Identity Politics - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By froggo
#15167549
How do you feel about Identity Politics?
Do you believe it is beneficial to attribute a solidly defined individualism to your person, or is it a detriment to be so self-involved?
Is it empowering to know thyself or does it create more divides?
Is it something which could be an essential tool towards establishing equality, or should it become inconsequential when (and if) such aims should ever be achieved?
Is it crucial that these issues be addressed here and now, or are there greater problems that the world is facing?
By late
#15167555
froggo wrote:
How do you feel about Identity Politics?
Do you believe it is beneficial to attribute a solidly defined individualism to your person, or is it a detriment to be so self-involved?
Is it empowering to know thyself or does it create more divides?
Is it something which could be an essential tool towards establishing equality, or should it become inconsequential when (and if) such aims should ever be achieved?
Is it crucial that these issues be addressed here and now, or are there greater problems that the world is facing?



Say what?
User avatar
By froggo
#15167559
late wrote:Say what?


Do you believe that it is leading towards harmony and understanding, or would you consider it destructive/disruptive?

(the prerogative/demand to have what you 'Identify' yourself as as being respected)

(also please note; by most accounts, I am a privileged white male, so it is easy for me to pretend identities do not exist at all--which is basically the stance I tend to take, that identity is "an illusion"--, as I rarely feel the negative consequences of evident identity characteristics)
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By Potemkin
#15167562
froggo wrote:How do you feel about Identity Politics?
Do you believe it is beneficial to attribute a solidly defined individualism to your person, or is it a detriment to be so self-involved?
Is it empowering to know thyself or does it create more divides?
Is it something which could be an essential tool towards establishing equality, or should it become inconsequential when (and if) such aims should ever be achieved?
Is it crucial that these issues be addressed here and now, or are there greater problems that the world is facing?

I identify as the God-Emperor of Mankind. I find this very empowering. True, it has created some divisions, but once I have completed my conquest of the world in fire and blood, I'm sure these divisions will become a thing of the past.... :)
User avatar
By froggo
#15167563
Potemkin, I humbly acknowledge and respect your self-identification and will ensure that I treat you with the utmost of reverence, for fear of wrathful retribution.
User avatar
By Potemkin
#15167567
froggo wrote:Potemkin, I humbly acknowledge and respect your self-identification and will ensure that I treat you with the utmost of reverence, for fear of wrathful retribution.

Very PC of you, old chap. You're a good egg! :up: :)
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15167569
Myi pressionof identity politics was that it was the particularization if the earlier social movements. A the national liberation movements inspired civil rights which inspired women liberation. Then got concepts of racism and sexism and the focus on things effecting that demographic. Then it fragmented further with other groups claiming injustice and in need of recognition. The worst of identity politics is liberal criticisms of media representation as opposed to say the identity politics of the Combahee River Collective which was a movement of black lesbian feminists. However they didn't disregard socialist politics and we're in serious struggles that didn't originate from students at universities criticizing curriculum or how representative certain things are in media. The heavy focus on the ideas over the conditions and basis of those ideas being what I think differentiated the black feminists from CRC from the average liberal student who is mocked and caricatured. I guess that's also in part due to a history of the fight against fascism and united fronts where labor strikes and the like were curtailed to make alliance across class lines against fascism and then pop up that students are the revolution, not workers.

Another distinction for the CRC was their call to solidarity with black men and other women of color. Their reaction against the one sided beds if civil rights or feminist movement didn't have them simply separate themselves but to clearly voice their position. Solidarity being the ethic that we can help one another on the terms of those we help and need no be exactly the same. This against a liberal identity politics that pretty much deified the identity as natural and cals for equal representation or conversation to a demographic but doesn't seek to overcome the social relations which constitutes those relations and makes them meaningful.

The particularization has the prospect of making future movements more concrete in reflecting the diversity of the working class and overcoming the actual issue of modernity in it's plurality of views and people having to some how work together.
User avatar
By froggo
#15167581
late wrote:That Right wing mythology is a waste of time?


Say what?



-----------------------
It seems to me that there are benefits; let's just assume for a moment that we are not all striving towards revolution, and in the meantime we must coexist in the world as it is; if we want to be a common people who respect one another, how could a diversified media representation, as an example, be a be a waste of time. If things such as prejudice are spawned from a lack of understanding, then would not hearing the stories of the people we do not understand bring us more familiarity with them?
User avatar
By Rancid
#15167589
Identity politics is a sticky one. Will it be effective? If I had to guess, probably not. A lot of the thought leaders of these social movements place a lot of emphasis on power dynamics (from what I can tell). That is to say, everything is about power, and those with power must be taken down to the same level as everyone else. Historically white people, especially white males collectively have held power, so they are what is preventing progress in the eyes of these social movements. The issue is, these ideas and concepts take on a life of their own outside of the social science academic circles; outside of the thought leaders of these movements. That is to say, a bunch of uneducated and untrained "activist" groups start to come out of the woodwork and apply their own interpretations of how to deal with these issues. Often it's applied poorly and in a very antagonistic manner. This breeds resistance. Hence the rise of the alt-right. When you start painting all people of a group as privileged, or having been given everything in life, it breeds resentment. It's pretty simple. A simple example of this might help. I work with a bunch of white people, we could say they are privileged; sure. They grew up in nice stable homes, with families that were educated, etc. etc. However, these people weren't handed everything, they still had to study hard to get a good job, they still had to work for their promotions, they still had to take risks to start businesses, etc. Maybe it was easier, but it wasn't free. If we start brushing all of that away as simply privileged, I could see how it builds resentment in some of these people.

