Will Generation Y Be the Greatest Threat to Consumer Capitalism Yet?

Douglas Haddow writes about the “coming barbarism” in Adbusters:
Adbusters Corporate Flag

On a blustery February morning in 2009 I found myself stranded in Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. My flight was delayed indefinitely due to the UK’s biggest snowstorm in 18 years, leaving me to wander aimlessly against a backdrop of scrolling cancellations and panicky commuters. Outside the billowing airport architecture London was deadlocked, its citizens sabotaged by an absentee polar jet stream.

As I wandered through the terminal I watched groups of temporary refugees from across the world form micro-communes, emptying their luggage onto the floor and building little nests out of coats and sweaters. It was a surreal image: The typically bustling and optimistic concourse was transformed into something that looked more like a deportation centre.

Having been mugged at knifepoint in a dodgy Parisian stairwell earlier that week, I was without cash or plastic. No big deal at first, but after ten hours of hunger pangs, desperation set in. After a few embarrassing and unsuccessful attempts to flog the contents of my carry-on (two books and a used disposable camera), I set up camp near an abandoned Krispy Kreme and tried to distract my brain from my stomach with J.G. Ballard’s Kingdom Come:

“People feel they can rely on the irrational. It offers the only guarantee of freedom from all the cant and bullshit and sales commercials fed to us by politicians, bishops and academics. People are deliberately re-primitivizing themselves. They yearn for magic and unreason, which served them well in the past and might help them again. They’re keen to enter a new Dark Age. The lights are on, but they’re retreating into the inner darkness, into superstition and unreason. The future is going to be a struggle between vast systems of competing psychopathies, all of them willed and deliberate, part of a desperate attempt to escape from a rational world and the boredom of consumerism.”

Read More in Adbusters

, , , , ,

  • Liam_McGonagle

    It’ll be nice if it works out that way. But I see some MAJOR challenges ahead, in my own, personal, anecdotal experience. From here in the U.S., anyhow.

    I’m an X-er, so maybe I have some hidden bias I haven’t considered yet. But my personal impression is that there is a very strong current of unproductive nihilism amongst the Y’s–probably even more so than the considerably nihilistic cohorts of my own X-er’s.

    (Almost) no one believes in crap. I don’t think they truly believe in the ra-ra Reaganaut bullshit–even if they vote Republican. My sense is that they do it out of fear–not conviction; fear that voicing dissent will marginalize them in a fundamentally un-democratic, patronage social order where failure to tow the line will be noted by our “betters”.

    And those few who do voice dissent seem to go 180 degrees in the opposite direction, saying that the whole enterprise of civilization is a fucked up mistake and we should all to back to some mythological, never-existed perfect peasant agricultural society–never realising that the institutional vaccuum that would leave is an ideal breeding ground for all sorts of nasty, privatised tyrannies. Like another freakin’ Dark Ages.

    Yeah, things are pretty fucking bad when a Dodo like Sarah Palin or Rand Paul is seen as a credible political force. And it could make you cry to see how accomodating to their likes traditional Dems often are. But this stuff’s not unprecedented, the world’s not falling apart. There’s plenty of opportunities out there–they just require a little clear thinking and a little elbow grease is all.

    When you think back about it, there has been considerable progress: Emancipation, Women’s Sufferage, Child Labor Laws, etc., etc. Yeah, even Argentina’s more progressive than the U.S. vis-a-vis Gay Marriage, etc. But let’s not bullshit ourselves and say there has been NO progress. The type of discrimination that our grandparents’ generation inflicted on one another is gone.

    I only hope the Y-er’s wil keep the ball going forward, and not give in to the Emptiness.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    It’ll be nice if it works out that way. But I see some MAJOR challenges ahead, in my own, personal, anecdotal experience. From here in the U.S., anyhow.

    I’m an X-er, so maybe I have some hidden bias I haven’t considered yet. But my personal impression is that there is a very strong current of unproductive nihilism amongst the Y’s–probably even more so than the considerably nihilistic cohorts of my own X-er’s.

