People's Issues


Bourgeois panic attack: youth “lurching leftward”!

Nick G.

A survey of Australian Millennials by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) has found that the majority of young Australians (58%) view socialism favourably compared to less than a fifth (18%) who view it unfavourably.

Millennials are defined as those born between 1980 and 1996.

The report mirrors similar surveys conducted in the US and the UK.

This has alarmed the CIS.   Far from being “independent”, the CIS has a Board of 25 ( ) representing some of the biggest corporations and finance capitalists in Australia.  They include investment bankers, private equity firms, insurers, communications and transport giants, the Business Council of Australia and the anti-worker law firm Freehills. Its funding comes from individuals, foundations and the corporate sector.

The CIS survey revealed majority support among Millennials for views that included:

• Capitalism has failed and the government should exercise more economic control
• Workers are worse off now than 40 years ago
• Allowing for inflation, Australia spends less on education and health than we did 10 years ago

The proportions of those holding such “left-wing” views was generally highest amongst working class students (eg those without tertiary qualifications or studying at TAFE rather than university) and in regional rather than urban locations.

The authors of the CIS report cannot credit young people with having the intelligence to come to these conclusions themselves.  The “lurch to the left” is blamed on the ignorance of Millennials about the “real history” of socialism; this in turn is blamed on our school systems and universities.

The authors do not define the “socialism” that is so attractive to Millennials.  It is at this stage a social-democratic or parliamentary socialism rather than a scientific revolutionary socialism: “a strong majority expressing a favourable opinion towards socialism hardly means the country is on the verge of a class revolution”, they write.

Nevertheless, this is sufficient to panic the bourgeoisie who strive for all-round ideological hegemony, to strive so that as Marx said, the ruling ideas in society are the ideas of the ruling class.

Our experience of young people turning to Marxism-Leninism is that they are not at all ignorant of history and of the difference in class ideologies between the bourgeoise and the proletariat.  They have sought for a political line and an ideology that makes sense of their dissatisfaction with the world as it is and have shown an amazing capacity for self-education and depth of understanding.

From the swelling ranks of Millennials who favour socialism over capitalism there are bound to be good numbers of revolutionary youth who will carry forward the struggle for anti-imperialist independence and genuinely revolutionary socialism. 

Further reading:

An earlier commentary on a similar survey in the US:



Bourgeois panic attack: youth “lurching leftward”!
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Bourgeois panic attack: youth “lurching leftward”!
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