Thanks for reading, Craig!

The data are from both a poverty-ridden RAC and a wealthy RAC. I was floored when I found the same practices in both places. I, too, assumed that capitalism had something to do with how these humans moved through and related with others. It does, but from the perspective of power relations (https://dr-cbg.medium.com/american-authoritarianism-dc6a2c5fae85)

The findings are relational and show how humans from that generation orient to the world in large part based on what they learned in family cultures, which are always already embedded in and amplified by capitalist frames and practices. (Writing a piece now about the relation between capitalism and democracy with respect to how each impacts how humans orient to one another.)

What I've found about older white conservative boomers in my work since the 2016 election is that they can't see themselves, except in complimentary narratives. Their orientation is closed to anyone they don't like or don't want in their world, so they only know what's in their environments, both in relation to themselves and in relation to those in their worlds. They tend to stick with those who agree with them, canceling out dissent, and that groupthink is reflected in their inability to be critically self-reflexive.

(This orientation is not limited just to boomers. The orientation I documented has nothing to do with age. Rather it’s got to do with the norms in which the humans were born and raised, and those norms from that generation are spread further in their relational practices with those outside their generation.)

That boomer orientation is a devastating disability: healthy humans are those who are self-aware, self-reflexive, able to listen, and able to adapt. Without those skills, well, you see who's been running things and where it’s gotten us--those poisonous relations happen on the ground between regular humans, too.

You grew up in power scarcity conditions. Scarcity conditions orient humans in particular ways, many of them outlined in the article I linked above. If you're interested in learning more, that piece outlines the categories of practices I documented. You can also read about how family cultures are where we first learn how to embody power and how to respond to it (https://dr-cbg.medium.com/i-grew-up-in-a-violently-authoritarian-family-culture-56be3ccafea2).

Power is the basis of everything, but most Americans don't know how to talk about it, and academics are invested in keeping it complicated. It's not.

Hope that helps!

Written by

A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (relationaldemocracy@gmail.com)

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