From Dumb to Dangerous

Article author: 
Jef Costello
Article publisher: 
American Renaissance
Article date: 
25 February 2023
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

Review of: Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation Grows Up: From Stupefied Youth to Dangerous Adults, Regnery Gateway, 310 pp., $19.79.

The Dumbest Generation Grows Up is Mark Bauerlein’s sequel to his bestselling 2009 book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. Both books deal with Millennials, the generation usually defined as anyone born between 1981 and the mid-90s, and the author, who taught English at Emory University for many years, has had a good look at this generation...

The conclusions of the earlier book can be summarized in a single quotation: “The Dumbest Generation will cease being dumb only when it regards adolescence as an inferior realm of petty strivings and adulthood as a realm of civic, historical, and cultural awareness that puts them in touch with perennial ideas and struggles.”...

Like Prof. Bauerlein, I recently retired from many years of university teaching... Toward the end, I was teaching “Gen Z,” the generation after the Millennials — who, if anything, are worse.

My students combined ignorance with strident moral certainty (possibly the most striking thing about high-profile Millennials like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). They seemed to have had no general education at all, and lacked the most basic knowledge of history, even recent history. They were immature and emotionally fragile....

It was difficult to get a class discussion going, because my students were often unwilling to make judgments of any kind. Partly, this was because they had an intense fear of offending anyone. But, in addition, they professed to believe that everything is “relative” and that it’s therefore wrong to judge... Many could not follow a simple chain of reasoning....

The Utopia today’s youth yearn for is one where everything will be “fair” and everyone will be “nice.”...

Racial diversity is, of course, another factor in this decline in standards. The average black student is at nowhere near the reading level of even the worst whites. Since our educational system, and our society as a whole, cannot admit the reality of racial differences, areas of study where the disparities are all too obvious must either be eliminated or relentlessly dumbed down...


Will Wokeness Be Our Demise? by Liberty Anderson, American Thinker, 3 June 2023.