American v British Left

This is a good paragraph from the Zman on the differences between the American and British political Left:

The quest for spiritual egalitarianism in America is a very different thing than the material egalitarianism of Europe. A Jeremy Corbyn has to kit himself out in the garb of the working man in order to be authentically Left. In America, a rich white woman like Elizabeth Warren can lecture us about the poor, from the steps of her mansion, as she is decked out in a designer outfit. The reason is she cares more for the spiritual well-being of the poor than their material condition. She fears the poor are being excluded.

It’s true that the Left in the UK have to conceal their wealth while weeping crocodile tears for the poor, whereas in the US they don’t even bother. France is a curious mix of the two, where multi-millionaire socialists express concerns about material inequality in society.

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6 thoughts on “American v British Left

  1. Perhaps it was a poor man’s son that the Law Squaw kept out of a Harvard job by exploiting her bogus status as a Cherokee. If so, it would be wonderful if he sued her.

  2. I’m not sure this covers the clothes issue correctly.

    My experience in the left was that the clothes worn were some idealised notion of what the working working man wore rather than reality. So heavy boots and donkey jackets were de-rigeur regardless of the fact that by the early 80s they were worn only by middle class socialists. And this “fashion” was only for the males. Women followed some Spare Rib template which no one else ever wore. Latterly some punk influence came in which meant that Make Up was allowed. That was a definite no-no when I started. Penny Red would have been “put right” by her sisters.

  3. TDK: “My experience in the left was that the clothes worn were some idealised notion of what the working working man wore rather than reality.”

    Agreed. Once was in a bar in London in the 80s and briefly thought a man in required steel-capped boots, donkey jacket and worn jeans (I know, everyone has those now) was actually a workman coming in for a drink.

    Two clues: first, it was the middle of the day and real workers be working at that time and second, he had drill in a holster at his side, like a six-shooter. No workman carries his drill like a weapon when not working. Real workers, dear socialists, try hard not to take their work with them as badge of splendour.

    But it was the time of Britain when posers had dummy parachute packs on show on the back shelf of their cars just in case, you know, people thought they really threw themselves out of planes. I would hope some of them would, but… hey ho.

  4. We may learn more about the American Left if Bernie and his wife are charged with fraud.

    But I imagine he’ll get off (perhaps correctly) and I suspect she will too (probably incorrectly).

  5. “The reason is she cares more for the spiritual well-being of the poor than their material condition.”

    Sorry, I don’t think this analysis holds any water at all. The material condition is what she’s interested in.

    Maybe the whole issue of the American rich not concealing their wealth has more to do with the idea that poor Americans don’t want to kill the rich, they want to BE the rich someday. Or at least that’s what I’ve read about poor Americans’ aspirations.

    And re the poor person’s spirituality–if for the sake of argument we assume that is, in fact, of concern to Warren–she no doubt disapproves of it, as it is most likely to be wrapped up in a traditional religious form.

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