Uncommon Sense

November 17, 2019

Are “Young People Ignorant of Socialism”?

In a recent column on the ArcaMax network . . . well, here it is: Young people ignorant of socialism “From the Right” by Walter Williams on Nov 13, 2019
“A recent survey conducted by the Victims of Communism and polled by YouGov, a research and data firm, found that 70% of millennials are likely to vote socialist and that one in three millennials saw communism as ‘favorable.’”

As you might expect, the columnist decries the ignorance of young people with regard to history that they have never seen nor been taught, but . . . he also misses the point by a mile. To him, socialism and communism are bad, bad, failed ideologies, etc. And that young people do not recognize this indicates their ignorance. What he is missing is that these young people, in spite of all of the positive propaganda in its favor, are disenchanted with capitalism.

What he is missing is that these young people, in spite of all of the positive propaganda in its favor, are disenchanted with capitalism.

Hell, I am disenchanted with capitalism, because of all of the bullshit that was claimed for it that turned out not to be true. In addition, there has never been a “pure” socialist, communist, or capitalist state (or any other economic system) in the history of mankind. One look around the world shows this to be the case. Take Finland, often held up to be a “socialist” state (or democratic socialist). It is neither. Socialist activities account for a little over one fifth of Finland’s GDP. The rest is capitalist. Take the U.S. (Please!): the military is socialist, as are parts of the postal service, and any other government-owned enterprise (as the government represents “the People”). And then there is Medicare, Social Security, etc. The U.S. is not a “pure” capitalist country. It is part socialist, so what is being debated is actually just how much of each should there be?

The U.S. is not a “pure” capitalist country. It is part socialist, so what is being debated is actually just how much of each should there be?

And, really, the right wing of this country has been claiming that any collective approach to problem solving is “Socialism!” for centuries now, and now they are blaming young people for not understanding what socialism is. Another case of blind “blame the victim” politics.

Is it really shocking that young people are against the current status quo, being that they are one of the first generations in a very long time to have prospects dimmer than their parents’?

And, it is not just the young who are disenchanted. Consider that this very racist country elected a Black president . . . twice . . . in a “well, we haven’t tried this yet” manner. In each case, the opposing candidate was much more of a representative of the status quo. Then we had the election of the current president. Which of the two candidates represented the status quo more: Trump or Clinton? And which one got elected?

It is not just the young who are fed up with the status quo. The bottom 95% of us socioeconomically are, too.


  1. You can’t blame people for being interested in socialism when the government we do have right now is blatantly corrupt, immoral and often racist. People are looking for alternatives that might be better than what we have now. And as you pointed out, there are elements of socialism already embedded in our culture. Heck, Milwaukee was socialist for decades, with several socialist mayors over the years. People are sick of what is going on in politics so of course they are looking for different ways of doing things. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    The problem is that any government, no matter what form it may take, is only as good as the people who are doing the governing. And the way human nature is, well, there are always going to be those who will use the system for their own benefit at the expense of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 17, 2019 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

    • Couldn’t agree more! Clearly we need to fix our broken electoral system. Currently the parties are more interested in “electability” than in serving the interests of the people.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 18, 2019 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  2. Hell YES!! Almost anything different just might be worth a try. OK, let me walk that back a bit. National Socialism would not be worth trying. That would be too close the Germany in the 1930’s/40’s. Yes, I do mean Hitler and the Nazis’ national socialists.
    Young people aren’t really taught much at all now days. They are taught some test and the teachers today are told (demanded in some places) to teach the test.
    I am not sure any ideology could be tried in a “pure” form. It would be too rigid for my taste. We in ‘Merikkka are getting out of control with our brand of ‘political correctness’. Just look at this newest thing, the ‘woke’ people. What the hell is this? Woke? Define that one for this old guy. My personal opinion, from talking to various people near where I live and shop is that a large number of citizens in this country go through every day half asleep.
    All I am sure of is that national socialism won’t cut it, nor will communism, pure or in some mixed form. Seriously Karl? “From each according to his/her abilities. To each according to his/her needs.” Not going to overcome human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 18, 2019 @ 1:25 am | Reply

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