Life and Revolution
There's a theory/belief that Power Elite plots against youth with unemployment, etc. The idle become suicidal because they see no future, adopt terrorism. The cause of this is capitalism's greed. The effect will be havoc and bring blood and ruin.
Life and Revolution
Fernando García Izquierdo
One hears that our youth is dying and one ponders. So many things are dying all the time. That is life. All that is born, naturally, must die. But this is different. The point here, what is happening nowadays with our youth, running away by the thousand to Irak (for instance) to be trained in terrorism, appears to us of earlier generations incomprehensible, a complete mystery, senseless. Why do they not act, as we did during the sixties, seventies and eighties, and lead a normal decent life?
“Normal” to us just meant a life of wealthy abundance as “we” knew it, precisely, mercantilism, colonialism, industry and overproduction-of-sorts, etc. Why then? Why havoc, destruction, killing? The youth!
SUICIDE is what we are witnessing, despair. Call it idleness, if you wish, or vice, tobacco and drugs… death in the prime of life. They are engaged by others on terrorism. The right and the extreme right, religion all along the line.
Life is another thing. Life is revolution. And here we are facing counterrevolution. When a young man (or woman) blows himself up (herself) in the midst of the madding crowd, the intention is to put an end to one’s life. And in such cases there does not exist the slightest revolutionary feeling, because revolution means change, progress, a step forward.
What I particularly gather of all this, is that our species is growing old... altogether old, antiquated, ugly, unhealthy and specially fatigued.
Innovation. France is a case in point: the one country in Europe that can produce the best warplanes: the president was not so long ago with politicians and all the gotha of our industry trading with the fabulously rich Arabs of the Near East. We also produce artificial intelligence to offer for sale. This country has always been one of the four or five world powers. In the late forties Charles De Gaulle squeezed ‘la France’ into the Security Council.
Here everybody and everything belongs to the past; at least I don’t find anybody who can tell what is happening in real life today. All is fiction here, and it sounds natural, if you talk in the sphere of politics and economics as well. The public does not seem to care.
I wanted to explain at the outset that this is one of the places with a continuous history of wealth. It has something to do with agriculture.
‘Rich’ of course applies to only a very small proportion of the population. Ninety percent of the human race here and everywhere were farmhands. When you see the sumptuous dinners, receptions, etc., those supermen and those divine ladies were just three percent of the population in toto.
So, here is where we bought, my wife and I our apartment, in a real estate development scheme in what was then (and still is today) one of the most well accomodated parts of France. There are in the region two royal cities and two dozen smaller palaces. Hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful agricultural land here were owned by the celebrated ‘les deux cent familles’, the equivalent of the two thousand super rich who in our own aristocratic time own half of the planet.
Then one day, in seventeen eighty-nine, the people of Paris took to the streets chanting, “Les aristocrates on les pendra!!” They very nearly didn’t leave one alive. The people had to invent the guillotine to go quickly. Hanging them all would have consumed too much time.
Beginning with Great Britain, the capitalists/financiers, joining the established landowners, multiplied in strength and never ceased accumulating. They became young and energetic.
Of course when I came to occupy my post in old France, I saw everywhere energetic young men constituted the most flourishing element of society. “We have never had it so good,” they said to one another… our capitalist regime, with the legacy from supermen like Lord John Maynard Keynes and Lord Beveridge, was preparing us for great conquests. Our aim: savings, the necessary bank account, real estate, motorcars and so forth then become indispensable. And I should have started (as we all started ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years ago, with- ‘Il posto!’… I make reference to an Italian realist film of many years ago. Full employment.
I of course set entirely apart, as antiquated, such questions as the constitution of a family, the fast motorcar on the occasion of your twenty-first birthday… all gone, gone, irremisssibly gone, forevermore, except for the big big rogues, consecrated bandits and the like.
‘Oh! my!! those were the days and years when we were so very young!!! You won’t have believed it! Essential moments of capitalism-imperialism too. God was with us. I think I hear Him. “Yes! the fruits of the earth itself. All for you, yellow metal, colonies, slaves, huge salaries and profits.”
The other day I read in a Spanish newspaper about terrorism. We all (in Paris, Catalonya, Moscow, Brussels, the Poles are terrorised. It turns out that the known bad Iman of Ripoll is dead. But how did he die? There is the lark.
One day manufactoring bombs to kill us ‘the innocent’, he killed himself, together with fifteen acolytes or terroristas o ‘moros’. They all are nationals or residents of the country, anyhow. A dozen young men, maybe one woman, radicalised with them. It happens quite often.
