I’ve posted this (below) on Facebook already, but feel it should get the widest attention possible, at least among Radical/Socialist anti-Brexiters in the UK and anti-Trumpists in the USA. (The others won’t want to be bothered with it.)
Is it time, incidentally, for us ‘intellectuals’ who fear being dismissed as ‘elitists’ if we ever imply that our opponents are ‘stupid’, to get over that and tell it as it is? I’ve generally used terms like ‘misled’ up to now, which I still feel is right and fair. ‘Stupid’ would imply that there’s no hope for them, which is a depressing thought for a rational and thinking democrat. But I despair at the fellow in Hartlepool, for example, who was quoted saying that he voted Conservative because ‘the Conservatives have given us nine food banks, and Labour didn’t give us any’. ‘Misled’ doesn’t come anywhere near it.
But then of course democracy isn’t a matter of thought, but of feelings. That’s what the Right – people like Demonic Cummings – long knew, and what gives them the advantage over us.
Anyhow, read the article. It’s a long’un, but well worth it.
“Irrational” is probably a better substitute for “stupid”.
Interestingly, the current vogue for fascism in the working-class is even more irrational than its incarnation in the 1920s and 1930s. National Socialism did actually promote the interests of volkisch Germans; for example, unemployment in 1930s Germany was low compared with the situation in the US, the UK etc. As long as you were not a member of an excluded group, the Third Reich looked after you. If one takes a very narrow view of what constitutes the rational, a proletarian vote for the NSDAP was explicable in terms of self-interest. (Of course the situation altered dramatically after 1939, and especially after 1941, when the Nazi leadership threw German workers to the wolves.)
In contrast, there is no intention on the part of the Trump-GOP or the Johnson Tories to look after their working-class supporters, except at the level of pandering to their prejudices. The promises of Brexit and MAGA are totally empty and a smokescreen for policies to expand the fortunes of the rich at the expense of everyone else.
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There is nothing new about masses of working class people voting Conservative, if they had not there would never have been so many Conservative governments in Britain between 1887-2019. This was for many reasons, and rarely out of material self-interest, and while they may have been deluded and misled it does not mean they were, or are, fascistic.
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Agreed. But they they can become strung along by Fascists.