OPINION: Like the outrage and protests taking place against critical race theory, parents, watchdogs, concerned teachers and others must address the war against capitalism and the embrace of communism within our nation’s schools and universities
Without a doubt, the most significant cause for the rise in popularity of socialism is due to the education system.
How do I know? I witnessed it first hand as a former public high school social studies teacher who taught in both Illinois and South Carolina.
During my time as a teacher, I was absolutely shocked at the way socialism and communism was taught to today’s students by so many of my peers, as well as in textbooks.
Overlooked is the mass murder and lack of basic rights that are part and parcel to almost every socialist and communist regime in human history. Instead, a historical revisionism that socialism is morally superior to capitalism is favored.
It’s not that socialism is bad, students are told, it just hasn’t been perfected, yet.
Moreover, throughout my teaching career, I was even more appalled at how capitalism was taught. In general, capitalism is presented as a morally bankrupt system that preys on the weak in favor of the strong.
The lessons underscored the narrative perpetuated by most public school teachers: America is a hopelessly oppressive nation that must be radically changed in order for social justice to prevail.
It’s working. Socialism is gaining popularity in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and this is especially true among America’s youth, according to a recent Axios/Momentive poll.
The survey found that among 18- to 24-year-olds, 54 percent view capitalism negatively. Only 42 percent — America’s future, mind you — hold a positive view of capitalism.
But two years ago, just 38 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds held an unfavorable view of capitalism. It means the problem is getting worse.
What’s more, among Americans aged 18 to 34, capitalism is favorable among only 49 percent, down from 58 percent two years ago.
The polling results also found socialism seems to be gaining ground among some older Americans, too — a fact that should send shivers down the spines of all Americans. Unlike today’s youth, they experienced first-hand the horrors of collectivism.
But the results indicate class warfare rhetoric from the left is bearing fruit. It explains why 66 percent of those polled say the federal government should address income inequality.
Even more stunning is how such propaganda has infiltrated young minds, even on the right. In 2019, 40 percent of Republicans age 18 to 24 said the government should pursue policies that reduce the wealth gap, but that has increased to 56 percent in the latest survey.
In addition to the left’s rhetoric, the Great Recession of 2008 may have given a generation a bad taste of capitalism. Although I would argue that crony capitalism, not free-market capitalism, should take the blame for the 2008 economic collapse.
But like the outrage and protests taking place against critical race theory, parents, watchdogs, concerned teachers and others must address the war against capitalism and the embrace of communism within our nation’s schools and universities.
Left unaddressed, the future of our republic is at stake.
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.
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