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How the identity cult captured America Equity was born in an ideological graveyard

Rise up against what? (Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty)

Rise up against what? (Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty)


June 17, 2023   9 mins

We live in a time of ideological exhaustion. Our doctrines and ideals lie broken in pieces all around us and never fit into a whole. Jagged bits of Marxism and anarchism, nationalism and liberalism, clutter the landscape, tear at our feet and impede our way as we stagger onward in search of some promised land. Yet there can be no promised land, no future, no past, in such a psychotic jumble of first principles. All we can muster is rage at the structures around us, so inexplicably shattered, and the urge not to repair but to obliterate them totally — to negate them into dust.

Identity is the ruling orthodoxy of the day. Wesley Yang calls it the “successor ideology”, but it is less an ideology than a cockpit of grinding, wounding grievances contradicting one another: a perpetual conflict machine. Any piece of it, such as racial justice, can make perfect sense, but the whole dissolves into incoherence when it becomes clear that the highest ideal, equity, is a weasel word used to mask an inability to reconcile opposites.

Definitions of equity, whether provided by the White House or by elite universities, are baffling, I suspect intentionally so. Terms such as “fairness” and “anti-racist” are thrown around — but somehow this adds up to “investment” and “allocating resources” favouring designated grievance groups. Equity, in practice, means absolute equality of outcomes in all transactions, measured not in the liberal tradition, between individuals, but harking back to a more primitive outlook: between castes to which we have been assigned by birth and fate.

How does this work? The first step is simple enough. Government must intervene in every transaction to assure equal outcomes. If white males have an average “privilege value” of 100 and black males have an average of, say, 50, the government must take from one and give to the other until both share the identical value of 75. But what of black women — shouldn’t they receive a higher multiple than black men? And what of many Asian-American groups that have achieved a higher average than white males — should they be downranked and de-grievanced? And what of more intangible factors such as education, a good marriage and family life, raw ability at work and play, a sense of humour, happiness? Can government make the “historically underserved” laugh and the overserved cry?

The purpose of ideology is to lay down rules of the road that lead to a specific vision of the just society. Identity is the opposite of that. Equity is just a three-syllable sound. It explains nothing and resolves nothing. Put aside obvious questions about regressing to a system of lineage-based justice that throws overboard the legacy of individual rights, or about the overwhelming display of state power required to impose that system on an unwilling public. I’m talking about pure functionality.

Whatever identity is, it doesn’t do the work of an ideology. Stitched together from the bits and pieces of moribund ideas received by the educated class, identity exemplifies the contemporary preference for bowing to the applause of an imaginary audience over the hard work needed to connect two consecutive thoughts. The causes of this intellectual flabbiness are frankly puzzling. The more credentials we heap on ourselves, and the more information we gather, the less connected we seem to reality.

Unnoticed, a vast chunk of the context that once measured our well-being has crumbled away, leaving us sick at heart and disoriented. Suicide and drug overdose deaths are rising. Many who are ostensibly healthy have been sucked into the moral vacuum of digital politics, substituting vehemence for meaning, posturing for productive action. Now and then, some shallow misfit detonates into a massacre of innocent strangers. Nihilism, the will to destroy whatever stands, is the guiding instinct of the day. Ideology, let us not forget, is also a creed, a set of beliefs dependent on faith, as much as it is a system of ideas — and the sterility of our moment, of which identity is a pathological example, may be derived less from intellectual failure than from a chronic and agonising spiritual condition.

***

Every ideology worthy of the name envisions a perfect end-state: a utopia. The kingdom of God may be near at hand or far in time and distance, real or fantastic, but in every case it performs an important function: it engenders hope and faith. If only we play by the accepted rules, human relations — that cauldron of selfishness and misery — will at last be reconciled. After resurrection, Jesus preached, we will be “as the angels are in heaven”. Under pure communism, the brutal strength of the state will wither away and we will each be given according to our needs. American democracy, in its high modernist phase, aimed for the Great Society; under more conservative hands, it looked to be a shining city on a hill.

In this sense, the cult of identity is exceedingly utopian: believers judge established institutions against perfection, then reject the lot. But this is a journey without a destination — utopianism without an actual utopia. Identity is an engine that runs on rage and repudiation. Deprived of a satanic enemy to rail against, it stalls. If Donald Trump retired tomorrow to a Trappist monastery, the zealots of identity would drag him back out. If all white males and other oppressors vanished in a great culling at the end of days, the whole point of “identity” would explode in a puff of smoke. If grievance groups existed only to express their own separateness, social life would fall apart in a rush.

In the dark heart of its repudiation, identity repudiates itself, denying, by a parasitical necessity, the possibility of progress. It can thrive only so long as injustice advances. The impulse, then, is to remain implacable, irreconcilable, striking blows against anything that stands, in an ecstatic frenzy of nihilism that, when properly understood, is a form of suicide.

Reality, of course, is a tad more prosaic. I recently encountered a young man at the supermarket. He was a mass of Zoomer hair and tattoos, and when he turned, in bold white letters on the back of his black hoodie, I read a defiant message: “RISE UP. RESIST. REVOLT. REBEL.” Below that, in more modest script, a warning: “To not speak up is death.”

I considered the meaning of this apparition. Rise up, resist, revolt, rebel — against what? Everyone and everything, I suppose. Speak up — on behalf of what? That was the wrong question. You speak up to resist, revolt, strike blows. You stand forever against. Yet there he was, this would-be destroyer of worlds, at the fruit counter, contemplating the cantaloupes. Apparently, even nihilists have appetites.

***

In The Will to Believe, William James observed that certain explanations about the nature of things are “live options” while others are “dead options”. James was a psychologist. He understood that history and culture condition the mind, driving many theoretically possible propositions out of consideration. Does the universe rest on the back of a turtle? That was once a live option, but no longer. Is there no God, only atoms? That statement will get you shot in Kabul but elicit yawns in Harvard Square.

There has been, in the 21st century, a great slaughter of live options. Truth and knowledge are largely mediated: we receive them from some trusted authority. But trust in the mediators has utterly collapsed and a fatal crisis of authority has spread to every subject. We now dwell in the Tower of Babel. Hope and faith, under such conditions, must dissolve into a shrieking, incomprehensible noise. The mindless contradictions of the cult of identity, and the dismal poverty of our ideological imagination, follow directly from these disasters. Religion, patriotism, love of place and family — these are dead or dying options. Conservatism and liberalism, Right and Left, are tribal stickers detached from any serious content.

The path to Communist revolution, wrote Marx in the Manifesto, “involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas”. I was born into a world alive with hope and faith, fertilised by a running quarrel between ideas old and new. Utopia was not only possible; for many, it was inevitable. Revolution, these people thought, would purify the human race. Radical ideology was wholly oriented to that transcendent moment. In democracies, socialists and liberals believed we could get to the same place by peaceable stages. Artists and poets everywhere longed for the “bliss in that dawn” Wordsworth had experienced in Paris.

Then came the night. In December 1991, the Soviet Union went out of business. Rather abruptly, revolution became a dead option. The cry for it fell terminally quiet because faith was lost in its magical powers of transformation. Insofar as ideology had usurped the place of religion, the death of revolution was like the death of God. For radical thinkers, bereft and bewildered, deprived of direction, it felt like murder. A seething anger replaced coherent projects of political change. Pierre Rosanvallon describes the consequences of the end of “the idea of revolution”: “To be radical is to point a finger of blame every day; it is to twist a knife in each of society’s wounds. It is not to aim a cannon at the citadel of power in the preparation for a final assault.” Blaming and knife-twisting, I note, accurately describe the central rituals of the cult of identity, a post-utopian conduit for rage rather than change.

