The youth of Puerta del Sol have taken some of their inspiration from the youth of the Arab Spring. Yet each of these revolts is also rooted in its own grievances, with consequences that will be similarly singular. The most common word they used to describe their lives: complicated.
Yes, they want jobs. Of course. Guillermo Ubieto, age 27, graduated with an advanced degree in international relations. Ubieto says. They told us study, push yourselves, you can have a good future.
Now we are saying something. Yet the Puerta del Sol protest was about a lot more than jobs. Something more fundamental was at work. It was time to stop accepting the verdict of a diminished life. But the issues being raised seem bigger than any solutions. As the indignados see it, their extremity has forced questions about what it means to be human; what values and truths to accept; how people should be treated; how democracy should work; the role of free markets, money, the social contract, community.
And whether the indignados can survive they still fill the square on Sunday evenings is unclear. But their pluck brought public sympathy in Spain and Greece, and they are seen as a bellwether among analysts: Europe and its nations have a debt crisis that is testing its unity and economics.
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But the youth protests point to an equally important crisis — of meaning, and of what kind of spirit the age will usher in. But after Tunisia and Egypt, I could see what the Spanish kids were doing. Young Europeans for decades have identified with a historic joining of the Continent. They identified strongly with postwar visions: a high-minded model of civil society, ideals of justice, a robust monetary union, and a confident zone of business dealings and corporations that set global management standards.
Author Jeremy Rifkin in saw Europe as the path to the future. Europe seemed a dazzling model of social cohesion — wealthy, sustainable, green, and mostly postnational.
The ghosts of Auschwitz were fading. Democratic values were ascendant, borders were falling, and old animosities were evaporating. The Bosnian war was an early reality check on how prepared Europe was to sacrifice in the name of its values. A war crimes tribunal at The Hague, the first since Nuremberg, prosecuted hundreds of officers and soldiers from those wars. Yet the European dream is suddenly in question. Unders have more doubt than optimism. It is the first generation since the s that feels few thrills about a Europe project. The nation eurozone is debt-ridden.
Ugly splits are manifest between northern- and southern-tier states. The cohesion brought by a Franco-German relationship bent on keeping Europe whole and vibrant has frayed or become exhausted. But today I am not satisfied…. Spain and Italy are not out of the red-ink woods. Youth riots in London this summer may have been a singular, compulsive event, but they hold a warning. Anciently in Madrid, Puerta del Sol is where all roads led out to Europe. But until May 15, it was not a place of political symbolism, not a Tiananmen Square of Spain.
Today their numbers and energy are still strong, though their focus is more diffuse. On Sept. All polls show a wide feeling among youth that the political class and elites are a problem. Affordable housing is in short supply, rents are expensive, and for many, getting a home loan seems as likely as changing the rings of Saturn. Without a work contract, it is often hard to sign a lease. Moving from flat to flat takes a toll, and living at home puts a strain on families. Nadera is a young French Arab, With black hair pulled back and fine features, she has a slightly glamorous look that belies her status as a member of the generation who works seasonal jobs for cash.
She comes from a family of nine. She left home at 14 and has held numerous jobs. One was caring for the handicapped, and she would like to one day own a home-care business; helping others is an ideal of hers. Little things cost a lot for this generation: phones, train tickets, food. Twenty-five-year-olds compete with year-olds for work. As Europe ages and budgets tighten, older generations want to keep their jobs. The young are, well, young, and considered more adaptable.
Globally, only Southeast Asia has low youth unemployment. In Europe, figures show a rise in joblessness since the fiscal crisis began. In , the overall jobless rate among youth was But by , it had risen to more than 20 percent. Only Germany saw a decline. Wendy Cunningham of the World Bank in Washington says the old social contract that college equals a job is fast disappearing. Whether the disillusionment will manifest itself in something more unruly is uncertain. Down the road, some do see trouble.
In the May elections in Britain, Liberal Democrats captured student hearts with promises that university tuitions would not rise. The youth turned out. For many, it was the first time they had ever voted. The shock ignited a massive student march through central London. Young protesters bused in from all parts of the country to demonstrate.
Most see them as sympathetic and sacrificing.
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Studies show that 46 percent of Europeans under 34 live with at least one parent. I like proof. I am always online. When it comes to Greek politics and the debt crisis, I draw my own conclusions. There is a lot more information, and a lot more to challenge. One thing youth resent is when elders caricature their generation. It was a derogatory slap. The protesters, highly educated but often unemployed, shot back that, yes, they were Ni-Nis — they supported neither center-left Socialists, nor the center-right Popular Party, something akin in the US to a pox on both Democratic and Republican houses.
This ended. Howker, who just turned Not that youth are free from self-criticism. In Luton, a blue-collar city northwest of London, Michael Toms, 24, works the late shift at the train station. William Barnard -- pt. James and philosophy. Efron, Arthur. Amsterdam: Rodopi, The characters of Tess are considered as real people with sexual bodies and complex minds.
Efron identifies the "experience blockers" that the critical tradition has stumbled upon, and defends Hardy's involvement in telling his story. Efron offers a new way of evaluating literature inspired by Dewey's pragmatist aesthetics. Reviewed by C. Ehrat, Johannes. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Habermas, Jurgen. Truth and Justification , trans. Barbara Fultner. Kalpokas, Daniel. Buenos Aires: Ediciones del Signo, Knight, Louise W.
Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy. Murphey, Murray G. Lewis: The Last Great Pragmatist. Contents: Biographical note I. Final years.
Oppenheim, Frank M. Notre Dame, Ind. Reviewed by David Rodick. Pecknold, C. Pihlstrom, Sami. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, The Many Faces of Moral Realism.