As college students, we are told we should be grateful for being here. It’s our supposed salvation from a lifetime of wage slavery and misery, but it’s becoming very obvious that our future has already been looted by our present leaders. Most of us will spend most of our lives in debt, chained to commodities, working for things we’ll never own. We become students in order to sell our activity as complex labor, to become technicians of this vast capitalist machine we call ‘society’. That is to say, not because it’s the best possible use of our lives but because other means of survival have been foreclosed. Being a student, like being a worker or prisoner, is a social role defined by its relation to the reproduction of the economy of capital. Now we live like lost children, because capitalist society has no future: it is collapsing in on itself, and trying to take us with it. We are nothing, and to become anything at all we will have to take everything we need.
If one thing is brutally obvious, it’s that there is no point demanding anything from a system which is trying to eat us alive, or negotiating with rulers who will never see us as anything but numbers. From budget cuts at our schools to mass layoffs and foreclosures, from police murders on BART to the exploitation and persecution of migrants from the south, from the criminalization and incarceration of youth of color to political activists facing decades in prison, from the destruction of UCSC’s Upper Campus ecosystems to the giant plastic garbage dump in the middle of the sea, these ‘problems’ are all symptoms of a system based on private property and the police who enforce it. The solution cannot be granted to us by anyone: we have to build it ourselves by organizing autonomously, developing collective power and generalized self-management.
This won’t be easy. All our lives we have been trained to obey authority instead of to subvert and resist it and trust ourselves and each other.
We can only learn by doing. We can only find each other in struggle. We have begun.
WE ARE students, workers, unemployed; we are undocumented and on probation; we are sick of being ripped off by bosses and bullied by cops; we are the youth, we have no future, and we are power hungry.
WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS; YOU’LL NEVER BE ALONE AGAIN.