Economic system

The majority of young Britons want a socialist economic system

A majority of young Britons would like to live in a socialist economic system, according to new research.

Millennials reject capitalism and firmly blame the climate change crises on the housing on their doorstep.

They believe that socialism, on the other hand, is a good idea that has simply been badly done in the past.

The survey of young people aged 16 to 34, carried out for the Institute of Economic Affairs, found that 67% would like to live in a socialist economic system.

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With the rise of mass movements such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg’s climate movement and even Corbynmania, millennials are now seen as hyper-politicized, embracing woke culture and anti-capitalist ideas.

They associate socialism with positive terms such as “equal” and “just”. They don’t associate it with “failure” or link it to Venezuela where, under the socialist regime of Hugo Chavez, the country’s once-thriving economy fell into poverty.

They associate capitalism, on the other hand, with terms such as ‘exploitative’, ‘unjust’, ‘the rich’ and ‘corporate’.

Dr Kristian Niemietz, author of the report, said “millennial socialism” was not just a passing fad and that supporters of capitalism needed to get better at defending it.

There has been a tendency to dismiss support for left-leaning ideas among young people as a passing phase, but with the oldest millennials reaching their 40s, it can no longer be seen as something they will “come out of”.

The research covers most of the millennial generation, those aged 23 to 34, and about half of Generation Z, those aged 16 to 22. The research revealed little difference between the views of the two groups, leading it to conclude what they are seeing “is a glimpse of what the mainstream view will be in Britain tomorrow”.

Three-quarters of poll respondents agreed with the statement that climate change was specifically a capitalist problem, while 78% blamed capitalism for Britain’s housing crisis.

They favor the nationalization of industries such as energy, water and railways and fear that the involvement of the private sector will put the NHS at risk.

Seventy-five percent of respondents agreed that “socialism is a good idea, but it has failed in the past because it was done wrong.”

Dr Niemietz said: “These findings show that ‘millennial socialism’ is not just social media hype, and it was not a passing fad that ended with Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation.

“Nor is this a simple replay of the student radicalization of the 1960s. This is a long-term change in attitude, which is not going away on its own.