THE EVIL OF IDENTITY POLITICS AND POLITICAL CORRECTNESS USED BY MARXIST/PROGRESSIVES (DEMOCRATS) SAME AS USED BY LENINRead Now
This is an exert from “America’s Permanent Mobs” by Ronald w Dworkin. It is insightful and well worth taking an extra minute to read. You will better understand the Marxist/Progressive (Democrat) Party tactics of today and how these tactics, proven to be successful by Comrade Lenin, have been put into place by Comrades like Obama, Jarrett, and Holder.
A striking difference between identity politics and other political ideologies is the former’s focus on non-economic issues. Feminism combats sexism. Black Lives Matter combats racism. LGBT groups combat so-called homophobia. These issues touch on economics only tangentially, which is why identity politics is usually somewhat vague on policy matters. Socialists have precise proposals, such as national health insurance and a higher minimum wage. Feminists, on the other hand, dislike how some men treat women, but then are vague about how to get men to change their behavior. Black Lives Matters is similarly vague on how to improve relations between the police and African-Americans. At times, different groups within the identity politics movement voice support for progressive taxation and more government regulation. This conjures up the ghost of Marx among some conservatives, who then call identity politics “cultural Marxism.”
This is wrong. Marx would have disagreed with too many aspects of identity politics to be associated with any such movement. Marx rejected censorship. He rejected “tribalism.” He believed strongly in industry and material progress. He supported the withering away of the state, not the transformation of the state into an aggressive monitor of everyday life. Identity politics does not share these ideals.
The key to understanding identity politics is to take its vagueness at face value and not to look inside for any conventional system of policy ideas—because there is no such system. Indeed, most Americans accurately sense that identity politics is a form of theater. In the media or on the internet they see dramas play out involving accusers and accused, dramas that are staged to both entertain and edify. The accused have said something or done something politically incorrect, something racist, sexist, or homophobic; accusers then arrive on scene to place the correct interpretation on what viewers are watching and hearing, so that viewers can benefit from the lessons as well as from the warnings they might contain. Like all good theater, the drama unfolding on the screen has the power to affect viewers personally and directly; the accused are familiar to them, or at least like them, they are people in whose place viewers could without great stretch of the imagination imagine themselves. And so viewers are meant not only to be entertained and edified but also to be horrified, and perhaps terrified, by a spectacle that hits very close to home.
Identity politics and political correctness are first and foremost tactics. The media spectacles and the opportunities for public shaming arise by chance, as moral panics tend to do—for example, the Harvey Weinstein case that sparked the #MeToo movement or the Ferguson police shooting that fueled Black Lives Matter. The method of identity politics is to exploit opportunities as they arise by taking seemingly unconnected incidents and showing how they purportedly fit a pattern that, taken as a whole, sums to an indictment of the American status quo. Indeed, identity politics synthesizes patterns into a meta-pattern called “intersectionality,” meaning that abuses in the area of race are intimately connected to those in the area of gender and sexual orientation, as well as in business and the environment.
Armed with a unified theory of America’s evil, identity politics activists seek to subject people to politically correct theater for the greater part of their lives. They strive to make it constant and intensive even in unexpected places—for example, in sports or children’s literature—in order to spur people to develop a new mental background with fixed orientations and conclusions.
When they succeed the critical thinking faculties of their targets become blurred such that the ability to distinguish between the real and the imaginary is lost. Objectivity goes begging, and people start to invest even the simplest events with political meaning. In theory, they remain free people, but they are not free people; they are politically correct people; they have been educated in the awareness that their every email exchange or daily doing could be instantly discovered, discussed, condemned, and punished—and rightly so, they think, for identity politics has convinced them that the desire for objectivity betrays a desire to distance oneself from the identity politics cause, which betrays doubt in the cause’s goodness. Thus, people begin to worry if, for example, putting a flag up at home is a fascist act, or if singing an ethnic song is an example of cultural appropriation. In a recent BBC comedy sketch, one person wondered if water is racist.
In this respect identity politics owes more to Lenin than to Marx. Russians used to say that Marx is for theory, Lenin is for practice. In other words, Lenin is for tactics. Lenin developed many of his ideas in response to events, so much so that Leninism is not a “system” (like Marxism), but merely a bunch of scattered observations organized around a specific purpose: social control. Lenin’s ostensible goal was to erect a new regime that would make life better for the abused, but he spent far more time on revolutionary tactics than on any specific policy ideas for how a communist health care system or wage system might work. His policy ideas were vague, just as today’s identity politics practitioners’ policy ideas are vague. Indeed, Lenin’s first act after creating the Communist Party was not to issue policy directives but to create a newspaper for purposes of propaganda.
