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"Identity politics is the handmaiden of neoliberalism"

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"Identity politics is the handmaiden of neoliberalism"

Postby Ariddia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:11 am

In the comments section of an op-ed in the NYT, I came across the following remark:

Identity politics is, among other things, the handmaiden of neoliberalism. The black teenager without proper legal representation, the trans woman without medical insurance or a job, and the white man stocking shelves in Walmart all form a single social class of the disenfanchised. Encouraging them to identify according to individual, race or sexual identity––of course, often causes of being oppressed––instead of as economic victims, denies them a common voice. It divides people who otherwise might have solidarity with each other and prevents them from mobilizing across race lines to oppose the corporate abuses of oligarchy and the 1%. And as people further re-define according to more atomized identities, the force of divide and rule is constantly augmented by its own victims.


It articulates very well what I’ve been thinking for some time. Identity politics and narrowly ethnic-based or gender-based ‘community’ self-focus disempowers all economically disadvantaged people, whatever their gender or ethnic background. It only strengthens those who interest is in maintaining exploitative work conditions and low wages to increase the profits of big businesses and wealthy shareholders.

I come at this from a French perspective. It saddens me that the left, in English-speaking countries, had moved from a focus on resolving economic disempowerment, to instead encouraging people to self-identify strongly on ethnic lines, with the false belief that they have categorically different problems, categorically different experiences, incompatible or competing interests, and no common ground. It saddens me also to see this starting to creep into France as well.

Of course, racism and sexism are very real problems, which blight people’s lives, cause real hurt and deny people fair opportunities. It would be absurd to downplay that reality. But responding to that with identity politics, rather than broad and inclusive civic solidarity, seems to me to be wrong, damaging, self-defeating and even quite toxic. Telling economically disempowered whites (especially men) that they should view themselves as privileged oppressors, when they may be struggling to make ends meet on low wages, is supposed to achieve… what, exactly? Apart from pushing them to the right, and encouraging some of them to adopt a particularly nasty type of identity politics as well?

If I were American, I think I would feel politically orphaned. I’m definitely not a conservative, so I would never vote Republican - religious conservatism, narrow-minded nationalism and hard-right economics are anathema to me. But I would find it impossible to identify with modern American liberalism, identity politics, and what has sometimes been called the ‘regressive left’. I imagine quite a number of Americans, and people in other English-speaking countries too, feel that way as well.
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Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:32 am

As an old school communist I definitively do feel ideologically orphaned. The "left" has adopted right wing identity politics. It really is that simple. That's why I don't participate in the "left wing" discussions on this forum.

What ever happened to from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs. Now a days the slogan seems to be "from each what ever the fuck they want, irregardless of if they are capable or qualified as long as they are ideologically correct, if not fuck them, and to each according to how much ideologically correct they are."

The entire point of communism is to remove the economic pressure imposed upon individuals by the economic class stratification of society in order to free them from the specter of poverty and allow them to become all they can be. It aims to make sure we as a species do not lose any more brilliant scientists, engineers and artists to wage slavery just because they were born in the wrong family. To ensure that you and I don't have to spend all our lives working to make someone else rich and can instead pursue the things we are good at and enjoy doing. And than society as a whole will benefit from everyone contributing according to his abilities as opposed to according to what he is forced to in order to not starve.

It's nothing to do with racism or sexism or any other social divide because these are all ultimately meaningless in a world economic pressure is no longer a concern. Who cares about what people think of your race, gender or what ever if they are not allowed to beat you up for it AND they can't pressure you economically? No one. Because they are powerless by definition at that point. But for that to happen we must all stand united, in spite of our differences and hate and not divided by them.


This entire identity politics nonsense is the opposite of that. It is right wing ideology at its finest. Seriously. Take any modern "left" text about race or gender and substitute Jews into it. Just find and replace in notepad. 3 seconds tops. Instant Hitler speech. I am not even joking.


I feel like Oliver Twist in the ideological torture orphanage that is the modern "liberal" west. And I can only imagine how confused the "right" must feel. If Hitler was alive today he'd be a Communist.
Last edited by Purpelia on Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:46 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Bombadil » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:42 am

I'm not so sure this is the case - as far as I can tell there's various movements that have been co-opted by a particular agenda of delegitimising government. Deregulation was probably necessary to a degree in the late 70's and early 90's but at some point it seemed to go too far. However there are vested interests who want far greater deregulation.

