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We Are All ‘Identarian’ Now

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 am, February 14th, 2017 - 106 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, activism, discrimination, feminism, gender, human rights, identity, Media, Politics, racism, Social issues - Tags:

There has been an unfortunate trend developing in recent weeks, of negatively labelling people who dare to have a different opinion on equality to the labeller, as identarian. I would argue that far from being an insult, this description is actually something to be appreciated in these times when dark forces appear to be on the rise again.

Why wouldn’t someone identify as being opposed to bigotry, to misogyny,indeed to all forms of hate? On the contrary, having clearly identifiable values and a sense of integrity is something to be admired, something for all compassionate beings with a desire for a just and equitable society to aim for and to seek out in others.

For those of us who believe in these things and at the risk of being attacked as has happened to others in recent times by those who care only about winning and losing, we are all identarians now! Bring it on, we are not alone and will not be silenced by the hateful ones!

The Outrider

106 comments on “We Are All ‘Identarian’ Now ”

  1. adam 1

    Either you support civil rights or you don’t.

    It’s really that simple.

  2. Antoine 3

    I am probably somewhat of an identitarian myself, but I do think it is sometimes worth acknowledging, that if you go too hard with it, it can potentially hurt you at the ballot box.

    (Not that political success is the be-all and end-all)

    A.

    • lprent 3.1

      Personally I find that having a minor shock jock with what appear to be limited political skills (he has been living in John Tamihere’s shadow for a while) simply implausible as a party vote getter.

      However I do find that abusing the political process to push a political fool up the queue really pissed me off. I wonder if having a debate in public in an election year about a flaw in the selection systems of Labour is really that much of a vote getter.

      • Antoine 3.1.1

        I hadn’t been thinking about the WJ thing specifically

      • Wayne 3.1.2

        Presumably he is intended to get party vote that is not already in Labour, either from NZF or National.
        I am pretty sure he has not be recruited to retain Labour’s existing party vote.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    Ah, the satirical Manichean world view of the identity liberals. Either you are agree with us or your… your… YOUR AN OPPRESSOR!!!!!

    • lprent 4.1

      Or that you could just be fair.

      After all we really don’t have to descend to the level of the incompetent misogynist comedian – you and Willie are there already.

      As far as I can tell, your snideness merely conceals inadequacy.

      Personally I think that letting the competition for places should be clear and transparent. And not done by issuing proclamations from on high that idiot comedians should queue jump.

      • garibaldi 4.1.1

        I couldn’t agree more lprent. Helicoptering him in at the expense of proper procedure is very risky when, imo, he is ” bringing too much baggage”. Having watched Willie over the past few years he has ranged from being OK to appalling.

  4. red-blooded 5

    Great post. After all, unfairness and oppression can take many forms and is to be confronted and opposed no matter whether its racism, sexism and misogyny, homophobia, class oppression, discrimination against those with mental or physical disabilities… The left is characterised by caring and respect for the rights of all – we need to continue to stand up for these values.

    And Sanctuary, maybe you need to ask yourself which groups of people you think should just shut up and put up with discrimination and disadvantage (ie, oppression).

  5. Why wouldn’t someone identify as being opposed to bigotry, to misogyny,indeed to all forms of hate?

    Have you considered the possibility that people don’t tend to identify as being in favour of those things and maybe aren’t persuaded that they are in favour of them simply by someone unilaterally declaring them a hater?

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      The answer to that question is almost always an emphatic “no”, which is why these conversations always end up akin to trying to reason with a kamikaze pilot who has just spotted an aircraft carrier.

      • Carolyn_nth 6.1.1

        How does it feel flying up there, about to do the death dive?

        Because what you say sounds like the way you react to those of us who support social as well as economic justice.

        And it is about social justice, not just civil rights (which is a legal issue). It’s about the way society and culture are organised and the systems of power within them. It results in a system, where some groups have more advantages, and are more empowered than others.

        Ultimately it’s the way power is distributed within social institutions and cultural practices.

        And capitalism has always been patriarchal and imperialistic.

        • The Outrider 6.1.1.1

          Very true, capitalism allows oppression to thrive in the name of profit. If you profit you are a winner but if you don’t you are a loser and thus marginalised.

    • McFlock 6.2

      The trouble with that option is that those things flourish without active opposition. They are incubated when they go unchallenged. We show them we don’t care when we fail to demonstrate we care.

      So to a degree proportionate to our lack of commitment, yeah. We all support hate. I know there have been times I’ve been too tired or whatever to bother. And that’s without one or two things I really do hate.

      Don’t kid yourself: if you put up with a racist cousin or sexist boss, you’re telling them their comments and actions are acceptable.

      • Psycho Milt 6.2.1

        Thing is, there’s active opposition, in which you tell someone what your point of dispute is, and then there’s accusing someone of being a hateful bigot, in which you enjoy some pointless self-indulgence. I’m happy to debate people who disagree with me on Islam being a totalitarian ideology or transgender being a mental disorder, but there’s no useful reply to people who leap straight to cries of “Islamophobia!” or “Transphobia!” other than “Well, fuck you too, arsehole.” If your starting point is “You are plainly a terrible person,” there’s no reason to assume your approach will be persuasive.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.1

          What makes you think they believe they can change a plainly terrible person’s mind?

