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#15172759
I rarely agree with conservative commentator Janet Daley, but she wrote something in Friday's Telegraph online that deeply resonated with me.

I imagine it's behind a paywall, so I've copied and pasted it in full.

Janet Daley wrote:JANET DALEY
15 May 2021 • 1:00pm
Janet Daley
Many years ago someone who was not remotely sympathetic to Communism told me that he dreaded the collapse of the Soviet Union because the Cold War balance of threat between the two superpowers was the only thing preventing global chaos. If the USSR ceased to exist, he said, what would follow would be endless outbursts of nationalist territorial disputes and terrorist adventurism. What was then called the Third World (because it was outside the two main power blocs) would no longer be bribed and bullied into some kind of order by the competing interests of East and West and so would be abandoned to its own anarchic ends.

That may or may not have been a sound analysis. You may feel, looking at the Middle East and Afghanistan, that there was something in it. But there was an even more cataclysmic consequence of the end of that almost century-long ideological confrontation between the communist bloc and the West which we are living through now. The Cold War which dominated the politics (and culture) of the twentieth century was not just a military confrontation, it was an argument: a substantive, sometimes cynical but nonetheless genuine, disagreement about how people should live. To engage in it – even to understand it – required knowledge of basic principles, an ability to marshal evidence, a willingness to enter into debate.

In the West where it was legally possible to converse about these things, there was ongoing and very serious discussion of the merits of capitalism and private enterprise vs state ownership of property and a command economy. Occasional fits of repression, or attempts to suppress such debate, would flare up but they never really succeeded in extinguishing the fundamental notion that this was, by its very nature, a conflict of ideas which had to be examined on their merits.

Now that great argument is over. Totalitarian communism is either utterly discredited (as in Russia) or persists in name only (as in China where it has been replaced by totalitarian state capitalism). Both of those nations have more or less reverted to their ancient traditions of tyrannical rule without too much resistance from their populations. It is in the West where the vacuum has caused the most trauma.

In the void left by the absence of that huge, all-embracing disagreement, what has emerged? A rejection of rational dispute itself, a retreat from reasoned debate, of arguments that follow from first principles, of defending a conclusion with evidence or paying due respect to conflicting viewpoints: in short, a culture war in which no ground can ever be given.

Marxism and capitalism in their original doctrinal forms had grown directly out of the Enlightenment: the whole point was to construct political and economic systems that would be beneficial to the majority and which could compete for general approval. Both were corrupted and distorted by human frailties but their idealistic intentions were based on theories and values that could be articulated and defended. As indeed they were, so extensively and exhaustively that people, not infrequently, changed their minds – were converted or “turned” in the case of intelligence agents.

What has replaced all that? Public discourse does not consist of competing arguments any more: it isn’t a proper discussion at all. It is a diatribe in which one side tries to destroy, or prohibit, or totally suppress the other. We have returned to a Dark Age where reason and actual disputation are considered dangerous: where views contrary to those being imposed by what are often nothing more than activist cults can be criminalised. Not only must those who now hold opinions which breach orthodoxy be banned but historic figures who could not possibly have anticipated current social attitudes must be anathematised as well.

Where have we seen this before in the West? When religious authority determined the truth and could prohibit any dissent – when books that might lead to subversive, unacceptable thoughts could become prohibited texts forbidden to anyone not given specific permission to read them. By an extraordinary irony, the Vatican’s list of prohibited books, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (which was only abolished in 1966), included two great Enlightenment thinkers, David Hume and John Locke, who are currently under attack by the new Inquisition which seeks to root out any historic connection with the slave trade.

What is significant is not the modern views that are being propounded but the way they are being enforced. The question is not whether you approve of these opinions but whether you accept that they must not be questioned, subjected to examination, or disputed. Much has been said about the “illiberalism” of what now presents itself as liberal opinion but what is happening goes way beyond simple intolerance. It is a return of something no thinking person expected to see again in the rational West: the banishment, or the hunting down, or the deliberate ruination, not just of explicit opposition but of coincidental association with a tainted position.

This isn’t so much the Middle Ages – which had its own high standards of intellectual rigour even when it was condemning Galileo for heresy: it is a kind of enforced blindness to the process of reason. As a result, the only arguments that may be permitted are about detail within the orthodoxy: do trans rights take precedence over those of biological women? Which forms of speech for describing contentious identities are permissible? How far back must historic guilt be traced?

