Some thoughts on the open v closed divide


ONE of the most popular interpretations of modern politics is that it is increasingly defined by the difference between open and closed rather than left and right. Openness means support for both economic openness (immigration and free trade) and cultural openness (gays and other minorities). Closedness means hostility to these things.

The Economist explored this argument in a cover article on July 30th 2016. The case for this way of differentiating has been reinforced by a new think tank that is called, appropriately enough, Global Future. It has commissioned an opinion poll, whose results suggest that the most salient political division is between open-minded and closed-minded voters, and that this division is also a generational one. On the question of whether immigration is a force for good there is a 51 percentage point difference between the 18- to 44-year-olds and the over-45s. On multiculturalism, the EU and overseas aid the difference are 48%, 60% and 53% respectively.

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