          Because the other objective might be to show other people, whose ideas aren’t as entrenched, that the opinions or even just manner of expressing those opinions is not socially acceptable.

          Seems to me that there are two problems with fucked up opinions: social acceptability that allows them to spread, and then there’s the actual problem of trying to change a bigot’s mind. The second is significantly more difficult than the first.

          Some trumpeter jerk a while back was arguing that the polls were off before the US election and that this was because people were embarrassed to tell the liberal intelligensia their true opinions, and feared that they might be judged negatively for supporting Trump, but in the privacy of the voting booth their true opinons came to light. Good. That means that at least they had the decency to be embarrassed and not spread that crap in public.

          • Brutus Iscariot 6.2.1.1.1

            The first problem for you is that you can’t exterminate an idea by forbidding its expression. That much is obvious by any look at history.

            The second problem is that it isn’t a left wing blog (or you personally) that gets to decree what’s racist/sexist/bigoted, and thereby deserving of (as touched on in other thread) physical or verbal violence. Most people are all round decent human beings whose primary aims in life consists of getting by and enjoying/looking after their family without doing harm by anyone. They don’t take too kindly to having ridiculous labels thrown at them because they didn’t happen follow the latest decree du jour from left-wing academia.

            Perversely your Orwellian approach of attempting to “put people in their place” and suppress their latent “deplorability”, has demonstrably resulted in illiberal reactions that may never have happened otherwise. You mention the US election – well there were a lot of Obama 2008/2012 voters who flipped to Trump. A good chunk of his voters don’t like him or agree with half his policies, they were just tired of being told how vile they were for not committing to Clinton.

            Catriona McLennan posted an article the other day. Apparently we’re meant to be pissed off with Rod Drury because he does business with someone who supports Trump. Essentially Drury’s mate’s mate is a prick so we therefore need to nail him. Do you think there are any winners from that kind of petty tribalism?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Shame is not censorship. Being implacably opposed to bigotry is not putting people in their place. In fact, it is prejudice and bigotry that insist on assigning places and roles for people.

              That’s why the National Party employs Cameron Slater, and the Republican Party is on its knees for Breitbart.

              Too many think tanks dedicated to authoring sophistry leads to unhinged thugs in the White House, while the Hollow Men scramble to keep up. Academics are just like lawyers, eh.

              Quick, blame the Left.

              • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                So everyone who voted Trump is a bigot then?

                • McFlock

                  Nope, not necessarily.

                  But I’m pretty sure that everyone who voted for trump voted for a bigot to lead the USA. So they still support bigotry, because they voted for it.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Are they? Perhaps you can explain how you use any of my comments to reach that conclusion, because it looks like you prefer to offer strawmen rather than argue in good faith.

                  And that’s precisely the behaviour I’m talking about: sophistry demands that you misrepresent my position rather than defend your own. Can’t win the debate so you attempt to burn it down instead.

                  I repeat: shame is not censorship: it is a consequence of prejudice. If you don’t like your false frames being blown over construct some better ones.

            • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1.2

              OK, when I write this, I’m not “forbidding” you from expressing your views. I’m not decreeing what is socially acceptable or bigoted. Or any other of the stupid stuff you wrote.

              If nobody speaks out against something, then it’s socially acceptable because people are accepting it.

              If they just look out for them and theirs and don’t speak up when others are being abused, then they are indeed providing a “safe space” for bigotry.

              This isn’t about “forbidding” or saying what people “need” to do. If someone wishes to provide a safe space for trump supporters and do business with them, then other people can choose to not accept that silently.

              People voting for trump was their choice. What we see is that now the president of the US is one of them, bigots everywhere feel that it’s acceptable to be vocally and sometimes physically violent against people who did nothing to deserve it. That’s what happens when you provide tacit approval to bigots.

          • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.1.2

            Because the other objective might be to show other people, whose ideas aren’t as entrenched, that the opinions or even just manner of expressing those opinions is not socially acceptable.

            Exactly. Here, there are a lot of people reading but not commenting. If I make a case for it being a terrible idea to shoehorn Willie Jackson into a high place on the Labour list because he is a hateful misogynist, or as Millsy would put it “Why do you hate women, Willie Jackson,” that’s not going to convince anybody. Fortunately, The Standard is full of commenters who could and did make excellent cases based on his and the Labour leadership’s actions, but I wouldn’t dream of calling those commenters “identitarian” (actually, it’s not a word I’d use at all, but you get the idea).

            • McFlock 6.2.1.1.2.1

              It might not persuade non-commenters to lobby Labour concerning WJ’s leg up, but actually I was merely hoping that, should their friend mention that another acquaintance had been raped, it occurs to them that the questions “well how much had she been drinking before this little bit of mischief happened?” and “how old was she when she lost her virginity?” might not be entirely appropriate.

        • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1.2

          Yes of course you are right to say it is ‘pointless self-indulgence’ to just say fuck you and your stupid views, in answer to someone else’s stupid racist, and or bigoted beliefs… but then again sometimes, for me, that is the only suitable response.

    • weka 6.3

      “Have you considered the possibility that people don’t tend to identify as being in favour of those things and maybe aren’t persuaded that they are in favour of them simply by someone unilaterally declaring them a hater?”

      true, but the post wasn’t doing that so I’m wondering what you are referring to?

