Gen Z Think Bin Laden Had a Point. Why Are You Surprised?
I would not say that I had a happy childhood. Certainly not by modern Western standards. There were no fun playgroups, after-school sports clubs, Halloween parties, fancy dress events or movie nights.
Most of my pre-teen years were spent doing what a lot of Soviet kids of my generation did: hanging around the kitchen table listening to adults talk. Hanging around in the dining room listening to adults talk. Hanging around in the living room… you get the point.
And when my parents’ or grandparents’ apartment wasn’t filled with their adult friends and relatives, they would often talk to me and tell me stories. As I grew older, the stories went from the usual fairytales to being stories of our past.
These were not fun stories. They were not inspiring. They were not uplifting. Happy endings were conspicuous by their absence. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why adults would spend their time retelling and reliving these horrible events.
Why did my grandmother tell me about watching her baby brother starve to death after the communists kicked them out of their house for being “kulaks” (rich peasants accused of hoarding grain and supplies)?
Why did my father’s stepmother tell me about being born in a gulag? Why did she tell me about the gulag guards, many of whom shot themselves when Stalin died and was denounced by the Party? Who were suddenly forced to confront the reality that rather than doing good, they had in fact been complicit in his crimes?
You might be asking the same question: why? Aren’t children supposed to have fun? Aren’t we all supposed to have fun? Isn’t that what life is about: pleasure, joy and, above all, fun? Why inflict such nightmarish realities on the fragile mind of a child who lives in a different world and will never face the terrible realities of the past?
Why should our children read the Gulag Archipelago, Everything Flows or watch Schindler’s List? They’re not exactly fun.
It was only much, much later when I saw what was happening in the West that I understood the why: we teach our children about the tragic realities of the past because unless we do, they will repeat them.
This is what Orwell meant when he said:
He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
This is why I am surprised that anyone is surprised by the recent revelations that TikTok Zoomers have discovered Osama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” and it “opened their eyes” to the evils of America.
How are you surprised by this? What did you think was happening? Why did you think so many of us who have seen all of this play out before have been warning you so loudly about it?
You have to understand the consequences of the things you understand:
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