OPINION

Climate of questioning

There is a general climate of questioning among young people wherever they gather, especially in universities. You can feel it in the air, from a tendency to disobey and scorn even the simplest rules. Belief in flags and ideologies has disappeared, there are no role models to guide people, and anarchic individualism has found fertile ground, giving birth to an aggression which will inevitably trigger violence. It stems from the discrediting of politics and its subjection to economics, the process of de-ideologization, the absence of visionary words and deeds, the sense of exuberance and overconsumption that has overwhelmed society in recent years, the disappearance of solidarity and of reliable systems of social organization, and the cynicism that pervades international relations. Young people are disenchanted by this world. They have nothing to believe in. They are ground down by a world which has no creative vision to offer. They hence run the risk of falling victim to simplistic conspiracy theories, or fanaticism. The blame lies with political parties – and particularly the ruling party which initially came across as a revolutionary force but quickly turned into an establishment. Leftist parties, for their part, did not manage to evolve and adapt to the new social context, to focus on new priorities and, most crucially, to promote a neo-humanist movement grounded on the principle of solidarity for those who are shoved to the margins, for the victims of competition, who are still inspired in their heart and soul. An insightful observer can grasp the underlying momentum that is slowing shaping conditions like those that gave birth to 1968. Perhaps these November days shall presage the social transformation that lies ahead. But we should not let ourselves be deceived. The process is deep and entails changes that we cannot even imagine.