What happened to male youth movements?

I’ve been wondering, at what point did youth movements dissipate in America (and the West more generally?). It seems to be a perfect opportunity for organization and deployment of 18-25 year old men, who are nearly unphased by covid.

As workers in essential meat plants, factories, and other labor intensive supply chains grow sick and die, it seems that having an organized workforce of young men prepared to temporarily take over would be an ideal situation.  (Women of course have a role to play, but they are already playing an outsized role in medicine).

More generally, I’m reminded of your previous blog post ‘What the hell is going on?’. This type of event seems to be exactly what wayward young men live for — the ability to contribute to something greater than themselves. Combined with the fact that healthy young men are at remarkably low risk, isn’t the opportunity to support their country at little risk to themselves, and in return gain high status, the ideal situation?

What do you think the failure mode is here? Why does the idea of mobilizing a few thousand men or women in each locality to contribute to the greater good feel so weird? It’s so weird no one even suggests it. Could I suggest that this  even feels embarrassing? Why?

That is from an email from Simon Riddell.


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