Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Millennials Don't Know What "Socialism" Means


To learn more about millennials, check out Reason-Rupe's new report.

Young people don't know what socialism is.

Recent polls have suggested that millennials are far more positive to socialism than older cohorts. For instance, the Pew Research Center found that 43 percent of 18-29 year olds had a positive reaction to the word socialism, compared to 33 percent of 30-49 year olds, 23 percent of 50-64 year olds, and 14% of 65+. The older you get the more you hate socialism.

But do young people even know what socialism means?

Perhaps not. A new Reason-Rupe report on millennials finds that young people are more favorable to the word "socialism" than a government-managed economy, even though the latter is lessinterventionist. Millennials don't like government intervention in the economy when you spell it out precisely, rather than use vague terms like "socialism."

In fact, a 2010 CBS/New York Times survey found that when Americans were asked to use their own words to define the word "socialism" millennials were the least able to do so. According to the survey, only 16 percent of millennials could define socialism as government ownership, or some variation thereof. In contrast, 30 percent of Americans over 30 could do the same (and 57% of tea partiers, incidentally).

Millennials simply don't know that socialism means the government owning everybody's businesses. They don't understand that socialism means the government owns the banks, the car companies, Uber, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, etc. They don't even want the government taking a managerial role over the economy, let alone nationalizing private enterprise.

In fact, millennial support for a government-managed economy (32%) mirrors national favorabilitytoward the word socialism (31%). Millennial preferences may not be so different from older generations once terms are defined.

Millennials' preferred economic system becomes more pronounced when it is described precisely. Fully 64 percent favor a free market economy over an economy managed by the government (32%), whereas 52 percent favor capitalism over socialism (42%). Language about capitalism and socialism is vague, and using these terms assumes knowledge millennials may not have acquired.

Millennials didn't grow up during the Cold War in which the national enemy was a socialist totalitarian regime like the Soviet Union.  Since this time, the terms "socialism" and "capitalism" may have taken on different meaning in the minds of millennials. For instance, socialism could imply protecting the vulnerable from the vicissitudes of capitalism, and capitalism could mean government favoritism instead of a free market.

Furthermore, critics of the president keep calling Obama a socialist. Millennials like Obama,  (52% still approve of him) and thus perhaps the critics' constant barrage of socialist name-calling has bolstered millennials' opinion of the word, rather than tainted Obama's image.

Support for Socialism Peaks in College

There is evidence that support for socialism and a government-managed economy rises when millennials attend college and then recedes after they graduate.

College students are evenly divided between socialism (49%) and capitalism (48%). Conversely, millennials who are not currently in college favor capitalism to socialism 55 to 38 percent. (College graduates are similar to other non-students in support for capitalism). College campuses appear to be a incubator for socialist views.

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To learn more about millennials, check out Reason-Rupe's new report.

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  1. Holy fucking shit, enough about the little leftist cunts already.

    1. They have the right to vote and they are destined to be our rulers.


  2. I consider Obama more of a fascist than a socialist.

    1. Well to heck with you, I’ll take the contrary view. Just as I sit here and stroke chin and marvel at my magnificent goatee.

    2. To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to. Not for nothing did fascists call themselves “National Socialists”.

    3. A friend who is an openly leftist-statist college professor, refers to Obama as a “corporatist.” That’s about a step from saying “fascist” and a short walk to “nazi.”

      1. Fascism is a right-wing political system – not an economic system that is friendly to corporations.

        I know the idiots here don’t understand that but that is why Bush was labeled as a fascist (nationalistic, militaristic, racist/religionist, etc).

        1. Modern day fascism is different than the 1930s European variety because it is internationalist, other than that it hits all the marks. Militaristic – yep; Police state – yep; religionist – sure, just not Christian, which the NAZIs weren’t either.

          1. Fascism is, if anything, even more malleable than socialism.

        2. Hi, Dave!

        3. Palin’s Buttplug|7.16.14 @ 9:43AM|#
          ‘Turd lies about fascism’…

          Turd, I direct your attention to The Wages of Destruction”, Adam Tooze, pg 106, etc:
          “The first years of Hitler’s regime saw the imposition of a series of controls on German business that were unprecedented in peacetime history”…

          IOWs, turd, keep your yap shut regarding subjects you know ZERO about.

