Identity Politics In, Class Consciousness Out

Joshua Mitchell writes::

“Identity politics rejects the model of traditional give-and-take politics, presupposing instead that the most important thing about us is that we are white, black, male, female, straight, gay, and so on. Within the identity-politics world, we do not need to give reasons—identity is its own reason and justification. Because identity politics supposes that we are our identities, politics does not consist in the speech, argument, and persuasion of normal politics but instead, in the calculation of resource redistribution based on identity—what in Democratic parlance is called “social justice.” … What speech does attend this post-political age consists in shaming those who do not accept the idea of identity politics—as on our college campuses. In the 1960s, college students across the country fought so that repressed ideas would receive a fair hearing. These days, college students fight to repress all ideas except one: identity politics.”

He also observes:

“Once, the Democrats were the party of the middle class, attentive to how it might be lifted up—or at least, kept from falling. But during the 2016 election, the Democrats offered the middle class nothing—Americans counted only insofar as they belonged to this or that identity group. And when the Democrats lost, they blamed white members of the middle class who voted for Trump and who had had enough of identity politics.”

One Comment for “Identity Politics In, Class Consciousness Out”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    I’d find this article more worthwhile if it established itself as more relevant.

    It starts by saying some two-bit 2017 special election is a referendum on Trump, but really turned into a referendum on the Democratic party. Then it says the Democratic party is the party of identity politics, and then zoom. Not one more word about the particulars of that special election. Just pound and pound and pound on a topic of the author’s choice.

    I don’t know if this is bad writing, bad arguing, or good advertising, but it definitely is a waste of my time.

    Reply

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