A dead zone like the present moment might be conceived of as a great silence, a darkness, an emptiness that sucks the life out of new ideas. We emerge from nowhere and have no idea which way to turn — no idea whether the world is round or flat, whether it’s run by God or atoms, what words like “justice”, “integrity”, or “happiness” mean in practice. Every option at hand is either dead or in the process of dying. To attempt a coherent explanation of such a graveyard of dreams would be an exercise in despair. Anger at least has a pulse, and if intense enough feels like a facsimile of the spiritual life.

But all this, I think, amounts to a half-truth. The graveyard isn’t quite still. Dead options and failed ideologies twitch, moan and clutch at us zombie-like, stopping us in our tracks. We haven’t broken free from the past: just the opposite, we are overwhelmed by memory, so that our best thoughts have been thought before, and thought more brilliantly, and tested and exposed in their inadequacies. We seem to lie at the bottom of a century-deep well crushed by the weight and inertia of dead time, where we can accuse one another of being Nazis or fascists or communists, revolution lingers with its impossible promises, Ronald Reagan smiles over America, Jim Crow persecutes forever, and the Beatles perpetually top the charts. We aren’t empty but overfull. The Tower of Babel isn’t a silence but an unbearable noise.

The reflex to smash blindly at society, to obliterate the present and abolish the past, must be understood on these terms. Barbarism, with its true silence and true darkness, has acquired the aspect of utopia.

***

The last surge of ideological vitality in this country took place in the Sixties. That decade witnessed the rise of modern conservatism, destined to swell into a dominant political force in the Reagan years, and of the New Left that announced its arrival in the Port Huron Statement and, after many strange mutations, has become a sort of totemic ancestor to identity. The two movements were each other’s nightmare monster, yet in hindsight it’s remarkable how many goals and assumptions they shared. Both embraced history as an ally, not an enemy, for example. Both partook of that sense of infinite possibilities associated with the American frontier. In politics, both exhibited a Jeffersonian antipathy to state power and glorified a robust, almost anarchistic, individualism.

Hippies and Goldwaterites had more in common than they knew, starting with the conviction that they were making the world over. A newborn ideology is a redrawing of the map — a radical shift in perspective. Doors suddenly swing open that have stood locked for an age. Everything is alive again, even the past, which isn’t repudiated so much as recruited and synchronised to the concerns of the present and future. No part of this need be destructive or nihilistic. It’s just a moving forward and a leaving behind.

Energy from these movements propelled American politics for many years, but inevitably the environment changed and momentum ran out. We are now stuck in the muck. We require explanations and aspirations that address the peculiar character of the digital age, and our inability to produce these is telling. Whatever their intrinsic worth, the ideologies of the Sixties were healthy attempts to change the world: they truly aimed at justice. Our sickness is that we speak of justice but we really crave meaning. We desperately wish to fill the spiritual void left by the decline of religion, community, and family, and when we engage in pseudo-ideological dabbling we are pleading on our own behalf, not that of society or the oppressed — we are praying to a silent heaven that our sickness might be healed. But that is not the province of ideology or politics.

Failure triggers blind rage and the barbaric urge to smash at the tokens of civilisation. This is our predicament, our closed loop. We begin the search for justice by gazing into the mirror of Narcissus but end it as the monster at the centre of the labyrinth.

We might ask how such a deformed and unsatisfying creed as the cult of identity has come to achieve the status of an established church. The answer isn’t hard to tease out. Identity justifies control by those who have lost authority. The institutional elites are held in contempt by the public. Their advice is rejected and their commandments ignored.

By wielding that fuzzy and mutable ideal, equity, the elites aim to regain control of policy and prosecutorial decisions — but also of the education of children, the research of scientists and scholars, the persons and opinions that will be tolerated online, the treatment of the poor and homeless, and ultimately, the words in the mouths and thoughts inside the heads of the common herd. As a bonus, they get to surf a wave of puritanical smugness. They can call dissenters “deplorables” and treat their dissent as a form of racism or homophobia. What could be better?

It may appear far-fetched to portray elite embrace of identity as a 2020s take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers — and in a way, it is. The digital realm is virtually infinite; that’s a lot of territory to conquer and hold down. My point, however, is that the ragged engine of identity has an open road ahead and will continue its suicidal rampage through American life until opposed by a coherent set of ideas.


Martin Gurri is a former CIA analyst and the author of ‘The Revolt of the Public‘.

mgurri

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polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

“Conservatism and liberalism, Right and Left, are tribal stickers detached from any serious content.”
I came to that conclusion, gradually, over the last few years. I am surprised at the number of people who still see content where there is none.
I am old enough to be immune from the inner effects of this nihilism (because that is what it is), but I pity those too young to have any defences.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

There has been a real inversion as well. Trump supporters don’t resemble traditional republicans – they look like early 90’s left wingers. They don’t trust the media (a la Chomsky), are anti-war, are against censorship, don’t want free trade, don’t trust the CIA or FBI, and generally don’t trust any government organization

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Superficial hogwash.

MAGA supports the Judaeo-Christian beliefs of hard work, meritocracy, thrift, honesty, morality, Justice, Prosperity, rule of law, God, Patriotism, The Flag and Pledge of Allegiance, the Family, Womanhood, Manhood, Children, and moral decency.

It is Enlightenment Liberal.

It is For Decency, and against degeneracy. This is anathma to the Postmodernist Lefty/Liberal, and thus all the modern Left.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Great comment but I differ on the enlightenment part. It can be argued that the enlightenment was the birth of secularism.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

I do not think you ad Mr J are that far apart

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

I question your characterization of MAGA, given their slavish devotion to Donald Trump: a sleazy, self-serving, faithless scion of a wealthy family with no concern for anyone but himself. Trump is a stranger to hard work, thrift, honesty, morality, the rule of law, patriotism, etc. etc.
Other than that, I couldn’t really understand what you were attempting to say.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Really? does Trump represent those beliefs? The prostitutes, lies, insurrection. Do you remember grab them by the pushy? Or is that a new Christian value?

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Great comment but I differ on the enlightenment part. It can be argued that the enlightenment was the birth of secularism.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

I do not think you ad Mr J are that far apart

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

I question your characterization of MAGA, given their slavish devotion to Donald Trump: a sleazy, self-serving, faithless scion of a wealthy family with no concern for anyone but himself. Trump is a stranger to hard work, thrift, honesty, morality, the rule of law, patriotism, etc. etc.
Other than that, I couldn’t really understand what you were attempting to say.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Really? does Trump represent those beliefs? The prostitutes, lies, insurrection. Do you remember grab them by the pushy? Or is that a new Christian value?

