Why do millennials think communism is cool?
Millennials are one of history’s luckiest generations. They were born around the end of the Cold War a quarter century ago, when the tyrannical Communism embodied in the Soviet Union came tumbling down, also knocking socialism down a few pegs along the way. But a Gallup poll in June 2015 found that almost 70% of U.S. millennials would be willing to vote for a socialist presidential candidate. Even more shocking, barely half of millennials believe “Communism was or is a problem.”
The same poll found that a quarter of millennials hold favorable opinions of Vladimir Lenin, while 18% think favorably of Mao Zedong. More than 10% even have positive feelings about Joseph Stalin. Never mind that these men were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions and the impoverishment of hundreds of millions.
These polling numbers are frightening—especially when the Communist-ruled and socialist nations in the world today, from North Korea and Cuba to Venezuela, show so clearly how such systems invariably lead to repression and declining standards of living for their populations.
Millennials who wish to see a socialist or Communist Party-ruled nation in action should look to Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Venezuela’s current troubles make daily headlines. The country is crippled by inflation and shortages of basic goods, and the government takes more control over the economy each day. No wonder even millennials want to get out. A poll conducted in September found that 69% of youths there wanted to emigrate.
Millennials have grown up in a world where, for the most part, economic and personal freedoms are the rule rather than exception. So it is understandable that communist and socialist leaning university professors find them to be a willing audience. However, as Michael Novak is fond of saying, “ Capitalism is a bad system of economics, except when compared to all the others. Young people living in Communist and socialist countries today need our prayers not our admiration. There was nothing to admire about the Soviet Union, and there is even less to admire in countries that seek to perpetuate its failed philosophy at the expense of the Biblical truth that holds a high value for liberty and prosperity.
The content of this blog is taken from the article Is Communism Cool? Ask a Millennial by Andrew Clark that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Dec. 22, 2016.