Op-Ed by Brandon Smith
Are Americans changing with the times, are the times changing with Americans, or, has nothing really changed at all in the past century?
Before we dive into this discussion it’s important to understand one thing above all else – There is nothing new under the sun. Every “new” political movement or cultural upheaval has happened a thousand times or more in the past. Every “new” form of governance is just a rehashed version of a system that came before it. Every “new” economic structure is one of a handful of preexisting and ever-repeating trade methodologies. Every “new” revolution and rebellion is a fight for the same basic goals against the same persistent foes that have always existed since the dawn of civilization. All of human history can be condensed down to a few fundamental and irreconcilable differences, desires, values and ambitions.
This cycle of events is a kind of historical furnace where people and nations are forged. Most go through life without any inkling of the whirlwind; they think the things happening to them are unique and unprecedented. Maybe if human beings lived longer lives they would realize how common such conflicts are and view the repetition with less panic.
The so called “disenfranchised” feel overwhelmed by the tides and completely devoid of any influence over the future. Then there are those who have the ability to see the story unfold. There are those who try to control it and use it to their advantage. There are those who are trying desperately to escape it, even at the cost of reason and sanity. And, there are those who take truly individual action and make history rather than simply being caught up in it.
None of us really knows which path we will choose until we are faced with a defining moment, and none of us knows when that moment will arrive. I know it sounds crazy, but living in interesting times is not a curse, it is a blessing. Of course, not everyone feels this way…
Collectivism Targets The Young For A Reason
As the mainstream media is fond of reminding us, there is a large percentage of teens and young adults today that are turning to collectivist systems like socialism to find protection from what they see as a cruel and unfair era that is inhospitable to their prosperity and emotional security. They feel that the generations that came before them rendered all the fat and siphoned all the wealth this country has to give and now there is nothing left for them. In some cases they are correct, in other cases they have been cleverly misled.
That’s right folks, it’s a return to that epic battle between the inexperienced and naive younglings who will one day inherit the Earth, and the selfish and obstinate “boomers” that supposedly ruined it for them. A battle not just of classes but of generations; nothing new under the sun, same as it ever was.
According to mainstream polling over the past few years there has been an aggressive shift in younger people away from traditional American concepts like free markets (What leftists call “capitalism”) and individualism towards the sweet sugary smell of candy-coated socialism. The strange thing is that many millennials and Gen Z kids mistrust government more than any generation that has come before them in recent memory. Yet, more than half of them actually think that socialism (big government) is a “rebellion” against corrupt and intrusive government influence. Yeah, how did they ever come to that conclusion? It’s bizarre.
There are a lot of very insightful theories on why this is happening. Some people argue that public schools and colleges have become subversively communist and ideological, and that recent generations have been exposed to increasing levels of indoctrination. It’s true, the evidence is undeniable that this is happening and the propaganda coming from public schools is so radioactive it’s giving the country cancer.
However, what this theory overlooks is that younger people are targeted with collectivist cultism for a reason – They are already highly susceptible to the narrative. Certain people and groups are more psychologically inclined to adopt particular values and embrace particular solutions.
Young people tend to lean more towards the collectivist mentality, and the elitists behind the curtain encourage and exploit this existing social trait. They don’t create these divisions out of thin air, the divisions already exist in society and they take advantage. That’s the big secret that very few analysts want to acknowledge.
Who Is To Blame?
To be fair, older generations have not helped the situation much. It would have been better if the fight against globalism, collectivism, etc. had been fought and ended decades ago. There have been a lot of false starts. Economically, older Americans have done very little to stop government spending and the Federal Reserve’s money-printing bonanza, and now we are witnessing a stagflationary crisis which young people are ill equipped to survive. There are many comforts that Baby Boomers took for granted, such as greater buying power of the dollar and easier home ownership, and these are comforts that newer generations will probably not experience.
But, then again, blaming the apathy of “boomers” as the sole culprits behind the economic decline of the US is a deflection on the part of young socialists. Let’s be realistic; the vast majority of stimulus creation was accomplished by the Fed between 2008 and today. Millennials are more than old enough to take part of the responsibility. The central bank and the government conjured more national debt and inflationary stimulus in the past decade than all the previous 235 years of our country’s existence combined. Most younger Americans stood by and watched this happen right along with the baby boomers.
Also, accusing boomers of dereliction of duty for not leaping into revolution against the powers-that-be presumes that this was ever their job. It’s a lot like blaming the parents or grandparents of the Founding Fathers for not breaking from England sooner. Maybe there just wasn’t enough momentum yet? Maybe the task was left to the founders era for a reason. Maybe these things are part of a cycle (as mentioned above) and maybe an accounting of our current predicament was not possible until today? Like I said, we don’t get to choose the time in which we live, and moments where tyranny or rebellion are decided are fleeting in history.
Sorry, kids, but someone has to come of age during these moments of malaise and that lot falls to you. Unfortunately, some of you will now be standing in support of the corrupt system instead of fighting against it and we will be finding ourselves at cross-purposes.
The Exploitable Psychological Weaknesses Of Youth
The question again is, why are we on opposite sides? Why are around two-thirds of younger people putting their faith in big government when they are the generation that’s supposed to be the most suspicious of government? What is it with the young and socialism and collectivism?
To be sure, collectivist movements like to present themselves as “revolutionary” and fighting for the “underdogs.” And usually they are marginal in their social presence and seem to be grassroots in origin when they begin. The key to knowing if a movement is real or if it is a controlled farce is to see who is putting their money behind it.