    (Almost) no one believes in crap. I don’t think they truly believe in the ra-ra Reaganaut bullshit–even if they vote Republican. My sense is that they do it out of fear–not conviction; fear that voicing dissent will marginalize them in a fundamentally un-democratic, patronage social order where failure to tow the line will be noted by our “betters”.

    And those few who do voice dissent seem to go 180 degrees in the opposite direction, saying that the whole enterprise of civilization is a fucked up mistake and we should all to back to some mythological, never-existed perfect peasant agricultural society–never realising that the institutional vaccuum that would leave is an ideal breeding ground for all sorts of nasty, privatised tyrannies. Like another freakin’ Dark Ages.

    Yeah, things are pretty fucking bad when a Dodo like Sarah Palin or Rand Paul is seen as a credible political force. And it could make you cry to see how accomodating to their likes traditional Dems often are. But this stuff’s not unprecedented, the world’s not falling apart. There’s plenty of opportunities out there–they just require a little clear thinking and a little elbow grease is all.

    When you think back about it, there has been considerable progress: Emancipation, Women’s Sufferage, Child Labor Laws, etc., etc. Yeah, even Argentina’s more progressive than the U.S. vis-a-vis Gay Marriage, etc. But let’s not bullshit ourselves and say there has been NO progress. The type of discrimination that our grandparents’ generation inflicted on one another is gone.

    I only hope the Y-er’s wil keep the ball going forward, and not give in to the Emptiness.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      Nihilistic cohort checking in! Give it up for GenX…we may not have fixed it…but we knew bullshit when we heard it! Woot!

      I don’t know about GenY…that would be my youngest brother…who sort of dodged the bullet by becoming a chef in London. (Interesting side note…in 2009 while I was visiting him I dropped by the Tate Modern Gallery…pretty cool…but I was much more fascinated by finding Walter Sickert’s sketches at another smaller gallery…and the Salvador Dali Gallery)

      What I do know “GenY”, aside from the label foisted off on them which was kinder than the reputation fobbed off on GenX (one gets the feeling that the interpreters of GenX wanted to quickly squash anything admirable that might lead to emulation of the habit of distrust of government, business and advertising.)…is that they were raised in a world of fast growing techno consumerism…so it may bore them and be taken for granted, but I haven’t seen any great rebellions against the environment in which they’re comfortable (when they can stay employed…but at least they have Gen Xers willing to share advice on skimping by in tough times.)

      • Liam_McGonagle

        Yeah, good point about the bad rep of Gen X. Some times I suspect it has to do with an undercurrent of resentment X’ers may have against Boomers.

        Boomers have been such an incredibly self-indulgent, narcissistic generation. And that fact is brought into even sharper relief when contrasted with the actual acheivements of the “Greatest Generation”, so that it’s a little hard for some X’ers (myself included) to resist the urge to vomit when Boomers go on a nostalgia bender, merrily celebrating shag carpeting, 8 tracks and pet rocks.

        Not that X’ers have provided an effective counterbalance. Our contribution, as a generation, is probably to be a little more aware of irony. I think cultural historians will probably say that we raised irony, cynicism and sarcasm to new heights (or depths).

        But the Y’ers? I’m a little more frightened for them. I fear their nihilism may be so deep that they’re not even aware of it; they’ll go shuffling right off into the abbatoir with smiles on their faces, bobbing their heads to the personalized playlists on their iPods.

