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Is Gen-X Engaged in Peasant Conservatism?

Everything is cut and dried
Day and night, earth and sky
Somehow, I just don’t believe it.
–From Soul Asylum and Runaway Train

There is a relatively popular site called Eurasia Review. It publishes news and analysis on events primarily affecting Eurasia and Afro-Eurasia. Despite the fact this area contains more than 70 percent of the world’s population news continues to be dominated by a U.S. slant.

So, there’s some background on Eurasia Review.

Today, the editors have published an article, Elena Kagan and Fear Comes of Age, by David Michael Green. It’s a commentary on Generation X and politics. Green makes some surprising statements:

Obama is a conservative
Elena Kagan is not a socialist, she’s a Kaganist
Both Obama and Kagan fully embody the character of Generation X
Generation X is politically neutered

Peasant Conservatism

He more or less says that Gen Xers aren’t necessarily politically conservative, but personally conservative – even engaged in a type of peasant conservativism – “one that is devoted to the narrowest agenda of self.” And, then he delivers a wallop:

No generation I can think of has been handed a lousier deal by its parents and grandparents than Generation X (except Generation Y, of course), and none has responded to that as silently.

It’s the word silently that makes the punch so hard.

Green has a lot of interesting things to say, but he makes an assumption about Generation X that I think misses the mark. He seems to assume that we don’t know what we believe or maybe that we don’t care enough to believe anything at all. He calls Obama and Kagan bloodless careerists and implies every Xer is just like them. In mercy, he offers the poetry of who could blame us?

And, yet, his essay is a beacon to the very boat he misses. Generation X is no more absent of beliefs than generations that go before or come after. The problem has never been what we believe. It has always been who can we believe? Anyone at all?

Photo Credit: From Churl via Flickr

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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