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Stop Mugging GrandmaThe 'Generation Wars' and Why Boomer Blaming Won't Solve Anything$
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Jennie Bristow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300236835

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300236835.001.0001

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‘Democratic deficits’ and the tyranny of ‘future generations’

‘Democratic deficits’ and the tyranny of ‘future generations’

Chapter:
(p.165) Chapter 8 ‘Democratic deficits’ and the tyranny of ‘future generations’
Source:
Stop Mugging Grandma
Author(s):

Jennie Bristow

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300236835.003.0008

This chapter argues that the idea that older people, who have ‘already lived their lives’, should have no say in the future of our society, expresses the toxic impact of generationalism on political debate. In their determination to present political conflicts as a clash of interests between old and young, generation warriors promote a version of citizenship that is as anti-democratic as it is anti-social. A tangled web is woven from dubious statistics, barely veiled prejudices, and contradictory arguments, to promote a particular kind of political and policy agenda. Here, the ‘youth vote’ has become a symbolic vehicle for pushing through a certain set of values, by a section of the elite that finds itself on the defensive and lacking in popular support. The flipside of this artificial promotion of the youth vote is the denigration of the ‘senior’ vote — and the people who cast it.

Keywords:   future generations, democracy, generationalism, political debates, political conflicts, citizenship, youth vote, senior vote

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