The "authoritarian left": a place in Irish politics?

seabhac siulach

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"The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics" Worldview: The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics

According to this Irish Times article, 31% of the Irish electorate have an "authoritarian left" political outlook. By authoritarian left, the author means those who favour leftist approaches to economic matters (more spending on public services, welfare), but a more restrictive view on social matters, in particular, immigration.

This substantial minority of the Irish electorate is not served by any major political party or, indeed, by any of the micro parties.

The Irish political parties are left wing but socially liberal (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party, etc), right wing and socially liberal (Labour party, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil) or right wing and socially regressive (Renua, National Party).

However, no party represents a "left authoritarian" viewpoint (to use the Irish Time's phrase).

Why is this? Why such a vacuum of representation? Is left authoritarianism not a promising avenue for an ambitious politician to explore, given it chimes with 31% of the electorate and would offer a route to power (at worst in a coalition)?

We have seen such movements in other countries, e.g. France where the National Front obtained approx.35% support in the recent presidential elections. Why not in Ireland? Does Sinn Féin draw off support for such a movement? If so, why, given it is pro-immigration? Could a new movement not out manoeuvre Sinn Féin both from the "left" (economics) and the "right" (immigration)?

While one may not agree with the philosophy of left authoritarianism, one might wish for all valid viewpoints be put before the electorate for consideration.

Giving the rapid social changes occurring in Ireland, given Ireland is becoming a "normal" EU country in terms of demographics, does left authoritarianism have a place in Irish politics? Where would such a movement start?
 


GDPR

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There needs to be an actual Authoritarian Patriotic Left force in Ireland. While I didn't agree with many things that he said and at other times I agreed with the essentials but found him over the top I really valued Tadgh Gaelach's wisdom and passion on here. If Ireland is to have a future it will be found in people like him.
 

sic transit

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"The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics" Worldview: The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics

According to this Irish Times article, 31% of the Irish electorate have an "authoritarian left" political outlook. By authoritarian left, the author means those who favour leftist approaches to economic matters (more spending on public services, welfare), but a more restrictive view on social matters, in particular, immigration.

This substantial minority of the Irish electorate is not served by any major political party or, indeed, by any of the micro parties.

The Irish political parties are left wing but socially liberal (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party, etc), right wing and socially liberal (Labour party, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil) or right wing and socially regressive (Renua, National Party).

However, no party represents a "left authoritarian" viewpoint (to use the Irish Time's phrase).

Why is this? Why such a vacuum of representation? Is left authoritarianism not a promising avenue for an ambitious politician to explore, given it chimes with 31% of the electorate and would offer a route to power (at worst in a coalition)?

We have seen such movements in other countries, e.g. France where the National Front obtained approx.35% support in the recent presidential elections. Why not in Ireland? Does Sinn Féin draw off support for such a movement? If so, why, given it is pro-immigration? Could a new movement not out manoeuvre Sinn Féin both from the "left" (economics) and the "right" (immigration)?

While one may not agree with the philosophy of left authoritarianism, one might wish for all valid viewpoints be put before the electorate for consideration.

Giving the rapid social changes occurring in Ireland, given Ireland is becoming a "normal" EU country in terms of demographics, does left authoritarianism have a place in Irish politics? Where would such a movement start?
We are not a "normal" EU country with convenient political labels. We are largely not political and our allegiances tend to only last an election cycle. Our focus is the very local rather than the national. The trouble with the "left" is that many can barely articulate a sentence never mind an idea that does not blame someone else. The people who represent such views are also very bad for optics and are characterised by many as nutters or just plain unpleasant.
 

sic transit

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Perhaps they don't vote as they don't see that any of the parties represent their views? 31% of the electorate would appear to be unrepresented, if the article is to be believed.
Nah they just don't vote, as SF have found with their supposed support levels on election day.
 

GDPR

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Nah they just don't vote, as SF have found with their supposed support levels on election day.
The Shinners have been alienating a lot of their natural base with all sorts of nonsense. If they stopped reading The Guardian the way a Salafi reads the hadith they would be a very serious political force.
 

Mick Mac

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What's the story with 'authoritarian' being thrown in to the description?

