I want to talk about last week’s general election in the United Kingdom, but before you groan, let me explain why you should care (at least a little bit). The results were actually pretty stunning! In the biggest win since 1987 under Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party took an 80 seat majority. It was also the biggest defeat the leftist Labour Party has suffered since 1935. This is a pretty big deal.
I know a lot of us roll our eyes at the political happenings across the pond. With their funny hats and royal weddings and hokey ceremonial traditions, they seem more like our eccentric obscure relatives than fellow leaders of the so-called free world—but this political victory sent a pretty loud message that people in the U.K. are rejecting a lot of the leftist policies and ideas that a growing number of folks in the U.S. have been praising and trying to adopt here at home.
Just last week I observed a back-and-forth on one of our Facebook ads where a “democratic socialist” was arguing how much better life is in England. He said he plans to move there next year so that he can finally be free of the “evil” capitalism and “greed” he sees here, and instead thrive in a country whose government “actually takes care of their people.”
The reason the election results matter to the rest of us is in the message that voters chose to send to their government—and, by extension, the world. The conservatives didn’t just win the election—they pretty much destroyed the competition. They issued a resounding “nope” to the far-left ideals that the Labour Party has adopted over the last decade. And that is really good news for everyone.
I saw a meme the other day that I wish I’d have saved. Basically it pointed out that the battle has ceased to be “left v. right” but has actually shifted to be simply “the far-left v. the rest of us.” And I think there’s a good bit of truth in that. Most of Europe is ahead of the U.S. in the adoption of far-left policies, so observing the way things are playing out over there can give us a glimpse of what we can expect should those policies continue to gain support here.
As noted in Rational Standard, even the “Nordic Model” of democratic socialists is wrong because, put simply, socialism always ends up failing in every area and to every degree it is tried.
The Nordic people are not oblivious to the negative impacts of the welfare state and for the past 2 decades have been turning away from democratic socialism by introducing market reform, lowering the generosities of the welfare state, lowering taxes and moving towards greater individual freedom and a more market based economy. There are 5 (prominent) Nordic countries, 4 of which have centre-right governments which are doing market reform. (Only Sweden has a social democratic government and Sweden has never, in modern times, been as weak as they are today. Even their socialist government is doing market reform.)
When we see Nordic countries turning away from their far-left policies, and the U.K. with election results like this, we should feel encouraged that more people are waking up to the problems of socialism. Even former president Barack Obama recently cautioned democrats that they are trying to implement policies that are too far left.
Awhile back we took a survey of our Tuttle Twins readers and found that our audience is really varied. We’ve got people who identify as libertarians, republicans, anarchists, voluntaryists, minarchists, and those who choose not to identify as any “ist” at all, and they all love our books. The one thing that I’ve found we all agree on is that the far-left is pretty scary and that putting aside differences of ideology to fight the growing threat of far-left thinking is totally worth it.
Our Tuttle Twins books cover a lot of important topics, but a recurring theme in all the books is the value of developing traits of self-reliance and personal responsibility, and that merit-based reward is always moral and right. These are principles that leftists seem to really hate.
The cool thing about all the themes of our books is that they leave kids feeling empowered. Earning what you have and working hard to get it makes you feel good and accomplished. Taking personal action to help those around you gives you confidence to tackle hard things in the future and to speak out against injustice. When kids are raised with these ideas and feeling these feelings, it’s a lot harder for their heads to be turned by popular ideologies of selfishness and laziness.
Let’s hope this trend of rejecting leftist thinking continues in Europe and takes hold here in the United States. Small and seemingly simple changes are what brought these policies in, and they are what will eventually drive them out as well. It all starts at home—with concerned parents and grandparents teaching their kids true principles of freedom and liberty. I’m proud to have our series of kid and teen books at the forefront of the fight.