Why is socialism so attractive to millenials and hippies? To me it’s a mystery. I don’t know how anyone can advocate a socioeconomic model that is repressive and usually ends in disaster. The CATO Institute held a policy forum to discuss that very question. Here is an excerpt from Reason Magazine:
One problem they quickly encountered was how to define socialism in the first place. Is it pervasive, state-directed central planning? A Scandinavian-style safety net? Something else? Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who pursued the Democratic presidential nomination while describing himself as a socialist, attracted a big following among voters under age 30. But most of those voters actually rejected the idea of the government running businesses or owning the means of production; they tended to be who want to tax the rich to pay for health care and college education. And this was, in fact, the platform Sanders was running on.
I came across that same scenario. The millennials I ran into wanted a single-payer health care system, but abhorred government takeover of private business. There seems to be a disconnect from reality with these people.
Cosmides suggested the contemporary left/right divide rests on the question of whether people are inherently good or bad. The liberal thinks people are good but are ruined by exploitation; the conservative thinks people are bad and their selfish impulses must be reined in by cultural norms and controls. In fact, she continued, evolutionary psychology shows that human nature is composed of an extensive set of neural programs that are triggered by different experiences. Human beings evolved to handle the social challenges encountered in small bands of 50 to 200 people. Globe-spanning market economies strain our brains.
Another phenomenon is an abhorrence of organized religion and a reverence for multiculturalism. Millennials I spoke with told me religion is the number one killer of all people. Of course, they would have to ignore the past two centuries. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot weren’t actually killing people over the Eucharist or the Trinity. These mass murderers killed people to maintain power over the state. Hell, the French Revolution was overtly anti-Christian and look at how many people they murdered over their version of equality, liberty and fraternity.
And as for Islam, I don’t consider that a religion at all. Yet, I will concede that reprehensible socio-political ideology in the guise of religion is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths since its inception.