Monday, June 16, 2014

Cultural collapse, traced through six generations

I can't remember where I read this, but here's a summary from inexact notes I made of a discussion of the last six generations and the shifts in outlook they represent:
  1. The "Lost Generation": 1914 -- WWI, Henry Ford developed automobile manufacturing, the Great Depression of 1929, people suffered largely without complaint, but failed to communicate their fundamental values to the next generation.
  2. The "Greatest Generation": 1930s, coming out of the Depression, WWII; people suffered silently but without appropriating the values of their parents' generation, and began indulging their children.
  3. The "Boomers": 1946-1960s, the generation of flower power, hippies, and rebels, characterized by indocility, intemperance, and impiety.
  4. Generation "X" (1960s-80s) & Generation "Y" (1970s-90s): the "me" generation, characterized by entitlement, amorality, religious indifference, but still wanting to be "nice."
  5. Generation "Z": 1990s-2010s, the "Plugged-in" generation, immersed in technology, raised in day care facilities, lacking any spiritual formation, characterized by depravity and inversion: same-sex perversions mushroom.
  6. The "Sixth Generation" (since the "Lost Generation"): 2010 onward, characterized by the absence of any sexual taboos, openness to the preternatural and demonic, and pagan idolatry.
Some of these divisions and characterizations strike me as a bit arbitrary, but they're probably accurate overall.

Since I began teaching college at Lenoir-Rhyne in NC in the mid-1980s, I would remind my classes that they were entering into a new Dark Ages. Their reaction for the most part was blank uncomprehending stares. Dark Ages? Really? But personal computers were just becoming available! Remember the buzz over the daisy wheel and dot matrix printers? And through the years, we've come to iPods and iPads, and almost nobody living seems to remember a world before the Internet. "Dark Ages"? Hardly. But I stand by what I said. Let them figure it out, if they can. The barbarians are at the gates, this time on the inside.

1 comment:

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

How is the David Ogilvy canonization movement coming along? True, he wasn't a pope, but St. JP2 owes at least as much to him as he does to Husserl -- and certainly more than he does to Aquinas.