Sunday, December 16, 2018

Karl du Fresne: Identity Politics and the Pride Parade

There was something strangely familiar about the spectacle of the LGBTQ+ movement chewing itself up over the Auckland Pride Parade.

It was vaguely reminiscent of the destructive paroxysms that convulsed New Zealand’s communist Left throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s as rival factions competed to show who was most faithful to Marxist-Leninist ideology.

The feuding began when Moscow and Beijing fell out and New Zealand communists split into Soviet and Maoist camps. The plotting and infighting was so vicious and all-consuming that no one had any energy left to fight the supposed common enemy, capitalism.

As the doctrinal differences became ever more esoteric and breakaway groups peeled off in new directions, the squabbling only seemed to intensify. As a wise Frenchman wrote a long time ago, revolutions have a way of devouring their own.

Meanwhile, life went on. Mainstream New Zealand was only dimly aware, if at all, of the feuding among its suburban armchair revolutionaries.

There are faint echoes of that era in the turmoil over the Pride Parade. In one sense, as political scientist Bryce Edwards has pointed out, the dispute over whether uniformed police should be allowed to join the parade was simply a classic clash between pragmatists and purists.

The pragmatic moderates want to work alongside the establishment. They accept that police harassment of gays is in the past. 

The radicals, however, obviously place a high value on their status as an oppressed minority and are determined to remain on the margins.

Ideologically, it suits them to view the police as fascist enforcers of white male supremacy. In their own eyes, no doubt, they remain ideologically pure while the original gay custodians of the parade have sold out.

Both stances raise interesting questions. In respect of the mainstream gay movement, the question is whether there even needs to be a Pride Parade.

Gay rights is no longer the edgy cause it once was. Homosexuality has been legal for more than 30 years and gays are allowed to marry.

If homosexuality is now seen as accepted and unremarkable, which is surely what the gay lobby has campaigned for over the past few decades, then the battle has been won and gays have no more need of a “pride” parade than indoor bowlers or model train hobbyists.

But the more interesting question relates to the zealots who banned uniformed police from participating, despite all their efforts to ingratiate themselves with the gay community.

Here in full view, once again, is the neo-Marxist phenomenon known as identity politics, whereby minority groups define themselves by their point of difference – whether it be gender, class, race, sexual identity, disability or age – and by their perception of themselves as oppressed. 

The activists love to talk about inclusivity but in truth, they rejoice in their apartness and have little interest in aligning themselves with the mainstream. After all, why diminish what defines you?

Besides, it’s no longer a simple case of a single, homogenous “queer” community asserting itself, because the queer community has split into multiple factions, all pushing different agendas and sometimes fighting among themselves – just as in the communist cadres of the 50s and 60s.

New groups seem to appear by the week. It’s getting hard to navigate in this increasingly complex ideological landscape.

Not only do we now have to get our heads around a “trans” community that virtually no one had heard of a year ago, and whose agenda provoked a backlash from feminists, but we’ve also been introduced to a neo-Marxist theory called intersectionality.

Wikipedia defines this as “an analytic framework that attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact [on] those who are the most marginalised in society”.

Intersectionality grew out of resentment at the domination of the feminist movement by white middle-class women. It holds that if you’re a lesbian, working-class woman of colour, you’re far more oppressed than a Pakeha woman who lives in a restored Thorndon villa and teaches women’s studies at university.

In this new hierarchy of the oppressed, it goes without saying that middle-class gay men just don’t cut it anymore. Small wonder that they’ve lost control of the Pride Parade.

Meanwhile, as with the communist schisms of the mid-20th century, ordinary New Zealand gets on with life. After all, identity politics and the associated culture wars are the concerns of a tiny portion of the population.

But the row over the Pride Parade is the tip of a rather ominous iceberg. The difference between the mid-20th century and today is that whereas the old-school communists never achieved influence beyond the trade unions, today’s neo-Marxists have got traction in politics, education, the media, the arts and even the churches.

And their aims are similar: to undermine, destabilise and ultimately deconstruct mainstream society. We ignore them at our peril.

Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of the Dominion-Post. He blogs at published in The Dominion Post and on


llloyd said...
Reply To This Comment

In the 1970s, white men who did the real work of running society, so they thought, would refer contemptuously to those "shiny degrees" that won't get you a job. They actually made that a blanket denunciation. The holders of these shiny degrees have ever since had their revenge on the white men by taking over all the social instituions and running them in their own favour.

Anonymous said...
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Pride Parade a relation of Cromwell’s 16th century Prides Purge? Or is this wishful thinking!

So it has finally arrived into New Zealand’s media, identity politics +Marxism=educational doctrinal left wing ideology and boy are we going to get a dose and a half.

We all thought that when that great divide between Moscow and China occurred it would be a case of “When thieves fall out.”..! Alas although not the best of friends these two nations realise that in this case “Blood being thicker than water”.

The Greens or rather Greenpeace, follow either Moscow or China; as such detailed embarrassing humanitarian ideology is designed to destroy the West environmentally and economically would be politically beyond them.

Karl I thought that it was Robespierre who said “Revolutions devour their own children”! ; then he lost his head which was hardly the act of a wise man!

While your assessment of our community splitting into radical groups it does weaken mainstream democracy, examples of which we have seen here in New Zealand. The adoption of MMP, and demands by Maori for their own representatives to have the right of non elected appointments into positions in Local Government.

One look at our Media indicates government thinking and that independence of news has long since departed. No acceptance that there is another side to climate change; or that thorny question of immigration. Now our Government is signing the Global Compact a deal which in reality, is to hand over our sovereignty on whom we accept into this country. While Governments in this country need not consult the people, over such a decision, which is in reality a Constitutional issue to be decided by a referendum.

If we are looking for some criticism or even strong comment in and from our left wing newspaper columnists, (TV and Radio) then we look in vain.

In fact, unlike our nearest neighbour Australia who still enjoy opposition Media sources ie the Murdoch Fox Empire; with interviewers of the quality of Andrew Bolt, Peta Credlin and Paul Murray. It is an exposure of how bias Media in this country has become.

Karl’s last paragraphs reflect the infiltration that the Socialist Totalitarian message has infected our society; fostered by the United Nations intend on a one World Government. That is why Paris is aflame, the E.U. totalitarian State. A hard Brexit the answer, and why President Trump is fighting a grim battle against a slanted, embittered Media in the USA,
We should heed historical lessons on the fall of both the Greek and Roman Empires, which indicates that not only are the Barbarians at the Gates, but also well within the walls.

A Happy Christmas and New Year to ALL.


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