For all the young, hip millennials out there who think socialism is keen and “adulting” is a verb, you just wait.
Social scientists are trying to convince us that people in their 20s aren’t really adults yet – that their brains are still developing. They have a term for this – “emerging adults.”
The American Psychological Association even makes the case that, basically, these people (who we used to call grownups are really just post-adolescent, identity-confused “pre-adults” who still haven’t found their place in the world.
These are the same age of Americans who decades ago stormed beaches, hid in trenches, and made daring and heroic acts of bravery legendary.
Now they’re struggling to merely grow up.
Perhaps that’s why they’ve found a not-so new ideology to pin their hope and dreams on: socialism.
Buoyed by Bernie Sanders’ failed but wildly popular presidential run, Millennials are the only group who actually have a more favorable view of socialism over capitalism.
A Reason-Rupe survey found that 58 percent of Americans 18-24 have a favorable view of socialism and only 56 percent have a favorable view of capitalism.
These “emerging adults,” whose brains haven’t fully formed yet, find socialism appealing for one reason: they know nothing about it.
Since so few of them have any assets to speak of – no homes, no retirement, no tangible wealth – they pay few taxes, so if their economic knowledge of socialism means “higher taxes,” then they’re all for it, because they don’t pay any to begin with.
But it’s not taxes that drives them to socialism. They are also completely ignorant of history and the tens (hundreds?) of millions who have died under Socialism’s banner and the banner of Socialism’s ideological twin, Communism.
As far as they know, socialism is “people being kind” or “people being together,” as The Federalist’s Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann write.
If that is the Socialism that they’re glomming onto, the Socialism that Bernie Sanders is selling, then they’re in for a rude awakening when the real world, history, and economics slap them in the face.
For more proof that Millennials don’t know what they’re talking about, when that same survey asked if a “Free Market Economy” is better than a “Government Managed Economy,” the free market wins out by a two-to-one margin.
Here’s one clue why Millennials don’t know what “socialism” truly is. Listen to this interview between MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Hillary Clinton during the primary campaign:
She couldn’t say what a socialist was. In fact, she couldn’t even tell us the difference between the two.
Matthews said that Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn’t answer the question either – and he was right:
Older Americans – the Americans who remember the Soviet Union – know what Socialism is. They know the danger that socialism brings: tyranny.
Millennials came of age after the fall of the Soviet Union and Socialism was relegated to college courses, where goateed professors would speak of Karl Marx and his ilk in academic, esoteric terms that have zero bearing on the real world.
Either these Millennials – whose brains are still a little mushy – are in for a rude awakening, or America is.
I pray it’s the former.