Thursday, June 21, 2018

The past does matter

This is concerning. According to new research from the Centre for Independent Studies, younger generations, some of whom appear to be historically illiterate, have a favourable and romanticised opinion of socialism.

If this research is accurate, most Australian Millennials have a poor awareness of some of socialism’s most infamous historical figures Of those polled, more than half (51%) didn’t know who Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong was. Only 21% were familiar with him. Not only was Mao perhaps the most important leader in Asia in the past century, he was also responsible for between 37-45 million deaths during the famine associated with his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. 42% of Australian Millennials weren’t aware at all of Vladimir Lenin, the Bolshevik revolutionary, father of modern communism and the first leader of the Soviet Union. While more people (34%) were familiar with Joseph Stalin, Lenin's successor, who was responsible for the deaths of up to 43 million people, approximately two-thirds either didn’t know him or were not familiar with his bloody history.

This causes me despair. As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

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