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“Willpower” and the Suckiest Generation

September 27th, 2011
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

One of you kind readers passed this article along to me and thought I’d find it interesting. As a member of the baby-boom generation, though I’m always quick to point out, I’m on the very trailing edge of said generation, I can’t be accused of bashing boomers simply because I’m not one, so…well, read this article and let me know what you think. I think this is pretty much spot-on accurate. Here’s the whole article. I’ll post a snippet below.

Behaving well, behaving responsibly, learning the norms of politeness and refusing to abandon them without good reason tend to make you a more self-controlled, successful, and finally better person. This is precisely the wisdom my generation threw away. Their promiscuity, adolescent foul-mouthedness, bad manners, and disregard for tradition — all of which they claimed were a new kind of freedom — were in fact the precursors to the very oldest kind of slavery:  slavery to one’s own impulses and desires. This slavery, packaged in the Sixties, as “identity” or “culture” or “the right to be yourself,” ultimately leads to enslavement by others as it makes you indolent and irresponsible and in need of protection and restraint by the powers that be. A poor black man’s journey from hip hop culture to prison is a perfect example. So is a middle class white man’s journey from moral license and unwarranted praise to his sniveling need for an all-providing — oh, and by the way, all-powerful — state.


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Categories: Culture, Current Affairs
  1. Rev. David Sidwell
    September 27th, 2011 at 07:56 | #1

    I believe that any parish pastor of any experience has, by now, had his full of first wave Boomers. The good news is that their grandchildren are tending to be what they were/are not: responsible.

  2. September 27th, 2011 at 08:49 | #2

    I’m not particularly qualified to address Klavan’s main point about the weak wills of Baby Boomers — I’m a Gen X’er, and the Boomers are decidedly a middle and upper-middle class demographic (rather than my parents’ lower and lower-middle class roots and status) — but I must disagree with his point that “the loftiest possible image of man” is “(man’s) image as God-made creature endowed with the right to be left alone.”

    The part about “the right to be left alone” seems to me to be almost as influenced by self-centeredness and selfishness as the stereotypical Boomer demand to live off the fat of others. While the Bible is certainly misused by Social Gospel advocates to ostensbily “prove” that specific welfare programs should be funded and promoted (usually funded by people other than the Social Gospel advocates, of course), nowhere does it say that the right to be left alone and to do your own thing is God’s loftiest ideal for his creation.

    Without meaning to be pedantic, the “loftiest possible image of man” is that we were created in God’s image — and thank God that he did not simply respect “the right to be left alone,” but instead has saved us.

  3. Ted
    September 27th, 2011 at 08:57 | #3

    The book that the article talks about is really good and worth reading.

  4. mark
    September 27th, 2011 at 12:29 | #4

    So if we refuse to control ourselves, our sins become our fetters.

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