In other words, the concept all by itself isn't horrible, but the way it ends up getting applied in the collective zeitgeist is horrible.

I hope that makes sense.
By wat0n
#15167592
Identity politics has some benefits (for instance, used in a "good" way, it can lead individuals to actually support some policies that are "good" for society as a whole, even if they would otherwise be regarded as being against their short or even long term individual interests), but the way it is being practiced now is being bad overall. The obsessive American-style identity politics, right now, is mainly helping to erode social cohesion and leading to political dysfunction across the West in one way or another. That's something it has in common with the way it's practiced in some non-Western societies (in parts of Asia and Africa), although it hasn't reached the extremes you can see there.
#15167595
If identity politics is so bad, perhaps other people can stop imposing identities on others. Mr, Floyd simply thought of himself as a guy who wanted smokes.

The cops imposed an identity of “black thug” on him and killed him for it.
By late
#15167598
Rancid wrote:
I hope that makes sense.



You did a nice job, but I still have my doubts that this is an improvement over the language academics have built to discuss these sorts of issues over the last century.
By wat0n
#15167605
late wrote:You did a nice job, but I still have my doubts that this is an improvement over the language academics have built to discuss these sorts of issues over the last century.


Which academics? Postmodern clowns?
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15167623
Rancid wrote: The issue is, these ideas and concepts take on a life of their own outside of the social science academic circles; outside of the thought leaders of these movements. That is to say, a bunch of uneducated and untrained "activist" groups start to come out of the woodwork and apply their own interpretations of how to deal with these issues. Often it's applied poorly and in a very antagonistic manner.

It's interesting you see the issue arising outside of the academic circles as I often think that it is instead the academics who exist too independently of the actual struggles outside of the university that turns things into shit. Turned

"Political analysis outside of political movements and struggles becomes abstract, discourse driven, and disconnected from the radicalism that made it powerful in the first place."
- How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective

A great example of shit identity politics and its problem as described by Naomi Klein: https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/For%20Ethical%20Politics.pdf
Naomi Klein, herself a self-confessed "ID warrior" of the 1990s,
expressed the situation perfectly:
"We knew the fast food chains were setting up their stalls in
the library and that profs in the applied sciences were getting
awfully cosy with pharmaceutical companies, but finding out
exactly what was going on in the boardrooms and labs would
have required a lot of legwork, and, frankly, we were busy. We
were fighting about whether Jews would be allowed in the
racial equality caucus at the campus women’s centre, and why
the meeting to discuss it was scheduled at the same time as
the lesbian and gay caucus - were the organizers implying that
there were no Jewish lesbians? No black bisexuals?
"In the outside world. the politics of race, gender and
sexuality remained tied to more concrete, pressing issues, like
pay equity, same-sex spousal rights and police violence, and
these serious movements were - and continue to be - a
genuine threat to the economic and social order. But
somehow, they didn’t seem terribly glamorous to students on
many university campuses, for whom identity politics had
evolved by the late eighties into something quite different.
Many of the battles we fought were over issues of
“representation” - a loosely defined set of grievances mostly
lodged against the media, the curriculum and the English
language. ...
"These issues have always been on the political agendas of
both the civil-rights and the women’s movements and later, of
the fight against AIDS. It was accepted from the start that part
of what held back women and ethnic minorities was the
absence of visible role models occupying powerful social
positions, and that media-perpetuated stereotypes -
embedded in the very fabric of the language - served to not so
subtly reinforce the supremacy of white men. For real
progress to take place, imaginations on both sides had to be
decolonized. ...
"The backlash that identity politics inspired did a pretty good
job of masking for us the fact that many of our demands for
better representation were quickly accommodated by
marketers, media makers and pop-culture producers alike -
though perhaps not for the reasons we had hoped.
"... for many of the activists who had, at one point not so long
ago, believed that better media representation would make for
a more just world, one thing had become abundantly clear:
identity politics weren’t fighting the system, or even
subverting it. When it came to the vast new industry of
corporate branding, they were feeding it. ...
"The need for greater diversity - the rallying cry of my
university years - is now not only accepted by the culture
industries, it is the mantra of global capital. And identity
politics, as they were practiced in the nineties, weren’t a
threat, they were a gold mine. “This revolution,” writes
cultural critic Richard Goldstein in The Village Voice, “turned
out to be the savoir of late capitalism.” And just in time, too."
[Patriarchy gets Funky, Naomi Klein, 2001]


