Only a handful of European states are currently governed by left-wing governments, and several of the traditionally largest left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party in France, have experienced substantial drops in support. Jan Rovny argues that while many commentators have linked the left’s decline to the late-2000s financial crisis, the weakening of Europe’s left reflects deep structural and technological changes that have reshaped European society, leaving left-wing parties out in the cold.
Last year was an ‘annus horribilis’ for the European left. In Austria, France, and the Czech Republic, the left lost its governing position, and the same might occur in Italy in a few weeks. Today, only Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Slovakia, and Malta are governed by the left. The 2017 collapse was precipitous. The Dutch Workers’ party went from roughly 25% to 6%; the French Socialist Party went from roughly 30% to 7%. The Czech Social Democrats went from 20% to 7%. And the Czech Communist party saw its worst result in its almost 100-year history.
It may be tempting to connect the failure of the European left to the recent economic recession. It was during this recession or its aftermath that many left-wing governments (in Britain, Spain, Denmark) lost their mandates. Undeniably, the recession with its massive social cost caused much electoral instability, and opened a political door to various populist challengers. It would be, however, naive to suggest that the economic crisis was anything other than a catalyst. It was an accelerator that speeded up the onset of consequences of a structural development that we have been witnessing for at least three decades.
The weakening of the political left has been long in the making. It has been largely caused by deep structural and technological change that has altered the face of European societies, changed the economic patterns of the continent, and given a renewed vigour to politics of identity. In this process, traditional left-wing parties have lost not only the grasp of their main political narrative, they have lost much of their traditional electorates. These electorates did not so much ‘switch’ away from the left, they have rather disappeared as a comprehensible social group.
What was left behind?
Let us start at the beginning by asking what was the European left in its heyday. The defining characteristic of the post-war European left (which was distinct from the eastern European left of the time) was the democratic fight for the rights of working people. Shortly after the Second World War, most of the mainstream European left rejected Communism, and accepted a democratic path towards the emancipation and support of the working class. During the golden age of post-war development, the left participated in the construction of European welfare regimes, and where it has been most successful – in Scandinavia – it built up universalistic, egalitarian, and predominantly tax-funded and state-run systems of welfare provision.
In this construction, the parties of the left have primarily leaned on a significant and relatively homogenous group of working class electorates. These electorates were since the late 19th century defined by a strong sense of group belonging, or ‘class consciousness’. This consciousness was constructed from the cradle and lasted to the grave. It was passed on from parents to children, and cultivated by a plethora of party-associated organisations, such as daycare centres, sports clubs, choral societies, women’s clubs, and others. Together with workers’ unions organising the work on factory floors, and later in offices, these organisations helped construct a working-class subculture that permeated the social as well as the political, and that ensured the electoral stability of the European left.
Seymour Martin Lipset suggested that the greatest achievement of the left had been the lifting of the working class away from authoritarianism and towards cosmopolitanism espoused by left-wing intellectuals. Indeed, the general success of the left in capturing and ‘educating’ the lower social strata profoundly shaped European party systems. In western Europe, the political left has been uniformly and continuously associated with progressive policies not only in the economic domain, but also in non-economic matters such as the environment, women’s rights, and (slowly and shyly) the rights of minorities – both ethnic and sexual.
Somewhat paradoxically, the left’s success precipitated its own demise in a dialectic fashion. First, the emancipation of the working class – primarily the extension of access to higher education – changed the working class and its dependence on left-wing subcultures and organisations. Second, the left’s enabling of the search for rights allowed younger generations to seek personal liberation from traditional hierarchies, including those of the left.
From proletariat to ‘precariat’
Having lived in Gothenburg, Sweden, the home of the Volvo, I eagerly visited the Volvo factory, looking forward to meeting the contemporary proletariat. What did I see? Halls and halls of conveyor belts shuffling skeletons that would become fancy SUVs in about an hour, while silver robotic arms added various parts to them. And the working class? I saw precious few of them. They were mostly young women, sitting on comfortable chairs surrounded by computer screens and keyboards, listening to their iPods… I later learned that these workers earn as much as Swedish university professors (that means – a lot).
