We Are in Debt, We Are Underpaid, and We See No Way Out
Our generation was born into the dying years of the American dream. We are entering the adult world trillions of dollars in debt and we see no way out via the low-wage jobs available to us once we graduate. The unemployment rate for our generation is roughly three times that of the rest of the population and we are earning 20% less than recent generations. Young people have entered a world wracked with crises that we played no role in creating and yet we are the ones that will live with the fallout.
The system of capitalism, based entirely on the profits of billionaires, has nothing to offer our generation. It cannot guarantee us work, it cannot guarantee us health care, and it cannot guarantee us the opportunity buy a home, to have a family, or to one day retire. Rather than simply accepting that the world is filled with poverty, inequality, injustice, and oppression we are ready to fight for something new.
We Are Fighting Back
All over the world young people are fighting back. We are fighting racist police; we are fighting sexism, homophobia, and transphobia; we are fighting cuts to education; and we are fighting the politics of billionaire bigots like Donald Trump. This fight has gone global – as seen in Britain with young people coming out in the hundreds of thousands to support Jeremy Corbyn in the recent general elections. Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party and a self-described socialist, ran on bringing key industries, such as the postal and railroad industries, back into public ownership, a higher minimum wage, and full funding for their National Health Service.
During the 2016 elections, a similar thing happened in the U.S.: more young people voted for Bernie Sanders than for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined! Fully 24% of 18-30 year olds who have taken some sort political action in their life, are estimated to have come out to demonstrations after Trump’s election. Young people were at the forefront of the airport occupations following Trump’s “Muslim ban” and sit-ins in anticipation of the Trumpcare vote, both of which helped to deliver key defeats to Trump and the GOP’s reactionary agenda.
We will need to escalate the resistance as Trump’s attacks continue. We need to organize a movement that can unite all those targeted by his regime of hate and is willing to take up a variety of strategies, including protests and rallies, occupations, sit-ins, and strikes. Young people of all backgrounds will be at the forefront of this movement and young socialists also need to put forward bold strategies to help take it forward.
In order to drive Trump out of office, we need to know both what we are fighting against and what we are fighting for. We are fighting against the skyrocketing cost of education, the lack of affordable housing in major U.S. cities, and low wages that have plagued our generation. What we need to fight for includes free college for everyone in America, a $15 an hour minimum wage, and Medicare for All! But beyond just fighting to improve life now, we are fighting against a world where the profits of the few are valued over the needs of the many and for a world where ordinary people have democratic control over the key decisions that affect their lives.
We See that a Socialist World is Possible
Our generation has a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. This demonstrates that our generation is through with accepting the evils of our current system and is eager to build something new.
Socialist Students is an organization of high school students, college students, and young workers who believe that the crisis created by global capitalism has reached a critical point. Six men now own the same wealth as half the global population, our climate is in dire decay, and we are witnessing more and more frequent economic crises. We do not believe that capitalism, a system built on the rule of corporations and the wealthy, can find a way out.
As with every previous social system in human history, capitalism will be replaced. We will fight for it to be replaced with socialism. A system wherein the people who make society run – who build the buildings, drive the trains, engineer new innovations, care for us when we are sick, and teach us when we are young – make the decisions. We envision a world where profit does not drive most life on the planet into extinction. A world organized in the most ethical, fair, and sustainable way. Join Socialist Students and help us build a socialist world.