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Author is excellent. Pearl of an essay, though depressing as hell.
A world of uncertainty and no empirical truths or foundations.
Better stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
.
At this rate are we going to end up in a Mad Max dystopia full of toxic social justice warriors. I have a leather jacket, a 650 motorbike and 12 years experience in the military so I’ll be fine.
Valid comments on the Trump supporters, Peter. The social justice warriors are the establishment and the Trump supporters and conservative types the new revolutionaries of 1968. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Curtin
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Curtin

How is the essay “a pearl”?! More of a convoluted swirl.
“Conservatives” who want to burn at all down and regard Trump as a decent man, force for net good, or just their favorite antihero in some real-life life-or-death dystopian spectacle–hard to make up, for sure.
Where’s the conserving in that? How do you make something great (again) by condemning it and burning it down? At least you’re unfazed by the prospect of a post-apocalyptic landscape, equipped with that motorcycle and jacket.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You are missing the point, which is that there is no point to be missed. We are now galloping headlong into utter nothingness. Nay, we have arrived there. It is the promise of this very nothingness that drove Ivan Fyodorovich and Fredrick Nietzsche mad. “When we breathe we hope,” Pres. Obama said. “The arch of History bends toward justice.” He said that too. He was howling into the void. Pres. Trump is doing exactly not that.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

I’ve heard that noise many times and even marched to it at earlier times in my life.
The quote is from MLK: “the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice”. Still unproven, but significantly different than your framing.
We should stop walking some of the hyper-intellectual highways of knowingness that lead to nothingness, to an unforced spiritual void. More Prince Myshkin (also a Dostoevsky character–a “holy fool”–as you may know) and Gautama Siddhartha–less Sartre and Nietzsche.
I find it interesting that you admit you believe in nothing, or even believe only in nothingness, and that Trump is your man. That’s the sad state of it for many of his supporters.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Please, that’s not it at all. What is actually happening, and what I would have happen, are two very different things. The idea of progress, the idea that that history is a salvific force, has proved itself ruinous. Just because Pres. Trump jumped off the progress train, does not mean he found himself on the right train.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Fair enough. I don’t believe in some Hegelian historical teleology. I just don’t want more nihilism charging through our society, whether the trains are coming from the left, right, or center.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

The tree of knowledge needs to be pruned and watered to bear fruit.
I woul suggest that the massive increase in government expenditure on welfare, education police and defence post WW2 needs careful and hard pruning. If one looks at standards across government employees they are far too low, quantity replaces quality.Look at fitness and academic levels. levels required to pass finals tests for much of the Armed Forces and The Police, they are far too low. Pre WW1 people needed to pass exams in Latin and Greek to enter Harvard and Yale.
People who should leave school at sixteen years of age and enter employment go onto degrees and even post graduate courses.
The result is vast numbers of people with an inferiority complex and sense of inadequacy who seek ideological justifications for their under achievement in life. This occurs on the Left and Rigth of the political spectrum . As someone said ” The desire to be spoon fed, to have problems solved by others, to be given short snappy answers has sunk deep inot our culture”
Solzhenitsyn understood it is the spiritual decay which is the problem. The last to state this were J Kennedy and Dr M L King. The middle and wealthy classes have mostly have given up on the ideas of duty, responsibility and the need to temper the body, mind and spirit in order to overcome adversity.
The result is Biden and Trump.
3 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Success In Life – OverallMotivation
In the 19th century statesmen such as Gladstone and Peel had double Firsts in Greats and Maths.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

The tree of knowledge needs to be pruned and watered to bear fruit.
I woul suggest that the massive increase in government expenditure on welfare, education police and defence post WW2 needs careful and hard pruning. If one looks at standards across government employees they are far too low, quantity replaces quality.Look at fitness and academic levels. levels required to pass finals tests for much of the Armed Forces and The Police, they are far too low. Pre WW1 people needed to pass exams in Latin and Greek to enter Harvard and Yale.
People who should leave school at sixteen years of age and enter employment go onto degrees and even post graduate courses.
The result is vast numbers of people with an inferiority complex and sense of inadequacy who seek ideological justifications for their under achievement in life. This occurs on the Left and Rigth of the political spectrum . As someone said ” The desire to be spoon fed, to have problems solved by others, to be given short snappy answers has sunk deep inot our culture”
Solzhenitsyn understood it is the spiritual decay which is the problem. The last to state this were J Kennedy and Dr M L King. The middle and wealthy classes have mostly have given up on the ideas of duty, responsibility and the need to temper the body, mind and spirit in order to overcome adversity.
The result is Biden and Trump.
3 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Quotes On Success In Life – OverallMotivation
In the 19th century statesmen such as Gladstone and Peel had double Firsts in Greats and Maths.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Fair enough. I don’t believe in some Hegelian historical teleology. I just don’t want more nihilism charging through our society, whether the trains are coming from the left, right, or center.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Please, that’s not it at all. What is actually happening, and what I would have happen, are two very different things. The idea of progress, the idea that that history is a salvific force, has proved itself ruinous. Just because Pres. Trump jumped off the progress train, does not mean he found himself on the right train.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

I’ve heard that noise many times and even marched to it at earlier times in my life.
The quote is from MLK: “the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice”. Still unproven, but significantly different than your framing.
We should stop walking some of the hyper-intellectual highways of knowingness that lead to nothingness, to an unforced spiritual void. More Prince Myshkin (also a Dostoevsky character–a “holy fool”–as you may know) and Gautama Siddhartha–less Sartre and Nietzsche.
I find it interesting that you admit you believe in nothing, or even believe only in nothingness, and that Trump is your man. That’s the sad state of it for many of his supporters.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You don’t know anything about trump supporters that much is clear.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

I make an effort to understand people, but that effort has to be mutual for anything of value to happen. For you–as I perceive it–those who disagree with you are not just wrong but simply evil and have nothing, can have nothing, to teach you except how right you already are. Is that fair?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

And I don’t think Trump (or Biden, or whoever) supporters are all in one camp that can be fairly labelled and dismissed.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

That is a nonsense argument and I won’t bother with it. Yes the right wants to burn it all down but only because the left has twisted it into a woke monstrosity. We don’t make any claims about Trumps decency but we do appreciate that he’s torn the mask off those who lead the culture. I don’t want him to run again but I understand why others do. De Santis would run the government better and wisely. Unfortunately emotions are running roughshod over reason.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

“My side good, their side bad”. Two sides of a corroded coin. I say: Please melt the coin and stop demonizing so many of your fellow humans. As if the far right is motivated primarily by reason! Haha!
I’m not free of intellectual passion and even emotional reactiveness, but I ain’t dumb and I know that both far wings of the political spectrum are bad for America and the world. There’s a fair argument about which is worse, but no hostile, violence-ready, self-important extreme is a net good.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Which is worse: sharing classified information about our nuclear capabilities with anyone who needs to take a piss at Mar-a-Lago, or demanding that you be called “they/them”? While both right and left have become dominated by idiot extemists, the ones on the right are the ones actively threatening insurrection and coups. Not comparable to cross-dressing.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

I’m certainly closer on average to agreement with the views I’ve seen you express you than those of Kat L. But I’d say I’m closer to the center than to either of you and the way you’ve framed your dichotomy also smacks of a bubble-dweller’s imbalance to me.
What if I said that some on the left are (rather successfully) seeking to indoctrinate teenage college students and that the far-far-left has a religion of no atonement (“Wokeism”) in which police are demonized and rioting is just an afterthought within peaceful protests during Covid, whereas the populist far right is just a band of God-loving patriots trying to save America?
Because to me, that is similar in unfairness to suggesting the extremes of the trans movement, with its cancellation attempts and advocacy for child-transitioning/surgery amounts to nothing more than “cross-dressing” or drag queen story hour at the library.
Yes, there is some silly overreaction on the right, but even some trans people are saying things are too extreme and unyielding in the militant trans-rights movement.
Against any perceived political extreme, I like to advocate moderation/consensus. One problem: I find myself getting passionate and emotional pretty often–left, right, and center!
I’m more worried about right wing extremism than left wing extremism right now–but I think both have huge disastrous potential that renders my personal preference or perception pretty unimportant. I plead for a middle path instead of ideological warmongering that threatens to become an actual bloodbath.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

