YOUNG AND ANGRY?

I have a heading from an Australian National Newspaper 'Green Left Weekly' which labelled an article in a libertarian newspaper (Angry People) as "Homophobic Rubbish In Anarchist Garb".

Here's the article. It was taken off the webpage of the Democratic Socialist Party Of Australia. It is saved as an attatchment as well as the angry people article. What is most interesting is how the DSP cut out an Angry People quote by omitting a line thus confusing the reader. Hope you enjoy this smear from the left. Also saved is the original angry people article (see below)

George Alexandrou
madwog@xchange.anarki.net

YOUNG AND ANGRY? Anarchism needs new blood and not just for the old vampires either

A group that often seems to get sadly neglected by anarchists in Australia of the 1990's is people under eighteen. Some anarchists do make an effort to involve the young dudes, but this tends not to be the trend. I think it was Bakunin who said that the very principles we put forward and affirm in our daily lives, have the greatest impact on young people (and if it wasn't him who said it, it sounds good anyway!). Here you have a group that is greatly oppressed by society: sexually, politically, legally, ideologically and economically.

The few slave-type jobs that there are in existence for people under eighteen involve appalling conditions and pathetic rates of pay. McDonald's is, of course, the greatest exploiter of young people, although supermarkets come a close second. A common occurrence in all these workplaces is a supervisor who resembles or actually comes close to the age of a young worker's parents. Increasingly, supermarkets are employing sixteen year olds on six day rotating rosters. It doesn't take a genius to work out that young workers are not in an environment where they are treated as adult workers and that in their uniforms that they are made to wear it's just like being at school or at home - and they get treated much the same. Financially they are no better off, most of their pay goes towards board and rent, which they formerly didn't pay.

Young people are encouraged by the education system to feel inferior to adults. Their efforts at self expression are dismissed as "rebellion" or are over-patronised by do-gooders, who are actually just as dismissive, only in a different way. There exists a very real ideology in society in regard to teenagers: the idea that somehow everything they do is all "growing up" until they are sanctified by reaching the age of eighteen. Any real achievement by young people is usually saddled onto surrounding adults and their 'guidance'.

Legally teenagers are oppressed, you have but to look at the extensive range of laws that govern their personal freedom. The freedom to smoke, drink and to stay out late in some cities is restricted. Young dudes can't enter sacred alcohol shrines to see bands or watch certain movies because the federal censor's grandmother might be offended. Nor can they attain full driving licences, get credit, rent a house or choose what they want to learn. Naturally lots of people find ways around these and other legal barriers but it's ridiculous that they exist in the first place! It's also worth noting that statistically young people (after mental patients) are the most bashed by police. Why do we leave it up to the council and church groups to provide positive stimuli for young people and open youth centres? IMAGINE: pool halls pinball parlours football clubs radical libraries discussion groups dance parties workshops self-defence centres entertainment activities internet cafes ALL RUN AND SELF MANAGED BY THE YOUTH BUT SET UP BY ANARCHISTS

There's also lots of laws governing a young person's sexuality. A complex set of do's and don'ts that boil down to "don't do it and feel guilty because you wanted too" are the order of the day. Nature seems to be encouraging the learning process of sexuality during puberty but all the State can say is "wait until you're one of our adults" and then work it out. Of course, lots of young people say 'fuck 'em'!!

A great deal of AIDS education and the 'scary' side of sex seems to be directed right slap-bang at the youth. Sex is pretty scary stuff at that age to begin with, scare campaigns just stuff it up totally. Then there's the ridiculous morality inflicted upon young people right from the word go, which most will spend the next fifteen years learning to ignore and then totally disregard!

Teenagers are a disenfranchised group and politicians really only worry about their parents and not them. When the pollies salivate at the thought of power every four years come election time, the youth become an agenda item but nothing ever really changes. In my experience most fifteen and sixteen year old's would make great voters and possess open minds to make real changes, although perhaps not through rigged parliamentary so-called democracy. Maybe that's why they're not allowed to vote. It's claimed that people in this age group lack the responsibility to make informed decisions - BULLSHIT! - they're just afraid of their nice, safe jobs being questioned. I guess this is also why youth wages are the lowest wages going. If society expects someone to work for its benefit, then that someone must at least be given an equal say in the running of it.

Society has its solutions to most of these issues. The government sets up youth councils and forums run by "responsible adults" but most of these groups are just attempts to encourage acceptance of the status quo amongst young people for the purposes of future voting and living. They build skate ramps and hold all-age gigs but do little else, which really only reinforces their perceptions that teenagers are just kids who are interested in nothing but playing.

Trotskyist groups try to fill the vacuum, seeing young dudes as party fodder and trying to get the to sell their party paper. The under-handed tactics of these sectarian groups seem to work best on young people. One such group is Resistance, the youth brainwashing arm of the Un-Democratic Socialist Party (DSP). One of the DSP's tactics to recruit the youth in Newcastle, and according to our sources, Perth and Sydney as well, has been to convince teenagers from dysfunctional families that the 'philosophy of the family is wrong' and that the reason they are confused about many things and unsure of the future is because of this. To compliment their evil intentions they have gone as far as convincing people that they are gay or lesbian and because of this they do not fit in to the family unit or society at large. Angry People have no beef with a person's choice of sexuality, we're not saying that to be gay or lesbian is bad or wrong in the slightest. What we are exposing however, is the dirty tactics the DSP are willing to use in order to screw up a young mind only then to reassure that individual that the party is there for them like one big, happy family. A turn of events like this one seems to serve to sever the confused young person completely from family and friends and make them good trot fodder. I've met too many good people who've been fucked up by these arseholes when they were young and impressionable. Some make it through and become anarchists but unfortunately a lot toss in radical politics altogether.

So what can anarchists do to encourage young people to become part of our efforts or indeed, to make their own efforts in their own way? Well, maybe we could stop trying to explain the political correctness of not eating McDonald's and other such stuff and start looking for newer, 'less dusty' ideas. To change a society takes people who care and I can't think of a more emotional group who give a shit than teenagers. Why do we leave it up to councils and church groups to provide positive stimuli for young people and open youth centres?

Anarchists should be doing this. If the resources don't exist or can't be found then by all means we should infiltrate existing facilities and encourage them towards user self-control. Go and volunteer to be a youth worker (sounds sadly like a social worker doesn't it?), get into the apparatus and then throw a spanner into it or exploit it for the benefit of the cause.

Angry People believe that anarchism in Australia needs a big ingestion of new blood and that's not young blood just to keep the old vampires going either. What grows or becomes will probably be totally different from 'bookshop', 'punk' or 'the paper' anarchism and surely that's a positive thing. We need new idea's, new hope, new energy and the youth is where it'll come from.

angry people

Add Your Comments to this page.
Anarchist Action Network