Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence
Getting youth development right has never been more pressing. Countering narratives of grievance, along with offering a better vision of the future, is the job of development. The question is how to do it.
There are many reasons that motivate people to take up arms and fight, sometimes against improbable odds. Many of our present government leaders seem to believe that people fight against the strong because of economic want or ignorance on the part of the volunteers. Indeed, this narrative puts the onerous on the rebel factions and leaves no culpability or blame for the powerful and those who seek to have and take power and resources from others.
However, this study shows that, as you scratch beneath the narration that is applied to the stories of the fighters by the powerful, and listen to the stories of those who are actually fighting against the powerful in their own words, one finds that there is no actually correlation or real connection between their economic and educational status and willingness to fight, kill, and die. The words from the actual fighters are that they’re angry or feel like someone or something was taken from them by the powerful. This is then what fuels them to be willing and able to risk their life and take others’.
Contrary to the logic of the people who sit in halls of power, especially those in the halls of power in the West, the fighters are not entirely motivated by economic want or out of ignorance. As a matter of fact, they may be sacrificing relative economic prosperity and/or be highly educated even by Western standards and still willing to fight, kill, and die.
What this then means, from the point of view of the powerful, is that their actions are what are causing the violence and resistance against themselves. When you consider that human beings around the world had social logic and feelings long before (and in more neurologically powerful areas) than modern economies and notions of wealth and education, it should come at no surprise that as you put someone down that they’re going to find ways to dissemble, sabotage, and perhaps outright attack those who are causing perceived or real harm to their perceived sense of self, dignity, and well-being. It may mean waiting for a long period of time for weaknesses to become present and apparent, or dying in the process of fighting against what are intolerable and unacceptable conditions imposed on them by domestic or foreign powers.
In short, while fighting itself can be perceived as an economic choice, it must be remembered that there are sometimes non-economic reasons to fight for humans. Again, money and modern notions of wealth and education are newer concepts to our species than is pride, dignity, in-group solidarity, revenge, and these other non-material emotional causes to violence. If our leaders and our societies experienced what they/we put others through just because we have an ability to do so, they’d be fighting against the repression, oppression, corruption, stolen dignity, and lost life too. Far from a call for division, this is a call for the recognition of other people and peoples as people like ourselves and whom we consider people. This is a call for effective selfishness and a path to sustainable and real power, not a gift that needs to be given. This is a call for the creation, maintenance, and preservation of real security for ourselves by recognizing how our faults lead to our problems. This is a path to marginalize, crush, and eliminate those who would want to stand against us from within their own societies. All it takes is kindness, comprehension, acceptance, and acknowledgement of sentiments. When there aren’t economic motivations to fight, there are no amounts of gifts that you can pay to make the violence go away; no amounts of educational and narrative manipulation. The people who think in these ways are incorrect about their assumptions on power, human beings, and human motives relative to common reality. It shows in their inability to hold land and people for what should be an eternal relationship on Earth and everywhere else.
It’s not difficult or large changes that I’m looking for. Not really.