      • Psycho Milt 6.3.1

        I quoted the bit I was referring to:

        Why wouldn’t someone identify as being opposed to bigotry, to misogyny,indeed to all forms of hate?

        The implication being that the author is opposed to all forms of hate and those who disagree with her/him are not.

        There’s also this bit:

        …we are not alone and will not be silenced by the hateful ones!

        If that means something other than that the people disagreeing with the author are “hateful,” it beats me what that meaning might be.

        • weka 6.3.1.1

          the first bit I took to mean that there is nothing wrong with IP because it’s opposing discrimination (i.e. hate).

          the second bit I took to mean not silenced by the people going hard out against IP. It’s getting nasty out there. So it’s not about people that disagree with the author, but those particular ones who would attack the author and others because of their approach to IP.

          • Psycho Milt 6.3.1.1.1

            On that we’re never going to agree. I believe yours is a wildly over-generous interpretation, based on my own experience of being attacked because of my approach to IP. But you obviously think mine is equally wrong and I don’t doubt you’ve had plenty of experience yourself. For what it’s worth, I don’t think either of us are keen to see people mistaking their personal prejudice for natural law or rational analysis.

            • weka 6.3.1.1.1.1

              I’m not sure I’m familiar with your approach to IP. I took the post at face value but in the context of what has been happening in NZ rather than on TS (although I am aware of people other than yourself running anti-IP lines).

              I’m going to hazard a guess that your own position isn’t aligned with the people who believe that socioeconomics is the predominant political issue and that IP gets in the way of that?

              • Correct. Expecting any group to sit quietly through “let’s put your issues aside for the moment because I’m sure they’ll mostly be addressed by you putting all your effort into fixing this thing that I’m bothered about” isn’t sensible or likely to be successful.

                On the other hand, I’ve had experience with IP enthusiasts whose approach is that they’re opposing hateful bigotry, so if you disagree with them on something you are necessarily a hateful bigot and the blog shouldn’t be publishing your hate speech. Those people can fuck right off.

  6. Ad 7

    There was a useful point from Stephanie Rodgers a week ago, to the effect that it is going to be really hard to win elections if party leadership continue to run over their activist base, which is made up of activist groupings.

    With the tide this far out on Labour, few political boats are lifted, and that uneven rocky base of activist groupings is more visible, more exposed.

    Granted, those groups are nowhere near enough to win an election. But this is not the moment in the Labour Party’s trajectory to alienate the people that are keeping it alive.

    • lprent 7.1

      That is my view as well.

      I don’t have a problem with the selection of candidates of Deborah Russell in New Lynn, or Greg O’Connor in Oharui. Neither are who I would have picked for those electorates. However I’m not in either electorate and both got selected with the usual process.

      However whoever was trying to do a pretty clear end-run around the list selection process with Willie Jackson (and I have a strong suspicion on those who did it) are clearly trying to piss the activist base off. That is a really dumb move in any year, but borders on catastrophic in an election year.

  7. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    Consider a Venn diagram with circles overlapping with a large core area common to all circles. We can’t push everyone into the same circle of beliefs, but if those in different identity groups can understand that to achieve results for their particular cause, their best chance is by joining with others who share the common core of humanitarian goals to achieve a critical mass which can change the government.
    Remember the last massive climate change march. There were people from churches, people from coal action, people against deep sea oil drilling, mothers, fathers, unions, all marching under different banners.

    Combining our efforts to change the government doesn’t mean that we have to lose our identity political aims. We can stand alongside others fighting for their rights in the common goal of achieving a political environment in which people and the environment are given higher priority than short term monetary gains at the expense of future generations.

    let us not be divided by our different identities but united in a FAIRNESS FOR ALL goal.

    • Anne 8.1

      We can’t push everyone into the same circle of beliefs, but if those in different identity groups can understand that to achieve results for their particular cause, their best chance is by joining with others who share the common core of humanitarian goals to achieve a critical mass which can change the government.

      Great words TMM but therein lies the problem.

      There are some people inside Labour who cannot see past the ends of their noses and who refuse to accept others’ beliefs that have equal validity to their own. The overall goal of fairness and justice (the belief system which has sustained me for decades) appears sometimes to be given second or third place in the minds of some.

  8. Brutus Iscariot 9

    “Why wouldn’t someone identify as being opposed to bigotry, to misogyny,indeed to all forms of hate?”

    That’s the part that sounds good, but it’s where the definitions of those terms clash with mainstream society that is the key.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Mainstream society used to include slave ownership, and to an extent still does. Women only got the vote a hundred-odd years ago, Homosexual law reform, same sex marriage, etc. etc.

      Clashing with such “mainstream” opinions as these comes naturally to humans. Get used to it.

  9. Carolyn_nth 10

    I have been working on a post for another site about this issue. When researching the meaning of “identity politics” yesterday, I was pleased to see that wikipedia included class politics (or at least one part of it) in identity politics.

    Some of this have been saying this for a while, and the wiki article included a point about Marxism that I also have made to people in the past:

    Formally, it may even be found in Karl Marx’s earliest statements about a class becoming conscious of itself and developing a class identity.

    Marx had said that when workers moved into cities to work together in factories, they would share their experiences of being exploited. They would then realise they were all exploited in the same way, and start to organise to overthrow such an oppressive system. In the process, they would become aware of their shared working class identity.

