I was a participant at on a Yi-Tan podcast, and used this term. Some people asked for more:
As we come of age, we learn to differentiate ourselves from our parents and other authority figures, but we also learn how to reconnect with them. Given major public events, generational cultures often have a pivotal point of shared experience.
Although it’s been said that Generation X has had no such experience, I believe otherwise. The Baby Boomers had Nationalism vs. Jingoism, and Generation X has had Citizenship vs. Kool-Aid-ism.
For the Boomers, Viet Nam was the question: Would you go? Would you NOT go? If you didn’t go, would you protest? Leave the country? What is a hero? Where are your national duties? You may have relatives who served or even died during World War II; how can you oppose your government’s call to duty - is that disrespectful of their sacrifice?
Generation X has had a similar pivotal issue: Will you work in corporation? Will you refuse? How far into your career will you continue to work in a corporation? How long will you stay with one firm in one job? Will you start your own business? How should you support yourself; what role should your livelihood play in your life? What about your family? Where are your obligations? How should you effect change?
The degree to which (US-raised) Generation Xers bought into to the framework of unfettered capitalism is as much a litmus test as the degree to which Boomers bought into the framework of unfettered nationalism. It even has the same polarizing issues: If you’re going to do it, do it right! (Be much more aggressive in Viet Nam; make a lot of money in the corporate world.) If you object to the powerful treating you badly, then you’d better not do the same thing yourself when you have power (“Make love, not war”; “First, do no evil”).
(For those who are unfamiliar, “Drinking the Corporate Kool-Aid” is an expression often used to mean the degree to which an employee buys into the goals and objectives as stated by the executives in the firm they work.)