|Am I the only one who notices the unnaturally gigantic head on that guy?|
A new survey from YouGov finds that millennials have more favorable views of socialism than of capitalism.
As Santayana said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Less than two decades after socialism seemed to have been confined to the dust-heap of history, another generation may have to learn hard lessons.
The survey, taken at the end of January, found that 43 percent of Americans under 30 had a favorable view of socialism. Less than a third of millennials had a favorable view of capitalism. No other age or ethnic demographic preferred socialism over capitalism.
Seniors, unsurprisingly, had the most favorable view of capitalism. Just 23 percent of Americans older than 65 had a positive view of socialism. Sixty-three percent of seniors, though, had a favorable view of capitalism.
Seniors, after all, experienced the long-standing intellectual battle between capitalism and socialism played out in real life. They witnessed a post-war economic euphoria grind down into a socialist malaise, only to be reinvigorated by a global embrace of disruptive technology, deregulation, and global trade.
In the past 20 years, the number of people living in poverty worldwide has fallen by half. In 1990, 43 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. In 2013, the United Nations estimated that just 22 percent of the world’s population continued to live in extreme poverty.
“Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” the UN Human Development report said.
Even if millenials aren’t swayed by the dramatic improvement in worldwide living standards, one would hope they would see the benefits of capitalism in the products and services that inhabit their world.
They live, and thrive, in a consumer-driven, on-demand society. They have immediate access, at their fingertips, to more knowledge, art, music, and communication than the wealthiest oligarch just a few decades ago.
Each and every one of the products and services they use every day was developed by someone chasing profit and market-share. It is a cliche to say that capitalism has powered the technological and scientific innovations that have improved all our lives. Apparently, however, it is a cliche that bears repeating.
On a postive note, every other demographic block in America still prefers capitalism over socialism. Well, Democrats, perhaps naturally, are evenly split between the two economic systems. At least Democrats, though, have slightly higher unfavorable ratings of socialism than capitalism.
The danger, of course, is that the demographic in America that does prefer socialism is also the future of the country. Of course, they have the luxury of looking positively on socialism, since any impact on their lives is restricted to dusty history books.
You're just a raving right-wing reactionary! Bernie Sanders isn't going to implement full-blown communism! He's just going to make the world more FAIR! By taking from the rich and giving to the rest of us! By investing trillions of dollars in infrastructure and schools and public works projects! By taxing those evil corporations and banks! If you don't support him, you have no heart!
- In the entire history of the division of Berlin, precisely how many people went from West Germany into East Germany?
- Since the Castro revolution, how many boats were seen going from Miami to Havana?
- Since the Panmunjom Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War, how many South Koreans have fled into the North?
- How many people do you know of that went from Vietnam into Cambodia during the height of the Khmer Rouge regime, instead of the other way around?
- During the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, how many people relocated permanently from Taiwan to mainland China, instead of the other way?
The truth, that life is sacred, is graven in the human heart, and no lie can prevail against it forever.
I learned that lesson from reading one of the most powerful books I’ve ever come across, Pope John Paul II’s autobiographical Memory and Identity. It was the last book he wrote before he died. In it, that Pope wrote about the three great ideologies of evil that he faced in his life: Nazism, Communism, and the Culture of Death. And he pointed out that in his own lifetime, there was a point when Nazi ideology seemed unbeatable. The Nazis had conquered most of Europe, were menacing Britain, were rolling straight for Moscow, and starting up their machinery for exterminating their enemies. People who lived under Nazi occupation had every reason to think its power would last indefinitely. But in fact, that regime was destroyed after only 12 years in power. So much for the Thousand-Year Reich.
Next, the Pope pointed out how Communists, who did much of the fighting against the Nazis and then filled their shoes as conquerors and tyrants, looked absolutely unconquerable. Communism rolled over Eastern Europe, then conquered China, and exported its agents and its armies to every corner of the globe, arming itself with nuclear weapons that could wipe out the human race.
Then in 1989, the Communist colossus collapsed from within. It had been built upon a bedrock of lies about the human person, so human beings eventually rejected it. We were born to know the truth, and something in our soul is repulsed by lies. This awakening takes work and it takes time. But it is ultimately unstoppable.