Identity politics and the emergence of a new culture war

We live in an age defined by identity. No longer is a man judged by his actions, but by what demographic he belongs to. The idea that man (or woman, transgender or unisex) is created equal has lost its meaning. The individual is born into a slot in the progressive stack, which defines his degree of victimhood or privilege and therefore his virtue, social rights and the importance of his opinion.

Witnessing the hysterical reaction of the so-called progressive left to the election of Donald Trump has brought home to some the danger represented by this regressive ideology. Loud, aggressive and actively looking to get offended, the social justice movement has been crying, punching, virtue signalling and screaming their way through some tough months – watched in amazement and with increasing alarm by those who see that this movement is not only hysterical and pathetic, but increasingly powerful. Hardly a day goes by without mainstream news picking up a story about this or the other oppressed group. Omitting the alarmist rhetoric does not detract from the fact that the mainstream has largely deferred to the SJW world view. Business, politicians and the media are terrified of the backlash if seen to offend any of the many classes of victims that are deemed deserving of special privileges and must be handled with velvet gloves at all times. When in doubt, they tread increasingly carefully, giving more ground to the PC brigades. Sanity is losing to hysteria. And it is concerning.

The world of the SJW is divided along lines of oppressors vs oppressed. Victimhood has become a virtue. The white, heterosexual male, occupying the bottom position in the progressive stack, is viewed exclusively as a predator and in perpetual debt to other demographics, whom he is deemed to have transgressed against solely owing to the ‘sins of their fathers’. The movement, ironically flying the flag of tolerance, judges virtue not on actions but on immutable characteristics of sex, race or religion. Diverge from the position ascribed to you by your identity and the collective will treat you with disdain, hostility and name-calling. The irony is of course that as a result blacks promote solely black causes, gays promote homosexual causes and so on – and divisions amongst the lines the movement aims to obliterate becomes even more apparent.

This is of course completely lost on the protagonists themselves, who instead blame the other side of reinforcing segregation. Almost anyone to the right of the movement can be labelled Nazis or white supremacists. And this is no innocent infantile behaviour. Labelling your opponents racist, sexist, homophobic oppressors legitimises a reaction by means deemed inappropriate or even illegal in normal political interaction. Fighting such perceived evil, the left feels entirely justified in resorting to violence and destruction of property to achieve their political aims – the very definition of terrorism.

The SJW movement represents a clear and present threat to whatever freedom is left in current society. As this regressive ideology gains foothold, collectivism advances. The individual becomes identified primarily as a member of group, and status, rights and privileges flow from this identity. It elevates the concern of the collective over of the individual and meets with intolerance any deviation from the righteous path of the group.

For years, trouble at G20 protests or other left-wing demonstrations has been ascribed to small anarchist factions on the far left but it is becoming increasingly obvious that intolerance and aggression towards anyone with different beliefs is a core characteristic of the whole of the SJW camp – the true face of the movement is becoming increasingly obvious. The election of Donald Trump is the clearest rejection of this world view yet. But the war of ideas is only just beginning – and the libertarian movement has a role to play. The polar opposite to this regressive doctrine is the individualism and voluntarism represented by libertarianism. Standing up for free speech, individualism, personal freedom and property rights is the only effective antidote to the scourge of political correctness that is poisoning society. And the time to fight back is now.  At the recent rioting before a Milo Yiannopoulos event at UC Berkeley a protestor held a sign proclaiming ‘This is War’. For once, a Social Justice Warrior was right. This is war. And it is one we cannot afford to lose.

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