Given more factual arguments on the benefits of deregulation have become harder, or more nuanced, especially given the financial crisis.. well emotion is better than logic in a culture war. These attacks on gays, trans, immigrants, women.. have been driven by this agenda. It's tapped into libertarians, alt-right, white supremacists and industrial unemployment to play these issues up as attacks on, or not supporting, 'ordinary Americans'. It fuses neatly with the religious right though I think it's separate.

It's centred the conversation on these issues allowing for greater dismantling of the state while everyone shouts at each other over nothing. I mean I think if you look at the actual actions of Democrats they are not focused to the degree people think on these issues, as many have pointed out Obama wasn't a radical departure from politics as usual.

If you look at the actions of Trump it's seeding distrust in the media, the government and mixing deregulation with sops to those who've been led to believe they're under attack. He has a very clear ideologue in his administration with Steve Bannon, I can't think of a similar type of person, the head of a media that drives the alt-right with scare stories. Climate change is an issue of regulation, finance is an issue of regulation - that is the actual battle.

Of course there's no action without reaction and both sides are screaming at each other across the aisles to no real positive outcome.

I think there's a clear strategy to drive these wedge issues to paper over the destruction of the role of government in regulating businesses, the media to hold it to account and even the courts to adjudicate. People are being used as puppets in a far more pernicious movement.
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Postby Arkolon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:42 am

This is one of the very few times I've seen something so thought-provoking coming from the comment section of an Internet-based mouthpiece. Identity politics is indeed only disempowering the common person and empowering right-wing movements, but this comment makes it seem as if identity politics is the product of 'the elite'. Identity politics, as far as I can tell, formed organically from within, not at the whim of media or 'the 1%' – which begs the question why identity politics formed this way in the first place.

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Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:48 am

Arkolon wrote:This is one of the very few times I've seen something so thought-provoking coming from the comment section of an Internet-based mouthpiece. Identity politics is indeed only disempowering the common person and empowering right-wing movements, but this comment makes it seem as if identity politics is the product of 'the elite'. Identity politics, as far as I can tell, formed organically from within, not at the whim of media or 'the 1%' – which begs the question why identity politics formed this way in the first place.

It's basically a movement by the middle class to divide the poor into factions that they can than dominate in order to climb the social ladder. The logic being that instead of taking on the rich together, because that's hard, we should be content to split the table scraps they throw at us and than try to make the best of it by making tribes and than fighting over them instead of sharing equally.

And than the rich just looked at it and smacked their lips happily knowing that this is a movement they can support to forever (or at least temporarily) cripple the one weapon that those under them have, unity. When man fights woman and black fights white nobody gets to fight the Clintons, Obamas and Trumps of this world as they sit together in the same room, black and white, female and male and sip campaign laughing at the battle going on outside.
Last edited by Purpelia on Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Vassenor » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:54 am

I still don't get what "identity politics" is anyway.
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Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:02 am

Vassenor wrote:I still don't get what "identity politics" is anyway.

It's a cynical political movement by the modern "left" who claim to represent "oppressed" minorities against the evil white male. Their primary premise lays on the fundamental belief that racism, sexism, religionism and just about every other ism they can come up with is absolutely 100% true. Race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and others are, according to them, fundamental properties a person which define him much more than upbringing, culture or individual personality ever will.

If you've ever seen Star Trek this concept might be familiar to you. All Klingons are warriors, all Vulcans are scientists.... Well now apply that to All Women and All Muslims and All homosexuals... Or if you are like me and like pointing out the obvious parallel All Jews

Therefore, they argue, they can just clump everyone in these categories into neat groups that they can than claim to hate or represent depending on how close or far they fall from the white heterosexual male. Their tools are doublethink, thought crime, emotional manipulation and shaming and a burning desire to reject reality and substitute their own moral truth in place of the scientific one. They use words such as "privilege" and "patriarchy" and the only thing they hate more than white males are members of minorities that they claim to represent but which disagree with them.
Last edited by Purpelia on Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Arkolon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:08 am

Purpelia wrote:
Arkolon wrote:This is one of the very few times I've seen something so thought-provoking coming from the comment section of an Internet-based mouthpiece. Identity politics is indeed only disempowering the common person and empowering right-wing movements, but this comment makes it seem as if identity politics is the product of 'the elite'. Identity politics, as far as I can tell, formed organically from within, not at the whim of media or 'the 1%' – which begs the question why identity politics formed this way in the first place.

