If Liberals Don’t Take on Identity Politics, They’ll Lose

If Liberals Don’t Take on Identity Politics, They’ll Lose. By Daniel Greenfield.

American liberalism began its slow death when it embraced identity politics. When liberals began validating tribalism, they dismantled the moral and intellectual premise of liberalism. …

Identity politics created an exception to liberalism. And what was meant to be an exception is now swallowing up everything. The identity politics exception to liberalism is why free speech is vital until it offends someone, a free press is important until it prints something politically incorrect, and mob violence is to be deplored unless it’s the outcry of the racially oppressed.

When liberals create exceptions to liberalism, then liberalism disappears. That’s what actual liberals like Alan Dershowitz understand. Exceptions to a principle eventually become the principle. And the principle that compromised liberalism was that it didn’t apply to the oppressed. The radical leftist idea that liberals had rejected when it came to violent class revolution became acceptable when it came to race and then the rest of identity politics.

The essential radical idea is that a crisis cannot be met with anything short of radical change. …

BLM is wrong about everything, because they base everything on race:

The fundamental premise of Black Lives Matter is that liberalism doesn’t work because it’s an invention of powerful white people. Equality, due process and open debate are invalidated by white people and institutionalized whiteness. A free society inherently privileges white people over oppressed minorities. And so a free society will oppress and enslave black people.

This isn’t an original argument.

The Communists made the same argument about free societies and workers. A free society would inherently privilege those who had wealth over those who did not. Free speech and a free press would mean very different things for a factory owner and for his workers. The only answer was to first forcibly equalize society by using the power of the state to purge the bourgeois and then, in time, a truly equal Communist society would emerge from the mass graves and gulags.

True liberals understood that this was a hypocritical argument for an endless totalitarian state.

And yet, a generation later, many liberals failed to rebut the same argument being made in racial terms. Now, Black Lives Matter’s “trained” Marxist leaders have gotten the leadership of what used to be the liberal establishment to accept that liberalism is systemically racist.

The defenses of cancel culture all come down to the argument that liberalism is racist.

Free speech privileges white people. So does a free press, intellectual inquiry, open debate, or not destroying people’s lives because they disagree with you. The oppressed, we are told, don’t have the physical endurance or the emotional energy to tolerate the trauma of disagreement.

Any liberal campaign against cancel culture has to challenge this exception to liberalism.

Cancel culture asserts that any disagreement, dissent, or even mistake, from Trump down to a liberal professor arguing in favor of free speech, is a traumatic form of oppression that is literally killing trans people of color, and must be immediately stopped by any means necessary. …

Only totalitarians like BLM are oppressed by freedom:

A real defense of liberalism must be that a free society is for everyone. The only people who find a free society oppressive are totalitarians. Cancel culture and its vanguard of Marxists, black nationalists, and assorted radicals find a free society oppressive because it restricts their freedom to destroy some people and force everyone else to conform to their ideology.

Communists, Nazis, Islamists, and BLMers find a free society oppressive for the same reasons.

Digging back even further, the liberals fell for BLM nonsense because they believe the blank slate hypothesis — the notion, inspired by political niceness, that all large groups of people have identical statistics (except of course for visual features that are just too obvious to deny). Liberals became an accident waiting to fall to race-based totalitarians when they failed to defend Herrnstein and Murray in the 1990s.

Fail to defend truth, and you are vulnerable to lies. How many times have societies had to relearn that lesson?