The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation published its annual report on US attitudes towards socialism in October. The report’s findings largely show that Americans still have a lot to learn about communism.
While Americans are increasingly seeing communism as a problem in the world – up 5 percent from last year for a total of 75 percent – only 3 in 10 Americans could accurately identify communism by its definition.
7 out of 10 Americans underestimate the number of people killed by communism (100 million or more).
A minority of Americans cited communists as “heroes” to their respective countries. Che Guevara led the way, with 26 percent of Americans labeling him a hero.
6 out of 10 Americans are unfamiliar with Nicolas Maduro, the communist leader of Venezuela.
The survey found that while millennials are increasingly understanding the problems with communism, 44 percent of them would opt to live in a socialist country. 42 percent of millennials would prefer to live in a capitalist country, while the remaining 14 percent were split evenly between communist and fascist countries.
This is a significant difference when looking at all Americans, as 59 percent of Americans prefer to live under capitalism, with just 34 percent preferring socialism. The survey offers a possible explanation for this difference, reporting that 53 percent of millennials feel the US economy works against them.
However, just like Americans as a whole, 7 out of 10 millennials either don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify it. Only half of millennials, compared to 7 in 10 of all Americans, correctly defined capitalism as well. Can you correctly identify the definitions of socialism, capitalism, communism, and fascism? Test your knowledge here.