Perpetual Adolescence: When Coming of Age Doesn’t Come
By John Horvat II
"One in three of those between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents."
More "immature" young ones?
Or less ease in getting the jobs they were counting on?
Less ease in getting appartments or other housing?
Less ease in getting married than ever before?
Some 30 percent of all college students drop out after their first year. A recent test of college seniors found that one-third could not make cohesive arguments, think critically, or evaluate the quality of data.
More "immaturity" in college students?
Or more college students recruited from people who could have done better elsewhere?
If so, more "immaturity" in the choice?
Or more of default choices, "faute de mieux" as they say here?
Also, it might very well be those doing that test are asking about a more specific culture than ever before.
If you were tested for coherent argumentation 100 years ago, you would probably need to avoid undistributed middles and unbacked premisses. End of story. Today, a Christian or Muslim or Animist can be "failing" simply because he is not evaluating in terms of diamat.
OK, not quite all there is to it. At certain universities 100 years ago, a Catholic believing St. Botulf came to Iccanhoe and literally evicted demons from what then became the Boston of Yorkshire might have been considered inadequate in his evaluation of quality of data too at certain universities, not least Cambridge and Ivy League with their heavily Anti-Catholic leaning. But he would not have been failing a "test". He would have been told "sorry, we think you are a superstitious Papist if you believe that kind of stuff, we don't encourage you saying it from OUR platform". This is basically the reason why Hilaire Belloc quit University after five years (coincidentally the time I have exams for, even if they took me longer).
One hundred years ago, then, maturity was not per se considered testable in the kind of tests those students failed (I have not yet looked up the link).
And, above all, one hundred years ago, so many older people would not have used so much perfidy to stamp younger particulars (or younger people in general) as "immature" and therefore needing some more mentoring. With fewer young per old and more old per young, such perfidy is one way out of a perplexity, so many old having so much to give and so few young being able or willing to listen to them. This comes from contraception and abortion.
Even so, most of the older ones are encouraging abortion at least in certain cases and are also encouraging contraception. That is not as backhanded as a man of 34 actually living with his parents. That is about as backhanded as a man of 18 planning in advance to live with his parents to 34 in an apartment made for one generation of adults + their children. And hoping that after that he will have a good job and a house of his own at 35.
Even John Horvath II will presumably admit, most of the young men and women of 34 living with their parents did not plan to do so in advance, they just failed to do better. That poses the question whether they failed to do better due to an immaturity in themselves or due to outer circumstances they could not possibly have foreseen, including but not limited to a behaviour by older people unprecedented in the West in at least recent centuries - and I would say in centuries back to Nimrod and the Pharaos or even in centuries back to before the Flood.
Even I will agree that a man of 18 agreeing to stay with a parent or grandparents with the intention of doingb so up to 34 would be a very immature person. So immature I even suppose he is part of a new mythology : less well documented than Cyclopes (at least Ulysses claimed to have seen one at uncomfortably close range).
BUT we both know that older people at once counting on pensions staying a decent outcome for old persons and encouraging contraception up to abortion do indeed exist and are indeed in a majority in the West (look where votes are going!) We know they are no more mythological than Indians learning scalping from Indian Hunters. They are no more mytholical than the Muslim Pirates of Algeria whom the French were hanging in 1830 (probably the finest moment of French Algeria, up to the ones who were walking to relieve besiged comrades with food and basically martyred for this in the shooting of 26 March 1962, rue d'Isly).
This extreme unwiseness in so many old people poses the question how much of the young are really in situations like living with parents at 34 due to being unwise themselves, and how many are so due to being pushed out of situations where their wisdom could have counted.
At 14 I was in love with a girl for the first time. I had no idea one could even imagine what I think now, that it would be a good idea to bring back marital age minima to the millennial 14 / 12 limit of the Catholic Church up to 1917. I just thought, if I could only persuade her to love me too, we would get engaged, we would fight for a life together for the four following years, we would marry at 18, when I would have made good use of my talents (including as a writer, hadn't noticed Tolkien was about 50 when he published The Hobbit - that immaturity I did have at 14! - including as a composer - even before I was good at counterpoint, before I had read the music theory I know now), but also done some less inspiring stuff for the good cause. And I probably would have.
Older people, not including my mother, but certainly including both her parents and the school we were at were very much NOT inclined to let it get even as far as my talking to her. Or, she already had fallen for my rival, whichever it was. BUT, they probably (the following is my estimate, not my knowledge) preferred getting me away from her, just in case their story should finish and she should have a weak spot for me once that happened. Their story did finish, as he told me when we were going to enroll for military service. But I was not around, I had been given the choice between Bladins - a school for mentally handicapped in Malmö - or SSHL, a boarding school, near Stockholm, involving me in full day train rides each beginning or end of holiday.