One newsman, the most alarming of all, explained in his article that the “evil encarnate’ were intent on fabricating an atom-bomb-sort-of thing out of a hundred and twenty camping gas containers in order to blow up Barcelona, Catalonya, Spain or the whole of Europe, I’m not sure.
The same day, I think it was the twenty-third August, a writer in the communist newspaper explained that all the workers of a factory called ‘The Subterranean’ (who are occupying the premises and plant because tomorrow they’re not going to earn their daily bread, nor their children’s) have set about in the very valuable plant twenty-five big gas containers to blow up the employers’ very valuable constant capital. From a certain point of view it may be the same (it may come.) A few hundred workers being deprived overnight of their daily bread… are prepared toblow up the plant.
This deserves a further explanation, which I shall try to give in two words herein- ‘La Souterraine’ is a precious jewel in the manufacturing chain of the million (innovated-patented-sold) cars a year of the billionaire Renault and Peugeot multinationals. The Subterraine has been declared Kaput in France by the Capitalists, the State and the Judiciary. There is nothing doing. The bloody Poles are cheaper than our tired, disenchanted French workers in La Creuse. In twenty days six hundred good workers will have no jobs, no possibility of employment. The President and the other rogues will have closed the file. Nobody will speak of the Subterranean, its plants, automobiles or industry. Perfectly trained workers will have seen their families go hungry and in little towns like the one in which I live with my wife, we will see the young idling here and there not knowing what to do.
We have, they say, the best mall in Europe. False!! We shall possess next year ,at the end of the on-going renovation, the most sumptuous and the most prettily ornamented ‘Centre Commercial’ in continental Europe (E.U.) It has worked this way. The French, being an artistic race, wanted to impress the Americans (they had saved us from evil nazism) who came in great number in the sixties, built this mall near Versailles which was constantly visited by Gringos and Canadians. In later years it was groups of Japanese, now Chinese who have plenty of paper money. Now, because of the Crisis, which is sending almost all of France into the doldrums the rich have decided to spend a lot of money in updating ‘le Centre’.
This August it is raining torrentially at the most unexpected hours and we have decided to seek refuge somewhere. Sitting on big plastic armchairs of a central plaza, I became acquainted with a young man whose speech sounded funny. Pointing at the screen of his mobile phone he babbled “Blab-ba-ba-badd-fe-brufederer…’ I seriously thought he was mentally handicapped. Thank goodness my wife nudged my elbow.
He noticed and his very handsome blue-eyed face smiled: “Non, Monsieur, mine is a case of excess of intelligence, engineering, long polytechnical
studies, … burn out.”
In the parts of the republic where there is no social justice (common occurrence) but havoc does not reign absolutely, as it does in those formerly working-class suburbs where industry has disappeared a hundred percent the middle classes now have got renewed advantages, at least for the time being.
My wife and I, two months ago decided to change ‘l’installation’, right through, from gas to electricity. You always find who does it cheaply. Before you entered into a formal contract with a medium-sized firm. This time I spoke with the janitor of the residence.
Cédric (who lives in a bedsitter nearby with the janitor’s daughter,) did the job in one day. He even changed the sink; and we saved three hundred euros in the process.
You rarely see these days a group of more than two individuals. But today it happened twice. I saw three young women going shopping together to the mall. The first time they must have been teenagers. They moved along the barbed-wire barrier surrounding their school. They are so damned tall this girls! and all so very made-up.
The other was a team of three young women of different races, I mean, two of them years ago would have received the qualificative of ‘deux Arabes’. All pretty, all with very long fluttering hair. A year or two ago I feared that those religions which are so happily expanding through certain areas, from Russia’s Chechnya to the Scottish Highlands, would have forced these women to be shrouded from top to toes. I hope and I believe that kind of primitivism will not prevail, moslems or non-moslems.
I saw the blond woman again near the town-hall in the public garden, which is generously provided with benches. She was accompanied by a man, I mean, they sat on the same bench. They had three little children. The eldest was riding a tricycle. It made me particularly sad to observe that the parents didn’t speak or exchange impressions. Both were young and extraordinarily handsome. He was brown. Decades ago in France I would have called him an ‘indigène.’
And I saw them again, without the children, sitting with my wife on the loggia of our apartment. We were breakfasting while listening to France-Inter. They were very well dressed this time and I reckoned they might be going to the employment agency in the town hall. The radio was saying that our young president is again flying here and there to solve some imminent international problem. In Vienna, this tme (Austria), solving some problems with Hungary… or Rumania, Moldovia, etc. It has to do with the countries of “Mittel Europa”. They cause their workers to earn half or even a third of what our autoworkers earned when they were in employment.