So we are arguing about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. What is worse is that once you have devalued argument and evidence, you have no defence against superstition and hysteria: the lunatic conspiracy theorists and the social control fanatics have as much legitimacy as anyone.

This new Dark Age, with its odd combination of narcissism and self-loathing, is a threat nobody saw coming. If the institutions that should resist – universities, the arts, and democratic governments – fall before it, the free society is finished, defeated more resoundingly than it would ever have been by the old enemy.


This is something I've been banging on about for ages, much to the annoyance of those who prefer to base their arguments on their gut feelings and unconscious bias rather than credible information and subject matter expertise.

I particulaly liked these observations:

Public discourse does not consist of competing arguments any more: it isn’t a proper discussion at all. It is a diatribe in which one side tries to destroy, or prohibit, or totally suppress the other. We have returned to a Dark Age where reason and actual disputation are considered dangerous: where views contrary to those being imposed by what are often nothing more than activist cults can be criminalised. Not only must those who now hold opinions which breach orthodoxy be banned but historic figures who could not possibly have anticipated current social attitudes must be anathematised as well...

...

...it is a kind of enforced blindness to the process of reason. As a result, the only arguments that may be permitted are about detail within the orthodoxy.

...

...once you have devalued argument and evidence, you have no defence against superstition and hysteria: the lunatic conspiracy theorists and the social control fanatics have as much legitimacy as anyone.


However, this phenomenon is not unilateral. Whether it has come about simply as a reflex response to PC/Woke or for more complex reasons, the devaluation of argument and evidence Daley talks about can be seen at both poles of this 21st Century divide. Whichever ideological tradition people come from, the lounge bar logic of, 'it's obvious, innit?', when it's anything but, has become the default in public discourse.

As I've said before, whilst it may not be the cause the internet age has potentiated this reggression in debate. In the past when information was no less available but much less accessible, it was far easier to spot pseudo-science, or 'pseudo-politics'. Those with wacky, evidence-free opinions who managed to get those opinions into the public space were mostly ignored and sidelined by the weight of informed, evidence-based, credible criticism they received. Nowadays though, the internet allows these opinions free rein. The internet is still largely uncurated, anarchic and offers no 'quality assurance' that the opinions and ideas proselytised thereon are credible or that the person or persons presenting those opinions have any bona fide expertise, education or knowledge to validate their content.

But the worrying aspect to which Daley refers is the tacit approval of government in just one side of the contemporary divide. As a result, those who do have bona fide expertise, education or knowledge and dare to speak against the orthodoxy are dismissed as readily as any partisan internet talking head. Whether as above by reflex or for more complex reasons, the net effect is also that those who do have bona fide expertise, education or knowledge and dare to speak in favour of - or not explicitly against - the orthodoxy are similarly dismissed by those who most passionately oppose it. In short, in this 'new Dark Age' as Daley calls it, people who actually know what they are talking about on either side of any argument are dismissed, derided and mocked by those who, 'just know',...and who see no grounds to explain, justify or support their knowledge with credible evidence.

Therefore, much as I dislike Daley's journalistic hyperbole, I think 'new Dark Age' is depressingly apt for these modern times. :hmm:
#15172764
I will be the first to admit that I basically just type what my gut tells me to. I would presume most people raised on the internet do this; or else they type what they feel will meet with approval from the audience. Or they type what will align their identity with someone admirable in their eyes, so that I do not know so much that these shall we call them convictions are something inherently believed or rather they are like advertised slogans, much like how someone in the 60's might buy Kellogg's cereal to be like the woman on television that they see has a presentable home; because if you eat what she eats you can be admirable like her; so too, if you defend what your admirable peers defend you become admirable in your own sight.
You'll notice that the reason injustices are so highlighted a topic on the internet is because it incites a visceral response. You can sit at home and vicariously feel the insensibility of the world and by typing some messages in support and seeing that your message has been approved you feel as though you have done something as opposed to doing nothing.
I don't believe that many people after they have typed their response go into deep reflective contemplation over what they have typed. Once they have expressed themselves, and received the positive reinforced feedback then usually they move onto some other media-interest until a similar topic should arise elsewhere and they can repeat the pattern of stating their opinion and understanding what the response means to them
Sometimes on the internet they take it further and go head-to-head for hours in a tedious act of textualized vindication; and what is this if not preliminary debate processes, I don't find this particularly alarming; it can't be expected that every person will understand all the nuances of any issue, but so long as they are refining their process of comprehension I suppose its a form of mass enlightenment which is heightening or honing the human mind, if not in our lifetime, then gradually.
The concern about falling into the Dark Ages, by disclaiming great thought agents of the past seems like it has always occurred; all styles and ideas fall in and out of vogue. And there will still be people who pay homage and explore the tainted thinkers so that they will never be entirely forgotten no matter what people have said about them; people have always been curious about the banned.
I do not know what the world was like during the Cold War era, but I find it hard to believe that its extremely different; I do know of course, that since the users of the internet are now shaping collegiate atmospheres it is going to have an impact in how those agencies must operate themselves. They have to take the opinions of their students without discompassion, and lets face it, there's less of a deference to authority nowadays and most professors want their students to think well of them; I do not see how the challenges or the nature of debate is any different than in say the Cold War era, except now, there is obviously a side gaining traction whereas before there was an impasse of opinion.
Sometimes saying "I'm right and you are a moron" is actually more productive then and endless debate where both sides already know the other side's arguments.
Last edited by froggo on 16 May 2021 10:35, edited 1 time in total.
#15172765
Sigh.

