They say they want their sons to succeed
But they do everything in their power to ensure they fail
I'm at a delicate stage in my professional career where I don't yet have anything like a secure position, and in order to get one, I have to rely on the assistance of mentors. Rolo just dropped an interesting piece relating the rise of the NEET1 to the death of the old boy's club patronage networks, and while his focus is on the Slavic context, something very similar has happened across the post-West.
See, the way it's supposed to work is that an established professional, secure in his position, takes you under his wing, teaches you what he knows, talks you up to his friends, and if given the opportunity moves you into available positions. As he rises, so do you. You benefit from his influence, and he benefits from your loyalty, which helps to extend his influence. That sounds like nepotism because it is, and that isn't a bad thing. Historically, that's how most careers have advanced: an older man recognizes the potential in a younger man, and fosters that potential, because both of them will benefit from that potential blossoming.
That practically never happens anymore.
Partly this is structural. As Rolo notes, the old boy's club of informal patronage networks has been replaced by the old hag's club of the HR department. Hiring decisions aren't made by the people who actually know anything about the requirements of the position; while they might be consulted, the final veto is given to the sewing circle in HR, who are generally more concerned with hitting DIE targets than with meeting operational goals. Merit is white supremacist misogyny, you see.
In an academic context, one of the core requirements in any job application is obtaining letters of reference. The higher the position, the more letters are required. If you can't get the letters, it doesn't matter what else is in your CV, it doesn't matter how many classes you've taught or how glowing your student reviews were, it doesn't matter how many publications or citations you have. No letters, no dice. Now, getting such letters isn't in itself all that difficult. In my case, I've got a number of mentors I've worked with over the years who, so far as I know, think fairly highly of me, and all of whom have been quite willing to provide those letters.
Every single one of them, without exception, is also a firm and enthusiastic supporter of DIE.
Not a single one of them seems to be at all aware of the fundamental contradiction between their ideology and their personal sentiments. On the one hand, they want me to succeed; on the other, their every public statement and private administrative act reinforces a system that actively prevents people who look like me from succeeding.
This isn't limited to academia. I have friends from upper-middle-class backgrounds whose parents occupy influential positions. Pretty much without exception, their mothers are AWFLs2, and their fathers aren't much better. On the one hand, they love their sons - presumably at least - and are constantly pushing their sons to succeed: get a good job, move forward in their careers, buy a house, meet a nice girl, start a family.
Meanwhile, they spend their professional lives supporting and advancing DIE imperatives that make reaching these milestones in life a lot more difficult.
Now, there's a level of abstraction here that might be a step too far for most boomers to make the connection. One of the boomers' defining generational traits is a firm inability to connect the macro to the micro. This seems to be related to their refusal to distinguish statements about individuals from statements about groups3. On the one hand, boomers will misapply micro-level arguments to macro-level trends; on the other, they'll refuse to recognize the personal impact of societal conditions. You know the drill: "Never mind that we wrecked the economy, pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, millennial!" It's a general confusion of categories that leads to a fractured concept of the world.
So, to make it absolutely clear: if you are doing everything in your personal power to push DIE narratives, ranging from going on Facebook to decry the racism, white supremacy, misogyny, and sexism that holds women and minorities back in the workplace, to making similar self-satisfied expressions of conspicuous outrage to your friends and family at dinner parties, to using whatever professional influence you have on policy and hiring committees to put your thumb on the scales to help the poor oppressed women and minorities, and you have white sons ... then I seriously have to question whether you really love your sons.
Forget abortion. This is the real Moloch worship.
Boomers have sacrificed their sons' futures on the altar of their ideology.
Does that hurt? Does it make you angry?
How do you think it feels for young white men to be told, by their own mothers, fathers, and mentors, that the greatest problem society needs to address is all the glass ceilings holding women down? They look around, and they see that women are now outnumbering and outperforming men in the schools. They see female-only scholarships, female-only mentoring programs, female-only support groups, and admissions and hiring initiatives explicitly designed to increase female representation. They don't see women being held down at all. Quite the opposite. They see society bending over backwards to push women forward, and doing so by pushing men down. The same applies to racial minorities.
