Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is riding a wave of socialist enthusiasm among the younger generations. It is no surprise that young people are flocking to socialism, even though they know very little about it. Different surveys give different figures, but they all seem to agree that around half of all millennials find socialism appealing. About 1 in 10 believe Joseph Stalin, who killed 20 million people, was a “hero.” Much higher numbers admire the killer and terrorist Che Guevara.
How do we explain this affinity for socialism and communism among America’s youth? The Left has its own rationales, but I think the explanation is really quite simple. It’s a matter of arithmetic: failed parenting + failed education system = socialists.
It is a parent’s job to raise his children into independent, self-sufficient adults. A newly-minted adult should desire nothing more than to break out from the protective cocoon of childhood and enter into the world untethered and free. Energy, ambition, boldness — these are, or should be, or used to be, the marks of youth. But today many young people have no desire to leave the cocoon at all, or else they wish to leave one cocoon and promptly enter another. They hope to escape from their parents and become properties of the state. They want Daddy in Washington to take over for Daddy at Home.
This is what lies at the root of the socialist inclination in the younger generation. It is, more than anything, a failure of personal and moral formation. It may not be fair to blame this entirely on parents — it’s theoretically possible that a well-parented child could grow into a socialist — but the link is hard to ignore.
Our education system has contributed enormously to this problem. A person need only have a very basic knowledge of recent world history to understand that socialism and communism are blights on the Earth. These regimes murdered 100 million people over the course of a century, leaving many millions more destitute and starving. The 20th century was the deadliest and most miserable ten decades in human history, by far, and this is largely thanks to the systems of government that half of my generation wants to establish here. Does the average socialist millennial even realize that when he says “Nazi,” he is referring to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party? I assume he does not know, but how is that possible? How could a person attend formal schooling for 13 years, or 17 years, and come away still ignorant of the most fundamental facts of recent history?
We are not talking about events from ancient times. We are talking about events that many people walking the Earth today actually lived through — and are still living through, in places like Venezuela. Yet the Democrat Party has tapped into a large supply of educated people who posses almost no functional knowledge whatsoever. How can we call our education system anything other than a cataclysmic disaster in the face of this? It has produced ignorance, intellectual laziness, and idiocy on an unprecedented scale. And it has managed this feat at precisely the moment when knowledge and information have never been more readily available.
The crop has been fertilized by bad education and bad parenting, and now it is no trouble for the socialists to come along and pick the fruits. There is no real way to stop them, either, unless we make drastic changes in our homes and in our schools.