This is closer to the opposite of the Middle Ages...

When Martin Luther penned his Protest, the printing press was new technology. He had ten copies made, and sent them to colleagues, they sent out 10, and his Protest spread across the continent in the space of a season. That made it the first mass communication in history.

We have the opposite problem now. Everybody gets their message out to everybody, constantly.

Education was just for a handful of people back then. They may not be well educated, but these days everyone pretty much is educated.

Nations, in the sense we mean the word, did not yet exist. The transition had started, but it was far from complete.

What the two eras have in common is a new technology that is intensely disruptive. It is likely to set off an era of war for us, just as the printing press did in Europe, centuries ago.

The new propaganda techniques I call brainwashing.

You might say Martin Luther opposed Catholic brainwashing with it's resultant corruption. But, in my distinctly unhumble opinion, we have ridden this comparison as far as it will go. It's time to put it out to pasture, and give it a rest.
#15172767
I doubt the fall of the SU can be attributed to the current political reason or debate actually. I would say it is more to do with people getting left behind and ease of access to information on the Internet which would have been the case with or without the USSR. People also don't like to admit they are wrong which perhaps addresses the part you highlighted. They would rather keep digging then get out at the first opportunity. That explains Trumpism full stop. He didn't do anything in his term, gave tax breaks to the rich, didn't send troops home nor finished the wall. But people won't say, 'you know what, Trump didn't do much did he, he actually made things worse!' they instead blame Biden who has barely done 100 days.

What we see today is the rise of the extremes. The middle ground hasn't worked so people are looking for blame but instead get easily influenced by the people who are to blame to be frank. Whether that is immigrants or Bezos, SJWs or Nazis, Soros or Gates, or whoever you want to blame, they will just keep to the narrative their political party supports. What nobody seems to be doing is to look at why people are getting left behind - which is greed. We don't have the right level of fairness in taxation or social reform IMO. I always look at the Nordic Model as inspiration. Yes taxes are high but you pay what you can afford which is how it should be. And with that everyone in society gets a lot in return and nobody gets left behind. There is a reason Scandinavian countries are the happiest. They are the fairest. When the richest nation on the planet bankrupts you for just being sick, you need to look into why that is. Those who hold the power are sponsored by the lobbyist - whether they wear Red or Blue rosettes and as such nothing changes.
#15172769
froggo wrote:I will be the first to admit that I basically just type what my gut tells me to. I would presume most people raised on the internet do this; or else they type what they feel will meet with approval from the audience.

...


You can sit at home and vicariously feel the insensibility of the world and by typing some messages in support and seeing that your message has been approved you feel as though you have done something as opposed to doing nothing.

...

I don't believe that many people after they have typed their response go into deep reflective contemplation over what they have typed. Once they have expressed themselves, and received the positive reinforced feedback then usually they move onto some other media-interest until a similar topic should arise elsewhere and they can repeat the pattern of stating their opinion and understanding what the response means to them.

I agree to a point, but the interface between the virtual and the real is now entirely permeable, and whilst people may very well not 'go into deep reflective contemplation', they don't really need to. Ideas on the internet leach out into reality, where without the need for conscious, deep reflective contemplation they ossify into beliefs...and they do so so completely sometimes, that the believer can no longer remember the source of their belief. Furthermore, if it resonates with their 'core beliefs' they will be yet more disinclined to go and look for evidence to support them.

