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Austria

Matthias Horx
Die Presse

European youth are living in the past, said Matthias Horx in Vienna’s Die Presse. Just look at the French students, “rising up in revolt, hippie-like, with their red flags and their kaffiyehs,” demanding “guaranteed employment.” They think they are radicals, battling the forces of soulless capitalism. They may even think they’re on the side of progress, especially now that they have forced the French government to repeal a law that would have reduced job security. Still, the students are misapplying 19th- and 20th-century concepts to a completely new model of labor. In the 21st century, the very idea of holding a position in a company is becoming obsolete. Soon enough, there will be no “permanent staff positions,” but rather, shifting “challenges and tasks.” Workers will be free agents, taking on the tasks that suit them. It’s the opposite of the “industrial model, which kept workers secure but also dependent on the company.” Sure it’s scary to be responsible for oneself. But when they grow up a little, European kids will realize that it’s also “freeing.”

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