By now you've most likely seen the polls reporting that roughly half of Millennials have a favorable view of Socialism and you're probably wondering how in the world that is possible. Didn't America win the Cold War?
Well, yes, we did win the Cold War, but we're losing the culture war.
As I was discussing the rising Socialist leanings of city councils with a reader of Intellectual Takeout, I made the point that what is happening now is the result of what was done over many decades. Americans didn't just become Socialists all of a sudden; no, the way was prepared for its rising popularity.
Now, not a few conservatives or libertarians will comfort themselves with the knowledge that many Millennials who view Socialism favorably can't actually define it. Politically, though, that doesn't matter.
What matters is how the typical Millennial perceives Socialism, as that will dictate how he votes at election time. If I have a favorable view of Socialism, then I'm quite likely to vote for the Socialist -- no matter that I can't define the ideology.
And how is Socialism perceived? As a system of governance that is fair, makes sure everyone is materially secure, gives purpose to life, and increases happiness.
Here are five reasons that such a system appeals so well to younger Americans:
1. Broken Homes: While our cultural elites want to ignore the problem, the shattering of the family unit over the last forty years has psychologically scarred many Americans. Homes without both biological parents in them, especially those without a father present, significantly increase the chances of depression and anxiety for the children as well as leave them wrestling with abandonment issues for life.
Are we surprised that a generation of Americans who grew up in broken homes are seeking an ideology that offers them security?
2. Education: As we and other pundits have warned, the education received in many a public school (and even private schools) intellectually forms students to view the world through a prism that makes Socialism appealing.
For instance, when teaching U.S. History, the themes emphasized the most are usually the Progressive Era and its fights against capitalism as well as the importance of pursuing equality, starting with the Declaration of Independence. Nor is the indoctrination limited to History or Civics classes, examples abound of Socialist-friendly school cultures and teaching lessons in almost all subjects.
3. Demise of Christianity: In America, Christianity has traditionally been one of the driving forces shaping our culture. It gave us a sense of purpose in life, helped us govern our passions, united us, and, even, gave us meaning in suffering. All that has largely been washed away, leaving a void in many a young American's life.
These days, too many of us want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, but not something that asks too much of us. Rather, we want something that serves us.
4. Creative Destruction: Let's face it, capitalism is scary for a lot of people. When will the next recession hit? Will someone make a product that makes my business obsolete? What happens if I lose my job? How will I pay my school loans and afford a house? And on and on the worries go.
A free society and economy require people who have the self-assuredness, self-control, and strength of will to fend for themselves. Once a free society gives itself over to desires for security, be prepared for freedom to diminish.
5. Decadence: Obviously, we have more material wealth now than at any point in human history. Most Americans have grown up never wanting for the basics. Our grocery stores are always stocked, the latest technology is always available, we can communicate across vast distances, the car and airplane are commonplace, and we rarely have to sacrifice.