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Class War For Idiots / February 6, 2012

“I wouldn’t want to be twenty-years-old now. I fear for what’s coming.”
— Hunter S. Thompson, 2003

Generational analysis is bullshit. Or so I’m told. Fit for netroots liberals and horoscope clippers, maybe. And to be fair, it’s mostly thinktank types who’ve been profiting off that whole Millennials Rising genre. One of the authors of that book is a former writing partner of Pete G. Peterson’s, the octogenarian billionaire who has spent the last couple of decades trying to kick over the Social Security ladder before us young’ns can scamper up and collect. Most of it reads like a debriefing after a recon mission—you can feel them sizing us up, drawing up blueprints for the generational counterrevolution that we’re living through right now.

So if you want to screech about the trappings of generational politics and the careless demonization of everyone born in a twenty-year stretch in one particular country, fine. I hear you. But this piece isn’t for you. You’re okay.

This is for my fellow Millennial. The one who gets his or her rocks off to visions of a glorious Boomer-hegemonic extinction, like those old claymation movies of dinosaurs getting nuked by meteor-fire. This is for those of you who, like me, need a vision of that mighty Boomer Brontosaurus keelin’ over for good—and the furry little dino-eating Repenomamuses scurrying across all the corpses to claim the planet once and for all.

Take a hit of that glorious vision, friends. It’s okay to get a little excited. Just as long as we keep in mind that the Brontosaurus, we now know, was nothing more than a big paleontologist fuck up–the misassembled and amalgamated remains of other great lizards. Yet it remains a useful word for ancient, gigantic beasts with acorn-sized brains and a penchant for mindlessly crushing everything in its wake.

***

A Pew poll from a few weeks back asked Americans how they felt about capitalism versus socialism. The results said all you need to know about how much longer we’re going to have to wade through this misery. You guessed it: until the Boomers finally croak.

For maybe the first time in modern history, we now have a generation that actually has warmer feelings about socialism than it does capitalism: 49% to 46%. And a few days later, amid a multi-billion dollar war on public sector workers, another poll was released demonstrating that a whopping 69% of Millennials think teachers are underpaid (compared to 56% for Americans of all ages).

Boomer technocrats long ago conceded that Millennials skew to the left on social and cultural issues, but have tried to muddy the waters when it comes to the economy–hence the “libertarian” con. But now, the verdict is in and it’s undeniable. Journalist Doug Henwood thinks “this may be the most left-thinking younger generation in modern history.”

Sure, polls have shown a general ambivalence on the part of the American public towards the free market for some time now. The 50-64 crew isn’t that much keener on capitalism—53% approve—but with 68% holding negative views on socialism, they’ve proven that they can still pop a Red-baiting boner with the best of them. It’s the Millennials who are the first to open their arms towards a left-wing alternative.

How could that even happen over here? I first heard the “s”-word from by my sixth grade history teacher—this was in the early days of Yeltsin. She said socialism is when you have to wait in line for hours just for a Happy Meal. (We had a visiting student from Russia—Elena—who solemnly confirmed the horror to us all.) According to most of our political discourse, “socialism” means either compact fluorescent lightbulbs or massive corporate-welfare checks. But considering the long saturation of Cold War propaganda in this country, I’d like to think it’s enough that the utterance of the word doesn’t send them into an anti-commie tizzy.

But maybe it’s not. Now that the student loan bubble has swollen past the trillion dollar marker as of last year, we have the president of the University of California system nodding approvingly at a proposal—drawn up by a liberal grassroots organization no less—to replace the tuition system with a 5% tax on all wages for 20 years after graduation. So de facto debt servitude is replaced by old school indentured servitude.

And yet the usually spot-on Hamilton Nolan of Gawker—a dyed-in-the-wool Millennial in every sense—is enthused about the proposal, which he calls, approvingly, “socialism.” Apparently, going back to the tuition-free heydays of CUNY and the University of California system—when those universities were among the most prestigious in the world—is completely off the table. But I can hardly blame him. With so many of us hammered down by six-figure student loan debt, actual indentured servitude that ends before our first colonoscopy sounds like Scandinavian social democracy. But that’s not even the worst of it. Read the fine print: it’s 5% of wages, income from “investments” is excluded. Tax the poor wage-slave, spare the wealthy rentier. Americans still can’t see the play even with Buffett rubbing his secretary’s tax return in our faces.

Whereas the average state tuition in the early 1980s ran around $8k (in 2008 dollars) for four years, most Millennials are forced into the mid-five-figures range for a second rate public university education. (Pell Grants—when the Boomers were attending college—covered 77% of the cost for a four-year public university. For us, the figure is 35%.) And it’s a servitude from which we can never escape. Forget bankruptcy. Default on a student loan and the government will garnish your wages until they get it all back, plus interest. They can even go after your social security money, off limits for all other debts.

The actual cost of universal free higher education is more than manageable—out-of-pocket costs are around 1% of GDP. That’s a relatively tiny pinprick from the federal budget that could transform higher education overnight into a truly public good. And yet the US government is already spending tens of billions of dollars on higher education. But they’re not using it to pay our tuition. They’re using it just to prop up our heinous student loan system—through tax deductions and credits, inflating the cost for all. They’re bending over backwards just to fuck us and collect.

Mike Konczal sees this as just another sign of a “submerged state”—the unholy fertilizer that keeps the American libertarian discourse in full bloom. None of the “welfare,” but all of the “state.” And it explains everything from how the government subsidizes mortgages to our health care system. A submerged state, according to political scientist Suzanne Mettler, is what you get when a government refuses to distribute funds and services directly to individuals and families, and instead uses tax breaks or payments to private companies all in order to hide the hand of government and exaggerate the role of the market.

But for this, blame not the Boomer, but his overrated progenitor. It’s the generation that made capitalism work so well for so many—the Band of Brothers—who are the real culprits here. The New Deal electorate and the Great Society coalition. Sure, the ruling class reactionaries hated FDR’s reforms, but as Michael Harrington pointed out, “these same reactionaries benefited from the changes that the New Deal introduced far more than did the workers and the poor who actively struggled for them.”

“After the Great Society program in the 1960s,” says Leo Panitch, “left-wing Democrats, rather than calling for more public housing to rebuild America’s cities instead called for the banks to lend money to poor black communities…one of the effects of winning those demands was a channeling of those communities more deeply into the structures of finance, the most dynamic sector of neoliberal capitalism.”

The Boomers grew up under a capitalism that had to be hammered and shaped into respectability over a thirty year period. But for us, we’re left staring at the monstrosity in its natural state. With a quarter-century’s worth of quasi social-democratic reforms either neutralized or withered away, and with no more credit to hose us down, we’re able to see the beast for what it truly is.

While a liberal looks upon the New Deal and Great Society generation as a pantheon of benevolent patriarchs, I see a bunch of technocrats who slapped together a crude simulacrum of social democracy and called it “free-enterprise.” Just as in the submerged state of 2012, they did their best to make the government’s hand all but invisible, all the while using the machinery of the Cold War to purge labor radicals—McCarthyism’s real target—leaving us helpless after the onslaught began. They then told their children—the Boomers—to scorn these dirty Reds, and to thank good ol’ American capitalism for the chicken in every pot.

So by the time Reagan had gone to war against “the state,” the children of labor union households and GI Bill dads didn’t know any better. The ruling class walked away from a relatively informal compact which they honored only while it worked for them. Instead of handing out raises, they just started pocketing all the profits for themselves. And so began nearly four decades of stagnating wages.

Unlike the nations of Western Europe, American workers failed to get a good deal of the social democratic compact written into law, which means it was all the easier to dismantle over here. Not necessarily the case elsewhere. The labor policies and institutions that rose up in the 1930s in places like Scandinavia “were the result of conscious theory rather than the political improvisation of the New Deal,” says Harrington. So much for pragmatism over ideology.

As Cornell historian Jefferson Cowie put it, “the biggest social democratic achievements in American history were an aberration.” The Boomers inherited the largesse of World War II, but without the laws, social traditions, and institutional structures to keep the bourgeoisie from gobbling it all up. “The benefits of the welfare state become one more fact of life for those who did not have to struggle for them, something to be exploited for convenience,” as Harrington put it.

***

But student loans are just one prong in the Boomer phalanx—and maybe the least ghoulish. Even if they can’t rope us into the student scam and even if they fail to turn us into dutiful little low-wage baristas and register-jockeys, they can always sick the multi-trillion-dollar U.S. Security State on us.

There are the wars, of course—now pretty much the only way for a good many of us to get a debt-free education. And if you make it through Afghanistan without the “signature wound”—shredded genitals and two legs blown off, on the rise as of last year—you have PTSD, suicidal despair, and drug addiction to look forward to. Or maybe even a shoot-out with the cops—a fate that seems to be growing more and more common among Millennial combat veterans.

Then there’s the ever-popular Drug War, always trolling for some fresh blood. The Millennials are, after all, the least white generation in U.S. history, making us perfect fodder for the country’s ongoing race war. The Boomers didn’t start it, but they’re the ones who amped it up and tried to make us like it—the ones who sent D.A.R.E. officers into our schools and told us to rat out our pals. As The Wire’s David Simon has pointed out, it was Clinton—the first Boomer president—that passed some of the most draconian “anti-crime” laws. Even business in the for-profit juvenile prisons sector is a-boomin’. Same goes for our expanding network of privatized immigration detention centers—a direct beneficiary of the Tea Party campaign for a brutal crackdown on “illegals.”

My soon-to-be father-in-law likes to tell us stories about how he and his brothers used to outrun the local West Virginia cops—gunning it Dukes of Hazzard style—how they’d get dragged into courtrooms where the judges would give ‘em a stern talking to before sending them back to mama for a spanking. But the mass murders at Columbine unleashed a White Terror that put an end to whatever was left of that America. Whereas post-Stalinist Russia saw the release of dozens of classic Gulag memoirs, I expect our very own Kolyma Tales out of a rustbelt juvey hall within the next couple decades.

