Don’t Look For Meaning In Politics

It’s a natural tendency to look for ways in which one’s own time is unique in history. It can take a number of forms whether it is the idea that progress and human flourishing is accelerating at a faster rate than ever and that collective wellbeing is at the base of steep gradient, or that it’s all going to the dogs – humans have reached peak misery and we’d all be better off hastening our inevitable self-destruction. Of course, these are two extremes on the continuum, both of which we should be cautious of endorsing reflexively, but the former is probably truer than the latter, in my estimation, even though the latter is arguably more popularly endorsed in societies in which the former is truer.

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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.

 

 

Interview With Cathy Young

In the Imagine Athena podcast we interview the well-known American political journalist Cathy Young. We discuss antisemitic memes and how the political correctness, intolerance and identity politics of the regressive Left is giving rise to the new identity politics of the Right. We also talk about the US election and Young argues that now more than ever we need to stand up for free expression and individual liberty.

Enjoy.