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A Thought on Wilting Plants

escrito por James Collins 1 junio, 2017

A topic which has seemingly been thrust into the British public eye more-so lately, is mental health. With advocacy even coming from members of the royal family, to pay greater consideration to our mental wellbeing. It’s a wonder we’re not all living fulfilled and happy lives.

As a student then, why is it so many of us seem afflicted with what seemingly amounts to depression and resentment?

If I consider why people might ‘struggle’ in my generation, I continually arrive at the conclusion that we have not had to ‘struggle’ in real terms. In this sense, many of us are unused to a number of challenges life presents us all with regularly. Namely responsibility and independence. I am certain this is what brings many of us down.

We have been given lives, in many cases, of luxury without an appreciation for how fortunate we are.  We live in what ought to be a golden age of technology, freedom and enjoyment. But the politics of my peers, veers ever toward socialism. A blend which has been fertilised by the post-modernist resentment of western values and innate desire to topple our society in the name of said socialism.

I have even heard it uttered by one of my peers that, Jeremy Corbyn and the current Labour party line-up must get in to power, even if it meant the whole system came crashing down. I feel this is indicative of where the mentality is at with a lot of young people in universities. A resentment of our current order and a desire to bring it in to chaos.

For all the talk on mental health there is very little being spoken about on how to encourage people to shrug off their woes and strive. Competition, responsibility, accountability and rewarding acts accordingly are imperative to undoing the damage done by the nihilistic notions of post-modern thinkers such as Baudrillard, Derrida, Foucault and others.

The lives we live as students are mostly hedonistic, far from the over-pressured environment of educational institutions that is perpetually presented to the British public as a demonstration that we need to do more for young people. We do of course work, but I think much of the work seems to be concentrated on a few select courses and often by the international students more than the national ones. Of course, Britain has some very talented and hard working young individuals, but they by no means have to go to university to realise their potential.

The government loans, grants and bursaries from universities for some, do more to harm young people than support them. So many of my friends and peers have either entered an overdraft or maxed out on it, that it might be worth teaching economics rather than media production.

Terms such as ‘helicopter-parenting’ having entered the conversation, seem to further highlight the issue which perhaps relates to the problem in clearer terms. It is almost a failing of our civilisation, within the family unit to continually strive to provide as much as possible for our children and young people without providing them the means to provide for themselves. Or to appreciate the effort required to obtain provision. Analogous to the question: is it better to be a fisherman or to be dependant on others for your fish?

A demographic who are over nourished and naïve to the challenges life presents, are ripe fruit for pushers of post-modernism in universities it seems.

Last week in America at Evergreen State College, a mob of students essentially took over the campus and have been making demands akin to segregation in the name of social justice . Professors who refused the policies have been protested and have been demanded that they resign. This does not reflect the rational thought and scholarly debate that western institutions of education ought to be enshrining.

I’ve seen first hand the teachings of Karl Marx, regularly lacing lectures at my university in various forms with seemingly no real reason other than the lecturers decide we should hear it.  Whilst thankfully my university is not as mired as others in the country, it has repeatedly revealed the post-modernism which has festered in our academia; enshrining resentment for western values and accomplishments.

One first hand example of this phenomena I can think of is a lecturer on my course who quite proudly stated that if he were to receive a knighthood from the Queen, would proceed to grab the sword and attempt to decapitate her. I am by no means a royalist, but I find it very telling of the mental state and morality of a supposed academic who would earlier damn soldiers as monsters for killing, proceed to fantasise executing a monarch in her nineties upon receiving honours from her.

It took centuries of arduous strife, famine, war and suppression to be suffered before we entered the modern age. It is not something to be dismissed lightly. It also took genius, courage, endeavour, competition and hard work to make our societies as we see them today.

Like a plant which is watered too much will begin to wilt; an individual which has been cared for too much cannot stand on his or her own. More than this it will pale in comparison to the beautiful flowers which have grown under better conditions.

It seems absurd that people want to tear down those above them rather to aspire to be them or better than them. There is ample opportunity to really achieve things, especially with the gifts afforded to us; and our mentality is quite often ungrateful for what we have received.

Perhaps there is something to that though.  The university system does seem to be a business model hinged on funding the institutions with droves of national students, in order to attract the international ones.

Free tuition has been a line touted by this current Labour party and students are loving it. Why bother working to help cover the costs when someone with perceivably all the money can pay for your life? Even further diminished responsibility. Perhaps it would resonate less if more people genuinely wanted to be here, rather than be continually encouraged by teachers, tutors and proud parents.

Much less than the appreciation of our civilisation there’s little understanding of what made it in the first place. The enlightenment for instance, had a mere mention in only one of my lectures and only serving to deride it. Until people can appreciate endeavour and achievement we will have far too many resting in depression and resentment for those who succeed, manifest in whichever form of Marxism currently holds sway. It is doing damage and needs to be halted.