Category:Identity Politics

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This wiki section is personally curated by Michel Bauwens, in order to offer critical views, from the emancipatory and universalist/egalitarian points of view, of the current political trends to allocate resources according to group membership, and to judge people as group members based on their biological markers with huge pressure to ideologically conform to the dictates of group leaders. By contrast, this wiki section draws on the multiple currents of egalitarian thought to offer critiques and evaluations, and stresses the important of peer to peer dynamics and commoning as elements of complex contributory identities, which allow free persons to freely associate with common projects.

The section is protected due to the huge pressure that these views face due to the prevalent mode of cancel culture and censorship. We encourage you to copy its material in other venues to preserve pluralistic dialogue. Please send updates and contributions to [email protected] You can add #updateIP in the subject line.

Below under 'Key Movements' is a list of civil rights organizations that can assist you. This article has good advice: Recommendations To Defend Yourself Against Cancel Culture Attacks.


Contextual Quote

"Anyone who tells you that you are bad or evil based on immutable characteristics, is both your enemy and an enemy of humanity"

- John Robb [1]

"Any ideology that asks people to judge others based on their skin color is wrong. Any ideology that asks us to reduce ourselves and others to racial stereotypes is wrong. Any ideology that treats dissent as evidence of bigotry is wrong. Any ideology that denies our common humanity is wrong. You should say so.."

- Bari Weiss [2]


Section started in August 2019, by Michel Bauwens. 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.

To start, please read Steven J. Lawrence's 7-part series: [3]

How does our approach differ from those of the IDW, the organizers of the New Discourses project and right-wing critics ?

I believe that my own interpretation of p2p/commons theory and practice, is that it is a integral/integrative and a 'transmodern' movement, i.e. a movement that wants to preserve and integrate the best of traditional societies (kinship, reciprocity and commoning arrangements, relationship with land and other living beings) , the best of modernity (science, rationality, the welfare state), and the best of postmodernity (criticality towards any form of knowledge, networked and distributed knowledge at cosmo-local scales, affinity-based self-organization, etc..).

This means that elements of premodernity, modernity and postmodernity are worth defending. This sets it apart from the return to tribalism proposed by the woke ideology, but also from what is called the IDW, which is a defensive reaction against the threat of identity politics. I personally appreciate their defense of the positive aspects of modernity, but see a huge lack of engagement with a future that can no longer be just modern. In other words: they seem to reject post-modernity wholesale, and also lack an engagement with the defense of what was good in alternatives to western modernity. However, to the degree that some of the achievements of modernity need to defended and integrated in any new synthesis, their work should be regarded as necessary in a broader alliance.


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 (Ben Burgis); 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 Glenn Greenwald, Slavoj Zizek, Chomsky, and Matt Taibi belong to this broad camp, which was initiated with the Vampire Castle essay of Marc Fisher, listed below. (see also the Dyab Abou Jahah quote). 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 Quillette, 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.

Please read this extraordinary open letter from the (Zimbabwean) Africa Brooke, it says everything that needs to be said: [4]

If you are looking for solutions rather than just resistance, this is very promising: Empowerment Theory for Anti-Racist Practice

Status Items


Short Quotations

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

- Robin Skynner, cited by John Cleese

"In the final analysis, I argue that the Evergreen affair was the manifestation of a coherent social system implicated by a thick system of belief, characterized by victimhood morality and ethnocentric ideas, which ultimately resulted in a racially hierarchical social order."

- Shaun Cammack [5]

"When you assign every individual a place on the totem pole, and make it your goal to chop the top off the totem pole, you’re left with a shorter totem pole, with someone else at the top who needs to be chopped off."

- Handwaving Freakoutery [6]

Long Quotations

Please note, these quotations are never full endorsements, they aim to make people see a broader perspective on the topic.

Identity is the least important thing about us

"Our identity is the least important thing about us. And yet, it is the thing we have become most committed to talking about. From the standpoint of a left politics, this is a profound mistake since what it means is that the political left -- increasingly invested in the celebration of diversity and the redress of historical grievance -- has converted itself into the accomplice rather than the opponent of the right. Diversity has become the left's way of doing neoliberalism, and antiracism has become the left's contribution to enhancing market efficiency. The old Socialist leader Eugene Debs used to be criticized for being unwilling to interest himself in any social reform that didn't involve attacking economic inequality. The situation now is almost exactly the opposite; the left today obsessively interests itself in issues that have nothing to do with economic inequality. And, not content with pretending that our real problem is cultural difference rather than economic difference, we have also started to treat economic difference as if it were cultural difference. .. if we can stop thinking of the poor as people who have too little money and start thinking of them instead as people who have too little respect, then it's our attitude toward the poor, not their poverty, that becomes the problem to be solved, and we can focus our efforts of reform not on getting rid of classes but on getting rid of what we like to call classism. The trick, in other words, is to stop thinking of poverty as a disadvantage, and once you stop thinking of it as a disadvantage then, of course, you no longer need to worry about getting rid of it. More generally, the trick is to think of inequality as a consequence of our prejudices rather than as a consequence of our social system and thus to turn the project of creating a more egalitarian society into the project of getting people (ourselves and, especially, others) to stop being racist, sexist, classist homophobes. The starting point for a progressive politics should be to attack that trick."


On the need to return to authentic identity politics

"When a group of black feminists called the Combahee River Collective coined the phrase “identity politics” in 1977, they imagined that the “seemingly personal experiences of individual Black women’s lives” would provide the foundation for a politics that is “actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression”. Their ideology began with self, but it was not self-obsessed. Ultimately, they knew their work would benefit everyone. When identities can be invoked to assert an unquestionable authority, marginalized people can get by making dubious or false claim Since then, identity politics have veered away from Combahee’s foundational ideals. We should return to them, not to appease the right wing but to reaffirm the importance of a progressivism that touts liberty and justice for all. Identity politics become flimsy when they devolve into shallow back-and-forths that conflate lived experience with sound political analysis. A worldview that moves us closer to equality doesn’t stem from living in a certain kind of body. It emerges from pursuing a certain kind of politics."

- Kimberly Foster [8]

Chloé Valdary on not abdicating our spiritual power of compassion

"I've realized the problem w/ recent definitions of racism isn't the notion that only people with power can be racist. It's that its adherents only understand power in the physical, material sense & not in the spiritual/soul sense which suggests that nearly everyone has power. If my character erodes & I mistreat my neighbor, & hate my brother because he looks differently from me, that has a *societal impact.* To say I don't have power because I don't hold a certain percentage of wealth is an attempt to abdicate moral responsibility. Such a view also ensures that inequality *continues* because the failure to treat people as responsible beings w/ moral agency contributes to the fetishization & caricaturing of blacks & whites alike. It also breeds spiritual impoverishment; we live in an interdependent society. Both conservatives and progressives are correct."

- Chloé Valdary [9]

Quotes on the darker sides of group identity theory and practice

1. 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."


2. Erich von Neumann

"As is demonstrated by a wealth of historical examples, every form of fanaticism, every dogma and every type of compulsive one-sidedness is finally overthrown by precisely those elements which it has itself repressed, suppressed, or ignored." - Depth Psychology and a New Ethic

"The shadow, which is in conflict with the acknowledged values, cannot be accepted as a negative part of one's own psyche and is therefore projected--that is, it is transferred to the outside world and experienced as an outside object. It is combated, punished, and exterminated as 'the alien out there' instead of being dealt with as one's own inner problem." [10]

3. Glenn Greenwald:

"Any set of rules for political discourse that subordinate the merit of an argument to the identity of the person advocating it is one that is inherently unhealthy and distorted. And that framework, undoubtedly growing in strength in elite U.S. precincts, is also producing a wide range of incentives, distortions and pathologies for how marginalization and its various identities are understood." [11]

4. Steven J. Lawrence:

"Stated frankly, resentment-based or supremacist ideologies have always made themselves available to what Eric Hoffer called the “True Believer”—those whose moral zealotry often masks the underlying ego triumphalism and need for domination that usurps and undermines the high-minded ideals that originally drew them to “the cause” or “the movement”. In the best of scenarios, we can reasonably hope that chaos and violence will not be the outcome when the adoption of extreme belief systems reaches critical mass. And, perhaps we can also rely on the belief that the rule of law, social norms based on human decency, and the legal (and armed) protection of a populace that is relatively non-traumatized by war, poverty and disease will not allow wide-scale chaos, disorder and political violence to happen. But, if history is a guide, it would serve us well to keep in mind how fragile our sense of safety, moral order and societal stability really is.

For all these reasons, it’s important that we question the frameworks and ideologies that we are being asked to adopt uncritically and to put into practice in our schools, governmental organizations and workplaces. If we truly want the world to be a better place, we will need to understand that us-against-them ideologies are deceptive and dangerous precisely because they offer a moral choice that ignores the full dimensionality of human experience and the possibility of badness in ourselves and goodness in our enemies." [12]

5. Eckhart Tolle

“A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of the truth. It is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now, for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self. The truth is that the only power there is, is contained within this moment: It is the power of your presence. Once you know that, you also realize that you are responsible for your inner space now - nobody else is - and that the past cannot prevail against the power of the Now.”

Denying the Individual, denying the universal

"Oppressed group identities ... are constantly in conflict the way classes were always in conflict. And in this worldview, individuals only exist at all as a place where these group identities intersect. You have no independent existence outside these power dynamics. I am never just me. I’m a point where the intersecting identities of white, gay, male, Catholic, immigrant, HIV-positive, cis, and English all somehow collide. You can hear this echoed in the famous words of Ayanna Pressley: “We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” An assertion of individuality is, in fact, an attack upon the group and an enabling of oppression.

Just as this theory denies the individual, it also denies the universal. There are no universal truths, no objective reality, just narratives that are expressed in discourses and language that reflect one group’s power over another. There is no distinction between objective truth and subjective experience, because the former is an illusion created by the latter. So instead of an argument, you merely have an identity showdown, in which the more oppressed always wins, because that subverts the hierarchy. These discourses of power, moreover, never end; there is no progress as such, no incremental inclusion of more and more identities into a pluralist, liberal unified project; there is the permanent reality of the oppressors and the oppressed. And all that we can do is constantly expose and eternally resist these power-structures on behalf of the oppressed."

- Andrew Sullivan [13]

See also: Andrew Sullivan on Truth and Power in Group Identity Theory

There are no identities, our struggle is with capital: Marc Fisher and Joe Corbett

1. Mark Fisher:

"“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 [14]

2. Joe Corbett:

"What we see in the postmodern cultural identity politics of the SJW's is not “cultural marxism”, not only because it lacks any semblance of a marxist analysis or emphasis on working class solidarity, but also because it is fully compatible with the capitalist agenda of full consumer representation of all potential demographics, not by demands for a living wage or a green new deal but by demands for reparations for slavery, removing the glass ceiling and other barriers to full participation in capitalist markets by minorities, including equal representation on the boards of corporations to exploit and oppress the masses of workers. Rather than “cultural marxists” a more appropriate term for these “radicals” would be cultural liberals."

- Joe Corbett [15]

3. Adolph Reed:

"Even as a program for addressing racial disparities, antiracism is not much of a remedy for inequality. If the racial wealth gap were somehow eliminated up and down the distribution, 90 percent of black people would still have only 25 percent of total wealth, and the top 10 percent of blacks would still hold 75 percent. And this is only to be expected because in a society with sharp and increasing overall inequality, eliminating racial “gaps” in the distribution of advantages and disadvantages by definition does not affect the larger, and more fundamental, pattern of inequality."

- Adolph Reed [16]

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 [17]

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 [18]

The corporate religion of late stage capitalism ?

"It’s not a coincidence that corporate human resources departments love to contract diversity consultants like DiAngelo to do anti-bias trainings. Trainings more than pay for themselves if they can demonstrate a commitment to an inclusive workplace in the event of later anti-discrimination lawsuits. They’re also a lot cheaper than paying workers better and addressing structural inequalities. The more that blame for discrimination can be shifted on to individual racist “Karens”, the less onus there is on powerful corporations, and the politicians who defend them, to make real changes.

We do know, for example, of a tool far more useful than unconscious bias trainings in creating respect and equality: unions. Recent work in the American Journal of Political Science notes that union membership reduced racial resentment among white workers and made them more likely to support policies that benefit black Americans.

Where writers like DiAngelo focus on the privilege that all whites, including the poorest, have, unions offer the prospect for multiracial organizing and the pursuit of collective gains."

"The approach of generations of labor organizers hasn’t been to deny privilege, but to bind people together in a common project".

— Bhaskar Sunkara [19]

"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 [20]

"The principles of secularism hold that, no matter how strongly you believe your belief system to be true or how essential you think it is that all of society holds it to be true and lives according to its moral dictates, you do not have the right to impose it on anyone else. We currently live in societies that do a pretty good job of applying this rule to religion, but which have not yet recognised Critical Social Justice as the same kind of thing. Instead, Critical Social Justice is largely misunderstood as a continuation of the liberal civil rights movements, which worked to reform laws and to open up all opportunities to everyone, regardless of their identities, and whose principles can still, quite reasonably, be expected to be upheld by employers. This is a misunderstanding of Critical Social Justice. As shown above, Critical Social Justice is a very specific belief system, which revolves around several core truth claims, which have not been shown to be true."

— Helen Pluckrose [21]

Why language policing is emerging now

"I sketched the rise of a new normative kind of selfhood in the West, that of “psychological man.” I also suggested that understanding this development is an important element in understanding the times in which we live, because it lies behind so many of the seemingly disparate developments which are transforming our society, from sexual ethics to current concerns about racism. In today’s essay, I want to focus my argument on how this development is reshaping our cultural values: first, it has shifted attention to the use of language as central in discussion of oppression; and second, it is transforming traditional social virtues into political vices.

To return to my grandfather whom I mentioned in yesterday’s essay: for him oppression was a matter of not being able to find work, of not being paid a fair day’s wage for an honest day’s work, of not being able to provide for his family. For today’s psychological self, oppression is a far broader concept with far less tangible, stable content. Oppression involves making people feel bad about themselves, less than fully human, or preventing them from being outwardly that which they are inwardly. In practice, this means that much of what is now considered oppression is linguistic in character. Words become all-important because words are speech-acts by which we acknowledge or deny the identity of another. We all intuitively understand this: to use a racial slur is not to describe someone but to denigrate them, to do something to them, to put them in their place. Words are, to use the hyperbolic jargon of our cultural moment, instruments of violence because injury is conceptualized in psychological terms. This is why speech codes are now so important. Even the accidental use of an inappropriate pronoun can be seen as an assault on someone’s person because it is seen as a denial of their identity.

Policing language thus becomes central to a society constituted by psychological selves. The net result of this is that matters once considered basic social goods such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion become problematic. They may have been virtues to the American Founders, but today they are rapidly coming to be seen as vices. Where the psychological self is normative, speech becomes violence and freedom of speech thus a license for violence. This in turn creates the strangest of situations: a society built on the notion of radical individual autonomy where the policing of language by the authorities becomes a vital part of the social contract. Individual freedom perversely comes to require political authoritarianism."

- Carl Trueman [22]

How the purity spiral is weakening activism from the inside

"I feel compelled to do the same things as an activist a decade later. I self-police what I say in activist spaces. I stopped commenting on social media with questions or pushback on leftist opinions for fear of being called out. I am always ready to apologize for anything I do that a community member deems wrong, oppressive, or inappropriate- no questions asked. The amount of energy I spend demonstrating purity in order to stay in the good graces of fast-moving activist community is enormous. Activists are some of the judgiest people I’ve ever met, myself included. There’s so much wrongdoing in the world that we work to expose. And yet, grace and forgiveness are hard to come by in these circles. At times, I have found myself performing activism more than doing activism. I’m exhausted, and I’m not even doing the real work I am committed to do. It is a terrible thing to be afraid of my own community members, and know they’re probably just as afraid of me. Ultimately, the quest for political purity is a treacherous distraction for well-intentioned activists."

