…unto the third or fourth generation.
Readership: All; Men; Single Men;
Theme: Identity, Image, and Impressions
Reader’s Note: In this essay, suffixes have been added to ressentiment to form different inflexions.
Length: 1,100 words
Reading Time: 4 minutes
In The Disease of Decadent Christianity (2022-4-29), J. M. Smith explained an older argument (originating from Nietzsche) about how Ressentiment within Christianity has debased the religion. I explored this further in The Decadent Christian (Ressentimentalism) (2022-5-18), in which I showed that ressentimented Christian beatitudes parallel the cultural trend of fourth wave intersectional feminism. I wish to remind readers to pay close attention to ressentimented values when reading/watching the news or interacting with others.
During this study of ressentiment, I found a few other articles which describe ressentiment and how the rot of ressentiment has infected our lives in various ways. One such article was a post from Doug Wilson that described Ressentiment, Shame, and Accusation within Progressive Identity Politics (2022-6-20).
In this post, I’ll cover an article from Amerika, Fallout From Roe v. Wade Wrecked Gen X (2022-5-9). Here, Brett Stevens described the ressentiment of the Baby Boomers in terms of its effects on Generation X. It should be duly noted that these effects extend to subsequent generations, and may very well continue indefinitely until such time it is checked. I’ve extracted relevant excerpts from Steven’s essay below. [Images and section titles have been added. Some passages have been reordered for ease of comprehension.]
Generation X — The Generation with No Name
The ressentimented value of sex, matrimony, and human life itself lit the destructive fires of Molech for the generation born during the advent of the sexual revolution, birth control pills, legalized abortion, and no fault divorce.
“Generation X was the first generation of kids to come up in a world where abortion is normal. We belonged to parents who saw us as optional children, or creatures which could have been aborted or avoided.”
“In the same way that people claimed that a lack of legal abortion was oppression, they also found their own children to be a burden if the children did not do exactly what the parents wanted.
We realized that we were the first generation that was entirely disposable. We were optional children. When we displeased our parents, we know they were thinking fondly of their ability to unmake us through abortion and divorce.”
Steven’s description really hits home for Gen Xer’s like myself and probably many readers too. The feeling that our very existence is an “accident” that was deemed acceptable, according to the mother’s moods of that moment, rather than an unacceptable one. The idea that many of our peers happened to come along during a bad parental mood or life circumstance, and didn’t make it past delivery. Personally, I often feel that I have friends who I never got to know, who were taken away from this world before they even entered it — disembodied spirits who call out from the world beyond. The numbers prove that my impression is legit.
Generation X — The Generation with a Variable Identity
“The dominant message of the time was that of individualism.”
When I was growing up in the 1970s, I distinctly remember a very popular phrase that was made into a song, and then a book, “Free to be, you and me.“ My Boomer cousin gave me a copy of this book. It said things like, “Ladies first!“, “Love is all around“, “Love is for everyone”, “It’s OK to cry“, and “Feeling angry is normal”, which were revolutionary notions at that time. Looking back, I find that Gloria Steinem was behind this movement targeted at children.
“In essence, this was the same bourgeois idea we have always seen in the West when the workers take over: you are a victim, and you have no obligation to anything but yourself as a result, therefore take whatever you can get and get out.
It is a working class refrain as old as the hills. You are responsible for nothing except to rebel against The Man. The “elites” pick up on it because it gives them an excuse to take out their enemies while claiming to be part of the victim cult.”
Back in their heyday of the 1960s and 1970s, the Boomers, AKA “The Me Generation”, were famous for rebelling against “The Establishment”, which was a code word for traditional conservatism. This was so ensconced within their ethics that Boomers often repeated amongst themselves that “No one over the age of 30 is to be trusted.”
“The individualism of the Baby Boomers meant that for the first time, growing up and getting married to have a family with children (if you could) was not a universal goal. Instead. it was one option for utilitarian “happiness.”
It has been said that the Baby Boomers are/were an evil generation. Here’s a clue as to why.
“If you were not happy with your marriage or children, you could claim egalitarian victimhood… that is, you were deprived of something that you should have had. This meant that ironically your children were oppressing you.
For Generation X, this was a real threat. Kids were getting kicked out of the house at eighteen or even before, turned in to the state, or relocated to distant relatives in the chaos of sexual liberation and divorce.
Not surprisingly, this generation grew up with a reluctance to form attachments to others. Democracy as a psychological influence seems to take normal groups and turn them into apathetic bourgeois narcissists, and this is just one turn of that cycle.”
I suspect that Gen X was not the only generation who experienced such things, but that this generational curse has extended down through Millennials and iGen as well. Just as it is repeated several times throughout scripture (Exodus 20:5; Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9)…
“…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me…”Deuteronomy 5:9 (NKJV)
And so, after all these years, we see the deeper meaning and natural consequences of “Free to be, you and me.”
- Max Schaeler, Ressentiment (ca. 1915) (PDF)
- Σ Frame (Jack, Dante Emerson): The Evolution of Feminism as a Series of Cultural Movements (2018-1-15)
- Σ Frame (James Lawrence): Against The Naturalistic Fallacy (2018-2-12)
- Dalrock: Experts at failing. (2018-9-10)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Blue Pill, Feminism, and Sin (2018-10-26)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Defiled, not “special” (2018-12-19)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Morphing Ethical System in the U.S. (2020-6-26)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Hitting bottom must be necessary. (2020-11-6)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Progressive (2020-11-10)
- The Orthosphere (Richard Cocks): René Girard – Imitation and Life Without God (2020-11-10)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): The Demise of the Christian Life Script (2021-3-10)