Posted Mar 05, 2019 by Michael L. Brown

This is not a leading question. It is not meant as a setup or trap. To the contrary, I’m asking the question because I have not yet formed an opinion. Why, then, is it that so many millennials are drawn to socialism?

I posted this on Twitter and got a robust response, with lots of insightful answers: “Can someone explain this to me? The younger generation in America has grown up during a time of virtually unapparelled national prosperity and ease (generally speaking), yet so many are advocating socialism. Why do you think that is? (Honest question.)”

A CNN headline dated June 28, 2018 declared, “Millennials are much more open to socialism.”

A February 14, 2019 article in the Economist focused on, “The resurgent left. Millennial socialism.”

And a March 4, 2019 headline in the Washington Times announced, “Millennials agree: ‘Calling yourself a socialist sounds sexier.’”

The question is why.

Why would so many young people who have been so materially blessed by capitalism be so fascinated by socialism?

Is it because they don’t understand it?

Is it because they are all about “fairness” and “equality”?

Is it a protest against the rich?

Is it because they’re reacting against materialism and consumerism?

Is it because they feel entitled to a free handout?

On August 7, 2017, Prof. Jay Richards penned an important article for the Stream titled, “On Communism and Socialism, Many Americans Are Still Clueless.”

Every American should read this article, both young and old, since it lays out clearly what socialism really is and why it is so dangerous.

Richards wrote, “Here’s a brief primer: Marx and his disciples claimed that ‘capitalism’ must give way to ‘socialism,’ where private property would be abolished and an all-powerful state would own everything on behalf of the people. That’s what Marx meant by the word socialism, and that’s the main dictionary definition.”

I wonder how many millennials (or their elders) understand this?

He continued, “This was only supposed to be a stage, though, not the end of all our strivings. At some point, under socialism, people would lose their silly fondness for property, family, religion, and other evils. A ‘new socialist man’ would emerge and then the state would ‘wither away.’ Everyone would enjoy peace, prosperity, and the brotherhood of man. Marx and his acolytes called that final, stateless paradise ‘communism.’”

And what, exactly, does this look like?

Richards put it like this: “Here’s the point: Those regimes led by mass murderers with their gulags, death camps, man-made famines and killing fields were socialist. That’s not slander. It’s what these countries called themselves. USSR stood for the ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’”

Practically speaking, “You gotta break millions of eggs with socialism to make the communist omelet. Socialism, you might say, was the necessary evil to reach the bliss where no state would be necessary.

“That was sort of the theory anyway. In practice, socialism has just been evil. Unremitting evil, wherever it’s tried.”

I wonder how millennials would respond to this?

What’s your take? Please share your thoughts here, and if you don’t mind, for the sake of perspective, share your age (roughly or exactly) as you respond.

As I said, I’m looking to form an educated opinion, so your insights will be very helpful.

Thanks for your sharing your thoughts!