- Frances Lee [23]

The Tactical/Strategic Critique

"This is a near perfect crystallization of my problems with the modern "woke" left and it's approach to the problem of racial inequality. Another good example of this idea is the overly racialized rhetoric of police misconduct. Substantial evidence exists that this is not a problem exclusive to the black community. And while it undoubtedly affects blacks disproportionately, much of that is attributable to socioeconomic differences and the correspondingly higher rates of violent crime and police interaction.

This is not to say that attributing such disparities to racism per se is entirely invalid, and the visceral reaction of the polity to the abundance of visual evidence of blacks being brutalized by police (coupled with the media's startling negligence in covering similar instances involving white victims) is certainly understandable. But in failing to develop a non-racialized (or a less exclusively racialized) movement against police brutality, we deprive blacks and their allies of an expanded, strengthened political coalition better positioned to make real gains. Potential allies attempting to make this case are at best turned away, and at worst persecuted as trying to "erase" black pain by decoupling the problem from the prevailing narrative of anti-racism.

Furthermore, we place undue faith in the ability to directly counteract the subtle racial bias that is an inevitable *result* of social disparities (as much or moreso than it is the cause), without addressing those disparities themselves as primary. This leads to endless well-intended but ultimately futile efforts at "anti-bias" training, with it's ritual ablutions to confront one's privilege and "fragility" that ultimately serve as more of a self-help regimen to manage white people's feelings of guilt than an actual corrective to racial inequities."

- Eric73 [24]

The Class and Political Psychology Dynamics behind Political Correctness

Wesley Yang:

"Political correctness .. has become: a mode of exercising power within an intramural contest between rival elites. In this contest, the fetishistic invocation of the “marginalized” is a tool the powerful use to increase the power of a given group, often to the detriment of the very people they purport to represent. The study shows that virtually no one who does not directly benefit from the exercise of this power (in the form of sinecures, professional advancement, or the destruction of rivals within liberal institutions) supports it.

Political correctness can thus be defined as the ideology of a distinct class of petty officeholders and office seekers within the therapeutic state. Their dogmas inexorably point in the direction of, as Henry Louis Gates Jr. put it back in 1991, “a regime so heavily policed” as to be “inconsistent with democracy.”

PC also refers to the specific means that this faction has adopted of attempting to police dissent out of existence in pursuit of what it calls justice. Their ideology draws on the sometimes brilliant and penetrating, and often exasperating and pretentious, work of critics of Western concepts of truth, reason, and law who can broadly be classified as “postmodernists.” Their ideology metastasizes a complex and rebarbative set of critiques of power into an active parapolitical program seeking to transform the world along, as Gates put it, “sweepingly utopian” lines. Gates was writing before the microaggression reporting systems, the compulsory implicit bias training, and the social media agon had even been dreamed up. But he foresaw all of it.

What matters most about this faction is not that they are annoying. It is that institutional power increasingly defers to them. That deference makes them potent, despite their small numbers and unpopular opinions, and the lack of grounding for those opinions in American custom and law.

The politically correct exploit two aspects of group psychology to dominate what is in fact a far more numerous group. They exploit the power that intolerant minorities, whose energies are focused on a single issue, have over majorities whose preferences and attachments are more diffuse. They benefit from what social psychologists have termed “the false enforcement of unpopular norms,” a phrase that describes the tendency, as observed in both experimental settings and in the wider world, of widespread conformance to unpopular norms out of social pressure, and the accompanying desire to signal the genuineness of one’s conviction by out-competing all others in zealous enforcement of norms in which they do not themselves believe.

Since political correctness is above all about an intra-elite battle among elites—a form of nonelectoral political struggle for hegemony within ruling institutions—it is there that the battle will be contested." (

Robert Hanna:

"Another paradoxical feature of the oppressor-class-curated character of the compensation process under distributive social justice is that the oppressed groups selected for compensation are identified under the very same labels–race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, etc., etc.–that the oppressor-class originally picked out arbitrarily in order to target those people for rationally unjustified and immoral discrimination and oppression.