        4. Fascism is an ECONOMIC system, and the fact that you say it isn’t proves how dim you are. Just like communism is an economic system. It stands that BOTH need near totalitarian political systems to keep the economic systems in power. That’s the issue, the implicit need for Statism (the political structure) for the economic systems to be put into place and maintained, overriding the interests of individuals who would act differently if they weren’t coerced.

          The difference between fascism and communism, in practicality, is slim. Both seek to use centralized power, based in mid-19th century romanticism as a starting point, to bring about economic “fairness” and harmony. Fascism hopes to achieve this through gathering together the existing means of production without a massive overhaul of those in charge of the means, so long as they abide by the dictates. Communism seeks to first overhaul the “top men” in charge of the means of production, then centrally command economic production (of course the Strasserite branch of the Nazi’s were a bit of a hybrid between communism and Hitlerian Nazism in that there was supposed to be SOME overhauling of the existing institutions – and so were the “left” Nazi’s)*. Communism goes one step further, that once the new “top men” have balanced out every possible interest and created harmony, then the State melts away.

          1. Cont.

            Somehow, that harmony never comes into being, and the coercive State never fades away. Of course, Hitler had just as romantic of notions of what the Reich was going to be once his policies were in place for a few decades – the transitional phase to the Thousand Year Reich.

            Economics is the study of human behavior in making greater from lesser. Some (free marketeers) allow for a plurality of ideas and uses of resources, while others (blinded by their romantic ideals which create over simplified notions) think that there needs to be a conditioning of people to think and behave a certain way first, and then their simplistic notions will work. When the people refuse to follow the toxic notions, then Force needs to be applied, and that is when the political elements are interjected.

            *Hence why, after the war, Otto Strasser went back to Germany, founded a new party, and decried that the Nazi revolution was only half installed. Hitler had made his deals with the existing interests to retain and solidify power.

            1. David Weigel is a liar.
              Hello, David Weigel.

        5. Fascism is a right-wing political system – not an economic system that is friendly to corporations.

          Fascism is politics dominating economics. You may not have noticed but Hitler was a committed socialist, just like Mussolini of whom FDR was a great admirer of. Take your prepackaged right-left paradigm to your special ed classes to impress your retard friends. It doesn’t fly here.

          1. Fascism is rife with cronyism, so its definitely a system that’s friendly to some corporations.

    4. Distinction without a difference, holmes.

    5. Yeah. His model is the private sphere can own things, but it must act in the interests as laid out by the government, not in its own interests. That is fascism, not socialism.

    6. He is but Republicans tend to be fascist also so they don’t won’t to call him that so they changed the definition of socialism. LOL

  3. To be fair, misunderstanding socialism/capitalism is common amongst older generations, too.

    1. But was there ever an American generation where the plurality actually favored socialism? However it was defined.

      1. “The Greatest Generation” have been living at the expense of the unborn and loved doing so since FDR. They’re socialists, whether they use that dirty word to describe themselves or not.

    2. I was going to say, the GenX/Yers I grew up with who were socialists would deny vehemently many inevitable aspects of socialism that were distasteful to them.

    3. I’ve always kind of understood capitalism not as an imposed economic system, but just as the way things are. Even in Communist and Socialist countries, people still try to invest whatever capital they are allowed to keep, trade in markets driven by supply/demand, etc.

  4. Milliniels don’t know %

    1. millennials.

      1. but in fairness to you, they probably can’t spell it either.

  5. This is one of odder online petitions to bring back the tv show Millennium I’ve seen.

    1. Is that about the Millennium Falcon?

      1. No. It was a good show, actually.

        1. This is the one you’re looking for.

          1. Um, no. No it wasn’t.

            1. Time to get your namesake meter recalibrated.

        2. I liked that show too.

          1. It dragged on too long. It had what may be the best ending ever for a TV series:

            [SPOILERS][going on distant memory here]

            When the plague is loose and Lance and his wife and kid are holed up with two, not three, vaccinations, and the show ends with the radio broadcast pleading for help . . . that was great stuff.

            And then they dragged it on for another few seasons. Which I didn’t watch.

