Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The greatest irony of identity politics

We are witnessing that point, so characteristic of left wing politics, when the movement starts eating itself. Most amusingly, it is happening with identity politics. The left has been so enthusiastic in its pursuit of new identify groups to sheet to the cause that the entire canvas is coming unraveled. 

They started with class and then moved on to race, indigenous peoples and selected religious minorities such as Muslims, and more recently gays and then transgendered people. The latest thing is intersectionality, which, if you haven’t heard, is the state of being part of overlapping identity groups. Here in New Zealand, for example, we have been divided into the biracial groupings of Maori and Pakeha (a debatably offensive term that means non-Maori and includes people as diverse as Chinese and Arabs). But of course, not all Maori are equal and not all Pakeha are privileged males, so we are then divided into Maori men and women and Pakeha men and women. This begs the question - who is the most oppressed? Are Maori men more oppressed than Pakeha women? What about a Muslim or gay Pakeha - where do they fit on the hierarchy of oppression? Does being female trump being transgendered (which is a real dilemma amongst the radical leftists considering the existence of the ‘TERF’ - the ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’).

The government agencies that are concerned with verifying people’s identities will tell you that anyone in the entire population can be uniquely identified using only four or five characteristics. Given this, it is obvious that it doesn’t take many identity group divisions before you end up with groups with a total membership of...one. It is funny, isn’t it, that in their fervent desire to categorize all of us into identity groups, the radical left is coming full circle to that great tenet of Western civilization - we are unique individuals and should be treated as such, and that no one should be burdened with the sins, real or imagined, of an arbitrary group such as race, sex or religion.

1 comment:

Kiwi Dave said...

Given the extremely rigid stereotypes required for identity politics to make sense, the notion that leftists are coming full circle to individualism is either tongue in cheek or wildly optimistic.