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The Problem of Identity Politics and Its Solution

Posted by $ nickursis 6 years, 6 months ago to Culture
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A very interesting discussion of one of the major reasons (IMHO) that we are seeing so much dysfunction today. When you isolate and label people as a this or a that, you immediately box them, expect specific loayalties and behavhior, and that is rarely true of the wild American. I do disagree that this is a recent invention, it has been a tool of societies for as long as there has been writing. Any time you set a preference for a group over another, it is a practice of identity politics, so ancient Egypt over Hebrews, Romans over "barbarians" Muslims over Christians (in all the many forms that has taken), English over "continentals" (French, German, Spanish, all at different times). It is recent that it has become such a fractured art, where they have invented a million things you can be, to allow for ever smaller groups to be pulled in and manipulated, that seems to be the truth at hand.
SOURCE URL: https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/the-problem-of-identity-politics-and-its-solution/


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 6 years, 5 months ago
    Xenophobia, the fear of that which is different, is an innate part of human survival instinct. In primitive circumstances, it engenders caution when dealing with new vegetation/fungus/fruit (is it edible or will it kill me?), new animals (is it edible, or will it kill me?), and other humans that look/sound/smell different (less emphasis on edible, but the same uncertainty about a potentially deadly enemy). Without xenophobia, we run the risk of dying before we know what's going on.

    Because it's so much a part of our primitive instincts, manipulating people by relying on the fear motivation is easier than influencing by reason. Whether or not the arguments about how dangerous a particular segment of the population is pass the logical test is less important to our primitive brain than to our higher intellect.

    Creating an educational system that emphasizes our victimhood undermines our self confidence, which is a product of logical thinking. That societal tool, convincing the population that they are vulnerable and somewhat helpless is what makes it easy to identify a segment of our neighbors as "dangerous." It also makes it easier to convince the "victims" that their glorious leader is the only one who can save them.

