Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Identity Politics

The latest article by Aurelien explains the emergence of “identity politics”, which dominates the Western wor’d. Other connections that unite people have been destroyed by liberalism.

I just want to discuss the damage that Liberalism has caused to the traditional intermediate structures of western societies, and that has provoked the disastrous attempts to make up for it through Identity Politics, or, as I would prefer to call it, the Politics of Grievance.

Some of these problems could legitimately be described as side-effects. The worship of property-ownership and the encouragement of speculation drove ordinary people out of cities, and scattered families around the country, to wherever they could afford to live. The financialisation of the economy destroyed entire industries, devastated entire communities, made health-care and education more difficult to obtain, and destroyed careers and the stability that went with them. The preference of governments for cars and motorways rather than public transport destroyed city centres, the abolition of barriers to movements of goods, capital and people produced a race to the bottom which has benefitted almost nobody.

Yet, whilst people have got rich from these developments, and whilst there were certainly those who saw political profit in some of them, most ordinary Liberals who went along with them did so because of a naive belief in “freedom,” and in the ability of the market to sort everything out. Even now, some hold desperately to the belief that “flexibility” of some kind, or more education, or information technology, or artificial intelligence, or something, will put things right again.

Liberalism was impatient with the past, and wanted to sweep away traditions, superstitions, religion, history, even nations, and replace everything with rational, mathematical calculations of the common good. So instead of compassion we get Quality-adjusted Life Years, instead of education being a public good and a means to personal betterment, it is a cold investment intended to produce a revenue stream later. Instead of citizens, with rights and responsibilities, we have residents who might as well be customers, paying fees to governments and benefiting from services, like shareholders in a company... Most of the points through which individuals were previously able to situate themselves with respect to others simply disappeared.

Read the full article to understand the implications of these changes.

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