The traditional working class as we imagine it from the times of Henry Ford does not exist anymore. Most of the workers at Volvo with their above-average pay, comfort and job security can hardly be considered as such. Today’s working class is much less visible, and much more atomised. Today’s working class are the masses of unskilled service workers who predominantly cook, clean or drive. Often, their jobs are short-term or part-time, and low-paying. These people do not come into contact with each other nearly as much as the traditional factory-floor workers did. They are more often than not from diverse minority backgrounds, and thus are separated by cultural boundaries. In short, these people have significantly reduced ability to organise, and they do not. As my research with Allison Rovny shows, their political belonging is weak, and – in the absence of a formative subculture – it is malleable.
The extension of access to higher education has increased the individual ability of people to process more complex information and make their own choices. As education also brings better jobs, this process has created more cognitively and financially independent citizens. The 1968 generation opted for more socially liberal and less hierarchical politics, forming new social movements and later political parties that espoused left-wing economics, but that were defined by their social and cultural openness.
In the context of the changing working class and the developing political supply, the traditional left parties became parties of the new middle class – primarily of the increasing numbers of white-collar state employees. In doing so, the traditional left responded to the Green challenge by adopting more environmental and generally socially liberal profiles, but also it slowly but surely abandoned the new ‘precariat’ – the new service working classes and those in poor or irregular employment. Politically pulled by social-liberalism (of the ‘new’ left), and by economic moderation to the centre (preferred by a new group of urban white-collar workers and ‘yuppies’), the traditional left opened a political breach – a gaping political vacuum around those seeking economic protection, and a certain cultural traditionalism. The salience of this left and traditionalist political space, vacated by the mainstream left parties, would be boosted by another important structural development – the growth of transnational exchange.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was a symbolic milestone, opening not just communist eastern Europe, but the entire developed world up to increased international exchange. My ongoing research with Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe and David Attewell shows that the three decades since have witnessed significant liberalisation of international trade, expressed in the formation of the WTO, and in the deepening of European integration, which has always practically centred around the free flow of goods, capital and people. The opening of European borders, as well as various conflicts on Europe’s doorstep and beyond, further increased migration into and within Europe.
The rise of transnationalism – of extensive cross-border flows of goods, services, money and people – is firstly an economic phenomenon. It replaces domestic products and labourers with cheaper foreign alternatives. Transnationalism thus divides society into those who, while happily consuming cheaper products, earn their income in either sheltered (public) or internationally competitive sectors on the one hand, and those, on the other hand, whose livelihood is threatened by foreign competition in the form of imported products, and imported labourers. Transnationalism thus creates economic winners and losers, who are increasingly keenly aware of their status in our globalised societies.
Transnationalism is, however, also a cultural phenomenon. While the privileged enjoy cross-border travel for business and pleasure on an unparalleled scale, they gain experiences, learn languages, build friendships and, on occasion, have found families across borders and cultures; those with limited financial, and educational means live in a world defined by national boundaries, customs, and language. The inflow of culturally distinct migrants into urban centres furthers this alienation. This opens a cultural chasm between the transnational cosmopolitans, concentrating in larger cities that increasingly embrace pluri-culturalism, and national traditionalists mostly present in smaller, peripheral localities, fearful of immigrants, and sceptical of their immigrant-accepting cosmopolitan co-nationals.
Transnationalism redefines the political space by dissociating economic progressivism from socio-cultural openness. Transnationalism associates cosmopolitanism with open economic exchange on the one side, and national traditionalism with economic protectionism on the other. In doing so, transnationalism effectively shatters the old electoral coalition of the left. The naturally protectionist workers are pulled away from the naturally cosmopolitan intellectuals. This brings us back to the great political void, to the question of who will represent the new ‘precariat’, seeking economic protection, and cultural traditionalism. Transnationalism also increases the salience of populist anti-elitism, as rural traditionalists feel unrepresented by, shunned by, and distinct from the largely urban, cosmopolitan elite. The populist call to the ‘common man’, is a call of economic and cultural protection against the transformations of transnationalism.
