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GrandFew

People seem to forget Portugal was under a fascist dictatorship until the 1970s, it was toppled by a people's communist movement. I can't imagine there would be widespread dislike of the left in that context. I have a big concern with this aspect of your study: "See Online Appendix Figures B16 and B17. The one single exception here is Fianna Fáil in Ireland, which we still choose to classify with left-wing parties to study a coalition of sufficient size (if we were to exclude it, the total vote share of the “left” would fall below 30% throughout the period considered)" FF are not by any stretch other than the American two party system left wing, and the vote share of the "left" is over 30% without them, I think you need to take this study with a pinch of salt. If the Irish section is this wrong the rest probably is too and if they made an exception in their data collection and then repeatedly trotted that exception out as an example of variance they're probably not the most reliable.


Grallllick

You're not wrong about Portugal but Spain was also under a fascist dictatorship until the 1970s and it's a different story entirely there.


JackmanH420

True but the scenarios were different. In Spain the king led the return to democracy whereas in Portugal the revolution was caused by leftists in the military.


JackmanH420

I think the anti austerity/water charges movement was a factor in this. Instead of being captured by right wing populism there was a major mobilization against cuts, led by unions, Trotskyists and other socialist groups which lasted for many years and was fairly successful.


Karma-bangs

The people lead from the front as a community mobilisation. Joe Higgins was out but marginal. SF and other so called lefties were nowhere to be seen. As for the mainstreamers, they showed their antiparhy to ordinary people. The left is a joke in Ireland and they only tried to piggyback when the anti water tax movement was winning. SF is no left wing party, just because they rob banks - more Gerry Kelly than Ned Kelly.


TheEmporersFinest

It helps to actually have a genuine left leaning party that has community roots in working class areas and is good at organizing. To say in most western countries its between left and right parties is losing sight of how deliberately muddled the political playing field is in those countries, particularly ones that trend towards two parties like the US and the UK. What you have there is the maximalist neoliberal party that appeals to cultural chauvinisms and the promise of suring up some petty privilege you think might unfairly help you as an individual, and the technocratic neoliberal party that on an economic level can at best honestly sell itself as favouring a slower decline of living standards, and which pointedly does not indulge the same crude chauvinisms(except for class, they still love their class chauvinism even if it manifests a bit less crudely). Economic stuff is deliberately kept off the table. Your vote doesn't control economic stuff, that's all behind closed doors, worked out with "business leaders", and is really so obvious and "natural" you're insolent to think you should get any of your uppity democracy on it. So of course in that scenario "politics" just goes insane. It has to all be a big oroborous of arguing about the same floating cultural shit forever without ever being allowed to touch the underlying structural gears that might make a substantial difference to even those same cultural issues.


dbenway

Good post - findings only really hold if you accept “left” as a vote for being slowly ground in to dust by neoliberal technocrats - not exactly a mystery why workers wouldn’t support that. Factors like voting systems and the presence/absence of a dominant right wing propaganda machine a la Murdoch are also very relevant.


