Cold War Roots of the Millennial Generation

One of the things that distinguishes the so-called Millennials from the other generations is its over-attachment to digital technology. The well-known joke that kids nowadays cannot live a single day without their smartphones is almost proverbial. One can picture a stereotypical millennial as someone who takes a selfie in a daily basis and shares almost everything he or she does on social media. The social media companies, in turn, sell the information putted by naïve Millennials in their accounts to different companies, including government-run intelligence agencies. This is how social media companies make money. It’s no secret that your information is now a billion-dollar global industry.

One might ask—Where the hell did these Millennials came from? How did the world turned out like this? To answer these questions, let us take just a single step back to history. (Yeah, this is history. Boring stuff. But if you’re interested in controversial shit, you might want to read this.)

That single step brings us to the post-WW2 era of the Cold War when two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—were competing to see who would turn out to be the world’s most powerful country. That is what they had told us about the Cold War. But the truth is, it is when the Soviet Union endorsed socialism as a way of life and the United States didn’t liked it.

The Cold War is when socialist North Korea split from the US-endorsed South Korea; it is when the communist guerillas of Viet Cong won the war against US during the Vietnam War; it is when Che Guevarra started to appear on Tshirts; it is when former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in fear of a communist insurgency in the Philippines.

This socialism way of life is, to condense its very meaning, a political system when the state is ruled by the working class and/or all the lower classes (such as the peasant class, petty bourgeois class, etc.). The very goal of socialism is to abolish the division of social classes and establish an egalitarian society. This idea originated from the 19th century German philosopher Karl Marx and was successfully established in Russia.

Countries that are virtually entirely run by billionaires were terrified of this idea and were afraid that Russia (then called Soviet Union) will spread socialism to other countries. These countries started to plot to stop the spread of socialism. Thus, the US government established the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA. To counter CIA, the Soviet Union has the Soviet Secret Police or more known as the KGB.

The Cold War was not as theatrical as the Second World War. Espionage was one of the primary tactics just like what you saw in James Bond films. The goal of espionage is to gather information. The two superpowers became too obsessed with information that they spent a lot of money to fund spying missions.

Now, the Cold War is over and the Soviet Union was gone, but the CIA is still there and information is still gathered, not by espionage, but by social media. The social media sites create a culture of vanity that generates information that they sell. Thus, the Me-Me-Me or Selfie generation.

 

[written by: Jubert Cabrezos / photo by: Dima]

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