Emile Yusupoff is a 24-year-old unregistered barrister in the process of applying for pupillage. Emile’s undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh was in Philosophy and Politics, and he maintains involvement with these fields through writing from a classically liberal perspective for publications including Conatus News. Here is part 1.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In your experience, what are the traditional gender roles in the UK for men and women?
Emile Yusupoff: I suppose it’s very similar to the rest of the West in that the male is the breadwinner and the woman is the homemaker. I guess it depends on how traditional you want to get. I don’t think that’s been universally the case at least since the 60s, I think it has definitely shifted since then, to a subtle extent rather than just ending.
Jacobsen: Over time, you’ve noted that you’ve become more left-leaning or liberal bent?
Yusupoff: Yeah, I mean my own personal trajectory is not quite is quite idiosyncratic. I actually flirted with the far-right when I was a teenager. My parents are very liberal and I guess the only way I could rebel at the time, I thought, was by saying “oh yeah, fascism!” and that was kind of my way of being edgy as a teenager.
Yusupoff: Because just saying “oh, drugs!” wouldn’t have raised eyebrows. So I guess from there I was a mainstream conservative then became a radical right Libertarian… Ayn Rand and all that. And then from there, I mitigated that position, so now I’m somewhere between a liberal and Libertarian. So I’m to the right of liberals on a lot of economic issues, but I think the state has much more of an important role in helping the worst-off than a lot of Libertarians would allow. And then in the areas where liberals and Libertarians agree, either description would work.
Jacobsen: What are the political trends and social trends of the UK at large? What direction do they have a tendency of leaning?
Yusupoff: I think we’re overall heading towards a rejection of liberalism in this country. If liberalism can be defined as encompassing neo-liberalism, the center-left, and the Left, our trajectory is against globalization, against free markets, against migration. It’s towards the Theresa May or Blue Labour line of thinking. I don’t think the Corbyn thing represents a real shift of the population towards a hard socialism, but I do think it suggests a rejection of free markets and globalization. And I don’t know if Conservative is the right way of describing the direction of our social trends. I think Authoritarian Nationalism may be a better description. In the UK we do have a level of moderation, and as much as I don’t like the trends I’ve just described, I think the checks in our institutions and culture will mean we will never have a Trump in this country. Although we do see similar movements in that way, fortunately, we’ll be somewhat mitigated in that sense.
Jacobsen: Given the personal and political perspectives as well as the national one, and also noting the descriptions as you traditionally defined, what do you think would be a healthier sense of a male identity? What are healthier behavior and thoughts, without going into identity politics?
Yusupoff: I wouldn’t want to give a single answer to that. I think it has to be entirely idiosyncratic. So I have an issue saying that there should be roles set. I know that some people would say that perhaps we need to have a new sense of masculinity or that we need to encourage men to be more comfortable with feminine traits. This might sound trite but I think it essentially comes down to each individual and whatever they feel is a flourishing way of living. So for some men, I think a traditionally male role would work well. And I think we should be encouraging the creation of a space where men do feel free to pursue more feminine traits. But I don’t think any of these are a one-size-fits-all policy. The culture would just have to be one that encourages people to have the space to choose.