By: Jim Sterling
What happens when you decide to poll a group of socialists on one of the largest chat forums on the internet?
Well, Reddit decided to do just that, asking commenters on r/socialism a series of questions about their political views and lives.
The poll found that nearly half (48%) of respondents are unemployed; 61% still live with their parents; 69% are uneducated; 46% support violent riots, and a mere 14% support unlimited free speech.
Most of the people who took the survey are young, which is no surprise given the intense attraction young people tend to have toward socialism or socialist policies.
In 2016, for example, more young people under 30 voted for Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump combined, while a YouGov poll found that one-third of millennials view socialism favorably.
Interestingly, a Reason-Rupe poll found that 57% of young people on their parents’ health insurance policies supported the idea of paying higher premiums to help cover the uninsured, but 59% of young people paying for their own health insurance opposed higher premiums. The poll also found that 54% of young people support a bigger government that provides more services over a smaller government. However, when informed that those services would increase tax rates, support flipped, with 57% of young people favoring a smaller government with fewer services, compared to 41% who would prefer a bigger government.
What the Reddit survey suggests though is that the stereotype of socialists being young, unemployed, uneducated leeches has more than a grain of truth to it.
It seems young people are willing to embrace socialism until they experience it for themselves.
Then, apparently, they’re simply not so sure.