    Only by reinforcing a populace's sense of empowerment and confidence can we make them less likely to fall for identity politics. Educating Americans about the strength of individual freedom inherent in American culture can serve that purpose.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
      Yet everything is geared to "groupthink". Kids are worried about what others think, advertising drives to that insecurity in everything from clothes to music to entertainment, to products. It is hard to tell people to stand on their own and stop worrying about everyone else, when they have been bred to "belong".
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 6 years, 5 months ago
        It's part of the downside of being a social animal, Whether it's herd or pack, acceptance by others of our kind is part of what keeps us sane and confident. The challenge is to make the fine distinction between independence and isolation. Independent thought and action by individuals is necessary for the betterment of the group, while isolation serves neither the individual nor the group.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 6 years, 5 months ago
    The cure? Individualism. How to get people to accept it? It won't be easy, and it won't be soon, but
    perhaps a nationwide boycott of the universities. But who would join such a boycott? Perhaps many young people who see that it is not a good idea to get all indebted, with very little chance of
    getting a job out of it.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
      The universities are part of the whole machine, that says your useless, bigoted education endows you with special qualities that a normal person does not. That lie has been perpetrated since the end of WW2 when the GI bill made degrees easy and free, and all of a sudden, within 5 years, it went from something the top 2-3% had to what 30-40 % had.
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      • Posted by LibertyBelle 6 years, 5 months ago
        Yes, I think there is a great deal to that. I remember
        how "college, college, college" was pushed on me when I was in high school. But when I saw it was not going to get me the career I wanted, I decided not to go.
        Ayn Rand seemed to think that people should go to fight the educational establishment "from within", but, excuse me, I did not intend to go just for a crusade, if it was not career-oriented.
        But if this country is to be saved, I do not think the educational establishment will be reformed from within.(Not to be religious, but Martin Luther saw he could not reform the Catholic Church from within, so he left and started his own). I think that if this country is to be saved, the home-schooling movement will play a significant part. And then there are private-enterprise schools.
        I remember how my classmates in grade school stumbled and stumbled over words in reading; I could read easily, since my mother, a high school drop-out, had taught me phonics before I went to school.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
          Yes, I just aw a couple specials on Martin Luther, and he had to use the Bible itself and the church's obvious abrogation of it, for the rebellion. Look at how bad the rebellion was, too, it was very violent, and killed many people. One would have to fight with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and people would defend it with the million pages of laws made since, with "these laws were made from that" making them just as good, even when bad.
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          • Posted by LibertyBelle 6 years, 5 months ago
            I do not really like Martin Luther much, because he
            was so bigoted and anti-Semitic; I believe he even
            went along with executing Baptists. But I kind of respect him, because he did a lot to break the former near-monopoly, whatever that's worth.
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            • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
              Well he certainly was, and he also wandered around in his position, and I would have to say it sounds a lot like the Christian/Muslim war today. He did a lot to break the corrupt Church of it's stranglehold on power and wealth though.
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              • Posted by LibertyBelle 6 years, 5 months ago
                Yes, and the "good" part of him is what was emphasized in my schoolbook. But I found out about his anti-Semitism later, from a book in the Waynesboro library. And later I read some really shocking stuff (some of it in The Objectivist magazine, which carried some chapters from The Ominous Parallels by Peikoff, before it came out as a book). And I've read other stuff, too.
                But my point about him was merely: the we have an educational "establishment" in this country, which is another sort of establishment leading to thought control. And I don't think it is going to be reformed from within, but by a sort of exodus from it (that is, if we're lucky).
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                • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
                  Certainly that is truth, it is just such an exodus will be difficult when they control all the strings, that was sort of why Charter Schools came into being, and they still stick their greedy claws into them...
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  • Posted by Dobrien 6 years, 5 months ago
    From a week ago Posted by $ Dobrien 1 week, 1 day ago to I am whatever race I say I am--at Brown University
    Thanks Walter, this is the kind of info that I would never hear about but have suspected.
    I have passed this on and suggested they do the same.
    Identity politics followed your graduation by a decade when Alexander Solzhenitsyn book GULAG ARCHIPELAGO destroyed any cloak of moral authority by communists. To continue the attack on capitalism they needed a new tactic and the answer was identity politics. The lefts tactics morphed into an ethno-racial battle pitting all
    minorities as victims of oppression as the result of freedom and capitalism.
    your essay is an example of the result of that ideology.
    humanities studies of western civilization now ignore reason and judge according to victims viewpoints .
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  • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 6 months ago
    How dare Matthew Continetti, that NY Yankee Irish-Italian preach about bias to me!
    (sarcasm off)
    Decent article with one glaring exception.
    "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection."
    This Lincoln quote is a fantastic example of Lincoln as consummate politician striving for power at all costs, reminiscent of Hitler-pretending to want peace while refusing to even negotiate with southern leaders. Worst murdering POTUS in history and an early adopter of identity politics to shift blame.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 6 months ago
      Remember, the war he got stuck with was all about identity politics, in many, many respects.Beyond color, you had political identities staged off of southern/northern. slave/no slave/black/white and the nascent publishing and photo media learning to manipulate hype.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 6 years, 5 months ago
        I would imagine, dealing with the south was like dealing with stupid, dealing with parasitical non-conscious humanoids or... today's Left!?!?, the "new world dis-order!?!?!, the great unwashed refusing to take a bath!?!?!?, environ[mental]ist!?!?!?.

        I remember viewing a piece of paper where Lincoln wrote out the arguments that could be made about any one of us in regards to enslavement.
        July 1, 1854: Fragment on Slavery

        "Lincoln often encountered views supporting slavery. In this fragment, he countered the arguments that slavery was justified based on color and intellect."

        "If A. can prove, however conclusively, that he may, of right, enslave B. -- why may not B. snatch the same argument, and prove equally, that he may enslave A?--"

        "You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own."

