Friday, June 01, 2007

The generation game

The last of my aunts died this week. As a late child of a second marriage, my parents’ generation would be the grandparents of most people my age. Schooled in Edwardian England and scarred by war, they were a powerful presence, but now they have finally slipped into history.

And what of us, the perpetually ungrateful privileged? We have lived through unprecedented peace and prosperity, a liberal peace built from war and shaped by social democracy and labour movements, as much as by liberal capitalism. Whilst it helps to have been white, male and middle class (and we could have done without Thatcher) these have been good times.

It is obvious that our liberal peace is worth promoting and defending against those that would kill in order to plunge us into some imagined past or bright new future. But there is something more important than that. This world can only survive as something other than a gated community. It has to be shared and so the cornerstone of belief for those of us who identify with the left must be in the promotion of a growing, and global, social and economic equality, something that we are in danger of carelessly throwing away in an expression of the selfishness of the lucky generation.

No comments: