Friday, January 13, 2017

Abandon All Hope....

If you thought that America’s young people were in trouble, look at what is happening across the pond. That is, in Great Britain.

Perhaps the psychological distress felt by large numbers of British children has nothing to do with America. Or perhaps, Great Britain is merely a mini-America, reflecting similar but not identical trends on our side of the pond.

According to a recent survey large numbers of British young people have serious mental health issues. They are in so much despair about their future and about their ability to shape it that they can barely focus at school.

One can be forgiven for imagining that the new sign welcoming people to Great Britain should read: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Or as Dante saw on the portal leading into the Inferno: Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.

The London Telegraph reports the bleak news:

Half of young people have so many emotional problems they cannot focus at school, a study has found.

Some 48 per cent of youngsters said that they experienced problems during their school years that prevented them from concentrating on their academic work.

Of these, 46 per cent did not talk to anyone about their problems, mainly because they did not want other people to know that they were struggling.

More than half (58 per cent) did not think that asking for help would solve the problem.

Children who believe that they are being robbed of their future, perhaps by the actions of their elders and their government, are unlikely to believe that they can solve the problem by taking a pill or by going to therapy.

One does not wish to draw conclusions about a situation one cannot completely grasp, but surely, the reasons for this despair must derive from a loss of national pride. Or is it caused by the apocalyptic visions and general hysteria of those who did not want Britain to leave the European Union?

Serious politicians and thought leaders should understand that when they fill the airways with their emotion-laden rants, when they dispense with cold reason in favor of the hot mess of their feelings, they will damage the minds of young people who have not been immunized against the cultural toxins.

If you fill the media with anger and outrage, people will conclude that rational deliberation and consequential action can never produce any positive results.

Or perhaps the current despair has been produced by a loss of national identity and national purpose, loss that Brexit was designed to heal. Or, has it been caused by the sense of feeling alone and abandoned, cut off from Europe? Or, has it been caused by too much free enterprise or by too much bureaucratic socialism?

For their part British children see the problem in economic terms:

Half of young people said they feel the pressures of getting a job are greater than they were a year ago and more than a third said they did not feel in control of their job prospects.

The eighth Index, based on a survey of 2,215 young people aged 16 to 25, revealed many feel their circumstances are trapping them.

Dame Martina Milburn, chief executive at the Prince’s Trust said: “This report paints a deeply concerning picture of a generation who feel their ability to shape their own future is slipping away from them.

"It’s shocking how many feel so desperate about their situation and it is vital that we support them to develop the confidence and coping skills they need to succeed in life.”

These young people do not believe that they can succeed in the marketplace. They do not believe that they can compete. They believe that their prospects are limited and that opportunities barely exist. It does not take a leap of imagination to see that more than a few of our fellow Americans hold the same pessimistic outlook.

Have both nations lost the will to compete, the will to fight and to excel? If so, that would explain some of what is happening to British youth. Perhaps the culture war against the Anglosphere and Western Civilization has contributed to this mindset.

The Telegraph reports:

Of those surveyed, 42 per cent said traditional goals such as buying a house or getting a steady job were unrealistic and 34 per cent said they thought they will have a worse standard of living than their parents did.

Almost a fifth said they "don’t believe they can change their circumstances if they want to" and 16 per cent said they "think their life will amount to nothing, no matter how hard they try".

Of course, the Prince’s Trust, run by Charles, Prince of Wales is trying to solve the problem. But, ask yourself this, is Prince Charles the solution or the problem? To those of us on this side of the Atlantic, he comes across as an insufferable flake, someone who embraces every trendy cause, even to the point of using his Christmas address this year to ask his subjects to think about the Prophet Mohammed.

All things considered, when you watch the Prince of Wales you understand why Great Britain goes into a panic every time his mother catches cold. Let’s not forget that Great Britain has Charles to thank for that self-indulgent fame whore, Lady Diana, who made it her mission in life to discredit the monarchy—thus, national unity and purpose—because her husband did not love her enough. One does not know how to calculate the negative influence of such a role model, but it must be considerable.

How many of these children’s problems derive from the nation’s drift toward multiculturalism, its loss of the pride in being British?

The psychological aspects look like this:

Of those who do not feel they are in control of their lives, 61 per cent said they felt this was because they lack self-confidence, and that this holds them back.

