In a world where one man could comfortably end world hunger each year (but chooses not to), we know that the current economic situation isn’t working out. With the 1% getting wealthier, inequality rising, and working people bearing the brunt of heightened costs (a nice throwback to the financial crash and the subsequent years of austerity), the pandemic has made a clear, urgent, and powerful case for socialism.
Whether it’s AOC turning up to the Met Gala in her polarising “Tax the rich” dress, Instagram memes, or impassioned arguments for new economic models on TikTok, there’s a rising interest in all things anti-capitalist among millennials and Gen Z.
According to a report by right wing think tank Institute for Economic Affairs titled ‘Left turn ahead?’, the UK’s young people are disenchanted with the capitalist model. Almost 80 per cent blamed capitalism for the housing crisis, while 75 per cent believed the climate emergency is “specifically a capitalist problem”, and 72 per cent backed widespread nationalisation. 67 per cent wanted to live under a socialist economic system.
On the other side of the Atlantic, things look similar: a 2016 Harvard University study found that more than 50 per cent of young people rejected capitalism, while a 2018 Gallup poll found that 45 per cent of young Americans viewed capitalism favourably, compared to 68 per cent in 2010.
No food, no power, brutal police, corrupt officials, electioneering, controlled media, crackdown on protests, no meaningful opposition & no private property for the working class. Literally everything they warned us would happen under communism is happening under capitalism.
“There’s not even going to be a planet: we’ve got Jeff Bezos launching himself into space while Las Vegas runs out of water and half the world’s on fire,” a 20-year-old speaking to Owen Jones in TheGuardian said. “If these billionaires stopped making money they could solve all of these problems and still have billions in the bank.”
Meanwhile journalist Chanté Joseph told Jones that “Tumblr radicalised me. Reading about race, identity, and class made me think: ‘This is all crazy,’ and opened my eyes.” Her generation then migrated to Twitter and TikTok, “where young people create a lot of political content that’s really personable and relatable. That’s why a lot of younger people feel more radical – it seems more normal when these ideas are explained in a way where you think: ‘How can you possibly disagree?’”
If you want to learn more about other, fairer models than the one we have now, check out our anti-capitalist reading list to help overthrow the system. Bring on the revolution!