The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):


  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”


Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Generations

A recent comment on my posts regarding Michael Steele referred to him in generational terms, and called for splitting the "baby-boomer" generation, because the generation that Steele (and Obama, Palin, etc.) belongs to is really different in kind from the baby-boomer generation of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. I can't say this surprises me, because I've thought about this classifying of people into generations, though mostly about the earlier era where I belong. And I feel I've also been generationally misplaced.


The classic generation book is a book called "Generations" by William Strauss and Neil Howe. And in Strauss and Howe's book, I'm in the Silent Generation, just before the Boomers (Strauss & Howe just calls then by that name, not "Baby" Boomers) and just after the G. I. Generation, that fought in World War II. But this generation, according to Strauss and Howe, begins with people born in 1925. And I don't think that a person born in the late 1920s (who was a teenager in World War II, just a bit too young to fight, but old enough to be well aware of what was going on) had the same type of experiences as I had (V-J Day, when WWII ended, was just before my 3rd birthday, so I have no memories of WWII, but my teenage years were during the hottest part of the Cold War, with a prosperous economy, but shelter drills in school, and Russian spies suspected of being everywhere. Perhaps the "Cold War Generation" describes my age cohort. But it's certainly not the same as the earlier Silents in Strauss & Howe's classification.


So from right after I read Strauss & Howe's book, I thought that a shorter period, perhaps half of a Strauss & Howe generation, really defined an age cohort. And the comment about Michael Steele and his contemporaries fits my thoughts, so I feel vindicated in my classifications.

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