It's basically a movement by the middle class to divide the poor into factions that they can than dominate in order to climb the social ladder. The logic being that instead of taking on the rich together, because that's hard, we should be content to split the table scraps they throw at us and than try to make the best of it by making tribes and than fighting over them instead of sharing equally.

And than the rich just looked at it and smacked their lips happily knowing that this is a movement they can support to forever (or at least temporarily) cripple the one weapon that those under them have, unity. When man fights woman and black fights white nobody gets to fight the Clintons, Obamas and Trumps of this world as they sit together in the same room, black and white, female and male and sip campaign laughing at the battle going on outside.

I am not that inclined to agree with this - the notion of a middle class is itself problematic, and the existence of Trumps and Clintons are interwoven with the identity politics going on below. Identity politics is not even confined to the US, which makes me think the birth of identity politics is more linked to globalisation and, originally, in the social movements of the mid- to late 20th century. Modern identity politics is fundamentally a Western conception.

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Postby Bombadil » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:09 am

Arkolon wrote:This is one of the very few times I've seen something so thought-provoking coming from the comment section of an Internet-based mouthpiece. Identity politics is indeed only disempowering the common person and empowering right-wing movements, but this comment makes it seem as if identity politics is the product of 'the elite'. Identity politics, as far as I can tell, formed organically from within, not at the whim of media or 'the 1%' – which begs the question why identity politics formed this way in the first place.


I don't think it's the 1% per se, I think that's another term that blinds people to something new and different, a coalition of specific interests that are aiming to delegitimise government itself. Certainly they've seen the media as a vehicle, especially in this fragmented age where there is no mainstream consensus anymore.

There's a weird coalition of 4chan and related, alt-right, libertarian and racist groups under this idea of 'fuck the government/authority' and it's being used by vested interests.
Last edited by Bombadil on Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ariddia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:09 am

Purpelia wrote:What ever happened to from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs. Now a days the slogan seems to be "from each what ever the fuck they want, irregardless of if they are capable or qualified as long as they are ideologically correct, if not fuck them, and to each according to how much ideologically correct they are."

The entire point of communism is to remove the economic pressure imposed upon individuals by the economic class stratification of society in order to allow them to become all they can be. It aims to make sure we as a species do not lose any more brilliant scientists, engineers and artists to wage slavery just because they were born in the wrong family. To ensure that you and I don't have to spend all our lives working to make someone else rich and can instead pursue the things we are good at. And than society as a whole will benefit from everyone contributing according to his abilities as opposed to according to what he is forced to in order to not starve.


While I don't view myself as a communist, I have a lot of sympathy for the idea "from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs". To me, that should be the core of what the left seeks to implement. A society in which, as you say, a person's background (i.e., having grown up in relative poverty) isn't an impediment to achieving the job they want, so long as they are able to achieve the necessary abilities through their own unimpeded efforts. A society in which there is support for those who strive to contribute to the best of their ability. And in which, conversely, there is a strong social and moral expectation that everyone should work, as long as there are indeed enough jobs to go around.

Bombadil wrote:It's centred the conversation on these issues allowing for greater dismantling of the state while everyone shouts at each other over nothing. [...]
Climate change is an issue of regulation, finance is an issue of regulation - that is the actual battle. [...]
I think there's a clear strategy to drive these wedge issues to paper over the destruction of the role of government in regulating businesses, the media to hold it to account and even the courts to adjudicate. People are being used as puppets in a far more pernicious movement.


That's the impression I get too, yes. Divisive, unproductive and sometimes frankly silly identity politics detract from the real issues that affect the underprivileged of all ethnic backgrounds - such as the lack of proper regulation in business and finance. Those who focus on such politics may be undermining their own interests, by aiding the most predatory businesses and lobbyists to quietly get on with keeping people's wages down, maintaining poor working conditions and damaging our shared natural environment. Not to mention aiding the nastiest sides of the political right.

Arkolon wrote:Identity politics is indeed only disempowering the common person and empowering right-wing movements, but this comment makes it seem as if identity politics is the product of 'the elite'. Identity politics, as far as I can tell, formed organically from within, not at the whim of media or 'the 1%' – which begs the question why identity politics formed this way in the first place.


