Previous Post: Three Types of Status Competition
The results of status striving are varied. On one hand, status striving is an egocentric activity, but the results of some striving – career striving – is necessary for the economic and technological development for society, so balance is needed.
Career strivers also can produce functional families, since status isn’t restricted to simply showing off your job, house and car. Having a good family is also an indicator of high status, and getting a “good family” requires good schooling, housing, diet, activities, etc., which all (should) increase the productivity of the next generation.
Despite the societal gains made by career strivers, the lifestyle and persona strivers rarely ever create productive outcomes with their behavior, and today we have an over-abundance of lifestyle and persona strivers. The reason: our society is geared toward creating lifestyle and persona strivers.
There are no economic opportunities these days for Millennial career strivers. So, if you’re going to get ahead in live or go to college somewhere, it’s going to be around lifestyle and persona. Plenty of kids from the career strivers end up going to their university of choice and come out rabid SJW’s. That’s to be expected. They are the children of strivers, after all.
The schools themselves facilitate lifestyle striving rather than career striving, because when a college gets more money to expand they don’t put those funds toward better computer labs or the science department. They instead spend that money on new gyms, expansive menus in the cafeteria, or new and comfortable dorms that emphasize leisure activities which go with lifestyle striving. Next, the increase in social science studies and Gen Ed requirements to take those classes further reinforce persona striving rather than career striving, which in college would have more to do with what job you’ll get and what grades you currently have.
So of course it’s no surprise that they follow the conditioning when career striving is so difficult and lifestyle/persona striving is so easy, attractive, and reinforced by the system.
Ultimately, you can take a person’s desires and redirect them to pro-social ends, like their job, family, and business; or you can redirect them to anti-social ends like protesting, activism, and even revolution. So the problem is inherently economic, partly social, with a sprinkling of the psychological.
How do we fix this? Not entirely sure, but let’s assume for simplicity’s sake that we won’t be able to get rid of status striving as a whole. Let’s just assume it’s inherent to the human animal and needs to be worked with, not worked against.
Also note the hierarchy of status striving. Career > Lifestyle > Persona. A Lexus beats a yoga class because it flaunts status more effectively, but a yoga class beats bitching about cultural appropriation because it is at least an activity. If you incentivize career striving, or create an environment in which career striving is preferred, then that’s what you’ll get.
The first order of business is actually not to rework the universities, as one might expect; it is actually to set the economy right. You can drop all the PC dogma and hate studies, you can even end the university system, but if there are no careers then Millennials will turn to bitching on tumblr anyways. The only difference is that tumblr is free to go as batshit crazy as it can without any authority to rein it in. At least in the university you can have a controlled environment, toxic yes, but still controlled. Stomping out PC education therefore isn’t the complete solution. The main order of business is to set the economy right. If you do that, then you’ll end leftist education by making it superfluous, rather than ending it by fiat.
Ending overseas manufacturing and trade would be, in my humble opinion, the most effective option. Exporting labor and importing goods doesn’t necessarily translate to benefits for consumers in the home nation (because prices are just one aspect), but rather conveys benefits in higher profit margins for managers and investors, that is to say: already entrenched career strivers. The next generation has nothing to look forward to in such a setup because there are few in-routes to newcomers. Domestic production, on the other hand, incentives startups and technology as a means of cutting costs, which demands the strengths of tech-savvy Gen X’ers and Millennials, and gives them a personal incentive to career strive.
Next, getting the Boomers out of their spot in upper-management would be the most expedient option. Doing so would allow Gen X’ers to take formerly Boomer positions and allow Millennials to move up to where Gen X’ers were. The Gen X’ers who are stuck lifestyle striving and the Millennials currently persona striving would now have a career to focus on. Doing this essentially pacifies the SJW’s in almost every capacity because you’ve changed the environment of the status competition.
Another alternative, if the Boomers hold out against retirement, is to establish businesses around them and use the potential coming collapse to the Gen X and Millennial advantage.
The current economic, social and political climate that the Boomers have created is simply not stable. It could collapse, it might not, who knows. Nevertheless, their influence has created a chaotic situation with a future impossible to predict. It is the opinion of every great investor that the down times are great sources of opportunity, because it is in those down times that the bad investments get cleared out and the good ones start at the bottom. It is here that the second wind could take place.
Gen X’ers and Millennials could create their own small businesses to challenge the established Boomer megacorps and franchises, which would ideally become destabilized from their own trashed economy. The Boomer corporations don’t really know how to scale down effectively or how to utilize their workforce or implement new business techniques. For example, Boomer businesses are stuck in the mindset of commuting to work every day so that employers can micromanage their employees, while newer companies are switching to telecommuting and dispersed offices. Granted, working from home might not always work, but the younger generations are at least trying different ideas.
For every Gen X’er who creates a startup, they’d need to employ handfuls of Millennials who could potentially become career strivers if the prospect of success was realistic enough. New Gen X’er and Millennial branding could foster brand loyalty on a generational basis and create the perception that the old Boomer businesses are “Grey Hair Only”. Branding off lifestyle and persona striving, then redirecting that sentiment into career striving could initially take market share from the established Boomer businesses while at the same time giving the Millennials a glimpse of their own career potential.
In that way, you can turn the economic incentives toward career striving and against lifestyle/persona striving, which then shifts the focus away from leftist status signaling and toward material efforts. Society benefits from those efforts, leftism dies on the vine, and the pendulum shifts once again to a conservative, K-selected society. At least one would hope so.