Unemployment, precariousness, an uncertain future: Spanish youth has been hit hard by the economic crisis. And that’s why they won’t revolt, writes El País.Heads long softened in the narrative of social class warfare of attrition there are people out there who want youth to be paid just enough to hate you for it.
And now, after more than two years of economic crisis, youth unemployment (over 40 percent) is double the European average, and half of the jobless are under 34 years of age. In addition, the welfare state they had barely begun to enjoy is now in jeopardy, and the cushion once provided by the family is growing threadbare. “The environment is not explosive,” says UNED sociologist José Felix Tezanos, “but it is flammable; a spark will be enough... The Web is where it is brewing up,” he adds.Some of them light even connect the dots, because knowing that you’re being bred, educated, and having your head fed, and ultimately taxed and punished to cover the errors of others has the stench of a mugging by reality.
In general, there’s a growing feeling that the cost of the economic crisis is being paid by those who had nothing to do with it, while the economic elites who did bring it on have slipped out from under the wreckage without a scratch. The prologue to the Spanish edition of Hessel’s pamphlet was written by José Luis Sampedro. Hessel, in turn, has contributed the foreword to a collection of articles entitled Reacciona (React!).
And the same old retrograde types are the still the ones who don’t get it.
For Antonio Alaminos, a sociologist at the University of Alicante, some alternatives and some clear objectives are needed for this sort of protest to succeed. Or else an “irrational trigger.” The Arab protests, for example, he says, do have these clear goals (both economic and democratic improvements), and in the EU countries where these have emerged that irrational trigger was also produced. “The difficulty in mobilising Spanish youth proceeds from the expectation that nothing will come of it. Spanish youth (and many Europeans), at heart, want to go on living just like their parents — in a capitalist world of consumption. They don’t want to break up the relationship,” he says. “It is capitalism that has broken up with them.”No, what they want is a chance to earn a living, and to keep what they earn, not give it to you to fondle, you Socialist pretexter. All the collectivism in the world isn’t enough to feed the freeloading of “community organizers” like that.
They sum up their own unaware selfishness this way:
It may be true that the youth who have taken to the streets so far have been very few in number. It may be that, somehow or other, the family, untaxed work in the shadow economy and the social safety net continue to keep discontent indoors, since basic needs are still being satisfied. And that passivity of the majority of the youth may eventually prevail over the momentum of those who do get out and demonstrate.DAMN that social safety net! DAMN the love of family!
Really, the actual fate of the people they pretend “to be for” is irrelevant to them. What they seem to want is a unthinking dial-a-mob at their disposal.