A recent poll commissioned by the Fraser Institute, a right-wing “think tank,” found that 54 per cent of people aged 18-34 think that socialism would “improve the economy and well-being of Canadians.” The authors of the study were shocked and appalled at this finding. But it doesn’t end there. According to their poll, a whopping one million young Canadians say socialism isn’t enough, they say that communism is the ideal economic system.
While the right-wing vice presidents of the Fraser Institute found this new data “disturbing” we see it as a clear indication of the growing radicalization of the youth in a system that simply does not work.
Poll after poll has shown that interest in socialism is on the rise. However, the word socialism has been moderated in recent years and in many respects has lost meaning. Do socialists want an end to capitalism or do they want a few small reforms to an otherwise untouched capitalist system? The big brains at the Fraser Institute seemed to have had the latter option in mind while creating this study.
Communism however, leaves much less room for misinterpretation. It is clear that those who want communism are looking for a total overhaul of Canadian society, not just a few petty reforms.
The results of the poll are quite astounding and point to the crisis in society:
- 46 per cent of 18-34s say socialism is the ideal economic system, while only 29 per cent disagree. This rises to 50 per cent of 18-24s.
- 13 per cent of 18-34s say communism is the ideal economic system, which is more than a million Canadians. This rises to 17 per cent of 18-24s.
- Only 39 per cent of 18-34s say capitalism is ideal, while 41 per cent disagree.
- 54 per cent of 18-34s and 58 per cent of 18-24s say that a shift to socialism would improve the economy and well-being of Canadians. Only 17 per cent of 18-34s disagree.
A system in permanent crisis
Unlike the Fraser Institute, we are not at all surprised that the young people in Canada are demanding communism. The youth today have never known capitalism to be a prosperous system. For many, their first political memory would have been of the disastrous 2008 financial crash. Throughout their lives, capitalism has been moving from one crisis to another, providing next to nothing in terms of material stability or promise of a better future. They have never experienced the boom economies supposedly promised by capitalism, instead, younger generations are increasingly worse off than their parents.
Not only is owning a home considered a pipe dream for many youth, even renting is becoming untenable with skyrocketing rents, all while wages continue to fall due to cuts and inflation. With the current cost of living crisis, the threat of homelessness and hunger has never loomed larger in the minds of the youth in Canada.
Throughout all of these crises, what do the youth see capitalism doing in response? Jack all.
Tuition too unaffordable? Don’t worry, say the university presidents, let’s just increase it by over 100 percent!
Food prices have increased so much that you can’t keep your fridge stocked? Maybe you should skip breakfast as the Wall Street Journal recommends. After all, Galen Weston and the other grocery billionaires would prefer to keep raking in record profits than lower prices.
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While living under capitalism, an undeniable trend begins to appear: the poorer I am, the richer those at the top get! It is no wonder why more and more youth see communism and revolution as the only means to escape this nightmare.
In contrast, what do the great minds at the Fraser Institute think is the cause of this increased interest in communism? Jason Clemens, a poor excuse for a billionaire’s hype-man, believes it is because this generation has never experienced “the misery it has imposed.” One only needs to look at the constant misery imposed by capitalism today to understand that he has got it ass-backwards.
Let’s take a peek at a few other stats from the study. The poll also investigated interest in communism in the U.K. and U.S.A., countries that have both been recent hotbeds of capitalist crisis. In the U.K., 1-in-3 youth (29 per cent) think communism is needed, while in the U.S.A., capitalism’s home base, 1-in-5 youth (20 per cent) want communism! If anything, the youth here in Canada are a bit behind the British and Americans. However, as the crisis begins to hit us harder, these countries merely show us our future. Interest in communism has only one way to go and that is up.
It is clear to many youth that capitalism is unable to solve the various crises plaguing society today. After all, the driving force of capitalism is the generation of profit for the bosses based on the exploitation of their workers. Making life miserable is baked into the equation! During the postwar boom, capitalism was in its so-called “golden age.” Profits were at record highs, and it appeared that economic growth would never falter. In this context, the bosses conceded reforms in order to buy class peace. Universal healthcare, public pension plans, and increased wages are just some of the reforms won by workers in the post-war period that are currently being chopped.
For the youth today, the capitalism of their grandparents’ generation is dead and gone. Instead, we have capitalism on its deathbed while the system stumbles from economic recession to generalized crisis, stagnation, and malaise. In this context, capitalism cannot afford even temporary reforms that could alleviate some suffering of the youth. Instead, all we have been given is out-of-control inflation and austerity, with more promised to come down the pipeline.
Who will pay?
Further poll data demonstrates that overwhelmingly those who want socialism believe it should be the rich that have to pay for it, not the poor. The study authors, indignant that they or their capitalist friends would have to pay for socialism, let alone communism, retort that targeted taxes would not generate nearly enough income to finance socialism. The Fraser Institute soothsayers speak the truth here! Marginal increases in taxes on the top one per cent of earners will not bring about socialism, as we have argued in the past. The billionaires are experts at hiding their money, and will pick up shop and leave if they feel they are at risk of losing their wealth. Billionaires will never allow themselves to be taxed to such extremes, and the small amount they may tolerate will be far from what is needed.
The Fraser Institute and their billionaire funders don’t have to worry about us communists taxing their wealth. Instead, we will expropriate it.
While the right-wing cries that there is not enough money for socialism, over 1.5 trillion dollars is sitting in the bank accounts of Canadian corporations. Instead of being invested back into the economy, this “dead money” is simply being hoarded away by the capitalists. To put it into perspective, free education is estimated to cost around $10 billion, ending boil-water advisories on reserves would only be $4 billion, while ending homelessness outright would cost $44 billion. The cost of all three of these major reforms combined would not even be four per cent of Canadian bosses’ dead money.
The money and resources needed to end huge causes of human suffering in Canada exist, they are simply being kept from us in the name of greed and profit.
Communism is rising up!
Repeatedly we are told that the working class and young people aren’t interested in socialism, let alone communism. We are told that these ideas scare people away. Some of those who say these things have leading positions in the labour and student movement. This poll shows that these pessimistic claims aren’t true. A clear majority of youth and an ever-increasing portion of the population in general want “socialist” reforms like free education, healthcare, and childcare while a growing minority agree with the necessity of communism and revolution. More people oppose capitalism than support it.
The trend in society is away from support for capitalism; the future belongs to socialists. It is high time that we organized the growing mass of workers and youth who oppose capitalism by building a mass anti-capitalist movement. We need to kick out those leaders of the movement who are not prepared to clearly say that we are fighting against capitalism and for socialism and communism. Leaders who are not prepared to break with capitalism have already internalized defeat and are holding the movement back instead of looking towards the future. These people will bring only defeat.
To genuinely change society, we need to organize. This starts with the more than one million communist youth in Canada. That is more than enough people to revolutionize the youth, student, and workers’ movement. For anybody who thinks they are alone and powerless against capitalism, this poll shows that is not true. The capitalists and the right wing Fraser Institute want us to feel isolated and powerless, when the reality is that it is their system that is crumbling and unpopular.
But we need more than just a passive interest in communism. If you are one of these one million communist youth reading this article, then it is time to get organized. We need you. Fightback is building the revolutionary organization that will revolutionize the movement in order to end capitalism in Canada and internationally. Join us in making this a reality.
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