This weekend, the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos debated the issue of youth unemployment worldwide, a debate that exposed the mortal terror being felt by the capitalist class and its representatives at the revolutionary movement of young people across the globe.
Delegates representing the major banks and financial institutions, as well as world political leaders lined up to express their horror and fear that internationally millions of young people between the ages of 16 to 24 are out of work and have absolutely no prospect of employment.
The figures on youth unemployment are dramatic.
In some countries in the Middle East, 90% of 16 to 24 year olds are without work.
In the United States, the rate is 23% while Spain has just recorded a massive leap to 50% of young people unemployed.
In Britain, the figure is around 22% with youth unemployment levels reaching over one million at the start of the year.
Worldwide, it is estimated that 200 million people are out of work and that in this figure 75 million are youth.
The WEF was awash with pious talk about concern for a ‘lost generation’ and the bourgeois media are bending over backwards to insist that even the hardest-hearted banker present is claiming they ‘care passionately’ about the plight of the young unemployed.
One delegate did let the cat out of the bag when he announced that the solution to the crisis is to force unemployed youth to work for nothing for two years.
For the most part though, delegates made sure they shed enough crocodile tears to drown a continent.
The only people to be taken in by all this heart searching are the trade union leaders, who are also in attendance at this jamboree for the world’s leading capitalists.
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, met in private with union leaders over the weekend to discuss unemployment which resulted in a vague promise to ‘kick start’ the eurozone.
Today at Davos, they will consider a plan to commit 22 billion euros to ‘tackle the scourge of youth unemployment’ across Europe.
It can be confidently predicted that this money will never materialise, and even if it did, no amount of worthless paper money is going to kick life back into bankrupt capitalism.
What is really concentrating the minds at Davos is that youth, far from being a ‘lost generation’, are very much present and a powerful force for revolution.
In Tunisia and Egypt, it was the youth who took the lead in bringing down the regimes of Ben Ali and Mubarak, while today it is the youth in Egypt who are absolutely resolute in fighting the military government.
Their fight galvanised the working class across the world and inspired youth across the world, from America through to Europe, to take up the struggle against a bankrupt capitalist system that can offer young people no future but a lifetime of unemployment and destitution.
Youth are the most revolutionary section of the working class. They have no truck with the treachery of the reformist trade union leaders who spend their lives moaning about unemployment but who steadfastly refuse to bring down the coalition government which is smashing jobs and benefits in order to bail out the banks.
For youth throughout the world, the only solution is to join the struggle to smash this bankrupt rotten capitalist system forever and go forward to a socialist system where production is for human need not for the profit of a tiny number of capitalists.
That means youth coming forward to build the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to provide the working class with the revolutionary leadership required to carry out this historic task.