Why not just call them the left? It's perfectly rational for left wing voters to not agree with luminaries like Tom Parlon, Peter Sutherland, Mary Harney, Bertie Aherne, and the imposers of austerity in Brussels.

How can you be told one day that Capitalists are bad and out to get you and the next day be told you've got to support the Capitalists in the creation of a reserve pool of labour to keep the labour market disciplined sorry to make society a wonderful quilt of joy.

There asked to think that immigration is the one thing Capitalists always push but only because there nice people.

There not authoritarian left. There left. There just not the paycheck progressives who are left campaign in a non threatening way.

That's why Corbyn could say immigration hit British working class... because he could look at it ideologically and see it was obviously true what the working class was saying.
That and he didn't end up being funded to think and talk and act in a way that didn't threaten Capitalism.
 

Round tower

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"The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics" Worldview: The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics

According to this Irish Times article, 31% of the Irish electorate have an "authoritarian left" political outlook. By authoritarian left, the author means those who favour leftist approaches to economic matters (more spending on public services, welfare), but a more restrictive view on social matters, in particular, immigration.

This substantial minority of the Irish electorate is not served by any major political party or, indeed, by any of the micro parties.

The Irish political parties are left wing but socially liberal (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party, etc), right wing and socially liberal (Labour party, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil) or right wing and socially regressive (Renua, National Party).

However, no party represents a "left authoritarian" viewpoint (to use the Irish Time's phrase).

Why is this? Why such a vacuum of representation? Is left authoritarianism not a promising avenue for an ambitious politician to explore, given it chimes with 31% of the electorate and would offer a route to power (at worst in a coalition)?

We have seen such movements in other countries, e.g. France where the National Front obtained approx.35% support in the recent presidential elections. Why not in Ireland? Does Sinn Féin draw off support for such a movement? If so, why, given it is pro-immigration? Could a new movement not out manoeuvre Sinn Féin both from the "left" (economics) and the "right" (immigration)?

While one may not agree with the philosophy of left authoritarianism, one might wish for all valid viewpoints be put before the electorate for consideration.

Giving the rapid social changes occurring in Ireland, given Ireland is becoming a "normal" EU country in terms of demographics, does left authoritarianism have a place in Irish politics? Where would such a movement start?
But don't want to pay for it
 

Plebian

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We are not a "normal" EU country with convenient political labels. We are largely not political and our allegiances tend to only last an election cycle. Our focus is the very local rather than the national. The trouble with the "left" is that many can barely articulate a sentence never mind an idea that does not blame someone else. The people who represent such views are also very bad for optics and are characterised by many as nutters or just plain unpleasant.
The article is behind a pay wall so it's hard to refute what you can't see. It seems as if they are taking a voter and labelling them authoritarian left because they support social spending and might be wary of mass immigration.

Did they ask these voters if they supported Authoritarian Left Industrial politics, I doubt it. By this logic, the UK must be 50% Authoritarian Left.
 

Jim Car

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The Irish political parties are left wing but socially liberal (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party, etc), right wing and socially liberal (Labour party, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil) or right wing and socially regressive (Renua, National Party).
Possibly the most inaccurate political scaling of parties I have ever seen. You need to be a special type of ignorant or have an agenda in which case it simple misleading to come up with that ranking.
 

Barroso

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"The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics" Worldview: The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics

According to this Irish Times article, 31% of the Irish electorate have an "authoritarian left" political outlook. By authoritarian left, the author means those who favour leftist approaches to economic matters (more spending on public services, welfare), but a more restrictive view on social matters, in particular, immigration.

This substantial minority of the Irish electorate is not served by any major political party or, indeed, by any of the micro parties.

The Irish political parties are left wing but socially liberal (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party, etc), right wing and socially liberal (Labour party, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil) or right wing and socially regressive (Renua, National Party).

However, no party represents a "left authoritarian" viewpoint (to use the Irish Time's phrase).

Why is this? Why such a vacuum of representation? Is left authoritarianism not a promising avenue for an ambitious politician to explore, given it chimes with 31% of the electorate and would offer a route to power (at worst in a coalition)?

We have seen such movements in other countries, e.g. France where the National Front obtained approx.35% support in the recent presidential elections. Why not in Ireland? Does Sinn Féin draw off support for such a movement? If so, why, given it is pro-immigration? Could a new movement not out manoeuvre Sinn Féin both from the "left" (economics) and the "right" (immigration)?

