Identity politics: The polite and the rude versions

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Since the Trump victory a number of articles have been published decrying the left’s reliance on “identity politics” as a causative factor in the election. One of the politer versions is Matt Ridley’s in his blog here.  Jim Goad published the ruder version of this repudiation in TakiMag. Even the New York Times emerged from its doctrinal slumbers after the election and allowed the publication of Mark Lilla’s “The End of Identity Liberalism”.

Says Lilla:

“But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life.”

and later:

But it is at the level of electoral politics that identity liberalism has failed most spectacularly, as we have just seen. National politics in healthy periods is not about “difference,” it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny. Ronald Reagan did that very skillfully, whatever one may think of his vision. So did Bill Clinton, who took a page from Reagan’s playbook. He seized the Democratic Party away from its identity-conscious wing, concentrated his energies on domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance) and defined America’s role in the post-1989 world.

Unfortunately for the health of the polity, I see no end to the catering to identity politics. It has taken a blow to the head, but it retains its strength as an ideology. Why? Because blaming white people, males and Christians is the core of Leftist thought at this stage. Capitalism? an evil system devised by dead white males on the backs of slaves to erect an economy poisoning the earth with carbon dioxide. Racism? can only be exercised by white people, by definition, because only white people have hegemony. And so in self-referencing circular closed reasoning.

In the ruder version of Jim Goad, it goes like this:

“Listen up, dimwits: When you encourage racial pride in all groups except whites, you aren’t exactly making a case against “racism.” If you have even a semblance of a spine, sooner or later you’ll hear this nonstop sneering condescension about how you were born with a stain on your soul and say, “Hey, fuck you. I’ve done nothing wrong, but you’re really starting to bother me…”

Instead, a large swath of voters grew so tired of being actively hated, they struck back and said “enough.” They didn’t “vote against their interests,” as is so often patronizingly alleged; they voted against the condescending, scolding, sheltered creampuffs who try to dictate their interests to them.

I am not asserting that Trump won exclusively or even predominantly because white people got pissed off at the racial profiling of the Left, but it had to be a significant factor in the repudiation of their views which have accompanied the repudiation of Clinton.

I will go further, and venture onto ground which is sure to be attacked and supported for the wrong reasons. I read many news aggregators. One of them is American Renaissance, which goes well beyond Trump’s American nationalism to a confidently expressed white racial consciousness. By this I mean that it is based on a number of premises:
  • white people exist, and though a loose category, a fuzzy set, they have characteristics
  • they have made a disproportionate contribution, relative to their global numbers,  to the evolution of science, arts and politics for the past  millennium, maybe longer.
  • It may be the result of cultural, religious, or biological reasons, in any combination.
  • This heritage has been broadly beneficial to mankind

Now it should be stated that I have no idea whether there is a biological underpinning to this relative but not exclusive excellence, or not. I think the contribution of Christianity to this state of affairs is at present underrated, but biology may be a factor. I do not know.

I do not think that the relative accomplishments of white civilizations are the moral basis of superior rights for white people, whoever they may be. That way lies stagnation, slavery and its religious-political expression, Islam.

 My point is that such discussion is banned. The result is that many disadvantages of other peoples are treated as issues of wrongful discrimination rather than the obvious fact that some people are a few bricks short of a load. This could be permanent, or, as I believe, a result of the current stage of their cultural evolution.
 A racial viewpoint – whether cultural, biological or both – is inadequate to explain everything and perhaps even most things, but the total exclusion of this point of view from public and private  discourse is, and will be seen to be, insane. Like pretending the sexes are the same in every respect.
Now, back to the issue of what we have in common, which is where a sane politics must start from. Here is President-elect Trump talking about commonalities rather than diversities at his post victory rally in Cincinnati. [Skip the warm-up acts]. He gets the vital need to bring people together, as has every successful democrat.

“I am only the messenger”, he says at one point, and then in a moment of pure Donald, says: “but a pretty great messenger”.