Difference between revisions of "Category:Identity Politics"

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#Edward Said  
#Edward Said  
#Kenan Malik
#Kenan Malik
==Key Research==
* "A review of nearly 1,000 studies of anti-bias tools found little evidence that they have any impact. In fact, recent studies suggest anti-bias training's primary effect may be to encourage discrimination: Firms with diversity training end up with fewer minorities in management, and field research finds that training both reinforces stereotypes and increases animosity against minority groups." [http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5186d08fe4b065e39b45b91e/t/51e3234ce4b0c8784c9e4aae/1373840204345/Paluck_Green_AnnRev_2009.pdf]

Revision as of 05:08, 4 August 2020

Section started in August 2019. It is specifically dedicated to critical approaches the authoritarian identitarianism that is related to Group Identity Theory (now also called Critical Social Justice), not on the older emancipatory movements such as the women's movement, the gay rights movements, civil rights for minority populations, etc ..., which operated under a egalitarian ethos within the bounds of universalism. This section is exclusively concerned with movements that reject universalist egalitarianism and pose particular dangers to peer to peer and commons approaches.


In order to learn a critical and self-reflexive approach in this subject, you may look to critique and contextualization from various sources:

  • on the radical left, current critics have been the people working around Jacobin magazine; with people like webcaster Michael Brooks (identified as 'integral left'), and from the black African-American left, with researchers on class and race such as Adolphe and Toure Reed. Also radical philosophers and journalistic commentators such as Slavoj Zizek and Matt Taibi belong to this broad camp, which was initiated with the Vampire Castle essay of Marc Fisher, listed below. (see also Dyab Abou Jahah). There is also strong critique emanating from the radical feminist camp.
  • on the center left (in the U.S. often called the 'liberal left'), there are several groups active: 1) the group of Grievance scholars, i.e. Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian which focuses on the genealogy of the current identitiarian ideology (New Discourses; Aero magazine); 2) the group around Brett Weinstein, Heather Heying, and Eric Weinstein (Dark Horse Podcast, the Portal); 3) the group around Rebel Wisdom documentary network and journalist David Fuller.
  • some pluralistic alliances cover broader political ground. This would be the case for the Intellectual Dark Web nebulae, for magazines like Quillete, and for a loose alliance of African-American scholars such as Coleman Hughes, James McWhorter, etc .. There is a group of critics that originated from the left but moved to the conservative camp as a result of their free speech commitments, for example Michael Rectenwald.


Short Quotations

"If you can't control your own emotions, you have to control the behavior of others"

- Robert Skinner cited by John Cleese

Long Quotations

Quote on the darker sides of group identity theory and practice

Selected from Diane Musho Hamilton:

"As we move towards greater inclusivity we’re also seeing some unintended consequences, such as:

  • Oppressive rules around speech and “political correctness”. There can seem to be a hypersensitivity to language and behavior that can create a culture of fear.
  • Endless processes of blame and accusation that don’t seem to ever resolve.
  • A victim-oppressor framework that doesn’t allow any other narratives to come forth.
  • The inversion of power hierarchies instead of their transformation (with a new group of oppressors at the top instead of no oppressors there).
  • A monoculture that only values a narrow range of attitudes, politics, personality types, and communication styles.
  • The demonization of those with differing views."


Mark Fisher: There are no identities, our struggle is with capital

"“So what can we do now? First of all, it is imperative to reject identitarianism, and to recognise that there are no identities, only desires, interests and identifications...The bourgeois-identitarian left knows how to propagate guilt and conduct a witch hunt, but it doesn’t know how to make converts. But that, after all, is not the point. The aim is not to popularise a leftist position, or to win people over to it, but to remain in a position of elite superiority, but now with class superiority redoubled by moral superiority too. ‘How dare you talk – it’s we who speak for those who suffer!’ ...

The rejection of identitarianism can only be achieved by the re-assertion of class. A left that does not have class at its core can only be a liberal pressure group. Class consciousness is always double: it involves a simultaneous knowledge of the way in which class frames and shapes all experience, and a knowledge of the particular position that we occupy in the class structure. It must be remembered that the aim of our struggle is not recognition by the bourgeoisie, nor even the destruction of the bourgeoisie itself. It is the class structure – a structure that wounds everyone, even those who materially profit from it – that must be destroyed. The interests of the working class are the interests of all; the interests of the bourgeoisie are the interests of capital, which are the interests of no-one. Our struggle must be towards the construction of a new and surprising world, not the preservation of identities shaped and distorted by capital. ...

"We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication.""

- Mark Fisher [1]

Helen Pluckrose on Ideological Possession

"Throughout history, groups of humans have become filled with a self-righteous, burning fervor to uphold a moral order and rid society of corrupting influences. In so becoming, they have often also become possessed of a kind of collective ideologically-inspired madness and thereby inflicted great cruelty on their fellow men and women. This is a part of humanity that must be acknowledged and mitigated. Modern, secular, liberal democracy, which is rooted in reason, evidence, freedom of speech and tolerance, has done rather well at channelling these impulses into more productive courses."

- Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay and Mike Nayna [2]

Dyab Abou Jahah on choosing for solidarity

“It is time to "shut up and listen" you would hear them say. At other times they will ask you to "use your privilege" and "speak up".

If you say something they don't approve of, they will tell you to "educate yourself", or even propose to educate you. "Stop being toxic", "stop being fragile", stop these crocodile tears of "innocence". Sounds familiar?

If you are white and you have another approach to the fight against racism than what a "person of colour" is saying, you will very likely hear this. If you are a man and you try to make a point on gender equality you are very likely to hear it too. If you are heterosexual and you have a point to make in the fight against homophobia that does not please a gay activist, some version of this narrative may come your way. The problem we are facing today is that the debate on equality is transformed into a debate on identity. An identity that is not seen anymore as an expression of cultural realities, linguistic diversity or religious doctrine.

Identity from a minority perspective is nowadays focalised around two central characteristics: colour and gender.

Do not get me wrong, I am aware of the importance of colour and gender in the debate on equality. And I am not going to reproduce the classical leftist analysis claiming that inequality results from class differences and nothing else. That analysis is reductionist. It is also often used to keep oppression forms based upon racism and sexism in place.

Nevertheless, we are facing a big problem with the rising minority identity politics paradigm, and the intellectual intimidation tactics its adherents are using in the debate. This is risking to jeopardise the struggle for equality altogether.’

- Dyab Abou Jajah [3]

Wokeism as the corporate religion of late stage capitalism ?

"The reason Wokeism is so easy to adopt into a corporation is that it is also a product of late-stage capitalism; a last gasp of a system running out of steam. Its doctrine can now be found in most major companies. As Matt Taibbi has pointed out, the emphasis Robin DiAngelo and others place on ‘lifelong vigilance’ of power and privilege creates a situation where Wokeism can perpetually insert itself into the workplace– there can never be enough sensitivity trainers to cleanse the sin away. Just as our economies are based on the erroneous idea of infinite growth, Wokeism preaches infinite sin; the unholy union between the two is terrifying."

- Alexander Beiner [4]

Is Wokeism a sign of "green hegemony", or not ?

This is using the ideas of Clare Graves, and the colour coding of Spiral Dynamics:

"Cowan & Todorovic advise caution in relation to people claiming to be certain levels, for example Turquoise (H-U), or D-Q (blue) or E-R (orange) which may be masquerading as F-S (green):

…we see the relationship that has confounded so many bright people – green-sounding ideas slid back into an absolute, authoritarian, dichotomous way of thinking about them, maybe even into an aggressive and rigidly dogmatic form. That’s not FS in operation, but it can certainly look Green at the surface. Sometimes, people may have developed a broader way of conceptualising (such as R/orange), but be in a situation where they are coping with life of prior levels (such as C/red)."

- [5]

Key Resources

  • New Discourses: project for political dialogue by James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian

Key Articles

  • A must-read and one of the first progressive call to arms: Mark Fisher's Vampires’ Castle
  • The Myth of Class Reductionism. By Adolph Reed: "Centrist Democrats and left-identitarians are bound in shared embrace of a particularist, elite-driven politics .. This .. political vision, - at the expense of long-term, movement-driven, majoritarian strategies at all levels of government — threatens to preempt hopes of restoring the public-good model of governance that was at the heart of postwar prosperity and foundational to the civil rights movement." ; see also: The Argument against Race Reductionism ; By Adolph Reed; New Labor Forum 29(2):36-43 ; May 2020

Key Books

  • Toward Freedom. The Case Against Race Reductionism. by Touré F. Reed. Verso, : " the road to a more just society for African Americans and everyone else, the fate of poor and working-class African Americans is inextricably linked to that of other poor and working-class Americans."

Key People

Key progressive critics of identity politics:

  1. Paul Gilroy
  2. A.Sivanandan
  3. Anthony Appiah
  4. Edward Said
  5. Kenan Malik

Key Research

  • "A review of nearly 1,000 studies of anti-bias tools found little evidence that they have any impact. In fact, recent studies suggest anti-bias training's primary effect may be to encourage discrimination: Firms with diversity training end up with fewer minorities in management, and field research finds that training both reinforces stereotypes and increases animosity against minority groups." [8]

Key Videos

See also:


Pages in category "Identity Politics"

The following 112 pages are in this category, out of 112 total.