plan, demonstrated a shift from punitive measures (as seen after WWI) to more supportive interventions aimed at rebuilding former enemy nations. This was seen as a way to prevent future conflicts 5.

  6. Military Industrial Complex: While the foundations were laid during WWII, the full entanglement of military objectives with industrial capabilities, known as the military-industrial complex, became firmly established during the Cold War. This era was marked by a significant expansion of federal military and industrial expenditure 6.

These actions reflect a combination of strategic, economic, and humanitarian policies that characterized the U.S. approach post-World War II.