The left out
In shifting its focus to the new middle classes, the left let the new ‘precariat’ fall towards nationalist protectionism, where it became fertile ground for the populist radical right. The populist radical right has been around for a good while. First, as an anti-tax, anti-welfare critique of the left, but later, with the dawn of transnationalism, it tapped into the sensitive issue of immigration with game-changing vigour. Attracting a wide coalition of economic interests through its blurry economic proposals, as my earlier research shows, the radical right married its traditional petit bourgeois electorate to swaths of the new ‘precariat’, and outperformed the left as the dominant political voice of the contemporary working classes.
The transformation of the left, however, offers opportunities for diverse political entrepreneurs. As my forthcoming work with Jonathan Polk, as well as with Bruno Palier and Allison Rovny demonstrates, in countries that experienced particularly drastic economic downturn during the economic recession, such as Greece and Spain, and where the ‘precariat’ consequently includes many young and educated citizens, the populist challengers are mostly radical left parties that call for a return to true – economically interventionist, and culturally liberal – left-wing politics. In other places, populists eschewing comprehensible political labels gain electoral support largely through the votes of the ‘precarious’ left-behind.
The transformation of the proletariat into the ‘precariat’, together with the dawn of transnationalism, have reframed the political field. Post-war politics saw economic interests – primarily the extent and contours of the welfare state – as the dominant political contest that subsumed or largely ignored other, non-economic divides. The new politics of transnationalism promises to be a politics of identity, with the cleaving lines defined by ethno-national labels, as well as by the distinction between large urban centres and the rural periphery. As my work with Gary Marks, Liesbet Hooghe and David Attewell suggests, these divides may be as deep, sticky and formative, as were the traditional class lines of the 20th century. While these divides are as economically rooted, as they are cultural, the new political entrepreneurs will find it easier to frame their narratives in identity-based terms. We should thus expect to see economic issues couched in non-economic discourses of national and local identity.
This competition frame is foreign to traditional left-wing parties, whose identity was always rooted in economic class. They are facing a struggle to adapt to this changing dimensional structure. Recent presidential elections in France as well as in the Czech Republic demonstrate the shift, as both countries saw a leftish authoritarian opposed by a centrist liberal in the second round, while the traditional left imploded. Interestingly, in the context of this new political competition, the west resembles the east, and the mainstream left everywhere is left out in the cold.
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Note: This article gives the views of the author, not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics. Featured image credit: © European Union 2013 – European Parliament (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Jan Rovny – Sciences Po, Paris
Jan Rovny is an Assistant Professor at Sciences Po.
Excellent article. One detail I find is missed in the analysis of all this (not the author’s necessarily, but as a whole), is to what extent the established political left has become beholden to the kinds of moneyed interest it claims to be opposed to. The transition from an economic focus to an identarian focus in many left wing parties seems to correlate with the infusions of funding from those for whom a left wing economic focus would be inconvenient and unprofitable. There are also many hints of identarian “COintel” being used against grassroots left wing movements to derail and divide them – planting operatives in those movements to seed division based on race, gender and sexuality. Many members of the ‘Occupy’ movement have accounted a sudden influx of this at meetings – a shift in focus from the crimes of bankers and politicians to obsessive “oppression point scoring”, and subsequently many people walked away, and all momentum was lost shortly afterward.
Strange to still call “left” parties that are neoliberal. When their economic policies consist in giving more privileges to the wealthy, they habe no “left” left in them.
The fall of social-democracy lies in their treason of common people, leaving them with no electoral base.
Your narrative is flawed as it does not recognize this basic fact. You can use fancy words and sophisticated concepts, if you fail to grasp that the political field has been captured by the oligarchy, you miss the point.
