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Youth Suprematism

  • One of the side-effects of science was to prove that old people's knowledge can be very wrong.
  • This had profound psychological consequences: the belief that older people knew better, no matter how primitive their superstitions, was progressively replaced by the belief that young generations know better, no matter how little they actually know.
  • Mussolini's Avanguardia Giovanile Fascista (Fascist Youth Vanguards) of 1919 and Hitler's Jugendbund of 1922 both promoted the idea of the old people who were wary of fascism were not as wise as the enthusiastic fascist youth.
  • When kids started going to high school and then to college, the presumption became a fact: they did know better than their parents
  • That psychology boomed in the 1950s when the generational gap turned into open revolt of young people against their parents' way of life, a phenomenon that eventually led to the hippies of the 1960s, the sexual revolution, etc.
  • Language itself, often promoted by popular performers of rock (and later hip-hop) music, became a way to embody the differences and to discriminate against older generations.
  • Musical taste, being the most prominent expression of linguistic conventions, became the main dividing line between generations.
  • Today that psychology is still prevailing except that it has mostly moved into electronic gadgets: older people are not familiar with the latest feature, which are always deemed as superior by the younger generation that is very familiar with them.
  • Belief in the superior power of technology is, however, just a return to the rule of superstition: the fact that water boils at a certain temperature because of thermodynamic properties and not for divine intervention is a scientific fact, but the fact that a new gadget is better than an old one is largely an irrational belief, mostly driven by marketing campaigns and rarely by actual demonstratable benefits