We must throw forgotten young people a lifeline

Source: The Sunday Times, 18 April, 2021

From Covid-19 to climate change, the consequences of Brexit, technology that is reshaping the economy, the rise and rise of China and the cult of the strongman leader, we live in challenging and uncertain times — to put it mildly.

Long gone is the notion of stability as the norm, the belief that liberal democracy was on the cusp of triumphing everywhere. We’ve gone back to a world of change, conflict and uncertainty, which characterised the 19th and 20th centuries.

The big question — the most important one — is whether we have simultaneously reclaimed a Victorian and late-20th century confidence in “progress”, or whether we are mired in fatalism and must reconcile ourselves to stagnation, at best, or inexorable decline.

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