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Bridging the Generational Gap

By Cal Sorensen-Karklis

What is clear in the hearts and minds of society today is the growing divide in generational thinking, both for better and worse. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the youth of today are generally not interested by political parties, community groups, churches, and trade unions. Yes there are a few small amounts of young people engaged this much is true but on overall in the 1950s – 1960s the membership of these groups was far greater than it is today especially among the youth. Why is this so?

There is no denying the fact that the Baby Boomer generation went through a great deal of fun and rebellious mayhem with the revolutionary thinking of the 1960s in pop culture and politics with such events as JFK’s new frontier, Whitlam, civil rights, feminism, Vietnam, Woodstock and the Beatles all occurring against the backdrop of challenging entrenched conservative ideals of yesteryear. This in itself didn’t lead to the gradual decline of engagement, however. Gen X had its own moments with Michael Jackson, Aids, Midnight Oil, the early 1990s recession, and the end of the Cold War. Both generations had a great deal of engagement in the society of the era in its institutions you just have to pay attention to the historical footage and the marches.

But why not Gen Y and Z? Well simply put there are many reasons why the never-ending greed of the 1980s neo-liberal agenda opened up a mindset which led to productivity of all else which did spark some technological advancements, yes but driven by corporate profit over all else which ultimately cut the egalitarian dream short.

This has caused ripple effects forward into time. When you really think about it both the newer generations are as opinionated as the previous ones it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the messaging in music like Hilltop Hoods, Green Day or see the resentment towards the Iraq War and concern on climate change issues. But with that said my generation and the one after me are being bombarded with information and disinformation in a digital world. The power of a pic and a tweet can do a lot, monkey see, monkey do. But it should be noted too that the youth of today campaign very differently in this world.

Even though membership numbers of organisations in our institutions once prospered, organisations such as Get Up, The Youth Climate Coalition, and the emerging anti-gun movement in America have all done well because they harness traction and attention on singular issues. The youth of today are broad thinking but do so with so much information in a do it yourself economy which has huge implications in mindset and thinking. Especially today, where there is a lack of ethical guidelines and teachings in place in such a changed environment. Where education is looked upon more with an emphasis on self-interested economic sense than just one based on satisfaction and dreaming big for everyone on a community level. This, in turn, has created an influx of careerist opportunist without guidance in our workplaces and beyond.

What is promising, however, is Gen Y’s are becoming more understanding of how to broaden their engagement with growing results but Gen Z still seems caught in the crossfires for now. What is clear here is a cultural change from tall poppy syndrome from older generations towards younger generations and one where both need to work together to learn off each other.

Young people don’t like being siloed with cheap gimmicks. Eventually, like anybody, they want a say. This, in turn, strengthens democracy, which is why many are turning to the extremes of the Left or Right at present in some nations across the Liberal order.

One good thing the Australian Labor Party has done recently is introducing party codes of conduct to handle bullying. Another great project in the works that the trade unions, ALP and Fabians are part of is the introduction of such a training program to mentor our future activist and cultivate their skills sets by teaching them ethically for them to grow.

If the institutions adapt to the changes while ethically recruiting and training then a future ruled by monsters can be avoided, yes a future worse than now is still possible despite Trump. A future that looks for a vision of hope for a better tomorrow.

The Labor Academy:

This project is accepting donations and support.
(https://www.laboracademy.com.au/)

Time will tell if these initiatives will work in the long run but one song sums it up perfectly.

Billy Joel’s song – We Didn’t Start the Fire puts it best:

“It was always burning since the world was turning”.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g)

Australian Fabians:

To keep in touch with future Fabians events the QLD committee is also looking to fundraise donations for the creation of a magazine. Feel free to check out the link below:
(https://www.fabians.org.au/queenslandpamphlet)


Callen is the Secretary of the QLD Fabians Branch of the Australian Fabians Society, is a member of Crime Stoppers, and is a Quandamooka Noonucle Indigenous person with a strong commitment to community. Callen has worked in the retail, media and market research sectors and is currently a student at Griffith University.

