No less than the Institute for Economic Affairs has sanctioned a survey which suggests that the upcoming generations have little time for capitalism.
The first two conclusions are:
1. Millennials have long been portrayed as a politically disengaged and apathetic generation. In recent years, however, that portrayal has changed drastically. The rise of mass movements such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, the ‘Greta Thunberg movement’ and Momentum, together with the ‘campus culture wars’, have turned perceptions upside down. Today, Millennials are much more commonly described as a hyper-politicised generation, which embraces ‘woke’, progressive and anti-capitalist ideas. This is increasingly extended to the first cohorts of the subsequent generation, ‘Generation Z’.
2. Surveys show that there is a lot of truth in the cliché of the ‘woke socialist Millennial’. Younger people really do quite consistently express hostility to capitalism, and positive views of socialist alternatives of some sort. For example, around 40 per cent of Millennials claim to have a favourable opinion of socialism and a similar proportion agree with the statement that ‘communism could have worked if it had been better executed’.
This should be of little surprise.
The fact that more than two centuries of capitalism has landed us at a dangerous disaster of climate heating can be lost on few.
However the survey further suggests that:
None of our results mean that supporters of capitalism should throw in the towel, concede defeat in the battle of ideas and just accept that the future belongs to socialism. But it does suggest that they should take ‘Millennial Socialism’ far more seriously than they currently do. They should treat it as a challenge and engage with it, rather than dismiss it or deny it exists.
It will be interesting to see how the IEA reacts to this….
It is basically suggesting that the game is likely soon to be up – it is difficult to deceive the people for ever – so they need to come up with other arguments.
It will be interesting to see if they do.
For trickle-down economics works as an idea only so long as people do not realise that it is a deceit.
At first when the logic doesn’t work. And then, more obviously, when the facts confirm that there has been no trickle-down
Money spent by government will always be spent by those who have to spend until it eventually arrives with people who do not have to spend it – the rich.
Thus money always trickles up. It stops with those who can afford to save.
No wonder the millennials think current capitalism is pretty poor – because it is. And that more socialism is worth a try – because it would be.
Life need not be as unfair as it is. It is unfair because financialised low-tax capitalism makes it so.
Perhaps the ‘millennials’ are beginning to realise that baked in to the DNA of all capitalist economies is that if you do not tax the rich they will always take your money as rent.