Annual Report on US Attitudes towards Socialism Shows Americans Still Have a Lot To Learn
Compiled by Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation/October 2017
This year’s centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution has caused many to reflect on the legacies that Marxism and communism have left on our cultural memory. It has been a full century since Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd and communism made its bloody debut on the world stage. Authors, activists, and politicians alike are asking the question: what has America learned from one hundred years of communism?
When the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation published its inaugural study on American attitudes toward socialism and communism in 2016, the results revealed some disturbing trends in American society.
The second annual study tracks how opinions about communism among Americans have changed since 2016.
As of this year, more Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country (44%) than in a capitalist one (42%). Some even said they would prefer to live in a communist country (7%). The percentage of Millennials who would prefer socialism to capitalism is a full ten points higher than that of the general population.
According to the poll, the majority of America’s largest generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communism society than in a free enterprise system that includes private property and limited government. However, results show that, despite Millennials’ enthusiasm for socialism and communism, they do not, in fact, know what those terms mean.
Participants were asked to choose the best definition for each term. Definitions are commonly accepted and adapted from Wikipedia. (Due to rounding, totals may not equal 100%)
Another finding of the 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. Results suggest that Millennials who favor socialism and communism have not thoroughly considered the implications of their political beliefs.
A full report is available at http://victimsofcommunism.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/YouGov-VOC-2017-for-Media-Release-November-2-2017-final.pdf