The emphasis on tactics in identity politics surfaces in another way. When judging an action, Lenin had a straightforward test: “Is it or is it not good for the Revolution?” Lying, cheating, and killing innocent people were fine if they helped the Revolution. As for the question of morality, “Morality is whatever serves to destroy the old exploiting society.”1 Everything that serves that aim is good, he said, while everything that hinders its realization is bad. Marx believed in some moral norms, but morality had no steady meaning for Lenin; it was a wholly instrumentalized concept. Until the Revolution, and even after as the Revolution tried to defend itself, writing a magazine article existed on the same moral plane as gunning someone down.
Adherents of identity politics adopt a similar approach. From their perspective, hounding innocent people who may simply not share their views (think the recent campaigns to boycott In-N-Out Burger and Chick-fil-A), shouting them down (think visiting speakers on college campuses, a tactic that used to be called “revolutionary intolerance”), lying about them (think Duke lacrosse players or the University of Virginia rape case falsified by Rolling Stone), or destroying their reputations (think the young man terrorized by Mattress Girl at Columbia University) are no different from disseminating revolutionary literature or preaching on the radio. If such activities show the rot in the American system, then they are all morally equivalent and good, according to the logic of identity politics.
Besides, no one with power can really be innocent, say the adherents of identity politics. That is because all power is acquired through exploitation of one kind or another, from which often follows the enigmatic verdict in cases of people who are able to prove their innocence: “Not guilty, but does not deserve lenient treatment.” Although the Duke lacrosse players may have been innocent on the night in question, they were likely guilty at other times, so there is no reason to hold back. As the old Soviet prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky once said, “Give me a man and I will find the crime.”2 The crime is always there, somewhere.
Another Leninist tactic was to dehumanize the accused, not just to sow contempt for the old regime, but also to render obsolete the normal rules of assessing individual guilt or innocence. Lenin called businesspeople “dogs” and “pigs” unworthy of humane consideration, which cast a compelling spell on those asked to judge them. During the show trials of the 1920s, evidence was deemed superfluous because the accused had already been stigmatized as “carrion,” “vermin,” and “degenerate.” Similarly, in the United States today, accused murderers and thieves enjoy the benefit of conventional standards of evidence during trial, but those accused of sexism and racism by identity politics vigilantes are called dogs and pigs at the outset; hence actual evidence is unnecessary.
This tactic surfaced in the recent Brett Kavanaugh hearing. If Judge Kavanaugh had been accused of murder, evidence would have to be presented, but since he was accused of sexual misconduct, he was suddenly a “pig”; evidence became unnecessary as the identity politics crowd pronounced him guilty on day one. Indeed, the act of even asking for evidence was judged sexist and piggish: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand declared that forcing his accuser to testify was tantamount to silencing her—which was more Orwellian than merely nonsensical.
Identity politics tactics, like Lenin’s tactics, are immensely flexible. A person is accused of sexism, racism, homophobia, or any other bias, and the rest follows naturally. Thought leaders prepare the spectacle for presentation to public opinion; the proper ideological blanks are filled in, although the background is painted with a few distinctive colors to give the event an accent of singularity; the spectacle is then linked to other similar spectacles and presented to the public as a coherent whole. The distinction between truth and illusion in people’s minds grows ever more blurred. People make artificial connections between isolated incidents of alleged wrongdoing, and start to imagine that if the American system were only destroyed once and for all, peace and justice would reign.
The spectacles also remind people of the dangers besetting them from those whom identity politics calls the enemy. In a curious way, by helping people keep up their nervous tension, and by encouraging them to be on guard for racism and sexism, identity politics, like Leninism, shrewdly raises people’s self-esteem. Most people sense that they are non-entities in daily life. But if suddenly they are told that vast forces are arrayed against them, including the patriarchy and the white race in general, and that these forces are tied in with the big banks and corporate America, then people suddenly come to realize that their lives have colossal value as victims and even martyrs. They are important after all, for otherwise why would these great forces be out to get them?
Until recently, many of the accused played the role in the drama allotted to them. They confessed their crimes and admitted their need to be re-educated in the hope of receiving leniency. Now that the accused realize that leniency is rarely given, and that careers and lives are typically ruined, they increasingly refuse to admit guilt—at first. The identity politics crowd then sets to wear them down through Twitterstorms and other social media crusades. Sometimes this works. After all, without repentance, the accused would be outcasts, enemies of the people, cut off from humanity. Yet the accused—who very often hail from progressive enclaves—can themselves feel a certain loyalty to the cause of identity politics; they think that a confession on their part would be a service to that cause, so they give one, or at least pay their respects to identity politics.
Thus Aziz Ansari, the comedian recently accused of sexual misconduct, announced how he very much supported the goals of the #MeToo movement that was now devouring him. His behavior is indistinguishable from that of the old Soviet official who suddenly found himself in the dock falsely accused, but who confessed his crimes anyway because he remained loyal to the Communist cause—even though that cause had grown disfigured and debased beyond recognition. For without a cause, some people cannot live.
There are others who do persevere in their defense against false charges of sexism and racism, which then often calls forth more aggressive tactics to destroy them. In some ways the old style of torture to the death was kinder, as torture “to some extent” can go on for decades.