Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/988/27103
Tories fear youth revolt - fight for our future
Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Party national youth organiser
What do young people want? A good home, a decent job and an education - that might sum it up.
The security of knowing you can't be sacked at the drop of a hat. Housing that doesn't leave you at constant risk of eviction. Education that won't saddle you with crippling debt.
A bit more maybe: wages that allow you to enjoy life a little. Time off to pursue your interests and see loved ones. Freedom from the anxious struggle to afford bills, rent, and life's necessities.
These are the modest aspirations of our generation. Capitalist politicians can provide no answer to them. These are things their crisis-ridden, profit-driven system will not provide.
This is the "gloom and failure" of capitalism - to coin a phrase used in a rather different context by Tory transport secretary Chris Grayling. Young people are rejecting it. They are searching for alternatives and embracing the idea of socialism.
But this fills some with fear. For big business, bankers, oligarchs and plutocrats, any idea which threatens to turn the world upside down, to put working class people in control, is deeply threatening.
Evidently it has Chris Grayling lying awake at night. He now openly proposes using the school curriculum to disseminate Tory propaganda.
School students must be taught about the "evils" of socialism, about its "gloom and failure," Grayling says. He believes giving young people the opportunity to make up their own minds - perhaps allowing them an introduction to the work of Marx or Engels, for example - would be far too dangerous.
He wants schools to teach caricatured nonsense about governments and regimes which bore no resemblance to the real ideas of democratic socialism. Even more than it is already, he wants a revised history, viewed only through the lens of the ruling class, taught as objective fact.
This blatant attempt to present right-wing propaganda as 'education' must be fought. But even if forced through it would have a limited effect.
Experience is life's greatest teacher. It is experience of life under capitalism which is driving young people to oppose it.
It is experience driving them to the mass action which has just visited the US in the tremendous 'March for Our Lives' movement. It is experience that is behind the gritty determination of those protesting state repression in Catalonia. It is experience that is fuelling the support for Corbyn's anti-austerity stand.
And it is experience, both of hardship and of resistance, which continues to draw young people towards socialist ideas - ideas that offer the tools needed to change the world.
- Interested in socialist ideas? Want to help the fight? Join the Socialists: socialistparty.org.uk/join
In The Socialist 28 March 2018:
What we think
Socialist Party workplace news
Local elections 2018
Martin Luther King
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis