The 70s and 80s. End to unlimited prosperity

The 70s

The oil crisis in 1973 following a conflict between the Arab world and Western countries including the support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Moreover Oil producing countries of the Organization finds (OPEC) to pay the few Western countries for oil. The price is increased by 70%, production is limited and a boycott will be introduced against the United States and the Netherlands because of its support for Israel. In the Netherlands, this leads to the car-free Sunday and rations on gasoline.

The level of oil prices caused inflation and economic stagnation (stagflation). In 1979 a second oil crisis caused a global economic crisis that the oil-producing countries also suffer, making them less easily will increase the price of oil.

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After thirty years there will be an end to the war in Indochina (French Indo-Chinese war). In 1975 fall of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the hands of the communist regimes. After the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 will be China in space for more economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping in 1979. In that year also declared the Islamic republic in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) after the departure of the Shah to Egypt. The departure of the Shah leads the second oil crisis. Rising prices put the Dutch economy under pressure. Whereby the Cabinet Van Agt I had to cut back on wages and benefits.

In Europe, the first rapprochement between the BDR and the GDR under the policies of Willy Brandt (Ostpolitik). The Helsinki Accords reduce tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.


In the Netherlands, but also in many other West European countries strikes secularism and secularisation. Especially the Catholic People’s Party (KVP) suffers. Politics polarize left and right sides. On the one hand, distribution of power, knowledge and income motto (Den Uyl, 1973-1977). Everyone should be able to study (knowledge) and leveling (income) were left views. On the other hand, ethics and morals were preached during the cabinet Van Agt (1977-1982). Van Agt called for the closure of abortion clinics and limiting erotic films. Van Agt became the first leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal. The CDA was a party to the merger of the religious parties (KVP, ARP and CHU).

The highlight of the sexual revolution was in the 70s which was experimented swinger, homosexuality and all forms of sex. The marriage became less important and the emphasis on individual freedom. That also meant an end to the sectarianism and the prudishness of the 50s. In the 70s, more women took part in the economy. There were more and more dual earners bringing the combined family income somewhat remained stable and they do not have to borrow extensively to maintain your standard of living. After the first wave of feminism for women’s suffrage followed the second wave of feminism with the crazy mina’s. The mad mina’s fought for equal rights between men and women and abortion with the slogan ‘control her own body. “

In 1975 Suriname officially decolonized. Indonesia was officially declared in 1949 already independent from the Netherlands in the Moluccas in 1950. However, there were many people in the Netherlands in Indonesia, the Moluccan Islands and Suriname to build a better life in the Netherlands.

Confidence in America was the lost wars (Korea and Vietnam) and the Watergate affair (Nixon) seriously harmed. The scandal led in 1974 to the resignation of President Nixon. In the Latin American countries address many right-wing dictatorships (Pinochet and Videla) the power to fight the leftist guerrilla groups. The right-wing dictators working together in Operation Condor to eliminate the leftists.

Worldwide, including the Netherlands, the ’70s on the one hand characterized by the pacifist hippie culture (make love, not war) where many subcultures (Provos, and hippies rebelling against the failed war (Vietnam, 1975). On the other hand, the 70s are characterized by the polarization between left and right movements.

In addition to the flower power movement also came to the fore for the environment. In 1972 the Club of Rome, echoing the Population Bomb the report “The Limits to Growth ‘out. This relationship was established between rapid population growth, demand for food shortages and the relationship between economic growth and its impact on the environment. The global footprint. The content of the report was strengthened by the 1973 oil crisis and the finiteness of (fossil) sources and the increase in the world (Malthusianism).

The hole in the ozone layer was raised by the emissions of chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere from refrigerators and aerosols. The right-wing movements including the right-wing newspaper The Telegraph, the RAI and BOVAG came against the report in insurgency actions as “glad I’m driving.”

The 80’s

The ’80s ushered in by the second oil crisis (1979) and large global tensions. In the United States, the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic come conservative right-wing parties in power (Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl). In the scientific economic field, the Chicago school, led by Milton Friedman central.

The economy is determined by the supply side (producers) and government intervention should be limited (Reaganomics). Unions and employees had less power and influence which led to large-scale strikes. The economy must be stimulated through trickle down effects. Investing in the strong economic sectors leading to overall economic growth which also weaker economic sectors benefit. The report by the OECD, the trickle down effects of the last 30 years has not led to economic growth and above all let the inequality of income and wealth increase global, national, regional, local but especially in the workplace (gap between drivers, directors and employees has soared).

