A new survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has found that nearly half of U.S. millennials would rather live in a socialist country, according to the foundation’s latest report – but most millennials, and Americans as a whole, often don’t know the actual definition of communism.
The survey, conducted by the data firm YouGov, also found that Americans view such figures as Kim Jong Un, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin and Che Guevara as “heroes.”
And it found that 7 out of 10 millennials don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify what it is, according to the foundation’s report.
This reflected the same data collected for Americans as a whole, that 7 out of 10 Americans don’t know what communism is or misidentify it, according to the report.
“Millennials now make up the largest generation in America, and we’re seeing some deeply worrisome trends,” said the foundation’s executive director, Marion Smith, MarketWatch reported. “Millennials are increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.”
According to its report, 44 percent of millennials opted for socialism, while 42 percent would prefer to live in a capitalist country; overall, 34 percent of Americans as a whole would prefer to live in a socialist country, with 59 percent wanting to live in a capitalist country.
In its press release about the report and survey, the Foundation said:
For starters, as of this year, more Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country (44 percent) than in a capitalist one (42 percent). Some even said they would prefer to live in a communist country (7 percent). 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.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.