Sunday, 24 January 2016

Quote of the day - on groupthink and identity politics


David Paxton writing in an online magazine, Quillette:

The reason I don’t have much optimism for my argument is that those under the spell of identity politics are not seeking to end the fallacious thinking that causes racism, sexism or any other such thing. They merely seek to adopt it themselves to affect power dynamics. Upon dividing people into groups they then seek to achieve equality of outcome across them without realising that if there is a problem of discrimination in society, the principle of grouping people in such ways tends to be the cause.

The whole article is an excellent challenge to the idea of groupthink - I've written about this before, pointing out that our modern idea of diversity depends on putting us into boxes, on allocating us to groups.

However, there is a fundamental objection to the idea of “diversity” as practiced and promoted – it depends on us being defined solely by the groups of which we are (by choice, by birth or by accident) a member – or worse still to which we are allocated by the merchants of diversity. Someone isn’t an individual – they are Afro-Caribbean, LGBT, over-50, working-class, disabled, Jewish – only given identity through the mediation of a group.

So “diversity” as we see it in practice is focused on there being diverse groups rather than diverse individuals. The reality of our thoughts, ideas, loves, prejudices, opinions and attitudes – real diversity – are as nothing beside the squeezing of everyone into a pre-determined set of boxes.


1 comment:

Activist said...

Yes, but you're just gaslighting when you say that, you patriarch, will this do?