I’m certainly closer on average to agreement with the views I’ve seen you express you than those of Kat L. But I’d say I’m closer to the center than to either of you and the way you’ve framed your dichotomy also smacks of a bubble-dweller’s imbalance to me.
What if I said that some on the left are (rather successfully) seeking to indoctrinate teenage college students and that the far-far-left has a religion of no atonement (“Wokeism”) in which police are demonized and rioting is just an afterthought within peaceful protests during Covid, whereas the populist far right is just a band of God-loving patriots trying to save America?
Because to me, that is similar in unfairness to suggesting the extremes of the trans movement, with its cancellation attempts and advocacy for child-transitioning/surgery amounts to nothing more than “cross-dressing” or drag queen story hour at the library.
Yes, there is some silly overreaction on the right, but even some trans people are saying things are too extreme and unyielding in the militant trans-rights movement.
Against any perceived political extreme, I like to advocate moderation/consensus. One problem: I find myself getting passionate and emotional pretty often–left, right, and center!
I’m more worried about right wing extremism than left wing extremism right now–but I think both have huge disastrous potential that renders my personal preference or perception pretty unimportant. I plead for a middle path instead of ideological warmongering that threatens to become an actual bloodbath.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Which is worse: sharing classified information about our nuclear capabilities with anyone who needs to take a piss at Mar-a-Lago, or demanding that you be called “they/them”? While both right and left have become dominated by idiot extemists, the ones on the right are the ones actively threatening insurrection and coups. Not comparable to cross-dressing.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

You’ve threaded the needle just right.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
10 months ago

I didn’t know you could thread a needle with a hatchet.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
10 months ago

I didn’t know you could thread a needle with a hatchet.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

“My side good, their side bad”. Two sides of a corroded coin. I say: Please melt the coin and stop demonizing so many of your fellow humans. As if the far right is motivated primarily by reason! Haha!
I’m not free of intellectual passion and even emotional reactiveness, but I ain’t dumb and I know that both far wings of the political spectrum are bad for America and the world. There’s a fair argument about which is worse, but no hostile, violence-ready, self-important extreme is a net good.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

You’ve threaded the needle just right.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

And I don’t think Trump (or Biden, or whoever) supporters are all in one camp that can be fairly labelled and dismissed.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

That is a nonsense argument and I won’t bother with it. Yes the right wants to burn it all down but only because the left has twisted it into a woke monstrosity. We don’t make any claims about Trumps decency but we do appreciate that he’s torn the mask off those who lead the culture. I don’t want him to run again but I understand why others do. De Santis would run the government better and wisely. Unfortunately emotions are running roughshod over reason.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

I make an effort to understand people, but that effort has to be mutual for anything of value to happen. For you–as I perceive it–those who disagree with you are not just wrong but simply evil and have nothing, can have nothing, to teach you except how right you already are. Is that fair?

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You are missing the point, which is that there is no point to be missed. We are now galloping headlong into utter nothingness. Nay, we have arrived there. It is the promise of this very nothingness that drove Ivan Fyodorovich and Fredrick Nietzsche mad. “When we breathe we hope,” Pres. Obama said. “The arch of History bends toward justice.” He said that too. He was howling into the void. Pres. Trump is doing exactly not that.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You don’t know anything about trump supporters that much is clear.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Paul Curtin

How is the essay “a pearl”?! More of a convoluted swirl.
“Conservatives” who want to burn at all down and regard Trump as a decent man, force for net good, or just their favorite antihero in some real-life life-or-death dystopian spectacle–hard to make up, for sure.
Where’s the conserving in that? How do you make something great (again) by condemning it and burning it down? At least you’re unfazed by the prospect of a post-apocalyptic landscape, equipped with that motorcycle and jacket.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

It’s true. To be a Trump supporter, is to be ‘revolutionary’. Rather exhilarating that.

Last edited 11 months ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Yep, there was a similar guy in Germany a while back (except for the orange bit); ‘name of Adolf something or other.. ‘not sure if it worked out all that well though….

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

To compare Trump to AH is ridiculous and childish.
Washington is unbelievably corrupted.
Big corporations own the media.
Jake Tapper is in the pay of Pfizer, Rachel Maddow, the alien looking freak, is in the pay of the MIC. The Bidens are taking millions from Ukraine and China.
This is the reason the establishment seek to stop Trump.
Get real.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

No, we seek to stop Trump because he’s a traitor and an insurrectionist. Plus he’s just not a very smart one. If you’re going to have a nihilistic hero, at least pick a smart one. He shared classified information about serious national issues with anyone curious enough to open one of the boxes scattered about his vast estate in Florida. He keeps yapping publicly about his transgressions, much to the chagrin of his lawyers. Too stupid to keep his big mouth shut. Not a hero of our times, unless you admire such gross degeneracy.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

No, we seek to stop Trump because he’s a traitor and an insurrectionist. Plus he’s just not a very smart one. If you’re going to have a nihilistic hero, at least pick a smart one. He shared classified information about serious national issues with anyone curious enough to open one of the boxes scattered about his vast estate in Florida. He keeps yapping publicly about his transgressions, much to the chagrin of his lawyers. Too stupid to keep his big mouth shut. Not a hero of our times, unless you admire such gross degeneracy.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Apparently dear Adolph’s main election plank was to stop those millions of Jews trying to illegally enter Germany. Just like the orange man.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

To compare Trump to AH is ridiculous and childish.
Washington is unbelievably corrupted.
Big corporations own the media.
Jake Tapper is in the pay of Pfizer, Rachel Maddow, the alien looking freak, is in the pay of the MIC. The Bidens are taking millions from Ukraine and China.
This is the reason the establishment seek to stop Trump.
Get real.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Apparently dear Adolph’s main election plank was to stop those millions of Jews trying to illegally enter Germany. Just like the orange man.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

To be a Trump supporter is to be a mindless nihilist. Go for it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Yep, there was a similar guy in Germany a while back (except for the orange bit); ‘name of Adolf something or other.. ‘not sure if it worked out all that well though….

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

To be a Trump supporter is to be a mindless nihilist. Go for it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

In that case we’d better hope Trump wins! But seriously America, Can you not do a little better than than that? 350 million of you and that’s your best hope?

Ron Wigley
Ron Wigley
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I hope so too or da do Ron, Ron more likely the best hope.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Open your eyes.
Look who is in power now.
A senile old kiddie sniffer
who has lied to the American people for 50 years and has no problem selling off America to China and the big corporations.
And you think that’s OK ?
Seriously ?

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Arthur G
Arthur G
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

And Trump will do exactly nothing to fight the woke establishment, just like he did nothing in his first term. He completely caved to their whims on COVID.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

He will, you will see.
The woke agenda is already collapsing anyway.
Look at Bud Light, Target etc.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Trump is seriously off his rocker. He knows the Dems and the security state are targeting him, yet it doesn’t deter him from acting reckless and stupid. Say what you want about the classified files, if he just acted like a normal human being and exercised an ounce of good judgement, he would have a much stronger defence.

About the best thing you can say about Trump is he’s not Biden or a Dem. That’s a pretty low bar. The GOP would be better off with any random person off the street.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You assume that they are telling you the truth and that this isn’t at all political.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Not at all. It’s very political. Don’t help them dig the hole.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Not at all. It’s very political. Don’t help them dig the hole.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He’s a fool and a traitor and deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

You assume that they are telling you the truth and that this isn’t at all political.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He’s a fool and a traitor and deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

He will, you will see.
The woke agenda is already collapsing anyway.
Look at Bud Light, Target etc.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Trump is seriously off his rocker. He knows the Dems and the security state are targeting him, yet it doesn’t deter him from acting reckless and stupid. Say what you want about the classified files, if he just acted like a normal human being and exercised an ounce of good judgement, he would have a much stronger defence.

About the best thing you can say about Trump is he’s not Biden or a Dem. That’s a pretty low bar. The GOP would be better off with any random person off the street.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

much better to have a bone headed cretin with the vocabulary of a ten year old, regarded by the rest of the world as an embarrasing quasi comedian?… It absolutely staggers me that Trump is actually taken seriously by anyone with a shoe size plus IQ… and Biden is an equal joke?

