The young people timebomb

A large proportion of global population of 7.7 billion people is aged 24 or under. In Africa 41% are 15 or under, The Asian and Latin American figures it is 25%. Most of these young people will reach adulthood scarred by recession, civil war, falling living standards and austerity programs.  Many current protests center around shared grievances about inequality and jobs.  In India each month 1 million people turn 18 and can register to vote.  In the Middle East and North Africa an estimated 27 million youngsters will enter the workforce in the next five years. Any government that fails to provide jobs and housing is in for a rough ride.  The young people referred to above are different from previous generations in that they are nearly all have access to the internet.  They are healthier, on balance better educated than previous generations, and are aware of the concepts of free speech and living wages, and less prepared to see them denied.

Protests are everywhere and expectations are higher. The young, faced with a fearsome climatic future, are protesting injustice, inequality, environmental degradation and the oppressive powers that be. Meanwhile, authoritarian regimes backed by financial elites and wealthy oligarchies are prepared to crush threats to their power, while hypocritically deploring protester violence.  (Simon Tisdall Guardian Weekly, 1 Nov 2020).

My comment: We can thus expect a growing incidence of violence and migration caused by climate change, lack of jobs and  opportunity, not to mention affordable food.  Some of this is being driven by the attitudes of elderly populations who have done nicely, thank you, but seem to care little collectively for the struggling younger generation.  (Exhibit 1 is Brexit, driven by the votes of the elderly, I regret to say). Epicureanism and peace of mind should be attractive under these conditions,  a set of beliefs that apply everywhere and are not age-dependent. We should continue to advocate for Epicurus, his peaceful beliefs and way of life.

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