        "You do not mean color exactly?--You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own."

        "But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you."

        I guess the south was too stupid, too corrupt, too narcissistic, too bicameral, to understand the argument.

        Killing each other was not the best way to settle the argument but we are back to my original posit...how do you...deal with stupid?

        How would an objectivist deal with the problem today...run away to a place called Galt's Gulch?
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        • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 5 months ago
          Looks simple 160 years later if you accept the history as written by the victors without researching the contemporary writings of both sides.
          The winners always write the history books and establish themselves as saints.
          How certain are you that Lincoln consistently made the arguments that you have been told he made?
          Thomas DiLorenzo did the research and published two books: The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked.
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          • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 6 years, 5 months ago
            Thanks for the ref. freedom. I wanted to know from where you were coming.
            Yea, I've been hearing: "history is written by the victors", a lot lately.
            David Barton's work on lincoln isn't all that glowing either but not to the extent you have read...would be interesting to see where they intersect.

            No doubt that our history has been confounded beyond reason. Dan and I discuss often how the timelines in ancient history is a big mess and don't match up to anything.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
          I have to believe that we have to have certain inalienable, unquestionable truths that fit our society. Slavery is one of them,yet, to be honest, did we not trade one form of slavery for another in that we have economic slavery, where people work for a specific wage and yet other people who are the "superior" ones, get vast, unequal payments, for little or no work? That takes you back to the communist theory of share and share alike, yet even then, true communism never has appeared, it has always been a dictatorship of a few over the rest. Yet the fundamental idea of one person owning another is wrong and I would think violate objectivist principles through taking away the ability of self to decide ones actions.

          However, today there are various slavery markets in action, that never seem to get stamped out: children for sex, religious slavery (ISIS was running some pretty miserable slave rings), several underground slavery rings to nations with less "detailed" law enforcement. Yet no direct action comes from the enlightened ones who choose to lecture and yell at us for deeds from 150 years ago....
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          • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 6 years, 5 months ago
            It's the so called enlighten one's, operating in a black out, that engage in the child slave markets.

            It is found that in the Philippines the typical patrons of child sex slaves are those in Our Government. (found by Mercury 1), so, here we go again...pointing their fingers at us for what they themselves do.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 6 months ago
        He didn't get stuck with it. He created it. He was elected by northern interests on a plan to tax the south to death and transfer the funds to his supporters in northern industry. This had already been tried in 1828 and it had already caused South Carolina to nullify the tariff- yes, SC where Lincoln's War started. Lincoln knew exactly what the reaction would be and that war would be the result. Lincoln was a looter, murderer of 400,000 American young men, and condoned the first war on civilian targets. Lincoln was the American Stalin.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 5 months ago
          That's nonsense. Several States in the South had seceded prior to the election even taking place. What happened was that the vote was split between FOUR candidates, of which three were essentially the same platform - support for slavery. Lincoln won with only 30% of the vote as member of a brand new party: the Republican Party. And following the election and prior to inauguration, several more States seceded. The Civil War started before Lincoln ever took office.

          Don't let your hate of Lincoln get in the way of objectively looking at the Civil War. If one looks at the political history going back to the 1820's leading up to the Missouri Compromise and later the Kansas-Nebraska Act, one can see that slavery was the primary motivator for many political decisions for decades before Lincoln ever got involved in politics. You can look no further than Georgia's letter of secession (http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~ras2777...) to see that the South's desire to maintain slavery was still the primary cause of their gripes - not tariffs. The truth was that the South had pigeon-holed themselves into a single industry and economic life: cotton raised on slavery. They were getting competed out of business by the North who was technologically superior and had developed machinery and mechanized industry which was far superior and efficient than the hand-labor the South depended on.
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          • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
            Interesting. Now, supposed Eli Whitney came alongwith a cotton picking machine instead of the gin, the gin sped up processing and so the demand for cotton rose, and output doubled every 10 years from 1800, so by 1850, the pressure was huge to grow and pick cotton, the one thing that only human labor could do. Prices fell as volumes increased, making it even harder to keep the south going.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 5 months ago
              Absolutely! And that was likely only about another twenty years in the future. The steam engine had already been invented, but its size and weight made it cumbersome to employ in mobile pursuits (such as farming). Those hurdles would be overcome early in the 20th century - set back by decades due to the war.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 5 months ago
            I don't hate Lincoln. I didn't know him to hate him. You haven't read DiLorenzo's books on the cause of the war. Until you have taken time to read the evidence there is no point in further discussion.
            No states seceded before the election. None.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 5 months ago
              Here's a great website with timelines and reasons for the Civil War: http://www.civil-conflict.org/civil-w...