Much of the Patriot Act itself was comprised of legislation creeping around the halls of powers well before 9/11, much of it written with the burgeoning “anti-globalization” movement in mind and especially “ecoterrorists”—a name for Millennials who take issue with carcinogenic drinking water and the Mengele-like torture of animals. Throw a brick through the window of a fur store, and you can be charged with violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006. And if they nab you for that, you’re lucky if you don’t end up in a “Communication Management Unit”—no mail, no visits, no talking.

The fact is that being arrested is pretty much a rite of passage today—or the end-of-the-line for your hopes and dreams if you happen to be a darker shade of pale. In 1967, 22% of Americans could expect to be arrested before they hit 23 years of age. Today, it’s 30.2%.

And now, with the spread of broadband Internet, Boomers have opened up a new front: The decade-long crusade on filesharing. No more coddling us with “Don’t Copy that Floppy!”. Take the case of Hana Beshara, proprietor of the dearly departed link sharing video website NinjaVideo. SWATed up Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stormed into her home last year and now—just a couple of weeks ago—she was sentenced to 22 months in prison and fined over $200,000 in restitution to her “victim,” the Motion Picture Association of America. Or there’s Aaron Swartz of Reddit, charged with the crime of attempting to create a database of academic papers and reports—largely the work of unpaid graduate student labor in the first place. He faces up to 35 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Or Joel Tenenbaum, the kid who’s being sued for $4.5 million for sharing a handful of Nirvana mp3s. Remember that video of Texas Judge William Adams viciously beating his teenaged daughter? He claimed that it was her Internet downloads that set him off. Just a little “discipline,” he said, after “she was caught stealing.”

Which is why I love the Tea Party so much. They don’t dick around about any of this. It’s a full-scale generational war they’re after. Sociologist Theda Skocpol’s The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism devotes a good chunk to understanding the generational warrior inherent in Tea Party politics. Skocpol refers to the clash as “the ‘grey’ versus ‘brown’ divide.” Grey meaning the old white people who dominate all of our political and economic institutions, and brown meaning the young, most racially diverse generation in the history of this country: ours.

Grey versus brown is “a tension that superimposes divisions by age and experience, income, and ethnicity…the Tea Party is very much a reaction by older white conservative Americans who resent and fear what they think might be the political accompaniments of a nation transformed by rising younger cohorts with different experiences, values, and social characteristics.”

Fittingly, the Tea Partiers have chosen the Ryan Budget as their very own spiritual lodestar—the Port Huron Statement of the old, white and reactionary. The Ryan Budget—and the GOP campaign around it—divides the American populace into “those who are 55 or older now, and those who are younger.” Meaning Boomers will receive Medicare and Social Security checks unchanged, whereas Millennials get the axe—despite the fact that many of us have been paying into these programs for the past 15 years. Let the record show that it was they who fired the first shot.

We’re not even the first ones to fall into their cross-hairs. They lined up their own moms and dads for “assisted-obsolescence” decades ago. Overrated though they were, the New Deal and Great Society electorates had little faith in laissez-faire. For a prissy Ruling Class Boomer like Grover Norquist, their extinction over the past fifteen years has been a most joyous occasion, as Grover told a reporter in 2004:

“We’ve had four more years pass where the age cohort that is most Democratic and most pro-statist, are those people who turned 21 years of age between 1932 and 1952…That age cohort is now between the ages of 70 and 90 years old, and every year 2 million of them die…their idea of the legitimate role of the state is radically different than anything previous generations knew, or subsequent generations…one-size-fits-all labor law, one-size-fits-all Social Security. We will all work until we’re 65 and have the same pension. You know, some Bismarck, German thing, okay? Very un-American.”

***

It’s not like Millennials are better people or anything. No, actually, fuck that. We are better people on the whole—we play well with others. But that’s one thing I do worry about: we’re all too nice. That’s the problem with the goody-two-shoes nature common to so many Millennials, especially the ones out in the streets. We’re just not mean enough.

Boomers know how to get mean. But we just can’t do it. This is how creeps like Jon Stewart and Obama manage to make in-roads with us. Remember that shot of the Iranian revolutionaries with the captured and bloodied riot cop? And they protected him from everyone else? Admirable, brave, and—tactically speaking—probably the right decision. But a dangerous omen, I fear.

All of the hippies who skulked off into the world of children’s programming to ride out the counterrevolution have cursed us with both our potential salvation (respect for the commons) and our ultimate weakness (pacifist nonsense). Who would deny that Obamaism was the canniest of Boomer plots to dope Millennials with that perfect cocktail of lefty-flirtation, racial inclusiveness, and pathological congeniality? It wouldn’t surprise me if the DNC had brought in old Sesame Street writers to help deconstruct our brains.

But mostly our decency stems from the fact that we’ve all been muzzled and defanged by student debt, slave wages and mass unemployment. Unlike our parents, we’ll never even get the chance to gobble up our own children and leave them with the tab. So let’s stick to the Marxian materialist route: the Boomers are a generation soaked with the spoils of war–the biggest war in human history, from which only the USA walked away relatively unscathed. They were always going to be total shits.

And in that respect, we should pity the Boomer. They’re like the frog soaking in the pot of slowly-warming water. They can barely feel it. As Mark Schmitt put it:

“A baby born in 1956 would have graduated from high school in about 1974, from college in 1978 or so. Look at almost any historical chart of the American economy, and you see two sharp breaks in the 1970s. First, in 1974, household incomes, which had been rising since World War II, flattened. Real wages started to stagnate. The poverty rate stopped falling. Health insurance coverage stopped rising. Those trends have continued ever since.

Second, a little later in the decade, around the time today’s 55-year-olds graduated from college (if they did—fewer than 30 percent have a four-year degree), inequality began its sharp rise, and the share of national income going to the bottom 40 percent began to fall. Productivity and wages, which had tended to keep pace, began to diverge, meaning that workers began seeing little of the benefits of their own productivity gains. The number of jobs in manufacturing peaked and began to drop sharply…If there was ever going to be a generational war in this country, that high school class of ’74 would be its Mason-Dixon line.”

Which is why, psychologically, this Great Depression of ours can never hurt us like it hurts them. I see it all the time: the unemployed Boomer thinks himself a loser. He’s spent his life watching his peers accumulate wealth and power. Now he feels like the rug has been pulled from under him. Something has gone terribly wrong. When he files for food-stamps, he feels exactly what the Ruling Class wants him to feel: shame and personal failing.

Whereas a Millennial shrugs and swipes the SNAP card at the farmer’s market for a quart of fresh cider and a pomegranate muffin. Why should she feel guilty? Even if she grew up in one of our country’s bourgeoisier enclaves, she could point to a handful of peers who graduated top-of-the-class, worked hard, played by the rules, but live with mom and dad. And despite all that guff about how we’re all lazy freeloaders, most of her friends probably have two or three jobs, each one barely hovering over the minimum wage. Few among them have managed to nab that most beautiful of American luxuries: health insurance coverage. For her, it’s taken for granted that capitalism is unfair–that hard work, socially beneficial skills, and playing by the rules guarantees nothing.

We Millennials have all the same ludicrous delusions of grandeur as our parents, but now, we’re ready to shuck capitalist gospel out the window. The Boomers call us spoiled, and ask us to do more with less, telling us to tamper our dreams. But the best thing we Americans have going for us is our entitlement, sans the free-market faith.

Look at Japan. They’ve been in something like a depression for twenty years. But where’s their Occupy? Instead, they have a new word—hikikomori—to describe the phenomenon of young men who refuse to leave their bedrooms, and the shame-ridden parents who try to keep it all under wraps. These kids did what a generation must never do: they’ve internalized the judgment of the free-market, a horrible and depressing process currently playing out among the Boomer unemployed over here as they head into Year IV of this hell.

Boomers felt it was their destiny to get rich—that if they just put in the hours, wealth would rain down from the heavens. And they could look to their peers for confirmation. From around 1820 to 1970, mom and dad could tell junior that life, for him, really would be better. That’s 150 years of rising wages. That’s a hell of a stretch—a success that no other country could claim. The Boomers stewed in those juices just long enough to believe all that free-market bullshit, even as they were yanking the rug out from under each other.

Way back in 1892, Friedrich Engels knew that success was the real curse of the USA. And that a powerful, anti-capitalist left could never take off in this country until the game stopped paying out: “Only when there is a generation of native-born workers that cannot expect anything from speculation any more will we have a solid foothold in America.”

Sound familiar? That’s what Occupy is for most of us—a guttural roar that capitalism will not do. The Boomers are right that it all smacks of entitlement. We are entitled. The world, and this country in particular, is awash in capital. With the billions floating in and out of this city every day, it’s amazing that you can walk around Manhattan and not end up with at least a grand worth of cash sifting around in your shoes like beach sand. The big lie is that the coffers are empty and budgets must be balanced. What a fucking joke. American workers have spent hundreds of years building this country and amassing this wealth, and it’s about time we claimed the vast majority of it.

***

But batten down the hatches, because if there’s one thing they’ve made abundantly clear, the Boomers are going to cling to life and power until the very last EKG blip, fleecing us all the while. Conservative apostate David Frum recently characterized the contemporary GOP’s platform as “a going-out-of-business sale for the Baby Boomer generation.” Which is pretty much the Democrats’ platform too. They just have better table manners.

We’ll be spending the rest of our formative years diving for cover from their collective Death Rattle. Thirty years from now, even if we walk away with all of our soft tissue intact, John Roberts will probably still be Chief Justice.

Boomers know what they’ve wrought. Climate change? Don’t believe the polls. They know it’s happening. Yeah, if you confront one of them, he might put up a denialist front for a couple of minutes. But keep pelting him and it all crumbles, giving way to “well, it’s too late.” Translated: “I’ll be on, or near, my deathbed when the shit really hits the fan. You, youngster, will be hauling your family across the country George Romero style, scavenging for orphans to sell off as catamites to the warlord chieftains.”