It's a good question. I've seen it suggested that it might stem from the failure of the left to achieve its historical goals. Thus prompting a change in approach, by people who might once have been broad-based progressives, but who now choose to focus more narrowly on what they perceive as their own specific and exclusive interests. So it may also be a product of our societies having encouraged selfishness and narrow individual self-interest, as opposed to broad collective interest, a lot more since the 1980s.

Also, the concept of multiculturalism as a public policy encouraging people to identify with their ethnic 'community' rather that with their nation or indeed with their social class didn't, I think, grow organically. It was pushed forward by intellectuals and political leaders from the 1970s onward. Making it coincide with the economic changes of the period, the atomisation of society, the new focus on individualism and consumer-identy, and the demographic decline of the traditional working classes. So it probably provided a new sense of belonging, for people who craved one in that destructuring context.
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Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:15 am

Ariddia wrote:While I don't view myself as a communist, I have a lot of sympathy for the idea "from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs". To me, that should be the core of what the left seeks to implement. A society in which, as you say, a person's background (i.e., having grown up in relative poverty) isn't an impediment to achieving the job they want.

It's not about what they want but what they can achieve. Don't use those two interchangeably. That's how you fall into the failing of the modern "left". The point here is equal opportunity and not equal outcome. Remove the barriers which hinder people from being all they can be and than let them at it. But if someone is not capable or willing to invest the work required to become something he wants you have no obligation to help him.

If I want to be a painter but have no talent society has no obligation to make me a painter and buy my paintings. Or if I want to be an athlete but don't want to put the work in to make my self athletic they have no obligation to let me win competitions. All they should do is remove the economic barriers preventing me from giving it a try. And than the rest is up to me, my inborn abilities and my will to work for my goals.

That's why the argument for free education is not: "Give everyone a diploma" but "Let everyone get education. And those that are good enough and hard working enough will graduate." The point is to not exclude anyone from opportunity. The rest is up to them.
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Postby Risottia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:17 am

Identity politics has been a tool of capitalism since the times of Mussolini at the very least, and of the ruling classes since time immemorial. Am Westen nichts neues.
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Postby Philjia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:18 am

There has been a trend across the political spectrum for a very long time to talk about the communities rather than individuals, and the only political positions that still do are the greedy, wholly egocentric ideologies, like right libertarianism. The end of this is always to dictate what the interests of that community are: what they want, and how they should behave. If governments and other groups continue to emphasise communities over individuals, society will only continue to become more tribal.
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Postby Philjia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:22 am

Vassenor wrote:I still don't get what "identity politics" is anyway.

Any attempt to promote behaviour, legislation, or what have you, in the name of a community, rather than individual civil rights. Groups from all sides are doing it at this point. Nationalists and social liberals are the most enthusiastic.
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Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:23 am

Philjia wrote:There has been a trend across the political spectrum for a very long time to talk about the communities rather than individuals, and the only political positions that still do are the greedy, wholly egocentric ideologies, like right libertarianism. The end of this is always to dictate what the interests of that community are: what they want, and how they should behave. If governments and other groups continue to emphasise communities over individuals, society will only continue to become more tribal.

A certain degree of tribalism is good for society. It's what makes sure that groups with actual real common interest can join together and work together for a common goal. Take say the factory workers from an automobile plant. These people obviously need to have a certain degree of common identity and tribalism in order to form a union which will have the loyalty of its members that it requires to stage strikes and engage in labor conflicts.

Same thing goes for say civil rights movements. If there is a legitimate grievance to be had (like say american blacks in the 60's) than the community needs to unite and fight for them. And that requires a certain sense of belonging and tribalism in order to promote loyalty.

The place where problems arise is when these communities lose touch of the fact that they are only connected by those narrow eartly interests and are not in fact a homogenous tribe. And that typically happens when they are usurped by ideologs who seek to turn their struggle into an ideological one abuse them for their own personal benefit.

And the way to prevent this is to ensure everyone involved knows exactly why they are in the group and understand that their presence in there is driven by earthly requirements and NOT ideological belief. So it is ultimately up to the individual to stand up and say "NO. I am not in this for your religion. I am in this because I have a problem I need solved. And once that is done i am out."
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Postby Vassenor » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:25 am

Purpelia wrote:
Vassenor wrote:I still don't get what "identity politics" is anyway.

It's a cynical political movement by the modern "left" who claim to represent "oppressed" minorities against the evil white male. Their primary premise lays on the fundamental belief that racism, sexism, religionism and just about every other ism they can come up with is absolutely 100% true. Race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and others are, according to them, fundamental properties a person which define him much more than upbringing, culture or individual personality ever will.