              I would clarify my words: No state "officially" seceded until after the election, but several had already brought such motions to their States' legislatures for ratification and had published their full intention to secede. The official declaration was merely a formality. Seven states formally announced secession prior to Lincoln's inauguration in March - five of those within a month of the election results. They had made up their minds. Lincoln's election was the last inch on the football field - not a drastic and decisive revolt against oppression and tyranny.

              If you go here (http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~ras2777..., you can read South Carolina's letter, which talks not a word about tariffs, but dwells exclusively on slavery.

              Next, the Georgia letter also dwells most heavily on slavery, and curiously even admits that during the signing of the Constitution it was acknowledged that slavery was to be done away with.

              Mississippi's letter again spends its time in the historical grievances of slaveholding States towards their anti-slaveholding brothers. Not a hint of economic considerations.

              So tell me: what am I missing here that is more important than what the actual people involved in the secession chose to make part of their official declarations?
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              • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 5 months ago
                All of the history you cite comes from the sources controlled by the victors of the war who have a vested interest in making themselves appear to be heroes regardless of the facts.
                You have to consider the rest of the story that has been suppressed because it is an embarrassment to the state and that has been published in DiLorenzo's books.
                Until you open your mind to that we have nothing to discuss. I won't respond to more of the same. It's a complete waste of time.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 5 months ago
                  I'm reading from the letters published by the seceding States declaring their intents and perceived offenses. This isn't any kind of revisionist history and you are disingenuous to suggest any such.
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                  • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 5 months ago
                    And you are ignoring the other sources that have been carefully researched by a respected historian that disagree with your opinion. Waste of time talking to you on a subject that you are closed to objective discussion. Keep on talking though you are ignored.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 5 months ago
                      If you want to start a thread based on that book, go ahead. No one is stopping you. But you are presenting that book and its conclusions as the only possible truth, ignoring the documents written by the people who were actually involved at the time. And then you have the gall to suggest that anyone who doesn't take this book as "gospel truth" to be ignorant savages unworthy of a discussion - that they can't possibly be objective. I'd be very careful making such claims when they are so apt to bite you in the face.
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              • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
                Blarman, your statement of facts to point to the fact they spoke of slaves, however, remember, slaves were considered to be like tractors. When you spoke of them, you spoke of property as well as the ability to even farm at all. With cotton being the primary cash crop and export, they HAD to have slavery to make it work. Ergo, abolishing slavery, would abolish the plantation, and thus a major chunk of the economy. The emotional aspect was that everyone was attached to slavery as a de-facto right, natural order of things, like item. I think the 2 were synonymous.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 5 months ago
                  At the time of the signing of the Constitution, everyone there knew and agreed that slavery was on a decline and would naturally die out. Why? Because cotton only grew in the deep South and was labor intensive to produce - that labor being supplied primarily by slaves. Then someone found a new strain of cotton that could grow outside the deep south and Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Now suddenly cotton could not only be processed more efficiently, but be grown in a wider variety of climes. Slaveholding States were presented with an excuse to press for more States to own slaves and to perpetuate this offense against natural rights. And this is precisely what we saw in the early 1800's to 1840's - political conflict arising from a desire to protect through government an industry that should have died due to competitive forces.

