In a year when Bernie Sanders is making his second run for president and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a political Twitter star eclipsed only by Donald Trump, socialism is on the rise among Americans – especially women.
A Harris Poll conducted for Axios found that 55 per cent of U.S. women between the ages of 18 and 55 would rather live in a socialist society than a capitalist one.
That number was 40 per cent overall, including men, suggesting men are far more suspicious of communal ownership and control of everything in American society.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, both self-described Democratic socialists, have pulled their party to the left with promises of expanded government benefits and handouts.
So the system of government that has led to famine and death in Venezuela during recent years, and which undergirded Soviet communism, is finding new life in the United States.
They claim they’re angling for a kinder, gentler form of socialism, one that combines central control of money and things with democratic elections to choose the people who hold the enlarged levers of power.
A socialist society is generally defined as one where people are permitted to earn and spend their own money, but where the government owns and operates the places where they work – while also providing the necessities of life to everyone whether the work or not.
Americans differ in their interpretation of what constitutes socialism, according to the Axios poll, with some policy proposals more universally lumped in with the scheme than others.
Seventy-six per cent of Americans in the poll agreed that universal healthcare, a government-run system that uses taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of everything from antibiotics to heart surgery, would qualify.
So would tuition free education, according to 72 per cent. And 68 per cent say the same about a ‘living wage,’ usually defined as a guaranteed minimum wage that’s sufficient to provide a middle class lifestyle.
Other elements of socialism that Americans in the poll identified included a national economy and private property controlled entirely by the federal government, state-controlled news media and letting employees ‘own and control’ the places where they work.
Majorities also thought high taxes for rich Americans, a government that spends heavily and strong environmental regulations were hallmarks of socialism.
An Axios reporter said Sunday on the news outlet’s HBO program that women have been ‘pushing the conversation’ about politics in a leftward direction.
‘They’re looking for someone, a candidate on either side, who’ll support this idea of a socialist country that they want to live in,’ Alexi McCammond said.
Axios took the unusual step of not releasing the data that the Harris Poll collected, not describing the poll’s methodology and margin of error, and not providing the wording of the question about socialism.
After DailyMail.com asked for the data, Axios published it on its website. The results show that the poll was taken in April and was an online survey that was ‘not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.’