Steyn notes that younger people are less inclined to be supportive (even in the breach) of free speech as a value in and of itself, whereas he “thought young people were supposed to be idealistic…”
But these young people ARE “idealistic” — about “social justice” and censorship.
What worries me more is their conformity.
We also expect young people to be non-conformist. Yet as I’ve observed before, today’s youth seem averse to, for example, the lure of sub-culture.
Perhaps I’m out of touch, but we no longer see them sorting themselves into Mods or Punks or Skins in the numbers that once made such sub-cultures seem ubiquitous, and an expected teen “phase.”
Now, we can laugh at the idea that someone becomes a Mod because, as Quadrophenia‘s Jimmy says, he wants to be “different than everybody else.” But paradoxically, these sub-cultures were a relatively safe way (barring the occasional Brighton Beach riot) of easing into a new, adult Self.
There was just enough risk (of being beaten up or at the very least shunned) for wearing the wrong colour boot laces, to create the friction necessary for movement, that it: personal development.
I guess these days, the Mods’ parents would drive them to Brighton in the SUV — not quite the same thing, no?