 

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  1. Andrew Chambers

    Great another rallying call for the Labor Party.
    Do you read your own comments?
    Increasingly EVERYONE is becoming disenchanted with parties, the young are simply more likely to be born with the aversion rather than journey through a political life toward disbelief.
    We are all becoming more aware that it is possible to influence our political system through direct actions on issues, what is needed is not a reboot of the ALP or LNP, as two halves of a binary disease, but a complete revocation of their franchise to decide.
    If you live in this age, as I think you do, given your awareness and use of social media, then you could not be unaware of the worldwide movement pushing for the evolution of Democracy to become just that, no qualifications needed.
    Start here – http://democracy.earth/
    Get real and start acting like we’ve actually made a journey beyond the dark ages of westminster style communications and education or we’re doomed to more of the same waste and corruption.

  2. Callen Sorensen Karklis

    Andrew Chambers whats your solution then? 🙂 I’m all ears.

  3. Callen Sorensen Karklis

    FYI I’m actually not in the ALP atm 😉

  4. king1394

    I don’t believe young people don’t care. However they are constrained by the amount of time and energy required to pay the rent or buy a house and pay the basic bills necessary for living a normal life. Many couples with children are both working full time and supporting a childcare centre with massive payments: every day they head off to work early and don’t make it home till late if they commute. They don’t have time or spare money to devote to political / environmental action. Alternatively, they are trying to live on Newstart and cannot afford to spend money on extras. Activism is quite expensive, requiring transport and meals out.

  5. Andrew Chambers

    Hey Callen,

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TEeRlhjjjNvzxb6tslRwG293_kP7fB9r

    This should be a google map to a map of all the initiatives under way around the world, at the moment, the number varies as everyone confronts a major design project that proceeds, develops, fails or continues. So far it’s around 35 years of iterations of code that’s accumulating and there are miners putting it together, in true open source style. If you follow the democracy.earth link you’ll find their developments underway with Sovereign and the Whitepaper they’ve produced, it’s a solid starting point in mapping the task, maybe a little florid, but hell, this is the end of politics as we knew it or need it. Time for some joy and hope.

  6. DrakeN

    King394,

    ‘t is not accidental that people are kept too tired, distracted, confused and disillusioned to concern themselves with the activities which rule their lives.

    “Keep their noses to the grindstone and all they will ever see is sparks” has a long history.

    Returning us to the survival imperitives of the Dickensian era, through updated technological means and by fiscal manipulation, has proven to be most successful for those at the top; the peasants, on the other hand, are suffering significantly – financially, socially and emotionally.

  7. helvityni

    DrakeN & King394,

    Well said both of you, totally agree with your sentiments.

  8. Andrew Chambers

    helvityni, DrakeN & King394,

    True, but everyone of these hard working and burdened individuals participates in the modern media, is a sentient, feeling human being who comes to a conclusion on the issue of the day. Our conclusions have little weight and to amplify them requires additional effort, activism is a luxury in this world of crushing financial burden and never ending consumer temptation.

    Rather than waste all this intellectual effort and time devoted to absorbing and considering issues (we all do or the news wouldn’t rate) then silently withdrawing from what we know to be a corrupt system, surely if the means present themselves to act quickly and easily with trust to make a vote that reflects your choice and that vote is counted as part of a democratic choice, that of an impermanent majority, then wouldn’t it make sense to pursue that course?

    Everything else is surrender and the growing depression feeding the profits of big pharma and the undertakers.

  9. helvityni

    Andrew Chambers, I’m getting mighty disillusioned with Oz politics of the day, same goes for the US….

    My Jack Russell sits on the chair next me when I am reading about the political disasters, he sees me getting upset, tries to lift my hand of the keyboard…If he could talk, he’d say : lets go for another walk, the sun is shining, let’s leave all the bad news behind us, we can’t change anything anyhow…

  10. Andrew Chambers

    Dear helvityni,

    the jack russell has fine sense. A walk in the sun and to step away from this insane vaudeville is what we all should do, but alas, they take that simply as sign that they are winning and double down on the task of dissolving what laws remain.

    Parliament was a good idea, it’s time has passed and it must evolve to the point that we all once again find some hope and joy in shared optimism and creativity, making the laws that provide protection against the predators, supported by public institutions that we pay, to defend us.

    One day at a time, it gets closer.

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