Monday, November 21, 2011
Generation Mutant: Occupiers are the Natural Spawn of the Progressive Movement
Watching the “Occupy Wall Street” mutants (as I less-than-affectionately call them) riot on Thursday as part of their “Day of Action,” I couldn’t help but notice a striking resemblance to children throwing temper tantrums. And I couldn’t help but think: Why would adults act this way?
The “occupiers” are the post-digested remains of the natural journey through the intestinal tract of the metastasizing liberal ideology in education and pop culture.
The “millennials,” as they’re called, are the first generation spawned from the “progressive” idea of equal outcome disguised as equal opportunity. They are the “Participation Ribbon People” – a generation rewarded and praised simply for showing up. The result of social promotion, time-outs over spanking and the misguided concept that reward is deserved and not earned.
The movies, books and music these kids devoured portrayed business as evil and CEOs as thieves in suits whose wealth comes not from hard work but by exploiting the poor or selling dangerous and defective products to an unsuspecting population.
This generation grew up with “reality TV,” which is not, of course, realistic at all. It measures success as drinking more beers before you vomit than the next guy. A sex tape brings not embarrassment but celebrity status.
It might have seemed as if these children of entitlement treated rioting as an audition for the Jersey Shore, but they weren’t – although MTV was at Zuccotti Park recruiting candidates for “The Real World.”
The only thing more prevalent among the “occupiers” than body lice is their sense of entitlement. They’re entitled to forgiveness of the college loans they willingly took out. They can trespass on private property and stay as long as they like. They claim to represent the “99 percent” of the country not among the wealthiest 1 percent. But do they?
Unfazed by their unpopularity – the latest poll by the liberal group Public Policy Polling puts their support at 33% support – these parasites covered with parasites dare refer to their inability to camp overnight on private property as “Facing the most brutal assault on our Democracy since 9-11.” Ironically, they do this while ignoring actual assaults, rapes, sexual assaults and murder amongst their ranks.
Their world is one in which an unrepentant domestic terrorist is called “Professor” and is friends with the President of the United States, dodgeball is banned for “brutality” and kids picking on each other is criminalized. Self-esteem is their goal. They don’t intend to earn it through hard work and accomplishment. No, they want it given out like scoops of ice cream at a birthday party. The way it’s always been.
Nothing undermines civil society more than the belief that every thought is correct, that every desire should be fulfilled. It doesn’t work that way, of course. And when people discover their every whim won’t be met, they find scapegoats.
Zuccotti Park has been filled with people who’ve been coddled their whole lives, who’ve never been told they’re wrong, who’ve been raised to pursue feeling over logic. They’re being confronted with an uncertain future, and its doubly scary for them because they never have been allowed to face the consequences of failure.
They’ve been encased in an emotional bubble-wrap that protected them from reality until graduation. They’ve never truly faced failure. They got a ribbon or trophy every time. Now, suddenly, someone won’t hire them or promote them or give them a good apartment at a low price. What’s worse, someone else did get that job, that promotion. That someone must have cheated.
Thankfully, few in the Ribbon Generation have been successfully indoctrinated, which is why the protests have been so small. But the indoctrination continues, every day. Every day, more children are led to believe fulfillment of their constitutional rights means it’s OK to deny others of theirs.
The current attempt by progressives to impose their will on America is doomed to failure. It’s stupid to think you can bring people to your cause by obstructing their movements or annoying them in the public square. But progressives are patient and determined. The know one day the Participation Ribbon Generation will have children of their own. And those children won’t find counter-indoctrination examples at home many children have now.
President Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
If there is any good to come from the “Occupy” movement it’s that it can serve as a reminder of how special and important liberty is. After all, if a tiny group of committed Utopian socialists can’t create a tiny socialist Utopia when it’s just them in a park, where is this notion likely to succeed?
When Manly Virtue Died
These are difficult and perilous times for boys. A distorted culture has robbed them of virtue to measure themselves against. The good once associated with masculinity in a patriarchal society has been tossed out with the bad. This, alas, is the era of feminist ascendency.
Manhood is more easily mocked, satirized and derided, or exposed for its villainy, exploitation and criminality, than held up as an ideal for boys to aspire to. We've always had rogues, rascals and villains, but until now we've also had a baseline, a common denominator, of what it means to be a man. Male-female cultural distinctions, once blurred, now are disappearing.
