Last year the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation released their inaugural annual report on U.S. attitudes towards communism and socialism. The results were dispiriting.
“We discovered a rampant amnesia about the crimes of communist regimes,” says Marion Smith, “and a growing inclination among younger Americans toward favorable views of communism and socialism.”
Their latest survey was recently released—and the responses are just as troubling:
• 7 in 10 Millennials (like most Americans) either don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify it for socialism.
• 7 out of 10 underestimate number killed by communism. Less than one third know more than 100 million people were killed by communism.
• At least one-in-fiveMillennials view communist leaders favorably: Che Guevara (31 percent), Karl Marx (32 percent), Vladimir Lenin (23 percent), Putin (21 percent), Mao Zedong (19 percent).
• More Millennials (44 percent) prefer to live in a socialist country than live in a capitalist country (42 percent).
• Of all Americans, Millennials are the least unfavorable to communism. Only one in three (36 percent) have a “very unfavorable” view of communism.
“Communism isn’t back: It never left,” says Smith. “We simply forgot about it. And as it rears its ugly head once more, openly and shamelessly, we seem far less prepared to meet the ideological challenge in this century compared to the last.”