Elite Resentment and Socialism

Accumulating Peripherals has some thoughts on conservative resentment in the U.S. and in Europe:

But in fact disdain for cosmopolitan elites and Europe is constitutive of conservatism in a wide range of countries besides the US. Russia and its Slavophile proxies, obviously, but also the UK and Israel, most of the Muslim world, and, for that matter, Europe. In European countries, obviously, “Europe” means the EU, and antipathy to the supranational bureaucracy in Brussels is probably the single most coherent constitutive element of modern European conservatism. More generally, disdain for cosmopolitan elites and Europe has been at the core of conservatism since the dawn of nationalism in the 19th century, and it’s not surprising that it’s still at the core of American conservatism. What is surprising, I would think, is how locally concentrated such conservatism is in the US; it’s a sign that the rest of the US, apart from the South, is becoming quite encouragingly cosmopolitan.

And in other news, Americans are surprisingly friendly to socialism:

Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.

Atrios ventures an explanation:

Like many commonly used words in our political discourse, "socialism" isn't very well-defined. If the Right defines it as Obamaism, then we may yet get our government health and SUPERTRAINS. People like the skinny black guy.

One thought on “Elite Resentment and Socialism

  1. The fuzzy usage of “socialism” here needs to be underlined. In Europe socialism (or at least the German “Sozialismus”) is at least as far left as today’s “Die Linke” or the left wing of the social democratic parties of the 60ties. Obamaism is centrist policy with a few social democratic elements. New labour and most of the current “SPD” in Germany are even further from “socialism”. That’s actually part of the problem we face: the neocons and neoliberals have taken over virtually all mainstream media and centrist and nominally social democratic parties and now they have screwed up things real bad and noone is left on the moderate left to take over the business…


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