Generational arguments

People never get tired of blaming problems on the next generation. As a millennial, I am always reading about how my attitudes are undermining society’s fabric (entitled snowflakes!). Thankfully Generation Z are getting old enough to share some of the flak.

One of the reasons its such a boring and lazy argument is that it gets made every generation. I look out for generational griping whenever I read and am rarely disappointed (Nor is brilliance any guarantee against falling into the trap) :

Take the following quote attributed to Socrates by Plato (contested):

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

Montaigne in his essay ‘On The Art of Conversation’:

Yet it is difficult to attract men to do that in our days. They have no stomach for correcting because they have no stomach for suffering correction

Kierkegaard:

What our generation lacks is not reflection but passion

See also XKCD’s comic strip on a similar topic.

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