In Spain, Greece and Italy, young highly qualified people are leaving their countries in search of work. Not that there is much work for them to find, but so desperate is the situation in their own countries that they would prefer to chance their arm in another country or perhaps continent. What this obviously suggests is that there is no urgent work required in their countries, or other countries, to help make a sustained and valuable contribution to humanity and to the planet. Of course, this is complete nonsense given the enormous challenges facing the developed and developing world, the skills that these young people possess (whether they be chemists, biologists, civil engineers or architects) are so desperately needed.
The point, however, is that capitalism does not need them (at least not in the short-term) and is content to waste this pool resources as it is content to waste the resources of the planet. If there is no immediate profit to be made from this talent pool then it can rot.
Now the situation of capitalism is increasingly resembling that which Marx described, as a fetter on the means of developing the capacity of society. Vast skyscrapers packed with useless people doing useless things are eating up the planet’s resources. Everywhere there is waste and inefficiency. As David Graeber marvellously describes in his article here, the dreams of the nineteen sixties and nineteen seventies have come to nothing. Capitalism, with its great moderation (low-interest rates, low wages, low growth) has run out of steam.
This is not to say that after some large-scale destruction and immense suffering on the part of the masses, it could not recover its dynamism (the golden era of Capitalism was built on the back of two devastating world wars) but it is to say that in its current form it is just a zombie sucking the life out of the living until it kills its host and collapses of its own accord.
In the nineteen fifties the Australian bank robber, poet and anarchotechnocrat Harry Hooton, talked about a brilliant new class of engineers and scientists who would liberate the human race from the power and domination that the few exercise over the many, because society would turn into the domination of things rather than the domination of people. Maybe his view was a little simplistic but we admire his optimism and we admire his respect for the skills these people have; a respect which capitalism lacks.
It is incumbent on language teachers to give free advice to such skilled people on how to improve language skills, interview skills and job application requests in the target language, in order to help these people use their skills in another country. Of course, it would be better if they could employ them locally, but capitalism is a rotten degenerate system which will not allow them to do so.
Teachers can offer this advice through professional associations, local libraries or any community centre (squatted or not). People like the UK prime minister might just find out how threatening a Big Society might become, where people establish alternatives to the marketplace in order to solve society’s on-going problems.