Considering Suicide

You’re not waiting on a dystopia, you are living in one. Our postmodern landscape, with its hegemonic liberalism and endless advertising, dulls the senses to this fact. Young children and teens are spending up to nine hours a day in front of screens. By abrogating their responsibilities to what are essentially plug-ins to the system, many of today’s parents ensure their children’s baptism into the bankrupt religion of our time.

More telling, though, is a recently published report on the mortality rate of middle aged White Americans. From the authors:

Between 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for U.S. whites aged 45 to 54 fell by 2 percent per year on average, which matched the average rate of decline in the six countries shown, and the average over all other industrialized countries. After 1998, other rich countries’ mortality rates continued to decline by 2 percent a year. In contrast, U.S. white non-Hispanic mortality rose by half a percent a year. No other rich country saw a similar turnaround.

This is the Baby Boom generation and beyond. For most of our younger readers, these are our parents. What used to be Cheeveresque tales of depression and disgust amidst plenty has moved on to full on despair about where they—and by necessity we—are heading. The reason for the spike in mortality is explained by greater drug and alcohol use, which is correlated with high rates of depression.

Having given up a prosperous and more or less homogenous society, our elders have sunk into the somas of a melancholic sleep rather than confront who they are. Agnus Deaton, one of the study’s co-authors argues, “Half a million people are dead who should not be dead. . . . [Y]ou’re getting up there with HIV-AIDS”. But this isn’t some malevolent conspiracy against us, it’s what we are doing to ourselves, which makes it all the more ominous.

You can rail against dark conspiracies, and, indeed, our enemies are many and enmeshed in the culture, cubical, media swamp that is out there, but our own demons are far darker. Meanwhile non-White mortality rates are falling; that’s because, as it stands now, the future belongs to them. Our dystopia is their utopia.

There is another way though. We do not have to accept the systematic disinheritance of our people as a given. As Richard has spoken of before, we have to become who we are in order to face the monsters we are in danger of becoming. The world we inhabit is not inevitable; it is the end result of thoughts and deeds, and it is through thoughts and deeds that we can rise above it.

Just seeing the energy pulsate through the room at NPI’s “Become Who We Are” conference heartens this author that we can win, and that despair need not win out. Because while the last generation has given itself up to vices, silence, and silent tragedy, we can seize the moment and the time. A when we do, tomorrow will belong to us!