                  Another thing that should be noted is that political influence during the Declaration of Independence and Constitution relied heavily on Virginia. The combined vote of the South - especially Virginia - could block any major legislation. As immigration picked up, however, it was vastly to benefit the Northern States in population - and therefore voters and voting power. The House saw its representation slowly creep toward those favoring Abolition. The trend was indisputable and the 3/5 Compromise was a last-gasp effort to buy time for the South to change while it could. Instead, however, they merely entrenched themselves. They failed to innovate and adapt and more importantly they failed to live up to their own standards in the Declaration of Independence.

                  I agree that the slaves were an integral part of the economy of the South. That does not ignore the facts however that those in the Southern States persisted in supporting an industry that violated natural rights and they were perfectly aware of this fact. That they had to be forced to change their minds through bloodshed was a product of their own doing. They could have forged a different path, but their ideology was far more important to them than freedom and equity. Even if Jefferson Davis had been elected President of the United States instead of Lincoln, it wouldn't have changed the demographic trends. It would only have stalled the inevitable another four years. Indeed, a census would have taken place in 1860 had not the nation split. Thus the vitriol and hate for Lincoln is sorely misplaced. If not him, it would have been the next abolitionist elected President - likely in 1864.
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  • Posted by term2 6 years, 5 months ago
    I think its a battle between half the people acting like animals in that they dont produce, just take whats there for their use. The other half provide the production that the first half provide (unwillingly).

    So its the takers vs the makers, and of course they are at loggerheads. The takers want to take, and the makers want to keep what THEY made.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
      Wasn't that sort of what AS was all about? Yet 50 years ago...so things don't change much, do they?
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      • Posted by term2 6 years, 5 months ago
        Yeah, exactly. and she was right on. It IS a war and we DO have to take sides. Right now, the best we can hope for is someone who will stand in the way of the "progressives", and gridlock until in 50 years or so, statism can run its course through better education of the citizens.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
          Not when the statists and Liberals control the education system, that is part of the problem and has been building for 30 years.
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          • Posted by term2 6 years, 5 months ago
            One thing that concerns me for the ultimate survival of the human race is that things are different from when AS was written. Today we have worldwide surveillance and the availability of really powerful weapons. Plus, almost every inch of land is occupied compared with when the USA was started. I have serious doubts that an objectivist based country could even be started and not attacked and destroyed before it could defend itself. Without that, the seemingly incessant run towards statism will just prevail. Maybe the only thing that WILL work is complete destruction of statist regimes so they arent so powerful, and then a small group of objectivists start up a Gulch and expand from there. I will be long dead before that happens, so all I can do really at this point is try to hide in plain sight (as it were) and try to avoid as much statism as possible.
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            • Posted by $ 6 years, 5 months ago
              That seems to be a real problerm, in that outside and global pressure is totally counter to Objectivism, as it encourages group think, group action group everything. Success is measured in groups and numbers. Politics is based on groups and damn the individuals rights. Reminds me of an episode on the Orville (Fox) where they landed on a planet where everything was based on each person up voting or downvoting, which seemed a lot like what we see today, the mob mentality at it peak.
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              • Posted by term2 6 years, 5 months ago
                It was best demonstrated by hillary’s Slogan “stronger together”. The biggest gang. Gets the goodies that are out there is what she meant- and she was the biggest gangster of all. I don’t remember her talking about people making themselves stronger by working at all. She fed off other people with the Clinton foundation, selling favors from the government she was going to run- and she attracted followers who thought they would share in the loot
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  • Posted by NealS 6 years, 5 months ago
    Nothing's really changed, "it" all started from our childhood when we first started playing "it". Remember "You're It"? Today "it" is more prevalent and fine tuned by the democrats and the left, and now we're all just more aware of "it". I think "it" might have really intensified right around the time that Bill Clinton tried to redefine "is".
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