    There is a similar process with women, people of colour, LGBTI people and those with disability.

    While some people try to say identity politics is about individuals. It just is not. I happens where groups of people become aware of the way they are all oppressed, abused, discriminated against or marginalised in the same way. Then they begin to express solidarity and organise collectively.

  10. weka 11

    Welcome to The Standard The Outrider :mrgreen:

    • lprent 11.1

      Yes. I forgot to say that as well.

      Outrider is currently a Contributor rather than an Author. It means that they get a login and can write posts but not release them to the public.

      We are trying this as a better and hopefully more efficient author training system than the guest post system. Guest posts tend to chew up a lot of time that we often do not have. And they don’t help train the potential authors in the mechanics of how to write a post for the site.

    • The Outrider 11.2

      Thanks weka. Hope to add value and contribute some useful posts.

  11. Brutus Iscariot 12

    Having had another look at the original post, it’s instructive how vapid and self-indulgent it is, with nothing of substance really said. Does absolutely nothing to dispel the view that deep down the whole exercise more about virtue-signalling and self-validation than any meaningful analysis of society and its needs.

    “Look how moral I am!! Look how disgusting everyone else is!!”

    Not doing your “cause” any favours.

  12. Identarian? Horrible label imo

    I identify as a person interested in fighting oppression via identity politics.

    Every improvement and gain in any area against oppression is good for everyone. And each victory helps other peoples in their fight.

    Identity politics is inclusive not exclusive,

    Identity politics is wide and deep not narrow and shallow.

    My mantra is – if anyone gets left behind then we all get left. Because who has the arrogance to say the shit YOU are going through is less important than my shit.

    • Brutus Iscariot 13.1

      No, it can never be defined as inclusive, because inherently it’s a redistributive ideology, just not in the material sphere.

      The essence of it is that the legitimacy of your worldview is inversely related to the proportion of the population you represent, due to the 1500-2000AD historical dominance of Western European (males). It elevates the life struggles of minorities, regardless of whether they are actually caused by systemic oppression, over the struggles of anyone else.

      A classic example is Young Labour’s drive on Transgender Reassignment waiting lists. Not hospital waiting lists, not health funding, not primary health intervention – but specifically Gender Reassignment Waiting Lists. Elevating the needs (and this is also a highly arguable point) of an absolutely miniscule number of people, over a wider debate. You can under stand why that pisses off a retired labourer in Waitakere who’s been waiting 2 years for a hip replacement. Same contrast exists with the high-earning businesswoman who is “oppressed” because she doesn’t feel like she’s on enough boards.

      Confusion also reigns when the economic intersects or contrasts with the demographic – e.g. Asian New Zealanders. Non white, typically socially conservative and technically colonially oppressed during some parts of history, yet materially wealthier and more capitalistic than NZ’s previous generations of migrants (including the original migrants from Hawaiki).

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        The essence of it is that the legitimacy of your worldview is inversely related to the proportion of the population you represent, due to the 1500-2000AD historical dominance of Western European (males).

        That literally makes no sense. You validate the opposing argument – in acknowledging the privileged position occupied by Western European males (who are a smaller proportion of the population than Western European females, by the way, which invalidates your argument).

        The “legitimacy” of our Western European male worldview is reinforced by everything from the legal system to entertainment. So much so that you haven’t even noticed it.

        • Brutus Iscariot 13.1.1.1

          Sorry, i did forget that females were a minority despite the numerical superiority. Although they’re a numerical minority in East Asia due to female infanticide – anyway.

          What’s being lost in the “rage against the machine” 21st century railing against oppressive systems, is that the systems implemented by those white males actually conferred the most basic rights “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that everyone now enjoys, and often didn’t previously. I don’t think you can fault King John in 1215 for failing to foresee the demand for transgender public bathrooms and putting that in the Magna Carta.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1

            King John: a fine example of unearned privilege, and so were the barons who forced him to Runnymede in the first place.

            Today, those who believe in due process and equality before the law are still having to force our modern King Johns (cf: the National Party) to pull their heads in.

            The unprincipled always have to be forced to pay more than lip service to liberty. Nothing changes in that respect.

            PS: it may have been European males who first recognised this, but right wingers weren’t among them. Always on the wrong side of history.

      • marty mars 13.1.2

        It is inclusive – FACT

        It doesn’t elevate struggles it recognises them.

        You don’t really understand the concept – like many, and the point of the post in some ways, you are pushing lines to discredit that which is beyond your understanding. So sad, for you.

      • weka 13.1.3

        “A classic example is Young Labour’s drive on Transgender Reassignment waiting lists. Not hospital waiting lists, not health funding, not primary health intervention – but specifically Gender Reassignment Waiting Lists. Elevating the needs (and this is also a highly arguable point) of an absolutely miniscule number of people, over a wider debate. You can under stand why that pisses off a retired labourer in Waitakere who’s been waiting 2 years for a hip replacement.”

        And yet women already get priority to have health funding for IFV treatments. Why is that ok but transgender reassignment not? And why does Waitakere Man feel aggrieved by the transgender person’s needs and not the infertile woman’s?

        Same contrast exists with the high-earning businesswoman who is “oppressed” because she doesn’t feel like she’s on enough boards.”

