Tuesday Hatred: My, oh my, Generation
This year was a lousy one. The problem with that is that it can still be much worse. So I shouldn’t complain, but I do. Let me explain. A lot of it is because of me but some of it is because of everybody else. Rarely have we seen such a regress of the public sphere.
Backwards is what we are. We are obsessed with reliving every single stupidity of the past. Most notably the origin of stupidity: that things can be engineered to an end. My generation hates gentle evolution with an impatience bordering on the insane. Shit is to be done. Muscles to be flexed. Pain to be experienced and gain to be had.
This is the result of the generation that allowed Reagan and Thatcher to redefine the world in their image. My generation. The generation of plenty, plenty people unwilling to share anything and scared shitless that once they might be outvoted by younger people, immigrants, other nations, other cultures. They claim they do everything for the next generation – as long as that generation shares a maximum number of genes with them. A generation that invented the term ‘political correctness’ to put up a wall against progressive insight (whether on economic matters, gay rights, you name it, the climate).
A minority behaving like the majority, oozing that good old colonial feeling of superiority. A generation, my generation, that was born in luck and behaves like the chosen people. Chosen because they outcompete the rest based on the assets they inherited. It’s the new gospel of competition, a game that can’t be lost because the money has been stacked up against new entrants. Resistance is futile, only those that assimilate have a chance to survive the game. Those that resist are denounced as war mongers, sour losers, free riders, … and cast away.
It landed us a world where the news is filled with effects and nobody really has time to consider the cause.
And there’s only one cause: despair. The despair I feel when I feel I need to do better, do my best, struggle, don’t take success for granted. A despair that has to be so unimaginably deep in those less affluent and less fortunate than I am. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Ignorance would be better but not even that is attainable anymore (at least not outside of religion). It’s a despair which grows like cancer and infects those that are best off with a vengeance because they stand to lose the most.
A spiral of despair, a well encapsulated cancer seemingly untreatable because nothing can penetrate layers upon layers of shielding parafernalia of immediate dangers and threats. In the most ‘now’ word possible, of terror, of being terrified to lose your competitive advantage, pay more taxes, share some wealth. These are the decades of the race to the bottom and we haven’t yet bottomed out. Because we have to be realistic, say those who are most focused on gain: if we let our attention slip for a moment, the stampede from those that have even less than we have is unavoidable. We have to set borders, defend them, get armed and ready and above all never trust anybody – ever – again.
This is my generation of which I hate to be a part. The generation before was better and so will be the next. Cultural optimism is, in the long run, an established fact; a synthetic a priori that can be deduced from that unavoidable concept of language as progress (the very progress the concept of political correctness is being designed to slow down). The question is simply this: will my generation die quickly enough for the regress to not result in destructive failure. The threat of my generation can only be annihilated by death, I fear. Our brains have been washed too deeply, I fear. The longer my generation lives the more it will extend its life in washing new brains; younger brains, eastern brains, southern brains.
So if finally we come to a real war of generations, I know which side I’m on. Also because I know that this is a war that can’t be won by guns. They outgun us and for every gun they think they see, they’ll manufacture ten of their own. Bigger, better, meaner. This is a war we can wage with words only but we know the words are on our side. Hell, given enough words we can even, maybe, treat the cancer: win back some able minds of that generation which is my generation and which shouldn’t become the generation of to hell and back.
With this I contributed about 800 words to the good cause. Every word that invites other words is the real blessing. We can all celebrate the word that connects the world.
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