  6. Kids are stupid? Who knew?

    1. I believe the proper term these days is “adult children”.

      1. After age 26. Before then, they’re children children.

      2. + 26 years old

  7. I wonder if the use of socialism as an attack word has diluted its meaning for most people.

    1. RACIST!

    2. Darn, Beat me to it, Thats what i get for thinking and typing slowly

    3. But it was an attack word for people who were, you know, socialists.

  8. But what do Millenials? think about this?

  9. Furthermore, critics of the president keep calling Obama a socialist.

    I know lots of redneck GOP types that even call Warren Buffett a “socialist”.

    1. People like to paint in overly broad strokes. That’s nothing new, nor is it limited to one ideology. It is possible to support socialist policies in certain areas but not in others, but that subtlety doesn’t make for good sound bites or attack ads.

      1. “People like to paint in overly broad strokes.”

        See also: going on two damn weeks of MILLENNIALS DO THIS THING AND BELIEVE THAT THING AND HERE IS A CHART ABOUT IT. As if an entire cohort of people born in certain years could ever meaningfully fit into some neat little concept boxes.

    2. Palin’s Buttplug|7.16.14 @ 9:40AM|#
      “I know lots of redneck GOP types that even call Warren Buffett a “socialist”.”

      I know turds who shout BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

      1. I know turds who shout BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

        And those turds are named David Weigel.
        Hello, David Weigel.

    3. Plugs, I’m going to guess that a high-rolling financial professional like you claim to be doesn’t know a single redneck GOP type.

      And I bet you can’t point to a single GOP type who calls Warren a socialist. He’s a rentseeker and a crony, sure.

      1. But, he knows they exist. His friends know of someone who knows someone who thinks Warren B is a socialist.

  10. Long time reader, first time commenter

    Anyways? What are the chances that the difference between the definition of socialism and how Millennials view it comes from the way it’s used? Socialism or socialist are go to words for anything Republicans disagree with. Healthcare= Socialism. Security net for the poor+ Socialism. Help paying for the college that we’ve been told we need= socialism.

    1. I think you nailed it! I mean, those evil Republicans don’t want anyone to have any health care at all! Nor do they want any safety net for the poor, or any college for anyone! Republicans hate healthcare, charity, and education! If Republicans had their way, there would be no hospitals, charities or schools! They’d take us to the Dark Ages! They’re evil! Eeeeeeevil!

      1. His point is that even Hayek would be called a socialist today for endorsing reasonable regulations and Adam Smith would be called a socialist (by the wingnecks) for espousing a progressive tax system.

        The wingnuttery has defanged certain words due to inappropriate use.

        1. Uh, no.

          Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

          We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

          We object to state-run health care. Then the socialists say we object to any health care.

          1. The problem, sarc, is that college kids have spent the previous 13-16 years in a socialist system that has dominated the majority of their waking hours. So no they have no idea what socialism means but have been indoctrinated both overtly and covertly to have a favorable view of it. It literally takes years after leaving that system to be deprogrammed.

            And some fraction will go to work in government – which also operates on socialist practices – who will never be deprogrammed.

            1. The Army is like this too. Lots of railing against communists and socialists (when I was in) but the whole thing leads many to think that the army’s system would work on then entire country.

        2. Palin’s Buttplug|7.16.14 @ 9:52AM|#
          ‘I don’t know WTF I’m posting about, but I’ll keep posting!’

          Turd, shut up.

          1. And those turds are named David Weigel.
            Hello, David Weigel.

      2. His point is that labeling everything you* don’t like as socialist may lead people that don’t like you* to have a more favorable attitude towards the word socialist. Especially when they don’t have any prior understanding of what the word means and you* don’t explain how the things you don’t like are semi-socialist.

        It’s a valid point.

        * you = Obama’s opponents

        1. Agreed

    2. That was my point above. The socialism label gets thrown around a lot on the right. It may not be inaccurate, but when it’s used to describe things that are really popular and accepted as obvious roles of government, it sort of loses its punch.

      1. when it’s used to describe things that are really popular and accepted as obvious roles of government, it sort of loses its punch

        But words still have meanings. Those are all socialist planks.