        • Honu

          Fellow X’er here. I’ll admit to being a nihilist in some regard but I do think you mostly nailed our generation’s issue. Cynicism and irony are a huge part of our identity as a generation but really, what kind of options did we have? We saw the boomers who opened the floodgates in the late 60′s/early 70′s showing the possibilities of something new, ideal and honest only to be quickly squashed by the establishment forcing their direction into the system but shaping it nonetheless. With that came our generation that learned about our parent’s early idealism and subsequent crash into “reality” demonstrating to us that rebellion and honest dissent would fail and be a laughing stock. Authentic emotional expression was to be buried or risk ridicule so we elevated irony and cynicism. Voxmagi got it right, we knew bullshit when we smelled it. Still I think all this generational naval gazing is pretty much crap. People are people no matter what year they were born. And the so called “greatest generation” bothers me. I’m sure if my generation or gen y grew up in the world where nazi Germany was the threat it was, we’d all be there ready to go.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Good point…I know that, speaking rationally…our culture was dragged into a war footing based on lies and manipulation…but the fact remains that a new generation stood up and took the brunt of it right in the teeth…without a draft. People, any generation, rise to meet the struggles of their times…and it looks like the new kids will have to rise pretty high just to get by.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            I think I agree with your general outline. It is true that it is easy to overstress the importance of sociological labels that are more than a little arbitrary around the edges. But I do think the interest of our collective social evolution is served by a little analysis: I think Boomers may be a bit overrated and the “Greatest Generation” may be a bit underrated.

            When I look back at the civil rights movement, Timothy Leary, Hunter S. Thompson et alia, I note that the actual LEADERS of the more progressive movements were born during the years covered by the “Greatest Generation” or the “Slient Generation”–NOT the Boomers. Boomers may have participated in those movements, but certainly did not lead them. The Boomer legacy will be neoliberal economics, Disco and bad television sitcoms like “Three’s Company”.

            And I think X’ers have a potentially explosive contribution to make to furthering progress–we have the self-awareness and critical faculty that the Boomers did not display. Yeah, it’s ultimately about individual responsibility, but stepping back and looking at the macro picture can help us identify the toxic elements of our culture a little more clearly, and facilitating their dismantling a little better–no more bullshit neoliberal “Laugher Curve” economics, no more weird interpreting the Constitution as a dead document written by the divinely appointed stooges of a mythical Sky Daddy, etc., etc.

            I think I agree with you that many of the acheivements of any generation have to be put in context of the available alternatives, and therefore that the “Greatest Generation” probably give themselves a little too much credit for defeating Nazism–after all, FDR was hardly one of their cohort; I think it’s fair to say he had as much if not more to do with defeating Nazism than some 20 year old private from Oklahoma.

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          “I think cultural historians will probably say that we raised irony, cynicism and sarcasm to new heights (or depths).”

          Oh I hope so…otherwise my decades of practice and craftsmanship will have been for naught. :-)

          • Fishinnyc

            I’m in the Generation just before the Gen-Xers. Nope, sorry, those of us who were into the Punk movement of the late 70′s/early 80′s took irony, sarcasm, and cynicism to new heights, not you lot. Anything after that era has already been done – Tatoos, Questioning Authority, raising Political Awareness. We hoped that Generations after us would open their eyes and continue what we started, but everyone got so fucking complacent in the 80′s that the message was lost.
            Evidently, because we allowed that destructive asshole George Bush, Jr. to ruin our Country for 8 long, fucked up years. Talk about not learning from past mistakes, Bush made Nixon and Reagan look like great leaders. Of course, we all know what Reagan and his cronies did to the Punk movement. He spent millions to squash that uprising like a bug underfoot.
            Now, years later, some retard from Alaska, Sarah Palin, is a viable Presidential candidate, with millions of Republicans behind her? How could this have happened?
            I’m still waiting for the younger generation to get as angry as we did. But it looks like they’re all too busy trying to be cool Hipsters to give a shit about anything. Stupid Assholes, WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!

          • $4251815

            Thanks for the pep talk, gramps. All you gave us was crappy punk music and bad hair. Your high horse ran off that way, I suggest you follow it.

  • Bigmouth

    Yeah, things are pretty fucking bad when a Dodo like Obama is in office and the rest of the dems and rep all vote for an increase for their pay as the economy is going down also wanting to approve a bunch of Mexicans who have double standards as it seems the Mexicans can stop all the folks from Central America and South America from entering into their country yet bitch when we want .them OUT and STOPPED, so what leg do they get to stand on when they seal up borders. I say vote them all out start new and get rid of obama since he is not even legal to be pres as he has no real birth certificate

    • Honu

      Just shut up with that crap already. Obama has no birth certificate…..sheez, what a tool. And Obama may be many things but a ‘dodo’ ain’t one of them.

