PRESS RELEASE: The Heartland Institute Releases New Book: Socialism At A Glance

Published April 4, 2024

Book includes brief history of socialism, breakdown of socialist ideology, several national case studies, and examination of democratic socialism in the United States

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (April 4, 2024) – In recent years, socialism has become more popular than ever among America’s youth. According to multiple polls, nearly 50 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34-years-old have a “positive” view of socialism. Meanwhile, those who have a “positive” view of capitalism have reached the lowest point since these types of polls have been conducted.

America’s public schools, by and large, have not accurately taught millions of students the truth about socialism. As a former public high school teacher, The Heartland Institute’s Chris Talgo, a co-author of Socialism At A Glance, has first-hand experience in how misguided the teaching of socialism has become in today’s classrooms. Not only are students being spoon-fed a sugar-coated version of socialism; they are also being taught that free-market capitalism, as practiced in the United States for the past 250 years, is a morally bankrupt system that enriches those at the very top at the expense of everyone else.

Clearly, this is not accurate. History proves that socialism has led to poverty, starvation, mass murder, and general misery in every single place it has been implemented over the past century. Moreover, socialist nations, as detailed in the case studies, have never resulted in the utopian societies their leaders have promised time after time.

Socialism At A Glance offers readers a concise history of socialism, all the way back to its origins in antiquity. It provides an analysis of socialism’s core tenets, including how it aims to fundamentally change human nature and remake humanity. The booklet also analyzes The Communist Manifesto and takes readers on a journey through socialist regimes from the Soviet Union to modern-day China. Lastly, the booklet tells the story of the rise of democratic socialism, and how it is gaining ground in the United States, especially among today’s youth.

The following statements from socialism experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“In recent decades, socialist ideology has experienced a massive resurgence in popularity, due in large part to Marxists’ successful long march through nearly every political, economic, and cultural institution in the United States. Our educational institutions — from elementary school through higher education — have perhaps been the most corrupted by this dangerous and evil ideology.

“As a result, America’s younger generations have become largely enamored with socialist ideas, and represent the vast majority of the Marxist vanguard. To reverse this trend, we must educate America’s children about the reality of what socialism truly advocates for, and about the instances in which socialism has been implemented — which have, without fail, resulted in widespread poverty, death, and complete societal upheaval.

“The Heartland Institute’s latest publication, Socialism At A Glance, is geared towards teachers and students, and its ultimate aim is to educate students about the evils of socialism, communism, and collectivism more generally. That said, this booklet also serves as an excellent resource for any individual who wishes to gain greater clarity about what socialism is really all about, and how this ideology has directly led to the deaths of tens of millions of innocent people. This booklet is about the truth. If enough people can be exposed to the objective reality that we have done our best to portray, socialism can finally be consigned to the ash heap of history, where it belongs.”

Jack McPherrin
Research Editor and Socialism Research Center Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

(McPherrin is the author of the Heartland report titled “Environmental Social, and Governance (ESG) Scores: A Threat to Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and the U.S. Economy” that was published in April 2023.)

“Every young person in America would benefit from reading Socialism At A Glance. For far too long, so-called educators have indoctrinated their students with a biased, inaccurate version of socialism and its history. While teaching World History, U.S. History, and American Government for many years, I witnessed countless examples of my colleagues providing their students with whitewashed, factually untrue lessons on socialism, communism, and collectivism, in general.

“Unfortunately, this has resulted in an entire generation of American youth who simply do not understand what socialism actually stands for or the deadly consequences of this dangerous ideology. All Americans must know the unvarnished truth about socialism, including how it seeks to transform human nature and place the good of the collective over the good of the individual. Socialism is the antithesis of the values that lie at the center of the American Experiment, and it is absolutely essential that America’s youth understand this before it is too late.”

Chris Talgo
Editorial Director and Socialism Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The debate surrounding socialism has lost its focus over the past 10 years or so. Advocates of socialism will point to various government programs and services to prove the value of their ideology. But these arguments obscure the fact that socialism is not a question as to whether the government should plow roads or offer a social safety net. It is much larger than that. Socialism is an economic structure that puts government in direct control of the means of production, giving those in power an immense amount of control and influence over society as a whole. 

“While advocates argue this system is intended to facilitate a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources amongst society, the historical track record shows the exact opposite is true. Time and time again, countries are led to poverty, death, and destruction by the alluring siren song of socialism.”

Donald Kendal
Deputy Director of the Socialism Research Center
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.