Friday, March 23, 2012

the clueless generation

Feeling the need for some light entertainment I decided to watch some Penn and Teller. From 2004, from their TV series Bullshit. The first episode I caught was the one on PETA. Certainly not light entertainment, but illuminating.

I’m sure everyone reading this blog already knows how crazy, evil and dangerous this organisation is but there were some remarks that were particularly perceptive and thought-provoking. And amusing. Like the talk-show radio host who said of one statement by a PETA supporter that, “The foolishness of that comment is so deep that I can only ascribe it to higher education. Only someone who had been to college could say something that stupid.” Sad but true.

He said something much more interesting though. That we are dealing with a generation that has no experience of evil, so they are unable to comprehend it. They have never known the threat of Nazism or communism. They don’t know what true evil is.

I think there’s a great deal of truth in that. The generation (or by now generations) that have grown up since the fall of the Berlin Wall truly have no sense of perspective, or sense of proportion, when it comes to evil. That’s why an organisation like PETA can compare the sufferings of chickens to the Holocaust, and the teenagers and twenty-somethings of today find nothing bizarre in that comparison.

That’s also why privileged white middle-class college kids can convince themselves that the modern United States is one of the most repressive regimes in history. That’s why privileged white middle-class women can persuade themselves that they suffer oppression on a sale comparable to the worst tyrannies in history. They have never suffered real oppression. They have never suffered at all. They have never encountered genuine evil. They have no idea what such concepts truly mean.

They also, thanks to the benefit of modern educational methods, have no understanding whatsoever of history. Even events as comparatively recent and as cataclysmic as the Second World War are mysteries to them. They may have heard of such events, but the scale of those events, the issues at stake, the nearness of civilisational collapse and the sheer scale of the horrors are meaningless to them. As for the Cold War, they simply swallow the left-liberal line that communism stood for social justice and freedom in opposition to the wickedness of capitalism and western imperialism.

They cannot distinguish between things that were real dangers to civilisation like Soviet communism and imaginary monsters like the patriarchy. Just as they cannot distinguish between the imaginary oppression that women and homosexuals suffer in the modern United States and the terrifyingly real oppression represented by Islam.

It’s the same in Australia. We are dealing with generations that have grown up on a steady diet of self-liberal propaganda and liberal guilt and that honestly believe that imaginary genocides like the “Stolen Generations” are directly comparable to genuine horrors like the Holocaust. They believe because they do not understand.

When their professors tell them that the “Stolen Generations” was genocide (even though not a single person was deliberately killed and the Aboriginal population was in fact increasing rapidly during this so-called genocide) or that the situation of women is equivalent to slavery they buy it because they have not the remotest understanding of what words like genocide and slavery mean. They are merely abstract concepts.

We have to face the frightening challenge of dealing with the clueless generations.

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