Yes, this is true. Tony Blair was an especially notorious example of this with his “Nu-Labour” party that supported the war in Iraq, and also supported mass immigration that brought down the wages of the working class. Blair was a committed neoliberal globalist. In what world is this “liberal”? Blair tried to argue that his commitment to “diversity” and “multiculturalism” made his party leftist, but people saw through this and he wound up angering all sides of the political spectrum– traditional conservatives and moderates were furious at the cultural conflicts and loss of social cohesion from mass migration, particularly Muslim migration, while traditional liberals were angered by the wage-depressing effects.
Europe’s populits today are often called “Right” but that’s a bit of a misnomer. They do oppose mass immigration particularly from the Middle East and Africa where overpopulation is a problem, yes, and they do argue for social cohesion and cultural protection for Europe’s indigenous peoples. But on economic matters they support traditional social democratic policies like universal health care and affordable education. Neoliberal “faux leftists” like Tony Blair and NuLabour, or other multicultural mass migration promoters like Angela Merkel, betray both the traditional left (working class, unions, high wages) and the right (social cohesion, protection of Europe’s natives) with their support of mass migration, which is neoliberal crony capitalists’ favorite tool to depress wages. This is why Europe’s supposed leftists like Tony Blair–and to some extent also center-rightists like Merkel– are collapsing against the European populists.
The comment above is very simplistic. New Labour was successful despite I imagine being classified as a “neoliberal” party by these commenters. They were more left-wing with Miliband and Corbyn but still lost those two elections. They were much more lefty before Blair, but couldn’t win power.
If you look for answers to this by saying how neoliberal parties like Labour are we’re not going to come up with a sensible explanation for why left-wing parties struggle today in a way they didn’t in the past. This article is taking the explanation from changes in society, rather than the explanation of left-wing parties “selling out” their voters that you always hear said (especially by populist parties who love this idea) and I think that take is correct.
The left-wing party that was successful in the 60’s and 70’s doesn’t exist anymore and couldn’t possibly be successful today because it had its success rooted in a different type of society (one of unions, local organisations and communities which has barely any relevance to today’s society).
Good summary but …
How well does this narrative of social democrat decline hold up if you classify parties/governments by common policy standards, not party labels ?
Take one crude measure: state spending as proportion of GDP. In the UK its 37%, the “left” Labour proposals would have raised it to around 40% (IFS data), in Germany around 44%, Denmark 50%.
This narrative talks about social democracy losing out – but if you analyse it as common policies much of northern Europe, at least, remains firmly in the social democratic space.
The fall of the Socialist parties in Spain and France surely owes something to the their sagas of corruption and incompetence – and how do you classify Macron ? Social democrat, liberal (left would say neo-liberal but they say that of everyone who isn’t part of their faction) ?
I’m surprised you didn’t mention Poland, which is the “poster child” for your thesis. In Poland, The constantly growing support for the right-wing populist Law and Justice party (PiS) is substantially due to it promising and promptly implementing a very generous child benefit. While this may appear to be a social-democratic standard, but in fact in recent years left-wing parties have strongly supported increasing the provision and subsidy of daycare facilities rather than simply giving money to parents. It is interesting to compare how this issue has developed in Canada. In the early 2000’s, the liberal and social-democratic parties wanted to go the daycare route, but they were defeated by Conservatives, who increased direct child benefits. By 2015, the Liberals promised increased child benefits, and won the election (mainly for other reasons, of course). The approach to the question of supporting families with children is one which left-wing parties need to re-examine, since it exposes a fundamental difference in the way families are defined ideologically. The traditional one is that of mothers staying in the home, where possible relying on retired grandparents for assistance, while the “modern” one is of both parents working, sharing tasks equally and relying on institutional childcare facilities, with money going to employ daycare workers and funding their facilities. Thrown into this vision of family are the “gender diversity” issues, which appear to have gained enormous importance for left-wing movements. This issue connects with the “transnational mobility” questions, since several European countries are concerned with preserving their cultural identity and population in the future. Countries such as Canada and New Zealand, founded via mass migrations from many sources, have long ago de facto chosen to reproduce via immigration, while countries such as the Central European ones prefer not to, and hence their efforts to increase their birthrates via assistance to families and impeding access to birth control and abortion.