Perhaps I struggle with that because I'm an academic. Even in my PhD thesis I was not allowed to boldly say something that I could not substantiate with actual evidence to support my statement. Therefore knowing the source of the information upon which I base my (academic) opinion AND being able to demonstrate the validity and credibility of that information is mandatory.

late wrote:What the two eras have in common is a new technology that is intensely disruptive. It is likely to set off an era of war for us, just as the printing press did in Europe, centuries ago.

The new propaganda techniques I call brainwashing.

I agree with your assessment and I too recognise the propaganda. However, as I said in the OP, it is not being practised unilaterally. It is common to both 'sides' in contemporary debate.

And as for everyone being 'educated', as an educator myself I would have to observe that at least in the UK, people are not taught to critically evaluate what they learn until they get to university...and even then it's often not until they progress onto postgraduate studies that they really get to grips with the idea that received information should never be accepted at face value.

All of which makes for rich pickings for propagandists across the political spectrum.

B0ycey wrote:People also don't like to admit they are wrong which perhaps addresses the part out highlighted.

Generally true. Further to what I wrote above, it's only been since I moved on to postgraduate study (2007) that I have begun to welcome - even relish - finding out that something I thought was 'true' turns out not to be true at all, or at least not wholly true.

What we see today is the rise of the extremes. The middle ground hasn't worked so people are looking for blame but instead get easily influenced by the people who are to blame to be frank. Whether that is immigrants or Bezos, SJWs or Nazis, Soros or Gates, or whoever you want to blame, they will just keep to the narrative their political party supports. What nobody seems to be doing is to look at why people are getting left behind

Polarity is the new politics, but it's not new, is it? It's just become enhanced by unlimited access to information that often lacks credible provenance, but which feeds on people's unsubstantiated core beliefs and gut feelings.

On another thread over at PoFoUK (which was discussing a trial of universal basic income in Wales) I commented that throwing money at problems does not solve them, it merely makes it look as if the government is doing something whilst concurrently distracting attention away from the infinitely more difficult and potentially distressing contemplation of the source of the problem one is throwing money at.

Those who hold the power are sponsored by the lobbyist - whether they wear Red or Blue rosettes and as such nothing changes.

And those lobbyists also sponsor, covertly most often, the online propaganda industry.
#15172770
Cartertonian wrote:Perhaps I struggle with that because I'm an academic. Even in my PhD thesis I was not allowed to boldly say something that I could not substantiate with actual evidence to support my statement. Therefore knowing the source of the information upon which I base my (academic) opinion AND being able to demonstrate the validity and credibility of that information is mandatory.

The modern day citation is trust in the individual's life experience as presented by that individual; somewhat akin to how say an author might have previously presented an entire realm of existence through their art, but now a bit compressed, yet having the same heft of trust that an author's work may have once attained. The individual has access to libraries of identities and stories and may sift through the materials and draw their own interpretations and not feel as though there is anything lacking in this process.
#15172771
Cartertonian wrote:Polarity is the new politics, but it's not new, is it? It's just become enhanced by unlimited access to information that often lacks credible provenance, but which feeds on people's unsubstantiated core beliefs and gut feelings.


What do you mean its not new? Are you saying the extremes always existed but is new to our political opinion? In which case I agree to some extent.

But on that, I can only give you some experience. My father became a trade unionist after he was in the RAF. So Socialism to some extent has always been part of my life. But we never discussed Marx, the SU, Lenin, revolution or anything else you read on PoFo. It was always about trade unions, fair pay, miners, Thatcher, the poll Tax, strikes and basically normal social reform stuff. My education on Marx really came about in university of all places because Marx was an economist. So actually the mere fact we are discussing Marx today, even on what people call the left, is new. It is new because people are being educated on Marx. He addresses an issue and people associate with that. That is down to the internet. And so for Marx to come into politics when once he was a niche is down to ease of information.
#15172776
B0ycey wrote:What do you mean its not new? Are you saying the extremes always existed but is new to our political opinion? In which case I agree to some extent.

More or less. The extremes of politics have always existed, but the degree to which people can be influenced by them has changed.

But on that, I can only give you some experience. My father became a trade unionist after he was in the RAF. So Socialism to some extent has always been part of my life. But we never discussed Marx, the SU, Lenin, revolution or anything else you read on PoFo. It was always about trade unions, fair pay, miners, Thatcher, the poll Tax, strikes and basically normal social reform stuff.

