When you look at the recent student protests in the UK it occurred to me how people change throughout their lives.
It may seem like a stereotype that a student will be a lefty. Maybe this image has been implanted in our subconsciousness by the character of Rick in The Young Ones or plethora of anti-Thatcher comedians and musicians who were coming out of universities in the mid-eighties.
Back then it seemed that all students were left wing, tree hugging, hemp wearing, hippies intent on saving the world from nuclear war and fighting capitalism on a grand scale. Even today the students who come from well off families are fighting the very thing which has given them a privileged upbringing, which paid for them to be able to study at university in the first place.
I love irony of it all.
It seems when people are young and have no control over their life or their environment they cry out to be heard. Teenagers demand equality and demand to have a say in what happens in the family home. They want a say in where the family moves to, what car their parents drive, where they go for a holiday, what food is bought and what brand of expensive trainers their parents will purchase for them and the credit card that was used to buy them.
Because when we are young we don’t have any money of our own or if we do it is very little. We have no power, we can’t even be treated in hospital or get married without our parents consent. In addition, we can’t smoke, drink or learn to drive until we are 18. The whole world seems to be against us having fun!
Then, if you thrown into the mix what a shock to the system it is for a teenage or have to pay bills, let alone income tax, it all adds up to them being against the establishment, which anyone with a job and has disposable income are
They think the rich should share out their money among the poor equally and every decision should be made with a vote. Among the youth, socialism is a very big thing… Until the mid-twenties!
When get to their mid-twenties they get a little control over their life and their finances. People usually get married, have children and if they are lucky they can buy their own home. They might start off with good intentions by giving others in their household the democracy that they were deprived of as a child but they quickly you learn that democracy is very much overrated.
They find that compromises have to be made all the time which means nobody gets what they want. Things take 3 times as long to decide because you have to obtain a consensus of opinion about what type of toilet paper to buy. Should it be 3 ply comfort or 1 ply environmentally friendly?
You crave the household becoming a dictatorship. That is how all tyrants begin, by demanding democracy and then turning into a dictator when nothing ever happens. Arguably Barack Obama’s time in office in the US has been mixed. Without democracy a black man might never have became president. With democracy the Republicans have made sure the Democrats have go nothing done in the past 10 years!
So, it also dawns on them that the money they are earning seems to not be as much as it should be. Upon closer investigation it is revealed that they are paying a hell of a lot of tax. For what? They begin to think of ethnic cleansing, shooting the unemployed, deporting the sick and putting the poor in to slavery just to reduce the tax burden.
Just like Star Wars the journey to the dark side is complete. they have gone from a left wing socialist who thinks everyone in the home should have an equal say in what happens and have an equal share of someone else’s hard earned money to a right wing fascist who thinks there should be one decision maker in the home, greed is good and everyone else can piss off and earn their own money. Just leave mine alone!
Youth+powerless+poor = left wing democracy.
Middle age+control+money = right wing dictatorship.
That’s life in a nutshell. It’s the same for a soldier, an average worker or anyone else who starts at the bottom being ignored.