"A World, and a System of Unemployment" presentation & discussion 7 pm, Tuesday Dec 7 at Revolution Books

Discussion of the article from Revolution newspaper:

It's an all too familiar scene in every city in the U.S.: houses and businesses are abandoned and boarded up; entire neighborhoods lie derelict; factories that once employed hundreds or thousands are ghostly hulks, their time long since passed. Youth—overwhelmingly Black and Latino—with no jobs and no hopes of getting one hang out, passing the time and trying to figure a way to scrape some cash together while everything around them crumbles. But there's no work, and no prospects for work.

Pull back a little bit. Entire cities and regions of the U.S. are desolate; once booming industries are shut down completely or teetering on the verge of extinction. The figures are brutal, but they only hint at the reality of crushed lives, abandoned dreams, and lost hope they represent. The unemployment rate for Black people is nearly double that for whites. It is higher still among Black youth. In the spring and summer, youth unemployment rose by 571,000, most of that among inner city Black and Latino youth. Hundreds of thousands of jobless youth live in largely Black cities like East St. Louis, Detroit, and Newark.

Pull back a bit more. You'll see that tens of millions of people live every day in a desperate struggle to survive. At least two million Mexican peasants were forced out of the countryside to seek work elsewhere between 1995 and 2008. In China, millions of young people live in wretched slums thrown up in China's large cities, struggling for the barest survival in China's headlong dash to establish itself as a capitalist power on the world stage. In the continent of Africa, devastated and tormented for centuries by colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism, official unemployment in Namibia is 51.2 percent; in Zimbabwe, a staggering 95 percent.

Massive unemployment rips like a plague across this planet. In the U.S., inner city youth grow up and come of age knowing that this society has nothing to offer them, no way for them to contribute, no way for them to even hope to live a life worthy of a human being. The paths this society—this capitalist-imperialist system—offers to countless youth are savagely hard and soulless: prison, crime, the military, a shit job in a fast food place—maybe, and for as long as you can take it. And quite possibly, whatever the choice, an early death.