A Future For Youth
Information Brief Number 76
The social change confronting young people today presents them with a totally new set of circumstances for which they have not been prepared; and an uninformed, ill-trained younger generation cannot be expected to inherit and properly handle the leadership of this massive and complex technological machine and all the social problems that go with it.
The attitudes and values of society haven't caught up with the circumstances of today's existence. In the past, parental and other social forces functioned together to condition young people to play some part in social affairs. The young were a practical asset to their society. They learned to work and thereby were able to contribute. It was a hard life, but the youth did learn the things they needed to know from their parents and others to fit themselves into their own particular culture in some manner. They learned the rules of society, and the home was the source of most basic education.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED
During the last several decades in North America, young people have been caught up in the same maelstrom of social change that has their parents groggy and disoriented. The striking change confronting young people today presents them with a totally new set of circumstances for which they have not been prepared, because, for most, there is no way to become prepared.
Today, in order to be hired, a young person is compelled to go to an employer with at least some training that is immediately useful. Willingness to sweep the floor is no qualification. But getting the needed training is becoming more difficult and expensive. Further, technological progress is steadily moving ahead of available training simply because things are changing so rapidly.
Businesses don't create jobs to employ people. They create jobs to make a profit. Any time they can figure out a way to make that profit with fewer man-hours to pay for, they will certainly take that direction. This involves a number of tactics, including automation and moving factories to foreign countries for the cheap labor. In either of these instances, it is North Americans who stand to lose consuming power.
BUT THE FUTURE CAN BE DIFFERENT!
The institutions for education should be responsible to instruct youth on the nature of this modern technological society, for their role should be to educate for the future--rather than to inculcate the values of an obsolescent social system. Teachers need to know the total picture at technological change in this society as in manufacturing, transportation, communication and power transmission--and how these changes are affecting the social system in which we live.
How are young people's desires to "fit in" going to be satisfied in the drastically changing environment of North America? For one coming out of high school, or even college, this is a strange, complicated world--a cold, impersonal, demanding world. Today's young people do not have so much as the benefit of a nationally coordinated vocational guidance program to help them discover their aptitudes early enough to channel those abilities and interests in a field of training. School programs are applied too late and so inadequately that they are of questionable effectiveness for more than a small minority of students. Young people who think that they can always become truck drivers may not realize that there is an abundance of truck drivers; a strong back is no recommendation for a job today. The emphasis is on brains, training and experience.
What of the secondary school system, which will furnish far more students for the labor market than do the institutions of higher learning? A few shop courses and a little preliminary science, if they have even that, hardly measures up to the educational needs of today's young people. And then, the colleges and universities of the country are having trouble keeping up with technological change, in course planning, teaching methods and teaching materials, together with a lack of funding.
A crucial task of society should be to stimulate the interest of young people to participate in the proper management of this continent. Knowledge of the physical world must be stimulated among students. Another important task should be to inculcate in young people a sense of social responsibility so that they can properly manage a continent that requires intelligent stewardship. And, further, the way should be clear to live easily and comfortably in this high-energy civilization.
The veil of superstition about science must be lifted from public consciousness, and society must teach its young people what the Age of Technology on this Continent is all about. People must understand that the power of technology makes it possible for them to have their food, clothing, shelter, education, recreation and health care. They must realize that they are now dependent on technology for survival.
Most of the change that has been thrust upon society has occurred in the last couple of generations--and it is accelerating. Unfortunately, the young people of today have the problems of the world in their hand--whether they are ready for such a massive challenge or not. Young people face an awesome array of problems. To some extent they have been trained to regard money as the cure-all for society's problems, when in reality it is money, and not having enough of it, that is the biggest problem. It is not just the expense of living; it is the tab that's out there waiting for you and your children--the expense of bailing out mishandled financial institutions, the compounding of the national debt and its interest.
A SCIENTIFIC SOLUTION
Technocracy provides the design for an intelligent, humane social control that will provide a future worth having. In a Technocracy, people will not be compelled to compete with others for an abundant life. They will not be compelled to work long hours at a job they hate but must keep just to pay the bills. They will not live in fear for the environment, for all development of resources would be carried out in harmony with nature.
People would not live in fear of loss of income, because an equal share of consuming power would be a right of citizenship. That means that a person's status in society wouldn't be measured by how much they accumulate, but by how much they contribute.
Technocracy is not a political movement. It is an organization with a dynamic plan for the future--a non-monetary system of distribution, managed by the people most qualified in their particular fields, not by politicians or financiers--we've already seen what they do.
We owe our standard at living to science and technology--in the hands of those who know how things work. In the wrong hands, we face an uncertain future. You owe it to yourself to look into Technocracy's design. After all, that is where you will spend most of your life--in the future.
- The Northwest Technocrat, 1st quarter 1993, No. 331