Time magazine was saying last week that the handsome president of Ireland has succeeded in getting jobs in his country by becoming himself the super-cute breaker of the Law. I know. Right from the end of the war. Capital cheating the Internal Revenue Laws, left, right and centre. More concretely: under capitalistic chicannery, the very laws are made in order to maximise the benefits of the rich… … and with a set of bandit countries (countries escaped from communism) joining us, criminality is the order of the day.
The story of human society is the history of class struggle and is the history of revolution. When a system of society does not work, constitutes an obstacle for the development of a country, group or nation there is a clash, a struggle between oppressor and oppressed. If the oppressors win the day, the result is more oppression and the combat will continue. The only thing is that the final resoluion of the conflict will be postponed. If the revolutionary class comes out victorious, a thorough change of the system, the regime if you prefer, is imposed. It takes time.
The bolchevics called this the dictatorship of the proletariat. The exploiters, in the preceding period or periods have to be re-educated at times. They (who suffer under the changed circumstances) never called the centuries of slavery, servitude, etc ‘the dictatorship of the aristocracy’, ‘the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie’, or whatever.
Today the world is in a shambles, we all know this, even the memers of the governments that cause “the shambles’. They call themselves ministers of ecology, justice, etc. They know perfectly well that their policy is every day Ieading the world to a more certain ruin.
When I move around and look at people of my age, even if they aren’t in good shape (we don’t look), I end up saying: ‘We’ve had our fill.’ Leaving aside questions of guilt, there was in our day of successful energetic young men (women didn’t count so much then), the conscience that we were building something (‘Oh, my!! we’ve never have it so good.’) Our own wise men of old Europe are telling us now that our world is coming to an end, physically too.
But with youth nowadays, there is the added calamity that they cannot even fight to combat this “end of the planet evidence”. Almost all of them are set aside, unemployment. The youth know there is nothing doing, they call it “la théorie du complot.”
Who is plotting against countrymen and women between eighteen and twenty-seven or eight? Why? Is it greed, irrationality or what? What sort or profit-maximising is leading THEM in their actions?
For these young people life is a calvary. Today, for our youth, it must be horrible: no money for studies, no security, no sure profession and mostly unemployment or total insecurity in most spheres of life. It has become a disaster, our grand- children becoming addicted to modern technology when they have not begun to live. Addiction, like with other drugs.
However, it is only now I see that it was the same (in a way) in former epochs. With Henry Ford and the others, we of the rich countries of the West, “conquered” the automobile. It is destroying the planet. And our wise men and women don’t want to open their eyes to it.
They only open their eyes to PROFIT. It is the system. And they seem surprised to find that our young are depressed, dull, abandoned, SUICIDAL
I was once in Cuba, 1994, and there I could read everywhere, big, big beautifully colour proclamation to the effect that revolution means life. I talked to many young Cubans then. They were prepared to give their lives as their ancestors did for the success of real socialism. (There is a great difference from the suicidal action of our terrorists.)
They told me than their great desire was to fight and offer to their predecessors the sacrifice of their own lives to make a better world. HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE.
Greed is our trademark, the sign of capitalism. We constantly see our fellow-humans racing like us to the MARKET. Come, rascal thieves here is Gold! One way or another, gobble, gobble, MONEY … and particularly all the pigs that govern us, robbers! “Ay, it was not me! It was my Daddy! The very President of the very first world power in the whole pilfering western world is a devouring ogre. Look at him, find what he’s doing, listen to his words: “hog, hog, grunt, guou, grugrugruntttt! Out, out of the way! let me work, let me fulfil my sole purpose in life… you move away, slave. Let me maximise profits.
And, meandering about in my town, near Paris, I ask myself whether those ogres are going to devour the planet, are going to poison it with their ‘innovations’, filling it, as ‘The Economist’ said one year ago, all the time with weapons of “a sharper edge.”
Oh poor young men and women, what do they think? In my little precious bourgeois town I follow their idle movements with my eyes. Are they happy? What are their aspirations, what do they do the whole day long? Where do they go at night? That is me. I always ask myself silly questions.
“Will they see (as I think I do) that all we call democracy, ‘liberté, égalité and fraternitè’ is pure nonsense?
Voilà Macron! And before him Hollande! And before him President Nicholas Sarkozy with power of attorney for five or ten years, fabricated nonsense employed precisely to deceive, to rob, to murder.
It is the purpose of fascism, which always boils down to exploitation of the nation (nationalism) by the rich, gobble, gobble! to dominate, ‘achtung, achtung, achtung! But today it is more comfortable for the hidden forces that control society to do it with cunning. Macron better than LePen.
And strengthen the power of colonialism-imperialism, as always, combat (equally as usual) ‘los pobres de la tierra), from the outside, among other things, with TERRORISM, as in Korea, Vietnam. Cambodia, Laos, Malaya, the Pacific, Latin America, all of Africa, from 1951 to the present day… hoping it will contain.
Pauvres, pauvres young French men and women. Now that our imperialism works with artificial intelligence, without relaxing in our attack on the poor of the earth, this can be done without the military; and again unemployment. There was recently a clash between the French president and the highest general in the army, about reducing budget expenses. The capitalist suckers want all the money for themselves.
Now, are the people interested in knowing? How many think it bestial that footballers should be changing hands (from club to club) at the price (merchant value) of some hundred millions or more per unit? do our young go roaring like animals to the stadiums? Do they know what that means?
I see the idle young every morning, which is the time of day I feel stronger for watching, observing, analysing. It is a pity that I cannot get the train-metro to go to ‘les banlieues difficiles’, where poor and downtrodden live. There is civil war there. “guerrilla urbain” say the journalists. Perhaps the war will reach this privileged “banlieue” next year.
More importantly, or rather more urgently, will our leaders adopt fascism outright soon. Personally I lived for many years under Franco and know (nobody can cheat me in this) who is the commander of our so-called free system. The idle youth I see every morning, do they know, do they care?
In Barcelona the people are parading in the streets chanting. WE ARE NOT AFRAID. What of?
I often ask myself observing the local youth from my bench in the colourful public gardens in this small rich town (Australian friends came to visit us… “I wouldn’t have believed it, how orderly and beautiful,” said Mietic, in this same garden.) All public gardens, parks, public places are more abandoned now. The idle youth too. Abandoned is the word. Their eyes, with those black marks denote age (funnily enough) and I ask myself: “Will they not be fed up with life, too?”
The question has come up to my mind because I have just read that two thousand (or three thousand, I forget numbers easily) young Frenchmen had escaped to Syria or Irak to learn the profession of ‘terrorist’. Girls too, but not so many.
‘Kamikaze’ is, I believe, the transliteration of Japanese which in years past meant soldiers offering their bodies to the emperor. A mission. It gave them a great satisfaction to die. Or it may be the Nation, the Symbol of the Cross, the Prophet, Religion…fanatism ten to one. In the abstract. It turns into NOTHING.
It seems that of those two or three thousands, one step is that they must become very religious, very fanatic: they say that if they die terrorising they’ll go to heaven and will then receive seventy.two virgin girls every night, for entertainment; but I don’t believe their priests are telling the truth. And the veiled young women terrorists, what do they receive? seventy-two virgen pussy cats? Impossible.
A well-attended lawn, the service paid by the municipality which accumulated much money during the long long years of the fat cows… and I could not wish a better place when jerking my way along in the morning with the help of my stick I find my bench, where I rest for one hour if it’s not too hot..
A dozen young people striding along on the cinder-path, from the post office and town hall to the Commercial Centre. They walk rather slowly. During the thirty glorious years, we were all more diligent. Some seem to be still in employment and are elegant. But there is no enthusiam, even among them. Others are obviously unemployed, smoking a cigarette resting their backs against the wire fence of the children’s playground, some are very badly dressed. Their families are tired of having to spend money on them, the more so if they register “à la rentrée” in some faculty, just to have something to do.
Within the employed too there are classes and categories. The poor and the poorer. Young women escape more easily the condition of unemployable. There are always things they can do, even in the time of crisis. For the rest, when I watch them moving along the cinder-path, they are not different. The two sexes wear jeans, generally pierced at the knees. More boys than girls, all with mobile ‘phone in hand, or holding the precious object stuck to their ear.
If I should be returning home for my meal, when the greater number of idle ones cross my way I may catch some of them “making paper money”. I mean, bending forward and nearly stuck at the open-air ATM machine (tac! tac! tac!)
We are all in the same boat: we may do away with many things, even good food. But no one can live without money. Now, these youngsters need to get some bank notes in order to buy a sandwich and/or a can of soda water… and cigarettes.
And my eyes, my brain, my soul sees that they are not happy, that is the point. We all suffer under the free world regime, inescapably. We are condemned to “follow-me-leader”on the screen, rational animals without freedom. A contradiction. Not surprisingly suicide comes as a liberation, preceded by a long spiritual combat, radicalisation, terrorism. Then the task of our democratic government is simply to try to deradicalise them.
When I go back home at lunchtime I often happen to come across some labourers. A team. Some times of three workers, more generally only two. This is when I walk among the buildings that constitute ‘une résidence’, with small gardens and a swimming pool.
