Millennials believe calling yourself a socialist is sexy
Socialism has become "a new way to date" in Brooklyn, according to a New York Magazine writer. There's even an app for that.
Things have gotten so social with socialism that the young and restless now can consult a dating app called Red Yenta to find the fellow socialist of their dreams. Creators Marissa Brostoff, 33, and Mindy Isser, 28, were concerned that socialist men were not dating socialist women, and described their new dating platform as a "communal service" to help filter through a potential date's political leanings.
Things have picked up considerably.
Indeed, when it becomes "hip" to dig on socialism, times are changing.
"Until very recently, it wasn't that socialism was toxic in a red-scare way. It was irrelevant, in a dustbin-of-history way. But then came Bernie Sanders's 2016 candidacy," writes Mr. Van Zuylen-Wood, citing the new popularity of the Democratic Socialists of America — which has 55,000 members in 250 local groups nationwide — and the "spectacular rise" of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat.
"Coolheaded Obaman technocracy is out; strident left-wing moral clarity is in. And while this atmospheric shift is felt most acutely among the left-literary crowd, it's also bled into the general discourse, such that Teen Vogue is constantly flacking against capitalism and one of the most devastating insults in certain corners of the internet is to call someone a neoliberal," Mr. van Zuylen-Wood said.
Teenage girls hating capitalism? Where do they think their smart phones come from? Try going to the mall in Cuba. What kind of shopping is available in North Korea?
That, in a nutshell, is the problem. Millennials may think socialism is sexy. But they haven't a clue what it is, or the brutal, oppressive history behind it.
"The word socialism has become a kind of blank canvas on which young leftists project their political desires. The reason to call it socialism, the lefty journalist Kate Aronoff has said, is because people are calling it socialism. At least in Brooklyn, and the spiritual Brooklyns of America, calling yourself a socialist sounds sexier than anything else out there, without necessarily advocating anything too risky," Mr. van Zuylen-Wood observed.
"Anything risky"? Just a little socialism, right? Or socialism warmed over. We still want our cars, our phones, endless varieties of food, clothing, drugs, had homes, but let's just lose a little bit of freedom.
Ignorance can be a blessing. You don't have to worry about the world's problems if you don't have a clue what they are. But isn't this dangerous?
Socialism's millennial fans don't even know what it is. Millennials — ignorant of socialism's appalling economic and human-rights history — increasingly embrace socialism and its naively unrealistic prescriptions for ending all human want," says a New York Post editorial, noting that a recent Gallup poll found that 57 percent of Democrats have a positive view of socialism.
"These socialists insist they don't support repressive states like the Soviet Union or North Korea," The Post said, and instead "point to Scandinavian-style socialism in nations like Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden as 'true socialism.' One problem: Those countries aren't socialist."
The Danes agree.
The biggest problem is that there are socialists out there who don't think socialism is "sexy," and they know exactly what it is and what it means to adopt it. They, like their predecessors for the last 100 years, will promise Utopia and deliver the gulag. And oblivious Millennials will cheer them on — until the knock on the door in the middle of the night to be hauled away forces them to wake up.
It's too late at that point, as well meaning Russians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, and countless others discovered. It is the nature of socialism to oppress. Only by forcing people to act against human nature can socialism be achieved. And "democratic" or not, adopting socialism means the end of prosperity and the beginning of hardship and misery.
You want to walk up to some of these dolts and knock some sense into them. It wouldn't do any good, of course. They have been carefully conditioned since childhood to believe capitalism is evil and socialism is good — and now, sexy.
Why should it surprise us that generations who have been raised this way would believe that socialism wasn't the answer?