When presented with four philosophical proclamations in a recent survey, Millennials — and Americans more broadly — ended up agreeing more with Karl Marx and Bernie Sanders than they did the Holy Bible.
Millennials were also least likely (55 percent) to agree that communism was — and still is — a problem. This is compared to 62 percent of Gen Zers (the generation that follows Millennials), 80 percent of Boomers and 91 percent of Matures (elderly Americans) who said the same in the “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism,” conducted by YouGov.
American respondents aged 16 and older were presented with four philosophical statements, as seen below:
Bernie Sanders: “A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much, while so many have so little.”
Milton Friedman: “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
Karl Marx: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his need.”
The Bible: “If any would not work, neither should he eat.”
Overall, Americans were more likely to agree with Sanders (71 percent), Friedman (68 percent) and Marx (64 percent) than they were with the Bible (53 percent).
But Biblical agreement was even lower among Millennials; around 70 percent agreed with Sanders’ statement about “so few” having so much, while nearly 60 percent agreed with what Marx had to say about one’s abilities and needs.
As for Friedman’s proclamation about freedom and equality, 58 percent concurred. But a much lower proportion — just under 48 percent — embraced the idea that “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (46 percent of Gen Zers felt the same).
So, in essence, Millennials were more likely to agree with Sanders and Marx than they were with the biblical sentiment found in 2 Thessalonians 3:10. This is just one of the indicators, though, that some say point to the need for increased education efforts surrounding the pitfalls of socialism and communism.
“The study found a growing acceptance of socialist and Marxist viewpoints among a younger generation of Americans who did not grow up during the Cold War,” reads a press release from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which commissioned the study.
It continued, “Fewer younger Americans … had a favorable view of capitalism and its tenets versus their older counterparts. The report also found a substantial gap in basic knowledge about communism and its history, with more glaring knowledge gaps especially among millennials.”