        1. Yes. People actually like many socialist planks. And by association, they’re willing to try the next step ($15.00 minimum wage, government healthcare, free university access).

          We’re fucked.


    3. Regardless if this usage is made by Republicans, is this not exactly what libertarians believe; that these areas of government support are all aspects of socialism?

      1. So therefore today’s GOP, which invented Medicare Part D and TARP, is socialist?

        That is a question and not an accusation.


        2. Again, you’re painting with broad strokes. But yes, the GOP has certainly shown a willingness to embrace socialism in certain areas. Which might just be one of the reasons people here don’t identify as Republicans. Just a crazy thought I had…

          1. That was a question and not an accusation.

            I made that clear.

            1. Right, and I gave you an answer: Is today’s GOP socialist? No, the real world is too full of subtlety to paint with such a broad brush. Is today’s GOP happy to support some socialist policies? Absolutely.

              And you aren’t just asking a question. You are trying to be clever, by getting commenters that you dumbfoundingly continue to view as closet Republicans to admit that the GOP isn’t libertarian. Except that it isn’t clever, because most commenters here aren’t Republicans and routinely criticize the GOP. So you just end up making it clear (again) that you seem unable to escape from a strictly left/right, R vs D, Red vs Blue worldview.

              1. I’m not accusing either party of being socialist. Neither are. Capitalism does function better under D presidents though (the markets say that).

                1. Capitalism does function better under D presidents though (the markets say that).

                  Correlation is not causation.

            2. “Palin’s Buttplug|7.16.14 @ 10:02AM|#

              STFU, turd.

        3. Palin’s Buttplug|7.16.14 @ 9:56AM|#

          STFU, turd.

          1. And those turds are named David Weigel.
            Hello, David Weigel.

            1. That’s getting a bit tiresome there Restoras.

              1. I’ll stop when David Weigel stops.

                Hello, David Weigel.

        4. Yes, it is socialism. That’s why, when they installed such stupidity, they simultaneously booted the libertarians from the party. They didn’t want any of those nutty fiscal conservatives causing any sort of cognitive dissonance.

          Of course, when the people whose votes they were trying to buy didn’t suddenly become card carrying members of the GOP, and the Dems ascended (apparently the Contract With America got voided), suddenly making peace – ~10 years later – with the libertarians was underway. Fuck ’em.

          In short, it was Medicare Part D that drove me from the ranks of the GOP.

          Lastly, the Republicans today, on fiscal matters, are slightly to the left of JFK. The Repubs, since WWII, basically evolved into the socially conservative branch of the Democratic Party. Old Right Republicanism settled into the modern moniker of libertarian, and, again, was booted from the Republican ranks. The upshot is, the Republicans and the Democrats represent two wings to one corpora-fascistic party that excludes all others. And they play the “shit-eaters” and “useful idiots” for all they are worth in getting/maintaining power for themselves and their respective cronies.

          1. The GOP was only slightly, if at all, more socially conservative (traditionalist) than the Democrats until the late 1970s when the Religious Right infused the GOP. Where they actually differed was that the Democrats were much more the party of organized labor, although there were always a few unions (notably Teamsters) who at least from time to time aligned Republican.

        5. Would this not _precisely_ be the view of a libertarian?

          That the GOP is just as “guilty” of socialism as the Democrats.

    4. Arguably, all of the things you list are evidence of socialism. Who is mandating the type health care which must be provided? Who is providing (with our tax dollars) the security net for the poor? Who is guaranteeing the loans to pay for the college?

      The answer to all of these is the same as the answer to “Who owns the means of production in a socialist state?” — the government.

      1. “Who owns the means of production?”

        In that case we are 90% capitalist or more. A mixed mode economy.

        Our big socialist components are defense and elderly retirement.

        1. In case you somehow haven’t noticed by now, the gig is up for you, you pimply-faced little scumsucker.

        2. Collective ownership of the means of production is communism not socialism. Marx called his system socialism. Originally communism and socialism meant the same thing. Later, socialism came to mean something different. In modern western sense, socialism means government enforced income and wealth equality. It has nothing to do with ownership of means of production. A country like Sweden is socialist but still has private industry. As the ruling party in Sweden explained it ack in the 1960s, “our goal is not to eliminate private property, just the advantages of owning it.” That is socialism in a nutshell.

