Is Inter-generational War too harsh? How about an Inter-generational Police action then?
My favourite mentor and political commentator, Comrade Chris Trotter, has made some worthy points in his blog criticising my identification of inter-gednerational frictions in the intensification debate raging in Auckland.
But he also attempts to draw some incredibly long bows.
‘Boomer bashing’ as you put it needs some definition. You are of course right that boomers didn’t pick their parents anymore than I did, or anymore than a person picks their race, or sexual orientation, or gender BUT what you do with your priviledge you can be judged on.
Boomers were the first youth generation, you did so much comrade to force liberal and progressive change in NZ and around the world. We generations who have followed you can be nothing but grateful for the liberal society we have inherited from you. Nuclear free NZ, the Springbok tour activism and an environmental movement alongside feminism, personal freedoms and genuine reflection on racism against Maori and Pacific Islanders are momentoues achivements in the face of power.
But – and here’s where we get to the but Comrade – somehwere along the line, in the 1980s, Boomers stopped pushing for universal cradel to the grave social services and started wanting those just for themselves.
The golden environment of full employment, strong unions, free education and a job at the drop of a hat was replaced with user pays selfishness. There is no way of course that all boomers fell into this, many – yourself included comrade- never lost the beliefs your hearts cherished, but many boomers did and it was those boomers who jeered and laughed at Generation Zero last week as they attempted to voice the aspirations of Gen Xers and Gen Y and millenials who have been left to rot in an ocean of debt.
Calling ones elders out on their priviledge is no easy task, but to claim boomer priviledge is somehow sacred and criticising it unfair can not match up with the reality that 30 000 of your peers Comrade stopped the apsirations of 206 000 of my peers last week.
The irony of a rich boomer group like Auckland 2040 is that by then, the planets climate change problems will probably be out of control and they won’t be here to deal with it. Wealthy boomers have voted for and continue to vote for political parties who feather their nests, not think about everyones nests.
Gen X, Gen Y, millennials and the poor have been betrayed by a user pays culture while many of those boomers who benefitted from cradle to grave support jeer and mock. To turn criticism of a generations privilege into a comparison with the way Jews have historically been treated as you did in your blog seems a tad absurd comrade.
Where I do agree with you Chris is the need to reach out to boomers and try to get them on board with change. To rekindle that idealiosm that they channelled so effectively in their youth to make the here and now better, to have their place in the progressive struggle filled by their voices and experiences and their wisdom.
So let’s welcome those boomers with the same passion as their youth, but expect no easy ride for your fellow brothers and sisters who have merely lifted the ladder up after themselves.