A Generation Z’s Perspective: Why Younger Generations Are More Apt to Pick up Socialistic Values?
Before I begin this narrative, I would like to point out my views do not represent the entire Generation Z, but this is solely my perspective. Also, I do have to note my biases. I was raised in a Christian household with strong, Godly parents, raised with conservative ideals, and I have a college education. All these things I have experienced growing up have helped me to view the world my way. In other words, my experiences have helped me develop a filter to judge my external environment. Also, I would like to note I am speaking in generality, so what I say may not specifically apply to you.
Now that I have prefaced where I am coming from, let us dig into our discussion. Currently, I am in a Training and Development class at Florida State University, and we are examining the different ways adults and children learn, and there are two, general schools of thought for teaching children and adults, pedagogy and andragogy, respectively. By studying these two concepts, you can understand how children and adults learn differently, and in a business setting, which is what I am examining in class, I can develop courses and classes to train adults most effectively within an organization. However, these concepts can be taken outside a business setting and still exist.
This is the basic premise of the two schools of thought. For pedagogy, teaching children, you essentially teach the material to the individual, and they accept it as fact. This is because they do not know anything other than what was shown to them, so they do not have a filter to evaluate the information conveyed to them; they accept it as truth. This is why when you teach a young child something, you have to show them step-by-step because they can not rely on any previous knowledge to help understand the topic being taught.
Contrary, with andragogy, teaching adults, the constraints are entirely different. When someone is forty-years-old, they have forty years of experience and knowledge they have to consider when they learn new material. Consequently, when you teach adults, you have to explain very pragmatically and straightforward. You also have to consider their experiences when teaching them because adults have strong biases and opinions which have been solidified in years of experiences. In other words, adults have a filter all new information must pass through.
So, how exactly does this explain why the younger generation is more socialistic? Since I have laid the premise and base principles for the rest of this narrative, let’s continue.
It is irrefutable that education now more liberal than it was fifty years ago. Anyone who disagrees should reconsider their opinion. It is an objective truth. I am not claiming that it is a bad thing, but it is not necessarily good either; I am looking at this purely objectively.
Now looking at history, during the period of the Cold War after World War 2, America was extraordinarily anti-communist and anti-socialist. Richard Nixon, the 34th President of the United States, continually stated communism does not work. Even the 33rd President, Lyndon Johnson, was anti-communist even though he was a Democrat. I am claiming during this time, America was close and unified in one central belief: communism is evil. Now, this could have been caused by several factors, but I believe the American culture was anti-communist because American citizens saw first-hand the damage Karl Marx’s ideologies, communism and socialism, created in other countries, most notably at that time being the USSR and Vietnam. As a consequence, from a pedagogy perspective, children and young individuals during that time accepted without a filter that communism and socialism were terrible, and for most of those individuals, they still hold those beliefs today.
Now today, the scenario is very different. Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1985, and Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1994, have never experienced the anti-communist and anti-socialistic America the Silent Generation, those born between 1925 to 1945, and the Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, experienced. Along with the declining emphasize on the family structure during that time, the hippie period of America damaged American culture because it weakened American values: drugs became more popular, it became more acceptable to have sex before marriage, violence and aggressiveness started not to become an option, etc.
As a whole, a lot of the values America was built upon began to dissolve, so the people who were raised with this hippie perspective were more moderate and decided to raise children, Generation X and Millennials. Now we have moderate, hippie parents raising children, and these children are likely, from a pedagogy perspective, to accept their parent’s beliefs. So, you may ask, “Well, is it a bad thing to be raised by moderate parents?” Well, no; it isn’t, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing either. The children raised by these individuals may pick up moderate or socialist views, but they missed the period of the USSR and Vietnam to understand how dangerous these views are.
I have an unpopular opinion: the ideology of socialism is great. Here is what I mean by that: the idea of socialism is optimistic and positive. People want to believe every human can work and live together and support each other and hold hands while singing kumbaya around a fire. People want to find in the best of humankind, but that is not a realistic perspective because humans are inherently imperfect.
As a consequence of human’s imperfection, socialism cannot work because there is always a small number of individuals who want to take advantage of the system, and in a socialistic environment, they become the top 1%, own most if not all the wealth, and try to control the country’s citizens. Socialism does not work because it runs out of resources to support itself. A perfect example of this is Venezuela.
Back to Generation X and Millennials, these individuals were primarily raised by moderate-progressive, hippie parents, and since they have not experienced the damage socialism can cause, they have become more and more socialistic because socialism is the happy, optimistic ideology.
Coupled with the increasingly liberal education system because these individuals started becoming teachers and elected to public offices, schools have primarily transitioned into liberal indoctrination camps; these students in these schools have not had the life experiences to filter the information they are learning, and as a consequence, they have blindly accepted these leftist ideologies.
Now, there were still people who lived in the 1960s and around that time who didn’t succumb to hippie ideology but instead were raised in a stable household by parents who were anti-communist, and because they were raised in a healthy family home, they still hold those beliefs, and they passed those beliefs onto their children.
In my case, one set of my grandparents lived through Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, and they saw first hand the dangers of socialism and communism though the Nationalist-Socialist party in Germany during that time. Then my grandparents immigrated to America and gave those values to my father, who, in turn, gave them to me, and these are my biases. Regardless of what I was taught growing up, I have evaluated my beliefs and challenged my ideas, and even after doing so, I do not support any ideology stemming from Carl Marx.
So, that leaves us with today; we have the liberal indoctrination camp of a school system, younger people being elected who were raised by hippies who never experienced the negative consequences of communism, the leftist media, and children and students who accept what they have been told just because they do not have any previous knowledge or experience to filter the information they are hearing. I also would like to note, my generation, Generation Z, is a lot more right-thinking, anti-communist than the last two previous generations. I do not necessarily know why, but I think being able to watch first-hand what socialist ideologies have done to states like California and Washington have helped educate my generation similar with the USSR to several generations ago.
In one sentence, here is why I believe younger generations are more apt to adopt socialist values: because they have no reason not to. I don’t know how to fix this, but I do know this cannot be fixed without first changing the liberal education system because students will continue to accept these truths without challenging them.