“When the baby-boomer generation will give way to millennials, the support of populism should also decline,” says Steven Pinker, American linguist and psychologist in his latest book “Enlightenment now” (see L’Echo.be, 26/10/2018). Not so sure … This statement certainly echoes the belief that Franck Biancheri had defended all his life on this baby-boom generation born after the war (so after the generation of the founding fathers) and before the Treaty of Rome (so before the Erasmus generation) and whose “intellectual inertia and political weight will still weigh on European collective choices for a long time”, but for him it is not simply a generational calculation, a generation is extinguished and the other takes his place. It is also necessary that this rising generation is also able to make and assume its political choices, because as he emphasizes “the sense of history is, above all, a somewhat black sense of humor. Also, when it presents an opportunity for change, it’s also for better or for worse. The end of the babyboomers dominant influence will be like the popping of a champagne cork: the changes will suddenly flow like water. It’s only by anticipating thoughts and actions that it will be possible to prevent the worst and encourage the best. Each generation is normally faced with a similar choice.”
Edito MAP3, July 2011: The decade from 2020 to 2030: Welcome to the World Afterwards… the babyboomers!
What will the world after the babyboomers look like? Or, more exactly, Europe after the babyboomers? This is the main anticipation work of this 3rd edition of MAP. And the subject’s worth it because, on the one hand, we’re seeing throughout Europe the growing expression of the younger generation’s frustration (the “Indignant” is the particularly obvious expression for them) against the frenzied selfishness of a generation that refuses to consider that it hasn’t “deserved” all the collective benefits and privileges from which it benefits, of which many are political “income” without ever having been there other than to play at being post-pubescent rebels during May 1968 .
It seems that this generation’s intellectual inertia and political weight will still weigh on European collective choices for a long time, as has been the case for at least a decade, favouring the past, the present and the future, preferring to sacrifice education rather than have a collective re-examination of the pension system, considered to be dues for lifestyles that can’t be maintained save at the expense of future generations’ income, always speaking as “leftists” before finally voting in favor of the safety speech , … And this feeling of crushing weight, of a “generational cork” blocking any move towards a different future, thought of by the younger generations and not dictated by old men in the making, contributes to demoralize Europe’s youth  which, a much smaller generational group , impoverished, often less well educated, … asks how to make its voice, its aspirations, and its choices heard.
And then, political anticipation and some of the work in this MAP 3 can bring good news: there really is a world after the babyboomers, and the 2020-2030 decade will be the one that sees it hatched. Demographically, financially , … and therefore politically, it is in fact from the end of this decade that the inter-generational balance of power will change. Let’s not forget that the representatives of the “baby boom tail”, those who were 20 years old beginning in the second half of the 70s, are very close to the next generation .
So, hope is on the street corner… and not at the end of a long tunnel !
And this exit from the intellectual and sociological crust of the 60s and 70s, the years of the babyboomers education, is now readying itself. First by recognizing that it is closer than one might have thought, and then starting to think about and prepare for the sequel. History always yields the transition to generations who share common aspirations relatively easily. The babyboomers generation is, moreover, a good example.
The 20 year old student in 2011 should know that in Europe, by the time he’s finished his studies, society will be in full political and demographic transition. This means, in very clear practical terms, that he must now turn his present frustration, and in the face of a society that only seems interested in the elderly, into creative thought about what kind of society he wants for the next decade.
But be careful, the sense of history is, above all, a somewhat black sense of humor. Also, when it presents an opportunity for change, it’s also for better or for worse. The end of the babyboomers dominant influence will be like the popping of a champagne cork: the changes will suddenly flow like water. It’s only by anticipating thoughts and actions that it will be possible to prevent the worst and encourage the best. Each generation is normally faced with a similar choice. But in Europe, in the West, for almost a generation this opportunity has been confiscated by the simple mechanical effect of the unprecedented demographic weight of the generations born after 1945.
So, this MAP3’s anticipation work is a first signal to today’s youth: start to think seriously about the world after the babyboomers … because you’re going to have to build it faster than you could ever imagine today !
Franck Biancheri, Edito MAP3, July 2011: The decade from 2020 to 2030: Welcome to the World Afterwards… the babyboomers! (download pdf – copyright @LEAP2020)
Download Political Anticipation Magazine (archive EN) : MAP3-July2011-EN