With Barack Obama set for a real struggle this year there are sure to be a lot of Democrats asking that old question: why don’t the poor support us?

It’s been a source of real frustration for the American Left since first Richard Nixon and then Ronald Reagan brought large number of working-class voters over to the Republicans. (And in fact this has been a perennial problem for the Left, from the days of the Vendée when Catholic peasants sided with aristocrats against revolutionaries, to the Paris student uprising of 1968.)

This has often been explained by the Marxist idea of “false consciousness”, by which the workers are duped by the establishment, media and others in power into siding against their fellow workers.

It’s a comforting idea, but as Jonathan Haidt explains in today’s Guardian, a feeble one that is believed because “one of the most robust findings in social psychology is that people find ways to believe whatever they want to believe”.

Read more at the Telegraph

Published On: June 7, 2012

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