I and my mother, neither of us could have foreseen how demoralising or how infantilising for me that school would be during the 4 years I was there. The "study rector" (someone subsidiary to the principal) of that school was an old fashioned and old man (back then!) with as I learned later Kantian or close enough ideas, he seemed decent. A good change from a school where I suppose the infiltration from East German Stasi indoctrination was high, it would seem. Only later did I know Greta Olsson was not the same kind of person as Folke Åkerblom. Widow of one freemason, lover of another (whom she married when the widow pension was abolished), a kindly person to chat with, but ultimately bent on driving me away from the faith. Instead she and my comrades and harrassers got me to convert to Catholicism. Her revenge (or so it would seem) was to tell my grandmother I simply could not live in a student corridor, I had to live with her, if it was at all possible. Which I did, socially ruining my first years at university, morally ruining my first year as practising Catholic.
THIS is the kind of situation you cannot simply consider someone as victim of his own immaturity for being a victim of.
Such older persons as my grandmother or as Greta Olsson are older persons God did not create young persons to be normally facing. Not to mention the ones at the earlier school.
Could the presence of such old people be one clue why some have chosen university studies they had NO aptitude for (something one has claimed about me, without cause!) and why some are still or once again living with parents at 34?
Indeed, I think the presence of such old people is a key to understanding the immaturity of "adolescence". Back 300 years ago, a 14 old year man could be doing a farm work important enough form him to afford marriage, if he was modest about his abode, or advancing from apprentice to journeyman (=employee), or preparing to go to University at 15 (as I mentioned in connection with Cardano, with some help from a certain "Boniface"). If you analyse my intentions as here stated back when I was fourteen, you might find that I might have done better than I did, if I had not been brought to such hard choices so soon, with so little room for real good. I would have been a young adult and was forced to be socially regarded as an awkward adolescent. OK, some awkwardness there would have been anyway, I presume, I was also a fatty up to the first Lenten fast when I converted.
If you came across Maurice Cling just after he had gone through Auschwitz, without being gassed, without seeing anyone being gassed, but not without hearing of such things, would not he have given you a great spectacle of ... immaturity? Especially perhaps ... passivity? Is that because his parents (Jewish businessmen, in cloth, father decorated for service in WW-I) or the Jewish boyscouts had given him no education? Is that because Auschwitz had given him no education? Or is it because Auschwitz had given him the WRONG education, because of his being a Jew? Well, beware lest you endorse giving anyone what is in fact the WRONG education, just because he is young or - in your view - "immature".
A young man that shows up on time for work one day might claim he is “adulting.” He is not assuming adult habits but merely temporarily leaving his perpetual adolescence.
A man of 24 back 500 or 700 years ago would not necessarily have been an employee. If he had been a good journeyman from age 14, he could fairly easily have been a master of his trade at 24 (easier 700 years ago, than 200 years later). Companies were smaller and more numerous. This means that more were self employed and even employing others, fewer were employed by others (unless, as said, between 14 and 24), in the town trades.
A person of 14 has the capacity to be mature if given a chance, and modern society is built on NOT giving him a real chance until 30. Or by now perhaps 40.
Your example is an example of "(im)mature employee" from the view point of a boss. But 700 years ago, most of these employees, whether "mature" or "perpetual adolescents" (meaning bosses are taking on a role of quasi parental judges of maturity!) would not have been employees at all. Supposing they had been serfs on a manor, in some ways the serfs on a manor had more freedom than employees have now. They were certainly able to support families quicker.
Not that I particularly uphold serfdom and manorial economy as an ideal. But I am not sure those upholding employment under bosses as the most normal ideal for an adult are in a position to criticise serfdom too much. Especially not if they are blocking persons from becoming their own, if they are blocking both a writer and composer (my ambitions at 14 are not totally unrealised) and the young in the parish who could have profited as paper-editors* or performing musicians.**
Hans Georg Lundahl
Sts Peter and Paul
* Paper-editors : i e as by contrast with my editing the primary and for free net publication of what I write. ** Yes, I have a particular parish in mind!
PS, for what it is worth as consolation, some of today's young may be better on this:
... than on this:
I am not one of them./HGL
PPS, I looked at the source for one third not being able to think critically, construct a coherent argument, etc. It seems John Horvath is either a bit off on critical thinking himself or endorsing the secrecy of certain "pay only" informations for online reading.
His immediate source here on Glenn Beck's site gives no details about the test, just a speech held and supposed to presuppose it. This in turn links to an article in Wall Street Journal where the preview gives no details either and I would have to subscribe to read the rest./HGL