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The passionate intolerance of youth: “The Second Coming” (1919)–“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”


Janet Daly,”Adults have ceded absolute power to the faux-righteous, doctrinaire young: Grown-ups have given up across British life, allowing an ideological younger generation to call all the shots,” The Telegraph, July 8, 2023 (1:00 pm);

I first noticed something was wrong decades ago, when I observed a mother in a grocery store asking her six-year-old daughter what they should buy.

Then parents bought into the idea that their kids knew more about computers than they did, and started asking their children how to do things with computers and on the Internet. They did’t take the time to master these skills themselves, at least at first. against

Somewhere in there the phenomenon of helicopter parenting took hold, along with a mindset that chikdren had to be protected every conceivable danger, including certain things such as pornography or politically-incorrect thoughts.

It’s not clear how it happened, but gradually parents seem to have accepted the idea that parenting does not require teaching children values or disciplining them to uphold certain standards of behavior.

Whatever the causes, and we have merely alluded to some of the more obvious ones, we have arrived at the situation described by Janet Daly in her opinion column in The Telegraph today.

We are in deep trouble.

Young people today are concerned about controlling hurtful speech or ideas with which they disagree, while our civilization faces a frontal challenge from Russia through its continuing aggression against Ukraine and the barbarism of its soldiers.

Ask a young person what they think of tge war in Ukraine, and you’re likely to draw a blank.

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939) described a similar phenomenon in the “The Second Coming”, as follows:

The Second Coming (1919)p

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The Spirit of Voltaire