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Normally wouldn’t import a whole post (from Lenin’s Tomb), but this is astounding:

Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.

Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.

Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.

There is a partisan gap as well. Republicans – by an 11-to-1 margin – favor capitalism. Democrats are much more closely divided: Just 39% say capitalism is better while 30% prefer socialism. As for those not affiliated with either major political party, 48% say capitalism is best, and 21% opt for socialism.


Written by adswithoutproducts

April 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Posted in america, socialism

8 Responses

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  1. “It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a “free-market economy” attracts substantially more support than “capitalism” may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.”


    April 9, 2009 at 9:48 pm

  2. …original article is from Huffington.

    Not sure what about this you find particularly shocking. The “populist tendencies” have long been established.

    Anyway Dave found the revealing part. The majority of Americans correctly identify the problem as big business being in cahoots with government. The outlets where they can meaningfully act on this knowledge remain practically non-existent.


    April 10, 2009 at 1:52 am

  3. Dave,

    Yes, that is interesting, and sounds right in many ways.


    Hmmm… Yes, in my thirty-years experience with America and Americans, generally seemed like a third of the people I met self-identified as socialists. Hard to get these types to shut up, reallly.

    Actually, no. A few years ago, it’d be unlikely that one third of, say, humanities professors at a given university would have picked S over C.

    What are you talking about? We’re not talking about fucking Burlington, Matt.


    April 10, 2009 at 7:17 am

  4. One of the comments on the threads is perhaps on to something:

    ‘I think they attempted to make Obama unpopular by associating him with socialism and unwittingly rehabilitated socialism as a term.’- Ed Marshall

    infinite thought

    April 10, 2009 at 10:41 am

  5. Hm. Maybe the term has been rehabilitated, in that Democrats are more comfortable using it just to spite Republicans, or the media/what passes for national discourse.

    Certainly those longstanding populist tendencies have just been given a boost. Some people in the center are moving left, and who knows, maybe the right is losing some people in the long run too.

    I’m not about to play “more American than you” with some sarcastic tantrum, but in my three decades of experience all across the country, working people everywhere are actually far better informed and compassionate than the national hysteria/mass media *ever* gives them credit for. Like I said, those majority populist tendencies are decades long-standing…


    April 10, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  6. Also, professors (and even moreso teachers) are often in the closet about such things, for good enough reason. But in my experience it hasn’t been at all hard to find and learn from them if you’re willing to earn their confidence and be discreet, etc. Some of the most effective Marxists I know are not “public intellectuals.”


    April 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

  7. I’m drawn to the semantic hypothesis here, that ‘socialist’ became partly submerged in public consciousness with ‘left liberal’ or ‘social democratic’. The good news will be that this might imply that ‘left liberal’ or ‘social democratic’ ideas will no longer by definition imply stopping short of (what is classically designated by) socialism, and redistributive fury could actually be a gateway to rethinking some fundamentals.

    peli grietzer

    April 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm

  8. IT –

    They opened the wrong Overton window! Yes!

    Matt –

    Yes, I don’t think we need to get into more American than you games, no. I agree there are “populist” tendencies all over the place, true. But they have never, ever tended to come out in the form of the endorsement of socialism over capitalism. I mean, not for decades and decades. And while compassion sometimes comes through, there’s also the distinct opposite of compassion. Do you think welfare reform was on balance unpopular in America? I think exactly the opposite.

    No, trust me on the professors thing.


    That’s the right Overton window, yes! Exactly why I get excited.


    April 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm

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