People don't like identity politics.
When this dislike shows up on the right it gets easily conflated with racism because the right has a real problem with racism.
When it shows up on the left, if it is not caveated and couched precisely and carefully the person expressing the dislike has to hand in his lefty membership card and lose at least 5 lefty points and perhaps deal with a mild cancellation episode.
But people don't like it. So what is it? Definition time:
-a tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.
People don't like it for all sorts of reasons. I, probably guilty of economic reductionism, don't like it because there is no getting around the divisions it creates. In the old game of owner versus worker getting the workers to be divide on race lines was the go to play that guaranteed a first down, if not a touchdown every time. That’s the simple way it has worked. But it also works if people get too caught up in which group is being oppressed more and try to sort out the weight of the injustice even by people who mostly agree. There is a particular irony that in trying to make things fair by being overly precise in exactly who has suffered what leads to division that can serve the owner just the same as racism itself.
People on the right don’t like it for lots of reasons but one of the is they want to view the world as it currently stands as a meritocracy. Being honest about a messy past and mountains of injustice cuts into their own status and position in the world as it stands. Can't we just focus on if the rules are fair now and move on? The right has its own painful irony. There cumulative reaction against identity politics, against trying to makeup for in some concrete way for an unfair playing field, ends up leading to an identity politics of the majority. They aren't the victims, we're the victims of they claiming they're victims.
Anyway..those were just some thoughts I had on the matter, echoes of The Vampire Castle that I've been having as MAGA, the largest identity politics driven faction of the country, loses its minds I can't help but hate identity politics. Then this clip comes along and it stings because..low and behold….I lost track of my own identity politics.
Some stipulate that, "believing in socialism/communism leads to mental problems related to envy and that capitalism frees individuals because it makes them focus on improving self." And that "Socialism is the politics of envy and blame. Take agency in yourself to seize opportunity and consistently seek improvement."
The funny version is imagine being the last Punk Rocker here to get some acknowledgement from the powers to be.
Corporate Nightmare Song - SNL
Doesn't this capture some of the very impulses I carry as someone who hasn't had success in the corporate world? Am I just a bitter middle aged man who didn't make partner? (I'm not a lawyer but I did not successfully move up the ladder in my company days)
Would I care so much about Bernie Sanders and Medicare for All and the undeniable need for UBI that will only grow as technology advances if I was climbing up the ladder and thriving at a company? Would I even have time to pay enough attention the news to care? Probably no and no.
But does this fully discredit my politics? No. It just means yes my life has impacted my worldview…how could it not. If my politics is for the people that don't succeed doesn't that conversely make other politics that of those who did succeed rationalizing their sense of entitlement? And who can lay claim to pure objectivity? And in a 'democratic' society if more and more people are failing whose politics matches the will of the people more?
Just some food for thought.