The emerging land connections between Mekong states, and between the...
2021-07-14 2 ENGLISH REPORTS
Where surveys mislead, the reason is often that organisations with a clear ideological position attempt to make their own opinions appear more popular than they truly are, in the hope that presenting them as popular will help to actually make them popular. This makes the study Public opinion in the post-Brexit era: Economic attitudes in modern Britain, published by the Legatum Institute, particularly interesting. Written by two authors with a clearly recognisable pro-market outlook, it nonetheless comes to the conclusion that that outlook is not widely shared in Britain. As one of the authors, Matthew Elliott, puts it: ‘I believe that free enterprise policies are a key driver of prosperity. Sadly though, it appears that a large proportion of British voters do not share this view’ (Elliott and Kanagasooriam 2017: 3).
They do not ask people whether they approve or disapprove of socialism or capitalism; instead, they ask respondents for their associations with those terms. It amounts to the same thing, because most of the top associations with capitalism are unambiguously negative (‘greedy’, ‘selfish’, ‘corrupt’) and most of the top associations with socialism are unambiguously positive (‘for the greater good’, ‘delivers most for most people’, ‘fair’) (ibid: 8-14).Consistent with many other surveys, the authors find widespread support for industry nationalisations (ibid.: 14-18). The extent of this varies hugely from industry to industry, but even where there is no overall pronationalisation majority, there is always at least a sizable minority which believes that the respective industry should be run by the state. One could probably make up a non-existent industry and find at least one in four people demanding its nationalisation.
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