        It’s not that she feels oppressed, it’s that she is systemically and sometimes individually prejudiced against specifically because of her gender. That’s sexism. Sexism exists, and when you frame it as being about how women feel, you are adding to that sexism by minimising or making invisible the very real structures of prejudice that are there.

        • Carolyn_nth 13.1.3.1

          The sexism that occurs on company boards, is part of the same patriarchal system of privilege and disadvantage through which single mothers are the must disadvantaged in our society.

          Whole system needs changing from the bottom up.

  13. weka 14

    Intersectionality https://thestandard.org.nz/intersections/

    Solidarity https://overland.org.au/2016/12/this-is-what-solidarity-looks-like/

    Time for the left to work together rather than worrying about all agreeing with each other.

  14. Yes own the name. But be aware where the term came from. The Identitarian movement is a pan-European socio-political movement that started in France in 2002 as a far-right youth movement deriving from the French Nouvelle Droite Génération Identitaire. I don’t mind being considered youthful or even French, but I do draw the line at far right.

  15. HDCAFriendlyTroll 16

    Jesus F Christ. There’s so much straw in here no one light a match.

    Identity politics is when people are judged on what they are – sex, race, etc – rather than merit.

    For example Willie Jackson is a dick. Based on merit, for him to get a high position on the Labour list would be stupid. For him to get a high a high position because he happens to be a Maori is identity politics.

    Other examples:

    Barrack Obama becoming President because he’s black.
    Hillary Clinton being elected President because she has vagina (I know, she didn’t win, it’s just an hypothetical).

    You can be opposed to misogyny, racism and every other “ism” and be against identity politics. And if you believe people should be rewarded on merit rather than what they are – e.g. male, female, race – then you already are.

    • weka 16.1

      That’s not what identity politics is though. What you are talking about is when ‘identity politics’ gets used as a club to attack those speaking on issues that affect marginalised or oppressed people. This is literally what is happening in NZ now and often from some on the left. For instance when someone says they are against identity politics, they are declaring themselves to be anti-feminist. They can claim to still be against misogyny and sexism but when you scratch the surface of the political analysis what they mean is that they don’t like those things, not that they are working against them or to solve them in society. Their problem with IP takes precedence over any real world support for women.

      WJ didn’t get a high position because he ‘happens to be Māori’. He got in because his Māoriness and work for his people is perceived to serve Māoridom and Labour’s commitment to that. There’s nothing wrong with that. That he also has a history of misogyny IS a problem, irrespective of whether he is a dick or not. But interesting that the person who is against IP sees the problem of Jackson being his character not his actions around rape culture. That is a pretty good example of how to be against feminism by being against IP.

      Likewise, voting Clinton wasn’t about voting for someone with a vagina. It was about voting for someone with the pro-women politics. People seem really confused on this but some are happy to use that against women’s politics and wellbeing.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 16.1.1

        If you want to support Clinton because of her work promoting women in the workforce etc, that’s fair enough. That’s called supporting someone on their merit and not simply because of their genitals. If Clinton had done nothing for women and was simply riding on her name and gender then you wouldn’t support her would you?

        And if I were to support Trump simply because he happens to be white and rich that would be wrong. Anyone could be born white and rich – it’s just luck. That’s an example of identity politics.

        Let’s say there are two people competing for position of PM, or leadership of a major political party, doesn’t really matter. One is a member of an oppressed group and the other isn’t. For the sake of argument let’s say the latter base on merit is clearly the better choice and do the job a lot better.

        Who do you choose? Do you say in the name of equality and social justice the former should get the job? Or do you say merit is what counts?

        Or to confuse things even further, let’s say the former isn’t as good as the latter, but almost as good. Do you choose them then because even though they aren’t as good you’re redressing as wrong?

        Anyway I’m digressing a bit. Point is just because someone is opposed to identity politics doesn’t mean they are for misogyny and racism etc.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1

          So much mythology, so little time. The second link at 16.2 is but one example of what really happens when people pretend to judge on merit: even the well-intentioned fail.

        • weka 16.1.1.2

          If you want to support Clinton because of her work promoting women in the workforce etc, that’s fair enough. That’s called supporting someone on their merit and not simply because of their genitals. If Clinton had done nothing for women and was simply riding on her name and gender then you wouldn’t support her would you?

          Well I wouldn’t have voted for Thatcher or Shipley if that’s what you are asking. Point is though, a lot of the vagina voting criticism was criticising women for voting for a woman who was pro-women. Just like you did. That’s sexism.

          And just to put this in context, the first time that a woman ran for US president, where we had months and months of debate on TS about that election, including many posts about it, how many posts on TS were written by feminists about feminist issues in the election? When you figure out the answer to that, tell me why that was so. Then try arguing in that context that we don’t need IP.

          And if I were to support Trump simply because he happens to be white and rich that would be wrong. Anyone could be born white and rich – it’s just luck. That’s an example of identity politics.

          Anyone could be born disabled, it’s just luck. They shouldn’t have political representation on that basis of that luck. Is that what you are really saying?

          Let’s say there are two people competing for position of PM, or leadership of a major political party, doesn’t really matter. One is a member of an oppressed group and the other isn’t. For the sake of argument let’s say the latter base on merit is clearly the better choice and do the job a lot better.

