Sunday, February 17, 2008

Anthem for Doomed Youth

In London in 2007, 27 teenagers were murdered by other teenagers. The gang psychology has taken a new and unpleasant twist in the small town of Bridgend, where large numbers of teenagers have taken to committing suicide, in some kind of bizarre pact or sub-culture. At the time of writing I believe the death toll stands at 16 and shows no sign of abating.

In the UK, youths in their mid-teens exist in a cultural black hole. Too old to go out to play, too young to go to the pub, they don’t want to stay inside with mum and dad in front of the TV. They need something else to do. Yet society doesn’t provide them with much. At a time in their lives when they crave stimulation and new opportunities, particularly social contact with their peers, this age group is completely failed by society. Beyond the immediate control of their parents and too young to vote, no-one is really looking out for them.

Teenagers want to be together in groups, but they have nothing in particular to do and nowhere to go, so they just hang around the shops or the bus shelter or the park. At an age when they seek to build social status among their peers and crave new experiences, their raging hormones make them natural risk-takers, and they lack the adult wisdom needed to keep things in perspective. Without structure or supervision, it is no surprise that destructive or anti-social behavior often develops.

Older people will often see a group of teenagers and feel intimidated, even when they are not doing anything specifically anti-social. An atmosphere of suspicion develops, and is allowed to grow because of lack of communication and mutual distrust.

The only strategy on offer currently is to move them on. There is a lot of media interest currently in an electronic device which emits a sound that only teenagers can hear. This unpleasant sound causes the teenagers to move away, while leaving older people unaffected. Is this a solution to the problem of youth crime? No. It will just move them somewhere else, and by alienating them even more, it might make the problem worse in the long term.

Many teenagers are failed by an education system which does not meet their needs. Much of the blame for this lies at the door of the political Left, who have penetrated the education sector in the last forty years and imposed their own ideology upon it. They have watered down traditional educational values, condemning them as elitist. They have decried core subjects such as science and mathematics as ‘masculine linear thinking’, and undermined their position in the curriculum. They have rubbished the icons of Western intellectual history as ‘dead white European males’, but failed to replace them with anything. They have sought to rig the system so that all children have the same educational outcomes, holding back the brightest, while artificially promoting the least able. This is a gross disservice to everyone, and to the nation as a whole. Reference

Of all the damage inflicted on the education system by the feminist-led political Left, perhaps the most profound of all is the fact that men have been driven from the profession, usually by false accusations of child abuse, or fear of such, but sometimes by direct intimidation. There is evidence that the sex of the teacher does affect the learning outcomes of children. The shortage of male teachers in schools has now become so severe in the UK, that female teachers outnumber their male colleagues 12 to 1, leading to serious discipline problems:

"The number of male teachers has plummeted to an all-time low, threatening a classroom discipline crisis as a generation of boys misses out on authority role models. In parts of the country worst-hit by the male recruitment slump, fewer than 10 per cent of primary teachers are men.

But the decline has been particularly marked in secondary schools, fuelling fears of rising misbehaviour among disaffected teenage boys whose lives lack male authority figures.

Experts are concerned the lack of male role models in the classroom could have serious implications for boys' performance in exams.

It is thought to be one of the key reasons why boys now lag behind girls in every major school examination."

Surely, in the face of this, the feminist movement - which after all, seeks nothing but sexual equality - should be demanding positive discrimination in favour of males in teacher recruitment? Don't hold your breath. The feminist movement is a self-serving cult. It has no interest in equality.

Feminists in the education sector have sought to artificially promote the educational outcomes of girls in particular, claiming that Western society is a ‘Patriarchy‘ which discriminates against them. Reference In fact, the figures show that it is white working-class boys who are failing most badly, but the Left wing media seek to deny and suppress these uncomfortable facts.