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago

Ridiculous.
Trump is a smart man and he tells the truth. That is why the swamp creatures are terrified of him.
The Democrats will put dementia Joe up for president because he can easily be controlled.
They have an excellent candidate in Kennedy
but they won’t put him up because, like Trump, he is anti-corruption and anti-war.
The Democrats are racists and War-Mongers.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Trump is a genius in some ways, especially when it comes to marketing, but he’s an imbecile in so many other ways.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Genius is putting it strongly. Leave it at he’s got a gut instinct for the lowest common denominator.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Genius is putting it strongly. Leave it at he’s got a gut instinct for the lowest common denominator.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Trump is a genius in some ways, especially when it comes to marketing, but he’s an imbecile in so many other ways.

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago

Yes his speaking skills are not that of a politician however it’s the policies and his lack of not having to cowtow to donors that appeals. I would prefer De Santis myself but will vote trump if need be.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago

Biden is NOT an equal joke. He can speak in coherent sentences, he’s accomplished a lot of work in his time in office. He may be old, he may be a stutterer (like King George VI), but he’s not stupid and he’s not senile. He’s a skilled politician. Trump is… chaos in a bloated body with bad hair.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago

Ridiculous.
Trump is a smart man and he tells the truth. That is why the swamp creatures are terrified of him.
The Democrats will put dementia Joe up for president because he can easily be controlled.
They have an excellent candidate in Kennedy
but they won’t put him up because, like Trump, he is anti-corruption and anti-war.
The Democrats are racists and War-Mongers.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago

Yes his speaking skills are not that of a politician however it’s the policies and his lack of not having to cowtow to donors that appeals. I would prefer De Santis myself but will vote trump if need be.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago

Biden is NOT an equal joke. He can speak in coherent sentences, he’s accomplished a lot of work in his time in office. He may be old, he may be a stutterer (like King George VI), but he’s not stupid and he’s not senile. He’s a skilled politician. Trump is… chaos in a bloated body with bad hair.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

“Kiddie sniffer”? LOL. You sound like someone who does a lot of psychological projecting.

Arthur G
Arthur G
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

And Trump will do exactly nothing to fight the woke establishment, just like he did nothing in his first term. He completely caved to their whims on COVID.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

much better to have a bone headed cretin with the vocabulary of a ten year old, regarded by the rest of the world as an embarrasing quasi comedian?… It absolutely staggers me that Trump is actually taken seriously by anyone with a shoe size plus IQ… and Biden is an equal joke?

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

“Kiddie sniffer”? LOL. You sound like someone who does a lot of psychological projecting.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The GOP actually has a couple great candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott, but they won’t even get a sniff.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Both of those are good men but it will have to be Trump.

D Walsh
D Walsh
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’d say Tim Scott has a very good chance, Trump won’t win the primary, it will probably be a brokered convention, when that happens if you backed Scott at long odds, you will win big

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Trump is way ahead of De Santis and Scott is trailing far behind.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Yes, and at this point in 2019 it looked it was going to be Mayor Pete or Sanders for the Dems. Trump had a couple of months tag-teaming with the liberal media on DeSantis to get a big lead- now that Ron has announced he is quite able to fight back.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
11 months ago
Reply to  Stoater D

Yes, and at this point in 2019 it looked it was going to be Mayor Pete or Sanders for the Dems. Trump had a couple of months tag-teaming with the liberal media on DeSantis to get a big lead- now that Ron has announced he is quite able to fight back.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

A brokered convention. I’ve heard that nearly every election cycle in my lifetime. It won’t happen. It requires 3 serious candidates who are regional elites and thus have geographically specific bases.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Trump is way ahead of De Santis and Scott is trailing far behind.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
11 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

A brokered convention. I’ve heard that nearly every election cycle in my lifetime. It won’t happen. It requires 3 serious candidates who are regional elites and thus have geographically specific bases.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Both of those are good men but it will have to be Trump.

D Walsh
D Walsh
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’d say Tim Scott has a very good chance, Trump won’t win the primary, it will probably be a brokered convention, when that happens if you backed Scott at long odds, you will win big

Ron Wigley
Ron Wigley
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I hope so too or da do Ron, Ron more likely the best hope.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Open your eyes.
Look who is in power now.
A senile old kiddie sniffer
who has lied to the American people for 50 years and has no problem selling off America to China and the big corporations.
And you think that’s OK ?
Seriously ?

Last edited 11 months ago by Stoater D
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The GOP actually has a couple great candidates, Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott, but they won’t even get a sniff.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Stupid! Maga doesn’t like nothing like the left ever. Too white and too crazy.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Superficial hogwash.

MAGA supports the Judaeo-Christian beliefs of hard work, meritocracy, thrift, honesty, morality, Justice, Prosperity, rule of law, God, Patriotism, The Flag and Pledge of Allegiance, the Family, Womanhood, Manhood, Children, and moral decency.

It is Enlightenment Liberal.

It is For Decency, and against degeneracy. This is anathma to the Postmodernist Lefty/Liberal, and thus all the modern Left.

Paul Curtin
Paul Curtin
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Author is excellent. Pearl of an essay, though depressing as hell.
A world of uncertainty and no empirical truths or foundations.
Better stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
.
At this rate are we going to end up in a Mad Max dystopia full of toxic social justice warriors. I have a leather jacket, a 650 motorbike and 12 years experience in the military so I’ll be fine.
Valid comments on the Trump supporters, Peter. The social justice warriors are the establishment and the Trump supporters and conservative types the new revolutionaries of 1968. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Curtin
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

It’s true. To be a Trump supporter, is to be ‘revolutionary’. Rather exhilarating that.

Last edited 11 months ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

In that case we’d better hope Trump wins! But seriously America, Can you not do a little better than than that? 350 million of you and that’s your best hope?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Stupid! Maga doesn’t like nothing like the left ever. Too white and too crazy.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

The nihilistic mind virus/mania of identity has been set free in the UK too. Perhaps it is not yet as potent as the US. But the ideology lives and breathes in the same swamps – academe, the media/BBC and throughout the public sector and government. The explanation is very simple. The Equality Acts of 2010 and 2015 were the original Wuhan lab leak. They established the idea that blacks, women, Muslims gays – The Nine groups – needed to be ‘protected’ in law. This granted them privileged or special status and unwittingly cast white males as the aggressors the 9 needed protecting from. So extreme identitarian credo was pumped out into the bloodstream of the public sector. This is why the trans mania took off in schools. It is a State credo enshrined in a terrible law which shares the assumptions of structural inequality as America extreme Critical Race Theory. Ten years on and the BBC has mutated its mission to honour Diversity into full on 24/7 evangelical anti white/pro Nine grievance and victimhood propaganda. It besmirches all ‘white history’ and snarls permanent hostility to the structures of white patriarchy. Its Critical Race Theory has rendered the BBC – like our law – a real danger to communal harmony. The BBC will do anything to ‘protect’ its vision of multiculturalism. It covered up the story of the mass rape in the North for over a decade – it had local journalists in every town who said and did nothing. It habitually drenches London Manchester and now poor Nottingham with messages of communal love after a terror attack. But when Grenfell happened, because whiteys were the ‘killers’, it crudely and actively stoked rage on behalf of the victims. Identitarianism is a poison as this article well describes. Yet it is the one and only credo on the Left that they all believe in, hence the Liar Starmer bends his knee to BLM rioters and does not know who has vaginas. All the extraordinary organic progress the British people together have made in making multicultural UK the most open tolerant society in Europe is set to be torched and debased and trashed by our deranged elite, state media and law. The virus is running free and wild. Look at America and weep.

