The Kids Are Not Alright! Two Thirds of UK Millennials, Gen Z Support Socialism

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Andy Warhol's 'Hammer and Sickle' (est. $6-8 million), never before seen at auction, goes on view in London at Sotheby's on April 7, 2017 in London, England. The work will be offered at auction in New York on May 18, 2017. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty …
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While the Conservative Party has enjoyed over 11 years in power and the left-wing Labour Party continues to flounder at the ballot box, a new study has shown that socialism appears to have gained a strong foothold with the younger generations of Britons.

Research conducted by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has found that over two-thirds of Millenials and Generation Z in the UK would prefer to live under a socialist economic system than the free market system currently enjoyed in Britain.

According to the reportLeft Turn Ahead? Surveying Attitudes of Young People Towards Capitalism and Socialism, 67 per cent of younger Brits said they would rather have socialist rule and 75 per cent agree with the statement that “socialism is a good idea, but it has failed in the past because it has been badly done”.

“The cliché that ‘real socialism has never been tried’ is not just a cliché: it is also the mainstream opinion among Millennials and Zoomers,” the report noted.

The younger Brits, many of whom were born after the fall of the Soviet Union, associate the term ‘socialist’ with positive terms such as ‘workers’, ‘public’, ‘equal’ and ‘fair’.

The report noted that very few associate socialism with the term ‘failure’, despite the previous century of socialist governments leading to economic devastation, mass starvation, and democide (the murder of people by their own government).

The young leftists also do not associate socialism with Venezuela, the most glaring socialist failure of the 21st century, devolving from one of the world’s most prosperous nations to one of the poorest in a little over a decade of socialist rule.

The IEA also found that three-quarters of those studied believe that climate change is a specifically capitalist problem, despite the world’s biggest polluter being Communist China.

A further 78 per cent of young Britons said that capitalism was to blame for Britain’s housing crisis, rather than the mass migration that has occurred since the early 2000s placing massive pressure on existing housing stock.

In line with their statist world view, 72 per cent were in favour of nationalising industries such as energy, water, and the railways, while the same percentage opposed any private involvement in Britain’s socialised healthcare system.

The author of the report and head of Political Economy at the IEA, Dr Kristian Niemietz, warned that his findings show that socialist ideology is not something that young people will just “grow out of” as the poll results found little difference in mindset between Millennials (born between the 1980s and mid-1990s) and Generation Z (born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s).

The report noted that it is more likely that where there are differences, it is likely that Zoomers will “grow into it” rather than Millennials “out”.

“These results show that ‘Millennial Socialism’ is not just a social media hype, and it was not just a passing fad which ended with Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation. Nor is it simply a replay of the student radicalism of the 1960s. This is a long-term shift in attitudes, which is not going to go away on its own,” Dr Niemietz said.

He continued: “Supporters of the market economy need to accept that challenge, and rise to it, rather than dismiss it, or pretend it is not happening.

“We need to get better at making the positive case for capitalism, developing market-based policy solutions to the problems young people are facing, as well as explaining why socialism, seductive though it may be, is always and everywhere a dead end.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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