A range of factors that may contribute  to young people not feeling in control of their lives have been highlighted by the Index.

One in 10 young people said they did not know anyone who "really cares" about them, 45 per cent felt stressed about body image and 37 per cent said they felt stressed about coping with work or school, the report found.

The Youth Index showed that many feel confused, and 44 per cent of those surveyed claimed they don’t know what to believe because they read conflicting things in the media about the economy.

Dazed and confused by what appears in the media, children are pessimistic about their future. The more political and thought leaders become unhinged, the more they believe that their role is to disseminate propaganda and to become public drama queens, the more the children will suffer.


Trigger Warning said...

Rather than singling out British or American children, it would be best to note a common thread among Children of The Occident.

I'm sure Greek youth are even worse off, but no one cares enough to bother agitating about it. The youth unemployment rate is almost 50%.

Obviously, the benign hand of Proglodtye/Keynesian economic engineering needs to be applied with even greater zeal.

Anonymous said...

Youth unemployment in the EU: Greece and Spain top the list with 46.5 % and 43.6 % respectively.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
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Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"Let’s not forget that Great Britain has Charles to thank for that self-indulgent fame whore, Lady Diana, who made it her mission in life to discredit the monarchy—thus, national unity and purpose—because her husband did not love her enough."

But, gosh golly, Mr. Schneiderman... she wanted to be happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy! Happy!

That's all.

She wanted to be happy as a rich princess. Isn't that what all little girls hope for?

She married to a prig prince. He's a loser. Shes's a rich girl of 19. She's a spoilt brat. They divorced. She died. He lives. No one likes him. Go figure.

By the way, I think he's an idiot. Like all royals. [Spit]

Global warming is real. With an imagination.

Ares Olympus said...

Its hard to guess how the current sentiments compare to past periods, but it does seem like a negative consequence of our ever greater-connected world is greater anxiety. OTOH, it seems like expansion of debt in the last 30 years has offered one sort of piece of mind in exchange for ever greater future anxiety. And surely much of this is now being transmitted to the next generation.

Friday night I watched "The big short" on Netflix, and certainly it is easy to get angry, and that anger against Wallstreet with a lack of any real accountability, that probably helped Brexit and Trump's election, both highly dubious decisions, but they give some illusion of control in a world that seems out of control.

And this morning I see Moodys will pay a $864 million dollar settlement for its dishonest appraisal of risk ratings to debt before the housing bubble burst.

But we can ask why ANY settlement is enough. Unless someone personally goes to prison, basically all the executives on down, they've already gotten their share of the frauduently gained loot. So if a company can AFFORD to pay a large penalty on fraud, then it is NOT enough.

Its easy to think a leader like Trump could come in handy, and he could demand fradulent companies are disbanded, and its leaders imprisoned for life, and its employees banned from future participation in any rating agencies.

But then we realize that we may not be able to risk such things, and perhaps the more corruption that is exposed, the more corruption will be found, and that its "turtles all the way down", and we're living on a lie.

You can imagine there is some "peace of mind" when people see fraud being punished, even if it causes short term discomfort for millions of innocent people. But making sure fraud is punished (like Reagan did with the S&L crisis), surely that would send the right message, and you'll again get people with integrity to rise into positions of power.

But there is NO evidence the Republicans care about such things, and they're happy to let "markets regulate themselves" in a libertarian fantasy to "Make America Great Again."

The 1980s were an interesting period for the UK and the USA, with high energy prices reduced by new oil in the North Sea and Alaska, and when you have "free one-time resources to exploit", you can promote a lot of short term optimism on that.

But now we've spent down our cheap one-time inheritence, and it looks like pessimism is warranted, and rejecting the "life long debt" as a model for "good living" would seem to be the best battle cry to make people feel stronger.

At least in the UK you won't go bankrupt for health care, so they've got one up on us, while we're still luckier, with more one-time resources to exploit. So I expect our denial will out last theirs.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
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Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

''According to a recent survey large numbers of British young people have serious mental health issues. They are in so much despair about their future and about their ability to shape it that they can barely focus at school."

This is a direct consequence of our deconstructed education system, chaotic media culture and indulgent non-parenting. These kids can't compete because they've been told it's bad. They have no understanding of value. Everyone is special just because, everyone gets.a trophy for showing up, everyone is celebrated for some peripheral piece of their existence, everyone gets an A for effort. Where else in real life is this willful suspension of disbelief bandied about?

