Alexander Muse
Dec 2 · 2 min read

Good morning! I suggested in the text you quoted that the Millennial embrace of socialism was less troubling than their lack of historical knowledge. I did not draw a comparison between the Nazis and socialism —instead I specifically pointed out that Millennials hadn’t even heard of the Holocaust (according to polling) — and this might help explain why they were comfortable rejecting capitalism and embracing socialism.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any polling on Millennial’s knowledge of history related to socialism in countries like the Soviet Union, China, or Sweden. I simply suggested that if Millennials hadn’t even heard of the mass execution of 6 million jews it wouldn’t a stretch to conclude they had heard of the failures of socialism over the last century.

I strongly suspect that Millennials have no understanding that all socialist leaders including Castro, Lenin, and Mao were forced to become dictators to maintain control and never delivered the basic political freedoms Marx had promised. If Millennials had any understanding of the history of the genocide socialism has wrought this planet I don’t think we’d see 70% of them embrace this failed political system. According to The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press) more than 100 people have been killed under socialism. Again, I don’t have any polling on Millennials awareness of the history of socialism… I hope that makes sense…

With regard to whether or not Hitler and his followers were socialist — the historical record is now very clear that they did think they were. Gordon Watson explained, “It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too. The title of National Socialism was not hypocritical.” Just as Mao, Lenin, and Castro failed to follow Marx’s form of socialism — so did Hitler. There are lots of discussions on this point — I have no dog in the hunt though (you can read more about how fascists are really simply socialist — here, here, and here). Again, this wasn’t my point — the failure of Millennials to learn from history was my intended point.

Finally, with regard to using quotes — when you quote from another work, word-for-word, it is appropriate to put quotation marks around words that are not yours… That is why I included them…

I really took some time to respond in a respectful way to your comment. I think it is important to treat each other with respect even when we don’t agree. Of course from time to time I don’t meet my own objective…

    Alexander Muse

    Written by

    Check out my latest cookbook: Sous Vide Science. Get it on Amazon:

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade