The Nobel Committee, for the first time in decades, has FINALLY gotten it right when it comes to the Peace Prize. Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India have been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Peace. Yousafzai is the youngest ever winner of the award. Ms. Yousafzai has blogged, campaigned, written and spoken out for education, especially for women and young girls, in her native Pakistan and throughout the world. For her troubles she endured a failed assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban. She has helped her mother learn to read and write and is the face of women’s rights throughout the world. Mr. Satyarthi is a long time advocate for the rights of children enslaved in the garment and textile industries in India and has led protests and raids on factories employing children working in slave-labor conditions. His movement has inspired hundreds of similar ones across the world and has helped to liberate hundreds of thousands of children for horrifying and undignified slave labor. The Nobel Committee, in its announcement of the Prize, expressed hope that the awarding of the Prize to two people from two nations who have traditionally been enemies would help to broker peace and understanding between India and Pakistan.
We can and must take note of this decision by the committee and apply it to a greater movement for liberation and peace in the world. We must stop focusing on petty issues of the ebb and flow of middle class income stability and refocus, redouble, our efforts as a unified, truly international movement of the left for the empowerment of women, persecuted minorities, slaves, workers and children. These are the constituents we must serve. The cause is peace, the goal is a better world where war and endless toil is not the lot of every child born onto this Earth. The only hope for a future without cataclysmic violence and horrid exploitation is the education of the people and of children most of all. No child should have to work in squalid, Dickensian horror so that his family does not starve. No woman should ever have to go her entire life without being able to read and write just because she is told she is inherently of less worth than a man. No person should ever have to fear that the fickle whims of political and corporate power-brokers will lead their communities into unspeakable violence and decay. The people should never have to live in poverty while a tiny, greedy, lecherous minority lives it up in the palaces of wealth and privilege they have constructed upon the spoils of their own labor! There is no European left, there is no American left or Western left. There is only a united, world wide left, a movement of people all over the world who strive for a life of dignity and contentment. All we want is to be able to enjoy the fruits of our own labor, to live in peace and relative comfort, and to educate ourselves and our children. That is not too much to demand, and demand it must.