8 reasons young Americans don’t fight back: How the US crushed youth resistance
The ruling elite has created social institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance.
To say that American youth is broken is defeatism. Alternet says we are narcotized by too much television. What, they don’t have TV in Britain? But of course they do, and while the eruption of inchoate rage there now is something no one really predicted, they certainly aren’t passive. Another reason cited by Alternet is that US schools teach compliance. Now I could be wrong here, but I’m guessing schools in the Middle East do that too, and probably at a much more extreme level. Yet their youth is in the streets, literally risking their lives. Finally, Alternet also says religious fundamentalism is a reason why American youth is subdued and scared. Again, the Middle East uprisings show that to be nonsensical. Middle East youth are often fighting against fundamentalists who control governments and who routinely kill and torture the opposition. We have nothing like that here. Yet this is supposedly a reason why youth here is incapable of fighting back.
I think the real problem is that youth in the US, like adults, aren’t sure yet how to fight back. And that conditions here haven’t gotten bad enough yet.
The author of the article, Bruce Levine, is a psychologist with some highly important things to say, like this speech about the pysychopathologizing of rebellion via the often bogus diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder. His talk is funny and insightful. And hey, I was unquestionably ODD in my youth, and proud of it. As Alan Watts once said, “authority will be respected when authority is respectable.”
But I do not think that American youth are broken and it does them and us a disservice to say so.