Saturday, June 08, 2013

UK’s Blossoming Libertarian Movement?; The Clash of Generations

The libertarian movement seems to be blossoming among English youths.

Polls show that the young are more relaxed than others about drugs, sex, alcohol, euthanasia and non-traditional family structures. They dislike immigration, but not as strongly as do their elders. And they are becoming ever more liberal. The BSA has tracked attitudes for three decades. It shows that the young are now far more tolerant of homosexuality, for example, than were previous generations at the same age.

Experimenters with new technologies, fashions and ideas, young people in Britain and elsewhere have long tweaked established social institutions. But their iconoclasm goes further than this. Young Britons are classical liberals: as well as prizing social freedom, they believe in low taxes, limited welfare and personal responsibility. In America they would be called libertarians.
Here is where it gets interesting:
More than two-thirds of people born before 1939 consider the welfare state “one of Britain’s proudest achievements”. Less than one-third of those born after 1979 say the same. According to the BSA, members of Generation Y are not just half as likely as older people to consider it the state’s responsibility to cover the costs of residential care in old age. They are also more likely to take such a hard-hearted view than were members of the famously jaded Generation X (born between 1966 and 1979) at the same stage of life.
The above shows of the intensifying generational conflict brought about by the welfare state.

People “born before 1939” have been the primary beneficiaries of UK’s welfare programs which originated during the 1906-1914 Liberal Welfare Reforms era.  In a Ponzi scheme, they represent the initial investors whose "return" “are “paid out of the investments of new entrants”.  

The new entrants in today’s Ponzi-welfare programs are the young generation, who plays the role of funding the entitlements of the Liberal Welfare generation, which has been intermediated by UK’s welfare state. 


The fragile state of UK’s fiscal conditions reveals that welfare expenditures account for the 25.9% of GDP according to the  This has substantially contributed to the UK’s deteriorating debt conditions now at 90% of GDP. The above chart reveals of the breakdown of UK’s government spending budget

Given the increasing burden from entitlements which has been shouldered by today’s youths, welfare programs are getting to be less appreciated. The wider the generation gap, the more likely resistance on welfare policies.

Add to this globalization and the deepening of the information age,  the rise of UK classical liberals would seem like a natural outgrowth

Yet should libertarian politics deepen, this will likely worsen generational conflict at the risks of triggering social upheaval. Parasites will struggle to resist from losing their hosts.

Nonetheless UK classical liberal-libertarians seem as gaining significant grounds in terms of politics. 

The UK’s Independence Party (UKIP) said to be a democratic libertarian party headed by Nigel Farage may win next year’s European Parliament elections.

From Daily Mail
David Cameron expects the UK Independence Party to win next year’s European Parliament elections despite his pledge to hold an in/out referendum on Europe.

A senior Conservative source said it was now taken as a ‘reasonable assumption’ in Downing Street that UKIP would top the poll next May – sparking a fresh round of Tory bloodletting on Europe just 12 months before the General Election.
The UKIP also performed strongly in the latest local elections.

Nigel Farage, the party’s leader, was jubilant after it emerged that one in four voters supported Ukip in the elections in 35 councils in England and Wales.

The rise of the party cost the Conservatives three local authorities, although Ukip did not win control of any councils.
So the rising politics of decentralization or the renaissance of classical liberalism likewise chimes with the deepening of the information age.

Incidentally, in the latest protest against the Turkish government, this headline seem to herald the spreading of classical liberal-libertarian movement across the world (hat tip Cato’s David Boaz)
Protesters are young, libertarian and furious at Turkish PM, says survey

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