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Thread: The next generation

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulchritude View Post
    I think a lot of people my age (the, erm, younger generation) are much more conservative and intolerant than they seem.
    I think this is what the Tories are betting on with cuddly Cameron.

    I know a few young economic conservatives (or "liberals", depending on how you define that) who advocate lower taxes, scaling back the state, etc... But they are against prejudice, pro-immigration, pro-gay marriage, very "open minded". The problem is that everything has become so personalised and depoliticised that people can have beliefs that they thet wouldn't be able to classify as left or right wing anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swears View Post
    The problem is that everything has become so personalised and depoliticised that people can have beliefs that they thet wouldn't be able to classify as left or right wing anyway.
    Is that necessarily a problem, though? Why should people's opinions conform to pre-existing paradigms of political alignment? If those paradigms are obsolete, we need new ones to describe what people think these days, don't we?
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  3. #18

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    I know a few young economic conservatives (or "liberals", depending on how you define that) who advocate lower taxes, scaling back the state, etc... But they are against prejudice, pro-immigration, pro-gay marriage, very "open minded". The problem is that everything has become so personalised and depoliticised that people can have beliefs that they thet wouldn't be able to classify as left or right wing anyway.
    And, similarly, I know some people who are leftists advocating big-government solutions (especially to their own problems), but who are closed minded, anti-immigration, anti-gay, and basically quite bigoted.

    I think that the idea that bigots are necessarily "right-wing" whereas open-minded people are necesarily "left-wing" is old hat and something of a distraction from the real issues.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    And, similarly, I know some people who are leftists advocating big-government solutions (especially to their own problems), but who are closed minded, anti-immigration, anti-gay, and basically quite bigoted.

    I think that the idea that bigots are necessarily "right-wing" whereas open-minded people are necesarily "left-wing" is old hat and something of a distraction from the real issues.
    Isn't this just a case of the 'left' and 'right' wings operating on two axes:



    And that current bipartisan politics doesn't fully accommodate this spread of opinion.

    From what has been said here, the next generation are moving down and to the right

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulchritude View Post
    I think a lot of people my age (the, erm, younger generation) are much more conservative and intolerant than they seem.
    ON. THE. FUCKIN. MONEY.

    oh i got stories... of hip young republicans...

  6. #21
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    Is that necessarily a problem, though? Why should people's opinions conform to pre-existing paradigms of political alignment? If those paradigms are obsolete, we need new ones to describe what people think these days, don't we?

    Yeah, sure. But don't you think it's at least important for people to understand where these divisions come from before we try to work past them? Besides, the current political climate is a result of that left/right binary: Don't think you would've had Thatcher's rise to power without there being socialist tendencies in the UK for her to challenge in the first place, for example.

    I think that the idea that bigots are necessarily "right-wing" whereas open-minded people are necesarily "left-wing" is old hat and something of a distraction from the real issues.

    Perhaps, but hasn't the left in the UK had more of a history of opposing bigotry and discrimination through movements like The Anti-nazi League or Rock Against Racism?

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pestario View Post
    From what has been said here, the next generation are moving down and to the right
    Well, I certainly hope so, but I haven't seen very much evidence of that. Quite the opposite, in fact, where they are moving at all.

    Perhaps, but hasn't the left in the UK had more of a history of opposing bigotry and discrimination through movements like The Anti-nazi League or Rock Against Racism?
    Are they really "left" platforms? I mean, can't you be for economic freedom and cultural freedom at the same time? Some people on the right, e.g., are pro-immigration, and some are anti-immigration. Some people on the left are anti-immigration, and some are pro-immigration. It all depends. I remember when I first started to read libertarian / classical liberal stuff -- the idea that people were on the right and yet not monstrous arseholes was quite a shock, but it's worth considering, unless you want your predjudices dictating your economic and political votes.

  8. #23
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    Vim: I know classical liberals like Hayek are not automatically racist, evil or even right wing at all. "Why I am not a conservative, etc..."
    But I see the most dissent against intolerance coming from the left, maybe they are just shouting the loudest.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Well, I certainly hope so, but I haven't seen very much evidence of that. Quite the opposite, in fact, where they are moving at all.
    I was just expressing the immediate impression I got from what people have said in this thread. To declare my political leanings I would like things down and to the left (surprise surprise).

