Young people are casualties of the putrefaction of capitalist society

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The article below was recently published by the ICC's French section. If the details of violence among young people relate to that country, they are not a French specificity, as is clear from many recent examples in the UK. In Reading, in January, four boys and a girl, all aged 13 or 14 were arrested for murder after a 13-year-old boy was stabbed to death. In Haringey, a student who had gone to help friends after a mobile phone was stolen was stabbed to death and 5 teenagers have been charged. In Islington, a 15-year-old who was going to a chip shop was fatally stabbed and a 17-year-old has been charged with his murder. These are all characteristic of this putrefying world. In the same way, it is on a global scale that the solution to the tragedy that capitalism is inflicting on humanity and its youth on a daily basis can be found: the overthrow of the capitalist system, which is incapable of offering any perspectives to young people except unemployment, brutal death on the street corner, under the blows of gangs or cops, or as a consequence of the anti-social and deadly behaviour of other young people, which are a pure reflection of the world in which we live.

Since February, there have been multiple violent incidents among young people. Brawls, attacks, killings... the horror hits the young generation head on.

In Paris, on 15 February, Yuriy, a 15-year-old, was beaten and his skull smashed with a hammer by eleven young people aged 15 to 18. Even when he lay motionless on the ground, they continued to hit him. In Essonne, on 22 February, a 14-year-old girl was stabbed in the stomach during a brawl between two gangs. Six juveniles aged 13 to 16 were arrested. The next day, 23 February, also in Essonne, two gangs clashed: the 'big' ones (16-17 years old) 'supervised' a fight between the 'little' ones (12-15 years old) ... until one of them was surrounded and pulled out a knife... A 14-year-old schoolboy died, another 13-year-old went to hospital in a serious condition, stabbed in the throat. In Bondy, on 26 February, a young 15-year-old boxer called Aymen was killed when he was shot. The perpetrators were two brothers, aged 17 and 27. In Argenteuil, on 8 March, a 14-year-old called Alisha was trapped by two 15-year-olds: she was beaten up and thrown into the Seine while barely conscious. The contrast between the youth of the protagonists and the barbarity of the acts is shocking.

The press and politicians have all tried to exploit these tragedies. They accuse, in no particular order, 'irresponsible families', 'brutal immigrants', 'Muslims', the 'laxness of the legal system', 'lack of police funding'... and propose as a solution to punish the parents, to deport foreigners, to increase police numbers and to toughen laws against juveniles. The government is going to play this repressive card with the reform of the justice system as it affects young people, which is going to lead to quicker verdicts and heavier sentences. In other words, they are all preparing us for an even more violent and inhumane society.

In reality, youth pay the price for the rotting of the whole social body: 'no future' is a gangrene that is gradually gaining a hold throughout society. While the bourgeoisie is no longer able to mobilise society behind any perspective, and while the proletariat is not putting forward its own revolutionary perspective, society decomposes on its feet[1] and social relations disintegrate: increased individualism, nihilism, destruction of family ties, every man for himself, fear of the other, are all proliferating; blind violence, hatred, the spirit of revenge and self-destruction become the norm (on television, in films, through music, games). This outpouring of barbarism between children for totally futile and irrational reasons is the expression of a society without a future, which is breaking down, oppressing and suffocating us. In more and more parts of the world, this violence between young people has become a daily occurrence, whether it takes the form of gang rivalries or shootings in schools.

Today, the bourgeoisie has no future to offer to humanity. Only the class struggle can put an end to this dynamic. Only class solidarity, all generations combined, can light the way towards the revolutionary perspective and put an end to inhuman and deadly capitalism.

Ginette, March 24, 2021


[1] To find out more about what the ICC calls the "decomposition phase" of capitalist society, we invite our readers to read the theses: Theses on Decomposition, as well as the numerous articles and polemics we have published on the subject.


Gangs, brawls, mob killings...