Saturday, December 10, 2011

How the Generation #Fail Destroyed The World

This is not a blog that engages in blogginess of the conversation, in a large part, because the conversation is now so relentlessly degraded into high school social games, that there is no point in engaging it. It is impossible that not to believe that there aren't many others who are engaged in real work, forging out into the unknown, or in real change, however, everything possible is being done to prevent them from being heard from. To who ever you are, my respect. But do realize you are going to spend your entire lives listening to incoherent bombast.

Now as to why. There is a generation in power in the developed world, and it is the most incompetent generation since the generation that created the First World War, and perhaps more incompetent. The Generation that created the Second World War was ideologically blind, but it was not, in fact, incompetent, incomptence's vestigial hand being lopped off by the economic crisis and the pressures of modernization. They were not equal to their moment, but their moment was faced with an epoch making challenge of the introduction of mass production, internal combustion, and telecommunications.

We are not able to handle even a rebalancing of the costs of these realities, let alone realities of similar import. We fret about oil depletion, but it is not depleted yet, we fret about the retiring baby boom, but they are not an unbearable burden. In all cases our problems are real, but distant, or imaginary and immediate. Right now, it is the problem of how to make it so all the world's billionaires get an equal share in the parallel world they are building for themselves. When the history of this time is written, the authors of it - because while news is written by winners, but history is written by survivors - will have unvarnished contempt for the present generation in power.

 By now the members of the Baby boom have turned away, because they, in typical self-absorbed fashion, think that "generation" means them. In some sense they are right: as the largest and most consequential component of Generation #Fail, they will deserve the lion's share of the blame. However, they are right in fearing that they will receive an even greater share of the blame, because of their size, visibility, and generational identity. They are long, while there are arguments about how long the Baby Boom is, depending on methods, biases, and country, at very minimum they run from 1944-1964, or 20 years. Longer than the Generation X that followed them, longer than the Silents who are 1930-1944, at longest.

They are also because of the very nature of the "Baby Boom" larger than both of the generations around them. Hence, to the naked eye, the present is the Baby Boom writ large. This is exacerbated by a trait that the essay will explore in some detail later: the Baby Boom has an enormous opinion of themselves. To the baby boom, they are the greatestest generationest Everest. The pinnacle of generations. This wide disparity between their sense of themselves, and their actual accomplishments, is what will be their Waterloo in history. Having taken all the credit, they are now prepared to later be assigned all of the blame.

 To answer the essential questions in order, the essay must tackle first: What is Generation #Fail? Then Who are Generation #Fail? After this Why Generation #Fail?

What is Generation #Fail?

Beginning in the early 1980's the Soviet Empire began to rattle apart, and the People's Republic of China slowly shook off Maoism and began the slow road to liberalization. In 1989 the death throes of the Soviet system began, and by 1991, it was over. There was one major transitional war, between the United States and Iraq, which was one of the most lopsided victories since the early German Blitzkriegs of 1939. An epoch, the post-World War II epoch, was over. In 1993 Bill Clinton took office, and in 1994, Newt Gingrich swept out of power the post-World War II Democratic house. In the developed world a series of new leaders took over. Clearly the beginning of an epoch, but not necessarily of a failed generation in power. There was a great deal of assertive confidence in that time, and there was no reason to believe that the present generation was going to make a mockery of itself. The triumphalism should have been a warning, when books such as "The End of History" launch careers.