Yesterday I wrote a short diary asking “where are the young people?”, commenting that it is the youth that traditionally energize uprisings or dissent in politics. To my surprise I found an article on alternet this morning that explains why the young people aren’t in the streets. It is worth reading.
Bruce E. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (Chelsea Green, 2011). His Web site is www.brucelevine.net
This is the title of his article. I will just try to summerize in order to not violate fair use standards:
8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance
The ruling elite has created social institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance.
Student-Loan Debt. During the time in one’s life when it should be easiest to resist authority because one does not yet have family responsibilities, many young people worry about the cost of bucking authority, losing their job, and being unable to pay an ever-increasing debt.
Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance. He talks about new diagnose including that are medicated in young people including“oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,” “often argues with adults,” and “often deliberately does things to annoy other people.”
(a side note here: my sister's grandson was telling her the other day that he has been diagnosed as having defiant syndrome. I always thought they called that being a teenager)
Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy
“No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” The corporatocracy has figured out a way to make our already authoritarian schools even more authoritarian.
Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously.
I’m including this relevant quote from the article: That was not always the case in the United States. Mark Twain famously said, “I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” I want to add here I dropped out of school in the ninth grade because I saw it as a way of trying to control me.
The Normalization of Surveillance. The fear of being surveilled makes a population easier to control.
Television. Include computers, iphones, etc. Self explanatory. We all complain that kids spend all their time on the computer and watching TV.
Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism. All varieties of fundamentalism narrow one’s focus and inhibit critical thinking.
Please read the whole article. Levine elaborates on each of these points. It is worth the time to figure out what is going on. As I lamented in the end of my diary yesterday, the youth is lost, so the country is lost.