First of all, I’m not picking on millennials. I single them out precisely because their errors are more likely to be honest, and their evasions far less entrenched. And it’s a harsh fact: Large numbers of America’s up and coming generation want socialism.
So here’s what you do:
Point to something your millennial friend or loved one values. Simply say, “That’s not yours.” Try to find the thing he or she most values. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be a car. It could be a computer, or a smart phone. It could be a video game, or a musical instrument. It could be something of purely sentimental value. It could even be a cat or a dog, since technically cats and dogs are property.
“That’s not yours. It doesn’t belong to you.”
That’s socialism. In theory, nothing belongs to you. In practice, everything belongs to the government. Yes, under socialism, the government owns Facebook, Amazon, Exxon, McDonald’s and NBC. But the government also owns everything you think you own. You might think you own it. Why? Because the government chooses to let you keep it. But everything is the government’s choice — not yours.
You can’t have your socialism and eat it too. You can’t say socialism applies to other groups — “white men”, “the rich” — but not to yourself. If the government owns everyone’s property, you’re subject to losing it at any time.
I don’t expect this argument to convince anyone. But it will be a show stopper. Simply say, “I’m not going to argue with you about socialism until you prove to me you’ll accept that nothing you own belongs to you.”
When he was President, Obama famously sneered, “You didn’t build that.” He meant to imply that nothing really belongs to anyone, that there’s really no such thing as ownership, morally speaking. Obama already subscribed to the moral system that makes socialism possible. At least he understood that much. Tell your millennial loved ones they must accept the same premise before they rush to socialism.
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