When they were singing about the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, they didn’t mean the time of endless leaks. But that’s what they’re getting. Yesterday, following the “Vault 7” intelligence dump on WikiLeaks, the former CIA director Michael Hayden blamed the generation gap on the spate of notorious security breaches, including those of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and possibly the Vault 7 leaker:
In order to do this kind of stuff [IT] we have to recruit from a certain demographic. I don’t mean to judge them at all, but this group of millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy and transparency than certainly my generation did.
Or more accurately, what General Hayden’s generation does now. The former DCI, after all, was born in March 1945, which makes him an almost Baby Boomer. This is the generation which has idolised Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, and which turned the figure of a whistle-blower into a folk hero (Deep Throat et al). In fact, quite timely, three ageing Baby Boomers – Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep – are preparing to make a Hollywood hagiography of The Washington Post’s role in the Pentagon Papers affair. Some Boomers, for whom Hayden speaks, might have regrets about their youthful infatuation with security breaches, but for most part their favourite children and grandchildren, Gen Ys and the Millennials, carry on their “different understanding” into the 21st century. Treason has indeed skipped a generation.
Meanwhile, at PJ Media, Ewan Morrison writes:
If you were to come across someone who cried in the streets, who saw the world in terms of black and white and made death threats against strangers, who cowered in a special room and made public displays of naked self-harm and blood letting, you might conclude that they were suffering from a personality disorder.
All these symptoms can be found in the High Conflict Personality Disorder category known as Axis II in DSMV, including Anti-Social PD, Histrionic PD, Paranoid PD, Narcissistic PD, and Borderline PD…
A 2016 UK survey found that, since 1990, rates of depression and anxiety among the young have increased by 70%, while the American Counseling Association has reported a “rising tide of personality disorders among millennials”…
In 2014, a survey of 100,000 college students at 53 U.S. campuses by the American College Health Association found that 84% of U.S. students feel unable to cope, while more than half experience overwhelming anxiety.
I have written before about the younger generations’ retarded development, which sees them inhabit a never-ending childhood, as well as the legacy of parenting negligence that lead to severe inability on the part of the “young ‘uns” to handle the cold hard realities of life. I’m as loath as Hayden to generalise and stereotype whole age cohorts – oh, what the hell, of course I’m not; I know that my nice and well-adjusted Gen Y and Millennial friends will understand and forgive, seeing that they often share with me similar criticisms of their peers – but large sections of the population in their 20s and their teens face real challenges in the present and in the future, as unprepared as they are by their parents and the education system to function as adults and productive members of society.
The sad irony is that as life gets objectively better, healthier, wealthier and brighter, the new generations find it harder and harder to cope with fewer and fewer genuine obstacles to happiness and fulfilment. The even sadder irony is that it is those most blessed by the gift of advanced education, the future leaders of the society, who exhibit the greatest range of neuroses that affect judgment and paralyse will. As a Gen X, I, for one, plan to be dead by the time people who have given us “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” are in charge of national economy and foreign policy.