By Laurie Penny,
It’s two in the morning and I’m bent over a laptop watching fifty homeless protesters chant “occupy!” as police drive them out of the old bank building where they were living. This is happening live: One of the occupiers has managed to get a wobbly video link up and running, and the officers guarding the doors are surrounded by a thicket of jeering cameras. Meanwhile, activists in Oakland and New York are being arrested as they attempt to take over empty corporate spaces, turning them into social centers and cooperatives. As the political classes impose austerity across the developed world, the facts of inequality and human need and the determination to do something about them are gradually becoming weaponized.
Precarity is opportunity. Fuck social mobility. Fuck security. Fuck money. Fuck rising above your class rather than with it. Fuck marriage, mortgage, monogamy, and every other small, ugly ambition we were bullied into pursuing. We should have abandoned them long before we were obliged to do so, and now we have no choice. This generation is on the cusp of waking up from the American Dream, just in time to see the urgency of the task ahead of us. We have five years until catastrophic climate change becomes a foregone conclusion, possibly far less time than that before the next massive financial crash, and thirty years of economic orthodoxy to turn around. but we also have each other, we have twenty years of indoctrination into the special sort of ruthlessness that neoliberal self-fashioning breeds in its children, and — most importantly — we have very little to lose. The power generation has no idea what it’s got coming.