The global Ipsos poll released today and published by Fairfax Media, entitled Attitudes towards Socialist Ideals in the 21st Century, shows that half the Australian people asked understand the truth about socialism – but it is not the half who believe socialist ideals are of great value for societal progress.
Rather, it is the half who know that socialism is a system of political oppression, mass surveillance and state terror.
Unsurprisingly – and tellingly – the survey responses in China saw 84 per cent giving the thumbs up for socialism.
For even more evidence, you only need to see that just 29 per cent of Russians and 31 per cent of Chinese gave it the thumbs down. And they may have been looking over their shoulders as they ticked the box.
If anything, the survey merely confirms that many Australians do not understand the realities of socialism.
This is understandable when we are served conflicting messages about the role of government. After all, Australia’s prosperity is largely thanks to free-market competition and deregulation. But Australians are also fed the narrative that governments are essential to ensuring ‘equality’ and the ‘fair’ distribution of wealth across society.
The Ipsos survey simply highlights this lack of understanding.
But if we are looking at the glass being half full, at least it confirms that half of Australians have no blinkers when it comes to socialism and its ignoble record of oppression.
Eugenie Joseph is a policy analyst at the Centre for Independent Studies.
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