Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Thoughts on socialism and leftism generally

Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Elliott » 24 Jul 2012, 12:28

Mike, I expected it was. The point is not whether it's true, but that it is something young people approve of. That image has been doing the rounds on Facebook the last few weeks. I don't know how many "likes" it must have got by now - how many comfy 20 and 30-somethings, let alone teenagers, giggle at the idea of the police being "f***ed".

I just stumbled upon another example of nihilistic Occupy-style rebellion. Here's a pearl of wisdom somebody posted on FB:

If you allow your world view to be dominated by the main stream media, banks (government), church and public/corporate education you then deserve the bleak un-inspiring fear based reality they portray.

break free


Hilariously, the person who posted that included a video link: the Ken Robinson "education" video you linked to a few months ago.
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Caleb » 25 Jul 2012, 01:35

Elliott: You're right in a way, but it is Facebook. To me, social media is basically just a magnet for idiocy. I hardly use it these days because it's so rare to see anything worth seeing on there. People's IQs plummet when they log on.

As for that piece, I would say it just plays off two themes. The first is a general tendency to engage in schadenfreude. In this case it was the police, but any other target would have done if it had worked in the story. Authority figures are better because then they allow a sense of turning the tables, which is actually a theme that's probably as old as story telling itself. The second is that the story is so absurd and preposterous. It's a tall story, basically.
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Gavin » 25 Jul 2012, 08:23

Elliott, I know just what you mean.

There is a bit of schadenfreude and light humour in the joke, but I believe it extends a little deeper than that, at least in the UK - simply see the headline emblazoned across he picture.

There is a casual disrespect for the police that runs apparently through classes now but is particularly prevalent in the young. They can only behave in this way because our police are so soft, and the funny thing is that if the police were not around, these people would be in serious trouble.

It speaks of a general attitude of idiotic disrespect for (even envy for) authority and of siding with the perceived underdog - usually actually a criminal. Dalrymple wrote of this when discussing he Raoul Moat case - Moat had many fans across the nation after blinding a police officer who, tragically, has since committed suicide.

Facebook and YouTube have not only provided some useful communication services but certainly also provided the service of removing any doubt as to how many stupid people there really are across society!
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Elliott » 25 Jul 2012, 16:14

Gavin wrote:Elliott, I know just what you mean.

There is a bit of schadenfreude and light humour in the joke, but I believe it extends a little deeper than that, at least in the UK - simply see the headline emblazoned across he picture.

Absolutely. If the headline was "aren't the police stupid!" or something, the whole thing would have a different tone. But it's not. Instead, it's an overt and contemptuous dismissal of the police. And there's even a sense of a rallying call about it.

There is a casual disrespect for the police that runs apparently through classes now but is particularly prevalent in the young. They can only behave in this way because our police are so soft, and the funny thing is that if the police were not around, these people would be in serious trouble.

Yip. We've had it too easy!

It speaks of a general attitude of idiotic disrespect for (even envy for) authority and of siding with the perceived underdog - usually actually a criminal. Dalrymple wrote of this when discussing he Raoul Moat case - Moat had many fans across the nation after blinding a police officer who, tragically, has since committed suicide.

Yes, I remember that. It really was quite jaw-dropping.

Since I think it fully reflects the Occupy-style "middle-class youth rebellion" of the thread, I'd like to make a few comments on the paragraph I quoted from Facebook:

If you allow your world view to be dominated by the main stream media, banks (government), church and public/corporate education you then deserve the bleak un-inspiring fear based reality they portray.

break free


If one follows that advice, it's difficult to think of anything that one can trust.

To an extent I agree with whoever wrote it about the mainstream media. Yes, it's biased on some issues. But the alternative is to pick-and-mix your news from small, specialist outlets - which can only result in a very narrow, tinted version of the world getting through: the version you personally approve of. How can it be good to wrap yourself in intellectual cotton wool?

I would also agree that public (and, increasingly, private) education can be biased. We've got enough examples of that on the forum already. But again, what are you going to do? Should there be no schools at all?

The Church... well, the person is just kicking a man when he's down. The Church obviously has a biased view (but is rather excused from this charge because it never promised to be impartial; anything but). But the Church's power is waning all the time. As usual, it would have been more daring for the guy to have said "mosque" - but of course he didn't, because this isn't really about some righteous quest for the truth, but about Western self-hate.

I'm not sure how banks influence a person's world-view. They want you to open lots of accounts? Big deal. It's still your responsibility.

As for the government... who cares what the government says nowadays? I don't know anyone, good or bad, who trusts the government. And what's more I suspect that this may have always been the case.

But there is a general point made by the paragraph which I regard as wholly untrue: that the world-view these institutions attempt to promulgate is a "fear-based" one. I just don't see that. In isolated cases, the government has tried to encourage fear about things - Saddam's WOMD, climate change, second-hand smoking. But really, not much. Given how many issues they could try to twist into fear narratives, it's pretty amazing how restrained they are. If anything I would say governments do the opposite: try to twist everything into a success story to make themselves look good.

If people were ever fooled by their governments - and the stereotype of the loyal Captain Mainwaring faithfully obeying his betters because he trusted them should be taken with a pinch of salt - then that is surely over now. We live in an age in which corruption is detected, raked over, analysed and pilloried as a matter of daily routine.

