Finally! Young people like me can save the world by doing… Nothing
BY MAX YOUNG
You can change the world! You can save the world! You can solve poverty and hunger! Your generation could take the human race onto Mars!
Us youngsters have been hearing this all of our lives from school teachers, parents, the media, and kindly strangers. Though I’m not convinced they imagined it quite like this. Most of human history has seen young people toiling on farms for little to no reward – rising always with the daylight and likely to die before 30. The 20th century saw young men and women deal with horrific crises: two world wars, a cold war that threatened nuclear apocalypse. They rose admirably to the challenge.
Forget Greta Thunberg. Forget marches and protests. The truth is, the youth of today now have a real beast to deal with if they want to save the world: Covid-19. And our generation is perhaps the best ever suited to freeing humanity from the clutches of this disease, and to saving the world. Why? Because we have to do absolutely nothing. Zilch. Never before have we been able to make such a difference by staying at home, avoiding meaningful productivity and scrolling through social media. We should celebrate this unique occasion.
To be fair, young people today are the best suited to continuing economic productivity while staying at home. A large number of us have seized the opportunities of a hyper-connected internet in which consumption is rapid and frequent. Influencers, gamers, youtubers, bloggers, vloggers, to name just a few. If you can think of a wacky thing on the internet, chances are some teenager has monetised it. Our generation has mastered the art of making money without leaving our bedrooms.
Covid-19 will try to ravage human populations, but it will be in vain because we, the young, will hunker down and do what we do best. And we’ll shout at the older people to do the same. We’ll all do nothing inside together, and then, once this has all blown over, we’ll go back to doing nothing in style – out and about in pubs and clubs.
Do nothing, and you might just save the world.
Max Young is Deputy Editor of Free Market Conservatives. Follow him on Twitter: @maxneoliberal