But as they begin their transition from their autumnal years of denial to the sad introspection of their wintry decades, I’m starting to think that they know something has gone wrong–a mutation of some kind. Since the Boomers’ adolescence in the 1960s and 70s, they’ve undergone a metamorphosis not unlike Jeff Goldblum’s in The Fly. In the teleportation pod on the left, party-hearty Jimmy Buffett. But in the pod on the right, hidden from view, a tiny little Grover Norquist, buzzing around in the corners. Zap! The DNA passes from pod left to pod right, fusing the two specimens. A few seconds later and the journey is complete. Out steps the mutated Boomer–an entirely new creation.

At first, they’re strong. They can kill, fuck, and maim whomever they please. They always get what they want. But after a while, the rot begins. One morning, they find a powerful, but hideous mutant staring back at them in the mirror—with a knack for crawling up the walls and vomiting acid upon its enemies. And, most importantly, ready to leech a little lifeforce from their own unborn child stirring in Geena Davis’s womb, all for just a few more years of power.

Documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis has spent the past few years chronicling this ghastly mutation step-by-step—unraveling the seemingly incongruous strands and the hideous parentage of Boomer ideology. Their embrace of American libertarianism—with all of its absurdities, vulgarities and utopianism—was the final cry for help.

Like Jeff Goldblum’s Brundlefly slowly lifting the shotgun to its temple, the Boomers are ready for us to assert Millennial hegemony and put them out of their collective misery. Trust me, it’s the humane thing to do.

Connor Kilpatrick is a Senior Writer for Jacobin; this article was first published in Jacobin magazine. Check out Jacobin’s website here.

Would you like to know more? Read Connor Kilpatrick’s “Conscience of a Radical: Corey Robin’s ‘The Reactionary Mind.’”

 

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97 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Anarchy Pony  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Is that why they are whipping up super bird flu? To kill all of the boomers?

  • 2. Mike  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Communist manifesto of our generation.

    First the review of Reviving the Strike, then the review of The Reactionary Mind, now this. Fuck! I’m subscribing to Jacobin and handing out every copy I can get my hands on at the campus I can’t afford to attend, the overly pacified local “occupy”, and my decaying union hall.

  • 3. COCKSON  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    UH-HUH-HUH-HUH

  • 4. Mason C  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Superlative. Print this article, wrap it around a brick, and throw it at a greyhair driving a sports car.

  • 5. Carol  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I would be more optimistic, except this is a case of history repeating itself. Look at my generation when we were young, and we were left leaning too. As people age, they tend to retreat to the big ME, which is conservatism writ small.

  • 6. DeeboCools  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    This is a really good across-the-board illumination of the current generational war.

    It’s sad, but I saw it coming back in high school(graduated in 2005). When they told me in my public high school that I “had to” go to college, and take on debt, to have any kind of a future, I knew it had to be a huge scam. I never went, like the rest of the suckers; instead of being in debt, I’ve been working since I was 14(and paying into S.S.) and here’s what I’ve got and can always expect to have: 0-2000 dollars in the bank.

    Still, Not being in debt is the equivalent of being “middle class” to most of those under 30. I welcome this second great depression… it takes decades of widespread poverty for Americans to reconsider thing.

  • 7. Bradford C.  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    It wasn’t just that workers failed to enact protections into the law, the laws passed after World War 2 took away any real power to strike for better conditions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strike_action#In_the_United_States

    There are a seemingly endless series of legal barriers from the ground up which prevents any meaningful resistance on the part of America’s disenfranchised. This is why Occupy is sounding the death-rattle, because its implications would undo the very legalistic nonsense that forms a cornerstone of Democratic Party power. Progressives have no house in which to stand. We have to go to Third Parties for that, and that’s what people have to wake up to.

  • 8. NoPast  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    For maybe the first time in modern history, we now have a generation that actually has warmer feelings about socialism than it does capitalism: 49% to 46%
    ———————————————
    How many of them really know what “capitalism” is and what “socialism” is?
    I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them believe that socialism is Obamacare or some sort of pseudo-scandinavian social democracy(aka capitalism with a sort of human face)

  • 9. Flatulissimo  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I would be lumped in as a Gen-Xer but I identify way more with the Millenials. Seems like too many of my generational cohort fell for the bullshit – look at how “underground” 90′s types like Jim Goad or Peter Bagge ended up turning Libertard and shilling for the likes of Reason Magazine or other stupidity.

    I’ve always felt outnumbered by the Boomers and have had to make my way in the shadows left by their idiocy like a cockroach. I fear that by the time the Gen-X + Millenial numbers can combine and overpower the Boomers, it will be too late. Or, I’ll be old enough that I’ll be looked at as the enemy, too. That’s why I try not to play into the generational hate against the Boomers too much, even though they largely deserve it.

    I guess what I’m saying is, to the younger generations: I know that you were wronged, and I appreciate the problems you face. Don’t kill me, kill the other old people.

  • 10. drugstoreblonde  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Please continue cross-posting any/all Jacobin articles.

    I don’t know who Connor Kilpatrick is, but he’s had my attention since his brilliant (and verbose) review of Reactionary Mind.

  • 11. ct  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    But what happens for us millenials that have hid from the pointless hangups of police dentention, drug abuse, or early suicide? A plan is what we need. It has to be bold and fearless of death (something that most of the cowardly analysts and writers can’t stomach.)

  • 12. Buster Mountebank  |  February 6th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    one can only hope. Well, those of us with Mad Max fantasies may yet get our chance!

  • 13. Vendetta  |  February 6th, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Powerful stuff.

  • 14. paulie46  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I’m a boomer (I’m 65) and I’ve made the same observation many times. Change happens one funeral at a time. Guess I will have to take one for the team.

  • 15. Henry  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Fuck yeah, Jacobin!!

  • 16. G.G. Allin  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I agree with everyone else that this is a great article. Forgot to mention the major problem with “Millenials”–the music sucks. And I seriously doubt their films and books will be any better.

  • 17. Antoine Macquart  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    It isn’t just boomers. It’s an alliance of boomers, Southerners and Evangelicals. Remember, Jesus says to obey your elders, even if they are blood-thirsty, gluttonous, pious frauds. There’s bound to be a few unenlightened Jesus cultists, pampered jocks, and young white trash who will do the bidding of the Gingriches of the world.

  • 18. Zoner  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    He’s right. We’re all fucked, fellow Millenials. Stuck at working shitty McJobs, getting pissed on by our Boomer elders and getting high and playing video games to keep ourselves numb. I don’t know how much Occupy can accomplish, but it’s all we have left.

  • 19. az  |  February 6th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Well, if we actually do put this through a spectrum of class analysis alongside generational analysis, it gives another angle to this: we millenials are the first generation to make less money than the previous one, we are the first to have debt take primacy over assets, and we are the first not-massively-middle class generation. From the perspective of the boomers it makes perfect sense, anyone who is poorer than them is poor because of personality defects, and should be punished for this. The whole generational thing just adds an even more disgusting layer on top of it which reinforces the ‘correctness’ this mentality.

    I can’t really summarize it in one phrase, but the closest I can think of is “misery should buy money which should buy happiness.” If anyone “beats” this system by doing things that make them happy without being miserable, they are stealing the limited amount of happiness that there is to go around.

    The wealthy are only to blame for, well, not honoring this, such as when the guy working 80 hours at the office isn’t promoted because it’s easier to have him do more work for less money, and the fact that people like tend to be more counter-productive because they value the idea of “working” more than they do the idea that the product of their work contributes something to society. Can’t be alienated from what you do AND be one of the bosses, I guess.

    We can make a new definition from this:

    work ethic (n.) – alienation from one’s own labor. Literally. Not just the products of one’s own labor, the actual idea that work produces something.

  • 20. Robert Paulson  |  February 6th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Did anyone else grow disgusted with how useless and helpless the Planeteers were? They had magical rings, a bad ass mode of transportation, and were friends with Gaia. Yet they could never accomplish the simplest of tasks without resorting to CAPTAIN PLANET.

    I get that Captain Planet was the name of the show, but he could played a role besides Deus Ex Machina ass saver.

    Plus, Wheeler was such a total beta douche. Linka didn’t want you. Get over it.

  • 21. Giant  |  February 6th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, Jacobin has been so good over the past two months — that whole Phase Two issue.

  • 22. Punjabi From Karachi  |  February 6th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    CAPTAIN PLANET! YOUR POWERS COMBINE!!!

    Just hearing those five teens again sent a shiver down my spine!

    The eXile referencing cartoons from my childhood is like hearing a sometime ally sound your own platoon’s personal marching song; you feel permanent commitment to it.

    The fucked-ness of Millenial existence was kind of paved over by the nice cartoons we had & that too 24 hours a day, but after Columbine, the darkness did begin to feel too real.

    And by the way, I’m actually too young for Captain Planet, thank the end of the Cold War, signified for us by the Soviet hightailing it out of Afghanistan for letting state television allow itself to be dragged out of the early 70′s, just in time to show late 80′s stuff at the dawn of the nineties ;-) So basically stuff that kids who were just old enough to remember the late 80′s love and treasure, I can’t remember the 80′s but love & treasure it too.

    As for the Millenials in America, um guys, did you know that the new breed of most gung ho terrorist in Pakistan is 15 to 25 years old?

    Are you seeing what’s happening here? Just like my beloved Karachi remained violently hopping throughout the nineties, whilst peace broke out everywhere in what we now call the “pre-9/11″ era, Pakistan and Pakistanis are again leading the trend and leading the way.

    Look to Pakistani millenials for leadership.