A good article. I would simply add, as a clarification, that the demise of Europe’s Left (its avowed radical Left as much as its centre-left) is above all a matter of hypocrisy and misguided policy with respect to mass immigration, embodied by the neoliberal betrayals of Tony Blair and NuLabour in Britain and his Continental counterparts. Blair called himself a Leftist, yet he pushed for British involvement in an imperial war i Iraq alongside the neocon President George W. Bush, clearly a betrayal of traditional Leftism in any country. Then on top of that, he became a committed Globalist on economics and migration. Big business and multinational companies love mass immigration because it provides cheap labour that depresses workers’ wages and, esp. when cultural conflicts arise, gets the working class fighting each other rather than the big capitalists, classic divide and conquer. Extreme libertarians also like mass immigration for similar reasons, since it reduces support for safety nets and social democratic protections like universal health care and public education.
Blair and NuLabour pushed for the biggest increase in mass migration in British history, which had a severe wage-depression effect for British workers. Blair tried to argue that his mass migration support was Leftist because it was an anti-racist policy supporting diversity and multiculturalism– “rubbing the Right’s noses in diversity” as his party called it. But the British working class, the Left’s traditional constituency, saw right through Blair’s claims. The result was that Blair and the “globalist neoliberal Leftists” wound up angering everyone across the spectrum–infuriating traditional conservatives and moderates alarmed at the danger to culture and social cohesion from mass immigration particularly from the Muslim Middle East and Africa (with their overpopulation crises posing a constant problem), yet also angering traditional liberals, trade unions and British poor and working class, who were hit hard by the wage depression from Blair’s mass immigration policies and Iraq War support. NuLabour delivered the worst of those both worlds and lost any constituency.
This effect has bee even more pronounced on the Continent since those countries don’t have Britain’s centuries-old First Past the Post system, with Parliamentary power-sharing being the norm, and populist parties are able to exert tremendous influence as a result. Although the populists are commonly labeled “Right”, this is misleading– they’re anti-globalist. This means they’re “right” in their strong opposition to mass immigration from outside the EU to preserve social cohesion and culture, but in other matters, they’re more like the traditional Left int heir support for social capitalist and social democratic standards like safety nets, universal health care, family parental leave, lower cost uni education and good national infrastructure, as well as populists’ opposition to expensive military interventions in the Middle East like Blair’s Iraq War. In fact it should be added that not only the European Left, but also Center-Right officials like Angela Merkel have also been declining severely in the face of the populists and for similar reasons, ex. Merkel’s support of mass Syrian and Afghan immigration that enraged both traditional conservatives and moderates for social reasons, as well as traditional leftists who just saw it as a cheap balour grab to undermine European wages. Every week Merkel’s hold on power falters more and more because of it. Even in the decreasing cases where traditional parties or independents (like Emmanuel Macron in France) have been able to hold on, it’s because they’ve largely adopted the populists’ policies in practice, such as Macron’s extremely tough security bill which in practice is an anti-immigration bill leading to deportations of Muslim and African migrants (or their further migration either back home or to ex. the UK, US or Canada). Neoliberal globalism, with its fondness for mass migration as a tool to push down wages and social cohesion, is a disastrous political strategy that’s doomed the European Left and will do the same for any center-right parties that support it.
Almost a year has given some perspective, and exposure to new results and ideas. In March, Thomas Piketty put out a paper on voting patterns, “Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict (Evidence from France, Britain and the US, 1948-2017)”, which showed that the changes in party allegiance discussed in the article above had been developing since about 1960. I was a bit surprised that Jan Rovny and his colleagues did not refer to the economic inequality work of Milanovic, and of Piketty in “Capital”, as popularised by Mark Blyth and Thomas Frank, and the concept of “Somewheres” versus “Anywheres” in David Goodhart’s book, “The Road to Somewhere” (2017). These all cover the same ground as Rovny and colleagues, and perhaps our understanding of it all is getting better.
I have a nagging thought that the two “sides” of this equation are pretty evenly split, and that we may not be too far from the liberal “Anywhere”/”GAL” side prevailing demographically over the “Somewhere”/”TAM” side, despite the pauperisation of the middle class and the growth of the precarious gig economy.The Democrats in the US have been hoping in vain for this to happen, but their problem is now clearly in the excess weight small states have in the US political system. In European states such as Poland, the inability of the left to get its act together and form an electoral alliance with moderate conservatives, liberals and neo-liberals keeps the authoritarian and nationalist populists in power, or gives them a path to power. The leaders of existing major parties are incapable of transcending their personal ambitions and ideological frameworks in the interest of prevailing over the more determined and coherent authoritarian populists.
I think the left needs a Make The Left Great Again movement. The left used to champion sensible thinking but have lost the title as sensible thinking has gotten in the way of its political aims.
I’ve skimmed across hundreds of articles asking what’s wrong with people and why aren’t they voting for the left rather than asking what’s wrong with the left and how can we fix it?
At present the left is over reliant on academic argument which is sometimes detached from reality, theoretical rather than practical. Ideology is often based on academic study without taking into account the limitations. It is also overly invested in idealism over realism.
It’s very hard to understand what’s wrong with the left being heavily on the left or being part of the problem. The way the right experience the left is very different to the way the left experiences itself. A good way to find out what is wrong with the left is to take a look at what people are saying about it. If you don’t feel that applies to you as an individual you might not be representative of the left.
In my experience of the left I’m not thinking about the random person I might not even notice that might be of the left but my negative experiences are of when politicians treat us like rubbish or when members of the extreme left are given free reign but not held to account in the same way members of the extreme right would be. It’s harder to see the extreme political bias for the left in the media when you’re in the left.
The left’s approach to thinking about topics and tackling issues has degraded in quality. At some point it went from sensible to sensibilities.
I thing the biggest and most significant contribution to this was the left’s approach to mass immigration. Immigration in many western countries has increased greatly between post world war and the beginning of the century accruing both accumulatively and increasing significantly especially at the turn of the century.
By some point earlier in the century for most countries and their populations it crossed well beyond the threshold of acceptance. While most people support immigration, most people in western countries tend to be against mass immigration. Often these two are conflated and the alternative to mass immigration, zero immigration (isolationist) or forced negative migration are imposed as a false dichotomy of two extremes.
The left politically has continually maintained those policies and supported them often in the face of overwhelming opposition. To do this they have had to abandon certain things that might be against those policies even if necessary reason. It has also meant treating the common people as if they are scum of the Earth, anyone who opposes their policies must be racist.
This has a knock on effect which isn’t always immediate but that will eventually be reflected at the ballot box. The negative aspects such as this will build up to overwhelm all the good things about the left.
The left has lost it’s way and needs to be self critical. At present the right are doing that for the left.
There is a video from the labour campaign for example which is being heavily criticised by the right on solid grounds.
It also exposes how much the left’s thinking has drifted from reality and common sense.
The labour campaign has a video with a mock debate between an actor pretending to be a right wing representative and an audience.
It’s a calm debate but on the topic of taxing corporations the right wing character says that its not possible to afford to pay for the things that are needed from mass immigration such as extra schools and hospitals because he has to give money to corporations.
Even normal people on the left with common sense find this thinking nonsensical but it passes withing the primary left wing political party in a major nation. The left has taken a wrong turn and is progressing down the wrong road but refuses to turn back. This results in an ever increasing amount of nonsensical thinking to maintain the belief of still being on track.
