Millennials May Love Socialism,
But Socialism Won’t Love Them Back
Americans’ heavy flirtation with socialism continues, and nowhere is that more evident than in America’s youth. For many millennials, socialism appears to be both a viable and desirable replacement for capitalism. It isn’t, on any level.
America’s older generations have no one to blame but themselves. They delivered their children and grandchildren into the hands of unionized public schools run by leftist administrators, with their dumbed-down, biased curricula.
They sat them in front of TVs and computer screens, without paying attention to the nonstop message of civilization self-loathing they imbibed from the mainstream media.
Is it any surprise that the millennial generation sees socialism as an answer to all of the world’s shortcomings? After all, its utopian ideals of total equality and an end to human want are appealing to young people.
Far from learning the truth — that America has been the greatest force for freedom in the history of humankind, while creating unparalleled wealth for its citizens — students today are relentlessly drilled with a progressive catechism of guilt over America’s long-admitted shortcomings and history.
The result: a generation raised on moral equivalency, diversity and a jaundiced view of their nation’s own past. A generation of Americans that hate their own culture, even as hundreds of millions around the world dream of coming to this land of opportunity and freedom.
Millennials today seem to be disgusted with a country that provides them with more opportunities than any country in history.
As we’ve noted elsewhere, a shocking Gallup Poll showed that 57% of Democrats hold a favorable view toward socialism, while a record low from the same party now say they support capitalism.
These aren’t just aging 1960s New Left retreads like Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Among those aged 18 to 29, support for capitalism has plunged 12 percentage points in just two years. Among that age group, 51% say they have positive feelings about socialism, compared to just 45% for capitalism.
Today, among the young, socialism is chic, hip, and new. Or so they think.
In fact, it’s more than 100 years old. And whether it’s the rigid, murderous version of socialism put in place by the Soviet Union, or today’s nightmare countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and North Korea, it’s an idea that has never delivered equality, better lives, more opportunity, a sense of belonging, freedom or anything else that young people say they want.
“Socialism is the ultimate Big Lie,” wrote American Enterprise Institute Fellow and economist Mark J. Perry, in a recent update of his classic 1995 piece, “Why Socialism Failed.” “While it falsely promises prosperity, equality, and security, it delivers the exact opposite:poverty, misery, inequality, and tyranny.”
Young people, lacking experience, wisdom and a broad, unbiased education, don’t know that.
It is a cold, hard and disturbing fact that, during the 20th century, socialist regimes — called also “communist” and “Marxist” and “People’s Republic” regimes — have been responsible for the intentional or negligent murder of more than 100 million people, according to former marxist historian Stephane Courtois’ now classic book, “The Black Book of Communism.”
As awful as Nazism was, and it was horrific by any standard, the various regimes of the extreme left in the 20th century were more murderous and equally if not more hateful.
What is the greatest threat today to freedom and the U.S. way of life? It’s not Nazism. It’s socialism, its communism, its Marxism, all variants of the same disease. To the extent we embrace any of these false ideologies, we will suffer.
Calling the current leftist fantasy “democratic socialism” doesn’t help.
The ideas of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose “Accountable Capitalism Act” would impose Venezuela-style socialism on the U.S., are no less wrong for having “democratic” in front of the word “socialism.”
In socialism, all roads lead to disaster. Or, as Friedrich Hayek, the late Austrian economist, might say, to “serfdom.” All forms of socialism are the same: they replace consent and personal freedom with government power on behalf of the “people”.
Confronted, diehard democratic socialists deny wanting to control things. But the Young Democratic Socialists of America website says differently: “While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.”
These might sound innocent, but remember: Behind the entire idea of socialism is that government isn’t there to guarantee your rights or the rule of law; it’s there to exercise power on the part of the “people.” Anything can be justified.
Socialism isn’t power to the people, it’s power to the socialist rulers. But maybe such a system looks appealing to young people: A new study shows that 52.1% of kids live in households that get welfare. It’s a way of life.
But it’s not enough to criticize socialism. It’s important for those in the center and right of the political spectrum to stand up for the one system that works better than all others: free-market capitalism.
Millennials: Raised To Be Socialists?
We should be teaching it to our kids, and remind young people that free markets are vastly superior to any alternative for organizing a workable, growing economy. For free markets to work, you must have free speech. So political correctness must be abandoned.
Moreover, not only does socialism not work, it is very expensive. As Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute recently estimated, Sen. Warren’s blue print for democratic socialism would cost the U.S. $42 trillion, requiring tax rates on everyone of 60% or higher.
Millennials beware: With socialism, there will be no money left for anything other than government. You will be following the path of Venezuela and Cuba, not the path of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Millennials need to rethink their youthful allegiance to socialist ideology. It will bring them less income, worse inequality, insecurity, hunger, despair and a loss of freedom.
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