    They’ve absorbed all that Sesame Street/#Occupy/Obama Po-Mo niceness; but here’s theirs (and my) advantage:

    We Know When To Turn It Off

    ;-)

  • 23. adad  |  February 6th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    The stateless, borderless, atheist neoliberal hegemon is the problem, not Jesus. Surely some of the more competent resistances in the past few years have flown flags and/or praised allah. We definitely shouldnt sleep on that. If it’s one thing that my generation (millennial here) hopefully won’t accept it’s lifestylist fuckheads and their “activism” along the lines of a set of personal traits (atheist, transgender, gay, artist, writer, blah blah blah.)

  • 24. willy  |  February 6th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Funny you link to the Sesame Street clip. You know the show’s creator is married to Pete Peterson.

  • 25. Zirb  |  February 6th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    “The world, and this country in particular, is awash in capital… The big lie is that the coffers are empty”

    Oh yeah, because all those pieces of paper and digital dollars are real capital…NOT LIKE G-G-GOLD.

  • 26. Drunken Economist  |  February 6th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I’m surprised that you didn’t mention Curtis’ “The Power of Nightmares” and how the NeoCons (once and future big.gov Liberals themselves) shaped the current warscape in the Middle East, as well as the police state aparatus that holds all of us, even those with no debt, down.

    @Anarchy Pony: No, they’re whipping up bird flu to get you to take vaccinations. Can’t have the young growing up to become as old as their (they hope) transhumanized parents. Rounds of Gardasil for all. Renew! (ala Logan’s Run)

    -Drunky

  • 27. VikingLS  |  February 6th, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Antoine, Nowhere did Jesus say to obay your elders. Paul said to obey your parents, but included a caveat that the parents shouldn’t provoke their children’s rage. What passes for Christianity in this country is a gloss of pietism on middle-class materialism.

  • 28. Punjabi From Karachi  |  February 6th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    By the way, just noticing the love-in going on between the eXile and Adam Curtis, I’m kind of proud I discovered him waay back in 2006, and in 2008, as your Russian Summer of discontent was about to wind down on your head, I watched Century of Self in any downtime I had. At the time, Adam Curtis struck me as a conspiratorial but entertaining filmmaker. Now the entertaining part comes first. Because as Limonov taught you this important Eurasian lesson; politics must be fun!

    It’s great to see two independent sources, the eXile & Adam Curtis, reinforce each other. Also skip ahead to the last one minute of “The Trap’s” Episode 2, “Lonely Robot” and have an eXile prejudice about a certain profession reconfirmed.

  • 29. Anarchy Pony  |  February 6th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    @Drunken Economist, transhumanists scare the fuck out of me. God forbid the boomers become immortal machine people. We will be well and truly fucked.
    We’ll have to mandate that they get shipped off to the asteroid colonies.

  • 30. Hick  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    The only thing I can drop in here, an opinion, is that the Boomer/X’er divide is 1960s or so, not the 1965 bandied about. I grew up in a family of 5, God knows Mom tried her best but fired a blank, miscarriage, or we’d be 6. Or more. She tried. Like all good Suburanmommies did. More soldiers to beat Godless Communism. Or something.

    So, the oldest, 1957 model, got the full boat. Governess. National Spelling Bee, on the teevee which was a big deal. Met Spiro Agnew (since Tricky Dick actually had the class to not be around to shake hands with an Individual Special Snowflake). Dad and Special Snowflake flew over. Damn near made it, failed at “Instuedude” or some damn word. Special preppy school Obama went to, don’t worry, Special Older Sis would not have talked with a popolo.

    Meanwhile, the other 4 of us, public schools, pitching quarters for 2nd lunch if lucky (I was not into that scam, dammit, I needed the calories) pitching in to buy dinner, taking the bus for 10c somewhere if possible, otherwise walking, hunting, foraging. As adult doing the work too “Dirty, Dangerous, Degrading” for Boomers or much of anyone else.

    Pitching a brick at a greyhair in a sportscar is not a bad idea. You’d not catch me in one of the fucking things; it’s bicycle, bus, or if I am lucky, a sensible car I hardly drive in a few months – I’ll still be biking it or bus’ing it most of the time.

  • 31. Steamed McQueen  |  February 6th, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Whenever anyone speaks about the boomers they invariably mean the Woodstock generation. Most forget that the baby boom extended all the way into 1964. For the trailing-edge boomers things were very different- While our older brothers and sisters were going to all the good concerts, doing all the good drugs, having all the free love, taking part in all the antiwar protests, we trailing-edge boomers were in grade school. We saw it all, but didn’t take part in any of it even though we get lumped in with our older brethren.

    No, what we got was a huge ass mess to clean up, and of course the bill that was due.

    It isn’t easy for you millenials, but at least you have your own group. We who were born at the tail end of the baby boom can best be described as observers. Oh yes, we saw and heard it all, but really didn’t get to participate in any of it. It is we who are truly the lost generation. Too young to take part in the original hippie movement. Too old and irrelevant to be a part of the millenials.

  • 32. coprologie  |  February 7th, 2012 at 2:09 am

    @robert paulson

    ‘Beta’? Really?

    I’m 24, and not to interrupt all the lovin, but I have seen my age cohort be shitty, even the lefties.

    No matter how much talk there is about class justice, it seems like someone is always going to get fucked in the ass. I’m a pessimist so I’m assuming it’s gonna be either me or my friends or likely both.

    It’s ugly and resentful but a person in a low position could well be kind of glad other people are in this squeeze, because at least it’s not lonely at the bottom now.

  • 33. John Figler  |  February 7th, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Millenials? WTF? Go and get a decent name for yourselves, tramps!

    You are less, you are going to lose. Simple maths.

  • 34. exsqueeze_me  |  February 7th, 2012 at 5:42 am

    CAN I HAVE A TL;DR VERSION?!?!!? PLEASE, I’M BEGGING YOU…

  • 35. bob  |  February 7th, 2012 at 5:49 am

    The biggest job opportunity in the US for millenials is as healthcare workers for aging boomers. Providing healthcare they probably won’t be able to afford themselves.

    Have fun changing those diapers, millenials. Entitled boomers, don’t forget to lecture your diaper slave on how great your generation was.

  • 36. Margo Adler  |  February 7th, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Many good points in this article. Needs to be tightened up, though.

    I hear you, brother. The entitlement, conceit, and self-aggrandizement of the Boomer generation offends me to no end. They fucking hijack every election and policy debate and seem incapable of understanding that this country is not exclusively THEIRS.

    Like in 2004, the Bush/Kerry election. Two fucking wars going on, not to mention a dozen other crucial issues that needed serious attention (climate change? Housing bubble?), and what did people and the media focus on relentlessly? SWIFT BOATING AND VIETNAM. VIETNAM, the Boomer obsession.

    It made me homicidal with rage. YOU FUCKTARDS–save the neverending argument for the dinner table, or the internet forums, or the bar or the VA hospital lounge or wherever, but we have serious contemporaneous shit to take care of RIGHT NOW and America is not ALL YOURS.

    And 1950s nostalgia! I always thought it was weird. I finally figured out where it comes from: the boomers were kids then. That’s why they romanticize it.

    If I hear another Boomer minimize or even compare the experience of military service in Iraq/Afghanistan to Vietnam, I’m going to scream. How dare you. It’s not a pissing match, you jackass.

    Also: it was on their watch that my country was turned into a sprawling parking lot festooned with strip malls. Thanks for nothing, assholes.

    Boomers had the best of everything, and look what they did with it. And these Tea Party morons want their safety nets and entitlements, but don’t want anyone else to get them.

    Oh yeah–it will be SUCH A RELIEF when they croak and I don’t have to hear the same “CLASSIC ROCK” tunes we’ve all been listening to everywhere for 30 years. Shit, I like Pink Floyd as much as the next person, but enough’s enough.

    Must stop now. My head’s gonna explode.

  • 37. Jim Buck  |  February 7th, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Chuck a brick at my grey head and I’ll nut it straight back at ya. Don’t pick on the old, pick on the gold.

  • 38. Broseph Stalin  |  February 7th, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I wish I could see a silver lining for my generation but I really don’t. It’s just too late. America has entered terminal decline. At least I got to live most of my adult life while the empire still existed. I can still purchase food and imported crap – for the time being.

    I’m 27 and I sense that my children will grow up during the final collapse of the globalized economy and the beginning of a new era in human history which I have titled: “How the fuck do we deal with climate change, a sixth mass extinction, and critical shortages of many resources?”

    So far my retirement plan consists of starting a fraternal order of monks who write illuminated manuscripts and preserve outdated technology and flora on the verge of extinction in the abandon remnants of a Arizona public library.

  • 39. sleepy  |  February 7th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    The thrust of this article fits in neatly with the elite’s historical tool of pitting the 99% against each other.

    I graduated from college in 1973 and have spent my entire working life in the context of declining wages and declining social services. I was laid off from my job at age 59 with little prospect of working again.

    Yep, the people my age are the ones who’ve been running things for the past 20 or so years. But age has nothing to do with the way they’re running things. They run things that way because they are the elite, and by definition in this country, that means working for the interests of the 1%.

    And neither the author nor any of my cohorts that I know are part of that 1%.

    Grouping people by age is as silly as doing so by race.

    “Don’t trust anyone over 30″ was stupid in the 60′s and is equally so now.

  • 40. platitudes  |  February 7th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Connor, SO RAD. The only thing I would tack on to this article is that down here in the dirty dirty, cops have started STRICT DUI enforcement to augment their cash flows from the drug war…thus punishing millenials who opt for the one semi-legal choice to have fun in this country.

  • 41. Flegetanis  |  February 7th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    For (a) change, why not try something that everyone can understand and accomplish? Vote against all incumbents – twice. Then vote against the candidates who spend the most on TV advertising.

    This is easy to do and simple to verify, and it would start to remove the power of money to buy elections. The elected officials might then be able to pass sensible campaign funding laws.

