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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The New 'Villager'

I described in an earlier post the phenomenon of the 'Village People.'  By this, I mean people who think only about very basic needs and have little in the way of more expansive and/or abstract thought.  'Village People' have limited interests outside of basic survival.
Having spend years dealing with Village People, I've noticed that this pattern is not confined to immigrants (although the trauma of immigration is often enough to reduce someone to this level, or at least is only really appealing to people who are already at this level of thought).  We are producing a new generation of Villagers.
Many of our young people have become 'Village People,' though not precisely in the same way as those who are simply raised without abstract thought.  In fact, they are raised with so much abstract thought that nothing seems very real.
They are used to schools that are constantly trying to redefine reality.  We call it Post-Modernism, which is basically a constant shifting of the barriers of reality to the point where nothing much is real.  Now, the 'true believer' Post-Modernist finds this constant shifting to be 'the' reality.  he is comforted by being in control of the shifting process, rather than in control of anything within it.
This is why so many teachers love Post-Modernism.  They don't really have to know much of anything, which is evident when you talk to an academic these days and discover that they are people who are largely, to borrow Fr. Roman Braga's apt turn of phrase, 'made out of quotes.'  They quote others, but when it comes to dealing with real problems in the world, they are totally inept.
Teachers love Post-Modernism because they get to yank the stakes out of the ground and set them in new places for their students, whom are then punished for rejecting the new definitions.  Young people very quickly learn to either fake interest in their teachers' latest fads, or get whacked (fails are almost never handed out perhaps in recognition of the guilty conscience of a system where measurements and indicators as a whole are subjective).  Education is not about formation but obedience.  This is why the West has gradually become more totalitarian about thought and opinion.
The problem for the younger generation is that they eventually give up on trying to figure out their world and instead confine themselves to mindless entertainment.  Sure, the young have often turned to entertainment to blow off steam from their excess energy, but now entertainment is largely about sedation.  We seek out 'white noise' to drown out the cries of madness that haunt our daily lives.
The power of addiction is the power of the despair in a world where nothing seems real except direct sensory experiences.  The addict descends into a world dominated by his sensory overload in the addiction.

Many of our young people fall into hedonistic lifestyles because there simply is nothing greater to live for.  Post-Modernism and the constant 'amendment' of truth means that, in the end, there is no truth, only experience.  Morality, virtue, honor... these things suddenly have no consequence or even sense to someone who sees nothing enduring but concrete experience.

This is the 'New Villager,' the modern child who's life has no meaning.  There is no incentive to become responsible and grow up, because those things themselves have no meaning to them in a world were what is abstract is constantly changing.  They can't even define them if they wanted to, because the generation of parents and teachers before them benefitted from these things but denied them the same opportunity.

Now, we see this generation emerging, and it is only a matter of time before the weight of reality comes in with full force.  It will be interesting to see if they can handle life outside the nest once the Baby Boomers become too old to support the system that has created the Post-Modern dystopia of wealth without meaning.

1 comment:

  1. "The industrial mind is is a mind without compunction; it simply accepts that people, ultimately, will be treated as garbage." Wendell Berry, 1987