> According to a survey conducted late last year by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
> But it is far from clear that classroom _indoctrination_ is driving students to the far left
> students’ upbringings are a large part of today’s _problems_ on campus
Most clearly visible in the following excerpt:
> Naturally, when they arrive on campus as 18-year olds, they look to professors and administrators to take over the parental role of protecting them from life’s challenges. Thus, so-called “helicopter parenting” yields “snowflake” students unable to tolerate uncomfortable opinions.
> In response to perceived slights, however artificial or exaggerated they may be, activists demand and often receive compensation
> This is an encouraging conclusion as it suggests that students who are more serious about their academic work are more likely to think for themselves [leftist = unable to think for themselves?] and less likely to be drawn into disruptive political activities
> If moderate and liberal professors want to take back the campus from illiberal activists who reject open debate and a marketplace of ideas, then a good place to start would be to re-emphasize academics as the raison d’etre of university life
Explaining the common cold as the work of Asmodeus instead of the work of Belial isn't a new perspective on the debate.
I'm seeing a lot of comments pointing out that the thesis of this argument rests on a confusing conflation between "socialism" and "Scandinavian-style social democratic policies." I actually think the article gets this right. American news media and mainstream politicians have spent the entire lifespan of most millennials arguing that the US can't have basic first-world social programs because those programs are "socialist." Whatever one thinks of socialism proper, this is a deliberate rhetorical confusion meant to draw an equivocation between modern European social democratic states, South American socialist states, and communist states like the DPRK. The article reproduces this rhetorical device, then asks why "today's kids love" policies in the massive ideological grab-bag now encompassed by that term. No wonder!
Meanwhile in the US, very few would equate social democracy in a capitalist society as "socialist", because you were raised to believe that "socialism" is the opposite of "capitalism". Which it is. In a way. But it's complicated.
So a better question would be:
- Would you like to live in a capitalist society with significantly more socialism?
- Would you prefer to live in a completely non-capitalist society, i.e. without a free market?
- Do you know the difference between democratic socialism and social democracy? Which do you prefer?
So: to a lot of people, "socialism" means there is no market economy/capitalism. To a lot of other people, socialism is also the social democratic ideals of redistribution, equality and strong workers' rights.
It's a generation that has watched health care become utterly unaffordable, that no longer have any hope of the lifelong job security their grandparents often enjoyed, who are taking on a lifetime of debt in terms of student loans so they can ever hope to make much more than minimum wage, who despair of ever owning a home, who have watched more than 100% of all economic growth for their entire lives go to a handful of extremely wealthy people at the top of the chain.
Capitalism has nothing to offer them but chains at this point. The market has failed in one of its most fundamental tasks - getting people to have faith in the market. If an entire generation starts thinking that there's nothing in it for them... sooner or later, they'll fight back.
My biggest fear is that the fight could be a lot messier than mere single payer health care and free college.
That's true, both in part for the reason you describe and also in part because those same politicians have driven a linguistic drift where what would previously be described as “preserving the modern mixed economy against a regress to 19th Century capitalism” is now often , in American political vernacular, “socialism”.
While, sure, that scares some people into conformance with the right-wing program, it also reduces the cognitive distance between preserving the status quo, social democracy, democratic socialism, and even harder-left forms of socialism. When everything they isn't right-wing extremism is “socialism”, the term becomes less scary.
which is a state-run propaganda institution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victims_of_Communism_Memorial_...
Socialism has a fairly clear definition though. It's only tangentially related to social safety nets and other related things. Socialist countries often have huge wealth disparities and being poor in them is much worse than being poor in America.
As the guy above pointed out though, this is article is propaganda. It's not designed to make you think.
What a weird phrasing. In the real world capitalism and socialist policies are not mutually exclusive. The report also states that despite Millennials’ enthusiasm for socialism, they often confuse the definitions of communism and socialism. https://web.archive.org/web/20171220105444/https://victimsof...
Holy Smokes that seems a bit rough on socialism. Just because some countries are extremes does not mean the whole of socialism is bad. Take a look on successfull countries as France, Sweden, Germany, Danmark, Norway, Finland, etc, that all have some sort of socialistic goverance.
The pitfight between capitalism and socialism is a bad way to win any argument. It is not all black and white and saying otherwise is not helping further the discussion.
If you have a broader definition of socialism which includes all democratic branches of Marxism such as social democracy and others, it's obvious in the other direction - socialism is not evil by definition (quite the opposite - people seem very happy in those countries).
So regardless of which definition you use, there is no debate. It's either definitely evil or definitely not evil.
There is a third layer to this, and that is the more philosophical questions of the first case: "is socialism in some way inherently 'evil'", or "could there be a successful soviet style socialist society" etc. While those arguments are perhaps interesting, they are usually not worth having. It suffices to say that corruption and totalitarianism is bad/evil. Those who practice it tend to do it under whatever flag is easiest.
How do you figure that the statement in the article is contradicted by Germany? It's quite clear what they mean by socialism - a society explicitly guided by Marxist thought. Germany is the opposite. It's explicitly guided away from Marxist thought.
Except the socialist practices that young people are in favor for are mostly the hybrid modern ones European countries have, not the ones North Korea has, so this article just completely pretends to miss the point.
European socialism is "not so bad" compared to North Korea, until you learn that Europeans on the whole are also significantly poorer than those in the US.
Yes, if you define "poor" in terms of net income. I could at least double my salary by moving from Paris to California, yet my standards of living would plunge... I love paying taxes - and every trip to a low-tax country reminds me of that !
Our capitalist system already uses socialist instruments to affect the economy and to sustain itself. That the kids are fleshing this out online and discussing how it could be better served to the general populace as opposed to industry leaders should surprise no one.
The arguments for capitalism are not sexy, but the ramifications of socialism are profoundly harmful.
Because when you say things like "the ramifications of socialism are profoundly harmful", without any examples or supporting arguments - and ignoring the fact that every stable industrial nation government is to some degree socialist - well.
It ought to give you an idea about why they're pushing some of these ideas.
If the author is truly more than a little puzzled why today's youth would like more fairness in the world and less inequality, I don't know what to say.
No student is thinking, 'we should be more like North Korea'. However, all youth are thinking 'wow you old people are fucking brutal and want to kill a lot of kids by removing our healthcare and stealing from the poor, stop it' when they look at the practices of the extraordinarily wealthy US politicians and corporate owners.
I'll be honest, I've been starting to doubt that North Korea is actually as terrible as our leaders want us to believe it is. I still don't think we should be more like North Korea because I don't expect it's good, but I do think we should be less like the Soviet Union, telling our people that our ideological opponents are completely awful places to live as a way of propping up our own socio-economic system's failings.