Millennial socialism

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Millennial socialism is a resurgence of interest in democratic socialism and social democracy among Americans born in the 1980s and later, generationally known as millennials and Generation Z.

Quotes[edit]

(most recent first)

2020[edit]

  • For more than a century, socialism has been a convenient boogeyman, endlessly useful for scaring the U.S. populace into accepting whatever thin gruel conservatives and corporate elites have chosen to dish out. Socialism has two core meanings: first, control by the public, or by employees, of the means of production and distribution of goods; and, second, the use of public funds to provide benefits and services for the people (especially disadvantaged people). Examples of the latter include government health insurance (begun in Germany in 1883, ironically, as an attempt to reduce the appeal of successful socialist politicians), old-age pensions (again, Germany, 1889) and unemployment compensation (Germany, 1927)...
    In the current moment, we are all being forced to ask ourselves who is more free — a person whose health insurance is provided by the government and therefore continues whether they are employed or not? Or the person whose health insurance disappears when they get laid off by a pandemic? Today, socialism is enjoying something of a renaissance as a skeptical generation asks probing questions about capitalism: “How can it be right that under capitalism some people have so much while others have so little? In particular, what do capitalists do to merit their stupendous wealth? That is to say, what is it that they do that entitles them, morally, to so large a slice of the economic pie?”
  • The next generation of socialists believes that the intolerable cannot be tolerated. And if you believe that, you just might be a socialist yourself... The word “socialism” is becoming more and more mainstream. When Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders launched his 2016 presidential bid, only a fringe few dared to use the label. To call yourself a socialist was supposedly a political death sentence. Now, in part thanks to Sanders, many are wearing “socialism” as a badge of pride. Dozens of socialist candidates have won seats all over the country, including two members of Congress, and membership in the Democratic Socialists of America has exploded. According to a 2019 YouGov poll, 70 percent of millennials now say they would vote for a socialist. But what is socialism? How do you know whether you’re a socialist? Could you be one already without knowing it? In fact, it can be difficult to answer the question of what precisely socialism is, because socialists themselves disagree over it. That’s not surprising; Democrats disagree over what it means to be a Democrat, too.
  • The difference between my socialism and Trump's socialism is, I believe the government should help working families, not billionaires.

2019[edit]

  • I happen to believe also that what, to me, democratic socialism means is we deal with an issue we do not discuss enough... not in the media and not in Congress. You’ve got three people in America owning more wealth than the bottom half of this country. You’ve got a handful of billionaires controlling what goes on in Wall Street, the insurance companies and in the media. Maybe, just maybe, what we should be doing is creating an economy that works for all of us, not 1%. That’s my understanding of democratic socialism.
  • We have to talk about democratic socialism as an alternative to unfettered capitalism, where the rich get richer and almost everybody else is getting poorer. I think that’s a message that young people are receptive to, and I think it’s a message that working people are receptive to.
  • Right now, the average worker in America is making, in inflation-accounted-for dollars, and despite a huge increase in technology and worker productivity, exactly the same amount of money that he or she made 43 years ago. That’s incomprehensible.
  • There has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class of this country to the top 1 percent. And at the end of the day, John—and the media doesn’t talk about it, the corporate media does not talk about it—nobody can defend three families in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of the American people. Or that 49 percent of all new income today goes to the top 1 percent. That is indefensible. That is outrageous. That is immoral. And I think the American people understand that has got to change...
  • Let's talk about democratic socialism. We are living in many ways in a socialist society right now. The problem is, as Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us, "We have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor." When Donald Trump gets $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury condominiums, that's socialism for the rich. We have to subsidize Walmart’s workers on Medicaid and food stamps because the wealthiest family in America pays starvation wages. That's socialism for the rich. I believe in democratic socialism for working people. Not billionaires. Health care for all. Educational opportunity for all.
  • We have to talk about democratic socialism as an alternative to unfettered capitalism, where the rich get richer and almost everybody else is getting poorer. I think that’s a message that young people are receptive to, and I think it’s a message that working people are receptive to.
  • Right now, the average worker in America is making, in inflation-accounted-for dollars, and despite a huge increase in technology and worker productivity, exactly the same amount of money that he or she made 43 years ago. That’s incomprehensible.
  • There has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class of this country to the top 1 percent. And at the end of the day, John—and the media doesn’t talk about it, the corporate media does not talk about it—nobody can defend three families in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of the American people. Or that 49 percent of all new income today goes to the top 1 percent. That is indefensible. That is outrageous. That is immoral. And I think the American people understand that has got to change...

2018[edit]

  • A Gallup poll this month found that Democrats are warming up to the idea of socialism — or at least to the word. While 57 percent of Democrats polled said they view socialism positively, only 47 percent said the same of capitalism, down from 56 percent in 2016... When Americans say they view socialism one way or the other, what exactly do they have in mind?...Clarifying exactly what “socialism” means once and for all likely won’t happen anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean that voters who are attracted to democratic socialist politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders and House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez don’t know what they’re getting into. Proposals to wipe out so-called right-to-work laws, to make college tuition-free or to provide universal health care are resonating with those supporters...
    Working Americans deserve a say in how the country’s vast wealth will be used, and that will be possible only when inequality is reduced, corporate and big-money donors are banished from politics, and lawmakers are truly accountable to the people. It’s not so much to ask. But democratic socialists are the only ones asking.

2015[edit]

  • Let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what Democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
    Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy. Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.... Wall Street CEOs who help destroy the economy get raises in their salaries. This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. meant by socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else.
    We should not be providing welfare for corporations, huge tax breaks for the very rich, or trade policies which boost corporate profits as workers lose their jobs. It means that we create a government that works for works for all of us, not just powerful special interests. It means that economic rights must be an essential part of what America stands for.
  • Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.... Wall Street CEOs who help destroy the economy get raises in their salaries. This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. meant by socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else.
    We should not be providing welfare for corporations, huge tax breaks for the very rich, or trade policies which boost corporate profits as workers lose their jobs. It means that we create a government that works for works for all of us, not just powerful special interests. It means that economic rights must be an essential part of what America stands for.
  • I don't believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down. I do believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America, companies that create jobs here, rather than companies that are shutting down in America and increasing their profits by exploiting low-wage labor abroad.

2014[edit]

  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 20th century’s ideological contest seemed over.... Today, 30 years on, socialism is back in fashion. In America Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected congresswoman who calls herself a democratic socialist, has become a sensation even as the growing field of Democratic presidential candidates for 2020 veers left. In Britain Jeremy Corbyn, the hardline leader of the Labour Party, could yet win the keys to 10 Downing Street.
    Socialism is storming back because it has formed an incisive critique of what has gone wrong in Western societies. Whereas politicians on the right have all too often given up the battle of ideas and retreated towards chauvinism and nostalgia, the left has focused on inequality, the environment, and how to vest power in citizens rather than elites.
    • Millennial socialism, The Economist, Feb 16th 2014

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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