Over the weekend the Independent published this article by a “young free-marketeer” complaining that too many young people support socialism and, as someone who presumably enjoys seeing poor people having their benefits cut and the NHS being driven into the dirt, she’s feeling a bit left out.
Young people like me, who don’t support Labour, have become a minority. As a young free-marketeer, I find the glorification of communist forces amongst my generation nothing less than unsettling…
Referring to Corbyn’s Labour as a “communist force” is (unfortunately) a bit over-the-top, to say the least. But perhaps this free-marketeer should ask herself why she’s unsettled by the enthusiasm of millions of young people for policies such as an end to austerity, and for decent health, education and public services for all?
We can all see now that the Tories and the capitalist system offer us a worse standard of living than that of our parents. Is that what the free-marketeer wants? Because that might be the answer to why people are “intolerant” of her views. If you’re trying to tell people that they should accept hideous attacks on their present and future living standards, in the interests of the rich (which is the free-market philosophy), you’re probably going to have a bad time.
The free-marketeer is worried that the National Union of Students (NUS) has “consistently nurtured a left-wing bias since its emergence in 1969”. Presumably, when politics comes knocking at students’ doors, in the form of tuition fees, the Prevent strategy, soaring housing costs etc., the free-marketeer would like the NUS (the only organisation in the country whose actual job it is to represent the best interests of students) to twiddle its thumbs and look the other way.
She complains that the NUS is “a body that feels exclusionary to many right-wing students” – she’d much rather the NUS keep quiet and let the Tories get on with making the entire education system exclusionary to working class students.
Ultimately, she says, “we must not allow a war of divisiveness between millennials”. Here it seems that the free-marketeer could do with reading a bit of Marx. The first line of the Communist Manifesto is:
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle
Our struggle is not between millennials – it’s between classes. And, as far as we’re concerned, the class struggle is a serious business. We intend to fight it on the side of the poor, the oppressed, and the exploited, against the rich and the powerful. We’ve got young people, millions of workers, and Jeremy Corbyn on our side. Maybe that’s why this free-marketeer felt the need to write all her complaints out in this article – she can feel the tide of history turning. But it won’t do her much good. Socialism is back on the agenda and we’ve got the free-marketeers on the run.