Our media culture tells them everything is frivolous and relative, while simultaneously saying (with equal vigor) that their nation state sucks. When their parents tell them they can have it all, but are given it all, what is there to pursue? They don't think they can buy a house because they don't have a clue what a household is or what a house is for (save shelter). Food is fuel, not fellowship. The Glowing Box instructs them, filling a great emotional and spiritual void with more pixelated anesthesia. Our media culture celebrates youth because the media's support comes from advertisers who want an ever-greater share of the audience's wallet. Cynical? Please.

How does a human person function as a real human being in such an environment? It's all a self-evident lie. Then we apply a generous helping of more lies, like this preposterous, inconvenient, irrefutable, scientific Truth that their existence -- their very act of breathing and farting -- is destroying the planet they inhabit. And then, as if to punctuate, the neo- Nietzscheans say "Gaea is dead. We killed her."

Hope? HOPE? Where is it?

Then you see wonderthinker Simon Sinek in this viral 15 minute video about Millenials. It's silly because it is deceptive: people think he says so much, when it actually says nothing, which is the entire Millenial problem in the first place. He misses his own point entirely: there's no accountability!

Mssr. Sinek says all these condemnatory things about Millenial antisocial behavior, and then in the next breath says "It's not your fault." Really??? Then whose fault is it, sir? When does responsibility get transferred to a real, live human person who can act on this information? Never! He talks uninterrupted for 15 minutes straight and not one actual person is named for this generational catastrophe. How is this possible?

Then Mssr. Sinek says it's the corporate sector's responsibility to educate, socialize, and tidy-up the Millenials' future prospects. That's right: the evil, nameless, faceless, soulless corporation will miraculously usher these perpetual 10-year-olds into adult real life. Our modern inititation ritual is when you pass the corporate socialization programme. It's no one else's responsibility. No, no, no... it's the responsibility of corporations, those same legal entities our self-congratulatory, morally magnificent media figures claim are horrible, wicked, vacuous and solely motivated by profit. That's Simon Sinek's non-solution, which is getting a lot of "Likes" and page views. Typical for our sophisticated thought leaders: criticize, then pawn off the responsibility on some non-human construct. That, and the guy can't figure out which accent to use, so he sounds like a pretentious dweeb.

Trigger Warning said...

IAC: I admittedly haven't seen the video (based on your review, at my age time is too precious to waste on digital ephemera). But, also based on your review, the only difference between, say, Obama and Sinek is the institutions they choose to blame.

"When does responsibility get transferred to a real, live human person who can act on this information? Never!"

Indeed. It's always the "institutions", which in this case are a synonym for "nobody". That is a fatal flaw of Proglodism and its derivative doctrine, Applied Nudgerology.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Trigger Warning @January 14, 2017 at 9:33 AM:

I had an exchange with a friend today. He said I was missing something in my review of Sinek's piece. He said that Sinek was saying corporate America has to do something about the Millenial generation for the sake of corporate survival, since this youthful labor pool is so deficient in the basic ways Sinek points out. I can align with that, because necessity is the mother of invention, at least as it applies to the necessity of having functioning adults in your workforce. To that end, I get it, and there is some wisdom in Sinek's cajoling... and my friend realizing what's at stake.

What I dismiss, however, is Sinek's blanket statement of "it's not your fault," which releases the pressure that's (justly) bearing down on the Millenials. It's as though these 25-year-olds with 9-year-old street smarts have no understanding of how the world works. At the end of college, completed at great expense, corporate America is not unreasonable to expect these young adults are malleable in terms of skills. But they can't, because they are having to do basic socialization. Someone wanting to quit a job early-on is pretty normal. Someone wanting to quit a job while demanding social validation and demanding that the organization conform to their wishes is insanity. Yet we hear about this all the time. The most looney stories persist.

