“Our politics, particularly among millennials and those who interact with the world mainly through social media, is no longer about the world but about the self”. This statement by Kevin Williamson of National Review captures the trend that reflects the narcissism of todays millennial generation, those between the ages of 18 and 34.
The majority of those within this generation are the ones whom believe that being perceived, is and of itself, sufficient enough to effect events in reality.
This is epitomized by the Obama administrations hashtag diplomacy response of “bring back our girls” to terrorists on twitter. Taking part in this exercise of “self-esteem”, celebrities and millennials are now taking pictures of themselves holding a note that states their outrage “bring back our girls” in response to the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by the terrorist organization Boko Haram.
The response this message is intended to elicit is not to actually “bring back our girls”, but rather to gain popularity in being noticed by friends that their expression of concern is somehow symbolic. Unfortunately, the millennial generation will sure enough forget about Boko Haram just as they did the Trayvon Martin case, the KONY 2012 Campaign and Obama’s 2008 Hope and Change slogan.
Remaining unaware of reality, this generation is in regression as they remain fixated on what they perceive as popular. The newest Iphone, the latest celebrity scandal and the bar to drink at tonight is what encompasses this generations attention. Not politics, nor policy. If it doesn’t directly effect them it is important.
“The people about us are unaware of what is really happening to them. They gaze fascinated at one or two familiar superficialities, such as possessions and income and rank and other outworn conceptions. As long as these are kept intact, they are quite satisfied. But in the meantime they have entered a new relation; a powerful social force has caught them up. They themselves are changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”
That statement was delivered by Adolf Hitler and is hauntingly reminiscent of what todays millennial generation is experiencing. Yet this is disregarded by those who cannot grasp the essence of historical events and cannot discover this relationship to similar but superficially varied events in other nations or eras.
The regression of the millennial generation due to their disengagement of politics as irrelevant from their disillusionment of principle is disheartening. In the words of Leonard Peikoff, the author of Ominous Parallels, “Men cannot know their course or value without the guidance of principles. A nation does not learn from disaster – only from discovering its cause”.