(People's World) -- Everyone seems to be talking about socialism these days, but what does it mean? That was the question asked by Susan Webb in one of our most popular and widely-shared recent articles. Millions of Americans are considering alternatives to a system run by and for the 1 percent. They are taking an interest in socialism, a word that has meant a great many things to activists, trade unionists, politicians, and clergy around the world over the last century and a half. The article below is one of a series on socialism, what it can mean for Americans in the 21st century, and how we might get there. Other articles in the series can be found here.
The 2016 presidential elections have put the word "socialism" center stage in American politics. This is thanks in part to the enthusiasm behind presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who is a self-proclaimed democratic socialist. Since Sanders burst onto the mainstream political scene with his talk of creating a culture that was not just "based on the worship of money," but where the middle class and working families receive a "fair deal," the conversation around just what socialism is and how much better it might be in relation to our current system (capitalism) has increased. This is especially true among young people, or those considered to be millennials. A recent poll conducted by Harvard University asked young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 if they supported capitalism. The poll found that 51 percent of the participants did not support the economic status quo. 33 percent were even willing to go a step further and said they support socialism.