      • Iggy Hazard

        The dodo gets a bad rap. Dodos were not stupid. They simply lacked the instinct of fear due to their living in an idyllic paradise without much predation (making that instinct superfluous). It was man’s unscrupulous tendency to pillage and to introduce foreign species that drove the dodo into extinction. Something to be said in favor of xenophobia there. The dodo is “formerly-living” proof that xenophobia is not a “phobia” at all. It is rational.

        Hoc est bellum.

    • Tunaghost

      …except that only a minority actually want them OUT and STOPPED, as business still needs a dirt cheap, exploitable workforce that you don’t have to insure. And dude, give up on the birth certificate thing. Only nutjobs took that seriously two years ago, and its ever more embarrassing now.

    • Iggy Hazard

      Comparison El Presidente Hussein to a dodo is an insult to dodos.

  • Bigmouth

    Yeah, things are pretty fucking bad when a Dodo like Obama is in office and the rest of the dems and rep all vote for an increase for their pay as the economy is going down also wanting to approve a bunch of Mexicans who have double standards as it seems the Mexicans can stop all the folks from Central America and South America from entering into their country yet bitch when we want .them OUT and STOPPED, so what leg do they get to stand on when they seal up borders. I say vote them all out start new and get rid of obama since he is not even legal to be pres as he has no real birth certificate

  • Hadrian999

    if you really look around barbarism never left,
    people just don’t look at it and convince themselves it’s not there.
    I have seen first hand how quickly it comes roaring back soon as the facade of civilization cracks a little.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah, I think there has never been an era in history without a bubbling undercurrent of barbarism somewhere below the surface. The only thing that I think marks our particular era as special is the utter naivity with which we confront it.

      That barbarism is probably most apparent to those who’ve done time in Iraq or Afghanistan–which I haven’t. I only have a little inkling of the horrors that some of these guys have seen because I come from a military family. But I feel confident in saying that they’ve seen or participated in some horrible shit that they can’t even begin to explain, and that they suspect, maybe correctly, that no civilian can ever fully comprehend.

      My understanding is that Western cultures have never been particularly good at this, dealing with the trauma they inflict on their service men and women. It’s usually something swept under the rug, left for the individuals to deal with on their own. If they’re lucky, they have a supportive family and have pals who’ve been through similar shit, and they can kind of negotiate a rocky path back to civilisation. If not, they’re thrown back onto their own interior resources or lack thereof. Lots go off the deep end into drugs, alcohol, maybe down a road of domestic abuse, etc.

      But I have heard that Native American traditions had special societies and spiritual rituals which clearly demarcated the transition from warfare and return to civilian society, and helped warriors bridge the gap and reintegrate. I forget what book it was I read this in, except it had something to do with the Native American experience in the French and Indian War. Upshot is that these First Nations people pretty much regarded Europeans as savages due to their lack of psychological care for their warriors.

      • Hadrian999

        I’m not specifically talking about war but you can see it in war,
        when the social structure and authority start to break down people turn into monsters,
        we saw that in New Orleans when the government ran away, we saw it in kosovo,
        we saw it in L.A. during the Rodney king riots. I saw people turning on each other like animals in iraq,
        not soldiers or insurgents, just regular people turning savage in the absents of law or punishment.
        people at their core are viscous monsters whenever the system that holds them in check be it laws or authority or an internal code of behavior falls apart or is discredited you will see the barbarism in our hearts come roaring back. our civilization is like spray paint on the Rockey mountains.

        • Liam_McGonagle

          I have no doubt that you are correct and from time to time shocking and disappointing savagery does erupt. But I don’t think it’s fair to underplay the social instinct either. People always seek company of some variety, and will devise structures and values accordingly, even if they often fail to live up to their promise.

          Maybe if we took a little more of a cue from how those other peoples dealt with the tension between social cohesion and barbarity, we could design or improve institutions to better negotiate them.

