I’ve written a lot about political generations here. It’s hardly original to me — Peter Turchin and his “cliodynamics” disciples are all about the generational politics (this site is a good example of a disciple). I think it’s overblown — anything that claims History is a science is overblown; look no further than Marx himself — but useful in moderation.
One point I can’t emphasize enough is that the real fanatics, the whatever-it-takes crazies, almost always come from the generation that was old enough to be fully aware of, but not participate in, some social cataclysm. World War One is an obvious example, and as you might expect, the fanciest of the Cat Fanciers were all juuuuust a bit too young (or, in the Dwarf’s case, too clubfooted) to participate. When a generation like that (average DOB of, say, 1905) starts staring middle age in the face, things are going to get very bad, very fast.
A more benign example is George Orwell. Born in 1903, he had this to say about life before the Great War:
When [H.G.] Wells was young, the antithesis between science and reaction was not false. Society was ruled by narrow-minded, profoundly incurious people, predatory business men, dull squires, bishops, politicians who could quote Horace but had never heard of algebra. Science was faintly disreputable and religious belief obligatory. Traditionalism, stupidity, snobbishness, patriotism, superstition and love of war seemed to be all on the same side…Back in the nineteen-hundreds it was a wonderful experience for a boy to discover H. G. Wells.There you were, in a world of pedants, clergymen and golfers, with your future employers exhorting you to ‘get on or get out,’ your parents systematically warping your sexual life, and your dull-witted schoolmasters sniggering over their Latin tags…the generally accepted opinion was that if God had meant us to fly He would have given us wings.
Wells was born in 1866, when Victoria’s reign still had almost another 40 years to run. Orwell was born two years into Edward’s, and the world could hardly have been more different, yet Orwell seamlessly equates H.G. Wells’s youth with his own. For comparison, this is like someone of my generation (born roughly 1970) taking some Jazz Age relic as our guru. It’s stuff like this that makes Orwell so hard to take seriously sometimes.
But he had a point for all that. When you’re a teenager, everything your parents believe is wrong, because they’re your parents. Teenagers in 1918, though, had a huge, obvious wrong to point at — if it were even possible for your parents to be right about something, they were certainly wrong about that, the War, the industrial meat grinder of the Western Front. The pedants, clergymen and golfers of 1903 could’ve seen it coming — they didn’t. They could’ve stopped it any time — they refused. They still thought dying for King and Country dulce et decorum est, the old, fat bastards, safe across the water, even after an entire generation was wiped out fighting for…. whatever it was they were fighting for.
Orwell’s German equivalents were saying the same thing, for the same reasons.
And so were his American equivalents, when our cataclysm came. It was the Second World War for us, not the First, but the social result was the same. It even had the same root cause. Here’s Orwell again:
There you were, in a world of pedants, clergymen and golfers, with your future employers exhorting you to ‘get on or get out,’ your parents systematically warping your sexual life…
We forget this now — we’ve been well trained to forget it — but not least among Socialism’s many attractions was the sexual utopia that was to come when the workers seized the means of production. “Common property” always seems to entail “common wives” — sorry, ladies, but it’s true. The first thing any chiliastic socialist movement did was preach “free love,” going all the way back to Antiquity. Every heresy from the birth of Christianity was accused of it; every sect in Cohn’s Pursuit of the Millennium did it; the so-called “Utopian Socialists” did it (e.g. Brook Farm); even the so-called “Scientific Socialists” did it, such that Marx and Engels were often asked to their faces if they meant all the means of production would be held in common. It was even more open in the 20th century — it’s no accident, as Marxists frequently said, that contraception was the Socialists’ #1 public health issue. Monogamy is counterrevolutionary, comrade.
Orwell used the language of science — “science” and “scientific,” “reason” and “reasonable” are plastered all over his essay on Wells, and indeed all over his writings. (You’ll recall, for instance, that he contrasted Hitler’s worldview in Mein Kampf with “comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense.”) But for as much as all Leftists everywhere and everywhen talk about how much they Fucking Love Science (TM), we don’t even pretend to bother with it in The Current Year (which is one of the reason lots of people, even in Our Thing, regard Orwell as some kind of conservative). These days, we’re all about our pwecious widdle feelings…
….which is why it’s no accident that the gospel of our just-missed-the-war generation, the so-called Silent Generation that were responsible for the worst excesses of “The Sixties,” was Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization. Here again, we’ve forgotten — because we’ve been very well trained to forget — that until very, very recently, the Nazis’ besetting sin wasn’t “racism” (or, God help us, “prejudice”), or even “hate” — it was repression. The Nazis were how they were because they were uptight about sex.
