In 2016, when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were fighting the U.S. Presidential Elections a new political movement came into being – ‘Democratic Socialism.’ The representation of this political ideology was done by Bernie Sanders. Though he did not win the primary, the ideology did win many hearts, especially among youngsters. Democratic Socialism is seeing even a stronger push in 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections with primaries in Democrats showcasing socialist leaders as front-runners such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang’s universal basic income policy. So, what does this really mean for American politics?
Since the 1980s, United States has been seeing rise in income inequality. According to MSN 2018 report, top 1 percent of wealthiest Americans own 42.5 percent of the income. This income inequality will get worse post-covid pandemic. The United States is also seeing shift in it’s population’s political leaning. If past two Presidential Elections are any indication, population born post-Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation Movement is more likely to be liberal or moderate then older generation. The older generation is conservative and white. The younger generation is colored and liberal.
A study titled ‘Political Ideology of the Millennial Generation’ done by Center for American Progress has derived that while the younger generation is racially divided, it still holds progressive views on most issues and identify themselves with liberal views. Racial division is explained through a question asked to these youngsters who showcase that equal amount of them agreed and disagreed that African-Americans and other minorities still lack the same opportunities as the whites.
The study concludes that young Americans are more progressive on social and cultural values than domestic and economic policies, example of this is the acceptance of homosexuality. The study has found that two-third Americans want government intervention in the economy, and want inequality to reduce in society. When asked about whether free market economy creates more jobs and economic growth, older generation (30+) 60 percent agree while young generation support the statement at 42 percent only.
Marx criticism of capitalism states that – the aim of capitalism is at making profit that will eventually replace workers with technology and increase income inequality in society to a level that it becomes unbearable.
The global pandemic has accelerated the process of automation in the manufacturing sector. The world economies, as a result, of lock-down will be going through economic depression. In order to get their respective countries out of economic trouble, all countries including the United States will increase the process of automation in order to get the economies moving and running. This will lead to loss of jobs for millions of Americans and increase income inequality to unbearable levels. This can be one of the many reasons behind increasing shift towards the left. because of fear and apprehension of loosing jobs and livelihood due to further advancement capitalism.
When the current youngsters will become the older generation of the United States in the year 2035, we will see a substantive shift in politics and economic system of the United States. Americans will be colored and left. The loss of jobs in United States will lead to the left and diverse population over the next 15 years to shift even more towards the left that will lead to end of capitalism and beginning of socialism. Since it is already doing the rounds, free education and healthcare might become a reality in the United States in cores of the next 2 decades and therefore, the American society might, by the end of first half of the 21st century, see a radical shift towards ‘democratic socialism.’