Hence the very “identities” that oppressed groups then adopt as special sources of moral virtue and social solidarity for the purposes of qualifying for distributive social justice, are in fact nothing but mirror-reflected versions of the arbitrary discriminatory point-of-view of the oppressors, that “internalize the oppressor,” and only produce further coercion and conflict via mirror-reflected discrimination and mirror-reflected oppression.

The currently popular concept of “intersectionality,” which emphasizes ways in which members of different identity-groups can suffer the same kinds of oppression and the same kinds of failures to respect their human dignity, and thereby find social solidarity in that way, is rationally and morally more cogent than identitarianism; but it remains, at best, an unstable halfway-house between internalizing-the-oppressor on the one hand, and a fully universalist and dignitarian approach to the problem of oppression on the other." (

Empowerment practice and its intrapersonal work, as practical solution for prefigurative bubbles

"An abundance of literature demonstrates that mandatory diversity trainings not only fail on their own terms, but can make things worse. That is because every diversity training I’ve experienced, including those I organized and facilitated earlier in my career as a diversity officer, begin with either the behavioral or the interactional component of empowerment. They tend to skip the intrapersonal component that prepares an individual for fair-minded critical thinking and coexistence in the first place. Mindfulness and metacognition should be a much bigger focus if we truly want to get things done. Otherwise, we may remain in our prefigurative bubbles, running on metaphorical treadmills, getting nowhere."

- Erec Smith [25]

For more: Empowerment Theory for Anti-Racist Practice

Cornell West on the difference between schooling and education

"In our culture’s conception, the crimes of the West have become so central that it’s hard to keep track of the best of the West. We must be vigilant and draw the distinction between Western civilization and philosophy on the one hand, and Western crimes on the other. The crimes spring from certain philosophies and certain aspects of the civilization, not all of them.

The Western canon is, more than anything, a conversation among great thinkers over generations that grows richer the more we add our own voices and the excellence of voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else in the world. We should never cancel voices in this conversation, whether that voice is Homer or students at Howard University. For this is no ordinary discussion.

The Western canon is an extended dialogue among the crème de la crème of our civilization about the most fundamental questions. It is about asking “What kind of creatures are we?” no matter what context we find ourselves in. It is about living more intensely, more critically, more compassionately. It is about learning to attend to the things that matter and turning our attention away from what is superficial.

Howard University is not removing its classics department in isolation. This is the result of a massive failure across the nation in “schooling,” which is now nothing more than the acquisition of skills, the acquisition of labels and the acquisition of jargon. Schooling is not education. Education draws out the uniqueness of people to be all that they can be in the light of their irreducible singularity. It is the maturation and cultivation of spiritually intact and morally equipped human beings.

The removal of the classics is a sign that we, as a culture, have embraced from the youngest age utilitarian schooling at the expense of soul-forming education. To end this spiritual catastrophe, we must restore true education, mobilizing all of the intellectual and moral resources we can to create human beings of courage, vision and civic virtue."

- Cornell West [26]

In the context of integral theory and spiral dynamics, is this movement 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)."

- [27]

For a specialist discussion, see Henry Andrews on the Mean Green Meme.

We Need to Repair the bridge between rationality and meta-rationality

David Chapman:

"Kegan describes three stages of adult development (numbered 3, 4, and 5). We could call them pre-rational, rational, and meta-rational. These stages are distinctive, internally consistent, relatively-well-functioning modes for organizing one’s thinking, one’s self, and one’s relationships. They might be described as “islands of psychological stability.” To progress from one island to the next, you must cross a heaving sea of psychological confusion, in which the previous mode no longer seems functional, but you cannot yet operate in the next mode reliably. These stage transitions are emotionally and cognitively difficult, and typically take several years, during which one may think, feel, and act inconsistently.

Ideally, a society and culture provides “bridges” of support from one stage to the next. To some extent, ours does. However, Kegan pointed out that we have allowed the bridge from stage 3 to 4 to fall into disrepair. We are not adequately teaching young adults how to be rational, systematic, or modern. This is the central theme of his In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life.

