Monday, May 23, 2016
Kids, I Think You're Going To Have To Take Your Future Into Your Own Hands
Has there ever been a phrase more inviting of abuse than, "for their own good"?
People with power like to invoke that phrase to justify what they do to those without as much power. Things get done for, and quite often to, others "in their best interests." The powerful like to do that because they get to define "their own good" and "their best interests" almost invariably in ways that closely mirror the good interests of the powerful themselves.
In this way people with power justify clinging to power long after it should have passed to a new group, perhaps the next generation. After all those calling the shots are only acting in the youngsters' "best interests" and "for their own good."
Governance, however, is not parenting. Those who wield and broker power rarely meet any recognizable fiduciary standard. What is paramount to any government is to still govern after the next election.
Now there's your problem. The kids are still looking to the horizon. They're wondering what they can expect when 2050 or 2060 or 2070 rolls around. The more they look the less they like what they see.
For those in power, their horizon is the current term in office with an option to renew. They see things differently than the kids see things because the kids have to visualize the future, their future. Those in power, snicker among themselves, knowing they'll be taking the eternal dirt nap before the future descends.
Think of it in the context of a commercial airline flight. The passengers are all youngsters. The cockpit crew, however, they're geezers. They're not going to be around for the landing, they won't make it. How does that make you feel if you're enduring the torment of a centre seat in cattle class?
Wouldn't it make sense for all the passengers to get up and toss out the captain and first officer before they managed to get that aircraft off the ground? Shouldn't they demand a flight crew who would at least be around to handle the landing?
In these perilous times that we're entering, that's the predicament facing today's young people, the under 40s. They have to wrest power away and into their own hands. We have shown, time and again, that we're as responsible as drunken sailors when it comes to planning for the future and meeting our fiduciary obligations to our younger generation. We are showing no sign that will change, really change, either.
Time, as the near unanimous chorus of scientists reminds us, is not on our children's side. The Big Bad Wolf is coming and all we've got is a house made out of straw. The kids are going to need something a lot better than what we're planning to bequeath to them. If we're not going to provide it, then it's up to them to take it.
I don't know if they have a sense of their steadily worsening predicament and how urgent it is that they move us out of power and fill our positions with their own. For their sake, the sooner the better. For, once they displace us, they're bound to find they define "their own good" and "their best interests" much differently than we chose to for them.