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Young Americans Increasingly Uninformed About Communism

Around a third of American millennials and Gen Xers believe more people were killed under George W. Bush’s presidency than under Joseph Stalin’s communist dictatorship, according to a report.

The above was one survey result from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Annual report on U.S. attitudes toward socialism, which surveyed 2,300 people.

For the record, I couldn’t find any death toll figures for Bush, but Stalin, who ruled for an extremely brutal 30 years, is believed to have killed some 50 million people (excluding wartime casualties), according to British historian Norman Davies. The writer and gulag survivor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said Stalin’s victims might have been as high as 60 million, reported IBT.

Most millennials — 68 percent — surveyed for the report also wrongly believe that Adolf Hitler killed more people than Stalin. Hitler is believed to be responsible for the deliberate killing of 11 million non-combatants during the Second World War.

Watch this one minute film from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation about how communism kills:

But the key point from the foundation’s report was that young people in the U.S. are increasingly uninformed about communism, especially its history.

The report said 42 percent of millennials were also unfamiliar with the Chinese communist Mao Zedong, who many consider the greatest murderer in modern history, being  responsible for over 70 million deaths.

Mao’s Great Leap Forward killed 45 million Chinese in four years alone, says respected historian Frank Dikötter. Note the total death toll for the Second World War was 55 million.

Of those in the survey who said they were aware of who Mao was, 18 percent of them indicated that they had a favorable opinion of the communist leader who died in 1976.

The impact that communism has had on the world was largely underestimated by all age groups that were surveyed, with only 25 percent knowing that communism caused the unnatural deaths of 100 million or more people. The report said that 28 percent thought the figure was around 1-25 million.

It was worse for Gen Z (post millennials), of whom only 12 percent knew of that toll. For millennials, 20 percent knew the correct death count.

Overall, most Americans — 70 percent — recognize communism was and is still a problem. From that, around 55 percent of millennials believe communism was and still is a problem – compared with 80 percent of Baby Boomers and 91 percent of elderly Americans.

Other results reinforced the idea that younger generations of Americans look more favorably on communism and socialism than older generations.

The last five countrys ruled by communist regimes are China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam.

See this Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation video about Daniel Magay, who won a gold medal for fencing for Hungary in the Olympic Games in 1956, but whose family suffered under communism.

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James Burke
What keeps the world ticking? James is always looking for the answer and the latest news from around the globe. When he's not behind his computer, he's basking in the Thailand sun, or dreaming of the southern hemisphere, where he grew up in rural Australia.

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