Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The ideological crossroads for the young left

I'm not 30 yet so I can still call myself young and I followed much the same path to my current ideological state (socially liberal, left on economics) that publius describes,

For years, I’ve prided myself on being a good Clinton/Blair-style liberal. Like them, I’ve generally considered myself socially liberal, pro-market, and skeptical of the traditional “Left,” which had viewed the world through class-colored lenses. In recent years, though, I’ve been slowly but steadily drifting Leftward, and the pace has quickened of late.

To be clear, I don’t mean “Left” in the Limbaugh caricatured sense, but in the traditional economic sense. I’m finding myself much more comfortable with efforts to reduce inequality by, for instance, strengthening unions or taxing the top brackets at much higher rates. At the same time, I’ve become more convinced that, while markets are essential, they need a lot of public and political intervention to make them work well.

The point of all this navel gazing is that I think many liberals (particularly younger ones) may be at an ideological crossroads. For the past 20 years or so, the Clinton/Blair ideology has been a fairly consensus view among not just mainstream Beltway pundits (e.g., the late Russert), but among younger liberals who came of age in this era.

Go read the whole thing. It really matches up almost exactly with where I find myself today. I think it's fair to say that I was "radicalized" by the Bush administration and the legacy of the Reagan Era.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

You are so historical in your orientation that I hadn't realized that you were so young (I'm fast starting to identify as middle aged).