NEW YORK—Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) discussed his soon-to-be-released book “The Case Against Socialism” at Columbia University on Wednesday to nearly 300 students, the majority of whom said they were in favor of socialism.
“If you have a good perception of socialism, or a favorable perception of socialism—be brave, be bold—raise your hand,” he told the students who eagerly raised their hands. “Alright, fair enough, I’d say about a third.”
National reports show an increasing number of millennials preferring socialism over capitalism. Paul said that misunderstandings about socialism, a system that has killed tens of millions of people, has led to the this trend.
Paul said that 2020 presidential candidate and democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also led to confusion by referring to Scandinavian countries, citing universal healthcare and free education, as examples the United States should follow. Those countries, however, are mostly mixed economies, not markets completely controlled by the state.
But Sanders has propped up socialist countries. In 2011, he wrote in an editorial that the “American Dream” was more apt to be realized in Venezuela, whose economy has now collapsed under the Maduro regime.
“And it’s an important thing when you think something is Democratic somehow absolves it of the stain, of the history of socialism,” Paul told the students.
Last year’s study done by The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 46 percent of American millennials preferred to live under socialism than capitalism. The fund concluded that Americans lack a serious understanding of socialism, with one in four never saying they have never received an education about communism.