… when the Baby Boomers pass away, our way of life will rapidly change.
I’ve had this theory and concern for awhile now, and I don’t exactly remember how it all started; I suppose it arose whenever I dove into critiquing the direction our society and culture is heading towards. I have tried sharing this thought with others, but I don’t know how well I have conveyed it. It doesn’t seem like others are able to follow along – or care to listen. I will say the two books “Brave New World” and “1984” had really fueled this idea (why aren’t these required reading any more?), along with the understanding of how the field of psychology really became a weapon used against the public; which may seem like such a broad allegation – which I can’t say that all of psychology was used negatively – but there certainly was a lot of research done on how to control the minds of the masses. Two big examples I would first like to point you towards is the work of Edward Bernays and his push for public relations/consumerism and B. F. Skinner’s work in the field of Behaviorism (there are many other prominent scientists who paved the way towards this era of scientific advancement (Darwin, Freud, Pavlov, Watson, etc.)… there are also many more studies and experiments that really test how far humans are willing to undermine one another; e.g. The Little Albert Experiment; Milgram Experiment; The Standford Prison Experiment).
This theory/concern I have is based around the idea that when the Baby Boomer Generation passes away, our way of life will change. I would go as far as to say change for the worse if we’re not careful. So what do I base this assumption on? I base it on our connection to the past. The Baby Boomer Generation is our last direct link to a previous way of life that our ancestors were born into; the American way-of-life had changed dramatically after the end of WWII. Not all advancements have been detrimental progressions forward, but there are a lot of fundamental ideas that are starting to set us backwards.
The first that I would like to point out is our virtues and morals as a people. I would almost want to connect this with the decline of Western spirituality. I myself was never much of a religious individual growing up (nor was my “family”), but I will say that I have developed a better understanding of the importance of a spiritual belief; whether or not it’s based in Christianity is not the point, but as long as someone has a belief system that helps them understand and obey natural law.
The second point that I would like to make is the degradation of the family structure. Before, families were large and stuck together. Nowadays, divorce; hyper-individuality; and the lack of interest really affect the statistics of household numbers. Statistics are not the only things affected by this trend. The children of these households are being emotionally destroyed (*speaking from my own experience. Though, I will say others make it out fine. But, you cannot deny the subconscious impact this has on a child growing up). I cannot say that the households our grandparents grew-up in were perfect; life was difficult – life always has been. But at the end of the day a family could come together at the dinner table and share themselves. This, among many traditions, are becoming lost within our distracted lives. With the advent of the television, microwave TV-dinners, and having two working parents rather than one… the idea of the family is changing – and I don’t believe this is healthy change.
The third point that I want to make is our lack of real education. With our 12 mandatory years of public schooling, are we a more educated people than our ancestors were? I would strongly deny this, even if we do have more people attending colleges/universities than previously, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect a well educated populous. If you haven’t heard of the man by the name John Taylor Gatto, I would STRONGLY recommend his scholarly work into the American education system and how it’s being used to dumb down the nation. I know this sounds very conspiratorial, but if you understand say definition and the history behind this topic, you would come to the realization that there is an agenda in-the-works. Why don’t all schools mimic what the elite private boarding schools do for their curriculum? If our nation doesn’t have the necessary skills and knowledge to prevent this boiling-of-a-frog oppression from a rising oligarchical class, how can we continue as a free nation? Where’s our modern day Andrew Jackson to rout out this den of vipers and thieves? Does our youth understand their rights and obligations to maintain a free nation that our forefathers risked their lives for?
For right now, I want to make one last point, and that is the advancement of technology. I’d have to say this is where the thought originated. I theorize that the Baby Boomer Generation is one of the reasons why we’re not as technologically advanced as we could be (sure, there are many other variables that equate into this, but stick with me). In a previous post I had mentioned that my generation was the last generation that was familiar with a way of life before the Internet. The Internet has brought about a revolution in the way of connecting and sharing of information. The younger generations that were born into this way of life are more familiar with its concepts and inventions opposed to older generations that are more familiar with technologies that are becoming obsolete. Regardless, these older generations are adapting, but it’s not as inherent as the 2 year old that picks up an iPad and knows how to navigate it almost instinctively. Just imagine what life will be like – how fast it will move along – when we’ve all been born into this later phase of the Information Age (for better or worse).
Ultimately what I’m trying to get across is that I don’t necessarily believe that the Baby Boomer Generation did a quality job assuring the future success for generations to come; it sure seems like it’ll be an uphill battle from here. There are certain traditions and values which have been lackluster; family life declining; health of our planet in ruin; growing amounts of debt across the board; an increasing amount of government intervention into our daily lives; the decline of health and well-being of our people; war and destruction of cultures and ethnic groups; a lack of critical thinking skills and the knowledge of our inert human rights; the list goes on and on.
The Baby Boomer Generation led the way in the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 70s; an act which figuratively stabbed a knife into the previous way of life, causing a scene of discord which has shaped the world we live in today. As history now is beginning to note, such a scene was not spontaneous, but more so pushed into said direction by an invisible hand (fortunately the invisible ink is now beginning to disappear).
The take-away I want to make is that we’re slowly losing our ancestors’ mindset of independence, self-sufficiency, and critical thinking skills, and instead we’re all becoming children to the state.
Photo by Gerry Lauzon