Friday 26 February 2021

The Boomer Business

 A current fashion among US bloggers seems to be engaging in a two minutes hate session directed against "Boomers" - which is that rather loosely-defined (last) Baby Boom 'generation' born on or after 1945; the oldest members of whom were active in the sixties counter-culture movements; and who are now retiring and dying. 

The idea is that this generation is actually the worst in history; but imagine they were the best; and therefore live selfishly and smugly in a state of unearned entitlement. 

The above statement is partly-true but significantly-false, and because of this the anti-Boomer movement does more harm than good... 

(But then, if that was not the case, then anti-Boomer jokes and memes would not be so popular, would they?)

The truth is that the Boomer generation were the worst in history up to that point. But the later generations were even worse, and have continued to deteriorate. 

Since the anti-Boomer satire comes only from the younger-than-Boomer generations; Boomerism is one of those 'beams and motes', or 'pot calling kettle black' examples of projection and displacement

Projection - because post-Boomers are criticizing Boomers for their own deficits; and displacement because doing so enables post-Boomers to avoid acknowledging their own - worse in the same direction - generational defects. 

It is also an avoidance of the Real problem in the world today, which is not about generations; but about the spiritual war between Good and evil, God and Satan - and the necessity to understand and discern-between these sides, and for each individual person to make a conscious choice which side he will take.  


Ingemar said...

I am not on the Boomer hate train. This is because as you say, the succeeding generations are getting worse and worse.

Vox Day and his adjacent blogs have been exceedingly guilty in what I term "Gen X compensatory narcissism." Just read this fantasy piece about how the maligned X'er will dust himself off and save Western Civilization by the force of his arm.

Except there's a reason why that generation were known as the slackers... and literally all of them are past their physical prime.

Ann Barnhardt (also an X'er) noted that this generation was the first to be bombarded with "you're special! you can be whatever you want to be!" propaganda (crafted by NGOs) aimed specifically at young children.

Of course, if you tell them that blaming the Boomers for everything that's wrong with the world is counterproductive, they will--in true narcissitic form--stamp their feet, double down in their condemnations, and luxuriate in their hatred more.

I'm sure these are the same sort of people that repost memes about "Hard times create strong men -> -> Weak men create hard times", not realizing that the view that Man holds the key to history is as erroneous, even evil, as the notion that human activity drives climate change. Maybe that can be another litmus test to add to your list.

Luke said...

"Since anti-Boomer satire only comes from the younger generations"
Well of course. The even older generations are too dead or too confused to know what's going on anymore.

Boomer hate is magnified because boomers refuse to admit that they have hateful qualities, and that they passed those on to their children.
There's a helpless, childish aspect to the hatred, where the younger generations accuse booomers in the hope that the boomers will be honest in reply, and then the kid will draw strength from that honesty and be able to become honest themselves.
At least, that was part of why I did it.

Eventually you do have to choose to be an adult on your own, spiritually and physically, without having been shown how.
But there are a vast number of people who have so far failed to do this, who correctly perceive that somehow they were let down by their parents, and have yet to surmount that. Much like the birdemic, it's a litmus test for a certain age.

a_probst said...

OK, Boomer. }:-D

(This would have been funnier if it had been the first comment.) (I'm a Boomer too.)

Chent said...

I really don't like the Vox Day's obsession with Boomers. I think he does it for clicks. And I agree with your post and the problem is spiritual.

Having said that,I partly disagree with this:

"The truth is that the Boomer generation were the worst in history up to that point. But the later generations were even worse, and have continued to deteriorate."

I disagree not because it is false. It is completely true. I disagree because it is not the point.

The Boomers are the first post-Christian post-tradition generation. The trashed the Christianity they have inherinted from their fathers to embrace progressivism in mass.

It is the only generation that dit that. Previous generations embraced the religion of their fathers (Christianity). Following generations embraced the religions of their fathers (progressivism)

Most people are not intelligent enough or pure enough to search an individual worldview, the way you do. Most people in all ages simply folowed the religion of their fathers.

Of course, when you get farther and farther away from Christianity, things are worse and worse. But this does not change the fact that the deChristianization of the masses was done ny Boomers.

This is why they have a bigger responsibility than other generations. Of course, not everybody, but a lot of them

Bruce Charlton said...

@Chent. That can't be right. After a war revival, the sharp decline in Christian practice came between the fifties and the middle sixties; so the boomers were much too young to cause that.

Michael Dyer said...

Just to chip in, the 19th century was the source of the real modern apostasy I think, with Darwin, Marx, and Freud although that’s bleeding over into the early 20th century. I would theorize that earlier generations going back centuries had their problems obviously but a lot of those would be borderline unintelligible to modern man, culturally they were space aliens. Even though the French Revolution is another obvious candidate they were still different in ways that would be unintelligible to modern man.

