Tuesday, April 27, 2021

919: Identity Politics....

I have been in doubt about what to do: simply continue the theme of this project as planned or elaborate some more on the WOKE/ Cancel culture issue, which I addressed in the previous lecture.


Since the latter also relates to our current project I'll pay attention to the subject of Identity politics in this lecture .


Compelling identity politics has been around in the West, mainly the US, for quite some time and that has now also arrived in Europe. Why does it remain so quiet about this worrying development?


The American philosopher and sociologist Francis Fukuyama argues that the twentieth century was the century of economics in politics, 


a contest between a left defined through workers’ rights, social welfare, and robust redistribution, 


and the right’s drive to reduce government by shrinking the public sector and selling publicly owned services and replacing them with private market delivery. 


By contrast, he suggests, the twenty-first century has seen the left focus “less on creating broad economic equality 


and more on promoting the interests of a wide variety of marginalized groups, such as ethnic minorities, immigrants and refugees, women, and LGBT people. 


The right, meanwhile, has redefined its core mission as the patriotic protection of traditional national identity, which is often explicitly connected to race, ethnicity, or religion” 


He states in his book "Identity" (2018) that in recent decades a movement has arisen of groups and subgroups that pretend to be understood by members of those same groups only. 


Is that a problem? Yes, certainly, and with far-reaching consequences. The aim of sharing people in identity groups, whereby every cultural expression can be traced to a class struggle, leaves virtually no room for the free individual.


What remains is a tribal identity thinking in which you as an individual have no independent existence, but exist at the grace of the specific group to which you belong.


An example: the Dutch poet and writer Marieke Lucas Rijneveld was asked by her publisher to translate the inauguration poem of the young, Afro-American poet Amanda Gorman.


She declined the invitation due to a storm of protests. The reason: a black young woman should be translated by a black young woman.


Another example: As reported in the Hull Daily Mail (UK), it said marking students down for poor spelling, grammar and punctuation in exams could be seen as "homogenous, North European, white, male, and elite".


Universities Minister Michelle Donelan told the House of Commons: "I am appalled by the decision of some universities to drop literacy standards in assessments."


In response to the criticism, a University of Hull spokesman said: "As a university, we are committed to removing barriers to learning, 


increasing social mobility and providing opportunities to students from all backgrounds.


"Inclusivity is one of our core values, and we firmly believe that everyone - regardless of their background - should have an opportunity to study and succeed."


Isn't it good to detect social inequality and to expose it? This is exactly the problem. 


What is crucial about the “identity” of identity politics appears to be the experience of the subject, 


especially their experience within social structures that generate injustice, and the possibility of a shared and more authentic or self-determined alternative.


But what identity politics or 'woke'-thinking ignore is, that subdividing people into groups actually increases distinction and polarity.


Another problem is that declaring groups and identities holy makes criticizing this impossible or at least extremely suspicious. 


It is a small step to argue, that this criticism is the result of 'white privilege' or unconscious racism, with which every critizism is already disqualified in advance.


While within this worldview of identity politics always the word 'Inclusivity' sounds, exclusion is in fact the rule.


We may praise us lucky in one respect. The current project about the history of knowledge, will not be told from the European, Western, white perspective. It will be multicultural.


Thank you for your attention again....



MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019

The Discussion


[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:21] herman Bergson: Some story, isn't it? :-))

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:21] herman Bergson: But it is happening

[13:21] CB Axel: This is why Earth needs to be attacked by space aliens or zombies or something.

[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): seems to me that we as European can't do any good anymore

[13:22] CB Axel: A pandemic hasn't worked, but good old fashioned aliens might.

[13:22] herman Bergson: It is wider Beertje....all whites

[13:22] herman Bergson: It has its roots in American systemic racism, I think

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well im on Alien 2 at moment so soon maybee

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was plowing through those

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that is rasism too

[13:23] herman Bergson: what is? Me saying this?

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no, that whites can't do anything good

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed grouping people after race, sex, social status ect

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no good thing

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats obvious

[13:24] CB Axel: American racism has its roots in European racism, colonialism, and slavery.

[13:24] oola Neruda: yes

[13:24] herman Bergson: Indeed CB

[13:25] herman Bergson: But while racism was abolished in Europe the US kept it for instance in segregation alive untill 1963

[13:25] oola Neruda: the European caste system was imported with the Pilgrims

[13:25] herman Bergson: Like in South Afrika

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and its sadly still part of the us culture

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like police shooting black people on sight

[13:25] herman Bergson: But I agree that here in Europe we have racism too....but more covered up

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and similar awful things

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are all the same, why cant we realize that

[13:26] herman Bergson: But maybe you shouldn't call it racism in the US context, but white supremacy thinking

[13:27] oola Neruda: agree

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): isnt that same thing

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i guess it has to do with might and control

[13:27] herman Bergson: Like a Marjorie Taylor Green and her Anglo-Saxon culture

[13:29] herman Bergson: At least you could say that tis identity politics drives people apart and is polarizing in stad of uniting people

[13:29] CB Axel: She doesn't bother me as much as the people who elected her bother me.

[13:29] oola Neruda: I do not see Green as having anything logical to say

[13:29] oola Neruda: good point CB

[13:29] herman Bergson: I agree CB

[13:30] CB Axel: She seems insane to me.

[13:30] oola Neruda: yes... lol

[13:30] herman Bergson: We have the same problem here with extreme right wing parties...one even somewhat crypo fascist....

[13:30] herman Bergson: And what are the people who voted for her?

