There’s something you should know about us: We only know how to communicate by talking over one another and refusing to let one another finish. The benefit of this process is the sheer volume of idea-laden carbon dioxide that fills up the room. The drawback is the obvious disorganization that plagues our endeavors. But because we’ve been so disorganized for so long , we know how to make chaos work for us. We’ve learned how to focus a room full of competing ideas into a functioning vision. In other words, we practice democracy on a personal level.
A few moments ago, we got embroiled in a little CO2 hotbox over how best to proceed in (r)evolutionizing our vision. NickAD didn’t even want to read our old “Rethink” statement aloud because he was embarrassed about what it said. (It is terrible, and has since been archived. — ed.) After a good, long look at our purpose, and significant contribution from our new friend and contributor, Angry Joe I, we realized why we were so unhappy with our old statement and direction, and how best to fix it. Joe asked us a simple question: Who’s our audience? Here’s our answer.
There is a generational influence at work in America today. To speak of it, define it and work within it might be at first be divisive and disruptive, but we think it does influence how this country will advance—we hope. We were born in the 70s, and feel we are the last of the traditionally defined generations. Concurrent with the rapid advancement of technology and society, we are increasingly segmented as people. That segmentation does extend to generations. There are people born a mere 4-10 years after with whom we do not share experiences/feelings/thoughts/ideas about American life. The idea of a 20-year generational division no longer applies. Yet, as contradictory as this will read, we make this point not to divide, but more so to define who we are and our emerging place as leaders on the precipice of…something.
It is now Generation X’s turn to lead the country. The last of our preceding generation, The Baby Boomers, will soon be leaving behind a very complex legacy to an equally complex generation. It is now on us, the 40-year-olds and 30-year-olds, to take the reins of this beautiful, influential and perpetually flawed 235-year-old experiment in the human experience that is America.
We came of adulthood in the chilling, pervasive shadow of Sept. 11. The youngest of us Gen-Xers were just starting our careers. Our older brethren were making the transition from reckless 20-somethings to focused 30-somethings. Its effects on us in particular cannot be overstated. Yet, we were too young and too shocked to realize the opportunity created in that event’s aftermath: the opportunity to turn the country’s attention to what matters, what will advance us as a people, and what would actually represent this exceptional nation created by common people. Common People.
The thinkers and agitators behind this speck of idealism on the vast Internet look to our younger citizens, those in the throes of their tumultuous, confusing and explosive 20s. We say to these people: you, more immediately than anyone ahead of you, are seeing the decay of the American Dream, the empty promise of success in America and the hopeless deafness of our government subservient to a few. You are experiencing first-hand what us Gen-Xers always railed against, but never truly felt as adults: the cold shoulder of a corporatist society, driven by the interests of a few to the detriment of the many.
Though we are about to assume leadership and influence policy in this once-great nation, we have a short window in which to effect the societal changes necessary. We will need your ideas and energy, as well. We aim to be the first members of a generation who not only realize our own limitations in revolutionizing society but to do our very damnedest to make that very revolution an attainable goal for those after us.
Looking back 10 years on the uniquely horrific, influential and potentially galvanizing attacks of Sept. 11, we realized we missed an opportunity to reaffirm our American values. In that rapid decade, we have become a nation truly divided, betrayed by institutions that no longer serve the whole nation yet place the whole burden on the working public.
We are coming of age as leaders within a broken system, a system that we may not completely change. We are on the brink of inheritance. We do not seek to perpetuate it or breathe life into it for our short-term benefit. We will be a generation of facilitators. We will aim to hand to you a rough blueprint of revolution and upheaval. Within the system that exists, we will strive to create consensus among us to strengthen this nation and to hand to you, this nation’s revolutionary successors, a foundation on which to rebuild this nation. We may not be able to repair and recreate its infrastructure, but we will—we must—repair and rebuild its foundation. From this base, we hope for you to exact deeper, lasting change. Redefine the idea of fairness of all Americans. Restore the idea of the American dream for all. We promise to start the construction. You are the ones who complete the project and fulfill the promise of America.