J’Accuse Identity Politics

J’Accuse Identity Politics, by Peter Baldwin.

Count 1: Identity politics is racist

In past times, progressives aspired to transcend race. Nowadays the identarian Left is absolutely obsessed about race, and determined to perpetuate racial distinctions and grievances. … Far from representing the height of anti-racism, identity politics is in fact racist in multiple respects. It is an equal opportunity oppressor, harming both the ‘people of colour’ it claims to champion and the ‘white people’ it vilifies.

Count 2: Identity politics is the enemy of free speech

In former times, the non-communist Left was in the forefront of efforts to defend and extend freedom of speech. Nowadays the system of mind control we label ‘political correctness’ strives to silence, persecute, and if possible prosecute those who seriously challenge its tenets. This even extends to legitimizing violence on the ground that speech acts can actually constitute, rather than just provoke, violence — thereby justifying counter-violence.

Count 3: Identity politics is counter-productive for the oppressed

The social justice warriors inspired by identity politics claim to be acting in the interests of the oppressed. But do they, in reality? … In one important case after another, the activism of the SJWs is not just useless, but seriously counter-productive. A profound indifference to consequences pervades the writings of the theorists who justify this kind of activism.

Count 4: Identity politics is profoundly reactionary

The Left used to proudly trace its lineage back to the radical wing of the Enlightenment, with its emphasis on argumentative rationality, open debate and the scientific method. This included the ability to freely debate religion. However the identarians now see religion first and foremost as an aspect of culture, that must be protected from ‘offense’ and disputation, leading to a serious erosion of free speech, and the defence of appalling ‘cultural’ practices like female genital mutilation. In the hierarchy of correctnesses, culture trumps all.

Count 5: Identity politics is a threat to civilization as we know (and generally like) it

With its denunciation of the civilization that has developed in the West as an unremitting litany of racism, colonialism, slavery and oppression, while ignoring its enormous virtues, not least its ability to evolve and self-correct, identity politics has severely undermined our civilizational self-confidence. This at a time when powerful currents are emerging to challenge the relatively liberal and tolerant societies of the West, threatening many of the societal values the identarians claim to cherish.

Yep. Our civilization is taking a seriously wrong turn, led by the postmodernists on campus. Wake up before they sell us down the river.