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The Crisis of Character: Identity Politics and the Death of the Individual
Spiked Review ^ | December 2015 | Bendan O'Neill

Posted on 12/30/2015 6:53:08 AM PST by all the best

Nothing speaks more profoundly to the crisis of character than the phrase, ‘I identify as…’. In the past, individuals were. ‘I am a builder.’ ‘I am a mother.’ ‘I am a Jew.’ There was a confidence, a certainty, to their sense of identity, and to their declaration of it. ‘I am.’ Today, individuals identify as something. ‘I identify as working class.’ ‘I identify as non-binary.’ Or, in the notorious case of Rachel Dolezal, the American white woman who effectively blacked-up as she rose up the ranks of the NAACP, ‘I identify as black’. The rise of the i-word in our definition of ourselves, the ascendancy of what is called ‘self-identification’, is one of the most notable developments of the 21st century so far. It speaks to a shift from being to passing through; from a clear sense of presence in the world to a feeling of transience; from identities that were rooted to identities that are tentative, insecure, questionable.

Those words ‘I identify as’ – whether they’re being uttered by Caitlyn Jenner as she unveils her newfound womanhood or by an eco-friendly New York Times writer who says ‘I identify as a mammal’ – feel strikingly contingent. They speak to changeability. The undertone is ‘I identify as such-and-such for now’. Indeed, these highly personalised ‘identifications as’ something sometimes come with an acknowledgment that the identification could change in time, and change dramatically. A gender non-binary writer tells us that he/she ‘identifies as both genders’, but then says: ‘I do not know… whom I will identify as in the future.’

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: identity; individualism
The subjectivity of human identity in the 21st century is striking, and alarming. Today, to feel something is to be something. Total insanity. "Progressives" have progressed into total lunacy.
1 posted on 12/30/2015 6:53:09 AM PST by all the best
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To: all the best

“To be is to do” — Socrates
“To do is to be” — Sartre
“Do be do be do” — Sinatra

2 posted on 12/30/2015 6:57:05 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (I don't know what Claire Wolfe is thinking but I know what I am thinking.)
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To: all the best

Progressives, statists, whatever need people to be divorced from their own common sense.

So they come up with all these group identities, victimologies, etc.

Starts with denying the soul, then devolving love and family into thrill seeking (sex, drugs, etc.).

3 posted on 12/30/2015 7:00:07 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.
Cultural determinism is the parent of identity politics and group solidarity (neo-tribalism). In its turn, cultural determinism was birthed by the Darwinian idea that life emerged (created itself) from primordial slime (or star stuff for Sagan), thus man is an uncreated (evolved) soulless animal, therefore his identity is determined by for example, his skin color or his sexual and/or erotic preferences. This proposition rejects the concepts of the human soul (inner person), individuality, free will, and morally informed conscience because it emphatically denies the existence of the God of the Bible.

Consequently, and by extension, it also rejects the first principles of our liberty enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. These are our "unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Cultural determinism must reject these because these principles of liberty "are endowed by our Creator" upon persons made in the spiritual image of the One God in three Persons.

Cultural determinism, said David Horowitz, is identity politics,

"the politics of radical feminism, queer revolution, and Afro-centrism-which is the basis of academic multiculturalism...a form of intellectual fascism and, insofar as it has any politics, of political fascism as well." (Mussolini and Neo-Fascist Tribalism: Up from Multiculturalism, by David Horowitz, Jan. 1998)

4 posted on 12/30/2015 7:23:45 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: spirited irish

Thus Marxism’s fascination with “classes”

5 posted on 12/30/2015 7:32:34 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: all the best

In all of human life’s expanse and breath, throughout all recorded time, all the attempts to ‘kill the individual’ have always failed, and here’s why:

Until the 20th Century, and the devices of that century, there was no way to exterminate more than one human being in the exact same instance.

Therefore, and still today, when the individual dies, they die alone, even among grieving friends and family, or buddies in battle, it is the individual, only, that dies.

