Over the last few centuries, Western nations have been shifting from a cultural dimension of masculine to feminine. Where the masculine emphasized hierarchy and dominance, the feminine introduces the idea of each person being important and a goal in their own right.
The Left, despite succeeding by its introduction of a feminine cultural dimension, now faces the problem of having inverted its own audience. This leaves people wondering What happened to Europe’s Left?
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 homogeneous 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 organizations, such as daycare centers, sports clubs, choral societies, women’s clubs, and others. Together with workers’ unions organizing the work on factory floors, and later in offices, these organizations 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.
Electoral stability experienced disruption when the working-class subculture changed from proletariat to precariat:
The precariat describes a social class of people whose lives are ‘precarious’ because their employment situation provides them with very little or no financial stability.
The emergence of the precariat is thought to be a direct result of employment policies in our modern, global economy. New, international labour markets, significantly expanding the available workforce, have weakened the position of workers and strengthened the position of employers. Increasingly, workers are in jobs which are part-time and/or temporary, have unpredictable hours, low wages and few benefits such as holiday or sick pay. This means that employers can follow what demand dictates and simply strike people off if work is not available, and are also not obliged to pay anyone that isn’t actually working. Workers lives are in turn ‘precarious’, because their income is never guaranteed – sickness and changes in the job market could threaten their employment and land them in a position of financial insecurity.
The feminine dimension which aimed to protect workers also made them fungible by removing demands for hierarchy that resulted in specialization and hierarchy:
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 organize, 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 problem besetting liberals and democrats is how to cross this chasm created by their own policies. Currently they don’t understand this chasm and continue to double down. Leftist made alienated societies in which the lack of cultural “glue” means that workers are disposable; notably, mass immigration means a constant flow of new workers competing for jobs that were once there for the taking by the lower classes.
Despite having a feminine culture with a socialist dispensation, Sweden maintained a stable electorate with its homogeneous working class sub-culture. The perceived reason is adherence to hierarchy and remaining homogeneous. When multi-culture arrived in step with transnational economics and technology, it appears that a new atomized sub-culture arose that cannot organize and that do not understand hierarchy.
The power of homogeneity and hierarchy shows us that humans need hierarchy, and hierarchy requires dominance of the lower levels by those above them. When a hierarchy is correctly constituted, its peak represents the best of a group, and its broad base of many numerous lower-hierarchy people comprise those who are less competent, morally astute, and able to lead.
When you think about a successful business or military hierarchy, the same thing appears: the top 1% can figure out what must be done, the next 9% can implement it by extrapolating from general principles, and the lowest 90% must be told in detail what to do or they screw it up.
The failure of hierarchy tells us that the question therefore is not about what happened to the left, but what happened to the West.
Initially the guy with the sword was the boss, then it was the guy with the gun, then it was the best army/organization, the politician with the best connections and now apparently, the guy with the most information. But while leaderships change, the workers also changed.
Using the term populism was an easy way for the liberal media to frame the resurgent conservative narrative as “orange man bad”, but what they still don’t get is not only that their policies and ideologies caused the rise of the rainbow underclass precariat, but that this same precariat is going to dominate them:
True to its nickname, “the squad” has been shooting at everyone, including fellow Democrats, and especially Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of “singling out newly elected women of color” prior to Trump’s tweet.
Right after Pelosi led the House in passing a resolution condemning Trump’s tweets, Tlaib turned her fire on Pelosi, blaming the speaker for death threats the squad allegedly received. Ocasio-Cortez has also given her chief of staff free rein to take down centrist Democratic legislators.
A masculine cultural dimensions requires hierarchy, and that in turn necessitates a goal and an identity for society as a whole. The feminine cultural dimension consists of individuals without broader goals other than having their own happy little homes.
When the Left removed loyalty, unity, and national identity, then replaced them with special interest group dynamics through identity politics and class warfare, they created a society without the homogeneity and cohesion that would allow it to treat its workers as humans.
As a result, these societies are falling apart less slowly now than they were in the past. We may want to believe in freedom and autonomy, but it leads toward atomization and ultimately, a society where all of us are disposable tools to be used to further ideology and nothing more.