Thus Spoke Inglehart and Flanagan.

Student: Align Left                Professor: Align Center                Gadfly: Align Right

  1. I shall now opine a stratagem,
  2. To leave you all pondering; decidedly,
  3. A humble inspection of Inglehart and Flanagan’s:
  4. “Value Change in Industrial Societies.”[1]
  5. A tardy student abruptly opens the classroom door,
  6. He lets it smash shut without a thought in the world.
  7. Hello [the tardy student lets go].
  8. The professor breaths slow,
  9. Remaining composed.
  10. When money is of gross scarcity,
  11. In society;
  12. What matters the most,
  13. To the citizenry?
  14. Money [Kim chimes in],
  15. Jobs [came Vlatko’s line],
  16. Money [consensus thence arrived].
  17. And when jobs abound?
  18. When most people can afford to dine-out?
  19. When the per capita income is over a couple thou.?
  20. Values. Values. Values.
  21. The prof. displays a chart of per capita dollars,
  22. And Gross National Product:
  23. Notice!
  24. There is a curvilinear relationship,
  25. Between income equality and economic development.
  26. That higher economic development,
  27. Shows greater income equality.
  28. Will someone please qualify this political normality?
  29. A super-smart undergraduate student answered handedly:
  30. Economic development leads to industrialization,
  31. Industrialization leads to urbanization,
  32. Urbanization leads to mass mobilization,
  33. Mass mobilization leads to power-sharing bargains,
  34. Power-sharing bargains leads to diminishing margins.
  35. Yes! The diminishing marginal utility,
  36. Of economic determinism!
  37. This is the concept entirely:
  38. See the Scandinavian countries seem to be approaching,
  39. The limits of equality in a democratic system.
  40. For once a polity is like this Scandinavian quality,
  41. We actually witness diminishing returns after this point, see,
  42. It’s far short of perfect income equality.
  43. What does this mean?
  44. People will never achieve income equality under democracy!?
  45. Indeed!
  46. Przeworski and Wallerstein,
  47. Mathematically model this design:
  48. Capitalists consent to democratic institutions,
  49. Whereby workers may claim material gain; and,
  50. Workers allow the owners the profits,
  51. Expecting that profits will be reinvested,
  52. Improving the workers’ future material claim.
  53. Can you expand the diminishing return demand?
  54. In a country where the top ten percent,
  55. Gets 60% of the total income, then,
  56. There will be a desire for redistribution.
  57. But in a country where the top ten percent,
  58. Get’s 15-20% of the total income, then,
  59. Expect redistribution to be labeled a sin.
  60. Why?
  61. It would likely be the case in the latter’s state,
  62. That a large majority of citizens would need to give,
  63. In order to accomplish an equal income distribution.
  64. And in democracies—recall—the majority wins,
  65. So for this, let’s admit,
  66. A materialist majority would be quite chagrined.
  67. What says the evidence?
  68. It seems ironic, I daresay.
  69. Denmark achieved through governmental involvement,
  70. Income equality and a very high life quality.
  71. You daresay…
  72. Greece reeks of income inequality,
  73. So the people seek a nationalization decree!
  74. Thus in the lands where government did solve collective
  75. Action problems [e.g., Denmark],
  76. The people are tired of governmental meddling!
  77. But in the lands where government has not solved collective
  78. Action problems [e.g., Greece],
  79. The people are yearning for governmental handling!
  80. The professor nods at a student’s hand and continues:
  81. And Inglehart, I deem, goes out of his way,
  82. To contest the neoconservative claims…
  83. The professor momentarily ponders,
  84. Today’s neoconservative luster.
  85. Inglehart so readily exclaims!
  86. Classic welfare state policies have not failed to date!
  87. Nay!
  88. It was these welfare state policies that made,
  89. The most successful States!
  90. But you said it yourself, sir,
  91. That these welfare states no longer desire,
  92. More governmental action in monetary affairs.
  93. The point is that the welfare state,
  94. Solved the problems that class conflict once played.
  95. Thus the voting game thereafter changed,
  96. To a post-materialist electoral exchange,
  97. In these most developed states.
  98. So in an accomplished welfare state,
  99. Marxist sentiments radically abate?
  100. Yes! A significant political implication; ergo,
  101. The class conflict model was half as strong in the 80s,
  102. As it was the generation before.
  103. Post-materialists may not cling to class cleavages,
  104. Like their parents.
  105. In fact, young post-materialists have shown to be specialized voters; and,
  106. They’re weakening Communists’ electoral chances!
