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Majority of young Brits want a socialist economic system

A majority of young Britons would like to live under a socialist economic system, according to new research.

Millennials are rejecting capitalism and are laying blame for crises from climate change to housing firmly at its door.

They feel that socialism, on the other hand, is a good idea that has simply been done badly in the past.

The poll of young people between the ages of 16 and 34, carried out for the Institute of Economic Affairs, found that 67% would like to live in a socialist economic system.

With the rise of mass movements such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg’s climate movement, and even Corbynmania, the Millennial generation is now seen as hyper-politicised, embracing woke culture and anti-capitalist ideas.

They associate socialism with positive terms such as “equal” and “fair”. They don’t associate it with “failure” or link it to Venezuela where, under the socialist rule of Hugo Chavez, the country’s once thriving economy has descended into poverty.

They associate capitalism, on the other hand, with terms such as “exploitative”, “unfair”, “the rich” and “corporations”.

Dr Kristian Niemietz, who authored the report, said “Millennial socialism” was not just a passing fad and that supporters of capitalism needed to become better at making the case for it.

There has been a tendency to dismiss support for left-wing ideas among young people as a passing phase, but with the oldest Millennials turning 40 it can no longer be considered something they will “grow out of”.

The research covers most of the Millennial generation, those aged between 23 and 34, and about half of Generation Z, those aged between 16 and 22. The research found little difference between the views of the two groups, leading it to conclude what are are seeing “is a preview of what will be the mainstream opinion in Britain tomorrow.”

Three quarters of respondents to the poll agreed with the assertion that climate change was specifically a capitalist problem, while 78% blamed capitalism for Britain’s housing crisis.

They favour nationalisation of industries such as energy, water and the railways and are concerned that private sector involvement would put the NHS at risk.

Seventy five percent of respondents agreed that “socialism is a good idea, but it has failed in the past because it has been badly done.”

Dr Niemietz said: “These results show that ‘Millennial Socialism’ is not just a social media hype, and it was not a passing fad which ended with Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation.

“Nor is it simply a replay of the student radicalisation of the 1960s. This is a long-term shift in attitudes, which is not going to go away on its own.”