Nearly half of American millennials (44 percent) would rather live in a socialist society than a capitalist one, according to a report from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) which relied on YouGov polling data. Even so, there’s widespread ignorance among millennials about socialism and communism — only 71 percent of the millennials surveyed could properly identify what communism is and many often conflated the two economic systems.
This ignorance among millennials isn’t surprising, as a 2016 CBS/New York Times survey found that only 16 percent of millennials could accurately define what socialism is. The VOC survey also found that 23 percent of those between the ages of 21-29 said Joseph Stalin was a “hero.” As leader of the Soviet Union, Stalin oversaw the death of millions and the infamous “gulag archipelago” of deathly work camps for political dissenters. An equal number of 20-somethings described North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, who has imprisoned an unknown number of political dissidents in labor camps while thousands of his people starve, as a “hero.”
Millennials also gave conflicting answers about free speech. While 71 percent said it ought to be protected, an alarming 48 percent said it should be limited on social media and 45 percent said it should be limited on college campuses so as not to offend anyone.