And often the academics are the ones who begin largely ignoring the actual struggles and turn things into word games.
https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/ebert.htm
The dilemma of ludic feminism in theorising "materialism" is a familiar one. In his interrogation of Berkeley, Lenin points to this dilemma that runs through all forms of idealism: the epistemological unwillingness to make distinctions between 'ideas" and "things" (Materialism 130-300), which is, of course, brought about by class politics. Ludic feminism, like all forms of upper-middle class (idealist) philosophy, must hold on to "ideas" since it is by the agency of ideas that this class (as privileged mental workers) acquires it social privileges. Although posed as an epistemological question, the dilemma is finally a class question: how not to deny the world outside the consciousness of the subject but not to make that world the material cause of social practices either. Ludic feminism, like Berkelian idealism, cannot afford to explain things by the relations of production and labour. This then is the dilemma of ludic feminism: the denial of "materialism" leads Iodic feminism to a form of idealism that discredits any claims it might have to the struggle for social change; accepting materialism, on the other hand, implicates its own ludic practices in the practices of patriarchal-capitalism — the practices that have produced gender inequalities as differences that can be deployed to increase the rate of profit. This dilemma has lead feminism to an intolerable political crisis: a crisis that is, in fact, so acute it has raised questions about the viability of feminism as a theory and practice itself.

They are the ones that put such an emphasis on images over material relations because they are so distant from those struggles.
By wat0n
#15167628
Pants-of-dog wrote:If identity politics is so bad, perhaps other people can stop imposing identities on others. Mr, Floyd simply thought of himself as a guy who wanted smokes.

The cops imposed an identity of “black thug” on him and killed him for it.


One ironic thing is that those obsessed with identity politics are the first ones to impose identities on others when it suits them.
User avatar
By Rancid
#15167638
Wellsy wrote:It's interesting you see the issue arising outside of the academic circles as I often think that it is instead the academics who exist too independently of the actual struggles outside of the university that turns things into shit. Turned


Fair enough. Not like I've thought all of this through entirely.

Still, I think what I said is valid. However, what you point out can also be valid. That is, academics were mostly focused on bullshit when it comes to ID politics.


By the way, I've recently attended various diversity and inclusion trainings at my job. Since I'm a line manager, it means I have to take more trainings than individual contributors. It's interesting how corporations are doing about this stuff.

wat0n wrote:Identity politics has some benefits (for instance, used in a "good" way, it can lead individuals to actually support some policies that are "good" for society as a whole, even if they would otherwise be regarded as being against their short or even long term individual interests), but the way it is being practiced now is being bad overall. The obsessive American-style identity politics, right now, is mainly helping to erode social cohesion and leading to political dysfunction across the West in one way or another. That's something it has in common with the way it's practiced in some non-Western societies (in parts of Asia and Africa), although it hasn't reached the extremes you can see there.


Great point. Do you think that society at large will eventually become tired of this in-fighting and the social disorder it causes? Maybe this dysfunction is a revolution of sorts and needed?

I wouldn't know.
Last edited by Rancid on 18 Apr 2021 17:52, edited 1 time in total.
By Pants-of-dog
#15167640
wat0n wrote:One ironic thing is that those obsessed with identity politics are the first ones to impose identities on others when it suits them.


Do you mean cops?

Or racist politicians?

Or the right in general?
#15167643
Maybe we should stop giving a flying shit about someone's skin color and treat it as relevant as someone's eye or hair color. Maybe, just maybe, white people and black people and asians etc are all the same. This should be the goal for society. Instead everyone has dug in hard on their racial identities.
Last edited by Unthinking Majority on 18 Apr 2021 18:06, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Rancid
#15167647
Unthinking Majority wrote:Maybe we should stop giving a flying shit about someone's skin color and treat it as relevant as someone's eye or hair color. Maybe, just maybe, white people and black people and asians etc are all the same. This should the goal for society. Instead everyone has dug in hard on their racial identities.


Fuck you bitch.

Everytime i think of ID politics. I always think of those shit posts on LinkedIn.

"I'm a mother, CEO, athlete, wife, daughter, artist......." then they proceed to talk about how great they are because they manage to cram so much shit into their lives. This shit distills life down into chasing busyness and titles basically. I always want to respond to those posts with "STOP AND SMELL THE FUCKING ROSES SISTER! LIFE IS PASSING YOU BY! YOU'RE TOO BUSY!"

I hate this shit because it sets up this expectation, that if you are not oversubscribing your life/time, that you are a not living. I'm using a woman as an example, but guys are doing this dumb shit too.

This an all the fake ass CEOs on linkedin annoy the shit out of me...

SOrry for the tangent.

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