    Although this strategy would remove some capable politicians, requiring the electorate to sensibly choose only “good” politicians won’t work.

    So, start not an “Occupy” movement but an “UNcumbent” movement. Remove the power of money to the extent possible, because the average voter has only his vote.

  • 42. Strelnikov  |  February 7th, 2012 at 11:35 am

    You want to save America? Kill the Koches, blow up Al Lord of Sallie Mae.

    @36 I hate the fucking KLASSIK ROK format too, because it goes after the favorites and completely avoids other bands, so you get a metric fuckton of the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Cheap Trick, and you hear nothing from groups like Bloodrock, the James Gang, Hell – even Donovan. At one point in my area, the local KLASSIK ROK station whittled their playlist down to 200 songs or less. And similar crap goes on with the new rock stations, they have their “in” bands and you’ll never hear the “out” bands. This is why there has been a raft of low-power (10-100 watt) pirate FM stations appearing, because the licensed people don’t play the interesting rare stuff.

  • 43. JTFaraday  |  February 7th, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Baby boomers lived in a classed society, just like everyone else. The generational depiction of the boomer lifestyle promoted by college educated cultural elites–and now assumed by Madison Avenue– was always a narrowly false depiction of generational economic ease.

    In addition, as of Mark Schmitt’s 1974 dividing line at which point living standards started declining, the oldest boomers born in 1946 were only 28. That means the boomer story is as much a story of economic decline as anything else:

    “around the time today’s 55-year-olds graduated from college (IF THEY DID—fewer than 30 percent have a four-year degree), inequality began its sharp rise, and the share of national income going to the bottom 40 percent began to fall. Productivity and wages, which had tended to keep pace, began to diverge, meaning that workers began seeing little of the benefits of their own productivity gains. The number of jobs in manufacturing peaked and began to drop sharply…If there was ever going to be a generational war in this country, that high school class of ’74 would be its Mason-Dixon line.””

    The generational “dividing line” Schmitt references– within an ALREADY CLASS DIVIDED GENERATION, where fewer than 30% had a college degree– is a divide entirely within the boomer generation itself… that happens to put MOST of them on the decline trajectory.

    I don’t disagree that for a variety of reasons, many of which stem from cultural animosities arising out of what is actually a longstanding unacknowledged class war between boomer “hads” and “had nots,” Vietnam war casualties and Vietnam war educational exemptions etc, that a viable solution is unlikely to come from this generation.

    The real problem with the vast majority of them is not that they had it too easy and are boosters of capitalism who would resist reforming a political economy that continues to threaten them– keep your hands off my Medicare! etc– but that they are deeply politically dysfunctional and always have been.

  • 44. Nyerd  |  February 7th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    @39. sleepy

    I also feel the same way about generational politics, and I’m a millennial.

    I’d much rather see an expose of these terrible people and think tanks playing generational politics, and a whole new framework to counter their damaging effects. Why play into their messaging when we ought to have our own?

  • 45. nampa1  |  February 7th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Good article, but not fully baked
    . One component I can add is in reference to Japan; though Japan is more pro-capitailst than the other Asian countries (and some Western ones), the shame factor of the kids without jobs is not political but cultural. (It is losing face and the public shame it brings.) Kids are losing out there too, and adults, the oldest are 36 now. Japan offers life employment and paternal company lifbut if you don’t get in on the ground floor, the society is not flexible enough to let you n past 25 or so. Additionally, you can not say apan is in a depression. All indicators are still better than ours and they still have an export economy.
    However, I feel this is changing. They are starting to copy us and off-shore their industry to China. Additionally, they are copying us in regards to visa issuance in an attempt to fit in with the West (Englishspeaking). Chinese are getting more visas and that is only the beginning as self sponsorship will radically change the cultural make-up. It’s a fragile hmogenous culture that wont survive the double whammy of no industry or foreigners not playing the socially intricate rules. Japan’s future is our present.

  • 46. 69 Anytime 88 On a Date  |  February 7th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    “Slavoj Žižek, a maverick philosopher, is the author of over 30 books and has been acclaimed as both the “Elvis of cultural theory” and the “most dangerous philosopher in the West.” He is today’s most controversial public intellectual. The paperback edition of Living in the End Times is now available from Verso. Žižek is now at work on a book about Hegel.”

    Ughhh…he’s associated with that mumbling assklown Zizek, the Greatest Public Intellectual [TM] of All Time. And why is Zizek so dangerous? Is he going to sit on the Oppressive System? Make us learn how to type with diacriticals? Make us watch him have Elvis-like sexual unions with socialist librarians who refuse to have a bikini wax? What already, Slavoj?

  • 47. radii  |  February 7th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    this article reminds me of when I threw Catcher In the Rye across the room after suffering through about 40 pages … while the sentiments may be correct, the juvenile snarky, self-righteous stink just kills any value in the message … and the basic premise is wrong: Boomers actually transformed society (Civil Rights Act, Stonewall, drove Nixon out, tried valiantly to end Vietnam War, drug experimentation, expanded sexuality and fractured ossified social rules, etc), sure there were excesses and, yes, they got older … but compare them to Gen-X (useless trendoids), Gen-Y (even more useless and a lot more vacuous), and Millenials … X,Y and Millenials don’t know anything, are too cool to care if it means getting dirty or taking real risks and want revolution only if it is as convenient as clicking a button

  • 48. SmartassRothbard  |  February 7th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    1)The vast majority of millenials I know are libertarians,anarcho-capitalists or rothbardians.

    2)I love when left-anarchists call themself “anarchists” or deny that we are anarchists….
    I have a news for you…IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN PROPERTY RIGHTS YOU CAN’T SAY SOMEONE STOLE YOUR MEDICARE PRIVATE PROPERTY FROM YOU! DUH!

    l2p property rights morons

    MEDICARE PRIVATE PROPERTY

  • 49. anonymous coward  |  February 7th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Funny – I’ve come to that conclusion as well, that we’re in for a good 30 years more of this shit – but from a completely different angle.

    For me it’s the damage that Boomers have done to the Left that’s the cause of our political problems. Their embracing of irrelevant causes, lifestylism, bad PR and – most of all- lack of empathy and concern for ordinary people – has condemned the Left to irrelevancy, at least for now.

    The wingnut contingents are finally starting to die off, but their rancid, consumerist take on politics has a long half-life, and gives the Right the very legitimacy they lacked when cooler heads prevailed.

    For instance, in the 1970s, trade unions brought down British governments right and left, and the thought of unemployment rising above one million made peoples’ stomachs turn – but now the Left agenda is set by crazed Trots, brain-dead hippies and heavily infiltrated boot boys, nobody gives a shit as long at it doesn’t happen to them.

    Your mileage may vary, of course, but you see to have the same basic problems with Samba bands, drumming circles, black bloc provocateurs and People’s Judean Front splitters as we do. (btw I am at pains to point out that that’s a Monty Python joke, not a racial slur)

  • 50. Rob  |  February 7th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I won’t feed the [only the AEC has the sovereign power to determine a commenter's "trollness"] above me and neither should the rest of us. Nothing I can say does this justice but I am going to scream this from the rooftops.

    I would be interested in citation of some kind regarding the cost of universal public education

  • 51. Margo Adler  |  February 7th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    @42 Strelnikov: word! How many times can any person listen to ‘Hell’s Bells’ or ‘Crystal Ship’? Did Hendrix never perform a song other than ‘Purple Haze’? If you are going to subject the rest of America to the rock/pop music of your youth (some of which, to be fair, is excellent and has aged exceedingly well) in every bar, gas station, and radio station, would you please at least SHAKE IT UP A LITTLE?

    @47 Radii: Who claimed Boomers didn’t change (or at least have a tremendous influence on the changing) of society? And the premise of the article is not whether Boomers changed society. It is hilarious and very convenient that you read this article and thought its premise was all about you, or Boomers.

    Of the six accomplishments you credit to the Boomers, only a few are meaningful or consequential. Civil Rights Act–definitely partially the Boomers, but let’s get real, most of the leaders advocating for it (including the familiars: MLK JR and Malcolm X)were not Boomers. Boomers can’t take sole credit for civil rights.
    “Tried to end the Vietnam War”–so what. I marched and wrote articles to protest the invasion of Iraq. I don’t think that my generation gets a cookie my actions, or the similar actions of other people in my generation. And Boomers were not the only people protesting Vietnam. And tons of Boomers SUPPORTED Vietnam. So spare me–protesting Vietnam is not a generational achievement.
    “Drug experimentation”..? This is held up as a hallmark of Boomer accomplishment? The use of drugs is objectively value-neutral. Just as it is not necessarily ‘bad’ to use drugs, using them is not a heroic or complimentary action.

    “Fracturing ossified social rules”…what a vague and unhelpful argument. Some ossified social rules deserve(d) to be smashed. Just because a social rule is ossified, however, does not mean that it deserves to be smashed (or, confusingly, ‘fractured.’). I am 3-cheers all for smashing (I’m serious! To hell with it all!), but smashing requires some principled justification. The simple act of smashing/fracturing does not make a person virtuous or morally superior. If you think that it does, then there are thousands of revolutionaries waiting for trail at the Hague you should talk to.

  • 52. super390  |  February 7th, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I’m with #31. I remember the ’80s and the asshole young Reaganoids who swarmed out of the suburban woodwork. All born after 1964. Where are they now? They’re the Scott Walkers and other far-right agents in government. Or, they’re already being foreclosed and ruined and they’re voting for Scott Walker because they can’t believe the solution is not to go even more extreme.

    As for the boomers, you can’t paint George W. Bush and Abbie Hoffman with the same brush. The boomers had a civil war with each other and they’re still at it today. That implies that there are differences between them. Their shared arrogance comes from growing up in relative prosperity; their differences come from their conclusions on where said prosperity came from and where it would go, focusing on highly polarized and selfish definitions of the word “freedom”.