If you've ever seen Star Trek this concept might be familiar to you. All Klingons are warriors, all Vulcans are scientists.... Well now apply that to All Women and All Muslims and All homosexuals... Or if you are like me and like pointing out the obvious parallel All Jews

Therefore, they argue, they can just clump everyone in these categories into neat groups that they can than claim to hate or represent depending on how close or far they fall from the white heterosexual male. Their tools are doublethink, thought crime, emotional manipulation and shaming and a burning desire to reject reality and substitute their own moral truth in place of the scientific one. They use words such as "privilege" and "patriarchy" and the only thing they hate more than white males are members of minorities that they claim to represent but which disagree with them.


Which is interesting because I've never actually seen that in discourse outside of the typical echo chambers.
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Postby Arkolon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:25 am

Bombadil wrote:
Arkolon wrote:This is one of the very few times I've seen something so thought-provoking coming from the comment section of an Internet-based mouthpiece. Identity politics is indeed only disempowering the common person and empowering right-wing movements, but this comment makes it seem as if identity politics is the product of 'the elite'. Identity politics, as far as I can tell, formed organically from within, not at the whim of media or 'the 1%' – which begs the question why identity politics formed this way in the first place.


I don't think it's the 1% per se, I think that's another term that blinds people to something new and different, a coalition of specific interests that are aiming to delegitimise government itself. Certainly they've seen the media as a vehicle, especially in this fragmented age where there is no mainstream consensus anymore.

There's a weird coalition of 4chan and related, alt-right, libertarian and racist groups under this idea of 'fuck the government/authority' and it's being used by vested interests.

That is why I use quotation marks for 'the 1%': the term is very ill-defined, and its constituents metamorphose depending on who you ask. 'The 1%' or 'the Elite' is a bogeyman that is neither helpful nor informative. There are vested interests, and there is a capitalist class, but I think they are more interested in self-preservation at the top of the hierarchy than in the erosion of government. Identity politics is indeed a reality only among the working classes; I just don't agree it is the intential product of the capitalist class.

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Postby Isentria » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:30 am

Purpelia wrote:
Philjia wrote:There has been a trend across the political spectrum for a very long time to talk about the communities rather than individuals, and the only political positions that still do are the greedy, wholly egocentric ideologies, like right libertarianism. The end of this is always to dictate what the interests of that community are: what they want, and how they should behave. If governments and other groups continue to emphasise communities over individuals, society will only continue to become more tribal.

A certain degree of tribalism is good for society. It's what makes sure that groups with actual real common interest can join together and work together for a common goal. Take say the factory workers from an automobile plant. These people obviously need to have a certain degree of common identity and tribalism in order to form a union which will have the loyalty of its members that it requires to stage strikes and engage in labor conflicts.

The place where problems arise is when these communities lose touch of the fact that they are only connected by those narrow interests and are not in fact a homogenous tribe. And that typically happens when they are usurped by ideologs who seek to abuse them for their own personal benefit.

And the way to prevent this is to ensure everyone knows exactly why they are in the group and understand that their presence in there is driven by earthly requirements and NOT ideological belief.


Tribalism is a too hard word to use here, as, after all, tribes are usually such that they follow the guideline of: "Born in the tribe, die in the tribe". Which is not really of use or of sense in modern societies.
But a degree of collective sense and comradeship within a social interest group is always welcome and natural. The tribe is usually hostile to all outsiders, the social interest group is not and welcomes those who would share in the interest.

The main difference is: you don't pick the tribe you belong to, but you can associate with any social group you would like. It is suffice to say, the tribal group is pretty much against any notion of the freedom to associate the individual has.

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Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:31 am

Vassenor wrote:Which is interesting because I've never actually seen that in discourse outside of the typical echo chambers.

What I described is indeed the extreme example of their behavior that they can only engage in openly and fully when among their own and unopposed. But it is worth talking about that so explicitly because that is the world they want to impose on all of us should they win. Hitler did not start opening camps until after he won either.

