Generation Z is a relatively new term developed by various scholars to define the demographic cohort succeeding Generation Y (i.e. Millennials). This generation has been defined by some sociologists as encompassing the generation of those born between 1997 and 2014; however, there is no universally accepted date range for “GenZenniels.” Despite the complex terminological landscape extent in the world of social studies, a multitude of organizations including marketing agencies such as Ernst & Young, Turner Broadcasting System, The Shand Group, together with bank firms and statistical studies, seem to indicate those born after 1997 can be rightly classified as “Generation Z.”
General observations indicate that those born into this generation largely do not have any distinctive memories about the 9/11 terrorist attack, despite the event having such a momentous effect on the world they are born into. Generally, they are not the children of Millennials (although some certainly are), but are in fact the offspring of those born in the 1970s. That’s right, Generation Z is predominately the offspring of Generation X.
I am a GenZenniel.
I was born on June 24, 1998 to a single mother who quickly found love and married, providing a stable family unit for me to be raised in. I have absolutely no memory of 9/11, and the Great Recession has only affected me indirectly insofar that it provided a troubled time for my parents as I was entering puberty. So, please allow me with my limited experience as a GenZenniel and sympathies towards the growing alt-right movement provide insight on my generation of men and women .
We are the most religious generation since your grandparents. Only 26% of Baby Boomers, or those born closely after the WWII era (1945-1965ish), identified as religious when polled. That number saw a slight decrease to 21% when the same question was offered to Generation X, and proceeded to drop to a mere 18% for Millennials. According to a U.S. study in 2016, Dr. Joan Hope discovered that 47% of GenZennials identified as religious churchgoers, and that an additional 31% claimed to be spiritual but not religious. That means that approximately 78% of the young adults being raised in the U.S. are vehemently against the anti-traditionalist sentiment expressed by their generational predecessors.
The religious affiliation of GenZenniels is not arbitrary. Many of this new generation of churchgoers elect Christianity due to its traditionalist aesthetic. We are a generation that values traditional marriage values. We share a common disaffectedness with the rhetoric pushed in support for transgenderism. We are distasteful towards drug and alcohol abuse. These common denominators among today’s teenagers have directed many of us to the Church, either as reverts, converts, or cradle-born loyalists.
I was raised in a heavily evangelical subculture, wherein leftist identity politics perpetrated many sermons and books. As I graduated at 16 and opted to attend Liberty University, I found that innovative philosophies such as postmodernism, pragmatism, and atomistic individualism were paraded by many in Protestant academia. The idea that truth or objectivity is ultimately defined as “that which works” did not resonate with my values, which above all treasured history, traditionalism, and collectivism. This led me to begin to process of converting to the Eastern Orthodox Church, an ancient communion of jurisdictions that has gone virtually unchanged since the Dark Ages.
The personal experience and claims regarding the comradery I have among my generation is supported by a study produced in 2016 that surveyed two-thousand 14 and 15-year-olds, which leads into the next defining characteristic of my generation.
We are sick of identity politics, feminist rhetoric, and leftist social norms. We have heard of the Republican-Democrat paradigm and its many shortcomings our entire lives, which has led many of us to adopt nonconformist ideologies. As most of us are returning to the traditional-conservative social values expressed by our great-grandparents in the face of Communist propaganda, our ideology is considered by many to be “reactionary.”
Millennials are often considered to be “tech-savvy,” having experienced the rapid development of technology in recent decades. I, however, cannot remember a time without smartphones or the internet. Computers have been commonplace for as far back as I can remember, and memories of sitting at the desk of my family’s computer and surfing the internet at 9-years-old are some of the fondest of my life. GenZenniels are not just tech-savvy, we are tech-integrated. Thus, much of our ideologies and social convictions are heavily influenced by the internet. The birth of memes as a comedic method of depicting complex socio-political positions with a mere image and a few words has impacted my generation more than most. And, unsurprisingly, the gods of memes on the world-wide-web are right-wing nationalists, national socialists, anti-immigration advocates, and those who chastise the degenerate culture brought on by the promulgation of leftist socio-political structures.
Perhaps most interestingly, we are likely to be the last majority-white generation in the United States, a fact that inevitably stimulates controversial opinions within Generation Z itself.
The majority of my generation believes that the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction, and the approval rating among GenZenniels for our current economic direction is a pathetic 24%. This is likely due to our inadvertent exposure to the product of the Great Recession and the drastic increase in the cost of higher education. We are sick of the current democratic political system. This past election cycle, 32% of GenZenniels aged 14-18 expressed approval for Donald J. Trump while only 22% supported Hillary Clinton. However, a whopping 31% refused to support either candidate. We are more conservative than even the Republican Party in its current state, disaffected with the two-faced coin that is the U.S.’s contemporary electoral system. We demand a reversion to traditional morals and value systems that have been swept under the rug by the generations before us.
I predict that the vast majority of my fellow GenZenniels will be composed of neo-monarchists, white nationalists, anti-immigration apologists, and alt-right authoritarians. I say this because the alt-right can be defined only by one characteristic element that unites the adherents of differing political philosophies: a disaffectedness with the cultural decay of Western civilization that places one outside of the contemporary confines of established conservative parties such as the GOP. As I have stated in a previous article,
The alt-right is not some shady white supremacist movement leering at the Constitution with glowing red eyes; rather, it is a coalition of conservative individual who are disaffected with the contemporary Republican-Democratic paradigm and choose to align themselves with like-minded individuals.
How will we save the world? Western civilization is rapidly losing its prominence, beauty, and culture at an alarming rate due to the massive, historic influx of refugees into traditionally Western countries. My generation is convinced that the solution to this concerning issue is not what liberals have constantly labeled as “progress.” The solution is to return to that which we have lost: religion, culture, tradition, and nationalism. The progressive left has brought nothing but disease, morally reprehensible sexual ethics, and a genocidal rhetoric against the white race.
We believe that the world can be saved through the abolition of multiculturalism, which destroys culture and diversity by mixing them together into an unrecognizable cesspool of conflicting frameworks. To go forward, we must go back. And this requires the abandonment of the leftist socio-political narrative that has been treated as infallible during the GenZenniel lifespan.
The socio-political pendulum is swinging. After the overwhelming influence that the Obama Administration has had on leftist movements, we are now seeing a type of reversion as GenZenniels become old enough to influence the world around them. According to Google Trends, interest in the alt-right movement skyrocketed in late 2016, peaking in November. Despite constant belittlement by liberal voices such as The Anti-Defamation League, the alt-right has only gone on to enjoy increasing favor by younger people groups, specifically those born after 2000. This new generation of young men and women are revealing themselves to be a more conservative generation since the Baby Boomers, essentially meaning that your four-year-old niece is more likely to be a white nationalist than your great-grandfather.
I am a GenZenniel, and this is my experience and observation of my fellow teenagers who will soon come to age. Embrace yourself, America, because leftist progressivism is ending and the reversion to what we’ve left behind is imminent.