“Here’s an interesting something that I’ve been talking about with people recently: maybe the cultural left is actually PART OF neoliberalism.Now I assume these people are a few late Baby Boomers (the old ones), Generation Xers, and some early Millennials (born in the 1980s and early 1990s).
I started thinking this after the Brexit debate. I hang around in London finance circles and what struck me was that the exact same rhetoric that was being used by the cultural left types on my Facebook feed was being used by the finance people. It was 100% identical. Right from the anti-democratic tone to the complaints about racism and all that.
I think that both of these groups are actually the same people. They’re sort of embodied in that person who you actually see an awful lot: the Guardian reader who voted Thatcher/Major/Blair/Cameron. There are literally tons of these people.
They care about the ‘environment.’ They want open borders and free trade (although they’ll buy fair trade coffee to boost their egos). They strongly dislike high taxes – especially when they are at the stage in their careers (aged 35+) when those higher tax rates impact them. They dislike poor people and think that anyone who works for a living is a racist. But they generally support welfare handouts much in the same way as Victorian snobs supported soup kitchens; so long as the poor stay poor and exercise no social control they make nice pets.
Maybe this is the key. Maybe we’re wrong to think about the ‘contradiction’ between cultural leftism and leftism. Maybe cultural leftism is actually the IDEOLOGY OF NEOLIBERALISM.”
The trouble is that the same cultural leftism infects the Millennial generation too, and they seem more left-wing on economics. And I have a hard time believing the extreme SJW mentality that many of the Millennials have is found amongst these middle class, elite Baby Boomers and the younger Generation Xers.
But at the same time it seems difficult to deny that a kind of cultural liberalism/leftism is also prevalent amongst middle class, elite professionals, who are the natural supporters of neoliberalism. Many of these people are well educated, are doing well, and in good jobs, and probably deeply ignorant of the economic consequences of neoliberalism, because they mainly don’t see it. (Except perhaps when they complain bitterly about the high cost of rent or housing in London?)
So I think it is better to say: the people whom TheIllusionist is talking about here are one important wing of the cultural left/liberal cultural left, the neoliberal wing. They are no doubt a natural constituency for neoliberal economics.
The other wing is the millennial generation, who, by contrast, are more left-wing on economics.
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