Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Future of a Millennial Momentum


Just a hastily posted item as I and my wife are soon going out to see Billy Bragg at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, but I wanted to post something about the latest book from Morley Winograd and Michael Hais (authors of the earlier Millennial Makeover) predictors of a Millennial Momentum - the title of their latest offering.

Their thesis has a familiar ring to their last book in that those pre-ordained to be born between 1982-2003 were to be ascribed certain characteristics: engaged, politicised, civicly-minded, but resistant of formal affiliation with mainstream political parties, NGOs and other civil society groupings including trade unions.

Their argument (and associated data) certainly stacks up and reflects dominant trends in various campaigns, elections and protests in the era following 2000. The promo website carries some interesting videos and the usual testimonials:

I am drawn to a central hypothesis in the book, which reflects a certain Marxist tradition when analysing trends in the growth and decline of civilisations, which suggests that distinct eras in US history have born with them equally distinct patterns of civil and political unrest.

As such Winograd and Hais argue that the Millennials represent the modern manifestation of the US generation which backed the New Deal on the basis of seeing and understanding how best to organise and mobilise for a future rooted in a progressive vision of the American future.

The book's primary evidence rests of the densely networked, grassroots-oriented movement of predominantly younger, first-time voters who mobilised to ensure Obama's first election victory.

The book is certainly thought provoking but its constraints are of course that, firstly its sole focus is the US, so the rest of the world is left to ponder how significant the Millennial Momentum is elsewhere and also whether that pre-cursor Obama-based movement is built to last.

Avoiding any negative sentiment however, this book is certainly well worth reading and from the perspective of the labour movement in the UK, should be examined for what it portends here.

In Solidarity


No comments: