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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-Mar-07
Researchers say that today's college students are excessively "narcissistic" and money-oriented

Web Log - March, 2007

Researchers say that today's college students are excessively "narcissistic" and money-oriented

I hope taxpayers didn't pay for this nonsense.

According to the study, today's college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors. This conclusion is based on the responses of 16,475 college students nationwide who completed an evaluation called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006.

The new report follows a study released by UCLA last month which found that nearly three-quarters of the freshmen it surveyed thought it was important to be "very well-off financially." That compared with 62.5 percent who said the same in 1980 and 42 percent in 1966.

According to the new study's author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University, "We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back. Kids are self-centered enough already."

Can you believe this garbage? This woman obviously doesn't like kids -- let's hope she doesn't have any.

Today's college-age kids are great. (This includes my own college-age kid, by the way. It also includes other college-age kids that I've met.) What I've learned in the past few years is that when someone complains about college-age kids being too self-centered, it's because they're pissed because college-age kids don't support the Boomer political issues.

First, college students don't support the "antiwar movement," which is hugely upsetting to the Boomer left in Washington, since they can't seem to muster more than a few hundred of them to attend their political events in Washington.

Second, young college-educated women want, more and more, to stay at home and take care of the kids, rather than work while the kids are in day care. Words can't describe how much this has freaked out the feminists.

These two "problems" particularly have convinced many Boomers and Generation-Xers that there's something wrong with today's college-age students.

Actually, what happened is that today's college-age children grew up during a "generational Unraveling era," the 1980s and 1990s, a time when there were almost no societal rules or structure. During this time, feminist-led programs deprived children of their fathers altogether, or for all but at most a few hours per month. Living with their single mothers, children were exposed much more, on a statistical basis, to child abuse, starvation, and sexual abuse by their mothers and mothers' boyfriends. The worst victims have been black children, who grew up in homes without their fathers over 70% of the time, though the nationwide figure of 33% is bad enough.

Boys were particularly victimized during this period, as I frequently saw in dealing with female teachers and social workers when my son was growing up. These "professional" women uniformly knew NOTHING about boys -- and I mean absolutely NOTHING - their ignorance was truly abysmal -- and they treated boys as if they were simply defective girls.

The result of this upbringing can be seen in another conclusion of the study, that college-age children are "more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors." They're only doing what they saw their mothers and fathers doing.

The chaotic family life (or lack of family life) has resulted in what Jean Twenge is now calling narcissism. When she says, "We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back. Kids are self-centered enough already," this reaction to chaotic single-parent upraising must be what she's referring to.

This current generation of college-age kids, sometimes called "Generation Y" or "Generation Next," sometimes called "Millennials," follow a particular generational archetype that has occurred in every society throughout history. In their book The Fourth Turning, historians William Strauss and Neil Howe identified this as the "civic generation" and also the "Hero generation."

They turn into hard-working "civics," because they see how incompetent their parents (Boomers and Gen-Xers in our case) are at running the country and the world, and they're sick of the fact that all their parents do is argue with each other, both at home and in government and society. They become the generation that's determined to actual DO something, instead of just complaining about other people.

They turn into "Heroes," because they lead the nation into the next crisis war, which they embrace bravely and selflessly, with little or no fear of death. The last Hero generation were the G.I.'s that fought and beat the Nazis. The new Millennial generation is destined to become our next "Greatest Generation" that will fight the Clash of Civilizations World War. After the war is over, they'll return to their "civic" roots and rebuild the country and the world, setting up new institutions designed to guarantee that their children and grandchildren will never have to fight any such war again, just as the G.I. generation did.

What are the psychological characteristics of the new Millennial generation? Well, since Ms. Twenge has found that they score so high on a narcissistic scale, I was curious to see the questions that they were answering.

The following is the list of questions from the standard 40 question subset of 54-question Narcissistic Personality Inventory:

 2. I have a natural talent for influencing people.
 3. Modesty doesn't become me.
 5. I would do almost anything on a dare.
 7. I know that I am good because everybody keeps telling me so.
 8. If I ruled the world it would be a much better place.
10. I can usually talk my way out of anything.
12. I like to be the center of attention.
13. I will be a success.
14. I think I am a special person.
15. I see myself as a good leader.
16. I am assertive.
17. I like to have authority over other people.
19. I find it easy to manipulate people.
20. 1 insist upon getting the respect that is due me.
21. I like to display my body.
22. I can read people like a book.
23. I like to take responsibility for making decisions.
25. I want to amount to something in the eyes of the world.
26. I like to look at my body.
28. I am apt to show off if I get the chance.
29. I always know what I am doing.
30. I rarely depend on anyone else to get things done.
32. Everybody likes to hear my stories.
34. I expect a great deal from other people.
35. I will never be satisfied until I get all that I deserve.
36. I like to be complimented.
38. I have a strong will to power.
39. 1 like to start new fads and fashions.
42. I like to look at myself in the mirror.
44. I really like to be the center of attention.
45. 1 can live my life in any way I want to.
46. People always seem to recognize my authority.
47. I would prefer to be a leader.
48. I am going to be a great person.
49. I can make anybody believe anything I want them to.
50. I am a born leader.
51. I wish somebody would someday write my biography.
52. I get upset when people don't notice how I look when I
    go out in public.
53. I am more capable than other people.
54. I am an extraordinary person.

You know, I read through the above list, and what I see are exactly the characteristics that are going to be needed by the new "Greatest Generation."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, we're headed for a new Clash of Civilizations World War with absolute certainty.

The good news is that the people who will be fighting to protect our nation will be from the generation with the narcissistic characteristics indicated by the list of questions above. The bad news, of course, is that China and other nations that we'll be fighting will be from a generation with the same characteristics. (2-Mar-07) Permanent Link
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