That was a touching moment when Gloria Cain, in defense of her husband, told Greta van Susteren of Fox News that the harassment accusations couldn't be true because he was a man of "old-school manners," like walking next to the curb when he strolled down the sidewalk with her. Such considerations never made the man, but they were reminders that men cheerfully expected to protect women.
In the previous century, a man didn't have to be a John Wayne hero to be appreciated. His identity was less about the kind of work he did than by the fact that he worked. That single fact has been repealed by the accumulation of cultural changes that do not serve men -- or women -- well. Fewer men than women are finishing high school and obtaining undergraduate or professional degrees. They're entering the workforce much later. They're often dependent on government or family for sustenance. The recession makes things worse.
This confuses children. In a world dominated by media images, the flashy figures of sport and entertainment exert a disproportionate influence on the ambitions and aspirations of the young. The rich and famous become shallow idols, worshipped for their shortcuts in the pursuit of happiness that usually lead only to the illusion of a pot of gold at the end of a vanishing rainbow.
This bothers Bill Bennett, former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, secretary of education in the Reagan administration and drug czar for George H.W. Bush. He's a prophet exiled from the Old Testament, marking the decline of civilization. His first book, "The Book of Virtues," a collection of moral tales, was an overnight best-seller to readers hungry for the literary gems that had once been a staple of the culture. His new book, "The Book of Man," is an anthology of literary forces riding to the rescue of a culture in a "crisis of manliness."
In the 1950s, he reminds us, 96 percent of boys and men between 15 and 54 worked at real jobs. That number has dropped to 80 percent today. The New Yorker magazine captured the essence of the "Boomerang Generation" with a cover depicting a young man hanging his Ph.D on the wall of his childhood bedroom, to dismay on the faces of his parents stuck with an unwanted roomer.
There are fewer entry-level jobs in an information-based society, which delays the assumption of responsibility. The result for men from deprived backgrounds is catastrophic. Statistics reflect the woe of young black women who are substantially more educated and economically well-off than young black men, which makes their marriage prospects slim. (In one study, one in five black men born between 1975 and 1979 had been in prison before they reached the age of 34.)
What boys -- and men -- do better than girls and women is playing video games. It's hardly surprising that the most popular first-person shooter games that once drew on heroics from World War II now depict violent fantasies set in the immediate future without an authentic historical context. One of the games appeals to the "soldier in all of us." But the conflicts depicted require neither conceptual nor moral thinking about real conflicts. It's forever playtime.
"Why are there so many boys and men who are irresponsible, unmotivated, unchivalrous, selfish, lazy?" asks Bill Bennett. "Why do so many boys and men spend so much time in pointless and soulless activities inconsiderate of others, absorbed in self or mindless technology?"
He doesn't answer the question, but he gives cause for reflection in one volume with examples of man at work and play, governing, soldiering, praying, demonstrating being responsible for families. The men in the stories are not merely slouching toward technology. Times have changed, he argues, but the need for virtue and character in man has not. That's a tough sell.
British welfare payments to soar by 4.5 per cent... almost DOUBLE the average working person's pay rise
Millions of benefit claimants are to get a bumper 4.5 per cent increase in their handouts next year – despite the unprecedented financial squeeze on the incomes of working families.
Reports yesterday suggested ministers are close to a ‘compromise’ deal that will see benefit payments rise at almost double the increase in average earnings. It will hand a windfall to the 5.9million people on out-of-work benefits. The increase is slightly lower than the 5.2 per cent inflation rate in September – the month usually used to set the following year’s benefit rises.
Chancellor George Osborne intervened to block an automatic rise at this level amid fears it would infuriate working families who are seeing their incomes shrink. Pensioners will receive a 5.2 per cent increase next year, putting the basic state pension up by more than £5 a week.
But Liberal Democrat ministers have blocked plans to peg other benefit increases to the 2.5 per cent rise in average earnings. Instead, they look set to rise by 4.5 per cent – although the Treasury insisted last night a final deal had not yet been agreed.
Tory MP Philip Davies warned a rise on this scale would cause resentment among taxpayers who will have to fund it – and undermine the Government’s pledge to ‘make work pay’. Mr Davies said: ‘It is incredibly generous to be offering benefit claimants a 4.5 per cent increase when very few working people can look forward to a rise on anything like that scale.
