This is a shallow analysis of complex events. It’s silly to blame one generation for the world’s troubles. Yes, there are serious problems, but the problems of today are less serious than those of yesteryear. My parents’ generation faced the Depression and fought World War II. They were facing Adolf Hitler, the Nazis, the Holocaust, and the Japanese attack. You think those were trivial problems? 400,000 Americans died in that war.

Lots of younger people are complaining about the horrendous burden of student loans. My generation had to face the draft and the prospect of two years of slavery along with the very real chance of getting killed in Vietnam. I was lucky; I got a good lottery number and so escaped the draft, but my brother and plenty of my friends were drafted. I knew only a few distant acquaintances who were killed or maimed in Vietnam. At least people today don’t have to live in perpetual fear of nuclear war, as the Boomers did.

The Boomer generation is no better or worse than any other generation. It has no monopoly on virtue and no surplus of vice. The Boomer generation created the computer revolution that young people are enjoying today. Yes, the Boomer generation failed to do anything about global warming — but it also was the driving force behind environmentalism. It fought endless battles to protect snail darters, spotted owls, and whales.

Let’s not forget that the Boomer generation was nowhere near monolithic. It gave us Bill Clinton, but it also gave us George W. Bush. If you want to blame Boomers for Mr. Trump, then you must also credit them for Mr. Obama. The whole Women’s Lib movement was driven by Boomers — and much of the sexism that still taints our society is coming from Boomers.

Study some history. The grand scheme of history has lots of ups and downs, geniuses and idiots, winners and losers. Reducing it to good guys and bad guys is far too simplistic, and grossly misleading.

More to the point, some of the most difficult problems we have faced cannot be blamed on any individuals or groups. Who are you going to blame for nuclear weapons? The physicists who built the first bomb? Then what about the physicists in other nations who replicated their achievement? The military forces that demanded nuclear weapons? Henry Kissinger? Nuclear weapons were an inevitable development in the history of human civilization; they could not have been prevented. The fact that, so far, we’ve managed to keep them in the box for 75 years is something to take some reassurance from.

The rising inequality that is destroying the social fabric cannot be blamed on greedy capitalists, because it’s happening all over the globe. You can’t blame it on Citizens United or Congress or capitalism, because it’s happening all over the developed world. The real cause has to do with the rise of technology making capital more productive than labor. It’s a fundamental transition in civilization, and so long as we waste time pointing fingers at each other, we won’t be able to address the problem.

I suggest that you read Steven Pinker’s book, The Better Angels of Our Nature.

Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling. www.erasmatazz.com

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