Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Indeed. I noticed that a frequent theme in the young adults generation is: "We won't get any pension" i.e. the pension system that we know today will be completely dismantled by the time they reach old age. So it's every man for him/herself.

It's no accident that this agenda is cynically pushed by business interests who'd love nothing more than replacing the current solidarity based systems (Social Security in the US, Assurance Vieillesse in France, etc...) by "market based" systems that will guarantee them a juicy rent extraction by the way of commissions and other "fees".

As E.Todd was putting it in "After Democracy", at some point the powers that be will just stop pretending and do away with formal representative democracy, merely acknowledging the full replacement of government by governance. The process has been well under way for some time now. There's No Alternative, as we all know.

If any ray of hope is to be found, it seems to me it is in the younger people: high school students who are taking to the streets and re-discovering the art and craft of collective action. Sure they may not stand a chance, but in the (not so) long run their generation will outlive ours.

This is especially true in what we call - sometimes dismissively - "the South countries": look at what's going on in Algeria, Tunisia.. Also look at the South American continent (Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela...); there are plenty of young people out there who have nothing to loose and (and you'll have to read part of my French here) will take none of that shit. [There, got it off my chest]

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Jan 9th, 2011 at 04:33:18 PM EST
that believing that you'll get screwed out of a pension is not incompatible with wanting there to be pensions. it just means you can read the writing on the wall, and are being realistic about what's in store for you.
by wu ming on Mon Jan 10th, 2011 at 04:20:59 AM EST
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- idrewthis.org

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jan 10th, 2011 at 06:44:24 AM EST
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As J. Edgar Hoover used to say: "The wish if father of the thought!"  :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 10th, 2011 at 11:36:07 AM EST
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You know, Bernard, the thing that amazes me is that they DO stand a chance. The political and economic forces that made collective action so powerful in the past are still every bit as potent a force today as they ever were. In some ways more powerful. The predators are closer to the surface of the dark waters today, but just as dependent on the narcotized placidity of the "lower orders"

There are two huge things that make them powerless today.

The first thing is, of course, their belief that "That shit just doesn't work anymore". Wrong.

The second is the culture of selfish individualism, in which he who shares is a chump.

The generation of today is the most powerful in history.
They could bring the mighty to their knees in six months if only they gave a shit about someone besides themselves.
As long as it's Get Yours First, they'll be just meat.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun Jan 16th, 2011 at 01:22:54 AM EST
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