As for their manifestation in the greater sphere of politics look at things such as the gamergate scandal or what is happening in university campuses and societies across the west where teachers are protested against for ideological reasons, no male music festivals are created, people are forced under pain of shunning to agree to idiotic gender theories such as that a 5 year old can genuinely feel transgender (even though it can't write its own name) etc. Or in fact what certain political parties are doing when labeling certain political candidates *trump* as Fascists, sexists, racists etc.
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Postby Vassenor » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:33 am

Purpelia wrote:
Vassenor wrote:Which is interesting because I've never actually seen that in discourse outside of the typical echo chambers.

What I described is indeed the extreme example of their behavior that they can only engage in openly and fully when among their own and unopposed. But it is worth talking about that so explicitly because that is the world they want to impose on all of us should they win. Hitler did not start opening camps until after he won either.

As for their manifestation in the greater sphere of politics look at things such as the gamergate scandal or what is happening in university campuses and societies across the west where teachers are protested against for ideological reasons, no male music festivals are created, people are forced under pain of shunning to agree to idiotic gender theories such as that a 5 year old can genuinely feel transgender (even though it can't write its own name) etc. Or in fact what certain political parties are doing when labeling certain political candidates *trump* as Fascists, sexists, racists etc.


TIL bragging about sexual assault isn't Sexism.
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Bombadil
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Bombadil » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:34 am

Arkolon wrote:
Bombadil wrote:
I don't think it's the 1% per se, I think that's another term that blinds people to something new and different, a coalition of specific interests that are aiming to delegitimise government itself. Certainly they've seen the media as a vehicle, especially in this fragmented age where there is no mainstream consensus anymore.

There's a weird coalition of 4chan and related, alt-right, libertarian and racist groups under this idea of 'fuck the government/authority' and it's being used by vested interests.

That is why I use quotation marks for 'the 1%': the term is very ill-defined, and its constituents metamorphose depending on who you ask. 'The 1%' or 'the Elite' is a bogeyman that is neither helpful nor informative. There are vested interests, and there is a capitalist class, but I think they are more interested in self-preservation at the top of the hierarchy than in the erosion of government. Identity politics is indeed a reality only among the working classes; I just don't agree it is the intential product of the capitalist class.


I don't know, what was called neoreactionary is quite specific - it's not the capitalist class per se, it certainly has rich and powerful backers, it has ties to Bannon and the alt-right effectively grew out of it. They believe democracy is no longer useful for modern society.

The Google memo is a perfect example, why that company, why that topic.. it's centre ground for the battle between equality and alt-right.

Perhaps I'm being slightly tin-foil but this seems something quite different from all my life experience.. although I just read a book on Transhumanism that weirded me out as well and left me slightly less sure of the world :) The Radiolab podcast that was taken down also weirded me out at the ties between 4chan and the far right - just how all these things are connected very specifically.
Last edited by Bombadil on Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Purpelia
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Founded: Oct 19, 2010
Libertarian Police State

Postby Purpelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:36 am

Isentria wrote:Tribalism is a too hard word to use here, as, after all, tribes are usually such that they follow the guideline of: "Born in the tribe, die in the tribe". Which is not really of use or of sense in modern societies.
But a degree of collective sense and comradeship within a social interest group is always welcome and natural. The tribe is usually hostile to all outsiders, the social interest group is not and welcomes those who would share in the interest.

The main difference is: you don't pick the tribe you belong to, but you can associate with any social group you would like. It is suffice to say, the tribal group is pretty much against any notion of the freedom to associate the individual has.

Ultimately I approach this from the angle of describing the biological mechanism being used as opposed to the social one. Because ultimately the same biological mechanism is what drives you to love your family and friends and to fight to the death for your preferred make belief sky fairy.

Vassenor wrote:TIL bragging about sexual assault isn't Sexism.

It is not. There is absolutely nothing sexist about it.

Sexism, or indeed any -ism is about claiming that this particular characteristic is an overpoweringly strong element in who you are. And in bragging about having raped someone you are doing no such thing. No more than if you were bragging about robbing, murdering or any other crime. What it is is simply bragging about being a complete scum criminal.


To give you a more familiar example. If I kill a jew I am not inherently racist. And if I brag about the kill that does not make me racist either. What would make me racists is if I killed him because he is a jew. Ism's are a motivating factor, not a post festum diagnosis.
Last edited by Purpelia on Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Ariddia
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Ariddia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:41 am

Vassenor wrote:I still don't get what "identity politics" is anyway.


