Monday, May 01, 2017

The Fooled Generation

My generation can be called the Fooled Generation. Every sentiment that is natural to young people had been steered into precisely the wrong direction when I was young.

The anti-establishment sentiment has been steered into attacks against the Clinton Administration and against "statism" and "socialism." There is no statism in America. Soviet Union had statism; America does not. The real offenders in America are not public, they are private. Groups like the Church of Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses; corrupt networks in law and medicine; corporate criminals - whether overt criminals like Enron or corrupt oil companies that tell people a load of lies in order to keep them hooked on destructive technologies; gangs and the organized crime; and the men who like to rape their children and beat their wives; are the true offenders in this country. The government is elected, official, accountable, checked and balanced. These entities are no such thing. And this allows them to get away with greater abuses than what is allowed the American government.

The radical anti-Western civilization sentiment was also steered into precisely the wrong direction. It was turned into attacks on the Western Romantic literary and intellectual tradition. In this was attacked the greatest artwork and literature that has come out of the Western civilization. Also attacked were the best relationships. My generation through this was denied the experience of its youth.

The feminist sentiment was steered into attacks on beauty and love. A claim was made that such things were patriarchial, degrading to women or destructive toward their self-esteem.  There are many reasons why this is wrong. First, women are more naturally gifted with beauty than are men, and denying them the right to beauty destroys an area of their superiority, putting them at a disadvantage. Secondly, there are many things - such as money and intelligence - that can be used to destroy people's self-esteem that are in no way bad themselves. That some people get D's does not mean that nobody can get A's, and that some people are poor does not mean that nobody can be wealthy. Anything with appeal to people will see some people using it for wrong. This does not damn what has the appeal; it damns the people who use it for wrong. Further, many of the people who championed beauty and love - both in the West and elsewhere - were women, and not stupid or weak ones either. We see this with everyone from Sappho to Murabai to Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Dorothy Parker to Anna Akhmatova to Ayn Rand. Finally, women being robbed of beauty is more, not less, oppressive to women than women being encouraged to be beautiful. There are plenty of independent-minded people - especially in places like Sweden, where feminism is more advanced than it is in the United States - who willfully choose to be attractive - and not out of any kind of insecurity or patriarchy but out of good taste and as an expression of who they are as women.

The anti-religious sentiment has been steered into an abomination known as skepticisim: Malicious attacks against anyone reporting spiritual experiences or taking part in spiritual practice. According to these people, the bulk of humanity is stupid or insane. I have news for these people. There are many people much smarter than they are, who are neither on drugs nor schizophrenic, who have had real spiritual experiences; and there are many others who have very good reasons for believing what they believe. The skeptics think that they are the only sane and intelligent people on the planet. Some even regard spirituality and religion to be narcissism. I can think of no more narcissistic, arrogant or - yes - stupid stance than their own.

And of course the anti-older people sentiment has been steered into attacks on "the 60s generation" - the generation that started out seeing what was wrong with the world and sought to correct these wrongs.

My generation has been the Fooled Generation. And while many are perfectly comfortable with that state of affairs, I for one am not.


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