The Cuban Missile Crisis.
Does it have lingering effects to this day?
It is over fifty years ago that it seemed the World was on the brink of all-out Nuclear War between the USA and the USSR. The population of the USA - being most threatened - was generally speaking "best" informed, followed by Canada and Europe I guess. Many articles and studies have been written on both those days and the psychological effects it had at the time.
People fled the country, many bought or built shelters and started stockpiling, the classic "flight or fight" responses. Another sentiment was the futility of either response! Nuclear War means Mutual Assured Destruction, period. The utter insanity of the Nuclear War concept is being lampooned to this very day by the MAD magazine. But private shelters, stockpiling, doomsday preparedness, all that also persists to this day! In fact I would postulate that with the new Administration both MAD and Doomsday Preparedness have seen a strong resurgence.
What worries most profoundly however is another effect that I fear may be a lingering psychological left-over from those days: the "Who gives a rat's ass", "Why bother" attitude. Towards our society, towards other countries and other people, other races and faiths. If I am right and this is true, it might "explain" - at least in part - why we blithely ignore the TRULY mutually assured destruction: the destruction of our very Earth itself. "Who cares, we're all gonna die anyway, let's enjoy the time we have left"
One of the leading Guru's of "Green" and the "Gaia" theory, James Lovelock, has said exactly that a few years ago. 'Enjoy life while you can: in 20 years global warming will hit the fan'(1) I think (fear) he may have been right and even knowing he has reversed his previous predictions I still wonder how much of that fear is and was rational, or not? And if that "Who cares" psychology is lingering to this very day is it not also to be feared that these days with the new Administration in the USA that psychological effect will be strengthened and also instilled in new generations? A "Doomsday Crisis Syndrome" perhaps or some other snazzy name...
If so, the present USA President and Administration are causing damage way, WAY beyond what we see and fear today, maybe truly sealing the faith of mankind.