Cities Pre-Disposed Towards Liberalism???

Saw an interesting article the other day concerning whether cities attract people with socialistic leanings, or if they convert people who live in them from conservative to liberals?

The article argued that while we would expect people to be in closer contact with their neighbors in the cities, overwhelmingly it was the opposite, despite the fact that the houses and living spaces are much further apart in rural areas. Paradoxically according to the article, though there are so many packed into a smaller space in cities we have less communication with our fellow citizens. When we have less communication people, you replace that with more communication with institutions…Government becomes more of your communication center. Essentially, in a city you lose touch with your neighbors.

The article went on to say that in rural areas people are connected to how the world works at its most basic level while in a city your “reality” becomes your monthly bills, whether the elevator is working, and the artificially structured institutions around you. Essentially arguing that conservatism is based in reality and how the world really works while liberalism is based on how the world would be if we could wish it was something else.

In a city you become accustomed to relying not on yourself or your neighbors, but on the city systems where everything is taken care of to the point that people relinquish their independence for convenience and security. When you’re detached from reality, you’re instinctively pre-primed to move towards liberalism. In a city you don’t have self-reliance; you don’t have freedom; you don’t have independence. All the things that are the cornerstones, are taken away or given up.

I wish I could remember where I saw the article, but it was an interesting piece… Thoughts?

Not sure what my brothers leanings were prior to moving to Baltimore, but he is now a staunch, unflinching republican as a direct result of seeing the shitheads that inhabit that city. Phone Post 3.0

It sounds like an article with an agenda, and it didn't make a distinction and relation between city size, population density, racial/ethnic demographic, number of recent immigrants, region, or anything else aside from the words "city" and "rural".

I would agree with the article.

Sounds like an interesting read. Hope you find it. Makes sense from my perspective. Phone Post 3.0

"In a city you don’t have self-reliance; you don’t have freedom; you don’t have independence. All the things that are the cornerstones, are taken away or given up."

Then you better start executing people people because if everyone lived rurally there would be no more open spaces left.

Having grown up rurally and then moving to a city my experience is the exact opposite. I know every person on my block personally, and many in the surrounding blocks. My part of the city is also very connected and community oriented.

My argument would be that if conservatism is based on the "reality" of a small town or rural area, then it's based on a very narrow view of reality. In a small town, your exposure to people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, and livelihoods is probably pretty limited.

(I grew up in a small town, moved through big cities for 20 years, and then returned to a small town.)

Didn't really read the article in detail as I'm at work but mental illness is correlated with higher population densities so this kinda makes sense.

Willybone - 


My argument would be that if conservatism is based on the "reality" of a small town or rural area, then it's based on a very narrow view of reality. In a small town, your exposure to people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, and livelihoods is probably pretty limited.



(I grew up in a small town, moved through big cities for 20 years, and then returned to a small town.)


While this is true, the article (as we know of it) doesn't address "small towns", only "cities" and "rural areas". It sounds very black and white.

The truth is, I find more diversity in medium sized cities than in either "rural areas" or large cities.

Rural areas are going to have people that share similar values, shop at the same stores, go to the same church- little variation.

Big cities with dense populations will have more diversity, but it's more likely to be pockets of populations and impersonal interactions rather than a mixing of cultures and interests.

A mid-sized city will have elements of a larger city, but there is more likely to be interactions with individuals with varied backgrounds and interests because pockets of populations are much smaller and therefore less self-sustaining.

I agree with SnapLocally. I live in an area that thinks of itself as a small town. This is typical of the entire city.

I think the phenomenon is generally true but that the explanation the author is attempting to shoehorn into the situation could literally not be more backwards.

LOL at the idea that living an isolated existence on a ranch is somehow more "real" than living in a city. That is laughable.

Could also be because the general level of education is higher in cities.

Just sayin'.



I've always known that people in large apartment buildings etc saw their neighbors and therefore knew less about their neighbors than people in towns.

That's one of the reasons I enjoyed living in apartments, or condo complexes when I was single. Nobody knew/saw who came from my home at all hours.

...

I don't doubt that there is an agenda attached as most articles of such a nature do. Nor do I dispute that it is a very black and white idea that doesn't take into account city size, population density, demographics or other factors in detail... That being said it doesn't necissarily mean the article is without merit.


attjack - Then you better start executing people people because if everyone lived rurally there would be no more open spaces left.

Having grown up rurally and then moving to a city my experience is the exact opposite. I know every person on my block personally, and many in the surrounding blocks. My part of the city is also very connected and community oriented.


Rural does not always mean country with no one else around... I lived in a small town when I was a kid and that was considered rural.

As I said, while I find merit in the article, it shouldn't be taken as a blanket indictment.

Willybone - My argument would be that if conservatism is based on the "reality" of a small town or rural area, then it's based on a very narrow view of reality. In a small town, your exposure to people of different backgrounds, life and livelihoods is probably pretty limited.


I would agree as your experience mirrors my own in terms of demographics... But that isn't really the point of the article.

notsobigmike - I think that people in bigger cities also ACKNOWLEDGE that they rely on institutions more because they're so ubiquitous.

In the country, institutional influence is more behind the scenes - farm subsidies, government contracts, and a shit ton of government aid. A lot of them are not nearly as "independent" as they like to put on.

Excellent point...

Scythrop - Could also be because the general level of education is higher in cities.

Just sayin'.



Not just education, but being connected and being hit with so many new ideas. Phone Post

notsobigmike - I think that people in bigger cities also ACKNOWLEDGE that they rely on institutions more because they're so ubiquitous.

In the country, institutional influence is more behind the scenes - farm subsidies, government contracts, and a shit ton of government aid. A lot of them are not nearly as "independent" as they like to put on.

Yep.


Farm subsidies: A welfare program for agribusiness

http://theweek.com/article/index/248078/farm-subsidies-a-welfare-program-for-agribusiness

sillypants - 
Scythrop - Could also be because the general level of education is higher in cities.

Just sayin'.



Not just education, but being connected and being hit with so many new ideas. Phone Post


I think this is overstated... If you have an eclectic circle of friends as I do then I agree. However, it's been my experience that the vast majority of people surround themselves only with others who think like they do, and so these new ideas you speak of never come into their conciousness.

This is sadly amplified in colleges.

Here on long island a lot of people came here from the city due to white flight,i think this effects our politics(and other transplant towns) a lot. We have rep.pete king and others who would never be elected in the city. To win in a major city you have to pander,bill de blassios major platform is to end stop and frisk.