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by swears View Post
    Vim: I know classical liberals like Hayek are not automatically racist, evil or even right wing at all. "Why I am not a conservative, etc..."
    But I see the most dissent against intolerance coming from the left, maybe they are just shouting the loudest.
    I know what you mean, but I think it's bit more complicated. For instance, Gary Bushell's English Democrats are actually pretty generic, and hardly "right-wing" as I would describe it. That is, they say Nu-Labour-ish stuff like, "A healthy economy is a mixed economy." My uncles are all staunch republicans and pretty sectarian and bigoted in many ways, but they are very much (well-off) leftists, as are most of the fuckwits on the other side of the divide.

    If you're defining "dissent against intolerance" as going on marches and handing out flyers, then for the last thirty years or so, most of the people in this country who went on the marches probably voted Labour or described themselves as leftists. I think the left has a reasonably good history of living up to its own predjudices, and (drawing a diplomatic veil over the less pleasant aspects of leftist "dissent" in this country) where those predjudices are worthwhile (e.g. anti-racism), then its a good thing. But I don't think that there's anything essentially leftist about being against racism.

    [There's also the complications of recent years, where it's not obvious to the "left" whether it should support religious conservatives because they form part of an "ethnic minority" or whether it should attack them because they're religious conservatives.]

    I was just expressing the immediate impression I got from what people have said in this thread. To declare my political leanings I would like things down and to the left (surprise surprise).
    Not been very impressed with socialist libertarianism, to be honest, but it's definitely better than authoritarian communism.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pestario View Post
    I was just expressing the immediate impression I got from what people have said in this thread. To declare my political leanings I would like things down and to the left (surprise surprise).
    Actuallly, it seems to me that most people are generally moving to the centre-left. The harder, radical left has lost whatever plot it once had, so that it's basically just radicalism without a political programme, and therefore not very relevant.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post

    [There's also the complications of recent years, where it's not obvious to the "left" whether it should support religious conservatives because they form part of an "ethnic minority" or whether it should attack them because they're religious conservatives.]
    To be OT for a second...

    I find this very interesting. Are you talking about Christian Conservatives?

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pestario View Post
    To be OT for a second...

    I find this very interesting. Are you talking about Christian Conservatives?
    Err, no... I was thinking about Muslim conservatives. But your question is interesting -- I expect that, given the very large numbers of Christian and socially conservative migrants from the "Global South", this will be an issue in the not too distant future.

  14. #29
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    Ah, of course. I was thinking more along the lines of how far conservative religious views can be accommodated in the public realm, e.g. should Christian adoption charities be able to turn down gay couples etc.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by swears View Post
    I think this is what the Tories are betting on with cuddly Cameron.

    I know a few young economic conservatives (or "liberals", depending on how you define that) who advocate lower taxes, scaling back the state, etc... But they are against prejudice, pro-immigration, pro-gay marriage, very "open minded". The problem is that everything has become so personalised and depoliticised that people can have beliefs that they thet wouldn't be able to classify as left or right wing anyway.
    The association of economic liberalism with social conservatism is really just a product of politics, beginning during the Reagan era in the US, rather than of an actual ideological standpoint. Neo-Conservatives needed an apparently sound economic agenda to appeal to a whole chunk of middle-class voters, while Neo-liberals needed a moral agenda to appeal to the conservative base which was their only real political option, since most left-leaning voters were obviously attached to state intervention.

    The two positions are extremely contradictory and are quite frequently at odds with each other, since conservatives tend to want more government/legal intervention into peoples private lives (fertility rights, drugs, etc) which neo-liberals are in principle opposed to.

    Happily for them, a shared love for capital accumulation, and hysteric opposition to anything smelling remotely of communsim, takes prioity above everything glossing over the myriad contradictions for the sake of political power.

    So being economically conservative/liberal and socially liberal is really a more internally consistent position.

    The problem for the the political 'left' is that most are also scared shared shitless of communsim or any truely radical ideology, and a desire to appear hip-to-the-economic-groove neccessitates making concessions to neo-liberal economics (being 'realistic' about the economy) while retaining some socialist principles, leading them more towards the centre, where other types of contradictions abound.

    [Edit]

    From my own observations (of middle-class college students), for most youngish folk 'communism' of any sort is completely off the agenda for all but a minority of students and activists. Most are quite aware of the 'evils of capitalism' but at the same time cant imagine anything else but a capitalist economy being possible, leading to two general ideological positions (if they're bothered to take one at all); fully-fledged libertarianism, believing that if all barriers to 'freedom' are removed, a Van Hayekian/Friedmanian Utopia of a grand markt-equilibrium awaits; or a sort of rearticulated Third Way, with the negative effects free-markets balanced by some sensible social policies.
    Last edited by S-Mac; 29-03-2008 at 03:25 PM.

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