American millennials’ favorability of socialism paints an alarming picture of a generation that has become ignorant to its surroundings and refuses to heed history’s warning signs.
A new study, which was released earlier this week, shows that 70 percent of millennials would vote for a socialist candidate, which is a vast increase from older generations. While millennials opt for socialist policies in America, they overlook the suffering that socialism has caused, and is continuing to cause internationally.
The annual report, which was conducted by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, showcased millennials’ increasing inclination to vote for socialist candidates and their decreasing favorability of capitalism, while also illustrating a generational divide in regards to political ideology.
The study found that 70 percent of millennials are at least somewhat likely to vote for a socialist candidate, and 20 percent of them are extremely likely. This is an increase from Baby Boomers, who have only a 7 percent extreme likelihood of supporting a socialist.
At the same time that the acceptance of socialism is creeping its way into the mainstream, the perception of capitalism is becoming increasingly downgraded in the minds of young Americans, with the favorability of capitalism being down 6 and 8 points since 2018 for Gen Z and Millenials respectively. Marxist ideology, which in practice has killed over 100 million people, is viewed favorably by 35 percent of millenials — a 6 point increase from 2018.
The study also showcased ignorance that could heavily contribute to Americans’ approval of the big government ideologies and practices. Seventy-two percent of Americans incorrectly believe that communism is responsible for under 100 million deaths, and only 17 percent of millennials were able to correctly estimate the devastating toll. Sixty-six percent of Americans were not even able to properly define socialism.
As a young American, and a former self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” myself, I can speak first-hand to the historical ignorance and economic illiteracy that leads to the misconception that socialism will breed anything other than hardship and misery.
We must turn away from politicians who give a false promise of equality and instead look to the extensive evidence that shows us why socialism is a dangerous practice and allow history, as well as modern examples of the failed system, to be a guide.
From the Marxism-Leninism that plagued the Soviet Union, to the current economic downfall of Venezuela, socialism has failed at prosperity everywhere it has been tried, and has succeeded in ruining the lives of the people unfortunate enough to be caught in its path.
Stalin’s construction of a socialist economy in the Soviet Union resulted in a famine that decimated the Ukraine and killed 13 percent of its entire population. In pursuit of becoming “the man who leads Planet Earth into socialism,” Mao implemented deadly policies that lead to the Great Chinese Famine, which starved an estimated 30 million people to death.
Those who avoided starvation faced the devastating Cultural Revolution, which was responsible for over 2 million deaths, as well as mass executions that killed an estimated 5 million civilians.
Even Israel, where socialism fleetingly showed optimistic economic performance, eventually saw its first major recession which tripled the unemployment rate in just two years.
If millennials’ apathy to the past prevents them from acknowledging the slippery slope of socialism, they may look to the atrocities that are currently being afflicted on Venezuela’s people. Socialism in the South American country has caused inflation to skyrocket an average of over 4,000 percent since 1973. Because of the economic crisis, Venezuelans have turned to eating zoo animals, pets, and street rats as a means of survival.
Socialism’s devastation has never been accomplished by the acts of a lone implementer, but has instead been brought to reality in a trojan-horse built with the false promise of equal outcome and economic fairness.
Americans have all the evidence to stop socialism at the gates before it continues on its destructive path.
The outcome of socialism is not a guessing game, but a clear blue-print that has proven itself time and time again. The world has seen enough devastation at the hands of socialist policies without young Americans allowing it to seep through the cracks of our country’s foundation. We must educate ourselves and others on the horrors that socialism promises — before it’s too late.
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