What makes the current generation

Sociology: Why the "youth of today" are always the worst

They love luxury, annoy teachers and slouch around - more than 400 years before Christ, the Greek thinker Socrates allegedly had a lot to complain about in the young people of his time. "The younger ones put themselves on a par with the older ones and stand up against them, in word and deed," his student Plato then grumbled. And when Plato's pupil Aristotle was grown up, it looked even more gloomy: he despaired of the future of civilization, when he saw the youth, the exasperated philosopher was quoted as saying.

Criticism of youth is an ancient phenomenon. For thousands of years adults have criticized the younger generation, feared the decline of morals and, of course, were themselves much more decent than the young.

The youth have come down and the end of the world is near, is said to be on a 4,000-year-old stone tablet - in cuneiform, the first human script. But what is behind the phenomenon that young people are only too happy to be viewed critically?

Today it is often about the so-called millennials: The 1980s and 1990s are lazy, self-pitying, obsessed with selfies and superfoods - pampered narcissists who believe there are 165 types of gender identity, says a British journalist, for example. And the 29-year-old author Jia Tolentino listed in a US magazine which institutions her contemporaries are said to have ruined according to the media: hotels, department stores, the auto industry, marriage, homes, doorbells, fabric softeners and casinos.

Greeks, Romans, the Middle Ages, the modern age - there are always the same complaints and incantations. “Where did the male vigor and athletic appearance of our ancestors go?” Complained in 1772 an English magazine about the fashion of young men. "These effeminate, self-loving, emaciated fools can never be descended directly from our heroes."