Why Young Americans Are Giving Up on Capitalism
HOUSTON, TEXAS – December 5, 2018
If an enemy nation conquered and occupied the United States and determined, within a generation or two, to completely abolish American culture and turn its youth against their own country, it could not do a more thorough job than the combined devastation wrought by some within America’s education system, much of its news media, and its entertainment barons.
The level of misinformation about America’s history, its role in the world, and its culture is extraordinary in its scope and in its utter defiance of reality.
Many American students are told that their founders were evil men, despite the fact that their accomplishments brought more freedom to the world than any other group of humans in history.
A growing number of politicians denounce the nation’s capitalist economic system, ignoring the solid reality that it has produced the greatest level of prosperity for the greatest number of people than anything else ever attempted. Amazingly, despite a hundred-year record of utter failure throughout the world, socialism is now being advocated by many prominent figures.
According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation report on US Attitudes Toward Socialism the American public lacks a serious understanding and education regarding socialism and communism. Most people continue to woefully underestimate the death toll of communism. It follows that only half of Americans can identify Cuba as a communist country, not to mention that 41% of Americans do not consider North Korea communist.
According to polls conducted by YouGov on behalf of the VCMF, most Americans of the Millennial generation, people aged 15 to 30 years, would prefer to live under socialism, not under capitalism. When Americans—especially Millennials—think of "socialism," they primarily think about Bernie Sanders, Western European democracies, income equality, and access to healthcare. They also do not associate socialism with communism and authoritarianism.
YouGov found that
● 52% of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist (46%) or communist (6%) country than a capitalist (40%) one.
● 26% of Americans have never been taught about communism in any education or professional setting.
● Half of Americans associate socialism with welfare states in Western Europe and Scandinavia—not Marxist dictatorships.
At the same time, the older generation expressed a more traditional view — 59% of supporters of the market economy against 34% of socialists.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Marion Smith, called the results of the survey alarming: “This highlights the widespread historical illiteracy in American society against socialism and the systematic failure of our education system.”
And she has her reasons. It’s not that a portion of America’s people are suddenly turning against what their nation has accomplished. Too many have been deprived of the knowledge of those accomplishments, and that foul deed has been reinforced by an entertainment industry that consistently casts patriotic Americans as villains, particularly on television programs, and a news media that frequently spins information against the U.S.
A Nation’s Report Card study found that only 18% of eighth-grade students are proficient in U.S. history.
In a Fox interview, the late columnist Charles Krauthammer said that American students are being taught “about all of the pathologies of the United States and very little of the glories."
However, the foundation’s researchers admit that the growing popularity of socialism and communism in the United States is not so much connected with the knowledge of young people, but with the discontent and rejection of American reality, modern capitalism. Thus, 53% of Millennials said the high level of dissatisfaction with the U.S. economic system is tied to the impression that it works against them. Seven out of ten Americans in this demographic believe that the rich do not bear a fair tax burden. Half are convinced that social inequality can be eliminated by increasing wealth taxes. In this regard, 37% are in favor of "a complete change in the American economic system."
According to experts, the real income of Americans has decreased by a third since the beginning of the global crisis in 2008, and even with Trump, who believes that he is pretty good at the economy, there are few serious positive changes. Therefore, young Americans began to pin growing hopes on the replacement of the system itself, and are even ready to exchange freedom and independence for guardianship by the social state, free medicine, free education.
They don't know where it all comes from. This is how the ideas of socialism are rehabilitated in the minds of young Americans who do not suspect that "nothing comes easy," "there is no pleasure without pain,” and that any socialism in the future will slide back to capitalism. But it will come back deformed and wild and in disgusting form. Russians know this well. They still have not gotten rid of the economic system that combines the worst features of capitalism, socialism, and in some places the slave system.
It looks like the Americans have to learn this all for themselves.