The Modern Left

The New Left of the 1960s and 1970s rapidly devolved into different factions. There are environmentalists, civil rights and Black activists, poverty activists, feminists, intellectuals in the academy and the arts, gay rights advocates and many other groups whose agendas often don’t overlap and sometimes conflict.

Two big things unite them: a general sense of being on the same side in opposition to the economic and social right, and the belief in a strong, well-funded state. Some want the state to enforce mandates and empower them to reshape and uplift the bitter clingers. Others want the state to fund their universities, create jobs for their communities or otherwise provide concrete benefits. But for all of them the progressive, bureaucratic government machinery of the 21st century is both the prize for whose control they struggle and the agent they hope will make their dreams real. walter russell mead

Mead is writing about Walker’s win in Wisconsin but the analysis obtains in Canada as well.

What the Left is running into in the US and, to a lesser degree, in Canada is that the state is out of money and the grown ups in the electorate know it.

There will be holdouts – Ontario and Quebec seem to be under the illusion that running deficits is a God given right; but in time the poverty of the state will begin to trim the non-essential and limit the capacity of public service unions to extort even the Canadian population.

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