I’m of a mind that it does.
I have been thinking a lot recently about why it seems that there is a greater trend toward Marxist/collectivist policies than perhaps in the past. I think that the increased urbanization of America is the driver behind this trend.
It is a demonstrable fact that in an urban and suburban setting, people depend more upon public services for much of the things that facilitate their existence. Things like garbage disposal, public utilities and even immediate access to grocery stores and other commercial services insulate the suburban and urban dweller from the necessity to expend effort for these things – they exchange tax money for the public services and even though access to immediate conveniences are examples of capitalism, the creation of these entities are often not – there are many of these commercial centers that are attracted to a particular location through tax deferments and other incentives to the developers.
Since these things, especially the government services, are simply provided and the most effort that most people expend is to drag the wheelie bins out to the curb on garbage day, it is easy to see why most city dwellers think that bigger government is a good thing. Conversely, I can see where it is difficult for someone who lives 100 miles from a city with an airport with major carrier service to understand why taxes have to go up to support more government spending for public services.
Such is the division we face, and such is the effect of urbanization.
There is no question that when population reaches a certain density, there are things that the populace simply cannot do. Clearly, public sanitation is one of them but if you look at a “heat map” of the last election, you will notice that the support for liberal policies as demonstrated by the “red” vs. “blue” vote majorities, you will notice that there is a general correlation between the proximity to urban centers, counties with higher population density and the likelihood of a Democrat (liberal) majority. There are, of course, exceptions in the Border States where there is a relatively small county population and a majority of lower income people with a predisposition toward government assistance.
I guess what I am trying to say is that when people spend their entire lives in an environment where government provides things that they don’t have to think about, it is easy to see why they think that independence and private enterprise would be a bad thing because they assume that 1) they might lose those services and 2) they would have to pay for them.
Both assumptions are patently incorrect.
Many, if not most, government entities have already turned to private companies to provide services because they can perform a particular task cheaper and more efficiently, and the idea that they aren’t already paying for these services is false, they may not write a check but they do have money withheld from their income in the form of taxes. What they would miss is the federal tax money that is collected in rural America that goes to subsidize the cost of garbage disposal in downtown New York City.
There are necessarily collectivist activities that are required in areas of high population density – but these activities should be understood as a consequence of the choice of location and lifestyle and not a political ideology that is right for all of America. What is good (and necessary) to support residing in Manhattan is not necessary for someone living on a farm in rural Texas, for example.