“In modern life, instead of people growing ‘older and wiser,’ people can simply grow older and older. People can live longer and longer without becoming any wiser for it.”
- Michael Meade; “Where Have All The Wise Men Gone“
Since time immemorial, the elders among a people always held a special place of high esteem. They were understood to be the members of a society who had spent their lives contributing to and serving their family, their community and their tribe/nation. These were the men and women who laid the groundwork so the tribe could survive and thrive.
After these men and women were done with their normative duties of raising a family and doing the sorts of work that is required of the able bodied, they did not “retire” away from the life of the community, but on the contrary, they became an even more integral part of it.
These elders became the “wise men/women”, who served their people by freely offering their wealth of experience and wisdom gained from real experience and hardship. Hence, they became in many cases, the true leaders of a people- at times even beyond the sovereign, who quite often looked to these sorts of people for guidance. In other societies, the council of elders essentially WAS the governing body.
The elders of the traditional society had the people’s admiration and respect because they earned it.
This is no longer the way things are. We no longer have a class of elders who can guide us through their maturity, experience and wisdom. We have a class of “olders“; a generation whose wisdom and maturity seems almost completely undifferentiated from that of their younger counterparts.
And while this transformation of elders into olders was a process that took multiple generations, and can be seen as intimately tied to industrialization and modernity; the Baby Boomers were the first to fully embody this shift where the post-child-rearing age members of the society went from being a class of wise men and women, to essentially being a class of old children.
Now there has been a surge of vitriol directed at this generation of Western “olders” (i.e. the Baby Boomer generation) in the mainstream/liberal media, scapegoating them as the cause of the rise in Nationalism that seems to threaten the “Liberal World Order“; which was established just after World War II by those in favor of a global capitalist system unconstrained by the boundaries of nation states.
Many pundits have blamed the Baby Boomer generation for the Brexit vote, that caused Britain to “begin processes” to leave the European Union. In fact, the influence of Baby Boomers on the Brexit vote has caused left-leaning political “scientists” like Heath Pickering to propose giving Baby Boomers less of a vote, under the premise that they will not have to ‘live with the consequences of their political decisions‘
This idea was quickly picked up by pseudo-journalistic entertainment outfits like VICE, who published an article detailing Pickering’s opinions entitled, “Brexit Proves Baby Boomers Should Get Less of a Vote“.
"BRITISH" PROTESTORS AFTER BREXIT VOTE
But let’s be sure not to be mislead by the deceptive voices of the mainstream/liberal media. The Baby Boomers that have been used as the scapegoat in the Brexit decision were those that lived primarily in the working class and rural areas of the U.K.- those who lived among the populations who were most detrimentally effected by the E.U.’s economic immigration policies. They were voting for cultural, economic, and in many cases, literal survival.
These Brexit Boomers came from people who were not able to maintain the disconnected philosophy of ivory tower liberals and rich-to-upper middle-class urbanites, who themselves, ironically, were culturally and economically sheltered from the consequences of their political decisions.
Here in the U.S., there is also a lot of venom being spewed against the Baby Boomers, essentially blaming them for the election of Trump, with many Baby Boomers themselves, like Bryan Blakely of Colorado, lamenting what they see as the failures of their generation, and even seeking some form of atonement:
“We succumbed to the comfortable temptations of self-interest, left politics to others, and were blind to the rise of the ultra-conservative right (funded then, as now, by the Koch brothers and their fellow billionaires). We sat idly by as the affable Ronald Reagan set in motion policies (flattening the income tax, destroying unions, revoking the fairness doctrine) that have led to the destruction of the middle class and the rise of billionaires (who now buy politicians and dominate our politics).
We leave you a world where the two-income family is the inescapable norm, where day care replaces parenting, where it’s harder to buy a home, save for your children’s education, your retirement, or achieve an education without incurring massive debt. And under President Donald Trump, things will only get worse: The rich will get richer — and they will buy more politicians as the middle and lower classes decline in influence and economic standing.
We let this happen: We ignored the lessons of Vietnam and Watergate. We allowed the lionization of Reagan, we made Trump possible. Many of us are trying to make amends. Help us.“
There is much truth to this statement. The Baby Boomers essentially milked the prosperity created by their parents’ and grandparents’ generation; and gave little in return. The Neoconservative ideals that came to the forefront in the Regan/Bush administrations, have wreaked havoc on the world and aided in the overall socioeconomic decline of America in particular.
But let’s be clear- the problem with the Baby Boomers came LONG before so many of them “bought in” to the more nakedly capitalist neoliberal/neoconservative ideology. It wasn’t because they abandoned the idealistic and faithful to the “core values” of the 60s Cultural Revolution, that caused the rise of all these things that so many no lament.
It was because they didn’t abandon these “values”, that ultimately caused the Baby Boomers to be act as a subversive and corrosive force in the West. It was because of Neo-Marxist ideals that they saw as virtue; ideals that were pushed on them in their spoiled naivety, that caused them to become the generation that truly “lost the West” for their children and their descendants.
The internationalist ideals of Marxism were merged with the internationalist ideals of capitalism (not that they were ever TRULY separate), and became what is now known as the “Liberal World Order”. Since the 1960s, these liberal/Marxist values became absorbed into the consumer capitalist system, culminating with “Social Justice” messaging being used in commercials.
Meanwhile, the “revolutionary” Neo-Marxist Critical Theory that was first disseminated by their college professors, has now become the lens through which college students come to understand the world. Similarly the “triumphant values” of the various Neo-Marxist-inspired movements of the 1960s have become saturated in the media, helping to create the phenomenon known as “Cultural Marxism“.
The Baby Boomers rebelled against the traditional values of their parents in a way that was unprecedented. They did not just to “come into their own”, but rather they almost seemed to resent what their ancestors had built for them as being “unfair” towards those their Marxist professors had told them were “oppressed“.
Their worldview existed as a negation of that world that had given birth to them. They ultimately sought to tear down and invert nearly every single cultural norm and value that existed in the West at that time. They were the first zealots of the “American Bolshevik Revolution” (a “revolution” being taken up by the Millennials).
The Baby Boomer generation were perhaps the most economically “privileged” generation to ever exist. However, they shirked the responsibilities and became a generation that completely disregarded their role in carrying forward the material, cultural and spiritual wealth that is the legacy of their ancestors, to their descendants. Instead, they seemed to chose to primarily “help” themselves, or those that had little-to-no connection to them.
This was largely due to a misguided resentment towards not only their parents’ generation, but Western culture as a whole; which in turn was disseminated to them through the intentionally subversive indoctrination taking pace at universities, as well as the influence of popular cultural figures like Timothy Leary, Alfred Kinsey, and the musicians that came out of Laurel Canyon.
The 1960s and its aftermath saw the concept of freedom turn from something that required self-reliance and responsibility; to what was essentially the ability to “do whatever I want“- without consequence of course. America essentially went from having a mature, adult conception of freedom, to one that is akin to that of the child who finds his/her parent’s rules “oppressive“.
The Cultural Revolution of the 1960s is was what allowed for the integration and expansion of what has become the ideology of modern corporate globalism– the goal of World War II. But now this system is falling apart due to its own unsustainable nature- and it is being touted as a travesty by sheltered college students, idealistic liberal grandparents and greedy hedge fund managers- all of whom see ensuring its survival as being one and the same as moral “goodness“.
It should come as no surprise that members of this 60s generation that protested seemingly anything and everything, are now “leading the charge” against President Trump. Ironically, it was also the Baby Boomers that were the first generation to have television in the home from cradle to grave; the irony coming from the fact that the both the creation of Trump as a media personality and the “outrage” directed against him, is due in LARGE part to what people see and hear on TV- and the fact that they were raised to believe it was true.
This brings us to perhaps what is the most personally troubling aspect of the degeneration of our elders into olders, and that is their actual behavior.
During and after the Trump campaign, I found myself astounded at the generally childish behavior that people my parents’ age and older were displaying on line and in the streets. I lost a great deal of respect for people that I had once held in fairly high esteem. It was as if they were simply older, greyer versions of what they had been as kids in the 60s; almost as if their minds had been fossilized.
But this problem goes far beyond Trump hysteria or anything outright political.
We live in an age of the “cool mom” and the “hip dad” archetypes; where adults are more concerned with proving they’re “chill” or “with the times”, rather than actually proving they’re adults. The result of this is children who don’t actually have parents, and end up being “raised” by other children- either figuratively or literally.
The Baby Boomers legacy is one of tearing down the “outdated” values and norms of Western society, and creating a vacuum; a hollow void that subsequent generations have been aimlessly rushing to fill with endless pleasure and distraction, while having no sense of meaning or purpose outside the shallow and superficial.
This has left a stunted, broken population with skyrocketing rates of suicide, mental illness, and degenerative disease; constantly striving to fill the void left by the destruction of a society rooted in Values beyond that of the material.
Humanism and Marxism’s attempts to secularize the idea of the “ideal human condition” has created only cheap counterfeits and destructive abominations- which are the results of any attempt to divorce the Spiritual dimensions from the affairs of this world, which is what secularization is.
The economic and political destruction overseen by the Baby Boomers as lamented by the left is largely material and ultimately, superficial. The most serious damage is that done to the very fabric of their societies, due to the moral and spiritual corr of their beliefs and actions.
All that being said, we must be mindful that while it is certainly right to hold accountable and take to task those that are behaving in a way that is truly endangering the survival of the group (even if it is our own family), we must be careful never to slip into resentment- especially not resentment of one’s own family; the closest thing to an extension of one’s self that exists in this world.
That was what got us into this mess in the first place.
WR-ALDA’S Blessings unto you and yours.