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Mrsreese posted a comment · Mar 17, 2019
I think the youth are I'll informed, indoctrinated by liberal schools and colleges. It seems like the cool thing to believe in. On the issue of actual substance I think that our current economics and laws have some socialistic aspects and reflects that our capitalistic society is failing. So these misinformed, confused individuals believe the left's narrative that we need more socialism is the answer.
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Dirk posted a comment · Mar 10, 2019
I think socialism is getting more popular as people in the US are realizing that capitalism is having some weaknesses as well. I think and hope nobody wants socialism like in Cuba, Russia, ... But the idea of sharing wealth is the major driver for it. Jesus is calling for supporting the poor as well. The big question is if the state or each individual should manage supporting the poor. I think that a minimum wealth distribution by the state is leading to less very needy people which is leading to more peace in the society. This is to me a blessing which we see here in Germany. If the state would not distribute the minimum level many people would not share their wealth with others as most people are not lead by Gods love. Another big question would be which is the minimum level the state should manage supporting needy people.
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Gump posted a comment · Mar 09, 2019
I’m a millennial socialist. The appeal to socialism is multi-faceted, so I wouldn’t dare answer for all. To level set, the popular brand of socialism that is on the rise today is democratic socialism, as opposed to authoritarian socialism—though it’s poorly compared for straw man talking points. I personally have drawn inspiration from Germany’s “Social Market Economy,” which means German society has a free market economy that considers the whole via robust welfare and regulation. This effort was initiated post national socialism (NAZism) via the Christian Democratic Union. <br><br> For those wondering, yes, you can be Christian and still like socialism, democracy, unions, and other seemingly asinine, political ideas estranged from popular American evangelical conceptions. In fact, Christians (including those who are not limited to Western nations) are perplexed that American Christians can support war or guns in school but not healthcare for all.* <br><br> But why, as this article beckons, would I be drawn to socialism? Very simply, I’ve been allured because of a growing distaste of the outworking of American capitalism on many socio-political fronts. Indisputably, my generation has grown up in a historically unequal society and will be worse off than our parents. With inequality, a host of problems ensue, such as as the erosion of the middle class, health, education, and no less democracy itself (cue Teddy Roosevelt’s quotes). America lags behind in statistic after statistic—such as life expectancy, political corruption, or economic mobility for starters—consistently behind those “socialistic” nations like Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands. The so-called “American dream” is measurably less attainable for all because our present form of capitalism is rogue.** <br><br> Americans work some of the longest hours in the world, rank as one of the most productive nations in the world, and yet the earnings still have been rapidly concentrated to the few (for example, see Keith Ellison’s study called “Rewarding or Hoarding?” as it includes data on almost 14 million workers at over 200 companies). But the discussion gets framed around the entitlement of the poor? Now that is peculiar. <br><br> Anyways, I hope this helps to shed some small measure of light on one millennial’s appeal to socialism. Feel free to reach out with rebuttals or high fives. Always bring data. <br><br> Thanks for reading,<br> Gump <br><br> *It’s also worth checking at the door the common presupposition that the Constitution outlines a particular brand of economic theory over another. Shouldn’t we consider how America’s Constitution succeeded on the economic disasters of slavery and Jim Crowe, lest we fear that a socialistic return to progressive taxation (as was in the 1950’s) for the sake of distribution would bring down the nation. <br><br> **For the sake of another time, typical African American households have 10c on the dollar compared to the white households. In Boston, MA, the median white family has $250k in wealth while the median black family has $8. Has there ever been a substantial black middle class?
Jackie posted a comment · Mar 09, 2019
First, I am not a millennial, nor do I have any children. Second, I am a Canadian, but don’t you fool yourself, what’s happening in the U.S. is happening here too. I am 68 and in those 68 yrs I have been very blessed. I don’t have money now and never did growing up. Things I wanted to do, when I was a teen, I couldn’t because I had no money. BUT, I have wanted for nothing. Seeing what socialism/communism has done around the world makes me cry for those under it. I don’t think the young people today understand what it means. They just don’t get it. They have so much, yet they want more. But what they don’t realize is that all of which they do have would all be gone. Life won’t be easier, or happier, it will be harder and uglier. The Bible says 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (even though this was Paul’s time), it characterizes the breakdown of society and the family (and it is holding true for today) people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. That’s 19 descriptions of the society we live in now. How much more worse will it be if socialism/communism were to reign. Lastly, with God all things are possible. He is still in control and when you know Him you can be satisfied with your portion here and now, because what’s to come with Him will be so much more wonderful!!!!
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Jane V posted a comment · Mar 09, 2019
Every one should read this book: The Darwin Effect: Its Influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism Book by Jerry Bergman When people reject God very terrible results are inevitable. I am wondering though if the 'socialism' of the Millennials is not really just what we in Canada call 'a just society'. Universal health care is central to that as we all know anyone can get sick at any time. It is an easy way to have mercy on your neighbor.
