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The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

WORTH READING

There has been a good deal of discussion, coming both from the left and from the right, about the need to move past what is called Identity Politics, discussion to which I have on occasion contributed on this blog.  Here is a heartfelt and well-written discussion of the question in the form of a family history of the author, going back to slavery times.  The message of the piece is a simple one:  Turning away from Identity Politics is a luxury that White people can afford but that people of color cannot afford.  It is a luxury that men can afford but that women cannot afford.  It is a luxury that  straight people can afford but that LGBT people cannot afford.

It would be worth your time to read it, I believe.

4 comments:

David E. said...

Very much worth reading. Identity Politics *is* nothing but keeping the civil rights struggle going. The article which irked Velez the most was Mark Lilla's (presumably a Vegan-Subaru Democrat) piece in the NYT saying, essentially, "All Rights Matter." Rich Lowry's piece in the National Review suggests that Democrats are going to have to make some concessions to the Right to appeal to White Voters (themselves notorious Identitarians). Whose rights should Democrats sacrifice at the altar of the White Voter? Gays? Blacks? Muslims? Puerto Ricans? Bernie Sanders suggests that identity politics are not enough (a thesis that Velez actually agrees with in her piece). He says, basically: "Hey, don't forget the economic issues" -- precisely the thing that Democrats have previously chosen to sacrifice at that altar. A very though-provoking piece on the new buzzword "identity politics" -- but like "fake news" and "the alt-right" it is a kerfluffle over a relatively new phrase whose meaning was apparent long ago in numerous synonyms.

I. M. Flaud said...
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I. M. Flaud said...
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Daniel Langlois said...

I don't actually understand the term 'identity' politics as being anything different from classic pressure or interest-group politics, interest-group politics pursued by groups etc. Consider, as it were, the Irish and the Jews (Wintergreen for President!). Or perhaps, I'm joshing, but let's consider the Irish and the Jews and a lot of Italians and plenty of Middle Europeans, Poles and Czechs. Let's consider the suddenly consolidated working-class white people ('those white-working-class guys'). Interest politics are democratic politics. I figure that if all you do is assert the importance of your side’s pressure groups, other pressure groups will feel threatened and act out. These are tactical niceties that I'm trying to interest myself in, here. There are concerns that fit neatly along the lines of class or party ideology. Laden phrase, 'identity politics', perhaps we can agree that there is its '1970s vogue'.