Khemehekis wrote: ↑
03 Jun 2020 14:39
elemtilas wrote: ↑
30 May 2020 08:50
You're right, it sure didn't! I don't think American culture in its modern more radicalised form lends itself to that kind of massive upswell of focused national activity that we experienced during and after WWII. And in reality, it wasn't even a generational thing then! Sure it was the 18 to 30 year olds who went off to fight, but it was little kids who scavenged tin cans for recycling and older people who joined the civil defense groups and grew victory gardens in their yards.
Yes, Howe & Strauss do mention that it was the Lost Generation who were providing the Pattons and other generals, and the Missionary Generation who provided FDR -- the "visionary Prophet behind it all". You see, their theory goes that Prophets (Missionaries, Boomers) will come up with a grand vision of the future, then Nomads (Losts, Xers) will find a pragmatic way to actually make the Prophets' vision work, and then Heroes (Greatests, Millennials) will be the grunts who work in teams and follow orders as blindly as bats to get the job done. They predict the Millennial Generation wearing uniforms as we serve America and her president (the Grey Champion!), and of course they point to school uniforms becoming popular when Millennials first entered grade school.
And I think in so doing H&S have either overly simplified or misunderstood human nature. If I understand you right, they seem to be thinking that prophets, planners, and doers for any of their key crises come from different generations. When in reality, every generation applies its talents to each crisis, not just the one they think is important. If I read you right, they also seem to think that each generation is a kind of hive mind almost wherein everyone (I guess except the misfits) more or less does everything the same. That also runs contrary to human nature.
What do we have now? Well we have the scientists and healers doing the heavy lifting. Most everyone else is just kind of waiting for the whole thing to be over with so they can either get back to work or go and eat. And then we have the "social media influencers" telling us how terribly difficult it is to stay home, and here's 10 tips you can use today to give yourself a slightly better than craptastic hair cut! We have idiots rioting in cities around the country --- not just the so-called "protests" following Mr Floyd's recent murder, but all the other ding-dongs "protesting" the various attempts to deal with the crisis. This is a country so divided against itself --- politically, ideologically, morally, economically --- you might as well just serve it up on little plates a la mode. There was never any hope millennials --- or anyone else, to be honest --- was just going to line up behind Trump and do whatever they're told to do.
And then we have the people writing song parodies about COVID-19 on YouTube. And then we have the teens who are so happy to be out of the Prussian-style authoritarian classrooms, yet missing their high school graduations. We also have all the people who are out of money because they were working at a non-essential job -- what are they
supposed to do?
Indeed. Of course, the vast majority of students are younger, but for the rest, those activities (if we can really call facing economic doom, hunger, and homelessness an "activity"!) cross generations. Even being out of schools, authoritarian or otherwise.
As far as "millennials" marching ovinely behind the crisis president du jour, I really don't think H&S could have in their wildest dreams predicted Trump. And I don't think they could have predicted how loopy he's gotten since January. Frankly, I don't even bother listening to him during the press conferences. If he were smart, he'd just turn the whole thing over to Drs Birx and Fauci and s.t.h.u. already. This is not his area of strength and he is not providing any kind of leadership. Ultimately, he's just sinking his own reelection chances when he has had a five months to really learn how to lead and learn how to rely on good counsellors. I think if FDR had done similar, we would not have seen the country step up to that challenge.
I agree, Trump is not the "Grey Champion" they predicted. The last Crisis had its Grey Champion, FDR, elected in the first presidential election after the Crisis began. Howe & Strauss say the "Millennial Crisis" began with Junior's corporate bailouts in 2008, and America is still waiting for its Grey Champion more than 11 years later. How about this idea: there won't BE a Grey Champion! Bernie was blocked twice by two moderates too washy and watered-down to have any semblance of vision (Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden). I just don't see Millennials following Biden. If Biden is president for 8 years, our planet is doomed. Maybe Trump is King George III and the Millennials are the generation of Thomas Jefferson and Ethan Allen, and it's our job to rise up against the Trumperor and overthrow him, installing a New Millennial Order!
Right. This crisis, like all crises, does in fact have it's champions. Because it's real life, and most importantly, not yet history, it doesn't necessarily have a single champion and that champion isn't necessarily who or what H&S predicted. We won't know who this "grey champion" is until the history gets written. And even then, the real champion may not be who we think it was.
No champion at all? That's possible. This is a possibility that can only be seriously considered by those who have utterly despaired. I can be tempted towards despair, towards utter hopelessness, but ultimately can not go there.
Rather: I'd suspect that the so-called "great men" of history aren't the real champions anyway. Including FDR. I don't buy H&S theory, so why would I accept their "grey champion"? No, FDR was just one of the big fish politicians, and honestly, I'd say Churchill better fits the bill. But even those great men are not the real champions. Heroism and leadership aren't defined by one's political position (else, Mr Trump by default must be the grey champion!) or one's prominence during the crisis. True leadership and true heroism are defined by the character, the determination, and the rightness of action during crisis. They real "grey champions" are people you've never heard of, people no one will ever know how brightly shone their star in one moment of crisis. If you've never head of people like Andritzki & Kolbe & Biernacka, that's okay, because I never heard of them before either! These are just three of the "grey champions" of that particular crisis.
H&S, in my estimation, simply focus on the wrong things. They assume that power & authority are what makes one a champion or a leader. In my estimation, the true champion & the true leader is the one who acts with the greatest compassion & love for those around her. This is not to say those in authority can not also be true champions; merely that to look for the real "grey champion" only among those in authority is shortsighted.
As far as vision goes, I don't think any of the named have vision. What vision they have is clouded, myopic, and inverted. They need some serious ophthalmologic intervention!
A millennial revolution? I seriously doubt Mr Trump is going to win round 2. Let's face it: he only won round 1 because the Republocrats could only field wishy-washy, watered-down, and cooky-cutter politicians. Rubio? Cruz? Biden? Clinton? Sanders? How many dozens of other candidates were there anyway? All bland variations on a tired theme. And then along comes Trump and actually fights back against the media (something no Republican had ever dared to do!) and took the dirty fight to the Democrats. (And yes, they do fight dirty.) He opened the leftists' playbook and, with varying success, has applied it in a way that no previous rightist politician would ever dream of.
Even if he can carry through round 2, it's only four years, and I seriously doubt there even is a revolutionary spirit in America anymore. Not of the sense of overt political overthrow you're proposing anyway! In any event, we're in the middle of a revolution now ( a social revolution), so, maybe let's just do one revolution at a time??