Why Are Young People More Left Wing? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14651594
Most people I know who are in their 20s and early 30s are always quite left wing. If they are radicals they go in a radically left wing direction. If they are moderate it is always still a sort of centre left disposition. Most are very liberal on social issues and immigration even if they support free market capitalism as well.

What makes young people so attracted to social liberalism and mass immigration?
#14651628
* Young people are more often attracted by novelty. Old people are more often afraid of novelty. This are likely biological reasons behind this.

* Old people are held back by the memories of their youth and desire a societal model that will never exist again. Young people bear no such burden, the only world they know is this one and they are its product.

* Young people are faced with many new intellectual curiosities everyday, and they didn't yet have the time to make up their mind about them. If you introduce them to a man-eating culture, they will take the time to examine cannibalism despite their initial reaction against it. Thinking is built by stockpiling layers of conclusions and abstractions over each other, this takes decades and this never ends.

* Many young people grew up with immigrant children. Because immigrants have a higher fertility rate and because there is slightly less social segregation in the educational system than in workplaces. As a result they are more familiar of those cultures and therefore less afraid by them. In some cases the immigrant-to-native ratio is such that those kids end up absorbing cultural values from those foreign cultures. For example that an absolute respect of Islam is of the utmost importance and that criticism cannot be tolerated, and that the Islamic civilization was the greatest of all in its time.

* Many young people are outsiders, therefore they desire policies for outsiders. Then they become insiders and they want policies for insiders.

* Young people are obsessed with social integration among their peers and they have been taught by Marcuse's heirs to turn into social outcasts all those who seem to have non-conform ideas. Since they do not want to become social outcasts, they are on the left. As for how Marcuse has so well permeated young groups, I do not know. Maybe it is a part of the "you ought to behave and be nice" instruction. Maybe it is the model of the hippie generation and the protester in general (most of them are leftists). Maybe it is a reaction against the rest of the society.

* Most of young people didn't completely lose their innocence yet and they mostly live with other young people. As a result for many of those young liberals the world is full of liberals with the same fundamental values as theirs. Surely dictatorships and theocracies only survive thanks to a fistful of bad guys while their people all want to live in a secular liberal democracy with similar values to theirs. Isn't it? And surely discussion can always bring a satisfying outcome for all parties, isn't it? And surely you can change the world if you want it. For example by liking a page on Facebook or protesting in front of wall street without any organization or program. Isn't it?


That being said there are excellent reasons to be on the left (and even more to not be on the right). Some of those young people will remain on the left. But many people on either side are on this side for stupid or petty reasons.
Last edited by Harmattan on 13 Feb 2016 20:55, edited 3 times in total.
#14651631
I think this is partially explained (though not entirely) by generational shifts in politics. Being in favor of desegregation in 1950 was the left wing decision. Now, legal desegregation in the United States is widely accepted enough that the right tries to cast the leaders of the civil rights movement as conservative heroes. Once your desires are accepted by the Establishment, you'll become Establishment.

Obviously this doesn't account for everything, but I think it's an element.
#14651976
I agree with Rancid. As we get older, we get a bit wiser and less likely to take stupid chances. When you are 19, you are indestructible!
#14652018
Lots of reasons.

In the US at least its mainly because the right wing political party is more open with and even flaunts its moral bankruptcy while the left still pretends otherwise.

It also helps that all the recent candidates that succesfully represented hope were left wing ones.
#14652031
Meh, where I live young people are less left wing and more right liberals, "yay free market" type whereas older people are more leftist. One of the major concerns for leftist parties is that not enough young men are joining in.
#14652036
It wasn't too far away that the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement happened. There was a liberal swing that was evident even then. Of course the younger generation will seem more liberal because, as Lightman says,
Lightman wrote:Being in favor of desegregation in 1950 was the left wing decision. Now, legal desegregation in the United States is widely accepted enough that the right tries to cast the leaders of the civil rights movement as conservative heroes. Once your desires are accepted by the Establishment, you'll become Establishment.
The establishment is moving left due to the influx of immigrants the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, etc., so the young people will be raised with what was then liberal as centrist, so there will be more liberals.

