No One Left to Rebel Against

In Anthony Powell’s epic “Dance to the Music of Time” a character named Erridge is described as “a rebel whose life had been exasperatingly lacking in persecution”.

Theodore Dalrymple believes that the Baby Boomers are becoming a generation of Erridges. He is sour indeed as he argues that his generation’s collective desire to hang on to their “youthful rebel” identity is becoming increasingly ludicrous as the prior generation dies off:

We live in an age of Peter Pan. It is not eternal childhood that we seek, however, but eternal adolescence; not perpetual innocence, but perpetual aggravation of the grown-ups. The problem is that there are fewer and fewer grown-ups left to aggravate.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. He served as a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2009 to 2010.