Others can probably define it better than me, but broadly speaking it's the belief that 'race' and gender should be the relevant self-categorisation through which to organise struggles for various types of empowerment (or apparent empowerment). It comes with the belief that the "experience of being black" or the "experience of being a woman" renders these exclusionary categories not only valid but essentially homogenous, and closed. It argues that members of (certain) ethnic minorities, and women, should automatically view themselves as oppressed (whatever their social background, profession and level of wealth may be), and that they should view white males as being oppressors (even those who are below the poverty line). They contend that even a white male who supports, say, women's empowerment and equal rights for all is, by essence, inescapably an oppressor, with whom there can be little or no common ground.

It comes with the view that communities as such should have rights. (For example, ethnic-based affirmative action or so-called 'positive discrimination' is predicated on the assumption that a young upper-middle-class black man or woman from a wealthy background may be viewed as 'underprivileged', and therefore given preferential access to higher education or employment, whereas a young white working-class man who grew up in poverty with few or no books to read at home may not.) It also comes with the view that anyone who's not from "the community" has nothing relevant to say about oppression or disadvantage, and should not be heard.

This denies the relevance of building broader civic groups towards common achievements. For example, it denies that people who work long hours in low-paid, exploitative jobs actually do have a common experience of being exploited, and therefore have common interests, and therefore should work together with any person of good will to resolve them.

Bombadil wrote:I don't think it's the 1% per se, I think that's another term that blinds people to something new and different, a coalition of specific interests that are aiming to delegitimise government itself. Certainly they've seen the media as a vehicle, especially in this fragmented age where there is no mainstream consensus anymore.


That's a good point. Exclusionary ethnic-based minority groups that view "the government" as the enemy and / or as the problem (whatever party happens to be in power) ironically share a common line with businesses which do have an interest in delegitimising and weakening the government. So as to be able to apply exploitative working conditions to the (relative) poor of all ethnic origins.

Purpelia wrote:It's not about what they want but what they can achieve. Don't use those two interchangeably. That's how you fall into the failing of the modern "left". The point here is equal opportunity and not equal outcome. Remove the barriers which hinder people from being all they can be and than let them at it. But if someone is not capable or willing to invest the work required to become something he wants you have no obligation to help him.


I think that was fairly clear in what I wrote but yes, obviously that's my view. I've reformulated to clarify further.
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Arkolon
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Ex-Nation

Postby Arkolon » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:00 am

Bombadil wrote:
Arkolon wrote:That is why I use quotation marks for 'the 1%': the term is very ill-defined, and its constituents metamorphose depending on who you ask. 'The 1%' or 'the Elite' is a bogeyman that is neither helpful nor informative. There are vested interests, and there is a capitalist class, but I think they are more interested in self-preservation at the top of the hierarchy than in the erosion of government. Identity politics is indeed a reality only among the working classes; I just don't agree it is the intential product of the capitalist class.


I don't know, what was called neoreactionary is quite specific - it's not the capitalist class per se, it certainly has rich and powerful backers, it has ties to Bannon and the alt-right effectively grew out of it. They believe democracy is no longer useful for modern society.

The Google memo is a perfect example, why that company, why that topic.. it's centre ground for the battle between equality and alt-right.

Perhaps I'm being slightly tin-foil but this seems something quite different from all my life experience.. although I just read a book on Transhumanism that weirded me out as well and left me slightly less sure of the world :) The Radiolab podcast that was taken down also weirded me out at the ties between 4chan and the far right - just how all these things are connected very specifically.

I think you are looking at this too much as an exclusively right-wing thing. I agree that the battlegrounds in the 'culture war' are the Google memo and similar spats, but the sides battling it out are the right-wing identity politics and the left-wing identity politics. It is important to admit that the right-wing identity politics is a reaction to the left-wing identity politics of a few years earlier. The OP captures this very well: "Telling economically disempowered whites (especially men) that they should view themselves as privileged oppressors, when they may be struggling to make ends meet on low wages, is supposed to achieve… what, exactly? Apart from pushing them to the right, and encouraging some of them to adopt a particularly nasty type of identity politics as well?". Take a look at this quote from RS McCoy, an alt-right 'journalist': "We're going to care about our interests first, black people are going to care about their interests first, and even moving outside of race into things like LGBT, they're going to care about their interests first. And that is not bad, it doesn't have to be demonised." (x). There is an economic reality that rests below this surge in identity politics, that is for sure, and I think that is what the OP is trying to say.

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Vassenor
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Vassenor » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:08 am

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