As the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks pass, many people would associate the extinct Twin Towers with words like ‘death’, ‘terror’ and ‘destruction’. But before 11/9/01 these buildings were often associated with ‘peace’, ‘accomplishment of man’ and ‘future aspiration’. Despite the unbelievable events that occurred over the pond, it very quickly was brought over to the UK and it also affected the way of life here, as well as the USA. Indeed, just under 4 years later it was brought home when the London underground was attacked.
The original World Trade Centre complex in March 2001 – Manhattan, New York, USA (picture from Wikipedia)
9/11 was the beginning of a dangerous threat that would take great human courage and determination to overcome. War was a becoming a dangerous reality for my generation, as was an uncertain future. Prosperity was under threat by dangerous individuals taking advantage over an incredibly fast paced and changing world. The lead up to 2001 and what subsequently occurred through the noughties, including the 7/7 attacks in London on 7/7/05, has become the new ‘World War’ that my generation have witnessed, lived through and in many respects has defined my generation.
With the World Trade Centre back in operation (a hub of employment), employment itself still remains scared and fractured, as does war. Although lives cannot be replaced, buildings can, despite the USA displaying its resilience with rebuilding the World Trade Centre years on from its destruction, the change that life entailed, society and the barriers still exist since 2001. The West had become in many respects a victim of its own success.
Gone are the days when everyone could walk freely into employment. Life has become so complicated, that my generation have had to not only cope with an ever increasing changing world but with the greater barriers that come with it as a result. From the failing education system struggling to cope with the demand and cutting corners, people’s ever changing perceptions of life, of each other and the world around them, to social mobility barriers that prevent some people from accessing places of aspiration like London or New York where top employers reside.
The society we currently have today really pushes and tests many young people to the physical and mental limit. In many given respects, one can see why people are seeing the socialist mentality returning, both in the USA with their leader being on the left, to the UK where the current Tory government are far more centre ground than to the right and now a new far left Labour leader being elected. After the amount of conflict there has been, through political and financial struggles for power, many people, for many are young people, want the world to become a more peaceful place and appear to desire that through socialism. The original World Trade Centre in the USA aspired to achieve peace through encouraging wealth creation and the Private Sector. Yet today, on from several terrorist atrocities and a vast change in life circumstances and perceptions, in the UK at least there is a going trend for the opposite end of the spectrum. This is viewed as the way forward for many socialists, who would also argue their ideology is for the more prosperous as well as the more peaceful. But that can only ever be achieved when you look at the real world and all the harsh realities that we have to work with and won’t just go away by magic. This is something socialists are yet to prove they are capable of dealing with.
This is such a dangerous idea to flirt with when the world is more dangerous, ever changing and fast paced than ever. It is particularly dangerous for the UK, which is becoming more and more venerable from external threats. The former head of MI6 recently warned of the threats, describing if London 2012 was instead hosted in the year 2016 it would have been a great cause for concern. We cannot afford, as a country, to scrap trident and we equally cannot afford to take socialism as a credible way of making a fairer society, unless they can demonstrate economic competence and put the security of the country above their own political interests. We need productivity and wealth creation and in order for that to thrive we need to be focusing our efforts on supporting young people into work that is productive and enables opportunity, which in turn will increase wealth creation, which that in turn will increase stability, security and equality.
By Laurence Griffin