  • Hadrian999

    if you really look around barbarism never left,
    people just don’t look at it and convince themselves it’s not there.
    I have seen first hand how quickly it comes roaring back soon as the facade of civilization cracks a little.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Nihilistic cohort checking in! Give it up for GenX…we may not have fixed it…but we knew bullshit when we heard it! Woot!

    I don’t know about GenY…that would be my youngest brother…who sort of dodged the bullet by becoming a chef in London. (Interesting side note…in 2009 while I was visiting him I dropped by the Tate Modern Gallery…pretty cool…but I was much more fascinated by finding Walter Sickert’s sketches at another smaller gallery…and the Salvador Dali Gallery)

    What I do know “GenY”, aside from the label foisted off on them which was kinder than the reputation fobbed off on GenX (one gets the feeling that the interpreters of GenX wanted to quickly squash anything admirable that might lead to emulation of the habit of distrust of government, business and advertising.)…is that they were raised in a world of fast growing techno consumerism…so it may bore them and be taken for granted, but I haven’t seen any great rebellions against the environment in which they’re comfortable (when they can stay employed…but at least they have Gen Xers willing to share advice on skimping by in tough times.)

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, I think there has never been an era in history without a bubbling undercurrent of barbarism somewhere below the surface. The only thing that I think marks our particular era as special is the utter naivity with which we confront it.

    That barbarism is probably most apparent to those who’ve done time in Iraq or Afghanistan–which I haven’t. I only have a little inkling of the horrors that some of these guys have seen because I come from a military family. But I feel confident in saying that they’ve seen or participated in some horrible shit that they can’t even begin to explain, and that they suspect, maybe correctly, that no civilian can ever fully comprehend.

    My understanding is that Western cultures have never been particularly good at this, dealing with the trauma they inflict on their service men and women. It’s usually something swept under the rug, left for the individuals to deal with on their own. If they’re lucky, they have a supportive family and have pals who’ve been through similar shit, and they can kind of negotiate a rocky path back to civilisation. If not, they’re thrown back onto their own interior resources or lack thereof. Lots go off the deep end into drugs, alcohol, maybe down a road of domestic abuse, etc.

    But I have heard that Native American traditions had special societies and spiritual rituals which clearly demarcated the transition from warfare and return to civilian society, and helped warriors bridge the gap and reintegrate. I forget what book it was I read this in, except it had something to do with the Native American experience in the French and Indian War. Upshot is that these First Nations people pretty much regarded Europeans as savages due to their lack of psychological care for their warriors.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, good point about the bad rep of Gen X. Some times I suspect it has to do with an undercurrent of resentment X’ers may have against Boomers.

    Boomers have been such an incredibly self-indulgent, narcissistic generation. And that fact is brought into even sharper relief when contrasted with the actual acheivements of the “Greatest Generation”, so that it’s a little hard for some X’ers (myself included) to resist the urge to vomit when Boomers go on a nostalgia bender, merrily celebrating shag carpeting, 8 tracks and pet rocks.

    Not that X’ers have provided an effective counterbalance. Our contribution, as a generation, is probably to be a little more aware of irony. I think cultural historians will probably say that we raised irony, cynicism and sarcasm to new heights (or depths).

    But the Y’ers? I’m a little more frightened for them. I fear their nihilism may be so deep that they’re not even aware of it; they’ll go shuffling right off into the abbatoir with smiles on their faces, bobbing their heads to the personalized playlists on their iPods.

  • Honu

    Fellow X’er here. I’ll admit to being a nihilist in some regard but I do think you mostly nailed our generation’s issue. Cynicism and irony are a huge part of our identity as a generation but really, what kind of options did we have? We saw the boomers who opened the floodgates in the late 60′s/early 70′s showing the possibilities of something new, ideal and honest only to be quickly squashed by the establishment forcing their direction into the system but shaping it nonetheless. With that came our generation that learned about our parent’s early idealism and subsequent crash into “reality” demonstrating to us that rebellion and honest dissent would fail and be a laughing stock. Authentic emotional expression was to be buried or risk ridicule so we elevated irony and cynicism. Voxmagi got it right, we knew bullshit when we smelled it. Still I think all this generational naval gazing is pretty much crap. People are people no matter what year they were born. And the so called “greatest generation” bothers me. I’m sure if my generation or gen y grew up in the world where nazi Germany was the threat it was, we’d all be there ready to go.

