John Grieve: Financial protests,Secession of the Plebeians, Widening Generation Gap    
 Financial protests,Secession of the Plebeians, Widening Generation Gap3 comments
12 Nov 2011 @ 17:42, by John Grieve


The present financial protests by young people in hundreds of cities worldwide reminds me of a little-known episode from Roman history. In Ancient Rome the Plebeians were an underclass of commoners and most of the privileges went to the rich and powerful Patrician clans and families. So as a protest The Plebeians decided to secede from Rome, and they went and camped outside the city walls. In the end their protests won them reforms.

What is happening now on a global scale reminds me of this. The Youth of the world are saying "we've had enough of this unfairness and injustice (of the banking and financial system) and they have literally encamped around places of strategic importance. The Youth are seceding from our unjust and unfair society which is putting huge burdens on their shoulders for years to come.

I see a new politics emerging out of this. A politics whereby the voices and values of Youth are heard, where society is not grossly unfair and unjust. Otherwise the gap between the generations will become unbridgeable. The evidence of groups like the Pirates Party in Sweden and Berlin and the "Anarcho-surrealists" of Reykjavik shows that it can be done. The older generation owe it to the young people to hand over some of their power. Those who ignore the claims of the young do so at their own peril.


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3 comments

2 Dec 2011 @ 20:14 by fiskedavid : Change
Growing up in South Africa I learned that the rich and powerful seldom decide to share out of the goodness of their hearts. Change came because angry people became violent. The powerful like most tyrants hang on for as long as they can, supported generally by passivity and the fear of standing out. Sometimes a good dose of chaos and catastrophe spurs the change on. I get hope from both.  


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