Young people today face a world of crises. It’s clear that this society does not function for the benefit of 99% of humanity. The problem is capitalism: a system where a tiny fraction of the population owns and controls the world’s resources, wealth, and the infrastructure we depend on. Democrats and Republicans both manage this system, serving the interests of the one percent. The society we live in is a product of this unequal, unjust system:
- Those in power chose to let COVID spread, prioritizing the needs of their economy. Their choice of profits over people has led to almost four million deaths around the world. Months of isolation, stress, online school, unemployment, rising hunger, evictions, and the fear of getting the virus have taken a severe toll.
- High school and college graduates are entering a world with increasingly uncertain job prospects. The cost of college has pushed a generation into massive debt – the value of outstanding student loans now tops $1.7 trillion!
- Many young people suffer from anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. It is easy to see why when we face such a bleak future, divided and isolated from each other in a competitive and highly individualistic society.
- This society is filled with violence: over a thousand people were killed by police in 2020, disproportionately people of color. The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, with 2 million people locked up, including 50,000 minors.
- The U.S. military is a constant threat around the world, and tensions between the U.S. and China and Russia are increasing. A major war would cause destruction around the world. It is the young, the poor, and disproportionately people of color who fight these wars that benefit the ruling class.
- 80 million people have been forced to flee their homes because of poverty, warfare, or climate destruction. Forced migrants face brutal police forces, border walls, and a constant looming threat of deportation. Currently, over 5,000 children are being held in U.S. deportation centers.
- 2020 was the hottest year year on record, and we’re expecting record-breaking heatwaves and climate disasters every year to come. In Latin America, Africa, and Asia, millions of people have been forced to flee their homes and farms as climate change has destroyed their crops and livelihoods. The dependence on fossil fuels for energy production, and the destruction of forests, oceans, and fresh water systems threatens the ecosystems of the entire planet! We are already in the midst of a massive extinction of Earth’s life forms that must be stopped.
The capitalist class relies on the exploitation and oppression of the majority to increase their wealth and maintain their power. We are all facing the threat of extinction as a result of their greed.
We are told we have no choice but to accept this system and integrate into it. We are told to wait for the adults in power to fix the problems.
We can’t wait! We are the last generation with a chance to save our ecosystems and humanity. We must fight for the world we deserve!
We Are Part of the Force to End Capitalism!
To solve the problems we face, we have to abolish capitalism. Society’s resources and wealth must be controlled democratically by the majority rather than a small class of wealthy capitalists: in other words we need socialism.
With the world’s wealth and resources under democratic control, what would we prioritize?
The health and sustainability of our planet would be a top priority. We would end the destruction of our ecosystems, and scientists around the world could collaborate to develop the technologies necessary to take on the climate catastrophe and reorganize production to minimize its impact on the environment. Renewable energy sources could power sustainable living on a mass scale.
Economic planning would be directed to meet everyone’s basic needs, and to ensure everyone has access to healthy food and clean water. The people who grow, produce, and distribute the world’s food could reorganize food industries. Housing, utilities, and clean water would be guaranteed for all.
Instead of prioritizing profits, health care would prioritize the health and well-being of all people. There would be enough healthcare workers to meet everyone’s needs, and they would offer comprehensive care and treatment to all patients. No one would ever be turned away, and medicine and treatment would be affordable for everyone.
A socialist society would be one giant university, one where we never graduate and we’re always learning. Imagine a world in which everyone could be a philosopher, a scientist, an artist, and an athlete – we could unleash the potential of billions of human beings and build a better world!
We could eradicate racism, sexism, and the many social oppressions of this society. With control over the world’s resources and wealth, we could choose to invest in all communities and all of their members, and guarantee that everyone’s basic needs are met.
This world is a possibility, but not a certainty; we need a revolution to bring this new world into being.
In the past few years, young people have led massive demonstrations against racism, police brutality, the climate crisis, and gun violence. But these efforts have been limited to opposing the symptoms of the problem while leaving the system in place. Each time people get active, the politicians, especially the Democrats, have tried to re-focus our efforts on elections – the choice of different managers for the same system.
We should be angry at the injustices of this society, but we can’t look to the ruling class to solve the crises they created. We need to abolish the entire system, using our collective power. We need to look to the 99% to overthrow the 1%. No one is coming to save us. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for!