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like with Mr Ts supporters, Trump was a symptom of a much bigger problem, widespread hate and intolerance

[13:31] herman Bergson: He was indeed

[13:31] oola Neruda: and ignorance

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:31] CB Axel: One good thing Trump did was to flush those people out into the open.

[13:32] CB Axel: Like flushing birds from the bushes.

[13:32] herman Bergson: The message of today is at least to keep an eye on the development of this Identity politics in your country...

[13:32] CB Axel: We can shoot the birds, though.

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well that he did for sure

[13:32] oola Neruda: do they come out feeling endorsed as ok

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): esp during that mob, then we saw the true side of his gang

[13:33] herman Bergson: From our perspective we have to ask the question....do we see a pattern here

[13:33] CB Axel: You should be keeping an eye on the possibility of identity politics occurring in Europe, too.

[13:33] oola Neruda: YES'

[13:33] herman Bergson: and if so...is there an underlying principle

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a sad and problematic pattern i see

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but hopefully there is a change coming

[13:34] herman Bergson: That is what I meant CB

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): turning the curve around

[13:34] herman Bergson: everywhere

[13:34] CB Axel: That's right. Identify the pattern and look out for it everywhere.

[13:34] CB Axel: ^5

[13:34] herman Bergson: It isnt an exclusive American phenomenon these days

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): conclusion, bunching people into groups is a bad idea

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said we are all the same

[13:35] CB Axel: The only race we should consider is the human race.

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its no we and them

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): exactly

[13:35] herman Bergson: Like in the 1920....some refer to the underlying principle of reviving nationalism

[13:35] herman Bergson: and anti globalization trend

[13:36] herman Bergson: Like the Brexit was based on the wish to rule themselves....and not being ruled by the EU

[13:37] oola Neruda: good point

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:37] herman Bergson: Like we have a right wing party here which wanted the Netherlands for the Dutch again....

[13:37] herman Bergson: away with all the mosques

[13:38] herman Bergson: This kind of renewed nationalism you see in many European countries

[13:38] oola Neruda: fear of the unknown... and things they do not want to look into to understand

[13:38] CB Axel: It's more than that.

[13:38] herman Bergson: At least it must be based on some form of fear....the fear of loosing something

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess

[13:39] CB Axel: It's also wanting to control everything to create a country in their own image.

[13:39] Iמʞαʞů (inkaku.capalini) is offline.

[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes...that Anglo-Saxon country ...:-)

[13:39] CB Axel nods

[13:40] herman Bergson: And what about the Indians CB...the original "owners" of the land?

[13:40] oola Neruda: here... it seems like money and power are the goals.... even in the lowliest of possible situations... have to keep everyone in check and insure an income

[13:40] CB Axel: If they're going to discriminate like that why not pick between the Angles and the Saxons? Why both?

[13:41] herman Bergson: No idea CB...someone mayhave read it in a history book?

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed oola

[13:42] CB Axel: I doubt that the even know what Anglo-Saxon means except that it's white.

[13:42] herman Bergson smiles

[13:42] oola Neruda: you are either WITH US or you are AGAINST US

[13:42] herman Bergson: Good guess CB :-)

[13:42] herman Bergson: We have discussed it several times.....

[13:43] CB Axel: No, oola. You either are us or you're against us.

[13:43] herman Bergson: this inclination to binary thinking.....Us verses THEM, as oola said

[13:43] oola Neruda: subtle difference.. you are right

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we and them

[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes Not-US means against US

[13:44] oola Neruda: binary

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:44] herman Bergson: We are easily seduced to believe in an enemy

[13:44] herman Bergson: and politicians use that

[13:45] herman Bergson: the underlying principle of Identity politics....

[13:45] herman Bergson: everyone in its own bubble

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all fro himself and everyone around you is an enemy

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): selfishnes and egoism

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and a made up enemy

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): who does not exist

[13:46] herman Bergson: You forget that most people still are OK Bejiita ^_^

[13:46] oola Neruda: I wonder if the haughty activity is really a product of insecurity... a "what if" "they".... etc

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well thats true but

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still as i see its stil a big issue

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even iof i can sense a change

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): is comming

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): people starts to realize things

[13:47] CB Axel: Sadly, the not-OK vote and, in the US, have guns.

[13:47] oola Neruda: what do i have to give up to be "equal"?

[13:47] herman Bergson: right oola

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mmm

[13:48] herman Bergson: and those guns in the US is a whole new chapter....

[13:48] oola Neruda: ick

[13:48] oola Neruda: shudder

[13:48] herman Bergson: with a little organization you can start a new civil war there with well armed armies

[13:49] oola Neruda: that is what the Proud Boys had in mind

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that would be disaster

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (shudders)¨

[13:49] CB Axel: I think that's what a lot of people want. They're just looking for a leader like Trump or Q.

[13:50] oola Neruda: could be... really could

[13:50] CB Axel: Fortunately, Trump lacks the discipline to lead anything.

[13:50] herman Bergson: I guess it is about 25 to 30% CB

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes because hes an idiot

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so he fell on his own grip

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no strategy, just boasting

[13:51] herman Bergson: Well...I guess you've got a lot to think about this weekend.....

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess

[13:51] herman Bergson: Stay cheerful and in good spirits tho :-)

[13:51] oola Neruda: sigh

[13:51] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation....

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:52] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:52] CB Axel: I will, but I'll also be praying for a zombie uprising to bring us all together. :)

[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): very interesting

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[13:52] herman Bergson: I prefer aliens CB

[13:52] CB Axel: OK. I could go for aliens.

[13:52] herman Bergson: Thank you :-))

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ty Herman and class!

[13:53] herman Bergson: Been a Trekkie for such a long time :-)

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)


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