Mikhail Gorbachev sees the Soviet Union on a heading towards bankruptcy by the large-scale arms race with the United States and the loss of moral authority within the Communist Party. Gorbachev was forced to admit perestroika and glasnost in 1985: radical reforms and openness. Moreover, the Soviet Union would no longer intervene in other communist countries in Europe. In Poland, the government falls and is followed by the fall of communist governments in Eastern European countries (Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria and Romania). The 80 lead the end of the Soviet Union.

Capitalism emerges victorious from the bus. According to Fukuyama means the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of history and the end of the Cold War. One end of a world divided into bipolar balance of power (US vs. USSR). The fall of the Soviet Union also created a different economic model in the world. The rise of international capitalism (multinationals). Managing and acquiring local companies through acquisitions and dominating the consumer market. This process was stimulated by increased liberalization, privatization, deregulation and a reduction in democratic control.

The world system model (as of 1974) of Wallerstein has three phases: colonialism (exploit raw materials from peripheral countries), imperialism and globalization. It is not a system of equivalence, but rather a system of mutual dependence and exploitation of three areas: the core (Western countries) need cheap raw materials, the periphery (Third World) will swap these raw materials and food for high-quality industrial goods and semi-peripheral countries, countries that had failed or core areas (Soviet Union) or peripheral areas are under development.

According to Wallerstein, individual states never for a long period ultimate dominant. States flourish and get back into lapses rightly including new technology, the up and down movements of the Kondratieff waves (30-80 years). The prosperity of the United States after World War II and the fall in the 70s until now (huge public debt) is one example.

In China, the east coast is transformed into a market economy, which will create two streams: a communist command economy in western China and a market economy in eastern China.

Iran-Iraq war broke out (1980). The regime of Saddam Hussein (Sunni) in Iraq is still supported by the United States and could use the chaos in Iran (after the Iranian revolution, Shiites) which also caused a second global oil crisis. Iraq had a relatively stable country which benefited from oil revenues and the international market could buy a lot of weapons.

Also in this war already was a holy war waged between Sunnis (Baath party, Iraq) and (Puritan) Shia (Iran). Iraq invaded Iran, but Iran could by the geographically difficult to take land move well and drove Saddam from the country. Iran then claimed the Shiite cities of Najaf and Karbala and flowed through Basra. In this war, Saddam put everything in order to eradicate populations and military personnel through the use of poison gas, digging trenches, minefields, put under stream of lakes and marshes with oil burning. The secular western countries and kingdoms opposed the Puritan Shiite Iran’s growing influence and the rise of Khomeini in the gulf area. Khomeini broke with the Arab kingdoms and Western secular culture who were anti-Muslim in his eyes.

Later put both countries frequently Scud missiles and bombarded them major cities (Baghdad, Teheran, Basra). In 1985, American ships were attacked in the Persian Gulf. The American soldiers shot down an Iranian airliner. Iran was supported by the Kurds (who have been suppressed in Iraq) and Talabani. Iraq responded after the conquest of the Kurds of Halabja with poison gas bombardment. Iraq used mustard gas, sarin and tabun. Most raw materials for poison gas were supplied by Western countries (France, Netherlands, Germany and the United States). The Dutchman Frans van Anraat example, was convicted of supplying banned substances to Iraq.

Russia attacks Afghanistan to strengthen communism. The Russians met with heavy resistance from fundamentalist Islamic group (Mujahideen, later the Taliban) backed by US Stinger missiles. In 1989 the Red Army had even withdraw from Afghanistan.

America experiences a new revival of confidence by including the Moral Majority. After the loss in Vietnam and Korea were new Christian values ​​to the standard: family values, AIDS as a punishment from God for homosexuality and campaign for Bible schools. In Colombia were major drug cartels (cocaine) under the leadership of Pablo Escobar.

In the Netherlands, headed by the cabinet Lubbers (CDA-VVD) from 1982 to 1994 introduced strict austerity policy (Wassenaar agreement, 1982). Unemployment was opposed by labor and shortening early retirement in return for wage restraint. Thus, young people were more opportunities for employment and competitiveness was improved by the lower wages.

Netherlands deals on cable television and in 1989 the Netherlands had the first commercial channel RTL-Veronique. The drought in Africa leads to successive famines in several African countries.

In 1981 the high-speed line between Paris and Lyon was introduced. Also improved the IC technology making ever faster and cheaper computers were produced for the consumer market: Atari, Amiga and Commadore 64. MS-DOS was the more serious operating system for IBM Personal Computer, later supported by Windows (Bill Gates, Microsoft). Apple Macintosh became the major competitor for the PC (Steve Jobs). Also created the first intranets. In the film world, broke through big blockbusters. Films with big movie stars like Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones) that generate big blockbusters.

