A survey of young people in the UK has revealed they are more likely to accuse Tony Blair and George W. Bush of crimes against humanity than Pol Pot. Half had never heard of Lenin, and 70 per cent don’t know who Mao Zedong was.
The report, commissioned by the New Culture Forum think tank, questioned 16 to 24-year-olds who had grown up after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Some 41 per cent expressed positive feelings towards socialism, compared to just 28 per cent exhibiting the same sentiments towards capitalism. Widespread ignorance of socialist tyrants, dictators, and mass murders may have contributed to this rosy outlook.
The ignorance seems to begin in schools.
Sixty-eight per cent did not learn about the Russian Revolution at any stage of their education. Consequently, half said they had not heard of communist leader Lenin, and a further 83 per cent had no knowledge of Soviet-era dissidents Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov.
An eye-watering 65 million people were killed by communism in China, and Chinese dictator Mao Zedong is considered the most murderous tyrant in history. However, 70 per cent of young Brits did not know of him and his crimes.
— New Culture Forum (@NewCultureForum) June 7, 2016
However, almost 40 per cent associated George W. Bush with crimes against humanity. His contemporary Tony Blair did not fare much better, with 34 per cent viewing him similarly. Yet, just 19 per cent made the same associations with the genocidal Cambodian leader Pol Pot.
Meanwhile, only 7 per cent of the young had positive feelings for Zionism, and just 13 percent had felt Neoliberalism was a good thing.
The poll was carried out by Survation on a sample of 883 youngsters polled online between last year, and the report was authored by journalist and broadcaster Dennis Sewell.
“There is a danger that the new generation has no concept of the ills of communism”, Mr. Sewll said as he presented it yesterday.
The report is critical of how the Russian Revolution and communism are taught in British schools. It claims some lessons make light of socialist history with “gimmickry” whilst some “resources appear to have a marked left-wing ideological bias”.
As a solution, the authors propose the UK emulates initiative such as the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, established by the U.S .Congress, to educate young Americans about communist horrors.
“The memory of the victims should be actively promoted in order to stop the centenary becoming a vulgar celebration of retro-Bolshevism”, the report urges.
Furthermore, “civil society organizations on the political Right should” should “highlight the moral superiority of free societies over the various failed socialist experiments”, the author writes.
— New Culture Forum (@NewCultureForum) June 6, 2016