It’s not rare to read in old media that young people these days are worthless, listless, clods. That viewpoint is beyond ridiculous, in recent months there has been a backlash to this attitude from millennials. Instead of being lazy and not doing anything about it – they are now quick to point out the young one aren’t the people who have essentially caused climate change, economic devastation, and a focus on profits over people.
In fact, in a recent article in The Nation it’s argued that due to the rot left from previous generations millennials are motivated to change the world.
The conventional wisdom about your generation and mine, the story that’s retold every day in every way as jobs disappear, debt redoubles, superstorms gather and islands—literally entire countries—sink into the ocean, is not just a lie, but a very useful lie for the lying liars of the world—for those who control the means of production and persuasion; who have helped to usher in this harrowing present; and who are most likely to survive and thrive, at least in the short term, a catastrophic future, should it come to pass. Conventional wisdom absolves them of their very real sins against the earth, against the poor and against their children. It’s a distraction, and an easy way to pass the buck. Finally, it’s an efficient method of controlling us, its targets. It’s a way to keep us in line.
Because in this narrative, we are apathetic and ineffective. We don’t think for ourselves, nor do we band together. We were raised to stare like zombies at television screens, and now our heads are permanently stuck in the Cloud. The global looters and profiteers—they are not well meaning. They operate with full knowledge of what harm they do, and do it anyway, because they don’t particularly care about you, about us or about the future. It’s not their problem. They will be dead, and their children, I don’t know, will be living in a bunker somewhere, alone, with the last of all that glistering loot.
In the meantime, while there is still some oil left to extract, one last blood diamond to mine, they are counting on us to close our eyes and build our apps in blithe resignation. Because this only goes their way if we agree to pretend not to notice what is right here in front of our eyes: that they are fiddling, gleefully, as the rest of Rome goes up in flames.