Socialism has gone mainstream in American politics, but it remains deeply controversial. While some believe it offers an appealing solution to the country’s woes, for others it conjures up fearful imagery of authoritarian regimes.

The new CBSN Originals documentary, “Speaking Frankly | Socialism,” explores the resurgent interest in socialism and the culture wars surrounding its role in America today. [Watch the video in the player above.] 

“The democratic socialist movement is being driven by millennials, zoomers, younger people,” says Jabari Brisport, a Brooklyn teacher who embraces the socialist label and is running as a Democrat for a New York State Senate seat. “Younger people are interested in socialism because we can see so clearly the failings of capitalism.”

A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found half of young adults under 30 expressed positive views of socialism — nearly as many as the 52% who felt positively about capitalism. Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America has jumped from 6,500 to 70,000 over the last six years.

But Maria Fernanda Bello, an activist with Young Americans Against Socialism, sees the trouble that’s gripped her native Venezuela as a warning. “Socialists are always going to promise you free tuition, free health care, free everything, but they will never promise you freedom,” she said.

CBSN Originals presents “Speaking Frankly | Socialism” is available to stream now in the video player above. It premieres on CBSN Sunday, September 20 at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET. 

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