Tuesday, 15 June 2010

“We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled but as candles to be lit.”

During the general election campaign Jared Newbery, a member of Independent Socialists in Wellingborough and a pupil at Wrenn School made the following speech at our public meeting. I thought it worth reproduction so that a wider audiance could read it.


“History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is people, real, living, who do all this. It is not history which uses men as a means of achieving its own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.” (Karl Marx).

A combination of taught history, hearsay and exposure to the media, has taken the youth of this country, and fed them with solely capitalist ideas.
I was always told that the ideas of Socialism, and Communism were wrong. American Cartoons told me this. The television and the news told me this. School and word of mouth taught me this.

I grew up, like so many others, in arrogance, taking at face value that socialism was wrong, it was impractical, and was the cause of death and destruction during the Second World War and the Cold War.

Only now do I realise my blindness, only now do I see that socialism has, at its heart, the interests of the people, of the working class, of all mankind.

Oscar Wilde said “Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes”

As a product of our school system, I have had drilled into me the importance of equality, diversity and respect. I, and many other young people, took this peaceful message to heart. This is the foundation of a socialist ideal.

There is another problem with the young people of today, they are apathetic, they couldn’t care less about politics, their community, or anyone but themselves. They care about possessions, self image.

This is a direct result of the current, and historic, capitalist ideal, every man for himself, without a single thought for the welfare of others.

Is this an ideal we want the youth of this nation to possess?

This is the root of antisocial behaviour, a disregard for society, because society as it is supports selfishness.

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can not eat money.”

“We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled but as candles to be lit.” 

It has to change; the youth need to be given the facts, straight, and allowed to voice their opinions. They should be given a meaningful role within the community, instead of possessing the barren land between childhood and adulthood.

Give then the chance and the youth can be moral, they can be good, they can see that equality and respect can create a better, friendlier, more wholesome society.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”



  1. Good to see that you have succumbed to the devil of capitalism - does not this go completely against your morals?

  2. Excellent speech.
    I remember coming to socialist ideas at around 16-17 years old, and slowly realising just how much I'd been duped by the media, education system and so on. Just like it appears Jared is doing now.
    I also remember being disillusioned with an apparent apathetic outlook of youth; but it didn't take long to realise that actually apathy is not as prevalent as the Daily Mail would love us to think. There have been school-student strikes, youth demos and all sorts going on - but again, the news won't tell you that.
    I'd urge you Jared to read more now about socialism, and learn what has happened in the past, and keep in touch with the events of the present. I have read your blog about the TUSC meeting, and understand your point. Though if you take it in context - there was a large trade unionist presence there and the analysis was on political representation, hence the focus on trade unionism, minumum wage etc.
    If you look old 'old socialists' like Lenin and Trotsky, you will see how the Bolshevik revoultion brought with it freedom for women and an end to persecution of Jews. By "declaring everyone equal" and so on. Also if you have a look at what is going on this year you'll see that equality along lines of race, religion, gender, sexuality are constantly being brought up by sociaists. The Socialist Party for example led a demo in Barking before the election against racism and youth unemployment. The strikes at Lindsey Oil Refinery were in protest of a 'race to the bottom' where the bosses were using racist tactics to bring down working conditions (while the media were using racist arguments to smear the workers). Gay pride have marched through many cities this year, and I know that the socialist party have intervened with anti-BNP and anti-homophobia leaflets. The EDL marches in Cardiff, Swansea, Glasgow, Nottingham, Birmingham etc etc have been opposed by socialists at every chance - on the grounds of anti-racism and skapegoating muslims.
    If you look at the programmes for events such as Socialism 2010 (in November in London), you'll see many sessions on anti-racism, feminism, religion etc etc etc...
    What you've done so far with Paul and the rest of the ISW is brilliant, keep up the good work. But I do urge you to read more about socialism in the past, and socialist battles of today. For me, I'm always cautious of the idea that socialism is completely different in a modern context than it has been in the past - that implies that the issues of today have never occured before (racism, religious issues, sexism) which is untrue; and more worryingly, can point towards a watering down of some fundamental principles.
    Keep it up comrade.

    Leee Dunkley

  3. Anonymous said: "Good to see that you have succumbed to the devil of capitalism - does not this go completely against your morals?"

    Yes, we all succome at some point I suppose in a variety of ways. We are all human and thereby "flawed" and imperfect. However, the most important thing is to take action and be actively involved in opposing the logic of capitalism, exposing the inequalities and injustices and presenting a positive vision that the world could be organised differently. I think i play a small part in this and hopefully also mitigate the effects of my unintentional support or participation in capitalism in all its complexities. Do you or are you the perfect human being?