          Who do you choose? Do you say in the name of equality and social justice the former should get the job? Or do you say merit is what counts?

          Lolz. I love how that example always starts with an uneven playing field. How about instead we assume for the sake of argument, that both people are of the same merit. Do you support the social justice choice or go with the white dude?

          Anyway I’m digressing a bit. Point is just because someone is opposed to identity politics doesn’t mean they are for misogyny and racism etc.

          Really? Because everyone I see arguing against IP is pretty much opposing political action against misogyny, racism etc. You’ve just done it here.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2

      Meanwhile, on Earth, men are rewarded based on their identity.

      It’s interesting the way you seek to turn that situation on its head by claiming that attempts to redress it and other examples of unearned privilege, are the problem.

      In fact, you’re supporting precisely that which you purport to oppose.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 16.2.1

        “The main finding is consistent across the three studies: when an organization is explicitly presented as meritocratic, individuals in managerial positions favor a male employee over an equally qualified female employee by awarding him a larger monetary reward.”

        Which is an example of identity politics. And basically you want to redress it by doing the same thing but in reverse? I think that’s called reverse discrimination.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1.1

          Have you got a moment, or are you too busy telling me what I think?

          The first thing I’d like to do is to get you – and the people who concocted the lines you’re running – and especially their employers – to admit that unearned privilege is a problem.

          Then perhaps you can be part of the solutions.

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll 16.2.1.1.1

            Yes, unearned privilege is a problem, and that’s one reason I’m opposed to identity politics.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Can you take the next step, and move beyond lip service to proposing solutions to the dead weight of privileged white males? Get out of your sedan chair, as it were.

  16. xanthe 17

    Cecily knew she should not play with matches, but the bright flames were so enticing. Now sitting amoungs the ashes and charred beams and heirlooms of the old hall, she looked around for someone to blame.

    • weka 17.1

      translation: xanthe thinks feminists are to blame for the neoliberal take-over of the Labour party.

      • marty mars 17.1.1

        I thought x blamed all identians not just some feminists for the take over of her beloved labour party

        • Anne 17.1.1.1

          My interpretation too marty mars.

          • Xanthe 17.1.1.1.1

            Very good ! We have an understanding.

            So what part do you feel the indentarians played in the neoliberal takeover of the labour party?

            And how might this be unwound?

            • weka 17.1.1.1.1.1

              translation: xanthe thinks feminists, gays, Māori, disabled people, transgender people, etc are to blame for the neoliberal take-over of the Labour party.

            • Anne 17.1.1.1.1.2

              The neo liberal take over of the Labour Party occurred in the 1980s and was conducted by a smallish cabal of men who had been captured by neo-liberal NZ businessmen. After they left the Labour Party (the last one to go was Richard Prebble in 1993) the LP began the long, slow and at times, painful journey back to its roots – that is, a fair and just society for all NZers no matter colour, race or creed. It wasn’t a journey that could ever happen quickly and, in my view, the Party is now there.

              • xanthe

                “The neo liberal take over of the Labour Party occurred in the 1980s and was conducted by a smallish cabal of men who had been captured by neo-liberal NZ businessmen”
                I generally agree thats what happened.

                But my question is how come the labour party was a pushover for something so alien to its roots? What was happening in the labour party that so weakened it?
                My view is that indentity politics was well established as a dominent force in the party at that time and that at its core it is a competitive and divisive model that is not inconsistant with neo-liberilism

                • weka

                  So feminism, Māori sovereignty, disability rights, gay rights were the real drivers of Douglas and Prebble? Or the women, gays, Māori and disabled people somehow pushed an agenda to get rid of working class politics?

                  I suppose giving women the vote had something to do with it, and that would certainly place the dominant force of IP well before neoliberalism was brought into NZ. Can’t see how women getting the vote is competitive and divisive though, unless you believe that sharing power with women is wrong.

                • McFlock

                  What happened?

                  Isolate: remove the targets from uncontrolled external influences. E.g. cabinet confidentiality, close economic planning units across a variety of departments except Treasury

                  Induce crisis: Something must be done, right now

                  Reinforce: committed now. Protestors are wrong, this is short term pain. Any alternative is worse. TINA.

                  Rationalise: no matter what happens, some members will support us. Ignore the vocal minority.

                  For “identity politics” (aka “giving a damn”) to have been responsible for Lab4, the views of Labour rank&file need to have been relevant to the neoliberal implementation. It wasn’t. It was expicitly ignored.

                  • xanthe

                    mc flock

                    thats a very good analysis of the first wave and the means of takeover. mostly how I remember it too

                    • McFlock

                      when you say “first wave”, I take it you mean Douglas et al?

                    • xanthe

                      “when you say “first wave”, I take it you mean Douglas et al?”

                      yes thats what I mean .

                      neoliberalisim has come forward a long way since , largly unopposed by either ruling party

                • Anne

                  …my question is how come the labour party was a pushover for something so alien to its roots? What was happening in the labour party that so weakened it?

                  There was a division which had its roots in the 1970s. Although I didn’t understand it at the time, there was a power game being waged between a group of relatively young MPs and the older and more traditional MPs who had been in parliament since the 1950s. Running through these two threads was a group of women who were starting to assert themselves within the party. The ‘relative newcomers’ (Douglas, Bassett, Prebble, Moore and co.), who were positioning themselves to take over the reins of the party, saw these women as a threat and so Labour ended up with a three pronged power battle which ended up tearing the party apart.