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Real good comment without veering of into UK & US party politics. What really surprises me is how few people of the general population & society actually believe in this crap. But like a herd of sheep getting led down the garden path & bleating about it, as opposed to just ignoring it. In time this situation will rectify itself, the manipulative groups will eat themselves up. In the meantime exciting laws are now being used. As an aside, what will certainly help in the meantime is those people who rely on the good nature of others to protect them end up being splattered on the road, left hanging over motorways or getting a good kicking from the angry public

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
11 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Real good comment without veering of into UK & US party politics. What really surprises me is how few people of the general population & society actually believe in this crap. But like a herd of sheep getting led down the garden path & bleating about it, as opposed to just ignoring it. In time this situation will rectify itself, the manipulative groups will eat themselves up. In the meantime exciting laws are now being used. As an aside, what will certainly help in the meantime is those people who rely on the good nature of others to protect them end up being splattered on the road, left hanging over motorways or getting a good kicking from the angry public

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Identity is a tool of the left. It separates the quality of governance from the voter’s decision on who to vote for. No matter how bad the goverment is, your identity never changes. So, if your identity says you vote for Democrats, then you vote for Democrats, regardless of how bad a job they do. If there’s high crime, rotten schools, pot holed streets and bankrupt corrupt government, you still vote for the same people because your identity tells you to.

Socialism is notorious for failing everywhere it’s tried. However, identity voting can keep it going despite continuing failure. See for example, Detroit or Chicago.

In reaction to identity voting on the left, the people disadvantaged by the racisim of DEI and Critical Racist Theory band together in self defense. This includes groups like white males and Asians which in times past had nothing in common. That may give the appearance of identity voting on the right, but the right is much more about individual rights and rugged individualism in general. The fact that such people tend to have democraphic factors in common is more of an accident than by design.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Since I was a teen I’ve been a far left Democrat (before they went insane), but as I’ve grown older, I’ve peeled off my tribal sticker. I now just call myself a liberal. This move closer to the moderate center was because my disenchantment with the far left and the Democratic Party. And with age I’m reading more Conservative writers (not the Trumpists or the far right) to actually understand what they stand for. I’ll never be a conservative, but I actually agree with them about certain issues ( stopping the medical transitioning of children). Funny how gray the world is now.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

There has been a real inversion as well. Trump supporters don’t resemble traditional republicans – they look like early 90’s left wingers. They don’t trust the media (a la Chomsky), are anti-war, are against censorship, don’t want free trade, don’t trust the CIA or FBI, and generally don’t trust any government organization

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

The nihilistic mind virus/mania of identity has been set free in the UK too. Perhaps it is not yet as potent as the US. But the ideology lives and breathes in the same swamps – academe, the media/BBC and throughout the public sector and government. The explanation is very simple. The Equality Acts of 2010 and 2015 were the original Wuhan lab leak. They established the idea that blacks, women, Muslims gays – The Nine groups – needed to be ‘protected’ in law. This granted them privileged or special status and unwittingly cast white males as the aggressors the 9 needed protecting from. So extreme identitarian credo was pumped out into the bloodstream of the public sector. This is why the trans mania took off in schools. It is a State credo enshrined in a terrible law which shares the assumptions of structural inequality as America extreme Critical Race Theory. Ten years on and the BBC has mutated its mission to honour Diversity into full on 24/7 evangelical anti white/pro Nine grievance and victimhood propaganda. It besmirches all ‘white history’ and snarls permanent hostility to the structures of white patriarchy. Its Critical Race Theory has rendered the BBC – like our law – a real danger to communal harmony. The BBC will do anything to ‘protect’ its vision of multiculturalism. It covered up the story of the mass rape in the North for over a decade – it had local journalists in every town who said and did nothing. It habitually drenches London Manchester and now poor Nottingham with messages of communal love after a terror attack. But when Grenfell happened, because whiteys were the ‘killers’, it crudely and actively stoked rage on behalf of the victims. Identitarianism is a poison as this article well describes. Yet it is the one and only credo on the Left that they all believe in, hence the Liar Starmer bends his knee to BLM rioters and does not know who has vaginas. All the extraordinary organic progress the British people together have made in making multicultural UK the most open tolerant society in Europe is set to be torched and debased and trashed by our deranged elite, state media and law. The virus is running free and wild. Look at America and weep.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
11 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Identity is a tool of the left. It separates the quality of governance from the voter’s decision on who to vote for. No matter how bad the goverment is, your identity never changes. So, if your identity says you vote for Democrats, then you vote for Democrats, regardless of how bad a job they do. If there’s high crime, rotten schools, pot holed streets and bankrupt corrupt government, you still vote for the same people because your identity tells you to.

Socialism is notorious for failing everywhere it’s tried. However, identity voting can keep it going despite continuing failure. See for example, Detroit or Chicago.

In reaction to identity voting on the left, the people disadvantaged by the racisim of DEI and Critical Racist Theory band together in self defense. This includes groups like white males and Asians which in times past had nothing in common. That may give the appearance of identity voting on the right, but the right is much more about individual rights and rugged individualism in general. The fact that such people tend to have democraphic factors in common is more of an accident than by design.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Since I was a teen I’ve been a far left Democrat (before they went insane), but as I’ve grown older, I’ve peeled off my tribal sticker. I now just call myself a liberal. This move closer to the moderate center was because my disenchantment with the far left and the Democratic Party. And with age I’m reading more Conservative writers (not the Trumpists or the far right) to actually understand what they stand for. I’ll never be a conservative, but I actually agree with them about certain issues ( stopping the medical transitioning of children). Funny how gray the world is now.

polidori redux
polidori redux
11 months ago

“Conservatism and liberalism, Right and Left, are tribal stickers detached from any serious content.”
I came to that conclusion, gradually, over the last few years. I am surprised at the number of people who still see content where there is none.
I am old enough to be immune from the inner effects of this nihilism (because that is what it is), but I pity those too young to have any defences.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

The cult of identity can give just about everybody the opportunity they crave to be part of a plucky, unfairly treated, group standing apart from the great mass of society – which will soon (d)evolve into a vast array of such plucky groups each with their own demands for equity.
Equity, of course, is a loser’s charter which holds special appeal for those who would like the system to be rigged so their underachievement carries no cost. If you are embarrassed by your lack of merit then meritocracy must be abolished.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

“would like the system to be rigged so their underachievement carries no cost”
Nail. Head.

And I have seriously lost all respect for those groups which are so fond of “equity” – American urban blacks and college educated women being the two main ones that come to mind. Says a lot about them, really, considering (not that they would ever admit it) modern society is heavily tilted in their favour to begin with.

Last edited 11 months ago by Samir Iker
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

“would like the system to be rigged so their underachievement carries no cost”
Nail. Head.

And I have seriously lost all respect for those groups which are so fond of “equity” – American urban blacks and college educated women being the two main ones that come to mind. Says a lot about them, really, considering (not that they would ever admit it) modern society is heavily tilted in their favour to begin with.

Last edited 11 months ago by Samir Iker
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

The cult of identity can give just about everybody the opportunity they crave to be part of a plucky, unfairly treated, group standing apart from the great mass of society – which will soon (d)evolve into a vast array of such plucky groups each with their own demands for equity.
Equity, of course, is a loser’s charter which holds special appeal for those who would like the system to be rigged so their underachievement carries no cost. If you are embarrassed by your lack of merit then meritocracy must be abolished.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

The first paragraph of this essay is absolutely brilliant, a masterpiece of metaphors and active writing that richly illustrates the author’s assessment of the world today.

I think we are all trying to understand the madness that has gripped our political discourse, and the author explains some of the motivations driving identity politics today. I wish he had a more optimistic outlook for the future, but I guess that’s where we’re at right now.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

At times it feels we’re living the scene in the ‘Game of Thrones’, fighting the iced zombie White Walkers (the woke) who just keep pouring over the Ice Wall. It all feels so overwhelming, but at once and with great violence the White walkers exhaust themselves. One just has to stand strong by believing in the ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ and all that has been learned before – history, religion, family, community, and intellect.