‘Virtually no one’s pay is keeping up with inflation and I don’t really see why those people not working should be rewarded with bigger increases than ordinary families who are struggling to pay their bills.’
Pegging benefits to average earnings would save £5billion, giving Mr Osborne much greater scope to help hard-pressed workers.
Treasury sources last night dismissed reports of a deal as ‘complete speculation’ and suggested ministers were still debating how much benefits should rise by next year. Mr Osborne is due to announce the final decision in his autumn statement to MPs later this month.
But plans to abandon the automatic increase in benefit payments were condemned by charities last night. Helen Dent, chief executive of the group Family Action, said: ‘The most vulnerable are already being hammered by benefit cuts, slashed services and food and fuel inflation. ‘A decision to break the link between inflation and welfare payments will put further pressure on families already at breaking point. ‘Many of the families we work with are having to choose between a warm home and food on the table, and this will break some of them.’
Do We Have an Epidemic of Sexual Abuse?
The modern world appears awash in sexual abuse and misbehavior. Over the past decade, we see grownup men (coaches and priests, both revered in society) who cannot resist sexually abusing children; those are the worst of the worst. But other misbehavers are lechers who cannot resist groping women, exchanging job promises for sex, or keeping young women captive for years to use them sexually. Are we losing our values, or is this not an epidemic at all, but the last flush of bad human behavior that did not used to be called bad?
The fact that we find these behaviors (along with wife and child beating, forced marriages, and “honor killing”) unacceptable in our society indicates that we have come a long way from how things have been for the past 5,000 years.
It is difficult to know how primeval humans behaved to children, but we can get a glimpse in today's outlier primitives, in New Guinea or Afghanistan, for example. Those children grow up early---as early as they are fertile---and we know they began to bear children in their teens. I recall a case decades ago of a Peruvian 5-year old who gave birth, impregnated by an uncle, they said. Considering the age of the child, we all thought this a one-time freakish event, but we were wrong.
Joel Brinkley, “Foreign Matters” columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, recently wrote about “Afghan Children: Grim Statistics and Few Rights.” The Afghan government (that cost us blood and treasure to rescue) has just cut the budget for human rights in half. This is a non-issue for them, dominated by the cultural values of the majority Pashtun tribe. Brinkley cites the following facts:
* The Taliban notoriously used children as human shields and child soldiers.
* Afghan parents can and do hand over girl children in settlement of a lawsuit. The aggrieved party can do with the child as they wish, and they do. Little girls are beaten, raped, and enslaved by their new masters and all their menfolk. Many girl children are also given as a “gift,” so that the parents can be spared a dowry.
* Girls handed over in marriage (in their early teens) have no protection against abuse by their husband or his family. Those bold enough to run away are pursued and murdered. In one infamous case, Time Magazine had a cover picture of a young woman whose nose had been cut off and she was left to bleed to death. American soldiers found and rescued her.
* Children can be sent to jail to serve out a sentence for an adult in the family.
* Children are deliberately maimed and sent out to beg, or work in brick factories, mining, or harvesting opium. School is out of the question for most.
And those oh-so-manly Afghan warlords are pederasts. It is a common practice to buy “beautiful” little boys from impoverished parents to be trained as “entertainers” who sing, dance, play musical instruments, to amuse their all-male parties. Grown men wax romantic about their beautiful boy lovers, whom they discard when they get their first whiskers. It seems that Pashtun men really don't like females much. Neither did the ancient Greeks, who may have introduced this culture to the Afghans via Alexander the Great.
These abuses and more are documented by human rights workers, western publications, documentary filmmakers, and UNICEF. Ask any veteran of the war in Afghanistan to tell you more. The country is barbarous, and the average miserable life span is 44 (much less for women).
The sexual bad behavior of the Afghans is culturally learned; that of modern, western men (including the passion for pornography) is not the norm, and seemingly involves the wiring of the brain. We can hope that our great progress in brain science will someday be able to identify and stop these remnants of sexual exploitation and abuse. It is to our credit that we find it horrible. Our only hope now is to imprison the perpetrators and not pass on the practice to the victims.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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