In conventional generational analyses of cycles of history, there are four eras per cycle, a secular crisis, a post-crisis high,  an awakening, and a post-awakening fraying of institutions leading into the next secular crisis; and four generational archetypes, the prophets born into the high, the dispossessed born into the awakening, the heroes born into the fraying, and the adaptives born into the crisis.

Under that reckoning, the only living prophet generation, for better or for worse, are the Baby Boomers.  Thirteeners, or "generation x," play the dispossessed role previously played by the Lost generation sent off to fight the War to End All Wars and rewarded with women's suffrage and prohibition on their return.  In some reckonings, the Millennials, or "generation y" will play the hero role so well modelled by the GIs -- if they ever see the world beyond their devices?  With the secular crisis apparently under way, the adaptive personality, most recently attributed to the sometimes-destructive Silent Generation, passes with them and emerges with the new generation.  Now comes Kathleen Parker, responding to trigger warnings and all the other sheltering institutions being provided to "generation z," which she would name (properly in my view) the Swaddled Generation.  Her column focuses on the protection against conflicting points of view students at elite colleges are getting, and as such may not be prefigurative of policy preferences thirty or forty years hence.  Ed Driscoll hopes not.
[Culture commentator Tom (Hooking Up)] Wolfe believed that a leitmotif of the 21st century would feature mankind recovering the rules about art, aesthetics, and human relations that various degrees of socialism stripped away in the 19th and 20th centuries in the rush to “Start From Zero” by discarding vast quantities of man’s accumulated knowledge and wisdom.

But for that happen, first the “Swaddled Generation” needs to replace their diapers with the big boy pants and begin growing up.
Or, for the middle-age persona of a generation to be something other than it's youthful, coastal-elite form.   Relatively few baby boomers were hippies or war protestors, and there's less overlap of hippies with yuppies than the establishment press of three decades ago would have you believe.

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