    And yes, when they became parents they all became fascists, because all parents are fascists. When affluent societies hit hard times, parenthood is deferred, so subsequent generations have fewer parents among them.

    As Bill Cosby, former financier of black radical flicks turned reactionary hater of hip-hop, once said: “Parents don’t want justice, parents want… QUIET!”

  • 53. JR  |  February 7th, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I am a boomer. And personally, I am utterly disgustd with what my arrogant, self-absorbed, learjet leftist generation did with not only what they inherited, but let the next generation with. You can thank socialism, feminism, political correct-ism,me-first-ism, ad nauseam.

    Hopefully your generation won’t continue with the stupidity.

  • 54. Mason C  |  February 7th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I’m in the boat with #31, too: the Baby Bust is in the shadows on several counts. Over our shoulders (or in our faces) we could see the resources the Boomers were busy squandering, but it’s also true we generally aren’t as screwed as the Millenials. Some of our cohort tried to suck corporate cock to nab a Boomer-type gig, but it didn’t quite work out. It was either hate like a Reaganite so you could grab whatever you could (usually a fraction of the average Boomer take), or have some self-respect and get shit on relentlessly.

    As for the wounded lefty Boomers who claim the tiara of social transformation: GMAFB. The reason Boomers had such a winning streak is that when they were young and idealistic, they had huge numbers in the right political spaces. Even wanker moderates were on board for the ride. Now, as age, crankiness, and delusion have set in, all those gains have been either diluted or smashed (see also ‘single issue voter’). The Boomers’ political fundamentals were always weak. As Lewis Black said, “My generation’s a failure. We didn’t even legalize pot.”

    It’s also fair to note that no generation is monolithic. Class, race, gender, geography – all the demographics matter. But if Boomers can’t see just how much everyday privilege improved their lives, then that’s just one more reason to thank Connor Kilpatrick for this brutally awesome smackdown.

  • 55. radii  |  February 7th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    @51 Margo … for the record I am an older Xer and know of what I speak when I call out my own generation for its lack of political education and nearly zero inputs into the political process … every decade has its own zeitgeist and is probably a better indicator than generations which stretch out over 20-30 years and arguments abound about just when one generations ends and one begins … feedback loops connect it all with older folks participating in the early days of punk for example, constant retro vibes popping up in fashion and art and music … the whole notion of generational warfare since 1900 is really a product of the divide-and-conquer Republican strategists in the post Civil Rights Act era with the key practioners being Atwater, Deaver, Gingrich, Rove: strategic rhetoric to negative-associate and repeat repeat repeat – they got a 30-year run with it and used drugs as a crime issue instead of a health issue and God, Guns and Gays froze white working-class males in their tracks and compelled them to vote against their economic self-interest for decades (Thomas Frank What’s the Matter with Kansas?) … the post misses the mark by aiming at the wrong target – it is ALL about the 1% oligarchy and wresting power from them – that is the only issue, everything else is diversion, distraction or ignorance given voice. Boomers are the last to cash-in but they have been harmed too: white-collar jobs cut back in the 80s, blue-collar jobs from ’79 on as they were shipped overseas for “globalization” … Romans had bread and circuses and modern societies must have a robust welfare state or else the top 1% rich will find themselves with knives at their throats as they sleep in their beds one day – the welfare state (free healthcare, a job, decent wage, etc.) is the price of domestic peace

  • 56. Jim Buck  |  February 7th, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Atwater, Deaver, Gingrich, Rove: strategic rhetoric to negative-associate and repeat repeat repeat

    Let me add Connor Kilpatrick to that list.

  • 57. Margo Adler  |  February 8th, 2012 at 4:49 am

    @55 radii:
    I stand corrected in my assumption of your age and generational narcissism. Sorry. I was engulfed in a happy frenzy of Boomer blame–I am so seldom given the opportunity to vent about these matters that when I do, I become overwhelmed.
    And I agree: Catcher in the Rye sucked bigtime. I couldn’t wait to read it because of its terrific reputation. Alas, it was my literary disappointment of the year.

  • 58. jimmythehyena  |  February 8th, 2012 at 4:50 am

    If all the twenty somethings really understand that they have no future as things are then all they have to do is go to lower Manahattan a million strong this some and occupy all of tribeca for three months. Yeah, there will be a lot of hardship and maybe you’ll even go hungry for a few days but that’s what war’s like. The police can’t arrest a million people and if they call out the national guard then they’re acknowledging that there’s a war on and then things go to another level. A level where they probably can’t win.

  • 59. Homer Erotic  |  February 8th, 2012 at 5:36 am

    @super390: I think the reason a lot of people in Wisconsin who support Scott Walker do so because they feel fucked over and want to see as many other people as possible get just as fucked over out of sheer bitterness. See Exiled editor Mark Ames’s We The Spiteful and also Chris Hedges’s book The Death Of The Liberal Class

  • 60. BillyBigRigger  |  February 8th, 2012 at 7:30 am

    As a Millennial I got to say that reading the Exile since around 16 years old has really helped me out in developing an ability for avoiding the traps that typical Millennials fall into, such as doing everything that you’re told yet living at home with no money and prospects.

    How is the Jacobin magazine? I hope it’s not anything like Adbusters, which I hate.

  • 61. Fischbyne  |  February 8th, 2012 at 10:36 am

    So this is obvious now. Excellent.

    Next poll question: How bad do things have to get before we can come out as socialists to our employers (most of whom are boomers)?

  • 62. Hunter  |  February 8th, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Jacobin is a good magazine. No it’s not like Adbusters. Jacobin doesn’t have a bunch of foppish return to the woods lifestyle bullshit. The arguments are more mature and sober.

  • 63. Sexy Claus  |  February 8th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    @46 re: Slavodj Zhizhek– YASS!!!!! my sentiments exactly. Fuck that guy AND the fat horse he rode in on.

  • 64. Judas  |  February 8th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    amazing

  • 65. Depends Undergarments  |  February 8th, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Whoa. Good ‘un.

  • 66. super390  |  February 8th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I don’t think there was one Baby Boom. America 50 years ago was too divided by race and region to have unified anything.

    Ever look at those Civil Rights Movement photos, where the crowd of young white thugs is screaming, throwing rocks, et al, at non-violent young blacks? Now figure those people were born around 1940-45. So by 2009 these white jerks would have been on Social Security, Medicare, and often veterans’ benefits. Classic Tea Party hypocrites.

    It’s regional. The Baby Boom was simply not the same thing in Palo Alto or Chicago as it was in Jim Crow country. The Baby Boom of the South and the rural north and west went to fight in Vietnam, and they have a grudge against the world for recognizing that it was a useless war of colonial maintenance. The other Baby Boom recognized it most loudly and used student deferments to stay out of it. Ever since, each group has gone out of its way to do the opposite of the other.

    Now since the criticism of Boomers at this site seems to orbit around their allegiance to capitalism, we ought to recall that a lot of anti-Vietnam types went out of their way to embrace Marxism to piss off the authorities, without understanding it very well. Some experimented with primitive communism in the boonies and failed, which is a hell of a lot more than anyone has tried since. But I recall a clip of an old CBS documentary where Cronkite or some other fogey narrates footage of the Grateful Dead at their pad, and intones that the hippies “are capable of hard work”, but that they viewed work more as the rest of us viewed play. Well, now isn’t that a fantasy of both Marx and Rand?

    You’re young, you’re from the only American generation not to suffer brain damage from poor childhood diet, you’re revved up on all sorts of drugs, and you have the supreme confidence that you can live without money which only growing up with money can cause. You’re so full of energy that you can feed the poor one day and crank out an album for a zillion bucks the next. Somehow you will always be a winner; when you finally give in and get a real job the employer will only see your energy, and he’s right.

    But you can’t be bothered with accepting that the rest of us schmucks hate our jobs and hate the risk of having no jobs and have to keep our families fed, and as a result we have politics and bureaucracies and unions and banks to keep everything survivable, so your radicalism lacks any doctrinal rigor or even an attention span. You don’t care about pension funding or energy policy or progressive taxation. You don’t get why blacks want IN on the system when you’re trying to get OUT.

    At that energy level, you can spout communist, libertarian, and anarchist crap at any moment without recognizing your hypocrisy. But you are much more likely to ask good questions along the way.

    What the counterculture did, at the moment of America’s greatest success, is ask the deadly question: Why?

    Then it got bored and moved onto other things without getting an answer from the old, or passing the demand on to those to come. We still don’t know why we put up with our way of life. We’re too scared now to ask.

  • 67. Flatulissimo  |  February 8th, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    30 years? Maybe not quite that long. The Supreme Court is like your handy yardstick to gauge how long we have. Half the older justices have one foot in the grave already, but the younger ones will be with us for awhile, just like the Boomers. Scalia and Kennedy might kick it pretty soon, but we’ve got a long-ass wait before we’re rid of Thomas, Roberts, and Alito.

    When we’re free of the Bush appointees, then we might finally be able to breathe that collective sigh of relief, if the republic still stands. Alas, Roberts is the youngest of ‘em, and he’s only 57.

  • 68. Jesse  |  February 9th, 2012 at 4:41 am

    It has always been thus in this system of property over people. Every generation screws over the next because the oldsters literally own the world and don’t recognize the next generation’s right to be here. Newcomers must rent or buy living space and opportunity as if the world was their elders’ creation to withhold for a price. What is a mortgage but indenturing yourself to the older generation for permission to occupy the earth? Will you Millenials be any better when it’s your turn to play landlord with the planet?

  • 69. Cum  |  February 9th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    When I visited Cuba around 2003 with other teenagers from my highshool (they were rich kids but the school was remarkably left leaning and I got a scholarship) we met a youth group “Espiral” and they sang and performed a Spanish Captain Planet skit, it was very endearing :) . At that point in time one of the gov’s recent PR campaigns for their supposed promotion of environmentalist initiatives so it makes sense.