  107. A student nick-named Cato pondered aloud:
  108. So what’s the crisis?!
  109. This new axis in politics:
  110. Post-materialist values and traditional cultural values,
  111. And,
  112. This decline of class-based polarization,
  113. According to Inglehart,
  114. Reveals a “schizophrenic situation.”
  115. The one known as Cato remained brave:
  116. Please clarify with stylish phrase.
  117. Parties in advanced Western political systems,
  118. For decades aligned along a class-based axis.
  119. Parties established party loyalty, and,
  120. Created ties so that unavoidably,
  121. Alignment of the electorate,
  122. Advanced polarized party candidates.
  123. Today, this decades-long trend is erased,
  124. For the deciders in the electorate,
  125.  Are from the post-materialist middle-class base.
  126. And this base has either caused the parties to shift,
  127. Or the emergence of new ones to commensurate,
  128. The peoples’ will—
  129. A post-materialist embrace.
  130. Thus the Marxists on the Left are denied,
  131. The argument of nationalization,
  132. And exploitation,
  133. During post-materialist times.
  134. On the other hand, dear Cato,
  135. The Right has also received a severe blow,
  136. For it was the Welfare State that created the best highlights
  137. Of this economic vitality show!
  138. More so, there is good evidence to suggest,
  139. That the government should now invest,
  140. In areas that market inactivity would be disastrous,
  141. Where the market won’t take a chance,
  142. Like on solar and wind energy plants!
  143. The professor’s rout was complete.
  144. The classroom was stunned.
  145. Thus spoke Inglehart.
  146. Cato wished to hurriedly continue on,
  147. Unable to fathom the implications,
  148. The professor might have won.
  149. And what about Flanagan?
  150. I’m out of breath.
  151. Does a student, by chance,
  152. Of this knowledge possess?
  153. A man named Kraor motioned with his hand:
  154. Flanagan distinguishes two value changes taking place,
  155.             In advanced industrial societies: [new right and new left].
  156. Flanagan claims that Inglehart collapses these two indicators,
  157.             In political space [new left].
  158. Flanagan’s “libertarian” and Inglehart’s “postmaterialist” labels,
  159.             Of the following both identically enable:
  160.                         Personal and political freedom,
  161.                         Equality, tolerance of minorities, and of different opinions,
  162.                         Openness to new ideas and new lifestyles,
  163.                         Environmental protection, self actualization, and
  164.                                    Self indulgent realizations.
  165. Here, the essence of the knowledge is the same upon the researcher’s table.
  166. It’s Flanagan’s definition of materialism which forces the argument to change,
  167.             The potential impact of Inglehart’s research claims.
  168. For Flanagan sees authoritarianism as its own sight,
  169.             Within the New Politics cleavage—the New Right!
  170. Authoritarian orientations concern:
  171.             Security and order, respect for authority;
  172.             Discipline alongside patriotism, intolerance for minorities;
  173.             Conformity to the nation’s customs; and,
  174.             Supporting traditional religious values; [whereas],
  175.                     Sin looks like exposed breasts upon a statue.
  176. The Ashcroft thing, good memory!
  177. But, what’s this all mean?
  178. If Flanagan was correct in surmising,
  179.      That Inglehart failed to recognize a genuine faction rising,
  180.           Then the politics forecasted by Inglehart would be skewed!
  181.                Thus new issues and events would come through,
  182.                      Unannounced and unanticipated,
  183.                             From the political scientists’ view!
  184. True. Quite True.
  185. What is Flanagan’s proof?
  186. I think that Flanagan indeed shows,
  187.      Though factor loading examples,
  188.             That authoritarian and libertarians,
  189.                   Are decidedly different population samples.
  190. Anything more?
  191. Students were eyeing the door.
  192. For Spring played outside,
  193. Restless for their time,
  194. A cold period they had so long endured.
  195. You’re free to leave.
  196. See you next week.
  197. But please, for me, fathom one final thing;
  198. Should science determine your choice, or, ideology?

[1] Inglehart and Flanagan. 1987. Value Change in Industrial Societies. The American Political Science Review, V. 81,I. 4, 1289-1319.

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One thought on “Thus Spoke Inglehart and Flanagan.

  1. Pingback: Poli-Sci “Parties” Poetry Book « Political Pipeline

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