The Rise of Socialism in Gen Z America

Photo Credit: Democratic Socialists of America

By Charlie Sisk

To any young conservative, it should come as no surprise that there is a larger push from the political left to switch America’s economic system to that of a “democratic socialist” one. This mentality was almost unheard of a few decades ago, even when there was a prominence of communists living within the United States. However, widespread support for socialist policies and a shift away from capitalism didn’t happen until Generation Z, comprised of those born between the late ‘90s and 2012, came of age.

The largest factor in this newfound interest in socialism is the lack of knowledge about socialist policies. Many, if not all, individuals in Gen Z grew up with their parents talking about their childhoods during the Cold War and their grandparents sharing stories of the USSR and other socialist countries that sought to destroy the United States. So, why is the new generation so upset with the capitalist system? A strong appeal to the uneducated masses, lack of historical knowledge, the rise of woke-ness, and idealism are just some of the many reasons America is seeing an uptick of young socialists.

“It wasn’t real socialism/communism” is an expression many are familiar with as the main talking point for any socialist; however it was real socialism. In fact, the past has shown us that the socialist USSR reaped the consequences, which included the death of millions, economic ruin, and starving citizens. While socialism might seem good in theory compared to capitalism, the latter has helped millions of people out of poverty, created jobs, aided scientific and medical research, and preserved the rights and freedoms of the individual. As Forbes explains it, socialism is a “three-act ‘people’s romance.’” 

The first act points to socialism’s short run success in the past and how it might function in an economy like Finland, Denmark, or Sweden. In fact, Sweden has begun to roll back much of its historically socialist practices, citing economic ruin. The second act pertains to excuses. Socialists try to find reasons to justify why certain factors, such as how acts of god are the sole reason for widespread food shortages and economic ruin that led to the downfall of a particular socialist system. The third and final act is the aforementioned phrase: “it wasn’t real socialism”.

The left’s incorporation of woke-ness into its political theory is also a leading cause of socialism rising in the new generation. It comes under the guise of “equity” and “progressivism,” both of which originated as leftist social movements but quickly devolved into calls to “get rid of the system” simply because proponents disagree with it. Socialism’s history, however, will clearly show the opposite is true. If equity and equality means that top government officials get bountiful amounts of food and housing while the rest of the country is starving and homeless, then socialism is exactly what the left wants. But why would the American left, which is a self described “party of change” (and has consistently advocated for more and more government control), want to subjugate the American population to socialism? If they truly want to help the American people, they should focus less on trying to get rid of capitalism and more on real solutions to current issues facing the nation.

Is our country in danger? Arguably, yes. The majority of lies propagated by radical leftists stems from decades of misinformation and fallacies. A simple, elementary understanding of history will prove that socialism has not worked, and it never will. Until we can collaborate to combat these dangerous lies, more misinformed young people will continue to gravitate towards these baseless ideas.

For anyone looking for some reading material about this topic, I found a great 2019 book about the rise of socialism in the United Kingdom by Dr. Kristian Niemietz. It can be downloaded for free here.

Mr. Sisk is a freshman at Chapman University. He is majoring in political science.

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