Last edited 11 months ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Sadly, those who carry such a message are systematically cancelled or imprisoned or even murdered by those who see the 90% as mere dross, superfluous to their needs.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Sadly, those who carry such a message are systematically cancelled or imprisoned or even murdered by those who see the 90% as mere dross, superfluous to their needs.

Apo State
Apo State
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, the writing in this piece is a treat; head and shoulders above most essays, and no preachiness. It’s a pretty good summary of the tsunami of spiritual blackness that is washing through our zeitgeist now.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

At times it feels we’re living the scene in the ‘Game of Thrones’, fighting the iced zombie White Walkers (the woke) who just keep pouring over the Ice Wall. It all feels so overwhelming, but at once and with great violence the White walkers exhaust themselves. One just has to stand strong by believing in the ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ and all that has been learned before – history, religion, family, community, and intellect.

Last edited 11 months ago by Cathy Carron
Apo State
Apo State
11 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes, the writing in this piece is a treat; head and shoulders above most essays, and no preachiness. It’s a pretty good summary of the tsunami of spiritual blackness that is washing through our zeitgeist now.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 months ago

The first paragraph of this essay is absolutely brilliant, a masterpiece of metaphors and active writing that richly illustrates the author’s assessment of the world today.

I think we are all trying to understand the madness that has gripped our political discourse, and the author explains some of the motivations driving identity politics today. I wish he had a more optimistic outlook for the future, but I guess that’s where we’re at right now.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago

The most important point is the final sentence: “… the ragged engine of identity has an open road ahead and will continue its suicidal rampage through American life until opposed by a coherent set of ideas.”
I am bored of articles describing or decrying what is going on. Anyone with an open mind and reasonable intelligence grasped the dangers of current trends some time ago. What we ought to be debating instead is what “coherent set of ideas” we should deploy as a persuasive alternative to the radical progressive creed. We need practical suggestions and a positive vision not just expressions of horror or distaste.
Some of these “coherent ideas” can come from long standing Enlightenment values but we also need new ideas especially in response to the impact of social media on debate and globalisation on western economies. Previous politically destabilising technological changes e.g. printing or radio were eventually tamed. No scheme of reforms will work which does not inter alia improve the prospects of Gen Z.
Maybe UnHerd should ask for submissions and publish the five best “coherent set of ideas” on a single day. It might spark something more useful than yet more repetitive Jeremiads.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rupert Carnegie
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

OK Rupert Carnegie. Why wait for UnHerd? Just break the cycle of boredom yourself. Set the ball rolling now with your own coherent set of ideas and let’s see how far they go.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

This is too large a subject to address effectively in a comments section – and were UnHerd to solicit essay length contributions then I would be happy to provide one – but a few headline points might be: 1/ It is too easy to be defeatist or fatalistic. I am not complacent about the seriousness of the challenge – and, in particular, the way “progressive ideas” have become embedded in teacher training and the overall educational system – but there are encouraging historical parallels. In the 1930s many students and others supported Pacifism or Marxism. In the 1960s their successors embraced a variety of radical political and social ideas (as well as each other). In both cases their parents were horrified but the former cohort became the “greatest generation” and the latter the liberal if self indulgent boomers. Western society has historically progressed through facing challenges and reacting constructively. It is premature to assume we will fail this time.2/ The current reaction is gathering momentum. The “Overton window” has noticeably expanded. That said, my impression is that the main impact in the last eighteen months has been that the over 30s have woken up to what has been going on. It is far less clear if there has been as much movement amongst the under 30s. 3/ I see the central challenge as persuading Gen Z – and especially Gen Z students at the more prestigious universities – to recognise the virtues of open debate with objective truth not conformity as being the trump card. It produces better results.4/ Put another way, the core issue is about means not ends. Many people agree with – or at least accept as legitimate – many of the complaints of Gen Z. The problem is not that the Woke want tolerance for trans, less economic inequality, racial justice, more action on climate change, etc but their reluctance to debate these issues and their attempts to intimidate and delegitimise any dissent even on matters of detail. They are attacking the Enlightenment values which dominated the western approach for two hundred years. In particular, they are seeking to destroy the primacy of free debate as the route to good decisions.5/ This is not just a battle of ideas per se. It feeds off a number of structural factors as well. The impact of identity politics, social media, polarisation, ideological bubbles, etc have been widely discussed. They provide the fertile soil without which the seeds of progressive radicalism would have withered not flourished. Western society needs to adjust its legal, political and technology frameworks.6/ The area which would benefit most from informed debate is the regulation of social media. Quite apart from the psychological impact on teenagers, the status quo is unacceptable e.g. algorithms which deliberately push individuals into ideologically extreme corners of the internet may benefit the owners through increasing enraged “engagement” and thus profitability but the impact on society is pernicious. We need to accept that the public square needs agreed and transparent rules. Big subject.7/ Most people respond more forcefully to stories than abstract concepts. In addition to focussing on individual examples such as the Tavistock, trans success in women’s sports, etc certain grand historical counter narratives need to be developed and pushed e.g. depicting the “Western system” as a set of institutions and values that have rescued billions from poverty and tyranny, can be deployed beneficially anywhere – and could just as easily have arisen in the Middle East or China as in Europe – and have an inherent capacity for endless self improvement, rather than as the system of racist and patriarchal oppression unchanged in essentials since the seventeenth century as described in post colonial studies. 8/ Personally, I believe that the economic predicament of Gen Z is a much more important factor in its radicalisation than is generally accepted. If their individual prospects were less dispiriting then I suspect they would become calmer on a wide range of topics. How to achieve this is another area for debate.9/ Britain would also benefit from a declaration of psychological independence from the United States. There is a clear contrast between the British reactions to McCarthyism – horror – and to the American Social Justice movement – emulation – despite the obvious parallels. We need a renewed confidence to think for ourselves.10/ The overall point is that we need to restate the core values of the Enlightenment but also to develop new ideas as how to apply these given current society and technology e.g. it is insufficient to defend “free speech”; we also need to establish new rules for how certain speech is privileged and other speech is de-emphasised in the public square. Most would agree that the soft censorship during covid was overdone but that so are the algorithms that exacerbate polarisation and extremism.11/ Pushing a positive agenda is important but so is a relentless critique of the theory and practice of the radical progressive movement. We need to excoriate the mindset that sees everything as a power struggle between endlessly redefined privileged and marginalised categories as well as point out the practical results of individual persecutions, ill thought schemes to defund the police and DEI training sessions which turn out to increase unconscious bias.Others would stress different points. A thorough going debate – in the constructive and amiable spirit UnHerd encourages – would undoubtedly lead to richer conclusions than those produced by any one individual. 

Last edited 11 months ago by Rupert Carnegie
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

Thanks for that very well thought out reply. 
I’m afraid I cannot share your faith in the efficacy of debate. No matter how amiable the spirit in which debates are conducted the opposing sides will never simply admit defeat and change their ways. The true winner is he who can turn his beliefs into effective action.
Back in the mid-1990s when Labour were still licking their wounds after electoral defeat by John Major’s Tories I remember reading a piece by the late Gerald Kaufman in the London Evening Standard in which he attempted to take a hard and realistic look at Labour’s repeated failures (this was before Tony Blair became their new leader if memory serves). In Kaufman’s view Labour’s failure lay in it’s inability to understand how to build up and wield political power – concentrating instead on ‘the rightness of their cause’ if I can put it that way. At the time Labour ‘grass roots’ were seriously depleted while the Conservatives’ were in good health.
If you think that point is irrelevant just consider what has happened to our institutions. The Woke Left have certainly learned where the control points of power are. An interesting observation made by Martin Gurri:

The path to Communist revolution, wrote Marx in the Manifesto, ‘involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas’.

