INVITED PAPER FOR CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY, MAGNITOGORSK, RUSSIA.
Doubtless several aspects of the social and moral crises among young people will be discussed at this conference, so I will focus on only one aspect of it.
It is difficult to say whether Communism or Consumerism has had the more negative impact upon the aspirations of the natural youthful idealism. Consumerism is, however, the system with the greatest world-wide impact, and its effect on young people needs to be explored.
In general, young people are gifted with a natural tendency toward idealism, but at the same time, they are quite vulnerable to contrary influences. Part of this vulnerability stems from the high level of hormonal activity in their growing bodily systems, and also from the fact that mylenisation in the pre-frontal and frontal lobes of the brain is not completed until the early twenties. These facts, however, only create the possibility of social and moral disorientation. The ethos created by Consumerism (Consumer Capitalism) both takes advantage of, and feeds, all human susceptibilities and vulnerabilities. It is this aspect of the social and moral problems of modern youth that we will briefly examine.