I think that free will is real. There may be natural rhythms to human history, but the unique part of the western world is that it broke the mold. The rise of Christianity makes no worldly sense really, at least I don’t think so. If free will is real and Christianity is real every generation, just like every individual man doesn’t just face a choice but a series of choices.

I hope this holds together because I’m writing tired, but I was once told that Christianity “hit the skids” after the First World War in Europe because the horrors of war weakened mens faith in God and the normal verities of patriotism, etc. But no such thing seemed to have happened after the American civil war which was incredibly bloody and savage, the precursor to the charnel house of the 20th century. I would theorize that it really was down to free will. One generation of men generally took it as a chastisement, one generally decided to ignore the Chastiser.

There’s a great talk by Fr. Ripperger about the spiritual qualities of various generations. There are definitely characteristics to generations, but there’s a lot of interplay with individual choices of individual men to move further or closer to God.

Chent said...


Well, of course, it depends on the country and denomination. In the global Catholic Church, the drop was during the seventies and eighties, so it was Boomer time. My country's secularization was delayed so my generation (Gen X) is the responsible one. Other countries can blame the Silent generation.

It was not my idea to blame a specific generation. Only to say, that, in each country, there is a generation with more respobsibility, because broke the intergenerational chain of Chistianity and started the chain of Leftism.

As an example, if you see the Protestant reformation as something negative, you will blame more Luther's and Calvin's generation than the generations after it, that have inherited Protestantism from their fathers.

Chent said...

Having said that, as a Gen X, it seems to me that blaming Boomers is part of our middle age crisis.

We are not young anymore and we see that our lives have not been as easy as our parents'. They had a really easy life in work, love life, family life, security, stability, real estate, etc. compared to our life (not the grandparents: they suffered a lot)

However, when these thoughts come to me, I think that Gen X have had a really easy life compared to Millennials. And Gen Z does not seem to have a great future either.

TonguelessYoungMan said...

For some reason I've seen the term "boomer" applied to people now in their thirties (Younger "Gen X", I suppose). Memes about these "boomers" include older computer games like the first Half-Life, and nostalgia for pop culture from the late 90s early 2000's (Bam Margera comes up etc.)

Has anyone else seen this? I don't understand it.

Adam said...

@Bruce: 1958 - 1965 was the unfolding and implementation of Vatican II which paved the way for the dismantling of true Christianity. The Boomer generation rode that wave all the way to the present day. The modus operandi of the Boomers was to change the rules behind them after they had benefited and passed through a particular stage of professional or personal life. They are the generation that are truly of this world. The gift that they provided the subsequent generations was the opportunity to witness the effect of full blown narcissism, (60 is the new 30!), and selfishness, (driving around on our kids' inheritance!), which has provided a determination for some of us at least not to fall so badly.

But that doesn't prevent us from holding them accountable for it whenever we can.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Adam - People don't generally blame children for their bad upbringing.

"that doesn't prevent us from holding them accountable for it whenever we can."

Everybody is accountable - it is nonsense to regard some as more accountable than others because of their generation.

I regard consciousness as primary, and it is change in Men that drives change in society - but not passively. The consciousness - the way of thinking - of Men (esep in The West, and starting in Western Europe) has changed rapidly over the past 200 years.

This change led new possibilities emerging, and old ways becoming impossible - it led to unavoidable choices, which continue.

We have, in the past year experienced the largest quantitative change in the world of which there is any record: Satan now rules a global empire, for the first time - and there is no organized/ institutional opposition (only the opposition of individual persons).

For people to respond by harping on the subject of Boomers, and to imagine that this is any kind of profound and valuable analysis, is so irrelevant and tendentious as to amount to a kind of spiritual suicide.

KCFleming said...

Boomer-blaming is just the multiple-Spiderman-pointing at each other meme.
A circular firing squad.

Hell must have that in spades.

Gary Bleasdale said...

"Boomers were a bad generation - you are also a bad generation. Stop wasting time and energy on Boomers' failures (which are manifold) and start focussing on sorting yourself out (and how very much there is to sort out there!), because when the time comes (i.e. now), excusing yourself by saying "The Boomers caused me to be evil" will just cause peels of laughter from the adversary, but no mercy from God".

Amethyst Dominica said...

The Boomers inherited not just the post WW2 wealth of America, but it also inherited the societal functionality of earlier generations. Imagine living in a harmonious neighborhood with two parents, one of whom makes a living wage and the other who works tirelessly to make the house a home, with most of society working hard to promote (mostly) Christian values. Boomers lived at the best time for a person to be alive in the lifetime of a civilization - the peak, when wealth is at its highest and before society-ruining hedonism has set in. The mistake subsequent generations make is believing that Boomers are uniquely evil in their behavior. If the Gen-Xers had lived during Boomer times, they too, would have become Boomers. Lots of Gen-X grouching comes from people who lived far back enough to observe the Boomers making out like bandits, but having the lid of the cookie jar close before they themselves could get their own hands in. Also, a lot of Gen Xers grew up watching their own neighborhoods turning to shit, so they had a tendency to blame the generation before them (Boomers), --even though it might have been Greatest/Silent Generation policies that had actually ruined the neighborhood.

