Millennials: Cool Communism

“A quarter of millennials [18-34 year-olds] hold favorable opinions of Vladimir Lenin, while 18% think favorably of Mao Zedong [who murdered 75 million Chinese].” Andrew Clark

“Millennials who wish to see a socialist or Communist Party-ruled nation in action should look to Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.” Ibid

Is Communism Cool? Ask a Millennial

The U.S.S.R. broke up 25 years ago—ancient history for some.

Andrew Clark, The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2016, p. A 13
Millennials are one of history’s luckiest generations. We were fortunate to be 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. We have grown up in a world where, for the most part, economic and personal freedom are the rule rather than exception.

And apparently we hate it. How else does one explain why so many millennials seem to long to live in government-run economies, or worse?

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, a poll conducted before this year’s presidential election by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 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.

Part of the problem is that many millennials see these ideologies as represented by Scandinavian countries, an ignorant view fed them by candidate Bernie Sanders, among others. As Harvard and Stanford visiting professor Daniel Schatz (a Swede) wrote in Forbes in February, “Sweden began to reverse its economic model during the 1990s” through privatization and deregulation. Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen was even more unequivocal in a speech earlier this year: “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

Scandinavian economies are in some ways freer than those in the U.S. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom gives these countries high marks for limited regulatory burdens and for corporate tax rates lower than in the U.S. In many ways it’s easier to start a successful business and take part in economic life in a Scandinavian country than it is in America.

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 by the Venezuelan market analysis firm DatinCorp in September found that 69% of youths there wanted to emigrate.

As Venezuelan blogger Maria Antonia Marturet recently observed, the country’s millennials are fleeing because, “They wanted to live in a place where they could go out at night without being kidnapped, where they could eat whatever they wanted without queuing, and where they could eventually have babies without the stress of not finding a hospital where to give birth.”

At least Venezuelan millennials still feel somewhat able to speak up. Communist Cuba arrests political dissidents. In North Korea, speaking against a regime that imposes starvation on its population can mean joining what the United Nations estimates are as many as 120,000 political prisoners kept in prison camps.

Young people living in Communist and socialist countries today don’t deserve U.S. millennials’ envy, but their concern and pity. 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 liberty and prosperity. Our generation is lucky it hasn’t learned this firsthand—and let’s hope we never have to.

Mr. Clark is the executive director of Generation Opportunity.



2 thoughts on “Millennials: Cool Communism

  1. Barry Peters says:

    Good Morning, David:

    You posed a question a while back that I thought about, but failed to respond to. To which I failed to respond. Whatever.

    Anyway, you asked something to the effect of which of your work should you continue. And which might a gentleman of your maturity set aside?

    Here’s my response: Whatever else you choose to do, I want to encourage you to continue with the Thunder on the Right. It is one of the very few emails that I get that I *always *read. Because I know that, if David says this is important, then I know that it is.

    Simple as that.

    Oops. Hold on a sec. An ambulance just went by. Gotta run.

    Barry Peters Husband of “Res” Attorney at Law Eagle, Idaho

    PS. Have you ever considered writing on the subject of how a man should throttle back in his retirement years? I’m coming up on 66 yrs. I enjoy my law practice, but also look forward to handing it off to a couple of young men who are finishing up law school in the next year and half. I’ve known them since birth so I have confidence in their ability to practice law in a righteous (and profitable) fashion with a bit of coaching on my part. But I’m also being nudged by a couple of good friends to not be in too much of a rush to back away entirely from the “ministries” that the Lord has given me in the realm of politics and in the service of shepherding home schoolers here in Idaho. While I don’t want to step away too quickly or too far from the path that I’ve been on, I also don’t want to cling to it and live my remaining years in exhaustion scrambling to do the same things that I’ve always done. Your “question,” above, leads me to think you may be assessing similar questions yourself. I’m hoping you have some wisdom that you’d be willing to share.

    On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 10:31 PM, Thunder on the Right wrote:

    > thunderontheright posted: ““A quarter of millennials [18-34 year-olds] > hold favorable opinions of Vladimir Lenin, while 18% think favorably of Mao > Zedong [who murdered 75 million Chinese].” Andrew Clark “Millennials who > wish to see a socialist or Communist Party-ruled nation in ac” >

  2. tamargladtidings says:

    The commies have been steadily working to rot the foundations of the USA for many years!
    Obama is subverting the USA to communism and USING the muzzies as henchmen that will be discarded when done!
    OPEN your eyes! Look at Obama’ history – his communist family and mentors, schools, friends !!!

    LOOK at the communist goals!!

    Watch this video!
    KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov’s warning to America

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