I nearly bumped this midday into two young men called Alan and Charles. They are in employment. And still more, almost every day they get more than sufficient to purchase their tucker. They always look tired and dusty. I traced their origin and quality the first day.
In the morning first thing they almost look like doctors or male-nurses, so clean. But now they are too dirty. I say “Hello!” to them, and we walk side by side for a moment or two.
They are lucky fellows to be generally in employment, which doesn’t happen with the young who are overqualified: paradoxically these are “more unemployable.”
In these residences and with this kind of proprietors (not young any more) there is always, in almost every apartment, the odd job to do. They don’t charge much, these spare labourers. When the owner, lady or gentleman, asks the labourer, the job once completed: “Combien?” (How much? They lower their brow, half smiling, and give you a surprisingly low figure.
Thirty years ago, my partners in the Manhattan joint (say, Ableman, Reichwald, Kaufmann, who were my best friends), having to fix their hourly rates, already pronounced figures of one hundred US dollars per hour, if not one thousand. The story of dusty labourers like Alan and Charles is quite different. They are always very humble. Sometimes they simply answer: “What you see fit.” In Spain they say, “La caridad.” (What your Charity may hand over.)
The other day, I was climbing a flight of ten stone steps, from the church to the lawn, which I call ‘of the dogs, when two youngsters came to my rescue, because they thought wrongly that I was exhausted. Rather well-dressed (and it is an exception) young man and young girl. They insisted in retaining a remembrance, and took pictures of my person. I had observed they had a big mobile ‘phone. One each. I remembered that my younger daughter, the wealthier one, when she comes back from summer holidays, she always brings (from Bali, Bermuda or wherever) piles of snaps of our granddaughters. “Daddy, with this phone,” she said to me last September, “you see, I can offer you fifty- three snaps. I know you like the number. I could offer you thousands.”
Technology and innovation. Under the system, modern man can invent. Pity there are these terrorist attacks because otherwise we would be progressing all the time, being as we are number one or two in science and technology. In a conference organised in our big library, not far from the new magnificent Mormon temple, the Chief of Police warned the young about the dangers of radicalisation. There is a special scheme approved by the Chief of State.
Our “radicalised” young men are despondent to death. Who knows what goes on inside their brains. Today there is no tracing what can cause despair among us. It may the death of a sister, as they say happened to the composer Mendelssohn, or it may be that you’ve eaten poisoned fish or chemically contaminated. eggs. Children too. There is no telling who’ll be poisoned today, when and how.
Youth? Poor, poor, pussy cats! In the papers nowadays, because there has just been an act of terrorism in Barcelona committed by a young man living in Ripoll, everything is about vans deliberately driven into crowds of honest citizens of the free world. The sycophants only think of maximising their writing. To satisfy the public in general, of course,
When the Israeli warplanes devastated Gaza, killing a thousand (children among the victims), what?
A terrorist? One of us, from Ripoll. And the neighbours trotting out to offer their stories to the newspaper. “You wouldn’t have believed it! ” “ He was a boy just like the all the others here!!” “Rather a well-qualified young person, employed as a waiter.” “A bit timid.” “And every Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday praying to the Supreme Being, High Above, Supreme Saviour of All. Well, that is what he shouted when he killed the others: “God is the Biggest!!”
What suddenly happened?”
To me, the young must feel that their life is frittering away swallowed by some monster they cannot pinpoint… That monster is capitalism-imperialism, the system which was to supply humankind will all that is necessary in life… and brought (besides) the possibility of total destruction and… at the same time total misery.
Today it is a splendid summer morning downtown with a strong breeze, which is causing the sky to be perfectly blue. I see a train of baby-prams slowly moving down the avenue. The prams (there are ten just now passing before my bench) is an ingenious innovation, a small medium-sized capitalist enterprise. One of those “start-ups.” A successful one (it employs thirteen labourers, previously unemployed for two or two-and-a-half years.
With this invention of French genius, these prams which I see in good weather carry three or four hours a day four children instead of one, thus each carer can multiply her earnings. At ten euros an hour, with four kiddies; sometimes you see in addition a little blondinette toddler holding on to the blouse of the labourer… you calculate. You may be sure that the young woman’s partner is at this very moment training some old gentleman’s or lady’s dog on the large lawn behind the catholic church.
In this way the semi-married couple, joining their savings, will be able to have a restaurant meal once a week.
The sky, miraculously saved from pollution by last night’s tropical storm, has made me change my ideas. Today I feel happy. Perhaps the new Minister of Ecology said the truth this morning, that innovation and technology was working, that capitalismimperialism, in a word, will save the planet.
We shall cease to be so greedy, and our youth will be for life no longer suicidal.