Our parents are to blame…

Riot?  If I were 20 years younger I would take to the streets

For the people who are going to pay for the lunatic exuberance of the last decade are not its perpetrators – largely the baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 – but those born after 1985 and, by the way, several succeeding generations. To put it crudely, my generation has stolen from its children and grandchildren. It is they who will be affected by £20bn per annum shaved off services and for as long as anyone can predict. … My generation wanted everything – good food, cheap travel, large disposable incomes, luxury and security – and we have had them all, but at a great cost. We knew about climate change a long time ago, yet our government all but ignored it until the Tories made the running. We knew that bankers had not discovered the secret of limitless wealth creation, but we failed to regulate. And now if my children’s generation demonstrates, we will deploy a newly equipped and trained riot police to protect us. You see we have been expecting trouble.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/01/henry-porter-recession

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7 Responses to Our parents are to blame…

  1. Eddie says:

    I have a feeling that it is a mistake to engage in prosopopoeia at all. It seems to be a mainstay in how we engage our liberal capitalist democracy. An instance of this is the election, when we say “the people have spoken.” Who are these people? The assumption is that the voting body, collectively, has a voice that dictates outcome. I disagree. The factors that influence the election are greater than some mystical “people,” elections are determined much more by the amount of money either party spends on very specific counties within the united states. Tactical campaign spending largely determines who is elected, and as usual, the voting public as such is more an obstacle that must be manipulated. Who decided the 2004 election? A couple of hundred voters in Florida?

    The same, I think, is applicable in the assertion that our collective parents are responsible for the lackluster economy that we shall inherit. I would argue that, by and large, our parents have been just as manipulated as anyone else. It is rather the spectral “economy” itself, not personified, but maintained as an entity parasitic to all human production; it will find a way to quantify everything. I have listened to the myriad economists explaining how and why and what is right and wrong and what the solutions are, and I have a sense that these people don’t really know either, they speculate…so to say that “parents” or some personification of a collective of people that have engaged in economic transaction are responsible, is I think, a mistake.

    Eddie.

  2. irkone says:

    Parents, collectively translates into the preceding generation of humanity. In their quests for endless improvements in comfort and luxury – promised to them, nonetheless, by their manipulators or politicians (peers, or their parent generation) – and conformity to ecocidal scripture (with, perhaps, some passive questioning), they have dumped all their un-decomposable shit onto us, much the way we dump all of our un-decomposable shit into designated state-sized garbage sites.

    My generation (ours, possibly) is not to blame for the problems facing society, and earth in general. It is our responsibility to confront the problems we face and solve them, but that should have been the responsibility of our parents as well. Instead, we are assigned with converging predicaments that are, quite possibility, irreversible and catastrophic, and which have been acknowledged by our parents for decades.

    SOME parents have exhibited traits where they consider effects to the 7th generation, but that sort of caring provides balance, something perpetual growth fundamentally attempts to reject.

  3. Eddie says:

    My gripe is with the notion of “preceding generation of humanity.” Yes, they bought gas-guzzling boats of cars. Yup, they bought took out loans, and invested, and kept up with the Joneses. But I argue that the systems that were in place, the explosion of the manufacturing sector in the 50’s and the subsequent transfer to the financial sector in the 80’s were not the design of “the previous generation of humanity.” Our parents worked in the production lines, they borrowed and invested as was seen profitable of feasible. But they did not design the form of liberal democratic capitalist ideology under which they where operating. This has been the history of ideology, methinks. It is the rulers, the government that has bowed to free-trade and capitalism, and instilled, if not enforced a belief system.

    Ideology is almost like a collective unconscious. The uninhibited exploitation of workers in manufacturing across the globe, the uninhibited exploitation of nature’s resources, these are made blind spots in the ideology that allows people to live within a certain zone of comfort. JC’s “they know not what they do” I think operates on this level. But I don’t think it is pure laziness, or ignorance, or malice, that caused out parents to act so irresponsibly, I think it is something fundamental to the psychology of existence.

    For example, the farmer who still works his fields not a mile away from the Chernobyl site. he dutifully plants and harvests and subsists on his produce. He has heard of the radiation, he has heard of the health risks, but HIS reality has not changed, the grass is still green, the vegetables taste well enough, etc. He lives, and his life does not require the leap in realization of something he does not experience.

    So too, the sensory experience of the individual allows for their sense of security, a stasis in which it is relatively safe to remain, however destructive or catastrophic, because their unconscious beliefs disallow them to be cognizant of the underbelly, the violence that is inherent in their ideological-political system.

    So I argue that the responsibility for your, and maybe our generation, is to interrupt the system and its fundamental drive: capital.

    But the recent collapse of the markets and downturn are made out to be only hiccups in the unassailable power and right of capitalism…

  4. irkone says:

    Perhaps I should have been more clear when saying “parents” – encompassing our parents’ parents, and their parents’ grandparents, etc. We can’t say our children are to blame. And these institutions are the constructs of our parents, be they ancestral parents or immediate parents, they came before, and we are cleaning up their mess.

    I would argue the farmer is exhibiting a severe case of willful, pathological ignorance, especially in the presence of information, reports, and statistics. That reality he may not knowingly experience will be experienced by his deformed children, and where will they find the cause? The parents, whether they be of direct relation or of the parent generation, are to blame for creating such conditions over which the child has no control.

    What is currently labeled as capital, and what is currently ignored, or externalized, such as natural capital (ecosystems), must be reformed. That does not mean economics should no longer exist, rather a science-based economics that obeys the laws of physics and ecology imparted. This process could have begun decades ago when studies arose; for example, R. Carson’s “Silent Spring” published in 1962 addressed ubiquitous cancer-causing chemicals spewed by industry.

  5. Eddie says:

    “…The farmer is exhibiting a severe case of willful, pathological ignorance, especially in the presence of information, reports, and statistics.” This farmer does not have the internet, nor a phone, and only gets fancy newspapers intermittently, in which it is reported, and hears rumor, that he should not work the land, which is his only hope of sustenance. He must live, and his willful ignorance of the scientific reality of the likely effects of his actions, his sins, or ignorance, will be visited upon his children. I don’t dispute your assertion that it is ignorance that causes much damage, often only realized later in time, but I do understand the Chernobyl farmer, and that he is being pathological, yes, I agree, but is he not also being all too human; he is farming his land while some university professor tells him that he shouldn’t, and tells him that what he is doing is wrong, and that he doesn’t care for his children. I have empathy for him, because there is also the realm of necessity, in which the great majority of the world lives.

  6. Eddie says:

    Similar to the necessity of driving itself, contributing to the problem of global warming. Or for that matter, any destructive behavior, from smoking to purchasing clothing made by exploited peoples.

  7. irkone says:

    The necessity today, science tells us (and our intuition), is to re-evaluate, redefine, and rearrange what we consider necessities, and eliminate un-necessities in the hopes that our generation and the generations to come can afford to pay off their parents’ debt (planetary and monetary, the latter a device for the former).

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