More and more, I have seen my own generation grow overly accepting of the Marxist school of thought without truly understanding the historical implications of why socialism and communism failed. They believe socialism is “hip.” Some think social equity and devolution of social classes is an excellent way to live, with no negative consequences.
Sardonically, my fellow Millennials can’t even peg down the actual definition of socialism.
They have no conceptual evidence to understand what socialism actually is. The root cause: we didn’t live through the Cold War. A poll from Reason-Rupe, found that 58 percent of college-age Americans had a favorable view of socialism. Despite this, a 2010 CBS/New York Times poll revealed that only 16 percent of respondents could properly define socialism.
In an effort to remain in touch with my generation, I turned to Urban Dictionary to define socialism. According to young people, socialism is, “A type of government where everyone is given the basic living essentials for free, the way it should be,” or, “The best f*cking idea ever. Democracy is so 1776.”
Socialism, properly defined, is, “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
To clarify: socialism, even democratic socialism, is Marxist. Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernard Sanders purports himself as someone who stands apart from the stereotypes associated with Marxism. However, Sanders supporters deny any association that socialism has with Karl Marx.
Socialism, “is the idea that the people should run a country and not big businesses,” says a millennial in a widely viewed video called “A Pretty Good Intro to Democratic Socialism.” He even confuses and mixes up the ideas of a socialist government with the economic principles of a socialist economy.
Democratic socialism is a variant of Marxist-Leninist authoritarian socialism, however, the primary component is that supporters of the ideology want popular democracy and open elections without the capitalist economic system. They argue for bringing in government and “collective” ownership of economic production, which is none other than a Marxist-rooted system allowing the government to control the economy.
Some millennials argue, “If Sweden can do it then we can too!”
But Sweden is not a socialist government. It is a constitutional monarchy that in theory, practices “social democracy.” Social democracy emphasizes the importance economic and social welfare interventions with the presence of a dominant capitalist economic system. Though originally termed as a “transitionary phase” from capitalism to socialism, modern variants of the ideology have allowed for Sweden, and other Scandinavian countries, to be “free market success stories.”
Right at the fall of the Soviet Union and the influence of command economy socialism waning, Sweden and Finland adopted non-socialistic policies and began pushing for a notion of privatization, individual importance, and deregulation of industry, according to a 1992 report from the New York Times.
However, more than ever, Sweden has gone backward, despite what leftists believe. The Christian Broadcasting Network termed current policies in Sweden as “Stalinist” in nature. The right to free speech in Sweden has been curbed drastically, the Swede’s “multiculturalism” initiatives have caused alienation of minority groups (including Jews), and the American idea of assimilation is borderline “Nazi” to some.
Sweden is also experiencing an economic and human development downswing with current factors that include an astronomical influx of migrants from the Syrian conflict and other groups fleeing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Foreign Policy reports that Sweden has received too many refugees per capita, based on what the country can sustain.
Millennials, don’t believe in something without first thoroughly understanding it! First assess if socialism has been empirically proven to be a sustainable or unsustainable system. (It hasn’t). Socialist policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) brought the United States out of the Great Depression, in part to the win over the axis powers in World War II. However, FDR’s New Deal was made for that particular time and is not applicable to today’s economic morass. Voting for Bernard Sanders and democratic socialism is a vote for an economic declination from which America will not be able to recover.
If millennials understood what socialism was they wouldn’t vote for him.