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Socialism not the answer students need

By Mal Fletcher - posted Wednesday, 7 February 2018


However, even here the government makes things tougher for the young by stacking rental regulations in favour of landlord's rights. Meanwhile, councils and developers alike fail in their duty to build houses that meet the proper standards of both quantity and quality.

The expectation gap experienced by many young people leads many to frustration, but it does not spell inevitable decline.

Far from it. I meet young adults the world over who are solving problems in innovative ways, especially when it comes to entrepreneurial businesses and social enterprises.

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Yet many Millennials have felt the need to turn away from solutions touted by the established order, be it political or economic. Some have taken to flirting with - or even wholeheartedly embracing - leftist socialism.

Recent studies have shown that a much reported youth swing toward Labour in last year's general election was a myth. Yet there is good reason to believe that, on the face of it, the Conservative government faces more of a struggle to engage the young than their Opposition. The Conservatives actually saw an increase in their over-60s vote in the last election.

For many young adults, the battle is no longer between the centre-right Tories and a centre-left Labour, both of whom offer different slightly different forms of capitalism.

The accession of the hard-left ideologue Mr Corbyn, combined with Tory uncertainty in the face of Brexit, has changed the battle to one between socialism and capitalism.

If recent research is to believed, university campuses offer clear evidence of this.

Yet a narrative painting capitalism as the great Satan, the source of all human woes, and radical socialism as its only antidote, must be challenged and vigorously so. All economies are planned, by someone or other.

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At least under capitalism - married to liberal democracy - markets have power to change things, markets which are driven in part by the consumer tastes and behaviours of individuals.

For all their utopian rhetoric, marxist governments time and again morph quickly into introverted, self-serving cultures sustaining the interests of their senior cadres.

Following the path to Marxism will only ever lead an at times rightly frustrated and disappointed generation, a cohort of passionate innovators and reformers into disappointment, disillusionment and in some cases despair. Just as it did many students in the late 1950s and 60s.

Students, that is, who lived in capitalist democracies which, for all their failures, still allowed people to express their views and, for the most part, to live according to their consciences.

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This article was first published on 2020Plus.



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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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