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.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty