the difference in organizing on the (political) right and left29 Aug 2017
i’ve been in conversation with friends for a long time about why the right and left (on the political spectrum) seem to function so differently. of particular interest is how the left seems to be so bad at fomenting beneficial change for all while the right seems to be so good at creating change that’s good for the wealthy.
it seems to me like the extreme and/or wealthy folks in right are just really good at enrolling people who won’t benefit from specific changes in believing in and advocating for those changes. it seems to happen again and again that white rich folks convince poor rich folks that what the rich folks want will also be good for them. but it’s literally never been true in history. so many poor white folks in america vote against their class interests (often because they’ve been convinced that their race interests (which are never spoken to them) supercede their class ones). see dog whistle politics.
when dcc and i would talk about this, it was clear to us (and i think this was her point) that the right and left, because of their demographics, function in fundamentally different ways. the left, which is diverse, wants a plurality of people to succeed. that means holding and balancing the interests of lots of different people. this makes it inherently difficult to create alignment (which is a problem when you have systems structured to need 51% or 66% agreement to move something).
right, which is also diverse, but seemingly less diverse, has a worldview that tends to be more authoritarian. this shows up at the very least in the way the nuclear christian household is headed up by the man. the father is the final decider of most things, even when he is incapable of understanding or knowing what’s needed to make good decisions. he is seen as responsible for the well being of the family unit. at the group level, this creates dynamics that allow party leaders to, more or less without question, make decisions on behalf of the party and people just get in line and vote how they’re told. on the left, we just splinter into a 1000 different independent parties, believing that we all should vote our values.
ok, i’m gonna stop here, but tomorrow i hope to write about what i actually was planning to write about today: mancur olson’s work on collective action.
words / writing / post-processing
402w / 12min / 7min