It is somebody's fault! Given that your parents have dropped these youngsters off here at the curbside of life, well... that's where you are. You're half-baked, and the rest of the ripening process will come through institutional socialization and the demands of the marketplace. But the idea that a corporation must indoctrinate young adults in basic socialization is wasteful. This collective idea that they ought to is grossly inefficient. And, given that they are functioning adults, it is their fault... at least in as far as it is their responsibility. What's blame going to do for you at this point? Sure, it's normal to feel this way, but what's it doing to DO for you? Perhaps this is trial by fire, and that experience will teach them to rear their own children with the socialization they'll be gaining a tad too late in life. Then there will be a corrective action, of sorts. If these young adults want to blame their parents, well, perhaps their parents would benefit from a little scolding. But ultimately the future of the Millenials rests in themselves. What would've been helpful is if someone impressed this on them a little earlier. Too bad, too late!

And now for a little old-fashioned social anthropology... Some may snicker and snivel at the 11-year-old Achmed living on the streets of Bangladesh, and some may look in horror at his hard life. You know, big family parents can't support, raw sewage, rape, murder, poor schooling, unsafe infrastructure, etc. Still more may want to study him and figure out how many neuroses and pathos he's mired in at such a young age, using the DSM-V as a Frommer's Guide to his psyche or something. But one thing we can be sure of: Achmed knows how to interact with the real environment around him. He is street smart. He's probably even tough at this point. This may harden him "a bit too much" for Western tastes, but that's where he is. And I think we can both agree he is a lot more ready to deal with the rigors of life than a 25-year-old American Millenial with bachelor's and master's degrees from one of our top-25 universities. The American cannot accept his environment by comparison to the ideal he yearns for, while the Bangladeshi responds to his environment in real time. Who would you rather hire?

And by the way, Trig, how old are you?

Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...

IAC: Then you see wonderthinker Simon Sinek in this viral 15 minute video about Millenials.

I see a few videos by him, like: Simon Sinek on Millennial and Internet Addiction

For instance...
@4:30 "You have an entire generation that has access to an addictive numbing chemical called dopamine through social media and cell phones while going through the high stress of adolescence. Why is this important? Almost every alcoholic discovered it during adolescence. When we're very very young, the only approval we need is through our parents and as we go through adolescence we now need approval through our peers. Very frustrating for our parents, and very important for us because it allows us to acclimate outside of our immediate family into the larger tribe. Its a very stressful period and we're SUPPOSED to learn to rely on our friends. Some people quite by accident discover alcohol and the numbing effects of dopamine to help them dope with the stresses and anxieties of adolescence. Unfortunately that becomes hard-wired to their brains and for the rest of their lives, when they suffer from stress, they will not turn to a person, but return to a bottle. ... What's happening is because we're allowing unfettered access to dopamine's effects devices with social media its becoming hardwired, so too many kids don't know how to form deep and meaningful relationships. They'll admit that man of their relationships are superficial, that they don't count on their friends, they don't rely on their friends, they have fun with their friends, but they also know their friends will cancel upon them the second something better comes along. Deep meaningful relationships are not there because they never practiced the skill set and worse, they don't have the coping mechanisms to deal with stress. So when high stress situations arise, they're not turning to a friend, they're turning to a device, things that offer temporary relief. ... there's nothing wrong with cell phones or social media, but be in balance... If you're sitting at dinner, texting someone who is not there, that's a problem, that's an addiction. ... And like all addictions, in time, it'll destroy relationships, it'll cost time, it'll cost money, and it'll make your life worse."

The argument about dopamine seems to be useful. And its primary "cost" isn't just addiction, but a difficulty in accepting difficulty - if as soon as things get difficult, you can retreat into your addictive behavior, it would seem irresistable.

Here's another recent article.

IAC, said something about Simon Sinek not dealing with accountability, and addiction would seem central to that problem - if you don't have the "grit" to stand up in your own pain, your own discomfort, you can never grow past it, and once you learn thes defenses, you will be passive, and victimized by life, and unable to change unhealthy situations.

It might be useful to tell an addict "It's your fault", and there's a fundamental truth there, but the question is what does it take for an addict to see another way? And the answer is they have to "cut off their dopamine supply" and experience withdrawal, and reconnect too all the numbed feelings that they were suppressing in the first place, and pick one to worth through, and change something.

The word "hard-wired" is problematic if he means addictive behaviors learned as teens are nearly impossibly to overcome, so an alcoholic who hasn't drank in 20 years can become one again tomorrow if he "slips" once. So AA suggests the depth of that dependence, while internet or our "devices" can't easily be dropped "cold turkey" unless you say these people just can't live in the modern world again.