The Social Currency of Victimhood

 

Much has been made in recent months of the so-called “generation snowflake”. This is hardly surprising given the disproportionate role of millennials in re-shaping social and political norms in frankly sinister ways; the destruction of free expression and open conversation on university campuses; the championing of censorship, the anti-science impulses that run through gender-identity movements; and the segregationist attitude to identity in general. To be clear from the outset, I am always against the demonization of people just for the membership of a generation or age-group – I always found the stereotyping of Generation X as feckless and nihilistic or Generation X’s own loathing of baby-boomers distasteful. I was disgusted by the hatred directed at the elderly following the Brexit vote and I recognise that there are many millennials who are extremely frustrated by the attitudes of their peers. Be that as it may, generation snowflake, as a description of an attitudinal subset of millennials, is somewhat apt and warrants further analysis. Read More…

If Ryan Gosling Had Stayed Home To Support Eva Mendes He’d Be Hailed As “Progressive”

At the Golden Globes this year, award-winner Ryan Gosling took the time during his acceptance speech to thank his wife Eva Mendes (who, sadly, recently lost her brother to cancer) for supporting him whilst he was making La La Land. He also dedicated the award to his late brother-in-law.  It was an honest and heartfelt tribute that really resonated with most people. He said: Read More…

What it means to be a Freethinker

After a period in the sun, during the heyday of the Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins (among others) New Atheist uprising, terms like freethinker, sceptic and the more specific atheist seem to have lost their popular allure. This is understandable among their obvious targets, the religious and superstitious, among whom they were unlikely to find a fan-base in the first place but, peculiarly, those to whom such terms (either in actuality or in potentia) could be applied have often sought to distance themselves from being associated with them.

In the early days of this website I spent many happy pages dismantling the superficially simpering but ultimately sinister certainties of the religious, yet over the years I have had to turn my spotlight increasingly to the ideological myths and superstitions of academia and journalism. These fields have become increasingly tainted by a commitment to narrative over truth, to a priori framing, rather than reasoned conclusions subject to revision on the basis of new evidence – i.e. the central scientific criticism of religion. Read More…

Identity Politics Is Poison

Earlier this week a deeply unpleasant video emerged, which showed a group of white nationalists praising Donald Trump whilst throwing nazi salutes.

It serves as an ugly reminder of just how awful racialised politics is. We live in an era in which identity politics is ascendant. It dominates public discourse. From both ends of the political spectrum we get victimhood narratives and identity obsession, with one side fuelling the other.

It is very important that we move beyond the divisive and damaging politics of polarization.

When you try to play the game of identity politics, no one wins. You just leave a toxic legacy for future generations to have to deal with.

For those of us who are opposed to political correctness, language policing and identity politics, we cannot – in the words of Christopher Hitchens – allow the extremist tail to wag the whole dog.

The solution to poisonous identity politics is not more identity politics.

Let’s hope, instead, for an outbreak of common sense.

In this week’s Imagine Athena podcast Candice Holdsworth spoke to Robin Gilbert-Jones, contributing editor to Imagine Athena, about the identity politics of the Regressive Left in the time of Donald Trump, and she also reflects on the identity politics of the far right.

 

 

The Working Classes Are Backing The Insurgent Right

that bigoted woman

I was going to write something about how the working classes in the West are now backing the insurgent, populist parties of the Right, led by men such as Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Norbert Hofer, after years of having been neglected by the Left/Liberal elites who took their support for granted.

I see, however, that Ed West has already covered the subject well in The Spectator. He says, “Will the last working-class centre-Left voter in Europe switch off the light?” Check it out here. Read More…

Is Charlie Hebdo Racist?

Listen to this really illuminating podcast that’s been widely shared on social media this week.

It features a discussion between John Semley, a high profile Canadian critic of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and his fellow Canadian, the cartoonist “Eiynah”, pseudonymous author of the blog Nice Mangos.

It’s fascinating to observe the dynamic between the moderately progressive Eiynah, an ex-Muslim atheist who writes a blog on Islam and sexuality, and Semley who also self-identifies as a “progressive”.

As a former Muslim, who turns a wry eye on conservative Islamic culture and its attitudes to sex, Eiynah argues for solidarity with publications, such as Charlie Hebdo, who do the same; whilst Semley, the consummate western liberal progressive, believes it to be a racist monstrosity, unworthy of support from his political kin.

Eiynah argues that Islam is not a race; after all, she considers herself to be “ex-Muslim”.

He describes Charlie Hebdo as “pudgy French intellectuals drawing Mohammed’s asshole.”

You would not think that their positions would diverge so wildly on this subject, but they do.

 

 

 

Mind Your Own Privilege

GingerWallpaper

Is there anything more annoying than someone urging you to “check your privilege”?

It’s the way in which that person is trying to exercise moral superiority over you and lay a hefty guilt trip. And if you disagree then you are being “defensive” or demonstrating your “privilege”. It’s not an appeal to your reason; it’s a truly hideous form of emotional manipulation.

Why can’t these busybodies mind their own bloody privilege and leave mine alone? Read More…