2. Contributions destined to rectify the public’s opinion on the so-called “youth rebellion”

2. Contributions destined to rectify the public’s opinion on the so-called “youth rebellion”
Félix Mansilla, leader of the CEOE, to Cambio 16 18/09/77, wrote:
The plants don’t have enough strength, unlike in other European countries, to guaranty a social pact. They can start a conflict; but one doesn’t know, as we confirmed from recent events, if they are able to refrain it

The background for this beautiful riot are the protests called by the unions (the speeches of the future union bureaucrats, the pride of their elders and reserve police force, were leading the parade: you’ve guessed it, the stinking Students Union) against the Plan de Empleo Juvenil (Youth Employment Plan) in the country’s major cities. These protests are a part of the spectacle of confrontation between the PSOE government and its union appendix, the UGT, whose high point is the famous call for a “general strike” in the 14th of December. Reality, in the spectacle, is always upside down, in order to extract its truth one generally only needs to invert it: the intentions of this sudden syndical “radicalization” is to recover the credibility of these bureaucrats in danger of losing their jobs for good, manage to get workers to accept their “proposals for struggle” and thus enjoy a year of “tranquility”. Under the apparent confrontation between the colleagues of the farce there’s a hidden strategy of social pacification, of domestication of the restless deafening discomfort that today rules the streets and factories; it’s a matter of getting ahead of any unorganized explosion of acute dissatisfaction that threatens to break the surface uncontrollably. As this is a dangerous game, there have been attempts to conduct a sort of general trial using the students as lab rats, as they are a strong center of docility and civism in society and consequently easy to manipulate. The best proof that students are fertile ground for aberrant illusions and maneuvers lies in the irrefutable empirical achievement of the anemic militant groups that can only seek fresh blood at the gates of the Institutes and Universities. There’s nothing as natural, as a result, than the government and unions to count on them for the creation of an environment of loud activism and contestation in face of the 14th of December.

As the spectacle sanctioned contestation vanguard, the students promptly answered to the 1st of December call. The managers of dissatisfaction had prepared the stage for a fixed fight by means of a provocation for them: the famous PEJ. With it, they were only legalizing what had been going on for years (legalization is real oppression’s dumbass brother), and if it was done it was not due to any supposed need to legalize the “informal economy”, since Capital and the State use the Law and legality with the same ease and regularity that they choke it. The only motive they had was the need to reinvigorate the spectacle with false confrontations.

The universal ignorance that goes on in that idiot factory called University was thus receiving exactly the recognition they deserved: the authorities didn’t expect them to react in any other way than they did: protesting peacefully against the “abuse” and demanding a more dignified treatment of the people whose fidelity to their masters is as unbreakable as their attachment to their own sad condition.

University students are definitely one of the poorest sectors of modern society, not just economically, but in their actual lives. They compensate the minimal amount of their experiences with a disproportional rate of ambitions in relation to the most mediocre of social destinies that awaits them and prevented from any chance of hiding their misery in ostentatious consumption of the Market’s abundance, they make their cakes from the passive consumption of the garbage cans of the political and neo-cultural world (sub-intellectual revolutionaries and subservient post-modernism are the typical examples). They are as poor as the worst paid worker, or worst, but see themselves as future rich, while the other poor at least know that they are poor (and there lies their true wealth) and don’t expect to find satisfaction in exactly that which impoverishes them: the Market. On the contrary, they tackle it when the opportunity arises.

The fraction of students that adorn their boring existence as militants in all kinds of little bunches with the term “radical”, one look or a short exchange of words is all it takes to see that they’re not so much politically radical as they are socially civilized: if they have an abstract rupture with everything is because they don’t actually rupture with anything. That their ecologist, feminist and anti-nuclear “struggles” radicalize especially in the circles of institutes and faculties already says it all, but since everything needs to be spelled out…let’s get it over with.

At each moment revealing itself as the antithesis of that innumerable youth that has no other “future” other than the factory, drugs or prison and that still constitutes a bastion of the denial of this society, it only makes sense for students to be despised by them. These youth critic real oppression on a daily basis, but does so with concrete actions, for instance, stealing in order to work the minimal amount possible. They’re delinquents no just due to necessity, but also due to simple boredom. And if they do work, they are aware that no salary, no matter how high, can compensate the time wasted earning it. University students have never done anything other than the political and juridical critic of misery (that’s why they are such fans of Human Rights, Amnesty International and Saint Sting) and, as such, they haven’t criticized anything; that’s why they hide their particular misery in political chapels and temples of culture. The spectacle of the “youth rebellion” that is put on display for the delight of the Old World is nothing but a smokescreen to hide the rebellious youth whose existence they want to deny and that expresses itself with actions such as this one.

The student youth go out of their way to participate in the management of the World and the Market, and to convert themselves by minimum cost into the owners off…average and mediocre positions in the social ladder. They react in face of the famous “crisis”, just like their programmers expect, by ensuring now their future right to shut up and work, trusting in the Unions as their future spokesmen in the “working world”. The young people that have passed through the F.P. (Formación Profesional) or the part-time workers know quite well what to expect of offers and of the “working world”; they have no illusions about it. For university students, the idea of a job when they end their studies is nothing less than a holy blessing. Meanwhile, a good chunk of those young unemployed are so (and this does a good job of shutting up the responsible for economic and information intoxication, despite complaining about it in private) because they don’t want to work and they, especially, don’t want to suffer the new conditions imposed on workers. Their absolutely negative attitude makes them un-defendable in the eyes of the defenders of society. And since the spectacle inverts all reality, this un-defendable youth is presented as the “backwards” part of young people, while the students are its “modern” part, when in fact there’s nothing more backwards than to still think that they can get rich by working; and they live haunted by the ghost of unemployment.

Among those that lost their illusions struggling to survive, the refusal of politics, understood as a technique to civilize and channel their anger, is widely spread. This highly dangerous reality to this World’s governments is so obvious that they even recognize it in their own way: oppressing it. But the inversion of the real isn’t just a common illusionist’s trick conducted by the “mass media”, it is something real that should be performed in social categories whose lives are upside down (that behave in accordance to the spectacles norms). Thus, the generalized refusal of politics (that is compensated with the injection of massive doses of civism and respect of order fomented by the permanent campaign of “civil insecurity”) is recognized… in the “apolitical” student youth, that becomes a model to impose in the whole population. The reason is simple: this “apolitical” that rejects any political affiliation; conserves and prolongs the spirit of the political: civism, respect for the rights and duties and faith in the State and the “progress” of the science of Capital as an answer to all ills; it resonates inside of the limits of politics and the dominant ideas of polite and “reasonable” petitions, and of a “responsible” and “open to dialog”1 attitude.

The critic of politics is today the primary condition to any critic. The willingness to participate in the decisions of the power only aids in the unreserved acceptance of the State and its political “rationality”; students place themselves in the place of their masters and rationalize from their perspective. It is thus logic for them to have a globally positive and apologetic stance towards this society and to commit themselves to improve what can only be destroyed. By not wanting, nor being able, to question more than a certain detail separately from the whole, they are the organic carriers of the principles of the State and they have, as a result, the monopoly on protest that is admissible and acknowledged by power.

The revolts of the fraction of the youth that is excluded are radically opposed to the political spirit; if they don’t want to “dialogue” it is because they know that they have nothing to say to the Old World. Only the State, political organizations, terrorists, representatives and those that let themselves be represented dialogue amongst themselves, as they have something in common to talk about: how to discipline their enemies, those savages that are the poor that still refuse to be controlled, how to best civilize them.

When students protest against something that in their eyes is an “abuse” of power or for not being consulted in the time to reformulate their lamentable role in hierarchical society to which they wish to be a part of, they do it thinking themselves as victims of a specific grievance that is susceptible of being repaired by having dialogue with the people in charge. They are the opposite of the youth that rejects the disgusting destiny that the Market World offers them and that, as a result, don’t see themselves in any particular grievance, they only see themselves in the absolute grievance of being set aside on the margin of society, a complete misery that can only be fully rejected.

Instead of feeling excluded from “participating” in only some decisions that the authorities administer more or less arbitrarily in their conditions of immediate existence, they see in existence itself an obligation to work to “live” the agent of universal exclusion, the essence that separates from life itself, of the access to existence. In the same way as the consciousness of this exclusion is much more unbearable, more terrible and more contradictory than being merely excluded from participating in decisions relating to details, the reaction against it is immeasurable more violent and intense, and of infinitely bigger reach and more full of consequences from the usual “protest” of the mediocre element of civil society humiliated in its illusory “dignity” of happily being a slave.

Young proletariats with their acts of the dissolution of the existing social structures (money, laws, family, property) are revealing the secret of their own existence, as they are in fact the dissolution of this world. When through vandalism and theft they reject the submission of their own lives to the norms of the Market, they are applying to society what society did to them: conviction with no appeal. By how much partial and alienated it may be, the revolt against the mere appearance of life that the managers of society attempt to reduce us to has a universal reach, since it doesn’t attack any particular aspect of modern misery, it attacks its totality. On the other hand, the universally apparent political pseudo-rebellion dissimulates with its colossal pretensions (“changing the world”, “establishing socialism”: these pretentions are obviously colossal in as much as they are only that, pretentions) a pesky and partial spirit that in practice reduces itself to taking a seat in the dominant spectacle, taking charge of its own management and surviving in the market with the most sordid of trades: the ideological compensation for the misery endured in silence.

  • 1. Obvious proof of such is that, after the achievements, many students mobilized for the “repair” of the cars destroyed and mistreated by the mutineers, actively collaborating to the normalization of the indispensible space in order for what occurred to be immediately forgotten.