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Priming for Regressivism: The Manufacturing of a Millennial

Disclaimer: I don’t personally see Israel as a right wing cause, but unfortunately it has been lumped as such by the New Left, as Palestinianism has become part of the Left Wing “Progressive” package that one must accept in order to be taken seriously in such circles. This acceptance of anti-Israel belief as canon and its excessive PC nature, coupled with a recent acceptance of subtle antisemitism due to perceived Jewish privilege, is the reason I have decided to jump on the conservative bandwagon and call the New Left “Regressive Leftism.”

I was born into a family that was as conservative as it got. We were Modern Orthodox, my father was the breadwinner and my mother stayed at home. Not a single woman in my family worked: everyone stayed home with the kids. I had so little exposure to working women that I thought that men worked and women stayed at home as a matter of fact, as inherent in their gender as biology was.

We never really talked politics but my parents, I knew, were traditional. Their marriage, if transported back in time to the 1950’s, would have fit right in (I personally don’t think of it as a bad thing – it lent itself to a very stable upbringing for me and my siblings). Like most Modern Orthodox, we espoused a “live and let live” philosophy. My mom lit the Shabbat candles on Fridays and my dad or grandfather said the Kiddush. Gender roles were strict yet so intuitive they were unsaid: The girls helped Mama cook and clean, and were into fashion and beauty, while the boys did the yard work and took out the garbage, and were into sports and business. Opinionated women were seen as “unbecoming” and I was frequently told to “act like a lady.” My dad was a staunch capitalist and fiscal conservative, while my mom didn’t have an opinion, because having opinions was not something women did in public.

Despite my family upbringing, I was raised to believe that capitalism was evil, war was always bad, Israel was built on stolen Palestinian land, and the rich were the enemy. So were the rest of my fellow millennials. This PC SJW (Politically Correct Social Justice Warrior) culture we love to complain about didn’t come about in a vacuum: rather, it’s how we were collectively socialized. So it was much to the chagrin of my parents that I grew up to be a radical leftist by the time I was 21, and I wasn’t the only Good Little Jewish Girl to do so.

1. Television and Media: Our First Window Into the World

Most millennials and “latch key kids” of the 80’s and 90’s were raised by the television. I was lucky to have both a stay at home mom and an excellent nanny, but even still, I loved to watch TV because it was a lot more interesting than playing with toys and reading stories. It was passive, and didn’t require I do anything to be transported into another world, so I found it relaxing. Plus, the shows were addictive. I always begged my mom or nanny to let me watch one more hour of Sesame Street, Angela Anaconda, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Braceface. The television was my first teacher of the progressive values that the exclusively-leftist entertainment industry wants to teach us.

Every story was the same. You had your poor or middle-class hero or heroine, antagonized for no reason by a mean-spirited, psychopathic wealthy spoiled brat on a permanent power trip. In Angela Anaconda it was Nanette, the rich, entitled brat who pretended to be from France. In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the kiddie version, it was Gem Stone, the absurdly wealthy spoiled brat who didn’t know what a washing machine was because she threw out all her clothes after wearing them once. All wealthy characters were spoiled bratty villains, and all the poor kids were considered good, as if their low socioeconomic status was a metaphor for their moral character – Cultural Marxism at its finest.

picture1This model seemed to be borrowed from the notorious antisemite Walt Disney, whose movies were the first exposure to our culture’s folklore for most of us. Disney villains were also very wealthy and/or greedy, again promoting a culturally Marxist outlook. However, they also all seemed to have dark, Semitic complexions and hooked noses (whereas most Disney heroes are Aryan-looking). Cinderella’s evil stepmother and stepsisters, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians, are examples of Disney’s tying of wealth and traditionally Jewish appearance with evil. Furthermore, Disney movies have featured protagonists who were white, black, hispanic, and even Arab, but no Jews. As such, the only characters in Disney movies who reminded people of Jews were the villains, giving people a bad taste in their mouth for Jews fromthe very start, imbibing them with the intuition that Jews are privileged in such a way that it appears second nature to them.

The plot of most television shows and movies geared for children is of brave young disenfranchised children fighting an evil, rich, semitic villain and winning. Villains are often very corporate, and anything capitalist isportrayed as evil: a corporation wants to cut down the kids’ favourite tree to build a shopping mall, a factory is polluting a nearby river and only a bunch of 4th graders can stop it, etc. Wealth is evil and redistribution of income is good. Such black and white, repetitive portrayals of a unidimensional cookie-cutter villain ingrains, gradually, the idea in children’s heads that this is what bad guys are supposed to look like, namely right-wingers. It also makes children who grow up wealthy feel tremendously guilty for being born this way, priming them for “white guilt,” a major driving force for PC culture and anti-Western thought.

