It’s true that socialist Bernie Sanders is anything but a millennial. And it’s true that socialism was popular long before any millennials were born. But there’s no doubt that socialism is becoming increasingly popular among young people today.
According to the Daily Caller, “Young people view socialism as more attractive than older people. Of people ages 18-29, 55 percent considered socialism favorably compared to other age groups, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. Only 37 percent of people between the ages 30 and 49 viewed socialism as positive. 27% percent of people between 50 and 64 years old thought of socialism positively.”
So, millennials, especially younger millennials, have a very favorable view of socialism. But do they—or most of us—even know what it is?
Professor Jay Richards offers this helpful primer.
“Marx and his disciples claimed that ‘capitalism’ must give way to ‘socialism,’ where private property would be abolished and an all-powerful state would own everything on behalf of the people. That’s what Marx meant by the word socialism, and that’s the main dictionary definition.
This was only supposed to be a stage, though, not the end of all our strivings. At some point, under socialism, people would lose their silly fondness for property, family, religion, and other evils. A ‘new socialist man’ would emerge and then the state would ‘wither away.’ Everyone would enjoy peace, prosperity, and the brotherhood of man. Marx and his acolytes called that final, stateless paradise ‘communism.’”
And how has that vision worked itself out in history?
Professor Richards states: “Here’s the point: Those regimes led by mass murderers with their gulags, death camps, man-made famines and killing fields were socialist. That’s not slander. It’s what these countries called themselves. USSR stood for the ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’ You gotta break millions of eggs with socialism to make the communist omelet. Socialism, you might say, was the necessary evil to reach the bliss where no state would be necessary.”
Yet the lure of socialism continues, getting stronger in the last few years, especially among American youth. Why?