Furthermore, I think that "charities", left-wing organisations and liberal activist groups are far, far more involved in spreading fear than the institutions mentioned in that paragraph.

Meantime, the things that we really should fear are simply ignored by all of those institutions supposedly trying to keep us in fear.

I think the accusation that national/capitalist/right-wing institutions try to spread fear is virtually obsolete. Like the Occupy movement itself, it is a lost echo from the Summer of Love; drop-outs tuning in 50 years too late, trying to stretch out a melody that was always just a load of drivel.
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Rachel » 26 Jul 2012, 10:49

I don't know if this is the right thread. Gavin, - If it's the wrong thread, please feel free to move it.

Here's an article talking about the degree bubble
http://takimag.com/article/as_white_col ... z21i3AJO8F

The Occupy middle class rebellion is given a quick mention. The author thinks it is a result of too much mass university degrees.

"Those with degrees act as if they are entitled to good jobs and benefits exactly like their parents had. We have seen this mentality in the battles with Wisconsin teachers’ unions and in the pathetic discontent that populated the Occupy movement, as advanced degrees offered no advantage to young people who refused to work jobs that were “beneath” them...."

"In a remarkable inversion of modern American culture, how long will it be until the kids with expensive four-year degrees or graduate degrees wish they had pursued heating and air, electronics, welding, pipe fitting, two-year registered-nurse degrees, or other low-prestige programs which nevertheless provide incomes?"."

The comments are often better than the article itself.

I never went to university. I had health problems after my A-levels that stopped that. I was a bit upset about it at the time. Nowadays I don't regret it at all. I do feel bitter sometimes at the mediocraty of the state schooling I got before age 18 which is another thing entirely. The fact that I am completely unbothered about losing an university education sort of proves to me that mass university education is not necessary for everyone.
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Elliott » 05 Sep 2012, 15:49

Here is an example of the mentality of modern 20 and 30-somethings.

Image

The person who wrote that, assuming the story is true, probably sees himself as some kind of rebel, or "free spirit", who is railing against the self-righteousness of adults who dare to try to "correct" children's behaviour. He probably thinks such adults are trying to make children conform to a patriarchal code etc. etc. and that, by intervening and humiliating the adult, he is pointing the way to a new future in which people are free of those fusty old rules.

The key phrase is "someone who obviously was not a parent of this child". This implies a contractual arrangement between children and adults: "I can guide and influence you if I am your parent. If I am not your parent, I have no right, and should have no desire, to guide or influence you, and I deserve to be humiliated if I try." It is a very black-and-white, humanity-missing view of life, and one which could only have emerged in the modern world of contracts and statist frameworks where everything is clear-cut and people expect everyone else (but not themselves) to fit into boxes like the consumer products they buy. It is an attitude which seeks to think of people in the simplistic way we think of objects: they have functions and features, and should not venture beyond those limitations.

It is ironic, really. The man who scolded the adult for scolding the child sees himself as freeing the child of societal expectations, but he can only do so by transferring them entirely to the adult. Presumably he would justify that by saying that childlike innocence is more important, and therefore the child deserves to be free at whatever inconvenience to the adult. Again there is this fascination with youth. For what is the end result of the story? The rebel and the child can enjoy a singing Mickey Mouse figure - truly, this is the West in its dying days.
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Michael » 06 Sep 2012, 03:20

there is a quick scene in one of th early episodes of Mad Men where a number of adults are visiting the home of the Drapers. A son of the Drapers is running through a hall and knocks over a table, breaking a lamp. The man who sees him do this, not related to the boy, grabs the child by the shoulder and gives him a corrective slap, telling him not run in the house.

I do not agree with the slap, but it is nice to see (even if only in fiction) an adult with the courage to correct another's child. the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" is true, but not in the way progressives intend - they use it as an argument/justification for state intervention, where it's original sense is that a whole community must take responsibility for seeing hat children are raised correctly, supplying correction when it is needed.
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Re: Occupy (and middle-class youth rebellion)

Postby Michael » 06 Sep 2012, 03:37

On a related note I have a story to tell from my own employment history, a mark of how different things are now:

In my third year of university I worked at one branch of a small kitchen supply store chain. The only thing small about it was the number of stores - the stores themselves were gigantic, filled with thousands upon thousands of items, including large items of furniture, giant decorative objects, and gardening supplies. I was the sole employee, on duty for 8 hours at a time without relief.

Needless to say, much of the job was a lot of fun. I could play whatever music I wanted (mostly classical music, often podcasts from EconTalk and CBC Radio's Ideas series, and when I wanted to clear the store Michael Nyman's track "Miserere" from the soundtrack of The Cook, The Thief, His WIfe, and Her Lover), work at my leisure, and read to my heart's content in the very often empty store. It was a poor location, so I had a lot of time to myself.

I recall one striking incident that exhibits how far we have come in terms of correcting children. A young woman came in with her boy, who could not have been more than 3 or 4 - the walking, getting into trouble stage. He began tearing around the store while his mother browsed the shelves, while I nervously looked on. The store I worked in was picked floor to ceiling, with many shelves loaded with heavy, fragile, or just plain dangerous items, often stacked precariously. I was worried about the boy injuring himself (and causing a mess I would need to clean up), so I asked his mother whether she could please keep a closer eye on him. She looked at me crossly, took him by the hand, and stormed out, outraged that I would attempt to correct her.

How times have changed.
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