No country for young men

The Chinese, despite their one child policy, have not yet grown old in their minds. They’re still interested in whether there’ll be enough food, energy and security for their descendants to live in. They haven’t given up on the world. As Lee points out Chinese and the Israelis are planning a land bridge from the Red Sea to the Med, just as the Chinese and Koreans are contemplating the Nicaraguan Canal to replace the Panama. For them the world and its horizons are still expanding. For us, well has the applesauce arrived yet?

If any nation might be considered “old” in years, it is Israel and China. Both go back almost to the dawn of civilization. Untold generations of Chinese and Jews have died. But their culture remains young in that it looks forward to posterity; at least they have not yet turned everything over to some nice young man with the big smile and the natty creases. Maybe the secret of ancient cultures which survive is that they can continue to care about the future.

And so the Chinese and the Jews still do canals. They do space exploration. The West does Facebook because you don’t have to get up from the chair to work it. Maybe what we call “youth culture” is just the culture of people who need a remote. The West lives in the memory of abundance, because that is the reality its old people remember. They can’t see things from the real viewpoint of those who have to pay the National Debt and the ‘Young Invincibles’ who must fund the subsidies for Obamacare. If we there were really a youth culture it would look like the Wild Hunt rather than one in which people in kaftans recycled garbage in eco-communities. You’re no longer young when you’ve forgotten how to dream and how to be angry.

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