There is a renewed and dangerous support for “democratic” socialism among younger generations. Reasonably, libertarians and conservatives have attacked the views of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, leaders of the movement, and yet, in their various think pieces and is discussions, ignore why capitalism is great. If we really want to procure a free future for ourselves and future generations, we need to reconsider how we’re marketing our economic system.
The problem with selling capitalism begins with the name. It implies that it is merely the use capital. More realistically, capitalism is about creation; it is about creating value for others to improve our world. Conversely, socialism tends to imply that everything is all nice and “social,” when realistically it is about control. This superficial point is important considering most young people don’t actually know what the words mean. Education then is the first step.
Secondly, crony capitalism and capitalism must be separated in people’s minds. The two are all too frequently conflated. Crony capitalism, though requires the state, who favors one company over another, effectively choosing winners and losers. In a truly free system winners and losers are chosen on their merits by consumers with no government intervention.
Crony capitalism is what lead to the famous Obama bailouts and more recently, Trump’s Carrier deal. The government steals money from the people, through taxation, and then uses that money to help companies that should rightfully be failing. The only people who benefit from this corruption are those in power. The rest of America is vehemently against it, both the left and the right hate it. People already know that crony capitalism bad; We just need to make the distinction clear.
Capitalism needs more young, fresh-faced proponents. The vast majority of people that you will find doing this typically aren’t millennials, just take a look at the American Enterprise Institute’s list of scholars. The entire list is over 30 and clad in business-wear. Capitalism needs its intellectual base, but imagine an apathetic millennial. Someone who looks like this comes to speak at their school. There’s nothing eye-catchy about it; in their eyes, it’s just “another boring, old guy who wants to tell me about his stupid views. I’ll pass.” It’s why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has begun to compete with Bernie Sanders as the face of the socialist movement.
There need to be younger, more interesting faces in the pro-freedom movement. These people, in their teens or 20’s, are interesting and relatable to younger generations; they attract crowds and actually influence people. Examples that come to mind are Team Jet Set, Hayden Bowles, and Kevin David. They are youthful and trendy, but still emphasize personal responsibility and the freedom that comes with being a human. If more people like this, and there are many, began to stress the importance of capitalism, then younger generations would be attracted to the idea.
Most importantly, though, we must focus on building up capitalism, not so much on killing Marxism. It’s impossible to convince someone by simply deconstructing their ideas, telling them that their ideas are terrible. Too often I see ten articles about why socialism sucks, in bigger publications, for every one article I see praising capitalism. We have a stronger system, be proud of it.
We must focus on the meaning of capitalism, separate it from cronyism, support its youthful proponents, and move away from simply attacking socialism. If these four steps are followed over the next several years, capitalism has a much better chance to win.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.