2. School: Where Capitalism Is Evil and War Is Always Wrong

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that academia is as disproportionately left-wing as the entertainment industry, making students’ other introduction to the real world excessively biased as well. I think it really hit me that the way I was educated did not match how much of the world believes when I came home from school and told my dad we need to bring down capitalism as it is the single worst thing for humankind. I was in tenth grade, and everything I had hitherto learned – through seemingly benign means such as fill-in-the-blank phonics exercises to the showing of the documentary No Logo in ninth grade, taught as fact rather than opinion, as a moral imperative – which is how the entire left-wing dogma is taught and why it is so hard to undo – was challenged. My dad looked me straight in the eye and practically yelled at me: “Capitalism is the best damn thing that ever happened to this world, it’s the reason we ever reached this standard of living, why even the poor are now rich compared to one hundred years ago, don’t you ever say that ever again, do you hear me?” I was totally shocked that my dad, who was my greatest role model, a man I always admired as intelligent, well-read, a visionary and critical thinker, had disagreed so vehemently with what I thought formed the basis for every value I had ever been taught.

My guess is that leftism is the dominant force in schools because it teaches coexistence, which is extremely important so that everyone can leave any prejudices and biases – in case there are any – at the door and get along, making it easier for a teacher to teach. According to the left, it serves to basically neutralize the biases we are determined to be predisposed to – we are predisposed to admire and revere the rich and successful, so we are taught to despise them and see them as evil. We are predisposed to distrust those of darker skin tones, so we are taught that grievances shared by whites matter less than grievances shared by people of color because of White Privilege. We are taught an overly simplistic curriculum informed by Said’s Orientalism, wherein only whites can be wealthy, evil, or colonizers, and when a war breaks out, the more powerful force is the aggressor and deserves all the blame. So while abandoning prejudices is important, when the regressive left takes it too far, it can harm the self-worth of students considered “privileged” – namely whites and Jews, and result in actual grievances by these groups, especially Jews, laughed off or dismissed.

In order to encourage rich kids and poor kids to treat each other equally, to give everyone a chance at success – which is what capitalist meritocracy is all about – we millennials were taught a curriculum drenched in Cultural Marxism. Equality at all costs was promoted. The “everyone gets a trophy” mentality was just beginning, backed by the belief that placing one student above the other was deemed offensive and unfair to those with less skill, regardless of work or effort put into attaining that skill. While Marxism in its purest form is supposed to give everyone an equal shot at life, it rewards all work the same, providing no incentive for hard work. And thus, the whole system unravels and corruption festers, making Marxism highly unsustainable, given that human nature is to provide for oneself and one’s own above all else. It relies on altruism being the dominant force when such is the case only in an ideal world.

But we students are too youngto understand this until we actually go out into the world and learn about how human nature is rather than how it “should” be. That’s why the left is so enticing while we are still in college. Given that it was taught to us as fact, by those entrusted to teach us, any other way of thinking is simply unfathomable.

Notwithstanding, it is important to be idealistic with children because they are the next generation, and we want to build a generation more peaceful than the last. However, we also don’t want to build a generation that allows itself to be destroyed by those much more opportunistic and zealous than we are. Political correctness gives rise to a fear of offending those who show themselves to be our enemies, especially if they are poor relative to us, since poverty is associated with virtue. This fear, coupled with idea that war is always wrong and evil, may prevent a much-needed retaliation against our enemies that threaten the very freedom and progressivism we hold dear, as we selflessly tolerate the intolerant.

We are taught to love without bounds, which is beautiful in itself, but we are taught such an inaccurate, myopic worldview due to our fear of offending those who are different, that we put ourselves at risk of being taken advantage of by those who do not share our values despite pretending to. Indeed, it is even offensive and therefore taboo in PC-land to admit that they might not share our values and may attack us for it. We are taught that it is valiant and noble to love and embrace our enemies and haters, and that all hate can be conquered with love, which is a beautiful but inaccurate ideal. It puts us in danger of being attacked when we least expect it, like France, which keeps getting attacked despite attempts to appease immigrants and the Arab world.

As children we were taught to live in a monolithic world, with a monolithic enemy, void of all nuance. Since leftists are taught their beliefs as moral dogma, they see it as immoral not to transmit such dogma onto those they influence in any capacity. They see teaching students that capitalism, Israel, and corporations are evil as akin to teaching them that bullying and murder are evil. Meanwhile, centrists and right wingers see their beliefs as common sense or logic that people will figure out on their own, so they needn’t be taught.

The anti-Israel crowd knows exactly how to pander to progressive priming. They paint Israel as the quintessential childhood villain: rich, greedy and hook-nosed, and appeal to our childhood “Robin Hood Instinct.” It is therefore no wonder that most millennials feel an intuitive, almost inherent pull toward the cause of Palestinian liberation, as doing so makes them feel like the childhood heroines they were raised to revere and love.

About the author

Picture of Lex

Lex

Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.
Picture of Lex

Lex

Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.
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