Greg Swann recently re-posted an article he had previously published on FreetheAnimal.com. That article inspired this one. For the most part, I will be adding to what Greg wrote. I will not be addressing the entirety of the title “The Lost Generation”, a topic which I think could easily encompass an entire series of posts, a book, and so on.
The title was chosen because I believe it highlights larger effects of fundamental problems and errors that Greg identifies.
To begin, it is remarkable that Greg understands all of these problems to such a depth. Many adults his age in the united States probably have a dim sense that there are major problems with the “education system”. Or at least they’ve heard someone on TV say that. Greg however is both a brilliant thinker and has a thorough understanding of philosophy.
The depth and consistency of Greg’s understanding is then, in my judgement, likely superior to the writing of most authors on these topics — people who are selling books by the truck load. To be sure, most/nearly all of those individuals would have little understanding of something like …
You weren’t just cheated of an education when you were young, you were cheated out of the full awareness of your own humanity. Not by outrageously nefarious bad guys, but by glib-and-lazy fuck-ups.
I’m a lot younger than Greg; less than half his age I believe. I’m young enough to still remember the ins and outs of my middle school, never mind the much more recent high school experience. I also have a younger brother still in the middle of high school.
Greg has been out of high school longer than I’ve been alive! =)
As a result, my first hand experience is still fresh and colorful. In essence, I have a closer first hand look into what’s going on right now. And it’s bad. Real fucking bad.
Children today are being pummeled with bullshit of every kind. True, they are accepting it, and to that degree they are responsible (as are adults). But as Greg also identifies in other terms, the rate at which it is being shoved down their intellectual throats is far exceeding how fast they are voluntarily swallowing or embracing it.
In every mental capacity possible, kids are getting fucked out of a future, out of even becoming a fully human being. They are surrounded by imbecile adults, driven by evil/horrible/pathetic philosophies, are taught literal nonsense, and the cherry on top : they are taught to obey, and to not question.
To not be critical, actively think about problems, and explore or invent new solutions.
My own life is a rare, currently abnormal antithesis to this process/clusterfuck.
~60 days out of high school I conceptualized and began implementing a concrete solution to the task of self-actualization and at the time, its specific relevance to male/female relationships.
It was a success that continues to this day as the hallmark achievement of my life. And there was almost nothing of value in 13 years of preceding education that contributed positively to this accomplishment.
I can count the number of truly good teachers I had during that time on one hand (one of which I’ve been fortunate enough to thank in person twice since the time she was my teacher).
I probably learned indirectly as much or more about my self and reality from six years of contact football than I did from a compulsory public education funded by the threat of violence.
I realize I sound like some nutter living in the woods by making preceding statement by the way. Never the less, it is the actual reality of your life and what most children (and their parents) in this country currently experience. Such has been the case for many decades now, whether or not you are comfortable with facing this reality, or are even willing to comprehend it as fact.
Self-Esteem as the Mental Immune System
From Greg’s article :
Yes, you were cheated of an education. And, yes, you were complicit in cheating yourself — with every daydream in class, with every gossipy note you passed, with every sneer, every snicker, every spitball you shot at a clueless teacher. With every half-assed, half-stepping, half-hearted effort you turned in, hoping it was just enough to get by — you cheated yourself of an education.
This quote reminds me of the section of Atlas Shrugged, where I believe Hank Rearden comments on a young gang leader, who in another time, would have grown up to be a brilliant champion of industry.
Being a gang leader in essence, is fitting to the time he is living, in the context of the novel. A time when philosophy and civilization are slowly collapsing, much as they are today on an even grander timeline.
This provides no excuse for the entirety of wild or disrespectful behavior by children, but also, some of it may indeed be a healthy response by a child or young person rejecting bullshit or outright propaganda.
Consider how confusing it may be for an intelligent child to hear in math class some variation of “1=1”.
And then, 45 minutes later, learn about the “dangers” and “evils” of unregulated laissez-faire capitalism and how “reality doesn’t work that way”.
In one class, reality does work that way. 1 does equal 1.
And then in the next, reality doesn’t work that way. 1 equals something other than 1.
For the record, the above instance is not an abstracted example : I’m recounting the last words I heard from my 9th grade economics teacher, right before I permanently tuned the guy out of existence. Said teacher was also an “IB” teacher.
In 9th and 12th grade when he was my teacher, he was responsible for teaching the (supposedly) most difficult classes provided by the State of Florida — with a heavier GPA weight than even AP and community college classes at the time.
The underlying point is this : if you throw a piece of shit at a healthy, young, uncompromising child, you should not be surprised if it is flung back in your face, with chaotic accuracy.
Children at the receiving end of a bullshit volcano are just that : children. It should be expected that at the very least, when their mind is threatened with some form of anti-knowledge, they either ignore you all together, or respond negatively and in a completely unrefined way — independent of their explicit understanding of nonsense as nonsense, or lack there of.
They’ve been alive for barely a decade. Self-aware and capable of abstract though for even less. Then, they are surrounded by the opposite sex, in the middle of changing into physical adults, with little to no guidance for how this process works and what it means.
Male children today are then surrounded and continually assaulted by the idea that the core of masculinity is big muscles, grunting, driving fast, and blowing stuff up.
Any idea outside of this is shameful.
Female children are taught there is no such thing as femininity. It’s self-evident.
If children refuse to comply vividly enough, they are force fed drugs and/or are told they have a learning disability.
Especially the boys.
Those damn trouble makers who refuse to submit, sit still, shut the fuck up, and do exactly as they’re told!
Healthy but not the Healthiest
A healthy response from a child is not necessarily the healthiest response. Calibration for their responses is also, as mentioned, low. It wasn’t until later in public school that I learned better how to respond to aggressively stupid teachers and “administrators”; people you couldn’t just ignore.
Boy did these people fucking hate me.
And so far as I can tell, the situation has worsened since my time, in spite of how recent it was.
Greg says the following in his article :
They were just cash-greedy glib-and-lazy fuck-ups. For a second thing, teachers generally intend to do nothing more than the minimum necessary to get the money from the glib-and-lazy politicians who employ them. But for the first thing, they are themselves glib-and-lazy know-nothing fuck-ups skating through life on a frozen river of knowledge a mile wide and a micron thick.
I would say, the ratio of lazy-fuck-ups to active-assholes with tiny egos has shifted. Along with the instant-gratification attitude of today’s world comes something we’ll call hyper-interventionism.
This is a process of meddling, control, and intervention at all times and any cost.
People today complain about large classroom sizes … frankly, a high ratio of students to teachers is a protection against these aggressive assholes with low self-esteem who can’t stand a child asking an intelligent question or acting out of line ~36 months after figuring out they exist [you are better off learning nothing than something destructive to your life].
Heaven forbid the child who finishes a math test first, does all of the work in his head (in defiance of instruction), and gets every question right every time.
I was scolded in 4th grade for this behavior and applauded in the 5th.
I suspect the confusing responses children receive now in the same age group are 10x worse. (And later grade levels with more complex class work amplify this effect substantially and in an entirely negative manner).
Hopefully, many of them are still resilient enough to not apologize for being good at something and enjoying it.
I’m not certain that anyone, myself included, appreciates the full depth and extent of how uneducated and mal-educated children today are — and how fast this devolution is picking up speed.
It is utterly tragic how consistently and globally their minds are under assault. How pathetic and primitive the education they receive is. How entirely unsupported they are in growth towards becoming a fully human, adult individual.
Please, please, educate me further on “intuition, imagination, faith, and memory” as foundations of knowledge [I actually took that class and walked out with a functioning brain].
All of the above is a consequence of building an education system on a contradictory foundation of blood and hyper-passive-aggressive-violence; education is “mandatory”, funding it as an adult is “not optional”.
In one form or another, you will pay for the public education system that facilitates all of this.
All of which is a consequence of bad, evil philosophy, that adults of tomorrow are being pummeled with today.
I sincerely believe it is possible that an entire generation will be “lost” to this phenomenon. A super-majority of them will be so uneducated they will be unable to accomplish any task outside of the most simplistic, fast-food level work.
Even that, may be optimistic for many of them, given the crumbling physiological foundation upon which they are being born.
(Think real birth defects, mental retardation, life-long obesity, diabetes, asthma, chronic infections, etc).