The policies of left-wing educational theorists have resulted in increasing educational failure and disillusion for many. The Labour government’s response to this has been totally misguided. It focuses attention on the elementary years in order to promote basic literacy, and that is a good thing. But once children reach their teens, the focus is all about university entry. This is in effect an imposition of middle-class values on to the whole of society. Not everyone is able to pursue academic study, nor wants to. Other options need to be available. At the moment, teenagers who cannot, or do not wish to, enter university are made to feel like failures, and nothing much else is on offer. The government answer seems to be to build more universities, and to water down the entry requirements so that everyone can succeed. This is entirely the wrong approach. Not everyone shares the middle-class values of the legislators. The policy that “All must have degrees” is an absurdity; doubly so at a time when Chemistry and Physics departments are closing, and many students are being given unconvincing degrees in subjects like media studies and leisure centre management. Rather than solving the educational crisis, the policy of popularizing universities is likely to deepen it.

The feminist-led political Left has also spent the last four decades attacking fatherhood, marriage and the family. I discussed the reasons for this at some length in an earlier article. The consequences of this have been truly disastrous. Some of them were outlined in an excellent report by the think-tank Civitas in 2002.

Since then, the problems have only deepened. The evidence shows clearly that fatherlessness is the single biggest predictor of youth delinquency, worse even than poverty or ethnic group. Both boys and girls are adversely affected. By waging a political and cultural war on fathers, marriage and the family, the feminist-led political Left has consigned a generation to social and educational failure.

Having tried their best to cast boys into a life of despair on the margins of society, feminists then condemn them for their resulting anti-social behavior. In her article ‘It’s a Guy Thing’, the feminist Bea Campbell blames the UK’s increasing gang culture on the essential violence of males.

Not only is this ‘blaming the victim’, a feminist shibboleth in itself, but it is an essentialist position from someone who claims to be a social constructionist. Everything is socially created, except that women are good and men are bad. Her article perfectly illustrates the intellectual bankruptcy, self-serving opportunism and hypocrisy of the feminist movement and the political Left.

The Right has hardly served teenagers any better. There are those on the political Right, such as Thatcherites and neo-cons, who believe, as an article of religious faith, that a free market will always deliver perfect solutions. One only has to look at the US healthcare system to see that this is an absurdity.

The same can be said of the youth culture market. There is an enormous range of products aimed at teenagers, from music, to computer games, clothes and cosmetics, and yet this vast marketing effort has done nothing to ameliorate the problems of teenagers. Arguably, selling them gangsta rap CDs and violent films only makes the problem worse. The market has not delivered, and on its own, it never will.

Margaret Thatcher famously stated “There is no such thing as society, there are only individuals”. This was a remarkable statement from a woman who preached ‘Victorian family values’. Civil society flourished under the Victorians, but Margaret Thatcher was interested only in individualist economics. By manufacturing mass unemployment she destroyed whole communities in the traditional industrial areas. By slashing public spending and preaching an “Every man for himself” attitude, she dealt a shocking blow to civil society, further undermining traditional structures of social support and control. It was she who escalated the war against men by introducing the disastrous Child Support Agency. She did this only to save money on welfare benefits paid to single parents; it had nothing to do with keeping families together.

Where the family and traditional social structures vanish, the gang takes over. It is well known that children in London say that they are frightened, and carry weapons in order to defend themselves. They band together into gangs for mutual defense. The gang provides a substitute for the support they should be getting from the extended family, the community, the education system and the workplace. Because of the internal dynamics of the gang, acts of bravado are encouraged among members. Rivalry between local gangs emerges. Violence increases.

The lives of many teenagers in the UK are characterized by boredom, fear and despair. It is the Left which has failed them utterly.

The two things which teenagers need most – a good education and strong family support – have been taken from them by Marxists and feminists exactly like Bea Campbell, and we will be living with the effects for years to come.


Anonymous said...

"There is no such thing as society."

Mrs Thatcher's above comment has been purposely taken out of context by the Left since she made it.

She was simply saying that people should not rely on welfare and that they had a duty to get their act together. If you listen to the whole speech, you will see that this is all she meant by her comment.

Mrs Thatcher did inadvertently devastate some areas with high unemployemnt but with some justification. At the time of the fated miner's strike, for example, British Coal was losing more money (it was subsidised by the taxpayer) than was British Steel making!

Her main aim at the time was to undermine the unions which had become too powerful and, at the time, they were often holding the country to ransom.

Also, the idea that Mrs T influenced greatly the way we thought about ourselves (allegedly giving rise to the 'me' society) seems tenuous.

