Most Americans under 30 "do not support capitalism"

[Read the post]


Painting “capitalism” and “socialism” as mutually exclusive systems that cannot coexist within the same society is a notion I’d expect from sensationalist news media, but Harvard? Sheesh.


Perhaps it’s because capitalism doesn’t support them.


The old saying: “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If
he is not a capitalist by the time he is 40, he has no brain.”

As Brainspore points out, a mix of the two is probably the best choice. Capitalism with no rules or regulations doesn’t work well. Socialism, true socialism, can’t sustain itself. Most things people claim as socialism isn’t true socialism, IMO. But I guess the word’s meaning is literally changing, just like the word literally.

Having a shit economy doesn’t help things as far as outlook. Hard to support capitalism if you can’t get a good job. The depression is what lead to SS and other programs which consumes most of our budget.


I agree with the rest of your post, but


the military is not a social program.


Also, most people who claim to be Scotsmen…


Arguably any service for which the taxpayers cover your salary instead of a private business is a form of “socialism.” But we only LABEL it “socialism” if the people who collect those paychecks are, say, medical care providers instead of teachers and cops and soldiers and such.

Also, if the $1.5+ Trillion Joint Strike Fighter program isn’t a big fat government handout then I’m not sure what is.


Eh - I don’t think of it as one, really. By social I mean it goes out to people in need. The military, Dept of Transportation, Labor, Education etc are providing services but I guess I see it as a different program. I don’t think people calling for more social programs or socialism is thinking about the military, but I guess technically it is.

While I think we could shrink our military budget considerably, and it does take up a considerable portion, it’s slice of the pie is much smaller than SS and Medicare and the other lager programs. I mean, people act like the gov. doesn’t spend any money on it’s citizens, but it does.


Eh I don’t think it falls into a fallacy.

True socialism, the definition in the dictionary, was the STATE actually CONTROLLING industry and MAKING STUFF. So you wouldn’t have Pfizer making drugs and Colt making guns for the military and Ford making cars, you would have the National Drug Company, and the National Arms Company, and the National Company Who Makes Things That Are Supposed To Go But End Up Broken In The Garage Most of the Time.

Obviously, socialism now means something much broader than this original definition.


Also, replacing the Stars and Stripes with a red flag, implying that capitalism and the USA are one and the same, is a not-very-subtle bit of propaganda.

I would argue that socialism on the Scandinavian model is very much true socialism. It isn’t pure Marxist socialism, which I agree hasn’t been shown to work, but an insistence on purity is the problem most people have with capitalism.


[[quote=“beschizza, post:1, topic:77262”]
A Harvard University survey found that among adults between 18 and 29 years of age, 51 percent “do not support capitalism.”

Well, I’m not too far over that, and I wouldn’t say that’s true for me. I suppose that would depend on how you define “support” and “capitalism.” …

[quote=“beschizza, post:1, topic:77262”]
The survey is “difficult to interpret” due to the simplicity of choices and their lack of definition, say pollsters. [/quote]

I see that this is not an unpopular opinion.


How can workers owning the means of production instead of the 0.1% be unsustainable?

OK, to be fair there is no one true socialism. What we have in Britain and the USA is what Karl Marx described as Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism, which is meant to keep the most powerful people in society in power, supposedly for the good of the less powerful. Obviously Marx wasn’t a fan of it.

Using that definition means I am not a socialist.

Wouldn’t somewhere have to actually try it, to show it doesn’t work? Also, while it isn’t Marxism, the anarcho-syndicalist farms in 1930s Catalonia were more efficient than when they were run by capitalists, stalinists or fascists.


Every time I see a poll like this, I’m reminded of my favorite newspaper clipping from the early 90’s.

This just in: Earth revolves around sun!

CHICAGO (AP) More than 450 years after Copernicus proved the Earth revolves around the sun, millions of adult Americans seem to think it’s the other way around, a researcher reported yesterday.

On very basic ideas, vast numbers of Americans are scientifically illiterate," said Jon Miller of Northern Illinois University, who conducted a nationwide survey for the National Science Foundation.

In the July telephone survey of 2041 adults 18 or older, people were asked about 75 questions testing their knowledge of basic science. Miller said.

Asked whether the Earth goes around the sun or the sun around the Earth, 21 percent replied incorrectly. Seven percent said they didn’t know.

Of the 72 percent who answered correctly, 45 percent said it takes one year for the Earth to orbit the sun, 17 percent said one day, 2 percent said one month and 9 percent didn’t know.

The responses indicate that about 55 percent of adult Americans, or some 94 million people, don’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun once a year, Miller said.

If people don’t know what a year actually is, how do you expect them to know what socialism is?



The definition is the WORKERS controlling the means of production. Not the STATE.

Some believers in socialism believed that we needed an intermediate stage where the State controlled industry (See Soviet Union), and that the state would eventually wither away and leave just the workers in control. But that idea was always fought over, and most libertarian strains have always opposed the state as well. And as we can see with how the Soviet Union bungled things up the idea of state control was not equivalent with worker control. Rather it’s the dictatorship of the bureaucrats instead of the proletariat.

Sanders and Scandanavia aren’t any closer though. Workers won’t control their workplaces, rather the excesses of capitalism will be blunted and softened. It’s still capitalist, just with an impartial referee rather than a bought off one.


First off, I love that we’re at the point in the US where we’re actually trying to figure out what socialism is, rather than just throwing it around as a vague epithet.

Secondly, socialism does not necessarily involve the state. In a capitalist economy, the wealth is held by a particular group of people. This group is sometimes called “the rich” or “the capitalist class” or “the 1%” or “the corporate elite”, etc. The allocation of wealth can look many different ways under capitalism. You can have corporate capitalism or free market capitalism or social welfare capitalism. But the point is, it’s up to the capitalists how wealth is allocated, both to themselves and to the rest of society. (note: by this definition, many so-called Communist regimes would actually be considered to be state/corporate capitalist)

In a socialist economy, the wealth is held socially, i.e. not by a particular group, but instead collectively held by everyone in society. The system by which that wealth is allocated can look very different case-by-case. You can have centralized state socialism, you can have anarchist federated socialism, you can even have primitive pre-agrarian socialism. But the point is that since the wealth is understood as a social resource, all of society has influence over its allocation.

If you think that a particular group of people should control the economy for everyone else, you support capitalism. If you think that everyone should share control, you support socialism.


Meaningless survey is meaningless.


Umm, well whose fault is that?


“I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting. By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more…”


If I’ve learned anything from American politics it’s that the label “socialism” is applied more or less arbitrarily.

Free public education for grades K-12 = a prudent investment in our nation’s future
Free public education for college = SOCIALISM

Taxpayer money to repair a damaged road = a necessary government service for public good
Taxpayer money to repair a damaged artery = SOCIALISM

Housing the largest number of incarcerated people in history = money well spent
Housing for the homeless = SOCIALISM


I can’t understand why these youngsters don’t like capitalism. It’s working out so well for them…