  • Honu

    Just shut up with that crap already. Obama has no birth certificate…..sheez, what a tool. And Obama may be many things but a ‘dodo’ ain’t one of them.

  • Hadrian999

    I’m not specifically talking about war but you can see it in war,
    when the social structure and authority start to break down people turn into monsters,
    we saw that in New Orleans when the government ran away, we saw it in kosovo,
    we saw it in L.A. during the Rodney king riots. I saw people turning on each other like animals in iraq,
    not soldiers or insurgents, just regular people turning savage in the absents of law or punishment.
    people at their core are viscous monsters whenever the system that holds them in check be it laws or authority or an internal code of behavior falls apart or is discredited you will see the barbarism in our hearts come roaring back. our civilization is like spray paint on the Rockey mountains.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good point…I know that, speaking rationally…our culture was dragged into a war footing based on lies and manipulation…but the fact remains that a new generation stood up and took the brunt of it right in the teeth…without a draft. People, any generation, rise to meet the struggles of their times…and it looks like the new kids will have to rise pretty high just to get by.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    “I think cultural historians will probably say that we raised irony, cynicism and sarcasm to new heights (or depths).”

    Oh I hope so…otherwise my decades of practice and craftsmanship will have been for naught. :-)

  • Tunaghost

    …except that only a minority actually want them OUT and STOPPED, as business still needs a dirt cheap, exploitable workforce that you don’t have to insure. And dude, give up on the birth certificate thing. Only nutjobs took that seriously two years ago, and its ever more embarrassing now.

  • Fishinnyc

    I’m in the Generation just before the Gen-Xers. Nope, sorry, those of us who were into the Punk movement of the late 70′s/early 80′s took irony, sarcasm, and cynicism to new heights, not you lot. Anything after that era has already been done – Tatoos, Questioning Authority, raising Political Awareness. We hoped that Generations after us would open their eyes and continue what we started, but everyone got so fucking complacent in the 80′s that the message was lost.
    Evidently, because we allowed that destructive asshole George Bush, Jr. to ruin our Country for 8 long, fucked up years. Talk about not learning from past mistakes, Bush made Nixon and Reagan look like great leaders. Of course, we all know what Reagan and his cronies did to the Punk movement. He spent millions to squash that uprising like a bug underfoot.
    Now, years later, some retard from Alaska, Sarah Palin, is a viable Presidential candidate, with millions of Republicans behind her? How could this have happened?
    I’m still waiting for the younger generation to get as angry as we did. But it looks like they’re all too busy trying to be cool Hipsters to give a shit about anything. Stupid Assholes, WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the pep talk, gramps. All you gave us was crappy punk music and bad hair. Your high horse ran off that way, I suggest you follow it.

  • $4251815

    “Will Generation Y Be the Greatest Threat to Consumer Capitalism Yet?” Answer: No. All anyone seems to care about are shiny new things, brand name clothing, who has the best tats/piercings, what band you saw last night, what you drank, and who you fucked. Same shit, different generation.

  • Anonymous

    “Will Generation Y Be the Greatest Threat to Consumer Capitalism Yet?” Answer: No. All anyone seems to care about are shiny new things, brand name clothing, who has the best tats/piercings, what band you saw last night, what you drank, and who you fucked. Same shit, different generation.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I think I agree with your general outline. It is true that it is easy to overstress the importance of sociological labels that are more than a little arbitrary around the edges. But I do think the interest of our collective social evolution is served by a little analysis: I think Boomers may be a bit overrated and the “Greatest Generation” may be a bit underrated.

