In continuation of yesterday's post, I am also reminded of a conversation I had once with Will about the expansion of youth culture in America to include increasingly more space from which adults are excluded and in which children are autonomous. The internet is a vast stage for the enactment of children's complicated social lives, and there is a growing amount of fashion, stuff, and media marketed solely at them. At the same time, greater mobility in general means that fewer people live near their extended families, and the anonymity of urban and suburban life means that fewer people take responsibility for children who are not their own. As far as I can recall, the only regular contact I had with adults until probably college was with my parents and my teachers. No one else over the age of 18 even existed on my radar.
Will argued that his own best memories of childhood were moments in which adults were absent, so he didn't think an expansion of an exclusive children's world was too bad. I, on the other hand, think that children are basically underestimated but vicious tyrants, and the less adults intervene in their lives, the more they will tyrannize each other. Not that I think children should be constantly supervised. They can spend a lot of time unsupervised in a world shared with adults. But I do think adults are disinclined to take responsibility for introducing children to this world, and so they are content to allow the market to carve out a realm for them and let them raise each other in it. This is justified as being child-centered, or non-interventionist, and letting children follow their inner muses. If I recall junior high correctly though, it has mostly negative results.
But you know, I read too much into Arendt, and at some level, I think all change is bad and things are always declining. Perhaps you can show me why I'm wrong?