                  The above is an oversimplified description of what happened but, apart from the Helen Clark years (when she was able to keep the lid on the pot), it was the basis of the problems Labour has encountered since.

                  In my view Andrew Little is doing an excellent job slowly bringing the threads together again but it is inevitable there will be hiccups along the way. I view the Willie Jackson/Poto Williams stoush as one such hiccup. Provided he is given the time and sufficient leeway, I am convinced he will succeed.

                  He is in no way, shape or form a neoliberal acolyte (as some seem determined to paint him)) but he does have to tread carefully until after the election when, as prime minister (I hope), he will have the power to turn NZ around and make it once again the progressive and innovative country it once was.

            • marty mars 17.1.1.1.1.3

              No part whatsoever imo the opposite in fact.

        • weka 17.1.1.2

          probably true. Funny how it’s the white dudes on the left that use feminism as an example though 😉

          I just narrow it down to feminism because it’s clear way to demonstrate exactly what is being done when someone like xanthe speaks against IP.

          • xanthe 17.1.1.2.1

            “I just narrow it down to feminism because it’s clear way to demonstrate exactly what is being done when someone like xanthe speaks against IP.”

            I think thats called misrepresenting, weka,
            its a form of dishonesty

            • weka 17.1.1.2.1.1

              If I am getting it wrong, why don’t you correct me? Any time you want to step up and explain what you mean, fine by me.

              In the meantime, in the absence of you explaining, despite repeated requests, I will continue to interpret your politics based on what I observe you saying and doing.

              And as long as you use anti-IP rhetoric to harm people and progressive political movements I will keep criticising you for that, and the politics you promote.

              • xanthe

                “And as long as you use anti-IP rhetoric to harm people and progressive political movements I will keep criticising you for that, and the politics you promote.”

                dishonest retoric ! divisive, combatitive, misdirection.
                you do yourself no favours… again

                • weka

                  Still won’t explain what you mean, and instead just start pointing and calling names 🙄

                  The irony there is that solidarity politics are by definition inclusive. And the anti-IP position is by definition exclusive. So project all you like, I’ll just keep naming it until you front up and engage.

                  • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                    How is the anti-IP position exclusive? I don’t care whether you are left wing or right wing, male or female. I don’t judge you by what you identify as but by the merit of what you say.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You read the link at 16.2, and still you imagine yourself a paragon, an outlier, rather than simply lying to yourself.

                      However, you’ve acknowledged that your alleged impartiality is a good thing, and since from reading the link at 16.2, you know you’re an outlier, how do you propose to address the dead weight of privilege holding people (and society) down?

                    • McFlock

                      See, you have a serious reading comprehension difficulty.

                      You might not care what I “identify” as. But you sure care if I insist on equal treatment, or rights over my body, or that I have appropriate facilities if they are required for me to participate in work, education, or the community. Because all of those are “identity politics”, and you are “anti-IP”.

                      So being anti me advocating for those rights or things I need to be included in society, you’re against me doing what needs to be done to be included in society.

                      You’re excluding me.

                      Anti-IP is exclusive, not inclusive. You might not care what shape I am, but it’s not just about you, is it…

                    • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                      ” you know you’re an outlier, how do you propose to address the dead weight of privilege holding people (and society) down?”

                      Credit where credit is due. That is a very good question.

                      In short the answer is equality of opportunity.

                      For example ensuring that everyone has the same educational opportunities regardless of socio-economic status.

                      And ensuring we all have the same employment opportunities regardless of where we’ve come from.

                    • weka

                      “For example ensuring that everyone has the same educational opportunities regardless of socio-economic status.”

                      How would that work with disability if you don’t address disability -specific issues?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      ensuring that everyone has the same educational opportunities regardless of socio-economic status.

                      And ensuring we all have the same employment opportunities regardless of where we’ve come from.

                      Describing the outcomes you want to see is not an answer to the question.

                      “…how do you propose to address the dead weight of privilege holding people (and society) down?”

                      The effect of household income on education outcomes is well known. “Equal education opportunities” sounds good and means absolutely nothing in this context. I’m sure I don’t have to spell out the effects of education on employment opportunities, and that’s before you explain how you propose to address bias and prejudice at work.

                      Try again.

                    • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                      “How would that work with disability if you don’t address disability -specific issues?”

                      That’s not what identity politics is about though. Identity politics is for example voting for someone just because they have a vagina. Or having a policy that says that 1/2 the caucus must be women.

                      If the government wants to address disability specific issues (and they should) that’s fine. It’s not identity politics. And If we were to define it as identity politics then this means National has been playing identity politics with farmers since the beginning of time.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’re the definition guru are you? This from Wikipedia:

                      …refers to political positions based on the interests and perspectives of social groups with which people identify. Identity politics includes the ways in which people’s politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through loosely correlated social organizations.

                      Have you got any other goalposts you’d like me to fix for you?

                      And yes, the National Party favours the short-term interests of people who identify as farmers, especially if they offer donations. Wadeable rivers much?

