Students Deserve to Know the Truth About Socialism

Published April 5, 2024

For the past few decades, American students have been taught a whitewashed version of socialism. Such is why nearly half of young Americans have a “positive” view of socialism and 70 percent of Millennials are “somewhat or extremely likely to vote for a socialist candidate.”

This is a dire threat to the future of the United States considering this cohort will soon become the political, business, and societal leaders of this nation, not to mention the largest voting bloc for years to come.

The reason that most young Americans have a distorted view of socialism is because the public school system has been derelict in its duty of properly educating students about the truth regarding socialism. Trust me, as a former public high school social studies teacher who taught in Illinois and South Carolina for many years in the mid-2010s, I have seen first-hand how biased and inaccurate the teaching of socialism has become in classrooms throughout the country.

In general, the vast majority of my former teaching colleagues both in Illinois and South Carolina harbored a positive disposition towards socialism. As far as I could tell, most of them were inundated with socialist rhetoric while they attended teacher college programs. Although most Americans are probably unaware, the overwhelming majority of higher education courses and programs designed for teachers are full of socialist propaganda.

This was definitely the case for me. While pursuing my master’s degree in secondary education at a teacher college in the Chicagoland area, I was absolutely shocked at the amount of socialist ideology espoused. I was not alone in this concern. In truth, several of my fellow future teachers were also appalled at the blatant socialist indoctrination. However, like me, they were afraid to speak out lest they incur the wrath of the socialist professor who ultimately determined whether or not we graduated.

The reason I bring this all up is because there is a giant void in classroom materials and resources that present socialism in an honest light. In fact, most of the teachers I worked with while designing curricula for U.S. history, world history, and American government relied on the pseudo-textbook by avowed socialist Howard Zinn titled, A Young People’s History of the United States.

To fill this void, I present Socialism At A Glance, a new book by The Heartland Institute’s Socialism Research Center. This book, co-written by yours truly and Jack McPherrin, provides a broad overview of socialism. Specifically, Socialism At A Glance examines the origins of socialist philosophy, which dates back to ancient times; covers the relationship between socialism and human nature; analyzes The Communist Manifesto; discusses the rise of “democratic socialism” in the late 20th century; and takes readers on an epic journey through socialist regimes beginning with the Soviet Union—the first and longest experiment with socialism on a grand scale. Readers will also learn what daily life is like under a variety of socialist governments, from Nazi Germany to modern-day China.

Our objective in writing this book is to present the truth about socialism, which is why we rely upon original sources including speeches by prominent socialist leaders and various policy documents produced by these governments that explicitly outline the absence of freedom and private property rights that has been part and parcel to practically every socialist government that has existed to this day.

For too long, millions of students in America have been brainwashed into believing that socialism is a preferable way of organizing society and distributing resources. But, as history shows, this is not true. In fact, history shows that socialism, even when implemented with the best of intentions, inevitably devolves into political persecution, abject poverty, mass murder, and general misery.

In late 1945, after World War II had ended and socialist Nazi Germany was defeated, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stated, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Three years later, while appearing before the House of Commons, Churchill stated, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

If we learned anything from the socialist experiments of the 20th century, it is that socialism has failed to deliver the utopian dreams promised by socialist leaders again and again. Given this track record of failure and wretchedness, we must ensure that socialism does not undergo a renaissance in the 21st century. To prevent this from occurring, it is absolutely necessary that we ensure that future generations of Americans receive a sound education concerning socialism. Do not rely upon the public schools to deliver this message, take it upon yourself to educate your friends and family members about the full truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to socialism.

Photo by ISR 41. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.