This problem seems to have only gotten worse in the two decades since he wrote that. That is what makes me fear civilizational collapse. Keeping modern institutions operating requires cognitively modern, rational operators. We may be destroying the conditions necessary to produce them." (

See also: Post-Modernism Has Destroyed the Bridge to Rationality

Key Resources

  • New Discourses: project for political dialogue by James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian, but also the construction of a detailed encyclopedia on the genesis of identitarian concepts, taken from the original sources, with commentary. The main aim of these three authors is the defense of the positive legacies of modernity.
  • Social Justice Reformation: very informative resource which takes great care of disembedding the authentic expressions of social justice, from their distortions.

Key Articles


As recommended by the site, Social Justice Evolution

  • "It will be helpful for visitors to this site to begin with the distinction between the Civil Rights movements of the 1950’s and 60’s, -which were inspired by the principles of universal liberalism- and contemporary Critical Social Justice (CSJ) movements, which draw upon a different set of principles including social constructivism and group identity. For a concise examination of these differences, we recommend the essay, “Identity Politics Does Not Continue the Work of the Civil Rights Movements”.
  • "It will also be helpful to understand the distinction between the general principles of social justice -which most people rightly support- and the specific ideology that many are now calling Critical Social Justice. For a brief primer on this distinction, we recommend this short essay by Rohan Loveland called Universal Social Justice: A Necessary Alternative to Critical Social Justice.
  • Why be concerned with a few thousand cancellations, rituals of degradation and berufsverbot for dissenters ? Because it's just always a beginning, not where it ends. Read this absolutely stunning essay by James Lindsay: Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism

More detailed considerations

  • A must-read and one of the first progressive call to arms: Mark Fisher's Vampires’ Castle

Adolph Reed Jr., Malcolm Kyeyune : Race and Class

  • 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

[29]: "Antiracist politics now is fundamentally antagonistic to a left politics of broadly egalitarian social transformation."

  • Strongly recommended:
  1. Malcolm Kyeyune on Identity Politics as a Response to Elite Over-Production
  2. Lama Abu Odeh on How the New Diversity Liberalism Replaces the Progressoriat as the New Academic Ruling Class

Intersectionality and Religion



Key Books

  • A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition: The Semblance of Empowerment. By Erec Smith: don't let yourself be discouraged by the academic title, this is the most pragmatic book offering more efficient solutions to combat racism and to strengthen those that suffer from it, and need common struggle to overcome it.
  • Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity ― and Why This Harms Everybody, by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, Pitchstone Publishing (August 25th, 2020)
  • 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 Movements

Please read this advice/how-to artice if you are being targetted: Recommendations To Defend Yourself Against Cancel Culture Attacks (we do not endorse all recommendations); Short intro to the pluralistic movements.

Key People

Key progressive critics of identity politics:

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

African-American Voices in the USA

  1. Coleman Hughes,
  2. John McWhorter,
  3. Denzel Washington,
  4. Frances S. Lee,
  5. Thomas Chatteron Williams,
  6. Kmele Foster,
  7. Dr. Carlos Hoyt,
  8. Cedrick-Michael Simmons,
  9. Ayishat Akanbi,
  10. Glenn Loury,
  11. Afrika Brooke,
  12. Derrick Blackman,
  13. John Wood Jr.
  14. Adolph Reed Jr.,
  15. Greg Thomas,
  16. Shelby Steele

Key Podcasts

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." [32]

  • Commons- and p2p-based approaches to violence work: "Researchers at New York University analyzed data from 264 cities over a 20-year period and estimated that for every increase of ten CBOs focused on crime and community life in large cities, there was a nine percent reduction in murder and a six percent reduction in violent crime. A report from the John Jay Research and Evaluation Center shows that Cure Violence sites in Brooklyn and the South Bronx experienced greater declines in gun injuries than did comparison areas." [33]

* The Evergreen Affair: A Social Justice Society. By Shaun Cammack. THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, August 2020 [34]

"In the final analysis, I argue that the Evergreen affair was the manifestation of a coherent social system implicated by a thick system of belief, characterized by victimhood morality and ethnocentric ideas, which ultimately resulted in a racially hierarchical social order." See also: our own analysis of Woke Ideology.