  17. greywarshark 18

    I think we have had the identity revolution, and like all revolutions, it hasn’t been entirely satisfactory and some bad habits have continued or have risen again. That’s not new. People who seek revolution and change have to think and plan to get it going, to understand the problems against them, to face head-on what has to be, and to avoid or go round if subterfuge or other means is just as useful in the long run. That’s not new.

    What is new is climate change and, in our lived experience, the unprecedented effect of climate change, unleashed unprincipled capitalism which is spreading its poison across the globe at a time when we have reached a high point in education with the possibility of a breadth of understanding of the human situation as never before. We have been given the revolution of universal education, taught to read, and have information poured over us till we almost drown in it. But we need to keep our minds and thoughts open, and our mouths shut to ensure that we aren’t obliterated by green nature and human nature.

    Part of our difficulty, is how we rationalise our behaviour, and compartmentalise ourselves and push our own barrow in such a focussed way that we can ignore those wider visions and go after personal or tribal goals, and say that the ends justify the means., and that we are so deserving and should look to our own affairs, and to hell with everyone else. And to hell we will go if we do. As I think Abraham Lincoln
    said ‘We must all hang together, or surely we will hang separately.” Care for each other, but ensure we include ourselves is the idea surely so we progress upward together as a caring community.

  18. tom 19

    I have been reading The Peoples History of USA by Howard Zinn. It has been interersting reading for many reasons and highly recommended. With this debate on Identity politics it has highlighted some things i picked up from the book.
    The owning/ruling class have used identity politics as a wedge on the left throughout history, also the left have never gotten passed this and their own bias’s.
    Recurring thru history is unions not allowing blacks to be involved or woman or both, or allowing them to join but not fight equally for their rights as well. The ruling class used blacks as strike breakers, as because blacks were not an equal part of union were happy to strike break. Etc this all continues to go on with obvious different mechanisms (now not fought by use of strike breakers, but thru PR lines to wedge the left by identity as one of many examples), and even now although we have come a long way we still are stuck at this juncture.
    What i believe based on this, is that the right can keep using this against us while we let them, to prevent this, the left needs to find the common cause and find the empathy to think of the ‘other’, so we can assess best way to move all forward without leaving some behind.
    My opinion on recent events:
    When people raised in public rather than in prviate the issues with Wiliie Jackson they gave a wedge to the right, a gift of the gods to the bumbling fool the dipton double dipping dipshit, a fool with zero game and zero chance of the NZ public getting behind him like the did Key. Now the Right get to write the same old story about labour whether true or not and that bumbling fool and his joke of a sidekick pullya get a free ride to glory.
    This needed to be addressed but addressed in a manner in which not to give the Right and the MSM a free hand to portray the left as this.
    Even though the left naturally has many different facets, given the MSM and the Rights past use of this as a profitable exercise in diminishing the left in the eyes of the broader less politically minded public, this needs to be sorted by the left to have any chance in 2017.
    Keep it in house for gods sake, hiring a PR person was the worst case scenario and i cannot believe that she did that it is so ridiculous as to be laughable, if it didnt make ardent lefties cry.
    As someone deeply against TPPA for example, i know it would be stupid to continually highlight the differences I have with those in labour that are for TPPA publically, rather than in house have robust ongoing debate and try to find point of commonality and work from there.
    You can be publically critical of the issue but surely to be critical of your own party publically makes no sense except as a way to try to upset the party official lines to stroke one’s own ego and one’s own sense of right and go ‘na na nana na I know better than you Mr little’
    We know nats are split the same as labour are, but they have MSM on their side and massively funded PR hacks and seem to mainly keep it internal.
    We have to learn or we become redundant and die like the Whigs.

    • Carolyn_nth 19.1

      I agree Tom on the interconnection between economic and social justice that has a long history.

      On not making public challenges in the 21st century. This is a very difficult thing to do in the digital age, where many of the discussions are had in public.

      The initial problem with the William Jackson issues was internal to Labour. Little over-rode the standard process for selection, and that probably led to Williams going public.

      Labour of course, needs to manage their own processes and what they talk about publicly. But the rest of us non-party people need public discussions. It helps to inform the general public – we can’t expect them to join in political processes if we keep secret the important debates, agreements and disagreements.

      We need to find ways to work together, while acknowledging our differences. And it’s not a great idea to tell non-party people to STFU.

      • Carolyn_nth 19.1.1

        PS: maybe the way forward will be demonstrated by a collaborative approach between Labour and the Greens, while disagreeing on some matters?

  19. Ad 20

    Pretty odd when Rahm Emmanuel has strong common cause with Bernie Sanders on how to get the Democratic Party winning again:

    “It is not good enough for someone to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me,’” Sanders said after a November speech he delivered in Boston. “No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”

    http://www.salon.com/2017/02/08/what-if-both-rahm-emanuel-and-bernie-sanders-are-right-chicago-mayor-offers-advice-democrats-may-not-want/?scrlybrkr

  20. The Outrider 21

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I realise opinions will differ and hope that I will be able to contribute some food for thought once in a while.

  21. Michael 22

    The point missing is:

    Identity and class are not mutually exclusive. They intersect. Gender, race, sexuality, and class are all various forms of inequality and identity and they affect eachother. For example you can’t tackle sexism/racism without looking at class and you can’t tackle economic inequality without looking at sexism, racism, etc.

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