MADRID, AUGUST 18 (IPS) – Decades ago in Athens, a conversation about a ‘souvlaki’ dinner and wine with a young Greek economist led to a talk about democracy. When asked for his opinion, he said, “At that time, when philosophers like Aristotle formulated their theories about democracy, society was dominated by the wealthy.”
When asked “what about the people?”, the young Greek economist took a long sip of his wine and replied with a clear sarcastic smile “The people are their servants.”
Whether this young man’s interpretation of democracy is right or wrong, correct or not, more or less controversial, is something too long to explain and is up to you anyway.
Inheritance is poisoned
Anyway, the pressing question now is whether today’s 1.5 billion young people can bear the burden they inherited from previous generations.
A quick answer would be “yes”. After all, the previous and current generations have faced two European-made Great Wars, which soon attracted their descendants – the United States and other military powers such as the European Union – the Soviet Union. and other great powers.
Not only that, but these generations have to contend with dictatorships, civil wars, poverty, hunger, destruction, and a long list of hardships.
Another question is whether present and future generations can correct the terrible mistakes made by their predecessors, such as the potential threat of a nuclear war, the depletion of Exhaustion of natural resources, the domination of private corporations, the replacement of humans by robots…
… Let alone the never-ending game of the world’s top guns – the US, UK, France, Russia and China, precisely the holders of unexplainable and unjustifiable power are, through their veto, decisions made by more than 190 people in the world. They exercise such a power in the ironic name of the “Security Council”.
Whatever the future holds, the reality is that the world’s youth today receive a very heavy legacy, in a perspective shaped by two of George Orwell’s masterpieces: “1984” and “Animal Farm.” .
Check out these dozens of events, selected from among many others, on offer this year International Youth Daymarks August 12.
- Half of the people on Planet Earth are 30 years old or younger, and this number is expected to reach 57% by the end of 2030.
- While you’re reading this, 1.8 billion young people, the greatest generation of young people in historyis transitioning into adulthood.
- Today have 1.2 billion young people between 15 and 24 years old, representing 16% of the global population. By 2030, their number is predicted to increase by 7%, to nearly 1.3 billion. These two numbers, combined with the previous figure, produce an average of 1.5 billion young people.
Despite their high preparedness, increasing awareness and positivity, and their indisputable power to determine their present and future, the voices of today’s youth are still far from being heard. Not to mention being heard.
A study by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs found that about 1.2 billion young people between 15 and 24 years old In today’s world. “This is a large percentage of the global population who have traditionally ignored their interests and voices.”
In fact, today’s youth have almost no participation in national legislatures. Globally, only 2.6% of parliamentarians are under the age of 30, and less than 1% of them are women.
In this regard, a survey on the occasion of this year International Youth DayThe specialized agencies of the United Nations revealed that:
- 76% of people under 30 think politicians don’t listen to young people
- 8 out of 10 people think that the current political system needs drastic reform to be suitable for the future
- 69% of people think that more opportunities for young people to have a voice in policy making will make the political system better.
Meanwhile, the average age of the world’s youth present and future decision-makers is 64 years old.
The Global employment trends for youth 2022 found that 15- to 24-year-olds have had a much higher rate of job loss than adults since early 2020.
In addition that tGlobal youth unemployment is estimated to reach 73 million by 2022six million higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
“Unless we act, the rate of children dropping out of school in developing countries who cannot read could rise from 53 to 70 percent,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned in a statement. message in 2022 International Education Day on January 24.
In fact, about 1.6 billion school and college students had their studies disrupted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – and it’s not over yet, Mr. Guterres said.
Today, school closures continue to disrupt the lives of more than 31 million students, “exacerbating the global learning crisis.” See: Up to 70% of children in developing countries are left without being able to read.
“Research shows that many young people feel frustrated and unheard of, creating a sense of injustice that, in recent years, has fueled a wave of youth-led climate activism.” .
According to a recent researchChildren born in 2020 will experience a “two to seven-fold increase in extreme climate events”, especially heat waves, compared with those born in 1960.
“Rules of the People”
Meanwhile, another question arises here: has the concept of democracy as the rule of the people ever really put into practice?
“Billionaires have seen their fortunes increase as much in 24 months as they did in 23 years.”
Research conducted by a global movement of people working with more than 4,100 organizations and communities in more than 90 countries across 90 countries says:
Furthermore, “food and energy prices have risen to multi-decade highs. And 62 new food billionaires were created.”
Meanwhile, there are up to a billion hungry people.
IPS article: Inequality kills one person every four seconds explains how inequality is deadly and it contributes to the deaths of at least 21,300 people a day — or one every four seconds.
Today’s youth are a powerless witness to countless unprecedented crises, which they have not created but are expected to overcome… and hope to leave a far greater legacy.
© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service