When as any politician since the 60s held much sway over our attitudes? It is the media that influence us in these areas, not the politicians.

In fact, the media choose what to show us when it comes to what the politicians might be saying.

In addition, youngsters, in particular, do not listen to politicians; they read magazines and watch youth programs.

The 'me' society is not Mrs Thatcher's making. It comes from the Left; including the feminists.

It is the feminists who told women to do their own thing and it is the politically-corrected Left that has encouraged lying.

(Both of these groups had a grip on the media.)

One important point that I think you missed when it comes to our wayward youth having nothing to do, and having no older folk around them, is that youth leaders of various sorts have given up the ghost because it is too risky these days working with youngsters in anything but a very formal setting. But, surprise, surprise, youngsters do not want very formal settings when they are seeking to have fun. Thus, the twain have parted company, leaving our youngsters unguided, uncared for and uncontrolled.

Notwithstanding my views as above, you have done it again, Heretical. Another brilliant piece that stands out a mile above the crowd.

Heretic said...

"youth leaders of various sorts have given up the ghost because it is too risky these days working with youngsters"

Absolutely right. This point is so important that I have edited the article to include it.

BrusselsLout said...

"There is no such thing as society."

Mrs Thatcher's above comment has been purposely taken out of context by the Left since she made it.

Ah yes! No friend and admirer of gentlemen like Chaucescu and Pinochet could possibly mean it that way!

Women are more materialistic and selfish than men.

Women will always marry "up", and never "down". A man with a few bob will happily marry a destitute woman if he liked her, and with the intention of financially supporting her for life. A woman, however, would NEVER marry a man unless he could work and bring in money to support her -- even if she is well-capable of supporting herself. A woman would never support a man, except for possibly in the short term until he found his feet to support her.

And feminists? They are campaigning to get more women into the best jobs, where the men are. But never into the worst jobs, where even more men are.

In short, under the pretext of campaigning for equality, feminists are after more money. Although Thatcher was not a feminist, she and feminists still have much in common.

I will add, however, that there's nothing wrong with women. It's us. We've spoilt them. And because of our damned -- often uncontrollable -- sex drive.

Anonymous said...

Across the Pond in the US. We are drugging our Boys and Teenage Boys into Zombies. Then pumping them full of psychotropic drugs. Some of them become Suicidal, and psychotic. Then they acquire Fire Arms and go on a rampage taking out their anger on their Classmates, or fellow citizens in Public Places. Finally before they die by what is called "Suicide by Cops", they take their own lives.

This has happened in Shopping Males in Utah, Omaha Nebraska. In High Schools from Oregon to Arkansas, in Colleges in Louisana, Virgina Tech, and Illinois. We stupidly let Females who run the Education system, declare our Schools Gun Free Zones. Where predators know they will face ZERO armed resistance. Futher increasing the carnage.

In FemAmerica Feelings are more important than truth. Emotional arguements carry more weight than Reality. And perception is everything. Family Life is imploding here. And 40% of babies born in the US now are Bastards.

We will be waving the American Flag as this Republic is flushed down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

I particularly enjoyed this post.

About the generation gap of the baby boomers and their parents, that generation was handed the keys to the world. They were the first generation that could take survival and basic needs entirely for granted and thus felt entitled to it, not understanding what earlier generation sacrificed to provide that life for them. They embarked on an experimental wave of destructive social engineering whose consequences they likely never imagined.

Someone said that the difference between liberals and conservatives is that one sees value in tried and true wisdom that has stood the test of time and people haven't really changed much. The other sees in the world that human behavior is changeable and programmable and that a new, fresh start is good if even all it offers is change for the sake of change.

They have torn apart the family structure but not actually replaced it with any new, satisfying structure. They are trying to substitute the welfare state for the father but it keeps failing. Even Trotsky realized you couldn't eliminate the family altogether and get anything other than the anomie we see now among the youth. Eliminating the allegedly "restrictive" moral values that helped regulate and guide behavior has also lead to an increase in this cultural nihilism of our young men and women.

You may find it interesting the California's no fault divorce laws (the first in the US) were model after those in the Soviet Union.