The Counterculture We Need: Part 1
When Will The Pendulum Swing In Our Favor?
My history teacher used to say that history is a pendulum. That's because young people love to rebel. They distinguish themselves from their parents by living differently. Their lifestyle is the counterculture. But when they reach adulthood, their countercultural lifestyle becomes the popular culture. Of course, their kids rebel, and the pendulum swings back the other way.
She's not the first to describe history as a pendulum. It's just another framework that tries to explain why history appears to be cyclical. Here's another one:
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - G. Micheal Hopf.
In a previous article, we explained how the US is in the "weak men create hard times" phase. It doesn't matter who you vote for when only 41% of Americans regularly go to church or one in five members of Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ. Social media has made degeneracy the norm. And Gen Z is just now reaching adulthood. They'll become parents, bosses, and leaders within the next decade, so their power and influence over our culture will only grow. Most Americans believe the US is on the wrong track but don't have the guts to do anything about it. As a result, Americans will continue to suffer until we become so miserable that we turn to something else.
However, I want to recognize the small but thriving counterculture. Usually, the term counterculture is associated with movements like the hippies during the 1960s. But degeneracy has become so common that the only way for young people to rebel now is to embrace tradition. These are the people who turn to faith, prioritize their family, challenge their bodies, develop their minds, and exercise wisdom with their finances. This is the rebel lifestyle. This is how we Choose Freedom.
If the pendulum theory holds true, these values will rebound. The countercultural mentality primarily applies to Gen Z and Millenials because, let's face it, those are the generations that need it the most. But you're never too young or too old to start Choosing Freedom.
We've personally surrounded ourselves with people who embody the rebellion lifestyle. So our perception of the population at large is skewed. We need to look at the data for answers. This article will examine popular culture in younger generations and how it's damaging modern society. It will also explore emerging countercultural trends that offer a glimmer of hope.
Main Street Insider’s original focus was investing, economics, and personal finance. We continue to use those topics as jumping-off points to other areas of your life. So I’ll start by examining popular and countercultural notions of personal finance.
It's undeniable that younger generations have been shaped by technology. Unfortunately, the elites use social media, targeted ads, and e-commerce as tools to encourage excessive spending (the doomsday overconsumption machine, as we like to call it). Overconsumption plagues every generation, but younger generations that grew up on technology are more accustomed to the ease of spending. They've trapped themselves in a materialistic culture that idolizes public displays of wealth.
Gen Z also cares more about work-life balance. This is a good thing. We encourage Main Streeters to reexamine their priorities and ensure that work doesn't hinder health, relationships, or faith. And we applaud entrepreneurs pursuing time, energy, and location freedom by starting a business. You should always determine your ideal life and work backward rather than letting your job dictate your lifestyle. (As a finance and economics major, I've been wrestling with the tradeoffs of pursuing a demanding investment banking or private equity career).
Younger generations prioritize work-life balance. But remote positions or positions with lower hours naturally provide lower salaries. Many employees are okay with that. They're willing to take a pay cut for the benefit of remote work. But they expect to finance materialistic lifestyles on lower salaries.
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