Blaming the Boomers for everything that went wrong in history the way the guy in the meme poster blames the Jews for messing up his Christmas lights is counterproductive. Everyone ultimately has to take responsibility for himself. Still, I've observed many Boomers being self-absorbed AND trying to deflect any blame from themselves for their actions. It happens often enough to be noticeable. Cut that shit out. We all suck and we're all at fault in our own way. We could've said no to the degeneracy that the Boomers opened the door to, and we didn't. That's on us.

whitney said...

The two minutes of hate for the Boomers just promotes inter-generational conflict amongst white people. All commercials, TV, movies puts white people at odds with each other by age but all other races have respected elders. Commercials will even promote three generations of black men together and we know how what a rarity that is

Bruce Charlton said...

@whitney - That's a good point!

In general, Satan is delighted for the only human groups to be united-against something-or-another; and what that is he doesn't mind.

Only when Men are united-for something, are they collectively strong and able to accomplish good.

If Modern Man cannot unite-for a religion; then he needs to be alone. The false collectivity of being united-against is a snare of sin. And this applies whether 'against' is Boomers, whites, Jews, climate change, SJWs, the birdemic, or anything.

When united-for Christianity it becomes possible *beneficially* to be united-against bad things - or whatever is bad about partly-bad things; but when the unity comes from hostility then whatever results is just a species of Leftism.

Colin H. said...

@TonguelessyoungMan That comes from a meme called "30 year old boomer", basically means older millennials (and some Gen-X of course, there is overlap) who start acting like boomers (buying houses, having kids, and other 'grown up things' which are rarer now) and saying things we usually associate with boomers like "that was real music and not what they make nowadays" or with more modern media "now THAT was a real video game" (with games like Half-Life as you say) etc. etc.

Joseph A. said...

"The truth is that the Boomer generation were the worst in history up to that point. But the later generations were even worse, and have continued to deteriorate."

Yes! A terrible group of people, collectively, but my own cohort (late X) is much worse. And I thought that "millennials" were bad . . . and then I saw the rise of demonfolk born from around 1995 on . . . true-believing, ruthless, fanatical latter day Bolsheviks. We're in a spiral of civilizational decline.

I suspect that class has something to do with the particular form of boomerhate (or "boomersick") that one sees on Vox's site. Many (most?) gen. Xers and millenials with middle class or wealthy boomer parents grew up under the shadow of the characteristic selfishness, irresponsibility, and narcissism of that "me generation." Their parents were born into perhaps the most materially favorable/comfortable circumstances in the history of the world (for the masses), and they have pissed it away. As the other comments point out, they didn't cause the rot, but they exacerbated the decomposition of our society.

However, I don't personally feel the boomerhate. My mother was born in the post-war years, but her family was very poor. Her upbringing and coming of age did not involve Age of Aquarius utopianism. She did not go to college, protest Vietnam, or march for civil rights. Her own experience of the race issue was more like a simmering and violent turf war among ghetto communities. Feminism was playtime for rich bitches, not poor girls like her. My father, just a bit older, was born at the end of the war, and he also came from the same background (my parents were childhood friends). So, they never had any patience with ivory-tower liberalism, and they were not handed a good life by their own parents. Despite general post-war prosperity, they, their families, and their neighborhoods struggled, and this experience taught them well. My father took advantage of military service and used that opportunity to escape poverty. There was war-baby/boomer luck along the way. After he came home, he started work folding boxes for a local data company. He soon became a messenger and errand boy. Six months on the job, one of the boffins asked him if he was interested in computers. He had never touched one, but he was open to learning. So, the company taught him about mainframes and data processing. He never finished high school, but he went on to have a career in I.T. As a consequence, my siblings (spanning boomer, gen. X., and millennial years) had a much, much, much better quality of life than our parents did growing up. That differs from the Vox Day boomhaters' experience.

That, and we grew up culturally conditioned by our parents. And so, for example, we like the music they liked. My parents' popular music was mainly Motown, and that is what I heard growing up (along with my mother's country side). And with this issue, VD is just wrong. While I do like some tunes from the 80s and 90s, pop music during boomer youth puts it to shame. Post-war mass culture and transportation allowed for much cross-pollination among older forms, people were still classically musically educated, and established norms were all called into question. Figuratively-speaking (and also not so), there was a group of people with both (inherited) wealth and freedom (to spend it however they liked). Unsustainable, yes, destructive, yes, but it did provide the circumstances for an enormous creative wave. Upheaval often has art for a fellow traveler.