When people don’t fall for the nonsense more aggressive measures are deployed such as abuse, jamming, disproportionate penalisation, censorship and criminalising dissent.
Whether left wing or right wing anyone on the ground with their sensitivity intact can see this. The left has a great amount of intellectual resources but these are sadly squandered desperately seeking out other explanations. Is it the voting system, did they solve all their problems, was it that people are gullible and fell for propaganda, etc.
The real reasons are out of grasp for the left because they’ve become to taboo and toxic to properly approach. They’re allowed to look everywhere except where the problem resides. That area is fenced off and off limits.
The left still has many real problems for it to play a part in but is consumed by covering for its mistakes and refusing to let go. Things today are changing at a faster pace than ever and are more complicated than ever. We still have not addressed many huge shifts in society along with the problems that come with them. To approach one of the most challenging times on record we need two functioning halves of a political system.
Unless the left reforms and returns to reality it’s going to be very difficult to achieve real progress while flying with only one wing.
I find that the left has also become very invested in more elite interests. Though it might not have been deliberate their thinking aligned very well with what benefits the well to do. There’s a widening band somewhere between the well off and immigrants that’s treated like dirt, as though of lower worth than foreign people when the first duty of a leadership is to make sure their people are provided for and cater too before moving on to others. There is a rise of parties such as Britain First. It’s a crude reactionary party but it spells out what’s being neglected in its name. For our leaders, their first duty is to our own people.
If you try to explain that to a representative of the left they’ll immediately try to find what is wrong with it, for example, attack it with accusations of racism rather than consider the needs of an underclass or those impacted by their policies in a way that’s very insulting and mistreats people rather than dismissing invalid notions to reduce the complain to the valid notions. This creates a large vacuum to be filled by new parties and uprisings. These may start with the canaries, the most extreme types of people and don’t look good at first but as a problem is increasingly ignored the more and more it is adopted by sound and reasonable more balanced people.
It’s not only the left that fails. The right also failed as the problem had reached the point where it’s hard to fix without taking game changing measures that do not sit well with complacency and that politicians wouldn’t want to be directly responsible for so in the UK they put it into the hands of the people by which point it had reached typing point and they voted for the hard choice. Even where the right has failed there’s a fear of ever returning to the left as they tend to only double down further on the things that drove people away from them in the first place.
For many developed countries people at the bottom of the strata receive a raw deal. The EU expanded quickly adding additional countries that had not yet achieved similar wealth parity. This saw immigrants from Eastern Europe sometimes with a friction inducing sense of the right to enjoy our nation’s opportunity rather than an attitude of being grateful for the opportunity working in developed nations that would earn enough to buy housing and security back home with the much lower living costs. Meanwhile those at the bottom have to compete with even more people with wages slumbering while house prices skyrocket in part from the additional demand as well with finding themselves socially isolated tourists in their own homes surrounded by people they don’t have any connection with.
There is a huge disparity between how the left treats different people that many find abusive. Certain groups can do no wrong where as others can’t do anything right. In my view people from cities act as though they fear immigrants because they are afraid to criticise mass immigration. They’re often and increasingly greatly outnumbered by immigrants.
This makes the left the worst party to promote immigration because it’s the worst equipped to acknowledge problems that might arise from either side and address them. If there is a problem with immigrants you can’t even say anything about it and nothing will be done about it. The problem is nearly always going to be the native and not the immigrant for the left. Within the sphere of left wing thought it’s as though we must accommodate immigrants. The left gives anyone good reason to fear immigrants. If they present any kind of a challenge or a problem it’s always going to be put on us.
I don’t think anyone I know that is turning away from the left trust them to ever stand up for us. They will always stand up for immigrants. They will never accept the problems the mass immigration brings and they will never accept if there might be a problem on the side of a given immigrant or selection of immigrants.
To move forward and have any chance of a true restoration the left has to move out of its comfort zone. There are hard, difficult problems but it’s mostly avoidant with more interest in how things will look than getting things done.