We libertarian youngsters have never heard the end of it from parents and grandparents regarding our views. Of course, this does not apply to all of them, as each individual has a different mind. However, there are clear attitudes that majorities of generations hold. After ranting over police misconduct and tax law, it becomes apparent that many Boomers (which, for the sake of brevity, will be the term for those belonging to the group born between 1945 and 1965 affected by a dogmatic world-view) are not interested in changing their mind. At least, they won’t allow those younger than them to do so, the stereotype suggests. Our well-articulated arguments on the rights of man pales in comparison to the ‘superior’ experience Boomers hold. Simply nothing can refute a Boomer’s anecdote.
Some of the so-called experience that Boomers swear by is elementary:
The police system cannot be corrupt because I wasn’t beaten after being pulled over for speeding. I complied… and dutifully paid $300 for going 10 over!
…and the ever-so popular:
We have to pay the government our taxes, because who else will build the roads?
Sure, there may be some embellishment in the rhetoric, but many Boomers have uttered words quite similar to these.
We lack the worldly experience that would otherwise immediately credit the Boomer. Thus, our words, no matter how well thought out, are worth nothing to many of them. We must concede that experience is a valuable asset in the quest to find truth and reasoning. But, what the Boomer gets wrong is the sheer fact that right and wrong are constant and objective, and no amount of experience can change that to fit the Boomer’s mindset. Sure, the Boomer may be right, as we can, too. The longer life the Boomer has lived, though, is not sufficient evidence to determine what is right.
With age comes experience, but experience does not inherently bring reason. Even the same experience can breed different interpretations.
Where, though, does this mindset come from? Sociologist David Finkelhor coined the term as juvenoia: “an exaggerated fear about the influence of social change on children and youth.” The term quite literally comes from the words ‘juvenile’ and ‘paranoia.’ It has been here for a long time. Even Socrates complained much like how the Boomer does today—children nowadays have “contempt for authority” and “contradict their parents.” Juvenoia is natural. As a newer, younger generation experiences a change in technology or mindset, the older generation feels a moral heightening over the youth in a sort of ageist manner. As George Orwell says, “every generation imagines itself to be…wiser than the one that comes after it.”
Once we look at Boomer influence in government, their argument of experience really begins to sound like a broken record.
The most intriguing aspect of the Boomer’s mindset is their hypocrisy. They would be justified in criticizing our generation, if their own had not utterly poisoned the economy, as well as our liberties. Boomers seem to rarely criticize their coevals in office. Yet, they are the ones that destroyed the housing and education markets, gave newborns an inheritance of debt, bred the largest Ponzi scheme ever seen, and slaughtered the Bill of Rights.
Clearly, we must ask: what justification do Boomers have to blindly mock the new ideas of the youth? Only those lost in dogmatism would avoid the debate for reason with young minds.
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