The only really far right people I see are either very religious or very old (as in WWII vets or Great Depression 'survivors'). There is also something interesting happening currently with the establishment shift. The 9/11 attacks created a lot of nationalism, making it so that we may see a liberal bubble. Kind of neat. Hopefully the liberal shift still has some momentum, and it seems it does, for now at least. The fact that almost all the republicans (certainly the ones the media focuses on) seem completely incompetent or just bat-shit crazy is encouraging, because as Mike said, the only candidates that represent hope are the democrats.
#14652038
"If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain." - Winston Churchill


This Churchill quote succinctly describes a person's ideological transition from a liberal to a conservative. Churchill himself was a Liberal MP when he first entered the political scene, representing the Jewish district in Manchester, a city known for labour activism. Education is clearly a factor and earlier in your life, most school teachers are socialists who tend to think that conservatism should be made illegal in your country. I've never met a conservative professor until I went to Cambridge, where I finally felt at home with conservative views. However, young conservatives are likely to be heartless racists, who may be confused about the difference between conservatism and white nationalism, or they have been badly raised like this young Aussie lady.

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#14652093
Meh, where I live young people are less left wing and more right liberals, "yay free market" type whereas older people are more leftist. One of the major concerns for leftist parties is that not enough young men are joining in.


I'm not surprised to hear this. As always, when I chat with my Indian co-workers. I always get right-wing vibes from them.
#14652142
Probably many overlapping reasons.

There were some experiments done in line with Terror Management Theory where it was found that when people are reminded of mortality, they tend to show more reverence for things symbolizing collective, super-individual identities (IIRC Christian crosses and national flags were used in those tests). So there's that.

I guess the younger you are the more salveagable the world feels. Growing up you experience more major and minor failures and get to see how things often play out between people, and that old feeling wears off silently, even though the world remains as it was. I may be personally projecting here to an extent however.

Most prosaically, young people usually don't have much wealth yet and obviously it's easier to support redistributive policies when you are more likely to benefit from them.

But also like fuser said - there's a lot variation depending on country and time. In Poland for example older people do regularly express nostalgia for Socialism (although truth be told for the most part they long for economic stability and predictability of those days, not for the ideological principles of the system).
#14652208
Something like what Lightman said, though I think there are also generational issues at play. The GI generation, having grown up under the New Deal, was actually quite progressive on economic issues, but wasn't ready to deal with the cultural issues brought up by the Boomers. The Boomers, in turn, had radical ideas about self-expression and individualism, but the narcissism that his bred led to the financial clusterfuck that's screwing the Millennials, who are once again bringing economic issues to the forefront. The generations in between, the Silent generation and Gen-X respectively, were each brought up with their own kind of conservatism, the former having a greater respect for authority and the latter being rugged individualists looking out for number 1.
#14652209
ThirdTerm- do you honestly think Churchill was a liberal in the sense of the word we often use it in today? I can't really imagine what he would think about people holding up "Refugees Welcome" banners in Dover and Calais.
You mentioned that he was a liberal, but you didn't say much about him being a Conservative who defected to the Liberals and then rejoined the Conservatives. The reason he defected to the Liberals was because there were serious tensions between him and the Conservative leadership (mostly over economic policy).

Churchill was the ultimate imperialist that wanted the British Empire to continue to grow into the 21st century. He ordered the complete destruction of Dresden in 1945 when the war was long won- this, in spite of many people's advice against it. I hugely disapprove of the Dresden bombing, but he was overall one of the greatest men in history and I wouldn't have some pussy liberal as my avatar.

Anyway, why do you think the Australian girl in the picture must have had a bad upbringing? Is it wrong to not want to see the Islamisation of your country? She looks respectably dressed and isn't using any foul language. Young people today (along with everyone else) are thankfully seeming to become more right wing because of a necessity to do so. But many young people are often liberals because they fear seeming out of touch with society (among other problems)
#14652211
ThirdTerm- do you honestly think Churchill was a liberal in the sense of the word we often use it in today?


In the colloquial sense used withing the neoliberal framework that we all live within, no. In the actual meaning of the word, yes.
#14652219
mikema63 wrote:In the colloquial sense used withing the neoliberal framework that we all live within, no. In the actual meaning of the word, yes.

Churchill was known to switch his polices faster than the wind changes. I did mention that he moved to the Liberals for economic reasons, but it looks like his economic policies were the ones that he would change around the most. There's barely anything politically liberal about him that I can think of.

The "colloquial" sense, as you call it, might well be considered the real sense because its the one everyone knows it and uses it as. But what do you mean by the "actual" meaning, and how would you relate it to Churchill?
#14652221
Churchill was known to switch his polices faster than the wind changes. I did mention that he moved to the Liberals for economic reasons, but it looks like his economic policies were the ones that he would change around the most. There's barely anything politically liberal about him that I can think of.