          1. And what we’ve got is more like fascism than socialism. Sure, the means of production is privately owned, but the government through regulation dictates how anything is done. Want to do anything different? Better ask permission first or you might get into big trouble. That’s ownership only in the most technical sense.

            1. Fascism was a form of socialism. We don’t have full on fascism (yet) because we haven’t really gotten into the swing of using the power of government to eliminate the undesirables.

              1. Every year you see a new study that claims conservatives have something physically wrong with their brains. It’s only a matter of time before it is declared to be a medical condition, and government health care seeks to “fix” it.

                1. Oh we are getting there sarcasmic. Don’t get me wrong, they really want to go full fascist.

              2. You conflate Nazism with fascism. What full on pogroms were the Italian Fascists involved with (prior to Hitler’s ascension to the Bigger Fish of the two and commanded Jews be discharged from the Italian Fascists, etc)? That’s one of the biggest errors made by people who refuse to recognize the fascism as it winds itself around us on a daily basis. Because we/they aren’t gassing people and stuffing them into ovens, it’s not full fledged fascism.

                As a CPA I see the level regulatory bullshit on a daily basis. The whole tax code is basically mandating or forbidding. Our food supply is a crazy quilt of laws and regulations. Our energy sector is highly regulated/taxed. Our biggest industries, as a trade off for some consolidation in the past, have “star chambers” from the Justice Department who allow or disallow initiatives. People, even those who supposedly have seen the light here, refuse to acknowledge that we are a full on fascist economy.

                To what ends the government, as a political arbiter, has gone is a different question. And it’s not a matter of “wanting” to be more hard line, it’s an inevitability inherent in all command economies as they fail. Much of Holocaust had economic realities to it than a clearly defined “program”. Just like, during the Civil War, Andersonville Prison Camp devolved into what it was after paroling was discontinued. The “elimination of undesirables” will be a consequence of failed economic centralization than a feature of economic “planning”.

                1. And Iberian, Greek, Arab, and Persian fascism were different too.

          2. So you would prefer to live in conservative Saudi Arabia (no income tax, traditionalist, religionist, abortion outlawed, oil based economy) over Sweden.

            1. Palin’s Buttplug|7.16.14 @ 10:17AM|#
              “So you would prefer to live in conservative Saudi Arabia”

              Gee, turd, did you know strawmen are flammable?
              We can hope you die in the fire.

          3. Thanks for the correction.

          4. John – I think the nuance of “socialism” vs. “communism” came about because communism/socialism did exactly what it was supposed to socially/politically but failed economically (it was a plunder system).

            It seems like after WW2 the separation of those terms became concrete because the Marxies needed to show that Marxism wasn’t what it really was, so they said “well, communism failed, but we never tried socialism” and tied the latter term to corporatist/fascist economies.

            But you’re right – they redefined socialism in order to sell it. They just realized that the failures of true socialism was that it relied on plunder and was unsustainable. They’re not going to get rid of the milk cows (markets) because the rulers would be in danger of losing power.

        3. Socialism as owning the means of production is so 19th century.

          In the real world, politician slowly realized that they could get the benefits of ownership, without the downside of responsibility, by the pretense of allowing private ownership whilst they excercised control via regulation and strip the profitability via taxes.

          This system of applied socialism is referred to as fascist and accurately describes the economic policies of democrats today (and most republicans for that matter).

          The idea that a country that is not NAZI Germany cannot have a fascist political-economy is as ridiculous as saying that a country freer than Cambodia under Pol Pot can’t have a ‘socialis’ political economy.

          1. they excercised control via regulation

            ^^this, totally

          2. Modern socialism relies on a healthy helping of corporatism to make it happen.

            Eliminate corporations and businesses from the implementation of government and all of a sudden every citizen will feel the full brunt of regulation and taxation.

            The US government relies on business to tax, to regulate, to social engineer, to insure, to limit choice, to do just about everything that most would find distasteful if the government did it itself.

            1. Modern socialism relies on a healthy helping of corporatism to make it happen.

              When a woman complained that she didn’t want to get shoved into a plan not of her choosing, she was lectured, “It’s time to put the common good, the national interest, ahead of individuals.”
              When told the plan could bankrupt small businesses, the response, “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.”