* Article: The tendency for interpersonal victimhood: The personality construct and its consequences. By Rahav Gabaya, Boaz Hameiribc, Tammy Rubel-Lifschitz. Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 165, 15 October 2020, 110134 [35]

"In the present research, we introduce a conceptualization of the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV), which we define as an enduring feeling that the self is a victim across different kinds of interpersonal relationships. Then, in a comprehensive set of eight studies, we develop a measure for this novel personality trait, TIV, and examine its correlates, as well as its affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences.

  • Racial Equality Frames and Public Policy Support: "We demonstrate that despite leftward shifts in public attitudes towards issues of racial equality, racial framing decreases support for race-neutral progressive policies. Generally, the class frame most successfully increases support for progressive policies across racial and political subgroups." [36]

Key Resources

Alternatives to CRT Approaches

I strongly recommend reading this article critical of 'trauma-inducing training approaches': Francis Weller on Trauma Culture vs Initiation Culture

Key Statistics


  • "If you look at how white and black wealth are distributed in the U.S., you see right away that the very idea of racial wealth is an empty one. The top 10 percent of white people have 75 percent of white wealth; the top 20 percent have virtually all of it. And the same is true for black wealth. The top 10 percent of black households hold 75 percent of black wealth."

- Adolph Reed [38]


"Between 1968 and 2016 black Americans made significant advances into occupations and job categories to which they’d previously been denied access. Consistent with that expanded opportunity, in the paper we mentioned above, Manduca found that during that period black/white disparities in income rank—where median group income falls in the national income distribution, measured in centiles—narrowed by nearly a third. That was nowhere near parity but a definite improvement. (Black median income rose from the twenty-fifth centile to the thirty-fifth.) However, during the same period the overall black/white income gap was virtually unchanged. The reason was the extreme concentration of income at the top during that period. In fact, black median income at the twenty-fifth centile in 1968 equaled 55 percent of the national mean, but in 2016 income at the thirty-fifth centile equaled only 48 percent of the national income average. It’s not racism that was responsible for that relative decline; it’s neoliberal capitalism."

- Adolph Reed [39]


  • “The overall racial wealth disparity is driven almost entirely by the disparity between the wealthiest 10 percent of white people and the wealthiest 10 percent of black people.” While Bruenig is clear that a discernible wealth gap exists across class levels, he explored the impact of eliminating the gap between the bottom 90 percent of each group and found that after doing so 77.5 percent of the overall gap would remain. He then examined the effect of eliminating the wealth gap between the bottom 50 percent—the median point—of each population and found that doing so would eliminate only 3 percent of the racial gap. So, 97 percent of the racial wealth gap exists among the wealthiest half of each population. And, more tellingly, more than three-fourths of it is concentrated in the top 10 percent of each. If you say to those white people in the bottom 50 percent (people who have basically no wealth at all) that the basic inequality in the U.S. is between black and white, they know you are wrong. More tellingly, if you say the same thing to the black people in the bottom 50 percent (people who have even less than no wealth at all), they also know you are wrong. It’s not all the white people who have the money; it’s the top ten percent of (mainly) whites, and some blacks and some Asians. The wealth gap among all but the wealthiest blacks and whites is dwarfed by the class gap, the difference between the wealthiest and everyone else across the board."

- Matt Bruening [40]


"The movement for criminal justice reform has finally brought the topic of police brutality back to the forefront. One unexplored aspect of police killings is the economic profile of the neighborhoods where the killings occur. In a first of its kind research project, I examined police killings this year and found that in the first five months, 95 percent of reported police killings were in neighborhoods with incomes under $100,000."

- Zaid Jilani [41]


"I analyze racial and class disparities in incarceration. My analysis shows that class status has a large and statistically significant effect on (1) whether or not men aged 24–32 years have ever been to jail or prison; (2) whether or not men are jailed after being arrested; (3) whether or not men have spent more than a month in jail or prison; and (4) whether or not men have spent more than a year in jail or prison. After controlling for class, I do not find race to be a statistically significant factor for the first three outcome categories, but I do find that race has a significant impact on whether or not a man has spent more than a year in prison or jail."

- Nathaniel Lewis [42]

Key Videos

See also:

See also: