In 2018 – "I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it."
Gen X: 62%
But, look at this huge gap between Gen X and Millennials.
Gen Z: 33%
The decline for Gen Z is staggering, too.
49% in 2014
39% in 2016
33% in 2018. pic.twitter.com/ko5CQs45rp
— Ryan Burge ? (@ryanburge) July 2, 2021
The plot is from Ryan Burge. It is a succinct, though rough, summary of the similarity of metaphysical beliefs held by different birth cohorts in the once United States.
The edges of these cohorts are fuzzy. I prefer the definitions of Howe and Strauss in their The Fourth Turning. Their Gen Xers, for example, start in 1961. They make their cuts based on similarity of guiding thoughts of each generation and not strict demography.
That’s necessary, I think, because the guiding thoughts, the ideas believed or operated on by the majority in each cohort, is the point of having the divisions in the first place.
If Howe and Strauss are right about dates, that means the boundaries used by Burge are a tad off. But not so much it makes much difference to our purpose. Which is guessing when the Woke take over. We can accept being off by a few years.
Some 70% of Silents “know God really exists and…have no doubts about it.” This scarcely changes in time. The line looks downward sloping, but that’s somewhat exaggerated because it doesn’t take into account the uncertainty in each sample point (the entire populace wasn’t surveyed). But it’s close enough.
Even though only 70% of Silents held with something close to older orthodox Christianity, and with much associated with that, it doesn’t mean the remaining 30% didn’t share most of the same metaphysical beliefs, and ideas of Reality and morality. They did. There is always a distribution in beliefs, of course, and never unanimity, but bulk thought about fundamentals have a strong generational locus.
These beliefs are formed and joined necessarily by shared experiences, which naturally draw a people together.
Add all this together, and we have a generation. Again, it is a mistake to say all in a generation think the same, or nothing would ever change, but it is not a bad approximation for some applications.
Such as, again, predicting when the Woke are the majority.
If this chart is any guide, and belief, however loose, in the tenets of (older) Christianity and in non-subjective Reality is indeed a workable summary of shared beliefs, then Boomers and Gen Xers are close to the Silents, though with noticeable shifts at the edges. This accords with common experience.
Obviously, as the borders were opened and Diversity became “our” strength, and Perversion Is Ackshually Good sentiments exploded in the 60s, things changed. The Long March Through the Institutes began slow and at last turned into a rout, Christianity and its connections faded with the influx, and the culture changed key. And don’t forget, much was done in the name of the old ideas.
We can see on the chart just where the shift began. Millennials were taught badly, according to the lights of the old beliefs, by their parents, who were largely Gen Xers and some Boomers.
The trends accelerated for those in Gen Z. They are Woke. Millennials are semi-Woke, semi-Reality. Gen Z’s were birthed by late Gen Xers, but also by a lot of semi-Woke Millennials. The oddly named Generation Alpha—which Howe and Strauss call “Homeland”, as if they are the new generation—born starting around 2005-2010, are in schools now. And those schools are staffed almost wholly by the Woke, or those who fear resisting the Woke.
Who rules now? A handful of Silents (Hi, Nancy!), but mostly Boomers and some Gen Xers. Many complaints about Boomers are heard, but their aging grip on power is what is staving off the spiral into the hell of Full Wokeness.
Gen Xers hold many of the same beliefs as Boomers, particularly foundational metaphysical beliefs about Reality. This cohort is in their early 40s to about 60. They, too, hold a lot of power. Their power will increase as the Boomers fade away.
The oldest Millennials are just turning 40 or so, and so are just starting to gain real power.
The oldest Gen Zers will begin to turn 40 around the year 2030. By 2030, the very youngest Boomers will be in their 70s, which is no bar to hold power; however, most of the Boomers will be in their 80s or dead by then.
It will thus be up to the smaller cohort of Gen Xers to hold back the Woke Wall of Undead. Just like those sad folks trapped in the farmhouse in Night of the Living Dead. Spoiler alert: they didn’t make it.
All this together says that if nothing else happens—a huge enormous monstrous assumption!—then the Woke gain the prize around 2040, just after the bulk of Generation Alpha attains their majority.
Any number of things can push this up, or back. “Events” would push it back. The attitudes of those now in power push it up.
Many Boomers in power, as greedy as ever and anxious to deny their fate, have turned into ravening liars. Take “Dr” Tom Frieden, born almost in 1961. Ex-chief of the CDC. He’s out saying “pregnant people“. But maybe he’s a Gen Xer. The year 1961 is on the edge in Howe and Strauss’s reckoning.
Anyway, you can easily bring to mind many Silents and Boomers in power who lip Woke (what is taken to be) dogma. We know they don’t mean it, but they do speak it, which encourages younger cohorts. Gen Xers do this more than Boomers, and Millennials even more.
This pushes the 2040 earlier. How much? 2030?
This changes by country, of course. Canada will be earlier. Finland is almost there now. Et cetera.
But for the good old USA, my guess is that in 2040, plus or minus a decade, the Woke Undead Army will look for some signal, some moment of importance they can peg as the time their Formal Ascendance happened. (When I was young the old always asked me where I was when Kennedy was shot: I replied I wasn’t even a thought in my dad’s head. This always discouraged them. Again, shared experiences.)
Maybe this moment is the death of some aged politician like Hillary, or even Biden. Perhaps a violent death of an individual the Woke consider a major enemy. Maybe they have their own January 6th, only this time for real. It could be a moment conjured out of pure hype. I don’t know. I’m spitballing.
Whatever it is would be taken by those on both sides of the divide as the time. The few still holding with the older Reality-based beliefs would not only become a remnant, but they would admit it—something which now they are reluctant to do. They’d have to begin their own March (which, incidentally, they should begin now).
Wokeness does not yet have a wholly fixed dogma. It has many self-contradictions and internal feuds. There is still no firm indication how many of the old Reality beliefs they will allow in? Science? Doubtful. See, inter alia, “Math is racist!”
It’s difficult to guess what form Woke will finally take. I know of nobody in the Reality camp, though, who has anything hopeful to say about this. In any case, we’ll save that for later.
One important word of caution. Never, not ever, count out “events” to force changes in course.
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