Recovered memory: My personal malaise lasted deep into the eighties. I wanted to be an author and I refused to face the reality that it wasn’t happening for me.
One day, in desperation, I approached a college professor. Let’s call him “Bob.” I was in my late 30s and I told Bob I was considering going back to graduate school. Bob said that was fine. The department appreciated older students. But I’d have to learn Marxist or feminist approaches to literature…
Uh, unh, ahh…
Bob must have read the reluctance on my face because he hastened to reassure me I could still live it up if wanted to because, “All the Marxists at Duke drive around in BMWs.” I don’t know why he mentioned Duke. Maybe they were the biggest Marxists at that time…
In any case, you have to be grateful when someone is that straight with you and gives you a moment of clarity. Even if it is otherwise repugnant.
For me, this Parable of the Beemer represents the truth about “My Generation,” and it is the reason I’ve renounced them. For the Boomer, it doesn’t matter what you do 40 hours per week. Only what’s in your head counts. You can work at a corporation and earn a million bucks. But if your heart is building socialism, in solidarity with the workers rolling fine cigars in Fidel’s factories—then you are one revolutionary dude.
Trouble is, the solution that saved the Boomer from communal squalor, which lifted him from the quagmire of economic malaise, is the opposite of what he wants to impose on everyone else.
Think about that. The Boomers’ success came from renewed economic animal spirits, innovation, and sexual animal spirits, euphemistically described as “demographic pressure” or “family creation.” Today, their recommended solutions are the opposite: Business sucks, so let’s replace the family with the state, and give people more handouts.
How can that possibly help us Threes? Remember, the people recommending this strategy are happily driving around in expensive automobiles (some of them hybrids).
When you look at the history of revolutions, it’s almost always the same. They start as broad-based popular movements, which are then overtaken by a more angry, violent, and politically ruthless faction. The reign of terror in France. The cultural revolution in China. The Reds’ hijacking the Russian revolution and then Stalin’s purges.
Consider also the countries that have one democratic election. Just one—then back to authoritarian government.
The American revolution is the one notable exception. As of now, our system has lasted almost 240 years without a violent takeover. That’s why we speak of American exceptionalism. If that term makes you uncomfortable, let’s acknowledge democracies all over the world where people are free to chose and change their leaders, from England to India, recognizing also Germany, Japan, and Italy whom we helped recover after defeating them in World War II, and especially Israel, the only country in the middle east where Islamic people can vote and are eligible to serve in the Knesset.
With that in mind, here’s the straight dope on the Boomers: Pay attention to what they do, not what they say.
You know this. As the vibrant, restless, upcoming generation, Gen 3.0’s job is to rebel against the Twos—its parents and the teachers. So get busy, my Threes. Rekindle the animal spirits. Unleash the voodoo. Get your mojo workin’.