The results are far more important than what he said or waffled about.

The "colloquial" sense, as you call it, might well be considered the real sense because its the one everyone knows it and uses it as.


Not on PoFo it isn't.

But what do you mean by the "actual" meaning, and how would you relate it to Churchill?


Capitalism, basically. Churchill was a capitalist who expanded capitalism and opposed illiberal ideologies. What could be more liberal than literally fighting against non-liberals?
#14652226
The Aussie girl is an active participant of a far-right protest, where all kinds of foul words can be heard, which makes us question her upbringing. In William Manchester's two-volume biography of Churchill, there is a revealing chapter about Australia, explaining its roughish thug culture by linking it to the nation's founding as a convict colony. As the Colonial Secretary, Churchill did not allow the Boers to deprive British Asians of their voting rights in colonial South Africa and the Boers' white nationalism was somewhat checked while South Africa was a British colony (i.e. there was no apartheid.) Moreover, Churchill was 1/16 Cherokee from his American mother's side and non-European haplogroups such as Q or C could be detected in his direct descendants, which may be why Churchill supported civil rights for civilised Africans (i.e. rich and educated.)

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#14652232
mikema63 wrote:The results are far more important than what he said or waffled about.

Only if those results came about as a result of his own policies. Which ones do you mean?
mikema63 wrote:Not on PoFo it isn't.

This isn’t how I see it. People use the word “liberal” on here a lot without any necessary conditions apart from someone having politically liberal viewpoints in the “colloquial” sense. Why wouldn’t you use it in the sense that 95% or so of people use it in?
mikema63 wrote:Capitalism, basically. Churchill was a capitalist who expanded capitalism and opposed illiberal ideologies. What could be more liberal than literally fighting against non-liberals?

He opposed Nazism, but there were obvious reasons for him to do that. Opposing an illiberal ideology doesn’t somehow make you a liberal, otherwise Hitler might be thought of as a liberal for opposing Stalin. Capitalism also isn’t unique to liberal ideologies, I’d say nearly all countries in history (as well as today) have been capitalist to varying degrees. Fascist states could even be capitalist if it’s in the benefit of the state to have that.
#14652246
ThirdTerm wrote:The Aussie girl is an active participant of a far-right protest, where all kinds of foul words can be heard, which makes us question her upbringing.

What about her feeling of a necessity to do something about the situation? It’s true that foul language can be used on these marches, but this is no different to a liberal screaming profanities on one of their so called “anti-Fascist” demonstrations. Even though right wing organisations can have loads of mindless idiots in them (as can anti-Fascist ones) many intelligent people that join feel as though there is no other option for them, fight or be treated unjustly.
ThirdTerm wrote:In William Manchester's two-volume biography of Churchill, there is a revealing chapter about Australia, explaining its roughish thug culture by linking it to the nation's founding as a convict colony.

Yes this makes sense for the very early period, but many non-criminals arrived after the first settlers and we’re talking about a period of over 200 years. Pointing out some book that says Australians are thugs isn’t really proof that this girl is one. She has legitimate concerns and you have no reason to suspect she is anything but respectable.
ThirdTerm wrote:As the Colonial Secretary, Churchill did not allow the Boers to deprive British Asians of their voting rights in colonial South Africa and the Boers' white nationalism was somewhat checked while South Africa was a British colony (i.e. there was no apartheid.)

Churchill hated the Boers, they tried to kill him and he later saw many of them put in concentration camps. How many British Asians were there in South Africa anyway? I’d say if this is true, it was only out of wanting to oppose Boer policy. You might want to read some of the things he said and did against the colonial people (although at times he was quite benevolent and wanted to make them become more “civilised”- most modern liberals thinking this is still an outrage)
ThirdTerm wrote:Moreover, Churchill was 1/16 Cherokee from his American mother's side and non-European haplogroups such as Q or C could be detected in his direct descendants, which may be why Churchill supported civil rights for civilised Africans (i.e. rich and educated.)

I’ve got doubts Churchill actually knew about any of this (if it’s true). I just Googled the native American thing and saw it called a "myth" or “alleged” quite a few times. Which civil rights for civilised Africans do you mean? There was a famine in India once and the British were asking Churchill to send food that area - Churchill apparently sneered at them and told them it was their own fault for breeding like rabbits. According to an Independent article I just read, 3 million of them starved to death. It also tells us that he wanted to see poison gas used on Kurds.

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