A Lament for the Boomers

I posted Kipling’s Recessional a few days ago because I was thinking about the passing of the Boomers, which seems to me as significant a generational transition. While Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrated her reign over a global empire of 450 million people, Kipling recognized that the vigorous, self-confident generation that had built that empire was fading away. The coming generation would be caretakers, not empire builders, and the Pax Brittanica could not endure. He lived to see the truths of the Victorians collapse in the horror of the First World War.

As Churchill put it in My Early Life, “Scarcely anything material or established which I was brought up to believe was permanent and vital, has lasted. Everything I was sure or taught to be sure was impossible, has happened.”

It remains to be seen whether the Boomers leave behind a worse mess than the Edwardians.

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