New Poll Reveals Troubling Facts and Encouraging Trends About Millennials in America
This year’s centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution has caused many to reflect on the legacies that Marxism and communism have left on our cultural memory. It has been a full century since Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd and communism made its bloody debut on the world stage. Authors, activists, and politicians alike are asking the question: what has America learned from one hundred years of communism?
When the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation published our inaugural study on American attitudes toward socialism and communism last year, the results revealed some disturbing trends in American society.
We just completed our second annual study, tracking how opinions about communism among Americans have changed since 2016. The results aren’t very encouraging.
For starters, as of this year, more Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country (44%) than in a capitalist one (42%). Some even said they would prefer to live in a communist country (7%). The percentage of Millennials who would prefer socialism to capitalism is a full ten points higher than that of the general population.
It seems that the majority of America’s largest generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communism society than in a free enterprise system that respects the rule of law, private property, and limited government. This is even more disconcerting when coupled with the fact that, despite Millennials’ enthusiasm for socialism and communism, they do not, in fact, know what those terms mean.
One remarkable finding of our study is that, to a high degree, Americans favor absolute protections for free speech, regardless of their views of communism or socialism. Communists and socialists more broadly have historically and ideologically favored state regulation of the press, speech, and popular assembly. Our results suggest that Millennials who favor socialism and communism have not thoroughly considered the implications of their political beliefs.
Communism isn’t back: It never left. We simply forgot about it. And as it rears its ugly head once more, openly and shamelessly, we seem far less prepared to meet the challenge in this century as we did in the last.