Students from across Britain attended a demonstration called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts today (Saturday 28th). The national demonstration took place after recent weeks saw occupations and demonstrations in a number of Universities.
The rally in Birmingham heard speakers from various Universities and the demonstration was supported by young members of the Socialist Party, anarchist groups, young members of the Green Party and Left Unity – and of course Red Youth. Our comrades distributed our Red Youth programme We Want Freedom and we took part in the short lived occupation of the Library.
For millions of young people, education offers the only way to a better future. But education doesn’t come cheap. Just as the government was scrapping the £30 a week EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) they decided to give the banks £850bn! The ruling class believes that propping up a dying system is far more important than giving hundreds of thousands of working-class youth the chance to continue their education.
Not content with denying us the right to further education at college, the ruling class has now decided to shut the doors to higher education too. New degree students in England and Wales will need to find £9,000 every year for fees – and that’s on top of living expenses! Labour’s pledge to reduce this to £6,000 is a complete joke, and we refuse to see it as some great handout or progressive measure!
It’s clear that the ruling class is cutting off our access to work and education – we’re being trapped in a cycle of endless poverty, desperation and degradation. No wonder that in these circumstances so many young people are driven to join the British army.
It seems that the ruling class gets all the benefits from war, while workers get nothing but injury or death. Films, TV and games glorify war and make it seem exciting, but the reality is different.
When you join the army you don’t get to learn a skill or do any of the really exciting stuff like fly a helicopter – that’s too important for the likes of us. All those cushy jobs go to the rich kids like Prince William, who are automatically put in charge. They’re the ‘officers’ whilst we (the ‘squaddies’) are expected just to take orders and do all the fighting – and dying.
They make us fight our foreign working-class brothers and sisters so that they and their ruling circles can plunder and steal all the wealth and natural resources (like oil) of the countries we attack. But why should we do their dirty work for them? Why should we steal and plunder other people’s wealth? If the rich want to steal the oil, let the prime minister and the bankers send their children to get killed while we stay here and look after our own interests.
In fact, if you think about it, we have more in common with the working-class youth of foreign countries than we do with the rich youth in Britain. When our foreign brothers resist our ruling class they are teaching us by example. We need to unite with our class brothers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere in order to defeat our common enemy – the British ruling class – and build a happy, prosperous and cultured existence, free from endless poverty and war.
Divide and rule
It’s obvious that this system isn’t in the interests of the vast majority of people, so how has it survived for so long?
On top of having a huge state machinery of coercion – police, courts, prisons etc – to keep people in line, the capitalists also control the media. From school textbooks to BBC and Sky news to the Sun and the Guardian, their ideas are pushed onto us every day: a way of looking at the world that teaches us that this system is inevitable and logical, and that cuts and wars are necessary to defend ‘our way of life’, as opposed to protecting their profit margins.
One of the biggest lies we are told is that the problems we face – lack of jobs, cuts in public services, no access to education or housing and so on – are caused by immigrants putting a ‘strain’ on Britain’s resources. But long before there were large numbers of immigrants in Britain there was mass unemployment and capitalist crisis!
Groups like EDL and the BNP pretend to be addressing workers’ problems, but by reinforcing the lies about immigration being the root cause of those problems, what they actually do is help the capitalists stay in power and keep the working class divided and weak.
What is to be done?
The fact is that the ruling class stays in power by encouraging those it rules over to fight each other – instead of getting together to fight the capitalists! The one thing that would really threaten our rulers’ grip on power is if the workers of Britain united and got organised. The police and the army combined couldn’t do much in the face of the masses of people once we decided to stop obeying their orders and believing their lies!
An understanding of society (theory) and a way of uniting to change it (organisation) are the two things that we need to make a socialist revolution. Young people have everything to gain by getting involved in this process sooner rather than later. This world isn’t working for us and we deserve better!
Not only do we need to campaign against the bad conditions and lack of prospects for the youth in Britain today, but we need to work for a completely different type of society – one where people’s needs decide everything.
So many problems face this world: environmental catastrophe, poverty, disease, racism and war. They’ll never be solved while capitalism remains, but they could all be sorted if society was set up for the benefit of the majority rather than the private gain of a few billionaires.
Studying Marxism, organising the young people in your area and learning about how we fight for socialism is the only way we can defeat the ruling class.
Get involved with Red Youth to find out more!