The inevitable result it that young men are falling way, way behind: dropping out of school, dropping out of their careers, and retreating into the NEET trifecta of porn, pot, and vidya. This isn't to be wondered at. Men are goal-directed and group-oriented. Tell them that the group is depending on them to achieve a task, and they'll work hard to do it, so long as they think the goal is achievable and the payoff is worth it - that payoff being the respect of their peers, and whatever benefits they accrue from the successfully achieved goal. Make it clear that the goal is impossible to achieve, or that the group could care less for their contributions, and their motivation will evaporate. Why bother working to advance your career if your skin colour and sex have doomed you before you even start? Why assume responsibility if those responsibilities accrue no benefits? Why try, when no effort will be enough?
Why do you think the highest suicide rate is amongst middle-aged white men? They get to what should be the primes of their lives, the devil-may-care optimism of their youth a thing of the past but their competence and strength at its peak ... and at precisely that moment at which they should finally be coming into their own, they find themselves peering into a yawning and hopeless void. They might be able to lose themselves in vapid distractions through their 20s and 30s, but by their 40s nihilistic hedonism no longer salves the gaping wound in their lives where purpose should be. Then one night, staring at the bottom of another bottle of Jack, they reach for the gun.
The other generational sin that people always point to in boomers is selfishness. That plays a role here, too.
Let's say that it really is a problem that there aren't enough women and black people in prestigious, high-paying jobs. I don't think that is a problem, personally, but we'll pretend it is for the sake of argument, and boomers certainly seem to have accepted this position as axiomatic.
If you break down the demographics of most workplaces, you tend to find that the upper echelons are, as the saying goes, 'stale, pale, and male'. The 'old white men' dominate the tenured professoriate, the executive offices, the board rooms, and so on. The diversity, by contrast, tends to be concentrated in the lower ranks. If you look at most university departments, for instance, you'll find that your postdocs and assistant professors have a lot of women and minorities; very often a majority of them. The white male majority is primarily to be found amongst the old coots.
So, if you really do believe that there isn't enough diversity ... why don't you retire, and make room for it?
They never do this, of course. That would require making a personal sacrifice for one's own supposedly deeply held values. Instead, old liberal white men reassure themselves of their personal virtue by enacting policies that heavily favour the hiring of underrepresented groups and historical victims of oppression, attempting to achieve that prized demographic balance of a 'workplace that looks like America' at the bottom end, while leaving their own positions untouched. In practice, that means it becomes even more difficult for young white guys to get their foot in the door. They're essentially demanding that the next generation pay the price that they're unwilling to pay themselves, in order for them to feel good about themselves by the standards of an ideology that they adopted.
Take the example of your typical academic department. You've got, say, 10 professors. Eight of them are white guys above the age of 50. The remaining 2 are young(er) women, assistant or junior professors, either untenured or only recently tenured. The university has established a policy of achieving 50% (or more; more is never a problem) female representation across all faculties, a goal which is enthusiastically supported by all 10 of the professors, and will in any case be ruthlessly enforced by the obese shoggoths in HR. Since the department is 80% male, that means that the next 3 hires - assuming they're just replacing retiring faculty - must be women. Since professors regularly hang on for dear life well into their 70s, male applicants will essentially be locked out for several years to come.
All those older male professors, who are so very concerned about the lack of diversity in the department, could solve the problem at a stroke by taking early retirement. That, however, somehow never occurs to them.
Just like it never occurs to them that mentoring white guys, or raising white sons, and then turning around and doing everything in their professional power to make it as difficult as possible for the demonic white male to get ahead, while providing moral support for a culture in which it’s expected for their colleagues in other organizations to do the same, is a generational betrayal that would have made the Carthaginian city fathers blush with shame.
I don't think most liberal whites are doing this deliberately. I don't think they're conscious of the contradiction at all. Self-awareness isn't their strong suit. Rather, I think there's a total disconnect in their minds between the ideologies they espouse, and the failure of their sons to succeed. I don't think they don't love their sons - I wouldn't be writing this if I did. Perhaps some of them will read it, and make the connection between what they want for their loved ones, and what they support politically, and ask themselves some hard questions about what they really hold most dear in life. Is it that warm dopamine glow of being reassured that you're a good person because you hold all the right views and support all the right causes? Or is it seeing your children, sons as well as daughters, thrive?
Not in Employment, Education, or Training
Affluent White Female Liberals
This is the part where boomers chime in, "I'm not like that!" Thereby proving the point. "I know a member of [group] who doesn't match what you said about [group], therefore your statement about a typical attribute of [group] is invalid." No, an individual exception does not disprove a group-level generalization. But if it makes you feel better: okay, you're different, sure, great. Then this doesn't apply to you. Take your ego out of it.