When I think about the possibility — these days, the near certainty — of widespread political violence coming soon to a theater near you, I think about my teaching days. Culture matters, y’all.
Anyone who takes even a passing glance at 20th century military history immediately notices collectivists’ tolerance for casualties. The Soviets admitted to something like 25 million against the Nazis; the reality was probably far higher. The Nazis themselves were no stranger to suicidal tactics; Luftwaffe pilots were at one point ordered to ram enemy bombers when their fighters ran out of ammunition, and some of them actually did it. The Chinese in Korea took the heaviest losses in modern warfare; Giap’s North Vietnamese Army was infamous for its “human wave” attacks. Wherever you find socialists, you find an appalling indifference to human life.
Modern American college kids are far closer to New Soviet Men than you think. Far, far closer.
If you’re over 40 and have a social media presence, think of your behavior there. Do you unfriend people? How often? Is it easy? If you’re anything like me, you don’t exactly agonize over it, but you do take some time to think it over. Even if it’s just Joe Schmoe, some guy you swapped lies with on a business trip, you still think of him as a human being. You wonder if he’ll wonder what happened if you’re no longer on his friends list. It’s not a hard decision, let’s not overdramatize, but there’s always at least a small pang of something very much like guilt….
The younger generation doesn’t feel any of that. They’re so used to lives lived online — 400 contacts in the smartphone, 5000 friends on Facebook — that unfriending someone is nothing more than deleting spam. The Millennials’ emotional model is Tinder — if it doesn’t appeal to you in every way, right away, just left-swipe it and it’s gone from your life forever. I often wonder how much of anything they actually feel.
Those are your enemies. Those are the frontline troops, the NCOs and platoon commanders. I’d like to think that I could bring myself to give the order to fire if I were absolutely convinced of my cause’s rightness, and the no-possible-alternatives necessity of pulling the trigger. These kids, it wouldn’t shock me at all to hear them call in an airstrike if someone used real milk instead of soy in their half-caff, triple-foam venti frappucino.
Culture matters, and ours is selfish, simpleminded, superficial, and brutal. Given half the chance, that’s how they’ll act.Loading Likes...