20 July 2004

A couple wondrously insightful quotes from my dear Mr. Goldberg:
 
'I despise youth politics. I do not consider "the youth" to be members in the Coalition of the Oppressed. "Youth Rights" is a concept best thought of as a sponge for the lugubrious rage of a handful of precocious teens and twenty-somethings who cannot find a more coherent vessel for their agenda. People involved in "youth politics" whine incessantly about how unfair it is that they are subjected to "stereotypes," and yet the whole enterprise of youth politics is premised on the clich√© that young people are somehow united politically. The terms "Generation X" and "Generation Y" were little more than secular astrology. The only thing that unites young people politically, as a general rule, is that they are — by definition — at the bottom of the learning curve and, consequently, they try to power their way uphill with passion instead of wisdom. As Oscar Wilde observed, "In America, the young are always ready to give those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience."'
 
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"Liberals believe that youth has a moral authority independent of the substance of its arguments. Youth politics is a variant of identity politics which imbues in young people an authority they did not purchase with work or with insight — just as liberalism does with gender, race, infirmity, etc."

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