The expression ‘identity politics’ is recorded from 1973.
It means: ‘activism aimed at advancing the interests of a particular social, racial, religious or other grouping’ (Macquarie Dictionary).
The Cambridge Dictionary says much the same, but puts it a little differently: ‘political beliefs and systems that place a lot of importance on the group.’
In other words, in ‘identity politics’ the individual shrinks in importance, and is replaced by the group the individual identifies with.
The notion seems to be that we are divided by our group identity.
Our common humanity no longer matters—only the group to which we belong.
To give you an example—anti-Semitism (Jew-hatred) is an expression of ‘identity politics.’
This says, individuals don’t matter—if they belong to the wrong group they can be hated, attacked, slaughtered, kidnapped, raped.
The individual victims of these barbaric assaults have done nothing to justify them.
But they have been identified as belonging to the ‘wrong group.’
The intention is to tear down the divine image seen in every individual human being that is at the root of our civilisation’s conception of the dignity of every human life.
One American commentator claimed that ‘identity politics’ is code for ‘communism.’
The argument is that Karl Marx (1818-1883), the co-author of The Communist Manifesto, saw all of society as consisting of nothing but power relationships—his rule was: powerless (good). powerful (bad).
The powerful were all oppressors and the powerless were all oppressed.
He was wrong.
Social relationships are far more complex than his simplistic powerful/powerless division.
And even powerful people can be good and powerless people can be bad.
But his Marxist philosophy is now everywhere, and practiced as ‘identity politics.’
The Voice referendum was an attempt to write ‘identity politics’ into our constitution (Indigenous good, non-Indigenous bad).
This can be resisted only by stressing our common humanity and the strange mixture of good and bad that is every human heart.
And by never voting for any politician who favours ‘identity politics.’
TO SUSCRIBE TO THE FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER SCROLL FURTHER DOWN THIS PAGE >>>>>>
In the current edition of The Spectator Australia (out now) my language column looks at 'dictator', 'and 'enough, already!'
I have signed the anti-Semitism pledge, and I encourage you to do the same. You can sign the letter here: www.saynotoantisemitism.org
Lots of good conversation at the moment on the "Q and A" page -- check it out.
In the current edition of Australian Geographic my Ozwords column looks at 'Mrs Kafoops' and my Placenames column looks at the story behind the Sydney beachside suburb of Dee Why.
If you'd like to see my A-Z list of Aussie slang you'll find it here in the Australian Geographic website -- A-Z list of Aussie slang. Here’s the link: The A-Z of Aussie slang - Australian Geographic
BY THE WAY...
The liveliest part of this website is usually the Q and A page -- be sure to check it out from time to time.
* My latest book is -- "Defending the Gospel" (second, fully revised, edition). You can find it here: Defending the Gospel – matthiasmedia.com.au
* If you're looking for my recent book "Flash Jim" you'll find it here -- Flash Jim, The astonishing story of the convict fraudster who wrote Australia's first dictionary by Kel Richards | 9781460759769 | Booktopia
* You can find all Kel's books currently in print here -- Booktopia Search Results for 'kel richards'. We sell books, hardback, paperback, audio, CDs.
* And also here -- Results for kel richards | Book Depository
* And you'll find more here -- Search: 4 results found for "Kel Richards" – matthiasmedia.com.au
* Many of Kel's out of print books can be found at ABE Books -- Kel Richards - AbeBooks