No, stop laughing, I’m serious. My teaching days are over, I hate assigning homework, but y’all really need to go read this: “Apt Pupil,” by Stephen King. It’s in a collection, and far be it from me to suggest that you should find a way to not give that greasy commie King a payday (like his idol Barack Obama says, at some point you’ve made enough money), but I’m sure you can find a way to get it. I’m 100% serious here — That’s how the Nazis were viewed by most Americans, well into the 1980s. It’s sex, sex, sex. King has (quite rightly) always been criticized for going to the gutter the way Democrats vote — early and often — and it’s never been more clearly displayed than here. Hell, “getting overpowered by a Nazi” was a standard bedroom-fantasy joke well into my college years; “anal-retentive” was such a common bit of psychobabble that it was a standard joke on the late night yak shows.
Thus, the Sixties. Just as “pedants, clergymen and golfers…systematically warping your sexual life” was to blame, in the minds of our intellectual vanguard, for the horrors of World War 1, so Auschwitz and all the rest could be laid at the feet of Adolf Eichmann’s Daddy spanking him too much, or not enough, while he was potty training. Don’t take it from me, take it from Marcuse… or Dr. Spock.
From which follows the idea, foisted on my generation by parents who just know they would’ve ended the Vietnam War if they hadn’t been in junior high at the time (the Vietnam draft ended in 1973), that the answer to all society’s ills is more freedom, more permissiveness, more promiscuity, more “self-esteem.” The Baby Boomers weren’t responsible for “The Sixties;” they were responsible for “The Seventies,” and look how that turned out. The “Stonewall Riots” were in 1969, but the celebration of all things gay didn’t really get rolling until the mid-1970s, and Angels in America, the apotheosis of AIDS victims as the New Messiah, debuted in 1991 (Tony Kushner was born in 1956). Obergefell was merely a valediction to a moment long past.
Which brings us to now, and — at long last — to the point. The upcoming generation has nothing left to permit. We’ve got “educators” preaching transgenderism to preschoolers. Whatever promiscuity, deviance, and transgression can achieve, they have already achieved. The constant stream of pro-miscegentation ads that assault us everywhere are one last, futile attempt to conjure up a new Final Frontier to be crossed, but it won’t work, because it can’t. Ditto the attempted normalization of pedophilia, polygamy, and (soon enough) bestiality. These barely rate a sigh on the outrage-o-meter.
Everyone knows it, too, in the same way everyone knows Communism doesn’t work. There are still some true believers hanging on in Liberal Arts faculties, just as there are some true believers hanging on in the North Korean politburo, but all of them, the so-called Commies most certainly included, know in their hearts that “Communism” can’t work — it becomes, at best, a kind of virulent National Socialism, as no less a figure than Joe “socialism in one country” Stalin, or Mao “socialism with Chinese characteristics” Zedong acknowledged. It took 100 years, but here we are, and even the American Left admits it — talking about improving the material lives of the US proletariat these days makes you a “rightwing extremist,” where it would’ve made you a hardcore Liberal just a generation ago.
By my calculations, then, this “more perversion solves everything” hypothesis has about a decade left to run, after which… well, I dunno, but I’ve often said “today’s SJW is tomorrow’s obergruppenfuhrer,” and this is part of the reason why. You may also have noticed — as Our Betters, the Liberals, ostentatiously haven’t — that the Brown People they’re so furiously importing are ludicrously misogynistic, patriarchal, and homophobic. Tony Kushner — just to stick with a theme — had better hope American gays really can fly; as he’s Jewish, too, he’ll be among the first our new overlords throw off the nearest 10 story roof.
If we make it that long, it’ll be interesting, to say the least. Schadenfreude is an ugly emotion, my friends, but it might well end up being the only entertainment we have in the reeducation camps….