Back in 2007 American columnist Diana West wrote an important volume entitled The Death of the Grown-Up. It was all about the fact that in America and much of the West adults have never really escaped adolescence. They prefer to live lives of irresponsibility, pleasure, and complete selfishness.
Far too many adults simply don’t want to grow up. They enjoy being their own selfish greedy pig, free of any commitments or responsibilities or cares. Hedonism and self-centredness reign in the West, and that is bad news indeed for the future of any society.
Says West, “due to the permanent hold our culture has placed on the maturation process,” adults are now little more than perpetual teenagers. The truth is, “for all but this most recent episode of human history, there were children and there were adults. Children in their teen years aspired to adulthood; significantly they didn’t aspire to adolescence. Certainly adults didn’t aspire to remain teenagers.”
But they do now – big time. She puts this down to many factors: secularism, cultural relativism, multiculturalism, non-judgmentalism, political correctness, and so on. All these products of modern culture lead to this curse of infantilisation. And with so many adults abdicating their responsibilities and seeking personal pleasure ahead of everything else, there are plenty of casualties.
Our children especially suffer. Just consider the sexual revolution and no-fault divorce. Both arose in the 60s and 70s, and have caused inestimable harm and damage. In the old days when children were part of a marriage, feuding couples did all they could to work things out and put the well-being of children first.