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Recommended Read: The Politics of Place – Why Proximity Makes Progressives

Is the fact that people living in more populated areas are in general more “progressive” or “left” oriented just a correlation, or is there some causal link?

This article looks into this


“Whatever her motivating concern, she is likely to decide that this visible, large-scale problem demands an equally large-scale, and therefore governmental and policy-based solution. As soon as she begins to think about the trade-offs in such a solution, she is engaged in essentially progressive politics, looking at how government can best solve a social problem – even one that arises from individual choices.”

“The same applies to more mundane matters, like littering. A resident of a small rural town with much space and few people would barely notice if one in 20 of the town’s residents littered. In contrast, if one in 20 people in a city were litterers, the place would quickly become unliveable without sufficient government spending and action on cleaning and enforcement.”

“In summary, in a high-population-density environment, a resident’s self-interest often necessitates helping others at one’s own expense or at the expense of third parties through governmental authority and action (taxation and enforcement). That’s progressivism in a nutshell. “

“In exurban or rural communities, bad habits don’t bother neighbours because neighbours are tends or hundreds of yards away.”

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