Sunday, August 16, 2009

Red Decade; Eugene Lyons; youth groups as cannon fodder.

Eugene Lyons 1941 book, Red Decade, described how totalitarians of the 1930's used "youth movements" as pawns much like the demagogues of today. Young people have become cannon fodder in political wars, much like other minority or pressure groups. They are reduced to pawns in the game of conquest played by the MSM/DNC:
The glorification of Youth is a modern development. It puts a premium on lack of experience, mental fuzziness and intuition as against intelligence and maturity. I watched both Italian Fascism and German Nazism at close range in their formative stages. It is not generally appreciated to what a large extent they were bothy Youth movements. Demagogues who knew what they wanted used the energies and emotional drives of young people who had not the remotest notion what they really wanted. In both these countries, Youth was deliberately mobilized to beat civilization into a pulp.

Watching the Youth movements in this country against the memory of Italy and Germany, I have been struck by the similarity of the procedures. American Youth was no longer descriptive of an age group passing through adolescence - its organized and regimented minority had become a sloganeering political lobby, a bigger and louder pressure group, competing with elders for handouts and privileges as though it were a permanent class rather than a period of biological transition. The more articulate and capable were making professions and careers as Youth leaders. Partly through sentiment and largely for political advantage, politicians flattered the Youth lobbies and catered to their pretentious self-importance. It was inevitable that the most rigidly organized, disciplined and purposeful minority would take over this Youth racket and use it for its own purposes - and for a long time the elders, from the President of the United States down, were content to applaud the antics instead of exposing the influences and motives behind the whole show.

Those who should guide young people are content to follow, leaving that function to crackpot "champions of Youth" or political demagogues aiming to capture the campus and the youth. A lopsided liberalism has led teachers to believe that Youth must be given complete independence, that its preferences are inviolable. The result is that young people are set adrift just when they need and crave steering; the first group with a plausible and exciting program takes them over.
[p. 205, 1971 edition]

Lyons has touched on many issues in this brief segment. Various youth groups (so long as they support leftists causes) are treated as oracles of wisdom instead of those with much to learn. They are accumulated as parts of "coalitions" in league with minorities, unions and others whose only value is their votes and their ability to intimidate political opponents .

It is the youth, themselves, that suffer the most. Generations have been lost as political ideology has captured and exploited youth for decades in schools and through television and popular culture.

Long ago someone should have pointed out that young people have much to learn and do not necessarily possess the wisdom that we traditionally ascribe to ethnic pressure groups. In fact, Eugene Lyons did point this out 68 years ago. We simply have to rediscover his words.

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