  • 70. Big Gay Baby  |  February 9th, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    @66. Solid fucking analysis of the 60s, and I guess maybe life? Easily the most convincing thesis here, including the original article.

  • 71. darthfader  |  February 10th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Hmm, loans replaced with 5% tax on wages, 0% on investments . . .

    I wonder if the financial and business sectors will switch over to $1 Mark-Zuckerberg salaries for new hires and just pay them in a crooked tax-exempt fashion?

    Ha, just kidding, I’m sure they will.

  • 72. Rob  |  February 10th, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Who is Connor Kilpatrick?

    This piece is too well-written. I suspect Dr. John Dolan under another pseudonym and faux identity.

  • 73. revonrepeat  |  February 11th, 2012 at 4:02 am

    What’s with the Zizek hate? Between his anti-liberalism, his envy based model of capitalism (deeply congruent with what Ames writes here: http://exiledonline.com/we-the-spiteful/), and his penchant for dirty jokes one would think he would be the exiled’s favorite soviet philosopher poser. AEC: Yeah, a chubbier, Westernized, Malcolm Gladwell-ized version of the infamous Garrulus Garrulus.

  • 74. ariot  |  February 11th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Gen X guy here.
    We tried to warn you.
    Drop the illusion of choice.
    It was mostly gone before we showed up.

  • 75. Census Louie  |  February 11th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Along the lines of #71, I’m looking forward to see how far they can push the whole increasing “unpaid internship” trend.

    Sure it’s unpaid, but working for us 5 years with no salary is a great way to show you’re dedicated and get your foot in the door! Plus you get really great discounts on the company cafeteria! *business folds after 5 years, execs golden parachute out*

  • 76. Census Louie  |  February 11th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    And I know lots of lazy cynics love to say “the whole system is corrupt, it doesn’t matter who you vote for”. It’s not so much that politicians are outright bought (oh boy does it happen though) as they can’t afford NOT to accept campaign money because it’s so effective in shaping public opinion.

    You can correctly blame the boomers for the current state of affairs because they’ve been the single largest ACTIVE voting bloc in the country a while now. No politician dares touch benefits for seniors (despite the AARP not donating a red cent) because they vote. If young cynic hipsters, New Yorker subscribers, and Daily Show Democrats (holy shit is there anything more useless and annoying than Daily Show fans?) would put forth one quarter of the efforts boomers do, thing would be very different.

    The only violent revolution you should be advocating is punching someone in the face the next time they proudly announce they’re not voting. If you want the Democratic party to truly change, start at the local candidate level.

    Incidentally, the only libertarians I’ve ever known are (100%) white and either come from a relatively privileged background that afforded them opportunities they otherwise never would have had (NO ONE who had to pay their own way through college calls themself a libertarian), OR they’re incompetent failed entrepreneurs whose crooked crackpot business went under after they were caught for violations or tax evasion. I’d be very curious to know if anyone has ever known libertarians that fall outside that mold.

  • 77. Census Louie  |  February 11th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Also contributing to indentured servitude is the increased push of the myth that you need a college degree. They are now a requirement to be a frigging bank teller, in addition to several other “white collar” jobs with very little qualifications necessary.

    But boomers keep pushing it based on their timeline where a degree meant something. Now, in terms of pure economic sense, there’s little point to bothering unless you’re going to be a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or network at a prestigious school.

    Which also plays into the hands of fascistic authoritarianism; what better time for reactionary fundamentalist young people to chill out then when they’re away from their parents and getting laid at college? Conservatives HATE universities for sapping the pool of fanatic followers.

  • 78. fghjkuyhgbg  |  February 12th, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Why are you stealing the ‘millennial’ tag, you boring old cunt? I really doubt you were born after 2000. Don’t you fucking drag them down with you too.

  • 79. Flatulissimo  |  February 12th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    @77 – If you read Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians, which you should:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    - one of the things he talks about is how going to college has a significant and long-lasting effect of making a person less likely to hold authoritarian views. Going to college is like a vaccination against authoritarianism – you get exposed to a lot of different people and ideas that you wouldn’t get exposure to when your parents are home-schooling you. So promoting the idea that there is no reason to go to college plays right into the hands of the enemy.

    However, while it isn’t in the best interests of the powers that be to have a large college-educated population, it IS in the interests of lenders to make large loans that can’t be defaulted on to the majority of the population, for something that they have to have to have a remotely decent standard of living. It may be stupid that you have to have a college degree to get a job as a bank teller, if you need that bank teller job, and are competing for it with people who already have a college degree, you’ll need a degree to be able to get it. Student loans are a good deal for bankers, and they run everything in this country, anyway.

    People talk about the “higher education bubble” bursting, but I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime. Look at how long it is taking the housing bubble to collapse – people STILL think $250,000 is a fair price for a “starter home” in a city where the median income is 50k. Housing is still overpriced everywhere, and where it has collapsed, people still think it is going to come back, and this is since at least 2008 when it was finally accepted that there even WAS a housing bubble. And it’s going to take at least another decade to play out.

    In the meantime, higher education is even more entrenched than housing, you can’t “wal away” from your student loans like you can a mortgage, and higher ed hasn’t even “popped” yet. And when it finally does, the collapse will be even longer and more drawn out than housing.

    So what I’m saying is: Kids, in the near future you’ll have to have a master’s degree to land that plum janitorial position, so you better start studying for the GRE now.

  • 80. Flatulissimo  |  February 12th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    “walk away”. Durr.

  • 81. super390  |  February 12th, 2012 at 9:04 am

    #76:

    My favorite black libertarian is Michael Powell, the former FCC Chairman and son of General Colin Powell. Now the General ADMITTED he benefitted from affirmative action, and his son obviously had all the advantages you mentioned in your post, yet grew up in a state-socialist military economy. Yet Michael not only helped concentrate media power in fewer and fewer hands with his refusal to act, but then he imposed draconian censorship on TV because of Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl nipple. I wonder if he had to denounce his father to his masters for the sin of not supporting John McCain?

    Almost a perfect hypocrite.

  • 82. PilotMKN  |  February 12th, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I am a libertarian who is paying my own way through college. I work 40 hours a week driving trucks for a major auto parts company and am enrolled in a major university working on an accounting degree.

    You see, the problem here is you Lefties aren’t seeing the correlation here between the increases in government intervention and the decreases in the standard of living. Its not the fault of the “free market” or “capitalism”. Neither of those things have existed in America for a long time now.

    The Tea Partyers and Republicans who drone on and on about the free market and capitalism are a bunch of phonies would would NEVER support the real deal. Lefties who drone on and on about socialism willfully ignore its obvious negative consequences and the numerous historical examples of its failure and tendency for genocide.

    FDR prolonged the Great Depression, The Great Society increased poverty (which was declining 1% per year prior to the program), Student Loan programs made tuition go up and saddled us with debt, etc etc etc

  • 83. Cum  |  February 12th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    So shouldn’t everybody have access to a quality higher education? Especially if that radicalizes them? What’s unacceptable isn’t the fact that there is a strong social pressure to get an education (that’s a good thing), it’s that the education now costs far too much and it’s not accessible to ENOUGH people.

  • 84. Census Louie  |  February 12th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    #83

    Oh I do agree higher education is important. The problem is we’re getting the worst of all worlds now. It’s super overpriced AND mandatory for almost anything above minimum wage. Raise the price, raise the need to have one just to get by. It’s a vicious cycle of indentured servitude. The best option would be California’s old free system. Even if people don’t go on to a career that needs a degree, at the very least they get laid and have a lower chance of going on to become AM radio disciples.

    Sorry, #83. I’m going to have to call bullshit on you. 40 hour a week delivery job with huge commute times while enrolled in university and you still have enough free time for internet comments? People should stop taking anyone seriously once you hear the old “Communist FDR prolonged the Great Depression should have played it cool like Coolidge”, but I’ll talk out the rest of your troll bullshit.

    You deride libertarians, yet trot out their old chestnut of “of course the free market would make everything perfect, we just haven’t seen the real thing yet!” After all, how can a system ever be proven wrong if it has yet to exist? It’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster of economic arguments.

    And I’m curious what your definition of capitalism is and when you think it existed in America. Are you talking of the Gilded Age and Robber Barons? When it was acceptable to gun down and gas striking workers? Help me to understand when this perfect golden age existed before being destroyed by social security.

  • 85. Census Louie  |  February 12th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Fuck, sorry. I’m calling bullshit on #82

  • 86. Carl  |  February 12th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    AEC pre-troll comment: If a bagtard trolls and there is no one to read it, does it still make a gagging sound? Disclosure: the following text has been improved for troll clarity and size:

    I’m 24 and am part of the mellenianl generation and I agree that we’re fuwked in

    some aspects.

    *The most active voting bloc is the old geezer generation so they have a big
    role in the way things are now because they are the largest voting bloc; doesn’t matter if they are “liberal” or “conservative”. I just hate it when someone older talks sh1t about how the “young people today don’t get it rah rah rah, etc.” Young people today can change things its just that they have no clue how because the k-12 cirriculum is just brainwashing and taught them things they
    wont’ use later on, which is why the OWS movement is fading away because itsdisorganized and the people dont know what to unite on (and they are being laghed at)

    *The old geezer generation transformed American cities into sprawling suburban
    crapscapes that will be very impractical places when gas gets to $5 to $10 per
    gallon. Getting around will be difficult and time consuming. thanks alot for that. The rise of suburban crap scape cities have made local politics impractical and dysfunctional that people look up the the federal government as a result. Can’t do much at the local level because suburbs made local politics dysfunctional. And looking up to the Federal government to solve local problems has its problems. (See also “Beeeeeg gov’meeeeeent”)

    The dumb ass enviromentalists don’t want us to drill in ANWAR which can yield about 800,000 barrels per day at peak. This will really help us out when there’s major wars in the middle east and nobody wants to export oil to us. thanx alotCalifornia coasts have sizable reserves that can boost the state economy and also help out America when there are wars in the M.E. but won’t drill for it. Remember, the pre Tea Party Koch funded drill baby drill campaign? Well, I took part in the Drill Baby Drill koch telethon. Yep, getting around and transporting freight when its actually gonna count is gonna be difficult. If the cA Pacific Coast Republic wanted to break away from the Federal government than drilling would be very usefull.

