Steve M on the hand-wringing in the Village Media about Millennials not trusting institutions:
Under Obama, millennials can't get jobs and can't pay off student loans, and their parents have been struggling financially for years -- but millennials didn't exactly see their elders thrive even during the supposedly better days of the Bush presidency, when the only way a non-rich person could get an extra sliver of the pie was by tapping into what turned out to be hyperinflated home equity. America's military might was more or less useless under Bush, and it's not much use under Obama. Churches, then and now, were overpoliticized and scandal-plagued. D.C. has been reduced to permanent dysfunction by a cabal of nihilists -- we know they're Republicans, though most millennials probably assume, because they're constantly told this, that "both sides do it."
Maybe millennials think institutions suck because institutions suck.
Guy has a point. Hell, Chris Hayes wrote an entire book about said point.
Ross Douthat however just thinks we're leaving the door open to fascism because, hey, the Internet.
You don’t have to see a fascist or Communist revival on the horizon (I certainly don’t) to see this argument’s potential relevance for our apparently individualistic future. You only have to look at the place where millennials — and indeed, most of us — are clearly seeking new forms of community today.
That place is the online realm, which offers a fascinating variation on Nisbet’s theme. Like modernity writ large, it promises emancipation and offers new forms of community that transcend the particular and local. But it requires a price, in terms of privacy surrendered, that past tyrannies could have only dreamed of exacting from their subjects.
This surrender could prove to be benign. But it’s still noteworthy that today’s vaguely totalitarian arguments don’t usually come from political demagogues. They come from enthusiasts for the online Panopticon, the uploaded world where everyone will be transparent to everyone else.
That kind of future is far from inevitable. But as Nisbet would argue, and as the rising generation of Americans may yet need to learn, it probably cannot be successfully resisted by individualism alone.
To recap, the Glibertarian is worried that without enough religion and/or government regulation in our lives(!), we'll all become victims of digital totalitarianism because when given the freedom to operate away from the failed institutions that bind us, human nature isn't all about the online utopia, but Orwellian control. It's almost like we need a certain amount of baseline societal norms in order to operate without becoming alpha male dickweeds. Call them "rules of the road" even.
Mull on that point for a second.