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A._catholic posted a comment · Mar 08, 2019
Acts 2: 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. KJV
Ri-chard posted a comment · Mar 08, 2019
Because they are clueless about the real founding of America. 1,) They must first be able to read and understand what the words say in the 1783 Definitive Treaty of Peace to understand who won the war and received the spoils of the war and what that means compared to what they thought they knew. 2.) 1789 First Act of Congress. Read and understand why they changed the wording of the Constitution's Preamble for purposes of taking the oath of office. Hint: A CYA effort to hold themselves harmless should they be charged with breach of "the Constitution for the United States of America". 3.) To continue to follow the money they must know the first use of the Emergency and War Power Act was by George Washington in 1791. Washington used the Emergency Power portion of the Act. This was to enable Washington, at Hamilton’s insistence, to use an existing private bank, controlled by the Crown through its British Board of Trade, to become the first bank of the United States. Jefferson and two other men wrote constantly to Washington telling him that there was no such authority in the Constitution to create a bank. Neither Jefferson nor the other two men could sway Washington. Washington, using the Emergency Powers Act, went ahead and created the First Bank of the United States. Also at this time he overlaid the states into "districts of the United States." He did this so that those state banks, who after the creation of the first Bank, were forced to contract with the First Bank in New York so they could continue to operate with United States money. Washington did this because the United States deposited all the money it collected into all the private banks in each of the states from before the Revolutionary war to the institution of the first Bank of the United States. The United States wanted to centralize all its accounts in this First Bank while allowing the hundreds of other banks scattered throughout all the states to continue to hold its money. This is much like the corporate takeovers of today, where a large bank absorbs small banks that continue to operate as satellite banks with all the accounts having to clear through the parent bank. This then allowed the foreign British controlled bank to more easily collect and pay back the debt owed the Crown by the State and United States as was directed in Article VI of the United States Constitution. The First Bank The First Bank of the United States was not at all owned by the Congress but was privately controlled by the British Board of Trade stockholders. The Bank, if begun in France, would be called the First Bank of France. Do not let the terminology fool you into thinking that it was a Bank created by Congress. The ownership was foreign. The "foreigners," noted as Stockholders, were many Americans and therefore, foreigners to the international banking industry. Most of these foreign bankers came from England. Chief Justice John Marshal held the second highest shares in this bank. The documents I have, show that Marshall was considered a "foreign stockholder." He was foreign because the bank was a foreign concern operating within America. Marshall, being a United States citizen, was a foreign Stockholder. The Tories were helpful in setting the stage for the inception of the Bank. The Tories were people controlled and working for the King. The King did not want the Rothschilds or the Lombards to take control of the first bank in the United States. The King wanted his bank of England to control the first bank. This setup went back to the Treaty of 1783 and emanated from that treaty and those created after that. See the Millennials don't know zip and who actually represents them.
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12thMan posted a comment · Mar 08, 2019
Millennials were the first generation of children exposed to the educational methodology charged with protecting their self-esteem. It sounds like a wonderful thing to young parents. Who would not want their child to feel good about themselves and others? If this idea were opposed by a parent in the early 1990s, that parent's love and concern for their child would come into question. The self-esteem concept is why so many millennials as small children were awarded trophies simply for participation in academic or sports competition. Everyone is equal in their sincerity to win, and each child wants their friends to get a trophy so they will not be sad. Millennials were taught this concept by a professional teacher or coach which lent credibility to what they espoused. This credibility grows stronger with each passing year of the child's educational instruction. When a millennial views an area of society where a person is not treated equally, where someone's self-esteem is crushed, or where a fellow student or worker is not awarded recognition equally, the millennial believes this is the result of some unenlightened person promulgating archaic, patriarchal, or hypocritical behavior rooted in capitalism. Millennials in this country have been taught in grade school, high school, and college that capitalism produces self-aggrandizement, class and racial discrimination, and wealth inequality.
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Connor White posted a comment · Mar 06, 2019
Here's my take on this. You mentioned "unapparelled national prosperity" (perhaps you meant unparalleled?) Maybe we are in a time of great national prosperity, but it does not feel that way to a lot of people. I know this because we elected Donald Trump as president, and his slogan was "Make America Great Again." The implication being that America was no longer great for a lot of folks and needed to be made great again. At the time of Trump's election, I criticized the slogan, saying, "America is already great. Why does it need to be made great again?" My point is, it is easy to dismiss the other side. I dismissed the Trump voters, but I was wrong in that. The system we had in America wasn't working for them and they wanted something to change. So it probably is with many of the millennials calling for socialism. The system we have is not working for them.