Friday, January 26, 2024

Ele Ludemann: It’s about politics not identity

Identity politics highlights what makes us different instead of focussing on our common humanity.

It puts people into groups based on often immutable factors instead of regarding them as individuals with the wide variety of characteristics and beliefs each of us has.

And it’s far more about politics than identity.

Margaret Thatcher and Jenny Shipley who were the first female Prime Ministers of their countries, or Ruth Richardson, our first female Finance Minister, weren’t celebrated by hard core feminists because their politics were were right of centre and therefore, in their eyes, wrong.

National got no kudos for being the first major party to have a Māori as leader and deputy in Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett because they were leading the ‘wrong’ party.

And there’s little push back against accusations of white supremacy levelled against the current cabinet which is 35% Māori.

That’s more than any previous cabinet and all are their on their own merits, not because of their race.

But that doesn’t count because they’re the ‘wrong’ sort of Māori; they’re working to heal the divisions and counter the separatism that identity politics fosters and they don’t adhere to the ‘right’ beliefs, which to adherents of identity politics are those of the left.

Those who put people in these boxes use race, or sex or any other arbitrary characteristics to group people as a means to political ends and if people with those characteristics don’t adhere to their world view, they are regarded as traitors to their caste and the causes pushed by those who push identity politics.

They don’t see individuals, they don’t accept people as people but part of a group and they classify, divide and judge based on that.

Having done that they use the group to advance their political agenda and that’s a radical left one that does most harm to the people they are purporting to help.

Proponents of identity politics victimise groups, ignore personal responsibility and encourage dependency.

As Karen Chhour says:

. . . The identity politics on display recently have been something else. We are not defined by our race, or our sex, or any other characteristic we were born with. And we certainly shouldn’t hold people to a different standard because of these arbitrary characteristics. New Zealand is a country where we should all have equal rights and responsibilities.

We are defined not by our race or sex, but by our character – the choices we make.

When we come up against adversity in life, we can see ourselves as victims of outside forces, or we can take personal responsibility for how we react to them. . .

Identity politics in focusing on what can’t be changed denies the control people have over what they can change.

Those promoting it purport to help people up but in making them victims, hold them down and they do it not to help the people but to advance their own political agenda.

Ele Ludemann is a North Otago farmer and journalist, who blogs HERE - where this article was sourced.


Anonymous said...

It's weird really. It doesn't seem that long ago when the more radical lefties were all into 'no labels', 'labelling people is wrong'. Now these folk don't seem happy till they've got everyone labelled. In fact, with intersectionality they take it to the logical conclusion that each person is a collection or matrix of labels! And then it turns out that most people have at least one 'good' label or identity to redeem them at least a little bit. The more oppressed identities you have the more virtuous you must be to the radicals, and the more your opinions count no matter how illogical.

The problem for me: I'm the wrong sex (oops, I mean gender; how many of those are there now? hard to keep up), wrong sexual orientation, wrong ethnicity, wrong age, wrongly abled and have the wrong religious adherence. I suppose that means intersectionally I must be a super privileged oppressor...

nuku said...

Ele: I very much appreciate your clear analysis. I came here 30 years ago from the "Evil Empire" now called Trumpistan, and NZ was a different place back then. Its been sad to see the rise of identity politics,cancel culture,and wokeness here in my adopted home.

Anonymous said...

And if you want to weaken and destabilise a society that you have every intention of eventually taking control over, this approach is exactly the way to do it. Just ask Karl Marx.