I do not take life as a subjective affair.
I am an individual, born into this world as such, and will leave, when the time comes, as such.
I am an American. There is no subject to debate.
I am a military veteran.
I am of half-breed descendency, Mojave and Prussian.
I am a rabid ‘American for America FIRST’.

Subjectivity is always open to change and revision, as the day wanes, and the winds blow, and with the competency of those to whom you submit your subjectivity.

Individuals cannot submit, because they understand that is they, and they alone, that must do what must be done, no matter how loud the catcalls arise.

6 posted on 12/30/2015 8:18:58 AM PST by Terry L Smith
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To: all the best made "identity" its word of the year.

Ayn Rand would be laughing -- or shouting. She knew that "A is A" is fundamental to rational thought and rational behavior.

A is no longer A, but a pull-down menu.

7 posted on 12/30/2015 8:55:28 AM PST by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: AZLiberty

... which makes a good tag line.

8 posted on 12/30/2015 9:10:51 AM PST by AZLiberty (A is no longer A, but a pull-down menu.)
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To: all the best

In the sci-fi series “Dune”, there was a quote in their futuristic medieval society, “a place for every man and every man in his place” with the caveat “destroy the place, destroy the man”.

When you say “I am”, it is an absolute others can’t take away. I am X is non-negotiable, unless they call you a liar.
When you say “I identify as” gives others the ability to say that identity doesn’t include you. If they argue that their definition doesn’t include you, you’re excluded. And it opens the door to inter-sectionality, where they are MORE X than you because they have multiple check-boxes and BETTER than you for having checks in more categories.

Feminists are seeing this with transgendered (crazy guys) claiming to be feminists AND LBGTA, so feminists who don’t like transgendered guys getting awards for bravery or top paid women CEO are told to shut up. Ditto white feminists told to shut up because colored feminists trump them.

And you get the insane political litmus tests for membership, so if you’re this race, you’re supposed to meet a long check list of approved beliefs in order to be accepted as that identity. If you ARE X, you can have whatever beliefs you want. Identity politics, though, puts as much stock in politics as identity - and don’t agree with the cause de jour, and you lose your identity while being attacked for non-conformity by those whose acceptance you rely on most for validation.

In short, identity politics is turning into a place for everyone and everyone in their place based on demographic check boxes and dystopian group-think plus shaming for non-conformance. Stand as an individual, and you’re outside the system and a threat to be destroyed.

And it all becomes possible when replacing “I am” with “I identify as”, giving the nagging social manipulators the opening to put you in your place that they assign.

9 posted on 12/30/2015 10:08:18 AM PST by tbw2
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To: P.O.E.
Exactly. And also with the existence of evil, which like their ancient pagan counterparts, they attribute to animated "causes" (pagan animism) within culture (social constructs) and evil genes since man is not fallen but rather the emergent product of nature.

In his commentary, "Guns,Guns,Guns" Daniel Greenfield points out that if you reject the Genesis account and instead embrace evolutionary thinking, then evil is a chicken and egg question and man is its' helpless victim:

"... Violence had no beginning, except perhaps in the Big Bang, it was always here, coded into the DNA. If people are just grown-up animals, more articulate versions of the creatures who eat each other's young, and sometimes their own young, there is as much use in wondering about the nature of evil as there is in trying to understand why a killer whale kills." (sultanknish.blogspot, 2012)

Worldview is key to understanding progressivism and its' derivatives.

10 posted on 12/30/2015 10:25:18 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: all the best


11 posted on 12/30/2015 11:59:27 AM PST by Albion Wilde ("Look, the establishment doesn't want me, because I don't need the establishment." --Donald Trump)
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To: AZLiberty
I thought of Ayn Rand as I was reading this too.

We're almost living in "Anthem"

Over the portals of the Palace of the World Council, there are words cut in the marble, which we repeat to ourselves whenever we are tempted:


12 posted on 12/30/2015 12:01:46 PM PST by seowulf (Cogito cogito, ergo cogito sum. Cogito.---Ambrose Bierce)
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