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Letters—Young people are turning left, and towards socialism

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Issue 2762
Young people led a huge student strikes for the climate London.
Young people led huge monthly student strikes for the climate in London.

New research from the right wing Institute of Economic Affairs shows 67 percent of young people are rejecting capitalism in favour of socialism.

This will come as no shock to those of us who grew up in an epoch of climate crisis, growing inequality and austerity.

Our earliest memories are playground talks about recession, images of the Iraq War and an education system that told us it was “our” responsibility to solve climate change.

Many young people recognise their entire future is threatened by capitalism which gives them no power but still lays blame on them for its problems.

LETTERS—John Bercow joining Labour signals its rightward shift
LETTERS—John Bercow joining Labour signals its rightward shift
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Movements such as the school strikes for climate, Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, free Palestine and kill the bill have been led by a layer of young people.

They refuse to give up their future to a system that puts profit before people.

The report polled people aged 16-34. It also shows that socialist politics aren’t just a passing phase, outlining that young people are more likely to “grow into” socialism rather than out of it.

The explanation for this is simple, the system is rigged against working people of all ages.

There has been a shift in attitude and many people now see capitalism as the problem—they no longer accept it as the only option. The report states that capitalists must make a “positive case” for capitalism. There is no positive case for economic inequality, climate catastrophe and destruction of infrastructure.

Young people are right to fight for change. As we come out of lockdown, young people are feeling the pressures of the pandemic.

They have had little support throughout and are being thrown into a world in which housing is unaffordable and good jobs are scarce.

Revolutionaries have been central to the fightback and people have found an alternative in socialism. A system that puts people before profit.

Liam Tuckwood


Houston, we have a problem

The rich exploring space and expanding capitalism among the stars is a popular trope in sci-fi movies and comic books. But it’s increasingly becoming a goal for them.

Capitalism faces a climate crisis and a crisis of profitability. By going to space bosses hope to start a new industrial revolution—and escape the climate chaos they’ve caused.

They’re not content with destroying just one planet.

The likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos want to establish space colonies where the rich can live in luxury whilst ordinary people are forced to work off the price of their tickets.

Their exploration would involve vast mining operations—and we all know how well that’s turned out on Earth.

Rather than plan a different kind of society, the capitalists just want to repeat the same mistakes, only this time on an interplanetary scale.

“Space capitalism” offers no real solution to our problems. We have to provide the solution ourselves through workers’ control.

We should explore space, do experiments, and discover more about the universe.

But for this we need a society where workers run things, not profit-hungry capitalists.

Only then can we have space programmes built around exploration, not competition. We have worlds to win.

Con Cooley


Face masks on public transport must remain

Throughout the pandemic bosses on the London Underground have hidden behind government advice, no matter how inadequate that advice was.

Train workers fight bosses’ attempt to make them pay for the pandemic
Train workers fight bosses’ attempt to make them pay for the pandemic
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It was left to RMT union members to initially make stations safe by turning off the ticket gates.

We also supplied our own face visors.

The government plan to end all restrictions on 19 July is not backed up by any scientific advice.

The RMT position is clear. Masks on public transport should remain—as should social distancing for our members in work.

We will meet with Underground managers on this and hope they see sense.

If any of our members think that their safety is at risk and refuse to work, we will support them in that decision.

It’s a basic rule that all workers should follow everywhere.

Phil Rowan

South London

Wildfires expose a broken system

President Nicos Anastasiades described the recent fires that started in Arakapa, Cyprus, as, “The biggest disaster since 1974.”

The fires destroyed 21 square miles, affecting eight villages. Four young migrant farm workers were burned alive.

How British imperialism split Cyprus
How British imperialism split Cyprus
  Read More

It’s a huge ecological disaster. But this is not “the biggest disaster since 1974”. The greatest disaster is Anastasiadis’ eight-year rule, which left Cyprus unprotected from the fires.

Wildfires are common in Cyprus. A fire in 2016 caused two firefighters to go missing whilst on duty.

Afterwards, Anastasiades made promises to buy fire fighting planes and other equipment. But he did nothing, there was no extra investment in the fire service or the forestry department either.

Just a few weeks ago, the government announced £126 million extra for the National Guard.

That’s equivalent to the cost of four firefighting planes. Wind may have contributed to the fast spread of the fires but the improperly funded fire department couldn’t respond effectively.

Anastasiades called on citizens to be vigilant “for those who unknowingly, intentionally or negligently cause fires”. This is unacceptable from a government that bears the greatest responsibility.

Demetrios Hadjidemetriou

North London

Why money for nukes?

It’s Unbelievable that NHS staff have to beg for money but the government can fork out to increase our nuclear missile capacity by 40 percent.

Who voted for these Tory clowns?


On Twitter

Leaders of capitalism

It’s a terrible shame, but China is both authoritarian and capitalist. “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is capitalism.

I admire how the Chinese Communist Party has lifted so many people out of poverty. However, the use of brutal force in Hong Kong must be opposed by all.

People demanding independence and democracy are not reactionary. Abolish capitalism, work in the people’s true will and then socialism can be achieved.

James Jeagar

On Twitter

High rates are brewing

There’s been another increase in the number of people infected with Covid-19. At this rate, by the English school holidays we are going to be at the same levels we saw in January.

Linda Glanville

On Twitter

Up the flag waving fans

Socialist Worker is easily the best paper on the left. Well written pieces on a wide range of topics and usually subtle historical materialist analysis by great journalists. But the article “Flagging up a problem” is awful abstract criticism without taking account of the political and historical context.

Padraig OFinn

On Facebook

Nobel prize

I think if anyone deserves the Nobel Peace Prize it is Margaret Aspinall and the Hillsborough justice campaigners.

Danny Thomas


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