In defense of youth – OpEd – Eurasia Review
Blaming young people as “lazy, deviants, drug addicts, materialists, selfish, directionless, apolitical and other stereotypes continues to dominate public narratives. The goals of these borderless stories are designed to weaken the ability of young people to question and transform the society in which they live. The culture of blame and negative representations are control mechanisms of the old social, political, cultural and economic order established to tame the power of young people. It is a mechanism to create despair and domesticate young people to normalize the crisis facing young people. Each generation of young people is faced with its own problems of its time, but some problems are inherited from their predecessors. However, the challenges facing young people today are neither created by young people nor encouraged by them. Problems of inequalities based on gender, class, race, sexuality, religious and regional origins are not created by young people. The denial of the accessibility and availability of opportunities for decent living conditions is not created by young people.
From the “bigger generation” to the “silent generation”, the elderly have categorized young people as baby boomers and baby boomers have categorized young people as Generation X. The meaningless categorization continues. Young people today are categorized as “Generation Z-ers, Millennials, iGeneration or post-millennials” for no rhyme or reason. These whimsical terms are designed to describe young people as “useless, juvenile idiots” to mask the common hardships created and established by previous generations. Young people don’t need categorization. Young people are defined by their idealism and commitment to the great causes of life and their contributions to the creation of the world, states, societies, families and communities around the world. All the challenges facing young people today are inherited from the social, economic, political, religious and cultural conditions established by reactionary geriatrics called “ authority ” represented by various institutions, processes and traditions at local, national, regional level. and international.
The pre-pandemic World Youth Report (2018) published by the United Nations describes the complex challenges facing the 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24, representing 16% of the world’s population. The problems of inequality, unemployment, poverty, hunger, migration, conflict and lack of access to quality education, health, housing, air and water continue to prevail. grow on a huge scale over the past two years of the coronavirus pandemic. A recent report by Swiss bank UBS found that the number of billionaires and their wealth rose to $ 10.2 trillion amid deaths and hardship caused by the pandemic. Such an unequal life experience created by capitalism is neither sustainable nor healthy for the present and the future of people and the planet.
Capitalism as a political, economic, social and cultural system has failed to promote an egalitarian society focused on the well-being of the people. In order to avoid its internal contradictions, capitalism encourages war, regional and religious conflicts to maintain itself. He also works as a boss of right-wing and reactionary politics around the world to promote himself as the only alternative and to outsource his problems as social and political instabilities. Young people are the clear victims of capitalism and its geriatric culture which does not tolerate the beauties of youthful creativity and deviations.
The capitalist priests of the World Economic Forum believe that young people face only three biggest challenges. He considers that young people staying with their parents, the decrease in life expectancy among young people of working age and the lack of property among young people are three major problems. It does not describe the conditions that caused these problems. The capitalist confession is an amoral religious strategy of capitalism as a system, where responsibility is externalized to an unknown power called “god”.
The world faces five major challenges today: modern wars, climate change, religious conflicts, reactionary and authoritarian politics, capitalist alienation. These challenges are not created by young people but crushing for them. Young people are victims of a capitalist system which fabricates such challenges to hide its own problems. The capitalist ruling classes are putting guns, globalized market-driven consumerism, a god, nationalistic and religious glory on the shoulders of the young to dismantle the creative power and common experiences that unite young people around the world. Young people are simply tagged as anonymous social media pseudonyms or a selfish number in the Excel spreadsheets of government agencies or corporate stores. Young people lose their identity as idealistic and creative communities because of the capitalist conditions in which they live their lives. The commodification of life experience by the capitalist culture of consumerism destroys the diverse world of young people and their power to change the course of history.
All the progressive and democratic upheavals in history are the product of young people and their sacrifices. Young idealists led the struggle against colonialism, imperialism, apartheid and defeated feudalism, fascism and dictatorships. Young people can face the challenges of war, capitalism, religious fundamentalism, reactionary politics, the global pandemic and the climate crisis and rise above as a community without borders. Youthful feelings of love are more common than territorial, cultural and religious differences.
The struggle for peace, equality, freedom and climate action are common battles that the young people of the world can win. Young people do not need the perverted geriatric analysis based on the culture of blame that domesticates young people in a narrow silo of market, religion and nation states. The future of the world depends on the future of young people and their ability to dismantle old hangovers into new bottles of power. Young people will find their deviant ways to break down all obstacles in their path to establish a diverse, progressive and peaceful world free from hunger, homelessness, inequality and exploitation. Therefore, it is important to dream and to work in defense of the deviations of the youth.
* Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK