CSS Public Lecture: Kids These Days
“Major trends like the increase in average worker output, rationalization, downward pressure on the cost of labor, mass incarceration, and elevated competition have shaped a generation of jittery kids teetering on the edge between outstanding achievement and spectacular collapse. What we’ve seen over the past few decades is not quite a sinister sci-fi plot to shape a cohort of supereffective workers who are too competitive, isolated, and scared to organize for better, but it has turned out a lot like that. … Either we continue the trends we’ve been given and enact a bad future, or we refuse it and cut the knot of trend lines that defines our collectivity. We become fascists or revolutionaries, one or the other.” (199; 227-228)
Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials is a 2017 work by the American writer and self-proclaimed millennial Malcolm Harris. It surveys the transmutation of class politics into generational politics in an American context and with specific reference to the millennial generation, a much-maligned cohort of individuals born during the 1980s and 90s. Sionainn Byrnes (also a millennial) will present an account of Harris’ work and discuss the figuration of generational politics under capitalism and in relation to issues of debt, education, housing, and work in contemporary New Zealand. Sionainn’s presentation will be followed by an open discussion about demographic generations and the obfuscation of capital and class politics.
As usual CSS Events are open for any interested to attend, all ages friendly, and free. We continue to be extremely grateful to The Space Academy for hosting us this year and always being very accommodating.