Does the Left own the future? 3 reasons why, and why not…
Ed West recently wrote the below article for the Spectator, the thrust of which is that the Left is “the faith of the future” and that the Right has no future. It’s a fine take, but it conflicts with what I have seen and experienced in my own life, so I wanted to clarify that by writing down what he might be right, and why he might be wrong.
The future belongs to the Left | Coffee House
When I was in my early 20s and quite conservative I assumed I was just an anomaly, someone who develops these traits…
Reasons the future might belong to the Left:
Ed correctly notes that one of the key points in fostering a new movement is the recruitment of women, because where the women go the men eventually go too. The Left is the natural political destination for women because its philosophical tentpoles – Caring, and a type of Fairness that revolves around everyone getting an equal share – are more woman-friendly. Any distinctly masculine type of idea, or ideas that have a more natural appeal to men – concepts of Honour, Duty Sanctity, the importance of obedience to Authority – are demoted, denigrated or ignored.
2. The Social and cultural gatekeepers are all Left wing
In school and University the values that are consciously and unconsciously promoted are those of the Left. The old Jesuit saying was “give me the boy for seven years and I will give you the man”. The liberal version might well be “give me the child for 21 years and I will give you the Shitlib”. In relation to the Media, I don’t dispute that there are individual outlets that are Right wing, and popular, but the press that speaks for and to the Cognitive Elite is Left wing.
3. Patterns of population growth and immigration in western societies
In white, western countries the old are dying and are not being replaced by a new generation. The people emigrating to these countries are largely from ethnic minorities that are the specific client classes of Liberalism. A random example of the impact of such changes: the Muslim population in England and Wales grew from 1.5 million in 2011 to 2.7 million in 2015. A study of voting preferences in the run up to the 2015 election indicated that 73% of Muslims intended to vote Labour.
All of these point have mirror images that suggest the arrow points in the other direction, and that a potential Rightward swing might still happen. What are they?
1. Men, and white people
In the Liberal conception of the universe, all evil emanates from identities that are white and male, with white men (intentionally or not) being the most satanic of all. If politics is primarily about the civilised pursuit of self-interest then increasingly people in these groups will find it impossible to vote Left. You can either vote for people who regard you as central to their plans, or people who regard you as an enemy to be dethroned and replaced.
2. The growth of new media
Twitter, Facebook, Patreon etc allow people to write and publish something quickly, and find an audience for their work. More importantly it allows for the audience to find each other, because in doing the latter, there’s an acceleration effect. Everyone sees and reads what everyone else is does, they all see that there’s an audience for this kind of thing and that people are building on their ideas and developing them further. In doing so, parallel institutions are built. A whole community is created and engaged as one.
3. The great Realignment.
Over the past five years, it feels as though we have are passing through a tipping point. Take me as an example of this. I have unthinkingly regarded myself as Liberal/ Left wing/ “Progressive” my whole life (although the term “Progressive” is a new one). As I grew older I moved very slightly to the Right, but the ground beneath my feet shifted massively to the Left, and simultaneously what “Left” means has changed entirely. As a result feel that I’m standing mostly in the same spot I was when I was 20, but the ground that was on the Left is now on the Right. Maybe that movement was the open Overton Window being pulled past my head. Maybe it was the feeling of Liberalism recalibrating because it doesn’t need to cater to white guys any more, due to increasing numbers of rich, educated people, women, ethnic and sexual minorities as client groups. Maybe it was the sound of me being “bounced” from Liberalism. The secret journey of relatively young people from Left to Right, a movement that was not voluntary, is one of the great unwritten stories of our age.
The interesting thing about Ed West’s article is that he writes from the perspective of someone who has been Conservative their whole life. I’m not that person. I’m a Left/ Liberal person who woke up one morning and found that he was no longer felt welcome in the pews of the Cathedral, and in any case the central tenets of that philosophy had changed. Perhaps you’re like me. What we can see, that perhaps Ed can’t, is that there are a tremendous amount of people who have been politically displaced, and need a home, a home they can only really find on the Right. Recent eruptions are illustrations of that, and there are more to come. The Left might be the faith of the future, but there’s cause to believe other faiths may yet prosper.