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It’s Time to Fight, Not Depression

In 1929, a great economic crisis broke out in the USA and this crisis soon affected Europe. This was such a big and devastating crisis that it was called “The Great Depression” and its effects continued for years. In that period, millions of people have been unemployed and hungry, and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. Even if a worker would go around from one end of the USA to the other, looking for a job, he could not find a job to feed him or herself. This was the case for European workers too. People were unemployed, hungry and hopeless. Moreover, fascist regimes were rising in Europe, the world was being dragged into a bloody war. Because of this dark, gloomy picture, a deep uncertainty and anxiety for the future surrounded society and young people.

In 1929, a great economic crisis broke out in the USA and this crisis soon affected Europe. This was such a big and devastating crisis that it was called “The Great Depression” and its effects continued for years. In that period, millions of people have been unemployed and hungry, and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. Even if a worker would go around from one end of the USA to the other, looking for a job, he could not find a job to feed him or herself. This was the case for European workers too. People were unemployed, hungry and hopeless. Moreover, fascist regimes were rising in Europe, the world was being dragged into a bloody war. Because of this dark, gloomy picture, a deep uncertainty and anxiety for the future surrounded society and young people.

In 1938, while the influence of the Great Depression continued, an extensive research was conducted among the youth of the USA and it was revealed that a significant part of the youth struggled with psychological problems and depression at that time. Of course, in those conditions, this result was not surprising. On the other hand, a similar study was conducted in 2010 with the participation of tens of thousands of young people, and the results were compared with those of the study in 1938.  According to the results, it was found that the rate of young people struggling with depression increased 5-fold in 2010 compared to the “Great Depression” period. Ongoing researches since 2010 demonstrate that this rate is increasing over time. For this reason, some people depict the epoch we live in as “the age of depression” for young people.

Unfortunately, a significant number of young people are struggling with depression not only in the USA but all over the world. There is nothing to oppose this reality: Because the overwhelming picture of our world indicates a bigger crisis than the Great Depression. Today, an economic crisis is shaking the world. The burden of the crisis is falling on the backs of the working class, toilers and youth. Even the most optimistic official figures indicate that, new millions are added, each month, to the army of unemployed people counting hundreds of millions. It becomes a dream to find a job, to have job security, to get a wage sufficient to meet the needs. Decent working conditions and retirement are becoming increasingly impossible for workers and especially young workers. While the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting much poorer. The total wealth of the world’s 26 richest billionaires is equal to the total wealth of the 3.8 billion of the world population. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are struggling with hunger. Nature is literally plundered. The imperialist war, of which the Middle East is in the centre, continues to claim many lives and throw millions to roads of migration. Authoritarian, oppressive, fascist regimes come into power in many countries. In this atmosphere, violence against women is surging and the number of people who commit suicide is increasing for reasons of being unable to find a job, earn a living, pay the debts…

The reason why young people struggle with depression is the system of capitalist exploitation, which is based on exploitation of human by human, creating injustice and inequality and turn the world into its present state! The period we are in is not the “age of depression” of young people but of capitalism. It is precisely for this reason that the Chilean youth, who started out with the fight against inequality and poverty and sang freedom songs in the squares, writes on the walls “No Era Depressiòn Era Capitalismo!” So they say “it is capitalism, not the age of depression!” Precisely for this reason, young people who come to the squares in Lebanon exclaim with the same feelings: “Down with Anxiety!”

Chilean and Lebanese youth not only rebel against unemployment, poverty, paid education, price hikes, oppression, but, with these slogans, they expose capitalism, which is the main source of depression and which leads them to futurelessness and loneliness. They say “Capitalism lies at the root of human suffering and youth's suffering from depression”. 

After the first waves of the Great Depression, conscious and organized workers and young people, especially in the USA, started out to bring the capitalists to account by getting strength from each other, acting in unity and solidarity. They succeeded to overcome depression and hopelessness. Today, young people who fill the world squares and say “Down with anxiety” are also following the same path. They say “Now it’s not the time for hopelessness; It’s the time for struggle against capitalism, the real source of exploitation, wars, violence, pillage of nature, depression and unhappiness.”

9 June 2020