Fresh off of a concerning report that millennials no longer value free speech brought to you by The Daily Citizen, another troubling trend has been revealed.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation conducts an annual poll gauging the attitudes of Americans towards socialism, communism and other topics. The group exists to, “educate a new generation about the ideology, history and legacy of communism.”

According to the results of the poll, “This year’s study showed increased support for communism (36%) among millennials compared to 2018. Opinions of capitalism took a steep decline from 2018 to 2019, with only one-in-two among millennials (ages 23-38) and Generation Z (ages 16-22) having a favorable opinion of capitalism.”

In another worrying find, “57% of millennials (compared to 94% of the Silent Generation), believe the Declaration of Independence better guarantees freedom and inequality over the Communist Manifesto.” This means that a staggering 43% of millennials would prefer the Communist Manifesto to the Declaration of Independence.

Shockingly, according to the report more than one-in-four Americans believe President Trump is the “biggest threat to world peace.” More people believe that about President Trump (27%) than those who consider Kim Jong-Un (22%) and Vladimir Putin (15%) the greatest threats. This statistic spanned across all generational lines.

The study found two additional concerning statistics. “About one-in-five millennials (22%) believe that ‘society would be better if all private property was abolished,’ compared to 1% of the Silent Generation.” In addition, “45% of Generation Z and millennials believe that all higher education should be free.”

In response to the findings, Marion Smith, the Executive Director for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation said, “The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism and socialism is on full display in this year’s report. When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas. We need to redouble our efforts to educate America’s youth about the history of communist regimes and the dangers of socialism today.”

There is a misconception among Americans, particularly young people, that communism and socialism are good in theory, but have not succeeded because the systems haven’t been successfully implemented. 

This is false. Communism and socialism aren’t just bad in practice, they are bad in theory as well.

The foundation for these two ideas is predicated upon material wealth and basic needs such as food, water and clothing being the only ingredients necessary to achieve human thriving. Where communism goes wrong is in its assumption that if these basic needs are provided for equally across a community, human beings will have reached their goal in life and utopia will ensue.

America was founded on the ideals of individual liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. If freedom is discarded at the expense of material equality, human beings are unable to strive for what makes them human. Animals are content when their basic needs like food and water are met. Humans are not. 

But this animalistic conception of the basic desires of human beings discounts any individual goals people may have. Humans also desire faith, family and a sense of purpose in addition to material prosperity. Communist or socialist systems cannot supply any of those three aims.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his 3-volume work Gulag Archipelago recounts his experience with the Soviet Union’s gulag system. One particularly piercing quote from Solzhenitsyn deals with the natural inequalities human beings are born with. “Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free,” Solzhenitsyn writes.

Those who support communism and socialism do so under the guise of compassion. Yet as the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation continues to remind people, 100 million people were killed under such systems in the 20th century alone. Nothing could be further form compassionate.

Somewhere along the line, younger generations have not been inculcated with the desire for freedom and liberty that older generations maintain. It’s time young Americans remember why liberty and freedom are important. 

To secure those rights, the founding fathers pledged their lives to each other. As the Declaration of Independence concludes, “For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”