            2. Modern socialism relies on a healthy helping of corporatism to make it happen.

              Yes. The more socialist the country, the more it has a few large firms that dominate the economy and very few if any rising small firms. For example, all of the large Swedish corporations, Ericsson and Volvo to name two date back to the early 20th Century or before. There are no Swedish Microsofts or Googles. In a socialist country if you are big, you stay big and if you are small, you stay small and there is nothing in between and none of the dynamism and creative destruction that happens in capitalist economies.

    5. State owned health care is socialism.

      State owned charity programs is socialism.

      State owned colleges is socialism.

      I fail to see the problem.

      We the state owns or controls the means of production, if if its producing things like welfare, it is socialism.

      1. Thank you! It’s not wrong to call the things exactly what they are.

        What’s wrong is the brainwashing children get to tell them this is the only humanistic way things can be. But that is all you’ll ever get from state-run child education camps. At least in the old days the children were freed from them at age 13, now they’re stuck in them beyond age 18.

    6. Perhaps the use of the term in connection with the takeover of the healthcare system is roughly accurate? And the nationalization of the student loan industry, as well?

      Because that’s what’s happened, and its not a bad fit with “socialism”.

  11. Millennials Don’t Know What “Socialism” Means

    Do fish know what water is?

  12. If no one ever explains it to you, how would you know what it means? I didn’t fully understand what it meant until I read the Road to Surfdom and Paul Johnson’s Modern Times. I only read those because my father owned them and recommended I read them. I doubt either of those books are read in any college course in this country. So how are these kids supposed to know? If you got your history and politics from Howard Zinn, you wouldn’t know either.

    1. “Road to Surfdom” – accompanied by a Beach Boys soundtrack? Bitchin’!

      1. I live for John’s typos.

        1. No kidding. I’m particularly fond of his use of “boarders” instead of “borders” in immigration discussions. It’s like, THEY TOOK OUR JERBS! AND OUR RENTED ROOMS

          1. Or, AVAST ME HARTIES!!! Prepare to be BOARDED!!!

            1. Hmm. Maybe he has a subconscious terror of pirates that for whatever reason colors his beliefs about immigration?

              1. I think it was the water boarding that finally got to him.

                Hey! It works!

          2. I bet board & bord are etymologically related.

        2. I swear they’re intentional. No one can perform so fluidly and consistently. Performance art.

    2. Exactly.

    3. With history and politics from Howard Zinn and news from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, what could go wrong?

    4. Likewise. I actually read Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” and matched it to what I already knew about history and thought basically “wow, so socialism is at its core dictatorship. Stalin followed Marx pretty closely.”

      Never called myself a socialist again.

  13. I notice that the category “others”, in the pie chart, has contracted from 4% to 2% during the last 50 or so years. This is obviously bullshit. Just about everyone who isn’t living an Igloo a hundred miles north of Fairbanks knows, by direct observation, that the US multi-racial population has increased during this period.

    1. Good point. Kind of detracts from the overall credibility, doesn’t it?

    2. I’ve pointed the likes of this out to HBD guru Steve Sailer too. Americans are self-identifying with racial groups that do not always match their genetics. Obvious case in point is Barack Obama.

    3. Every single person in the world is multi-racial.

  14. The Progs and really in many cases outright Marxists taking complete control of the universities has consequences. It is not that their comical attempts at indoctrination are that effective. Most young people are interested in drinking and fornicating and getting a degree, a job and a life. Only the real socially maladjusted losers are going to listen to the indoctrination. There are some of those and they tend to become journalists and academics. But for every Matthew Yeglesias there are a hundred normal people who just tune it out. The problem is that even if they tune it out, they still are deprived of an education and the knowledge base and critical thinking skills to understand why these things are so monstrous. If you didn’t use the buzz word and polled these kids on the actual policies that socialism brings, their support would be much lower. But since they at best know the buzzword, they don’t understand that.

    1. Only the real socially maladjusted losers are going to listen to the indoctrination.


      1. Or Marcotte or a lot of others. The difference between writers on the right and those on the left is really striking. You may not agree with someone like Glenn Reynolds or Stephen Green or Jonah Goldberg, but all of those guys are at least normal people with normal lives and families and such. The writers on the left, with a few exceptions, are in contrast all real socially maladjusted people. Even if you agree with their politics, there is nothing “normal” about people like Yglesias and Marcotte.

        1. There’s nothing “normal” about Giraffe Coulter either.

          1. She is just a carnival barker. She is a provocateur who says outrageous things to troll her opponents and attract attention. On a personal level she seems normal enough. She is not married but a lot of women don’t get married these days. I have never heard where she is fucked up on a personal level.

        2. Compounded by the fact that the socially maladjusted desire POWER above all other things…normal people will live their lives while the mendacious will stop at nothing to control others.

          Which is why infants like Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias are sycophantic to the nth for the socialists.

    2. It is not that their comical attempts at indoctrination are that effective.

      The worst part is that it isn’t education, it’s revisionist indoctrination. If the shortcomings were taught objectively, there are plenty of situations where the U.S./West comes out morally neutral or the lesser evil at best.

      Unfortunately, it’s a competitively destructive mindset. There can’t be an analysis of why neither the US nor the USSR should even have a button that starts a nuclear winter, the analysis must be why the US worked so hard to undermine perfection.

      This scares me more than any stupid ecology bottleneck that we might stumble into; because both sides play down failures, this generation has only a faint concept of how significant fractions of humanity get killed in any sort of ‘today’ time frame.

      1. Yes. The problem is not that they turn into socialists. It is that they turn into nothing. Kids who graduate from college have no understanding of history or how the rest of the world works.

        You can see this most obviously in journalism. Journalism is the last field that is still dominated by Ivy League graduates and where people can step right from college to high positions without doing anything else. And the ignorance and nativity of most major media journalists is appalling. It is not just that they are liberals. You could live with that. A fact is still a fact no matter who tells it to you. It is that they are appallingly ignorant. That cannot be ignored.

    3. I think it was Parapundit who proposed the idea that smart, energetic high school graduates should take the SAT exam, bring their validated test score to an HR department, and apply for a job without going to college at all.

      1. He is right. But the civil rights laws effectively make that illegal. The inability for employers to give objective tests is caused them instead to rely on credentials and is one of the major drivers behind the college tuition bubble.

      2. Yup, an employer cannot give a job applicant an IQ test. But we’re not talking about that. In this case the applicant has given the IQ test to himself.

  15. Millennials Don’t Know What “Socialism” Means

    OTOH, some Baby Boomers don’t know what the meaning of the word “is” is….so…..

  16. The extreme end of this confusion is those morons who call themselves libertarian socialists. Of course that’s not limited to millenials.

  17. “Millennials Don’t Know What ‘Socialism’ Means”. They’ll be finding out exactly what it means soon enough.

    1. Yep! Starvation and brain bullets are so sexy now!

  18. The issue and response is sorta like Schermer’s answer to the question of eternal life: He’s all for it! Problem is, you can’t have it.
    Socialism, as advertised, is pretty hot shit: No worries about food or housing or medical care. Everyone lives in comfort! What’s not to like? Just like living at home with Mom and Dad and hey, you can tell ’em to buzz off if they bother you, right? Look, we have supposedly educated ignoramuses who show up here promoting it.
    All you have to do is ignore the implementation, that’s all.

    1. “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

  19. I know lots of redneck GOP types that even call Warren Buffett a “socialist”.

    To the extent he advocates taking from the rich (other than himself) and handing it out to the poor* they’re not wrong.

    *as defined by “those whom the government favors”

    1. Then Adam Smith is a socialist too.

      “The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.”

      The Wealth of Nations

      1. It is amazing how you can teach a monkey to read but you can’t teach him to understand.

        Smith is calling for a flat tax, where everyone pays the same percentage of their total income (in contrast to the poll taxes where everyone paid the same dollar amount regardless of their wealth, that were common at the time). That is anything but socialism you fucking retard.

        1. Smith is calling for a flat tax, where everyone pays the same percentage of their total income (in contrast to the poll taxes where everyone paid the same dollar amount regardless of their wealth, that were common at the time).

          Additionally, (since he was pushing a milder form of it) a to-the-letter reading of the quote suggests an #agrave; la carte approach to gov’t service/taxation.