In the 80s, the causative agent of the disease was discovered AIDS: HIV, a rapidly mutating virus that attacks the human immune system. Heroin worldwide grew enormously. In the Netherlands, the first coffee shops were established for cannabis

The squatters ‘movement in the’ 80s revived. Which is often accompanied by Mohawks and the punks culture rebelling against society. Due to the global economic crisis, many young people have little chance on the labor market: the lost generation.

The Cold War was taking many young people fear a nuclear war which led to a general pessimism and defeatism. This allows a portion of the youth withdrew from the escapism, including the snobbery, hyper-consumption, commercial pop culture where everything is allowed as long as you can afford it but (Miami Vice, the movie Wall Street, ‘greed is good’). Yup the (young urban professional) is an expression of this. People with higher incomes who want to express their recently acquired wealth with expensive sports cars and expensive clothes.

Suburbanization continues, but at the same time there will be more room for economic core areas (fourth note Spatial Planning, 1988). Almere is the refuge for workers. Class neighborhoods are increasingly inhabited by large Muslim families are becoming less and guest workers are increasingly unemployed immigrants. As the Vlaams Blok response occurs in Belgium and the Centre Democrats under Janmaat Netherlands. The Centre Democrats are not taken seriously in politics and society, and dismissed as a racist xenophobic party.


In the 80s, the New Age movement gets more space. The New Age movement is looking forward to a new era of light and love and supporters are working on their own individual spiritual growth with an overall holistic view of humanity and personal growth, but is also a response to materialism, rationalism and individualism.

After the Club of Rome (Limits to Growth), the Brundtland report in 1987 also advocates for fair and sustainable development of prosperity and a cleaner environment. In 1988 published the RIVM report ‘concerns for the future and lay the foundation for the National Environmental Policy (1989) in which environmental objectives were formulated for 2010.

In 1992 the United Nations published the report: the limits beyond. After 1986, many plans for nuclear plants in the refrigerator by the Chernobyl disaster with a nuclear reactor. Greenpeace is campaigning against whaling, nuclear, submarine nuclear testing and pollution from coal plants.

Excessive emissions of ammonia (animal husbandry) and nitrogen (traffic) creates acid rain. With the advent of the catalytic converter and environmental legislation (manure) Acid rain is limited. The fishing is restricted to fishing quotas in order to maintain fish stocks. With landfill and discharge of wastewater has made great progress. The use of fuel and electrical appliances could be restricting less simple.


The Brundtland report combined economic growth with sustainable development. Previously encountered economic growth especially in adverse environmental impacts. The Brundtland report limited economic growth anymore, but puts more focus on the nature of economic growth. A growth which should focus on sustainability and no danger was to form for future generations. The focus was on ecological modernization and the force of the market is a powerful tool in improving the sustainability of society. The business was no longer seen as an eternal enemy but as a partner for sustainable growth.

Nationally Netherlands in the late 80’s and early 90 ministries VROM (environment) and EZ (Economic Affairs) constantly in the clinch on the climate and energy policy. This battle is settled in favor of Economic Affairs and fits into the era of more free market, less government, deregulation, privatization and the victory of capitalism over communism.

There is more and more based on the self-organizing ability of society and the responsibility of citizens and businesses. The late 80s and early 90s was also a lot of optimism about the sustainability policy. Companies benefited from lower costs through cost savings. Economic growth was along. The Natural Environmental Policy (1989) (NMP) received much attention and seemed feasible. The two pioneers of sustainable development and address environmental concerns also came from VVD house (Ed Nijpels and Pieter Winsemius), both supported by Prime Minister Lubbers and responsible for the first wave climate.

In pop music Michael Jackson and Madonna are the King and Queen of pop. Also live rock (Queen, U2, Bruce Springsteen), ska (do it, Madness) and pop (Wham, Duran Duran) on. Typical music of the 80’s new wave and punk. New Wave is somewhat dark and often difficult to classify floating. Punk is short, very fast and loud music against the mainstream and often focused on social discontent in society. In the ’80s came the great metal bands: Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer. In the United States originated the hip hop culture from the predominantly African-American and Latino population in the late 70s early 80s. Hiphop is related to rap music, break beats, mixtapes but also a cultural movement that holds a mirror up to society. Hip-hop is mainly originated from the black ghettos in which gangsta rap is the best known example.

In developing the entertainment sector John de Mol and Joop van den Ende major commercial TV productions and series in Aalsmeer. Hilversum was getting less and bought more and more programs in Endemol. In the ’80s were the American series like Knight Rider, Miami Vice and The A-Team very popular. The compact disc (CD), and the Walkman is introduced and the ‘home’ PC (Personal Computer) is more common.