Fear of socialism keeps 10% of Americans awake at night, study finds

fear of socialism
Hair today: Karl Marx grew his beard to maximise the fear of socialism among Americans.

Millions of ordinary Americans feel an all-pervading fear of socialism and its irresistible armies of articulate Trots bearing state subsidies, it has been revealed.

Up to a third of the US population is ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the unstoppable march of red columnists trampling on individual freedoms across the globe.

And a tenth say the very idea of cost-effective, tax-funded healthcare provision available free at the point of delivery to all citizens brings them out in cold sweats at least one night a week.

 

American way

These are the conclusions of a major study by the American Way Research (AWR) foundation, which provides an unexpected window into the lives and fears of ordinary people.

Said senior AWR pollster Mervyn Goebbels: “These findings are very surprising – particularly if you consider the survey was actually about ice cream preferences among customers of mid-range restaurant brands.

“We were looking for customer insights on a range of ice cream texture and flavour combinations. What we got was a deep-seated rejection of a redistributive economic system.”

 

Contamination

However, other US pollsters take issue with the AWR survey report, entitled Naughty And Not At All Nice, claiming the company’s techniques risk contaminating the results.

Trome Communications polling strategist Norah Norris said: “Let’s take the section on Bernie’s organic Fairtrade strawberry sundae as an example. Question 4 asks:

‘What mental image does Bernie’s sundae evoke for you?

‘(Suggestions: luxurious fruity creaminess that melts on the tongue? Relaxing, lazy summer days spent in a free society? Or enforced collectivisation of all US ice cream production?)’

“You can see how some respondents might have been unduly influenced,” Norah said.

 

Death by universal benefits

Other researchers say that AWR has form on this issue, pointing to its now-notorious research report, Food preparation choices in middle America: guarding against the Trots, published last year.

However, despite its flaws, Norah believes the latest AWR study does unearth a number of valuable new insights.

She said: “We thought it was interesting, for instance, that 55% of respondents agreed that scoops of Cousin Benjo’s triple chocolate chip truffle could be used as a bulwark against collectivist insurgents. Particularly when fired from a high-velocity canon.

“Overall, though, I find the results reassuring. Despite a world of multiple challenges, including terrorism, social exclusion, grinding poverty, unemployment, over-production, over-consumption, unsustainable population growth, deforestation, mineral exhaustion, a voracious and corrupt global financial sector, corporate capture, nuclear accidents, weapons of mass destruction, climate instability, as well as impending environmental catastrophe leading to our ultimate extinction as a species…

 

Witless

“…Despite all this, it’s reassuring to know that it’s still the threat of democratic socialism that scares us witless.”

Meanwhile, AWR chief executive officer Norman Laws said he has full confidence in his company’s research techniques.

He said: “This furore is what you get when you ask the American people the questions that matter.

“But picture a society where citizenship imparts rights and responsibilities to each and every one of us; where we’re protected and supported as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

“Sounds hideous, if you ask me.”

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peterbatt

Peter a journalist with 30 years experience of freelance writing, UK national newspaper and magazine production roles, and business development. In 2007, he developed and launched a mainstream-style green consumer magazine in the UK, called GreenerLiving, as a means of promoting sustainable change ‘within the system’. GreenerLiving closed during the post-crash recession, but Peter went on to become managing editor of the international ethical business title, Ethical Performance. However, Peter felt that the CSR sector has not succeeded in changing corporate priorities anywhere near fast enough, and so I decided to leave the treadmill of corporate employment and debt accumulation to focus on my own projects. Now poorer but a billion million times happier, he writes on political, economic and social issues – usually seriously, but sometimes as satire. He's currently writing Psychopath Economics, a book about the logic of social and economic power, belief systems, and the rise and fall of societies. Peter is convinced that ordinary people must educate themselves and exercise their economic leverage if we are to avoid social and environmental destruction.

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