Marx and Engels put it at the end of The Communist Manifesto: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”
We, the Youth, the rising generations, the future leaders, the powerful, the energy-filled individuals are now…The Proletariats.
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the young people in the developed countries were the most affected individuals and most vulnerable. With an uncertain future, yet, they were still exploited through internships, part-time jobs with no social safety nets or over-worked in a job not in their field of study as there were no other jobs available. In addition, the proletariat has expanded to the Middle East where there is 28% of unemployment according to the World Bank. However, if the statistics are focused in one country in the Middle East, you will find that the percentage can easily increase up to 50% unemployed individuals with a high percentage among female citizens. The Middle East has suffered from dictators and corrupt regimes for decades and submitted themselves to the controlling MNC’s and TNC’s that are their main source of “their dream job and life”. As we travel further in the world and reach Far East Asia, you will find the origins of all of your everday products compiled in a few countries mainly, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan (China having the biggest share). In here, in the communist country, capitalism still plays a vital role by creating an unprecedented class of proletarians who are exploited, overworked in unsuitable working conditions with no social safety net, underpaid and creating products that are sold with 100 times of the price it is produced making enormous profits. These companies have introduced several a new sector of “nouveau-riches” in China where the top designers depend their top sales on China and if the sales are decreased in this region, that means there is an economic crisis.
“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.”
Several movements, protests, revolutions and major changes have taken place in the last 4 years. The wait was over and the generation of the social media came alive to take control of their future and to claim the injustice that was taking over the world in the last decades. “We are the 99%” was in Occupy Wall Street that spread like wildfire in hundreds of cities in the US and around the world. While the Arab Spring came about to protest for the sake of socio-economic injustice and it was led by the youth in several Arab countries. While in Thailand, the same domino effect has taken place. All of these movements and protests were agreeing on one aspect; the corporations and the elites were getting richer and controlling the people and creating an unstable future for the young people.
Hence, a lot of young people have started examining Marxism and reading about its critique on capitalism and how social consciousness is not taken into consideration which results in economic, environmental and human capital degradation. People decided to take control and create an informal economy where bottom-to-top approach is leading such as social entrepreneurship. Social enterprises are businesses with positive social impact that tackle social issues the governments and civil society organisations and corporations have failed addressing. In addition, the social media and online community has created a virtual connection for the people to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and create a market for the young people who can’t enjoy a slime of the corporate world.
This frustration was also spread into Hollywood movies such as the latest animation movie, Lego. This movie shows how the workers are anti-establishment of the corporate where the power is in one hand who is the president of the company. The theme song then spreads the message of how it is always better to work in a team and everything is “awesome”. The socialist utopia is also shown in the animation movie, Toy Story 3 where it goes against the establishment of 1% and promotes equality among all of the population. Such movies are affecting the children’s mentalities sub-consciously. There are many more movies that discuss the exploitation of the capitalist societies such as, The Inside Job and the re-emergence of communism.
Today, the people are tired of the capitalist societies controlling their lives and governments and bankers inflicting their crises on them.The ultimate root of the crisis for Marx is the gap between use and exchange value: the logic of exchange-value follows its own path, its own made dance, irrespective of the real needs of real people. Grassroot initiatives and civil societies would like to create a market that does not humiliate the human dignity and value. However, appreciates the value and effort of the human beings. Consequently, this creates better productivity as corporates would create an environment between its employees based on a concept of “others-regard” instead of “self-interest”, resulting in a stronger social capital.
Suzan Shedid, Dubai Campus