Janan Ganesh on The Generation Gaps, a comment by Political Observer

The Silver Fork Punditry that Mr. Ganesh practices with such aplomb, not to speak of sang-froid seems to degenerated into the usual stern moral/political lecture favored by Conservatives. Yet the millennials he targets are just part of a collection of generational categories, that he rhetorically trades in, and at the same moment dismisses, with an utter disdain, a Ganesh trademark. Perhaps that Silver Fork has become a Runcible Spoon?

The cast of characters: Baby boomers,Generation X,Generation Y, millennials and the unspoken of roles of the ‘Makers’ and the ‘Takers’, whose roles in this moralizing harangue are in rhetorical play, but remain unmentioned, except for Ganesh’s admiration of that  50 year old self-made man, of course a man! a Maker not a Taker!

‘The fracturing of public life along generational lines has felt imminent for some time. And it will continue to feel imminent. Generational politics will never take off because no normal person identifies with a collective as large and internally diverse as their age cohort. It is too tenuous a bond to spur concerted civic action.

For that frisson of authentic brotherhood, the element of class must be present. I feel more for a self-made 50-year-old than a gilded youth. The inequities between millennials make a joke of their supposed togetherness as a political force.’

In sum what the reader is presented with is a long and tedious lecture, about a spoiled and coddled generation, who lack historical perspective, and the will to remain in that state of ignorance, on the world of the generations that have preceded them. Just call it shopworn, with none of the usual stylistic shimmer, woven into his usual rebellious, nihilistic attacks on the Welfare Statism of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Political Observer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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