          Completely inable to enjoy the protection of the USPTO? Don’t pay for it!

          1. ?

            Where’s the !#@$%!@#$%!@# edit button?

        2. Nonsense.

          “A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be any thing very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in proportion.”

          1. “Something more just means a progressive income tax. There is more to socialism than a progressive income tax. Extreme progressive income taxes are one way to get to socialism. They are not socialist in themselves.

          2. Hmm – like a sales tax?

      2. IOW, a progressive income tax?

        1. I’m a monkey, too. I shouldn’t have said “progressive.” Oopsie.

          1. Ah, but you’re too grammatically correct to pass off as a true progressive. Get some run-ons, comma splices, misspell some things and you’ll be on the right track.

      3. There is a difference between taxation for the purpose of funding government (enforcing property rights and contracts, providing courts to resolve disputes without resorting to violence, defending the borders), and taxation for the sole purpose of redistributing wealth. I doubt Adam Smith would have supported the latter.

    2. *as defined by “those whom the government favors”

      Agreed, the fact that he complained about the taxes his secretary paid when it was entirely within his power to elevate (or suppress) her to any tax bracket he pleased was very striking.

  20. I imagine to most younger people “socialism” has more to do with wealth redistribution than worker councils, syndicalist cartels, or industrial planning.

  21. The little secret of your racial identity:

    Basically, it is whatever you say it is – because no one can unambiguously define it.

    My rejected campaign slogan for Beloved Leader:

    “Obama – Pretty Fly For a White Guy!”

    1. Meant for this to go up thread – forgive me, have not been commenting long.

    2. Good luck though telling the Census creep harassing you at home or the college administrator bureaucrat that you’re black (or another minority) if you’re obviously a white dude.

  22. he complained about the taxes his secretary paid when it was entirely within his power to elevate (or suppress) her to any tax bracket he pleased was very striking.

    I’m sure he had an exceptionally convincing explanation as to why he was only acting in her best interests by not paying her more.

    (I am reasonably certain she is, despite the contrary groupthink propaganda campaign, pretty well fixed.)

  23. I’ve said this before in one of these interminable poll threads.

    Socialism is the system where we’re all caring and sharing and all about community and rainbows and unicorns.

    Capitalism is the system where we’re selfish and fearful and greedy and big fat meanies.

    That’s pretty much how articulate the left is in defining these terms.

    1. Don’t forget that socialism allows people to do what they want while only hurting evil peoplez like greedy corporationz!

    2. And ^^^this.

      I remember that the above is pretty much the claptrap that was pumped through public schools and universities when I went.

      Even fully grown adult students, grad students mind you, thought that socialism was free market capitalism.

      For realz. Every time I’d discuss what socialism was, they’d say “oh, that’s capitalism” and whenever they described what was in essence a free market or slightly mixed economy, they called it socialism.

    3. That’s partly because, as many (such as Clarence Carson) have pointed out, the Marxist term “capitalism” is inapt for free enterprise. Communist countries are capitalist, because the owners of capital rule.

  24. TL;DR Millenials are bad at words.

    (source: I’m a millenial.)

  25. This reminds me of polling I did in the Bronx decades ago about knowledge of the word “libertarian” and the Libertarian Party. Most people did know “libertarian” had to do with liberty; it’s an apt word. Meanwhile, their knowledge of the Libertarian Party and of libertarian persons increased greatly between 1987 and 1990.

  26. I think Reason is confusing socialism with communism. There is a difference. What you describe the government owning the means of production = owning all the businesses and also deciding where and when people work as Marx said (dictatorship of the proletariat)would be communism. What socialism is the government taking part of your money and distributing to others ie welfare, corporate handouts etc. That would be most of Europe and the US who both have a quasi socialist capitalist system.This has been the case regardless of a republican or democrat in office. If you want less of it you have to start voting outside those two parties. Don’t fall for the less government rhetoric of the republicans. When was the last time a republican actually did anything to have less government?

    1. I don’t know if Reason is, but their present analyst is taking too narrow a view of socialism. Socialism includes state communism, but includes many other forms, and the term is used these days primarily to refer to ones other than communism.

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