    When I look back at the civil rights movement, Timothy Leary, Hunter S. Thompson et alia, I note that the actual LEADERS of the more progressive movements were born during the years covered by the “Greatest Generation” or the “Slient Generation”–NOT the Boomers. Boomers may have participated in those movements, but certainly did not lead them. The Boomer legacy will be neoliberal economics, Disco and bad television sitcoms like “Three’s Company”.

    And I think X’ers have a potentially explosive contribution to make to furthering progress–we have the self-awareness and critical faculty that the Boomers did not display. Yeah, it’s ultimately about individual responsibility, but stepping back and looking at the macro picture can help us identify the toxic elements of our culture a little more clearly, and facilitating their dismantling a little better–no more bullshit neoliberal “Laugher Curve” economics, no more weird interpreting the Constitution as a dead document written by the divinely appointed stooges of a mythical Sky Daddy, etc., etc.

    I think I agree with you that many of the acheivements of any generation have to be put in context of the available alternatives, and therefore that the “Greatest Generation” probably give themselves a little too much credit for defeating Nazism–after all, FDR was hardly one of their cohort; I think it’s fair to say he had as much if not more to do with defeating Nazism than some 20 year old private from Oklahoma.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I have no doubt that you are correct and from time to time shocking and disappointing savagery does erupt. But I don’t think it’s fair to underplay the social instinct either. People always seek company of some variety, and will devise structures and values accordingly, even if they often fail to live up to their promise.

    Maybe if we took a little more of a cue from how those other peoples dealt with the tension between social cohesion and barbarity, we could design or improve institutions to better negotiate them.

  • Iggy Hazard

    Why is consumerism associated with reason? The puppetmasters of consumerism encourage the consumer to act on instinct (which is irrational). To act AGAINST their best interest to purchase a useless item they don’t need. A useless item, I might add, which was manufactured in a foreign land by foreign slave labor. An item which represents the future death of its purchaser’s soul and sense of identity (both individual and national). All salespersons are selling snake oil until proven otherwise. All lawyers and politicians are crooks until proven otherwise. The cure to all of our social and commercial ills is Nationalism, the only ideal that liberates minds from the trilateral Leviathan of corporate globalism, neo-fascism, and international socialism.
    Nationalism today. Nationalism tomorrow. Nationalism forever.

  • Iggy Hazard

    Why is consumerism associated with reason? The puppetmasters of consumerism encourage the consumer to act on instinct (which is irrational). To act AGAINST their best interest to purchase a useless item they don’t need. A useless item, I might add, which was manufactured in a foreign land by foreign slave labor. An item which represents the future death of its purchaser’s soul and sense of identity (both individual and national). All salespersons are selling snake oil until proven otherwise. All lawyers and politicians are crooks until proven otherwise. The cure to all of our social and commercial ills is Nationalism, the only ideal that liberates minds from the trilateral Leviathan of corporate globalism, neo-fascism, and international socialism.
    Nationalism today. Nationalism tomorrow. Nationalism forever.

  • Iggy Hazard

    The dodo gets a bad rap. Dodos were not stupid. They simply lacked the instinct of fear due to their living in an idyllic paradise without much predation (making that instinct superfluous). It was man’s unscrupulous tendency to pillage and to introduce foreign species that drove the dodo into extinction. Something to be said in favor of xenophobia there. The dodo is “formerly-living” proof that xenophobia is not a “phobia” at all. It is rational.

    Hoc est bellum.

  • Iggy Hazard

    The dodo gets a bad rap. Dodos were not stupid. They simply lacked the instinct of fear due to their living in an idyllic paradise without much predation (making that instinct superfluous). It was man’s unscrupulous tendency to pillage and to introduce foreign species that drove the dodo into extinction. Something to be said in favor of xenophobia there. The dodo is “formerly-living” proof that xenophobia is not a “phobia” at all. It is rational.

    Hoc est bellum.

  • Iggy Hazard

    Comparison El Presidente Hussein to a dodo is an insult to dodos.

  • Iggy Hazard

    Comparison El Presidente Hussein to a dodo is an insult to dodos.

  • Iggy Hazard

    Comparison El Presidente Hussein to a dodo is an insult to dodos.

21