The Party is Over

June 16th, 2013

Children, Clean up the House! Lessons from the Turkish #OccupyGezi – Published on Triple Crisis, by Erinc Yeldan, June 14, 2013.

They are referred to under different identifiers: generation-Y; millennium generation; globalization generation; Net-generation… roughly they are the cohort of post-1980 newborns, coming from distant geographies, different nations. Yet, they are claimed to share astonishingly common characteristics: narcissistic love of the self; the me, me, me approach to life; impatience; intolerance of all forms of hierarchy; a fetishistic loyalty to technology and brands; almost non-existing interest in social events, apolitical nihilism; non-reading, etc etc. 

The peculiar characteristics of the post-1980 generation has been the subject matter of quite some research, but the subject gained popular interest recently through an editorial led by the popular Time Magazine, where most of the adjectives indicated above had been liberally adopted. The Time approach to the generation-Y consisted mostly of a superfluous description of the peculiarities of the young and the hot-blooded consumers. There was not much mention of the surrounding dictates of the neoliberal global assault on the young citizens, nor on the conditions of the political-economy embedded within today’s bubble capitalism.

Indeed, one can also have a close look at the life-styles of the Y-generation from entirely a different angle. They are about to step in to a fragmented, marginalized, and “flexibilized” labor market with, perhaps, the highest youth unemployment rates of human history, ranging from 19.1% in hegemonic centers such as USA and UK, to 40% in Spain, 66% in Greece. They are referred to as the “700 euro generation” in Greece; or the “1,000 euro generation” in Italy, with references to the minimal wage laws of the respective countries.

They have become the prime targets of a mega-design project on the part of media centers that try to cover up the true essence of the current collective imperialist assault of multinationals and international finance capital on indigenous peoples’ rights and bounties. They are the children of parents with almost zero percent saving rates and a frenzied appetite for consumption and debt. They have been brainwashed by the uncontested merits of the market-gods and the lure of the profit driven re-organization of their education and health systems, with, yet again, the un-debatable motto “There Is No Alternative”.

Time’s editorial had, no doubt, cause for rebuttals. Tom Hawkin wrote in Flavorwire, for instance, that “The millennials are the people who’ve inherited the hangover from the baby boomers’ party: a warming planet, a dysfunctional global financial system that rewards the rich and screws the poor, and a polarized political class”. Hawkins’ piece comes with a further bonus of a free link to the Time’s Quiz: How Millennial Are You? Ha ha ha.

This neoliberal assault had many facets. One important aspect was the massive re-design of the Middle East via the dictates of the petro dollars and the global military machine. It took many forms; but the main thread had continuously been the use of Islamism in bringing together the allies of the region against the enemies of the “West”.

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Why the United States Must Come to Terms with Iran, 11.02 min, on The Real News Network TRNN, June 14, 2013: Gareth Porter* interviews veteran US officials about why US policy towards Iran needs to change;
* (a historian and investigative journalist on US foreign and military policy analyst);

Video with Phyllis Bennis**: US Arming Syrian Rebels Likely to Inflame Already Bloody Conflict, 12.23 min, on The Real News Network TRNN, June 14, 2013: Military resolution impossible in Syria, Americans should demand a negotiated settlement,
** (a Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC);

US looks to G8 summit to build consensus over Syria: Washington in talks with allies over radical options including no-fly zone as plan for small arms support meets lukewarm reaction, on The Guardianm by Dan Roberts in Washington, Miriam Elder in Moscow, Richard Norton-Taylor in London and Angelique Chrisafis in Paris, June 15, 2013.

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