While one may not agree with the philosophy of left authoritarianism, one might wish for all valid viewpoints be put before the electorate for consideration.

Giving the rapid social changes occurring in Ireland, given Ireland is becoming a "normal" EU country in terms of demographics, does left authoritarianism have a place in Irish politics? Where would such a movement start?
I can't say that I've heard the Front National in France being called left-wing before.
Left authoritarian would surely be the traditional communist parties aligned with Moscow/Beijing?
 

Finbar10

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"The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics" Worldview: The authoritarian-left is the sleeping giant of Irish politics

According to this Irish Times article, 31% of the Irish electorate have an "authoritarian left" political outlook. By authoritarian left, the author means those who favour leftist approaches to economic matters (more spending on public services, welfare), but a more restrictive view on social matters, in particular, immigration.

This substantial minority of the Irish electorate is not served by any major political party or, indeed, by any of the micro parties.

The Irish political parties are left wing but socially liberal (Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Socialist Party, etc), right wing and socially liberal (Labour party, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil) or right wing and socially regressive (Renua, National Party).

However, no party represents a "left authoritarian" viewpoint (to use the Irish Time's phrase).

Why is this? Why such a vacuum of representation? Is left authoritarianism not a promising avenue for an ambitious politician to explore, given it chimes with 31% of the electorate and would offer a route to power (at worst in a coalition)?

We have seen such movements in other countries, e.g. France where the National Front obtained approx.35% support in the recent presidential elections. Why not in Ireland? Does Sinn Féin draw off support for such a movement? If so, why, given it is pro-immigration? Could a new movement not out manoeuvre Sinn Féin both from the "left" (economics) and the "right" (immigration)?

While one may not agree with the philosophy of left authoritarianism, one might wish for all valid viewpoints be put before the electorate for consideration.

Giving the rapid social changes occurring in Ireland, given Ireland is becoming a "normal" EU country in terms of demographics, does left authoritarianism have a place in Irish politics? Where would such a movement start?
There was a description of this research a while back up on politicalreform.ie, which would fill up in some details compared to the linked newspaper piece linked. The actual research article itself was actually free to download for a while (no longer unfortunately). The axes seem to be left/right on economic issues and an authoritarian/conservative to liberal spectrum on social/cultural issues (things like role of the churches in education, abortion, immigration etc. are mentioned). In economic terms, Sinn Féin does fall neatly in the recent European "populist" (seems to be the pejorative word-du-jour in political science) parties category. It's atypical in social terms though being very much liberal and immigration friendly, which is perhaps why it has mostly resisted the pejorative "populist" label.

Politics has become a lot more volatile. Traditional political parties across Europe have been becoming hollowed out for a long time (lower and lower numbers of actually signed-up members and more state party funding), with electorates becoming somewhat disaffected with and disconnected from traditional parties, which makes them vulnerable in certain senses. It's interesting that primarily internet-based parties/movement like Macron's in France and the Five Star Movement Italy can pop up and gain a significant share of seats. Even a similar pattern could be argued for Corbin's support within Labour in the UK. We even had an abortive attempt along those lines in the run up to the 2011 GE here with "Democracy Now" with a few recognizable names: Eamon Dunphy and Fintan O'Toole (though chickening out eventually). But probably shows how in the right circumstances how a ragtag internet movement coalescing around a few household names could take a big chunk of seats with the right message and policies, even in Ireland. I suspect the media would be very hostile to a left authoritarian message though.
 
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RadicalJacobin

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I suppose the real question is how "authoritarian" we are talking here. I highly doubt that the vast majority of those surveyed are Stalinists. This is not something shocking, the vast majority of people do want the things the left offers, the key problem is that many voters don't realise that tax cuts aren't conducive to quality services. Although on the other hand posters suggesting that this proves a demand for a FN Style party are wrong, in Ireland we don't do aggressive nationalism because it was the reason for our 800 year struggle. In my personal view any progress for the left in Ireland is to be welcomed.
 

Analyzer

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What about the United Left Alliance later termed the Auntie Austerity Alliance next to be termed something else with the word alliance in it ?

Monty Pythonesque ?
 

Analyzer

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