Our children becoming adults are entering an uninviting world filled with intergenerational warfare. They are finding a wall of debt and a jungle of entitlement that they are now expected to maneuver through as they find their way in the world. They now clamor for relief and dream of a day when they will have their turn at creating a government that works for them perhaps at the expense of those that came before them. This intergenerational struggle is a mask for that struggle we all must now endure between corporatism and nationalism.
“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace
You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
John Lennon’s words of a dreamer hoping for a world in which man’s better nature overpowers his lesser one are but those of a hopeful dream unfettered by the realities of mankind. I used to dream this way as a school boy. Glancing at the chalkboard occasionally only to memorize the math tables in case by chance I might be called upon to recite them by my teacher, I would then stare off into the clouds outside my classroom window and think of such peaceful things.
And it is becoming easier for the children now becoming adults to dream this way, for their chances at success in the material world are becoming less and less a reality of the dreams they aspired to fulfilling. The dreams of a world yet to fulfill the promises of enlightenment seems a better goal to these young dreamers than the drudgery of cleaning up after the dreams turned nightmares of their baby boomer parents.
Yet, dream as we all must, the reality is that neither Lennon’s nor Lenin’s dreams of a world to come have any basis for they do not measure what man’s lesser nature is capable of achieving in practice. Our now adult children will aspire to dismantling the government entitlements that we built for ourselves at their expense and they will have their chance to meet their own aspirations. Yet what will take the place of our generation’s dreams that they dismantle?
We will not move toward a utopian world without borders that they dream about, but instead our future is hurdling toward a nationalistic dystopia where nationalism is replaced by corporatism, where national armies are usurped by corporate militaries, where geographic borders are porous, only signaling which populations will pay for the non-viable workers in their regions yet containing none of the more glorious privileges of citizenship.
Dreamers must allow themselves to dream the uglier side of life, driven by the lesser nature of mankind, and then they must put those dreams, nay nightmares, forward for the rest of humanity to witness. It is only in the sacrifice of a dreamer sharing his vulnerability that the rest of us have a moment to adjust our paths, if only to thwart those dreams before they become realties.