Monday, 6 March 2017

Identity

I'm afraid that my evil capitalist overlords are still preventing me from blogging at the rate I'd like.  It turned out that the most recent work "crisis" (I mean, nobody ever dies or anything like that) wasn't satisfactorily resolved and this has meant a prolonged period of high-speed coding late into the evening.  For a change I'm working on a  project that is actually quite fun so I don't really mind but the effort involved has sapped my energy a little.  I also managed to do something to a muscle in my back at the weekend while doing the housework.  As a consequence, my intentions to do some Sunday blogging were quickly abandoned for a lie down and a few episodes of Columbo.   Apologies for all of this but normal service is just around the corner. To be honest, Brexit is at a standstill so the timing couldn't have been better.


Why am I linking to a video of a punk song called "Identity"?  Well, it seems that identity politics is having a bit of a comeback. Call me utterly naive if you want but I didn't think this was still a thing in 2017, especially not with young people.  Oh dear, I couldn't be more wrong. It turns out that identity is the crisis that everyone could see except for the idiot that writes this blog.

Identity politics is a dead-end.  It can only ever lead to bitter recrimination, hatred and petty squabbles.  Ordering the right to speak using clumsy and arbitrary metrics can never, ever lead to consensus. How do we know that?  Well, that's because the arse-end of the UK's radical left fizzled out in a haze of bitter recrimination, hatred and petty squabbles after they nailed their flag to the core principles of identity politics.  The radical socialist feminists hated the working-class feminists who hated the disabled feminists who hated the Jewish feminists who hated the lesbian feminists who hated the political lesbian feminists who hated the separatist feminists.  They were so engaged with prioritising the right to speak based on arbitrary measures of oppression that they were too busy to listen and work out if any of it had any value at all.  Everyone knows that political change can only be achieved through consensus and unity of purpose but identity politics gets in the way of any of that.  Identity politics inevitably leads to schisms and arguments and endless hours sitting around getting nothing done except for hating the people closest to your own beliefs and experiences.

Identity politics leads to weird, post-modern articles like this one.  It leads to huge arguments about the inclusion of trans-gender women in the feminist movement or whether to even label trans-gender women as any kind of woman at all.   It leads to the worst kind of free-wheeling "academia" that categorises and sorts all the schisms, that collates all the tiny details that separate the multi-variate graph of disagreement. It is a massive waste of time. [Just for the record, if someone identifies as black or as a woman or as a born-again Christian that's typically good enough for me.  Who am I to question their choices in life?  Who am I to make anyone's life harder than it needs to be?]

While I was catching up with sleep on the sofa at the weekend I watched this excellent BBC documentary about the arse-end of the UK radical left and how identity politics killed it stone dead. 


I can't recommend it highly enough if you want to know why we should all stay away from the ongoing twitter rage about identity politics. In summary, identity politics will not secure our European passports. To do that we need to focus on what we have in common, not on our differences.

Over and out,

Terry
 



11 comments:

  1. Pffff...

    You set us some hard reading there.

    I'm a live and let live kinda person. Whatever people are is fine by me as long as they are nice people. White, black; religious, not religious; fat, thin; gay, straight; even unionist, independentist (is that even a word?). Just be nice, preferably reasonably intelligent, open minded and fun (ie not po-faced) .

    So when people get bent out of shape about the exclusion of lesbians from "le politique queer" (yes, to try to make it more interesting I read it in French), I tend to yawn and zone out.

    I'm cool as can be with transgender people, although to the best of my knowledge I don't know any (why would I unless they tell me), but I can't honestly say that I'm terribly interested, and I'm automatically uninterested in anything that DAME Murray has to say about anything. Creepy woman with a creepy title and a voice that would curdle milk.

    Maybe there is a lack of intellectual rigour in my make up. Maybe I should be more interested. But people are people. I can't see past that.

    That said, I've always been happy to stand up for someone who is downtrodden. Specially kids or animals. So a bit of an old softie.

    Anyway, I hope your work problem sorts itself out and that your back does too. Let that be a lesson to you. House work should be classed as a dangerous pastime, and only be carried out by qualified people. I'd NEVER attempt it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My back is, erm, back to normal now. I just pulled a muscle doing bending round to clean the bath or something stupid like that.

      I worked with a trans woman (I'm sure she prefers "woman") for a while - a lovely human being and talented software engineer. I just hope they didn't find themselves caught up in the righteous anger of the likes of Claire Heuchan of Jenni Murray.

      It might indeed be time to engage the services of a cleaner. I worry that I'd tidy up before they came round.

      Delete
    2. I once had a cleaner (a mate's sister who was going through a hard time). I did exactly that.

      I was so ashamed of the mess I lived in that I spent the day before she came round cleaning up.

      Nightmare!

      Delete
  2. Have you informed ROSPA of your housework related injury?

    Hugh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but I should. Somebody has to pay and it definitely won't be me.

      Delete
  3. Terry, please tell your capitalist overlords that your country needs you. I'm missing your take on current events.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second that.

      About time we got our money's worth from this blog, I say!

      Delete
    2. I'm about to be back in full blogging mode. Had a draining period at work (drained by disruptive colleagues rather than the work itself) , followed by a break. So much has happened, yet nothing at all has actually happened. Brexit is weird like that.

      Delete
  4. Terry is letting the side down, isn't he? Tsk tsk...

    Seriously though, I eagerly await the next installment from this blog when you have the time, Terry.

    Hugh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry for my blogging absence. I had a particularly draining period at work followed by a short break to recover. I'm back now and looking forward to spewing my opinions all over the interweb.

      Delete
    2. Welcome back Terry! Don't worry about us fans clamouring for our favourite blogger to return, just make sure you are fully restored. As you say, nothing is really happening but there sure is a lot of speculation!

      Delete

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