theimmortalgoon

I’m not convinced this is unique in the modern era. Ultra-right wing parties, prominently the fascists, had a lot of working class appeal. In a perhaps overly broad characterization of the fascist movement, one can imagine the small store owner being frustrated both by the Tesco being built across the street and the workers he employs demanding higher wages and a more stable schedule. This petite bourgeois store owner, one could imagine, would be kind of person interested in a “blood and soil” rightwing party that promised to make the foreign elites pay, and segments of the working class have historically been drawn into such a wake. While I’m not saying that all such movements are fascist, you can see that general direction. Brexit was almost a parody of this; the elite silver-spooned PM tussled his hair and made every attempt to look lower class in order to turn a bunch of working class people into a mob fearing EU elites and evil immigrants waiting to take your jobs. The US has been a little more sustained at this. Since LBJ attempted to bring electricity, plumbing, and basic voting rights to the rural poor, the Republicans have gone to the wretched trailer parks leased by impoverished factory workers and said, “The Democrats hate how you live. They hate your way of life and want to force you to live like big city folk. What’s wrong with pride in how well your family has done on its own?” Even though the Republican would fly back to New York on a private jet, the message landed. It was not an economic argument, it was a completely false cultural argument. In a crass example, the new Kid Rock video has him and a band of Canadians dismissing any leftist (or for that matter centrist) approach refraining, “Ain’t nobody gonna tell me how to live!” It’s an argument on the American right that really stuck. The coal miner, once the backbone of the union movement, was told to stick with his boss because the evil leftists want to change how he lives. And this was a type of fear that the right tends to use. This is, in short, the specific way that the working class in the US was flipped to support the right. This expanded in the 1990s. The left was condemned as being out-of-touch and “politically correct.” Nobody, to my knowledge, ever said, “I’m proudly politically correct.” It was a rightwing movement born on rightwing radio. You don’t think I should be using racial slurs at work? I’m sorry to offend you, I didn’t realize you were so politically correct.” Or, “The Democrats want to make me shut up about how much I love my country because it’s politically incorrect to be a patriot.” It was an effective and insincere rally for free speech that was not free speech. “I should be able to say what I want, and you cannot say anything to refute that.” Eventually that became exposed as the fraud that it was, but has been since resurrected as being “woke.” In each of these instances, it’s a solidification of the idea that the working class is inherently rightwing, or at least unwilling to change. Added to that, as brought up by people in this thread better than I could articulate, Labour and the Democrats have ceased to be left wing parties in any meaningful way. As a result, there are only distant voices saying that people do not have to live in poverty; and a loud message that it’s a virtue to live in poverty, but it’s the fault of the immigrants and not your billionaire boss that runs the town. …this turned into a rant, my apologies. The TLDR is that these findings are not unusual in the 20th century, it is concerning, and writing this has been more fun than my job.


Sotex

> In particular, the two countries in our data set where this reversal has not yet occurred Give us 4 years


CulturalPossibilty

Irish people are behind the curve of seeing the left in the same way Americans or Germans do. The left here are painted as pro workers while abroad they are at a stage of being seen as the woke brigade. The left are woke here too tbf, but it seems they do just enough of it to get that vote off millennials while holding onto the older economic socialist types. As for the education levels, universities are extremely woke environment's while the likes of a factory floor or building site aren't woke at all. My 2 cents.


x111raptor

*Uses the phrases "woke" and "millennial"* Argument is thus invalid.


CulturalPossibilty

Well considering that the international left uses those terms, you may do what you want with it


x111raptor

I have never heard or read anything from a leftist where they used those two words with any degree of seriousness.


CulturalPossibilty

Millenial is an extremely common word, no different than saying Gen X or baby boomer, even a short stint watching CNN you'll hear the word. As I said in the first comment, Irish leftist dialogue isn't as far down that line of thinking as it is abroad.


GabhaNua

Was common 3-4 years ago by progressive types in the US. I can assure you, the right didn't invent it


[deleted]

Thankfully this sub isn't reflective of Irish political leanings. It's interesting to see the knuckledraggers on the far left are happy to associate themselves with Sinn Fein when it suits them. The far left, socialists, Trotskyites, Marxists etc are a tiny, irrelevant aspect of Irish politics. You people need help.


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eggbart_forgetfulsea

> They havent gotten into power Labour has been in power multiple times. > Certainly most working class people seem to regard them very negatively from my experiences while its the college age well off folk that tend to support them most. Not only were Sinn Féin the most popular party across all age groups up to the over 65s at the last election, [its also the party of choice for a plurality of C2DE voters at 42%](https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/irish-times-poll-battles-between-larger-parties-increasingly-fought-along-socio-economic-lines-1.4595441?).


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eggbart_forgetfulsea

An argument irrelevant to your first. A socialist was Tánaiste in Cosgrave's government.


Revan0001

A majority socialist government has never got into power. Being in a coalition requires moderation and frequently means that members of said coalition get their wings clipped