Why social democrats need to seriously (for once) address the vulnerability of the poorest in society…

My top favourite wonk blogger bar none, on why some responsibility for the often illiberal attitudes of the poorest in society often belongs to social democrats who fail to reduce the real sense of vulnerability they feel to in turn feel some sympathy for the ‘other’:

First, moral judgments are influenced by our economic positions. Marx was right to say that “the mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life.” For more evidence of this, consider Matteo Cervellati and Paolo Vanin’s discussion of how moral norms are shaped by family wealth.

Secondly, when liberal leftists complain about working class illiberalism, they should remember that the failing here lies not (just) with the working class themselves, but in social democracy itself. This has – so far – failed to sufficiently reduce the sense of vulnerability among the poor which produces illiberal attitudes.

, ,

  • FuturePhysicist

    What worries me about this if I was being truly empathetic with vulnerable people, the last thing that I would want to have reduced is my sense of vulnerability. no one wants to feel vulnerable but then no one wants to live on tranquillisers, either,

    The whole purpose of being sympathetic is to share in the sense of vulnerability, rather than reduce it, in a sense in any altruistic exchange there is an illiberalism (albeit a self-inflicted one) put on the giver and a liberalism provided to the receiver.

    Vulnerable people struggle to help themselves only when they lose control of their senses.