I’ll begin with a controversial observation.
If you look at adults in America, many of them are being kept children by themselves (ultimately).
Kant talks about self incurred immaturity, so I am proposing a distinc other aspect of psychology and environment that is actively perpetrated by others to stifle reason, and ultimately individuals thinking for themselves.
We allow ourselves to be controlled by our nostalgia and others, so the immaturity is self incurred. But something might be said about the entities that exploit our insecurities and/or actively sustaine them. Those others that (not necessarily by cruel volition) pray on us, alter our environment, and have a role which is to exploit a general idea that idolizes the happiness which finds itself integrated into “appropriate” ignorance. I’m talking about the “bliss” of children and childhood, so to speak.
**I am using the term “others” in the abstract, not limited to living individuals.**
That is, we in America tend to believe (and for good reasons) that children are unresponsible for certain actions because they lack the resolution of reason.
However, when we look at adults we should expect to see and try adults. Reasonable creatures.
But longer and longer, the sustained tropes of our adolescence work against and tend to fail the developing in really educating themselves. I mean a Rousseauian type of education. That which incorporates the development of reason, perceiving value, and at the same time or after, perceiving responsibility for the self in relation to the world according to that value that comes from reason. Educations to be an enlightened human, not a citizen.
I mean to put forward a term in the structure. The presence of messages, which include selling us back our childhood, public denigration of “adult” responsibility, and the gamut of other intersecting justifications for immaturity, is what I call sustained adolescence. Sustained adolescence culminates in self incurred immaturity in that the former is pre-adult-involved, and finds an end state in the latter.
There is probably something very interesting to say about how sustained adolescent functions temporally according to biological and social development of people in different societies. I’m concerned, however, with America.
Further, and I might be on to no ideas at all here, if sustained adolescence could be a first principle for investigation, perhaps one might unveil methods of teaching, or altering messages, that otherwise promote the child adult end result. In a better words, perhaps methods could be developed to counter the resulting plague of irrational beliefs that children adults are borne by.
I have quite a bit of hypothesis and impressions (as you can see already) as to what sustained adolescence does, but I’ve not studied it systematically as I think could be done.
Yet, I believe there are tools that might mitigate and even erode features of sustained adolescents in our society.
I suspect it will come down to looking at the root causes of anxiety as it relates to the childhood past (nostalgia).
Tariq Ali is right to say that “everyday life in America is bad.” I don’t think that’s very controversial to other reasonable Americans.
Of course, I might just be blowing wind in Kant’s face, having added nothing to anything.
I’m not a genius, ya know.