Economic system

Majority of young Britons want a socialist economic system

A majority of young Britons would like to live in a socialist economic system, new research shows.

Millennials reject capitalism and firmly blame the housing climate change crises on its doorstep.

They think socialism, on the other hand, is a good idea that has simply been done badly in the past.

The survey of young people aged 16 to 34, carried out for the Institute of Economic Affairs, found that 67% would like to live in a socialist economic system.


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With the rise of mass movements such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg’s climate movement and even Corbynmania, the millennial generation is now seen as hyper-politicized, embracing an awakened culture and anti-capitalist ideas.

They associate socialism with positive terms such as “equal” and “just”. They do not associate it with a “failure” or link it to Venezuela where, under the socialist regime of Hugo Chavez, the country’s once flourishing economy fell into poverty.

They associate capitalism, on the other hand, with terms such as “exploiter”, “unjust”, “the rich” and “business”.

Dr Kristian Niemietz, author of the report, said “millennial socialism” was not just a passing fad and supporters of capitalism had to get better at defending it.

There has been a tendency to dismiss support for leftist ideas among young people as a passing phase, but with older Millennials turning 40, it can no longer be seen as something they will ‘grow up to’.

The research covers the bulk of the Millennial generation, those between the ages of 23 and 34, and about half of the Gen Z, those between the ages of 16 and 22. The research found little difference between the views of the two groups, which led him to conclude what he is seeing “is a glimpse of what will be mainstream opinion in Britain tomorrow”.

Three-quarters of poll respondents agreed with the claim that climate change was specifically a capitalist problem, while 78% blamed capitalism for Britain’s housing crisis.

They are in favor of nationalizing industries such as energy, water and railways and fear that private sector involvement could put the NHS at risk.

Seventy-five percent of those polled agreed that “socialism is a good idea, but it has failed in the past because it was done badly”.

Dr Niemietz said: “These results show that ‘millennial socialism’ is not just a hype on social media, and it was not a passing fad that ended with the resignation of Jeremy Corbyn.

“This is not just a repeat of the student radicalization of the 1960s, either. It is a long-term change in attitude, which will not go away on its own. “

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