Quite. In the past, political battles were fought on the basis of the issues rather than necessarily the underlying ideology. That too has become a casualty of the modern age, wherein stating an opinion about any given issue is unconsciously mapped by the reader to their (often limited) understanding of ideology. In short - to pick two examples - if you're pro-welfare...you must be on the left or, if you're pro-business...you must be on the right. In the UK at least we have seen, with the compounding and polarising influence of Brexit, that those on the relative left of the Tory party and the relative right of the Labour party are becoming ostracised and marginalised by their party faithful.

My education on Marx really came about in university of all places because Marx was an economist. So actually the mere fact we are discussing Marx today, even on what people call the left, is new. It is new because people are being educated on Marx. He addresses an issue and people associate with that. That is down to the internet. And so for Marx to come into politics when once he was a niche is down to ease of information.

Interestingly, I used to teach a module on Politics in Healthcare and before anyone jumps to any erroneous conclusions I was scrupulously non-partisan in my teaching. But when I mentioned Karl Marx in relation to the history of the left, well over half of most of the classes that sat my module had never heard of him. Mind you of those that had, only a still smaller minority had heard of Engels!

Ironically, what I was trying to teach them was academic critical analysis, which is ironic because it's essentially Hegelian dialectic, which as you'll know was favoured by Marx and the other early theorists.

Principally - and pertinent to this current state of polarity - I would teach them that the analytical process of thesis:anti-thesis:synthesis was, by definition, not intended to be a device through which to confirm thesis, or confirm anti-thesis. It was a device through which one could blend elements of the two into something that was more representative of reality - synthesis. Beneficiaries of the current increase in our ideological stand-off, on both sides, erroneously believe that they will be able to confirm their thesis, largely because they haven't bothered to apply any critical analysis to it and accept it at face value.
#15172783
Cartertonian wrote:More or less. The extremes of politics have always existed, but the degree to which people can be influenced by them has changed.


Actually, I don't disagree with this however I think it is more complex than that. I think people are looking for answers to a question they don't fully understand and the polarised voice is more appealing than the voice of reason. It seems people would rather find blame for their predicament they find themselves in then look for solutions to get out of it.

Quite. In the past, political battles were fought on the basis of the issues rather than necessarily the underlying ideology. That too has become a casualty of the modern age, wherein stating an opinion about any given issue is unconsciously mapped by the reader to their (often limited) understanding of ideology. In short - to pick two examples - if you're pro-welfare...you must be on the left or, if you're pro-business...you must be on the right. In the UK at least we have seen, with the compounding and polarising influence of Brexit, that those on the relative left of the Tory party and the relative right of the Labour party are becoming ostracised and marginalised by their party faithful.


INDEED! I couldn't have written that better myself. You are either fully behind a movement or seen as the enemy for the keyboard warriors. Which means the political centre is seen as the enemy by both sides. The only other thing I would add is the UK aren't polarised completely in the sense that the moderate voice is still relevant here. But if you look at the US, that is not true at all. You are either strongly Republican or you are strongly Democrat and there isn't much seen in terms of undecided moderates voices in politics right now. I sure they exist to some extent but Trump has made Americans polarised to the exteme. But both parties are politically identical in many areas. Both are Conservative parties. So they have become parties of association rather than policy whereas if you are a Republican you are considered a nationalist/patriot and if you are a Democrat you are seen as a Socialist/reformer. Democrats are not even close to becoming Socialist, but you wouldn't know that by what you read on here.

Interestingly, I used to teach a module on Politics in Healthcare and before anyone jumps to any erroneous conclusions I was scrupulously non-partisan in my teaching. But when I mentioned Karl Marx in relation to the history of the left, well over half of most of the classes that sat my module had never heard of him. Mind you of those that had, only a still smaller minority had heard of Engels!


When I was at uni it was all about Che. Marx wasn't even discussed even by the Potheads. As I said, Marx was discussed in terms of economics when I spoke about him. Sure people heard of the Communist manifesto and he was mentioned occasionally by Socialists circles, but nothing like how he is spoken of today. Even in the news and column inches he seems big news now. I think he gained popularity since the 2008 crash when it turned out most of what he wrote was undeniably true.

Ironically, what I was trying to teach them was academic critical analysis, which is ironic because it's essentially Hegelian dialectic, which as you'll know was favoured by Marx and the other early theorists.

Principally - and pertinent to this current state of polarity - I would teach them that the analytical process of thesis:anti-thesis:synthesis was, by definition, not intended to be a device through which to confirm thesis, or confirm anti-thesis. It was a device through which one could blend elements of the two into something that was more representative of reality - synthesis. Beneficiaries of the current increase in our ideological stand-off, on both sides, erroneously believe that they will be able to confirm their thesis, largely because they haven't bothered to apply any critical analysis to it and accept it at face value.


I would be surprised that critical analysis has been lost completely in university but given you are a lecturer I can only assume you are correct. But again I think we can blame the internet here. When I was at university you had to read books. There was no such thing as the internet (well there was but it wasn't worth much in terms of a resource). A book doesn't really tend to sway you but inform. That is to say it gives you the facts, POV of both sides, historical records and figures and maybe a conclusion. When you wrote a paper such as a dissertation you were encouraged to challenge the text or use it as a basis for an argument. Today you click on a video. You don't need to think because the opinion is given for you. You don't need to read so you cannot analysis what information you are given. I do not think it is a coincidence that the rise of the polarised views is linked to social media which design is a platform for people to voice their opinion back to you.

You need to come on PoFo more often @Cartertonian. Great post.
#15172839
late wrote:Sigh.

This is closer to the opposite of the Middle Ages...

When Martin Luther penned his Protest, the printing press was new technology. He had ten copies made, and sent them to colleagues, they sent out 10, and his Protest spread across the continent in the space of a season. That made it the first mass communication in history.

We have the opposite problem now. Everybody gets their message out to everybody, constantly.

Education was just for a handful of people back then. They may not be well educated, but these days everyone pretty much is educated.

Nations, in the sense we mean the word, did not yet exist. The transition had started, but it was far from complete.

What the two eras have in common is a new technology that is intensely disruptive. It is likely to set off an era of war for us, just as the printing press did in Europe, centuries ago.

The new propaganda techniques I call brainwashing.

You might say Martin Luther opposed Catholic brainwashing with it's resultant corruption. But, in my distinctly unhumble opinion, we have ridden this comparison as far as it will go. It's time to put it out to pasture, and give it a rest.


To further add to your argument, there is also the example of European romanticism and the spread of its romantic nationalism which was also driven by a major change in communication. In particular, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution brought much cheaper printing and thus an expansion of it. Before that, newspapers weren't normally issued on a daily basis but after that not only they were issued on a daily basis for the most part, but they also became very affordable to people from all walks of life. This is on top of the major economic and technological changes that took place in both eras as a result of the beginning of the colonization of America (back in Luther's time) and the broader effects of the Industrial Revolution in how economic activity was conducted and the technical advanced it brought, just like our current economy is changing due to new technical advances from the past few decades and their use in production (which is leading to the automation of several jobs).

After that, romanticism and the rebellion against the use of reason in the Enlightenment began and many of its ideas about nationalism became more than simply explanations about reality but actually became reified and as such it became a moral imperative to either get your own nation free or to unify with your brethren from other countries. Our current form of nationalism, particularly in the West, comes from that era. And in the late 19th and early 20th centuries those ideas would spread globally and feed the yearning for national liberation in the colonies: All the nationalism of anticolonialism is heavily influenced by European romantic nationalism. And of course the very concept of identity politics would become identified, formalized and named as a result of it (before that, it obviously existed but had no name and people didn't think or obsess all that much about it, or at least not in the same way).

I think much of the current strain of identity politics is just a continuation of this, under different forms, as a result of even cheaper communication through the internet.

And yes in both cases this brought plenty of warfare and still does, it's what has the Middle East in neverending conflicts for example or why there is as much tribalism in the West right now. Yet, at the same time, nationalism does have a socially valuable role since it can induce individuals to adopt it as part of their own identity and therefore encourage them to cooperate for the broader collective good. The same can apply to other traditional identity classes like social class, religion, then a new one in the form of sex and now all the current ones and particularly all things related to gender, including nonbinary ones, and also other categories such as e.g. ability, body shape/size, age, etc i.e. the same applies to identity politics in general if properly practiced. The issue I think is when people become fanatical about this, to the point that instead of encouraging cooperation it fosters conflict and radicalism - which is how Americans roll about their own identity politics and this has spread due to the large global cultural influence of the US and the internet itself (see the paper below)

@Cartertonian I totally understand you and I don't know if you've read this paper but I'm sure you might find it interesting:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf ... papa.12075
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