WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new study concludes that more Millennials would rather live under socialism than capitalism.
The "Fourth Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism" from the Washington non-profit Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation shows that Millennials are "increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even Communism as a viable alternative."
Of all the respondents in the study, 59% chose capitalism as their preferred social and economic system while 34% chose socialism. However, of the younger Millenial population, 44% preferred socialism, 7% communism and 7% fascism, while 42% chose capitalism. 70% said they are likely to vote for a socialist candidate (50% "somewhat likely" and 20% "extremely likely").
In a prepared statement, Marion Smith, executive director of the foundation, lamented:
This troubling turn highlights widespread historical illiteracy in American society regarding socialism and the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about the genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution one hundred years ago. The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism and socialism is on full display in this year's report.
More results included that while 80% of Americans in the study said they trust themselves more than government and community to take care of their own interests, younger generations were around 25% less likely to say this.
On another note, more than one quarter of all Americans (27%) across every generation see President Trump as the "biggest threat to world peace" — over Kim Jong-Un (22%) and Vladimir Putin (15%).
The Catholic Church has been clear in her magisterial teachings on the question of socialism and communism.
Pope Pius IX in Divini redemptoris stated that atheistic communism upsets the social order and undermines the foundations of Christian civilization, calling it a "satanic scourge."
In Quodragesimo anno, Pope Pius XI proclaimed that "no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true Socialist."
In a radio message to the Katholikentag of Vienna in 1952, Pope John XXIII reiterated Pius XI's condemnation of socialism, stating that it is a "doctrine of social organization bound by time…restraining liberty…[and] aimed solely at material well being."
Pope John Paul II took a more philosophical approach in Centesimus annus. While also condemning the errors of unbridled capitalism, John Paul II stated that the error of socialism is anthropological in nature.
"Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism," he wrote.
He added that socialism suppresses individual free choice as well as the notion of private property, two elements the pope believes are necessary contributors to human dignity and the building of a just and flourishing society.
Pope Benedict XVI in Deus caritas est emphasized the Church's value of subsidiarity:
We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces.
Another survey focusing on the philosophy and values of young Americans reveals that only 4% of Millennials subscribe to a biblical worldview, compared to 16% of Baby-boomers and 7% of those known as Generation X.
While only 43% of Americans over the age of 30 support "gay marriage," the number increases to 65% of Millennials.
And while only 6% of Americans over 30 identify as "LGBT," more than double that number, 30%, claim to be so. Those under 30 are more likely to call themselves atheists and show more sympathy for socialism than previous generations.
In spite of all the Catholic Church's warnings in the past century about the errors and dangers of socialism and communism, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation study seems to suggest that a shift in political philosophy may be taking place among younger generations.
This is also indicated in their support for 2020 socialist candidates for president of the United States and in the statistic that only 57% of Millennials (compared to 94% of those 74 and older) believe the Declaration of Independence better guarantees freedom and inequality over The Communist Manifesto.