Old Diary

Hidden Monsters


It has always been that the old despise the young.  I have no doubt about that.  Those with age and maturity seem to think, sometimes seem to demand, that those who lack age and maturity owe it to them to listen and obey the ways of the aged and more experienced.

What has not always been is a culture in which the young not only have access to all the information the aged think is their exclusive domain, but their experiences are completely different than the experiences of those who have gone before because the generation now reaching maturity has:

  1. Never had the experience of being a prosperous American (they are saddled with education debt and too many of them cannot find jobs commensurate with their education)
  2. At the same time they live in a society where our definition of poverty is 31X (yes, I did actually mean to write “31 times”) above the global definition of poverty.
  3. Never lived without computers, never had to survive with out gadgets, have no idea the challenges endured by those who lived before the computer age.

A lot of comments have been made about the mean age of Congress, and it’s not just Congress that tends to be populated by old white men.  Our national government continues to be disproportionately representative of that population.  Laws have been made over the life of this country making it harder for women, majorities and the young to effectively make their voices heard but that is gradually changing.

All of which is why I love this graphic.
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The world will change. Old white men will not hold the majority of power forever.  By ignoring the rise of a new electorate, the political powers that be are sealing their own fate.  And those who can see the hidden monster (just perhaps) can’t wait until it does.

The rich, the really, really rich, may think that they are insulated from the demands of the poor and the so-called powerless, but French aristocracy  thought the same before the French Revolution, Albanians and Poles and Czechs and Kashmiri’s thought the same before the Soviet Union collapsed.  Before the Arab Spring people in the Middle East refused to believe that the world was changing too.

The thing is, you cannot stop knowledge.  And when people realize how downtrodden they have been and get to that ignition point all the armored vehicles and all the tear gas or water cannons won’t keep them in the pre-defined boxes that society has kept them in.

The best hope for the world is not that governments wake up to the challenges of climate change.  The best hope for the world is that the generation facing climate change will  prevail over the old ways — however unruly that might be for corporate goals , or how violent it may be to those in seats of power and authority.

Just when that little girl will release the monster isn’t up to those who think they are strong. But they have a rude awakening awaiting them.

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9 thoughts on “Hidden Monsters

  1. A good thought, but what have these revolutions accomplished? Aren’t the same old white men in power again? Why should we think, “Oh, but next time it will be different?” I noticed you mentioned the downfall of the Soviet empire but did not list the Russian revolution which inaugurated “the dictatorship of the proletariat” near the end of WWI only to fall even harder than Tsarist Russia some 70 years later. Change will come, but neither through some divine intervention nor through any kind of revolution. It will come from a global mental evolution, a change of mind. Beyond religion, beyond state dictatorships, beyond money, beyond science and technology a new world is waiting but all the tried and failed methods must first be rejected.

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    • You’re right — many times it’s another group of old white men, or old men at any rate, who survive the purges.

      My crystal ball is no better than anyone else’s. Whether next time will be any better or not depends on the mindedness of those engaged in the battle at the time. I suspect most often human nature wants what it wants and is quite happy to settle for someone else to have the worry of government. Heck, here in the U.S. we can’t seem to get people out to the ballot boxes, what makes anyone think they will be even more active in governing their own lives? Not me.

      You say that all the tried and failed methods must first be rejected. the problem with that is, we as a species have an inordinate desire to hang onto things. I find it hard to believe such a consensus would ever develop.

      As for the lack of mention of other circumstances, the ones I mentioned were, I thought, adequate to the point. One could list a few dozen other governmental changes I suspect. All of which had their impacts.

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      • My intent wasn’t to be critical, just pointing out that of all the revolutions I know about, sooner or later their is a turnabout and the same sort of oppression that led to the revolution retakes the reins of power. Yes, it’s certainly not just old “white” men, it’s old and obsolete thinking. We’ve finally managed to build a truly global civilization with very few individuals able to, or opting out, of its all-encompassing grasp. That means when it collapses, and it is in the process of doing so right under our blind eyes, it will entail global consequences, much much worse than say, WWII. In WWII the protagonists fought each other recognizing the consequences of losing “to the other side.” When civilization collapses there will be no real “enemy” as such, just a whole lot of straw men, scapegoats, and increasingly the struggles will be for sheer survival in the face of hopeless odds. Such a condition will be conducive to real change, particularly among the young who will be growing up in the nightmare caused by insane old beliefs and traditions. When that begins to shape it will not be a revolution, or a series of revolutions since there will be no real enemy to overcome and take its place, we will have an evolution of mind, and we will develop a new way of interacting with each other and our environment. I predict a new breed to replace Homo Sapiens. When Greta Thunberg stands in front of the UN and blames world leaders for the collapse of the environment, that is what I’m talking about. She’s too early in the game to succeed but the thought is expressed publicly; the words have been spoken and recorded. Likely unbeknownst to her, she is addressing much more than anthropogenic climate change: she’s expressing her angst at having realized it is civilization that is collapsing and what that means in terms of pain and horror yet to come upon mankind.

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      • I’m sure you’re right. I think we need to stop our hustle and sit down with her and have a serious talk, if it’s not too late already. Her patience seems to have run out and we’re still so eager to poke sharp sticks in her sores.

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      • I’d like to be optimistic about that happening, but I fear that “no one cares” what happens to momma earth. At least not those in any position of authority to do anything before stuff starts crashing in on our heads. there is so much blame going to individuals, but the U.S. military is the biggest polluter in the world, and business does the next most — but all the “popular” effort is aimed at the consumer and their straws and such.

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      • The ruling patriarchy always only had one game plan: make the peons pay. If they can’t pay, throw them out on the street, starve them, shoot them, just make sure they keep getting the message.

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