One young American says her generation is increasingly in favor of socialism because they don’t have a deep understanding of how it leads to communist revolutions and oppressive totalitarian regimes. But she’s fighting to “debunk” the lies and change that.
Morgan Zegers is the founder of Young Americans Against Socialism, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to exposing socialism’s failures by creating viral educational videos for social media.
“My generation is embracing socialism at a very troubling rate, and I’m going to do everything I can to fight it,” Zegers told “American Thought Leaders” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday. “It’s just a very difficult situation when words are being distorted; language is distorted. And the left is doing that to control the narrative.”
Zegers said the reason young people are being duped by the positive spin on socialism is that the education system has failed American students.
“When I was going through high school, I did not learn about the history of these regimes in the sense that they came with promises of progress, with promises of changing and fighting for the working class, fighting for the people,” Zegers said.
She added that this was “how these terrible totalitarian authoritarian regimes begin.”
Zegers is working to connect the dots between progressive movements and totalitarian regimes for her generation—Gen Z—because the gaps in education are resulting in students growing up to become young adults who are showing an interest in socialism.
One of Zeger’s favorite quotes is by Frederick Douglass, who said, “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
This is because, she said, with proper knowledge of history, “You know what’s true, you know what’s right, and you can stand up for yourself and stand up against your oppressors. And that’s why regimes try and hide the truth; suppress the truth.”
She noted that Gen Z hasn’t “felt the direct threat of socialism,” and she links this with why 70 percent say they would vote for a socialist leader.
“I have a strong feeling that they don’t actually want to implement socialism,” Zegers said. “They have probably never heard the definition of socialism in terms of seizing the means of production or nationalizing a major industry. But they still say that they want to do it and so I am focusing on really making that clear to them.”
One of the first things Zegers does is debunk the lies about socialism in Nordic Europe, which is often held up as a success story for socialism.
“I always try and distinguish for my generation that socialism is not Nordic Europe,” she said. “It’s a capitalist economy over there. They have large social welfare programs, and they have very high taxes. But at the end of the day, they have private industry and private business, and a respect for capitalism and that system.”
But real socialism sees the state taking private businesses out of the hands of individuals and under the control of the government.
Zegers noted that the implementation of “economic socialist policies” often goes hand in glove with people “embracing a radical, authoritarian style of cancel culture that we see in socialist uprisings throughout history that turned into a communist, radical, oppressive regime.”
“That’s when I’m starting to get worried,” she added.
Zegers draws a link between cancel culture on social media and “Leninist and Maoist” era oppression, warning that “its now on the shores of America.”
She gave the example of the owner of Solly Baby, which launched a fabric wrap product for carrying infants close to the chest. The company was accused of stealing an ethnic design and selling it for profit. She said most people found the first apology to be authentic, “but the small minority of people who are in the angry leftist woke mob who only see identity, and are so focused on that Cultural Marxism aspect, they were not satisfied.”
The business owner made three apologies before it was accepted, which Zegers likened to going “into the public square” to apologize and “be whipped until you have satisfied the mob.”
“It’s very concerning language, because they will continue to go after you until you have satisfied them, and made them happy and said what they want you to say,” she said.
To solve this problem, Zegers has launched a project to paint a more “vivid picture” of what socialism is really like for her generation to gain a better understanding, by telling the stories of people who have survived and escaped socialist countries.
One of their best performing videos got 25 million views.
“It tells the story of a man who windsurfed across the ocean, from Cuba to the Florida Keys to reach America. Eventually, he does the immigration process and he then joins the U.S. military, he serves over in Afghanistan, and he does it to say thank you to the country that gave him freedom. That’s a powerful story and it gives you a very great lesson of why it’s so good to be in America.”
She added, “Even though we have our problems. We are not perfect. We are so blessed to be here.”
Zegers has her eyes fixed on tackling the challenge of combatting the effects of what she described as a “broken” education system by using peer-to-peer communication, which basically means talking to people like you would a friend, which a study from Michigan State University found to be an effective way to ensure young people “deeply comprehend” an issue.