Capitalism causes loneliness

And colonialism.

And – to put it bluntly – if that’s what loneliness is, and capitalism and colonialism and related forces have damaged the quality of social life, is it any wonder so many of us feel lonely?

(PS this sounds bleak, and it is bleak – it’s bleak that 15-24 year olds are the loneliest age group in NZ+the UK, according to recent govt stats – but it’s not some coded expression of my own feelings. Just trying to think through why loneliness strikes a chord with so many.)

Capitalism and colonialism particularly afflict 15-24 year olds?

NZ stats here: http://socialreport.msd.govt.nz/social-connectedness/loneliness.html

16.8% of 15-24 year olds felt lonely in last month (only thing that surprises me about that is that the figure isn’t higher).

UK figures (actually on 16-24 year olds) here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2018/loneliest-age-group-radio-4

Nothing on capitalism and colonialism in either of those sets of statistics. From the New Zealand social report:

Ethnic groups reported similar rates of loneliness in 2014. Those in the European/Other group had a reported rate of 13.2 percent, which was similar to the rate for Pacific peoples (13.5 percent). The rates for Māori and those in the Asian ethnic group were 16.6 percent and 16.7 percent respectively.

Not much difference there, and that Māori and Asian loneliness rates are slightly higher doesn’t fit with the colonialism claim.

There is some relationship between loneliness and poorness:

Incomes and wellbeing correlate with age, which isn’t surprising:

Figure SC5.2 – Proportion of population who reported feeling lonely all, most or some of the time during the last four weeks, by sex and age group, 2014

But most peeople who are lonely are only lonely some of the time or a little of the time, and there is no statistics on how that applies across the age ranges, so it’;s hard to read much from it.

Easier to just blame capitalism and colonialism without any corroboration.