It is not surprising to most conservatives that the political left enjoys endless cash flow from globalist institutions and corporate backers. After all, we’re the people these kids are being encouraged to destroy because we are in actual opposition to the system (save a handful of GOP elites that are conservative in rhetoric only).
Social justice groups are finding enthusiastic allies among the mega-rich, the very people the left claims they are fighting to dethrone. BLM and other leftist organizations have received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, George Soros and his Open Society Foundation, etc. This is not conspiracy “theory”, this is openly admitted reality.
Colleges in particular have long been a grooming ground for the elites; and it’s important to remember that many leftists are coaxed and manipulated by gatekeepers into the role of angry activists. That doesn’t mean they bear no responsibility for their actions. This leads us to the psychology of today’s younger generation and why they are so often targeted for exploitation by collectivists.
The Vulnerable Psychology Of The Young
Collectivist movements associate with empathetic causes, and many young people draw political conclusions based on emotion and empathy. It makes sense; most younger Americans value empathy and charity above all else because they have only been on this Earth for a short period of time. They have thrived for most of their brief existences because of charity and support from other people (like their parents). They move into the adult world wondering why collective support and centralized charity are not there waiting for them. It’s the only system of survival they have ever known, and now the world demands that they stand on their own two feet and make their way alone.
The go-to solution is usually to enter college and take on debt. For the past 10-15 years college for most people has become a way to escape the real world for a few years more. A large number of them take on useless majors and pay tens of thousands of dollars for degrees that have no value to any employer. When college ends the escape plan ends and once again reality waits for them, but now they have an average of $30,000 in debt dragging on their necks like a millstone.
This is why the number of young people living with their parents into their 20s and 30s has skyrocketed in the past several years to 52%. When mommy and daddy are no longer the primary means of sustainment they search for a proxy, and the government looks like a tempting replacement.
This is partially the fault of helicopter parents who have spent the better part of their children’s lives trying to shield them from any responsibility or consequences. They have left swarms of these kids completely unprepared for the harsh lessons of the adult world. The fact of the matter is, childhood ends, and dependency ends, and you will have to be able to function without constant help or you will feel the pain of failure. This is how the world works and how it always will work. Socialism/communism and globalism/collectivism all make promises that under their new system you can remain a child for the rest of your life, forever cared for by government. This is a lie.
Collectivist systems do have a habit of making most people equal, in that we are all made equally poor and equally destitute. The Utopian vision of a world without work or worries always has a hidden price tag as well. The sacrifice of personal freedom is the trade and while some don’t see this as a bad thing most of them aren’t old enough yet to understand what they are losing.
A problem more specific to Millennials and Gen Z is that they have extraordinarily high expectations but extremely low initiative and ambition. When the top dream job for young people in poll after poll is “YouTuber” or “Influencer”, you know that our society is in trouble. The expectation is that work will always be minimal while money will always be ample and fame will be inevitable. Social media is built on this very narrative, and the number of “followers” a person has on social media is treated as a currency; subscribers and followers are the new measure of individual success, even if that person has accomplished nothing else in their lives.
Imagine that you have this mentality sloshing around in your brain and suddenly you are faced with the cold hard reality of the 9 to 5 work-a-day world? You are going to be enraged when you realize how much struggle and discomfort it really takes just to pay the rent and put food in your stomach.
Zennials think that older people somehow didn’t have to go through this, but they are misinformed. Nearly ALL OF US struggle in our twenties to get somewhere in life. MOST OF US have lived paycheck to paycheck in our early years. Once you enter adulthood it can take a couple of decades to accumulate any measure of wealth or success, but young people today are utterly impatient with the process and are clamoring for shortcuts. When they realize there are no shortcuts, they feel they have been wronged.
There is a realization that comes to a person only through experience and heartache, and it is this: Life is not a violation of our comfort. Life is not something that is “done to us.” Life is unfair for a reason – It is a test of who we are and who we might become. Life is a relentless test.
Collectivist gatekeepers will spin fantastic narratives of a future devoid of discomfort and free from responsibility. All you have to do is give up all your freedoms and the reward will be a perpetual childhood. It sounds nice, but it is quite evil in its design. Infantizing a society is the first step to enslaving a society. Being dependent on government means giving total control to government; government becomes the parent, and not all parents love their children.
Big government and collectivism are also intoxicating weapons. Much like the “One Ring” in the Lord of The Rings, a lot of people think they can use it for good, but big government power corrupts everyone eventually. There are many people on the political left today who are basking in the dark side of this power. They love the intimidation of the mob, and they love that corporations and politicians are helping them to destroy their enemies.
All social justice is built on the notion that the expectation of betterment is a form of bigotry. Seeing merit as a measure of a person’s value is deemed horrific. In a meritocracy these people have no power, but in a world of “equity” where people compete to see who is the most broken and the most oppressed the power goes to the those who can get the most handouts and special treatment.
Then, there are people that are simply narcissistic and sociopathic, and these are traits that are highly valued in the social media culture and in collectivist regimes. In the new world there will be two types of people who will be allowed to succeed: The people who prove their victim status and the people who have no conscience. If you don’t have any defining social justice points to help you climb the diversity totem pole then you will be stuck, unless you are willing to do almost any evil to get ahead. And maybe this has always been the goal of the establishment – To get our culture to a place where evil is the most acceptable option.
To be clear, there are millions of young Americans who are NOT on board with the collectivist program, but the longer the current dynamic goes on the harder it will be to reverse the damage already done by the system. Something is going to have to change very soon and rather violently. While the young are exploited through their fears of stepping into a world based on merit, collectivist tyranny will only continue to grow.
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