    Gun laws will certainly fuwk liberals when the sh1t starts to go down. Right
    wing militias will be the ones taking sniper shots at liberals trying to sneak a
    loaf of bread across the street. Liberals will be caught totally off guard
    because liberals as a whole are a disarmed people. The liberal areas are disarmed while the right wing areas are well armed in terms of firearms per capita. Liberals fuwked us in this regard because we won’t be able to defend our selfs when it actually counts. We won’t be able to protect our block from fanatical right wing militias. Maybe with a few handguns, bowns and arrows and sling shots agianst sniper rifles, assault rifles and machine guns. Thanx alot for that. “more guns laws and restrictions” liberals shoot themselves in the foot in that regard.

    My little bagtard talkpoints memp here says to say that public sector workers have fuwked the finances of state and local governments with their outdated, dinosouric pension plan benefits. Their service is pretty sh1tty compared to other countries and they scream and whine when asked that they pay ONLY 8% into the system to at least help out the finances of state/local governments. And they are unionzed too. Even F.D.R., a socialists celebrated by liberals warned against Government unions. Yes FDR a democrat socialists has this to say about Government Unions. Read what a Senior Bottom Bagtard Fellow Specializing In Open Shop Serf Superiority at the Koch and Oil Heritage Foundation Foundation has to tell us about FDR’s warning about. This is some real ‘tardy knowledge here, guys. Don’t miss it!

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/18/the-first-blow-against-public-employees/fdr-warned-us-about-public-sector-unions

    But no…. give em more money by taxing the rich. When there’s not many
    rich people left to tax then expect to pay 30% – 50% of your paycheck in taxes to support government worker benefits and the medicare/medicade/social security system for the -old geezer generation- (see also ‘he Largest Voting Bloc’- the ones who have been running the show and controlled things for the past decades and talk sh1t about the younger genrations) Lets see if the common paycheck slave in the future will give a fuwk about the cadillac benefits public workers and saving the medicare/madicade/S.S.system then. By then the average paycheck slave will be like “man fuwk medicare/medicade/S.S. and fuwk caddillac benefits for unionized government workers” But for now the paycheck slaves pays around
    15% – 20% taxes so they dont care if they’re getting their moneys worth in government services because “the rich” picks up the tab for that. the Common paychech slave doesn’t feel the sting into their pay, only the rich do…for now.

    In closing I’d like to say: Stop hurting job creators or they will Go Galt on your liberalz ass like no tomorrow. Consider this a warning.

  • 87. Hick  |  February 12th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    super390 – childhood malnutrition was back in style in the Starving Seventies. As Ted Rall put it, it was not cool to be a kid in the seventies. Now, childhood malnutrition is in the form of too many junk calories, but in the seventies, it was the type that made me undersized enough that a dentist wouldn’t fix my busted front tooth, thinking it was still a baby tooth. I was 12. Schools had “the” fat kid. Boomers, raised by the ‘greatest” generation, grew up with all the things their parents didn’t want them to lack (from their experiences in the 1930s) like … food. Those in turn, learned that they always came first and children were excess baggage. Let ‘em feed themselves! Somehow. Some people decry the school breakfast/lunch even dinner programs some areas have now, but I’ve lived the alternative and it’s not pretty.

  • 88. ariot  |  February 12th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    #82

    Enjoy making someone else wealthy?

    This is so far beyond “left, right and libertarian” it went right over your well-educated head.

    Here’s a clue, they’re all the same and they’re all taking your shit. It’s how things have happened since the first farms were created. The land owner had the big house and the slaves lived in hovels.

    So what if the hovels now have broadband and porn? Their still hovels in comparison. At least serfs in the US have it better than most.

  • 89. Carl  |  February 12th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    AEC pre-troll comment: Let’s play another game of spot the libertard troll! Will he a) praise Ron Paul, campare him to the founding fathers? b) talk about fiat currency? c) drone on and on about peak oil? d) call the AEC an Obamabot….? Make your choices now!

    The above is some of our local problems of which there are several others. Lets take a look at the global resource problems

    Petroleum resources may not be as available as they have been for this past century, wars in the middle east for said resources and enviromentalists restricting drilling here at home (we have way better oil drilling and extracting technology now than back in the days to make drilling here at home cleaner and less risky). Oh and not to mention that petroleum resources are important for modern agriculture.

    I have a feeling when all of this starts to compount a job in the future will be MANUAL agricultural labor (when fuel for tractors is of limited availability).

    Here’s an outline on how to SAVE CIVILIZATION from collapse:

    Overhaul the k-12 cirriculum

    -to teach studens manual agriculture skills, learning about the growing seasons, when to plant, animal husbandry, etc.

    -math, sciences and important trade skills. Liberal arts would play a lesser role when all this happens.

    -at at least 50 million farm hands to avoid famine in the U.S.

    I’m scratching my head about wether there will be internal fighting (millions of guns in the U.S. lots of potential for casualties) or if we’ll turn into a facists state with thousands of arial drowns armed with hellfire missiles flying over neighborhoods. And If you dare start a protests a hellfire will be lobed at you. And you want try to escape America into other countries you’ll be spotted by drones and you’ll be returned back to America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTMXy2vKCBk&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW3DLfXHCXU&feature=related

    I dont advocate “blame the old geezers” because they have experience and knowledge that young people don’t have, although their morals and values can be fuwked up sometimes.

    When I look at my peers and age group there are some that are aware of the curruption of the Federal Reserve and fiat currency. A good bulk know somethings wrong but dont know what to do. Very few know about Peak Oil (I know exiled bashes peakist people and people who are against the curruption of the Federal Reserve and fiat currency)

    All of this may happen and am scratching my head on where to start. Interesting times we’re in.

  • 90. Carl  |  February 12th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    @ 38. Broseph Stalin

    “So far my retirement plan consists of starting a fraternal order of monks who write illuminated manuscripts and preserve outdated technology and flora on the verge of extinction in the abandon remnants of a Arizona public library.”

    Yea man totally. I like this guys way of thinking.

  • 91. coprologie  |  February 13th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    P.S. there are hikikomori in the USA too.

  • 92. super390  |  February 13th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    #82:
    You right-wingers only hear about the left-wing genocides. Right-wing genocides are each “unique” because conservatives preach that every nation is inferior to their own.

    Indonesia’s US-supported army overthrew a leftist regime and then committed THREE – that’s right, THREE genocides, against the Chinese/communists, against Timor and against Aceh. 500,000 to 1 million dead in just the first one alone.

    Guatemala’s right-wing evangelical Protestant dictator Rios Montt carried out the last of many slaughters against the Indians, again in the name of anti-Communism, with a total death toll of 400,000 in a small country.

    Of course you have Turks against Armenians, any number of tribal genocides in Africa, Hitler vs everybody, and what we ourselves did to Indians (in CA they had bounties put on their heads, also used against the Tasmanians, a truly capitalist approach to genocide).

    But to you, if poor people starve under the rich, that’s natural because they’re lazy and not as wonderfully entrepreneurial as you, so they don’t count as part of the body count of private property. But if a poor man shoots back, he’s a murderous Commie and his rich-pig victim is a martyr even if he inherited his wealth and raped the servant girls.

  • 93. super390  |  February 13th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Carl at #86 is so pathetic that I only want to comment on this part because it reveals the mentality of the species:

    “public sector workers have fuwked the finances of state and local governments with their outdated, dinosouric pension plan benefits”

    Okay, Carl, so it’s outdated to have a decent pension? Since the government competes with private employers in the labor market, you therefore are saying that decent pensions are obsolete for EVERYBODY.

    Then what’s the fucking point of Progress? The future is supposed to be ever-declining pay and benefits? The future is supposed to be a few go-getters like you striking gold while the rest of us niggers go back to picking cotton? Why should I sacrifice or obey property laws for a shitty future like that?

    Your ancestors, dumbshit, put up with the sickening injustices and humiliations of capitalism because the fatcats promised them all a better future. Believe it. When the fatcats failed to deliver in the ’30s our ancestors threatened revolution. So we got that better future for a few decades, and then the fatcats pulled the football away like Lucy does to Charlie Brown, claimed “Oh, foreign competition, sorry, we’re cutting your pay in half while quadrupling our bonuses.” Now you want to be like Charlie Brown and try again, and have that ball yanked away again like the sucker you are, or should you just kick Lucy repeatedly in the skull until she has a cerebral hemorrhage and then take the damn ball?

  • 94. Karl Marx-ish  |  February 15th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    It’s cute how Gen X isn’t even on the article’s radar. So are we the enemy, in general, or are we in the camp of the revolutionaries?

    …or do we just sit at the kids’ table and mind out own business?

    Seriously, where does X fit in? In the conventional wisdom, I mean. I know where I personally stand, and it’s sure as hell not with the Boomers.

  • 95. God damn red  |  February 16th, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    @90 & @38

    Funny I was thinking heroin for my retirement plan.

  • 96. DeeboCools  |  February 18th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    #92! Perfectly stated. People who starve and freeze to death under capitalism are never counted as “dying under the capitalist regime,” It’s always considered their fault. Whereas in a socialistic society, we tend to count every single dead as being the fault of society.

  • 97. WE  |  February 22nd, 2012 at 5:13 am

    There was always a thin film of shame and nausea that’s coated my childhood memories like dick sap and spit mixed lotion. I always thought it was my familial pathologies seeping in. Turns out the sickness was a generational pandemic most of us suffered in silence.


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