That most radical rupture (not merely with ideas but but with beliefs, customs, history, cultural identity and even sexual identity) is taking place daily and is proving very effective in undermining and destabilising Western culture. If every achievement of the culture you were raised in can be denounced as moraly suspect (if not degenerate) what happens to your self-belief? Can you answer your critics with anything more than pathetic promises of atonement?
The phenomenon of transgender activism provides the latest battleground – an unlikely identity group suffering alleged injustices. As Douglas Murray said some years ago, transgender activism is being used as a kind of battering ram against capitalism. Judging by the ready capitulation to trans demands that battering ram works well. 
Hardly a week goes by without some supposed setback for one of the pet woke causes and we are supposed to believe that the tide is turning – yet the Woke keep on winning. We who believe in free speech look in anger at what ‘the long march’ is doing to our institutions yet only rarely is attention given to the actual individuals who are enforcing this Woke agenda. They need to be put clearly in the spotlight and their exploitation of their positions of power exposed. More and better investigative journalism is needed.
Anyway, to paraphrase that old NRA slogan:

Institutions don’t oppress people. People oppress people.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Thanks.
I accept that few individuals openly concede defeat during a debate but the audience can be persuaded one way or another. It is also true that most people adjust or tweak their views after they lose an argument if only to make them more easily defended.
To take the specific example of the Tavistock as an example, if strong internal debate had been encouraged then I doubt that the misguided policy of the automatic “affirmation” of some teenage girls’ belief that they needed to change gender would have survived unmodified.
I also entirely agree with you on that the Woke have been very skilful in quietly seizing control of key parts of the system and using those to manipulate policy on the issues that interest them. I take the view that this undemocratic modus operandi relies upon the silencing of dissenting voices which is why they are so reluctant to engage in debate and so aggressive about cancelling those who disagree.
My point is this manipulation / intimidation strategy can not not survive an open debate. Forcing progressives to defend their plans in public will make them abandon some and modify or moderate others.
A focus on this issue of an open debate is also more likely to generate public support than trying to, say, explain the nihilistic philosophical core of the “critical theory” mindset underlying most Woke campaigns.
I do not know which side will win but I believe that this approach has a better chance of success than anything else I can think of. I suppose it is a variant of the view that “sunshine is the best disinfectant”. It is not just a naive liberal reflex but is also intended to be a hard headed strategy to exploit a potential weakness in the approach of the “progressives”.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rupert Carnegie
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Well stated. I appreciate your politeness and fair-minded approach. Buried in your mega-paragraph above (along with much else of substance) is this key point: “We need to accept that the public square needs agreed and transparent rules”. Amen.
A worthwhile exchange. Excellent series of posts.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Thanks. Kind comment. Sorry about the “mega paragraph”. I actually typed out a series of clearly separated and indented paragraphs but for some reason the UnHerd software squished it all together.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Understood. Cheers.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Understood. Cheers.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Thanks. Kind comment. Sorry about the “mega paragraph”. I actually typed out a series of clearly separated and indented paragraphs but for some reason the UnHerd software squished it all together.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

I’m sorry, Rupert Carnegie, but I remain unconvinced on the debate question. Debate will see righteous minds on both sides of the issue busy with their heated exchanges (making salient points, exposing the hollowness of the opposition’s arguments etc) while the Woke continue to take over the actual centres of influence and power.
Even if you generate public support with open debate what will that ammount to in terms of effective action? We need a political force ready and willing to act. As a prime example: the debate over the rights and wrongs of mass immigration from the third world to the West is never ending even though majority public support for tight control of mass immigration has been well and truly generated – yet illegal migrants just keep on coming.
Anyway, I remain in favour of freedom of speech, freedom of information and convinced that the main forces driving unwanted cultural/political change need to be exposed and their aims and methods more widely understood.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Check back in six months from now when you’ve had time to fully integrate your exchange with Mr. Carnegie. Just kidding, kind of. Not everyone is so impervious to persuasion, not even those who imagine themselves impervious (though some truly are).
We don’t spontaneously generate all of our own opinions and principles inside our own individual minds, do we? In other words, our current beliefs–anyone’s, however they differ–are largely a synthesis of persuasive & rhetorical & argumentative inputs we’ve encountered “in the wild”. A form of long-term debate.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Oh Lord, AJ Mac! My attempt to get one basic point accross is really is turning into a uphill struggle against the UnHerd cosy old pals club – don’t worry, just kidding (kind of)!
I’ll try again. To repeat:

No matter how amiable the spirit in which debates are conducted the opposing sides will never simply admit defeat and change their ways. The true winner is he who can turn his beliefs into effective action.

and…

Even if you generate public support with open debate what will that ammount to in terms of effective action? 

However, I’m sure you have no interest in what I actually posted (clearly shown by that astonishingly patronising lesson on how people generate opinions) but only in my unwillingness to accept Rupert Carnegie’s view of the ultimate effectiveness of debate.
Perhaps it’s worth considering a popular sentiment political stalwarts are fond of uttering following electoral defeat: ‘We may have lost the vote but we’ve won the argument!’.
Anyway, for the commentariat opinion versus opiinion is the only battle that counts.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

At times, N. Satori, you do seem hostile to a good-faith exchange (and I can be too, but not always). If you regard your own posts as neutral, in no way patronizing in their tone, you might want to re-read them yourself.
The point you continually sidestep (of late anyway) is that while debaters rarely admit they’re wrong on the spot and almost never in full, that their opinions are very likely to be subtly altered, often significantly over time, as a result of certain exchanges, either as an audience member or participant. The framework of a classic debate often has both sides arguing an extreme and rigid case; most sensible listeners will already be positioned somewhere in the middle.
Why would you bother arguing with the UnHerd ol’ boys club if you had no hope of persuading anyone?
That said, while I disagree with you on this particular subject–and don’t plan to budge any time soon–I think you make a lot of sense and make a strong overall contribution to these often chaotic online “debates”, your exchange with Mr. Carnegie included. No condescension intended. See you on the boards, sir.

Last edited 11 months ago by AJ Mac
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

AJ Mac, I am about to start tearing my hair out in frustation!
Is it what I am saying really so difficult to understand? What does the subtle altering of opinion matter if he who holds it has no power to effect change?
Rupert Carnegie began by complaining about useless Jeremiads. His alternative, when challenged, was a menu of debate and discussion. I expressed my doubts about that giving my reasons.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

What a dreadful reply. It’s true there’s no possible useful debate with someone who’s convinced of their high rectitude, with lessons to teach (or shout) but nothing to learn. That’s the sort of person you appear to be right now.
I handed you an olive branch and you came back with your hair on fire. You shifted the goalposts to now argue that change in opinion or perspective is rendered meaningless unless someone has a certain amount of power to effect change. That is a bullshit pivot.
Sometimes admitting movement or change within ourselves is the only power we have–in fact, that is often only thing within our control, to the partial degree that it is in our control. Might not be a lot of power, but it is not nothing either.
I do understand your opinion, and I respect it, if not your rude insistence on how I don’t understand or can’t accept its to-you-self-evident truth.
Have a good day and don’t lose all your remaining piece of mind just because you disagree with or don’t like me.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

If you’re simply arguing that debate, by itself, won’t save society or humankind or even come close: on that we totally agree.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I do not see it as an either/or situation.

1/ Debate normally has worked in western societies (as AJ Mac and I argue). Public opinion has usually led to action.

2/ The radical progressives have been successful over the last decade in part because they have avoided open debate and focussed on taking control of various institutions (as N Satori emphasises if I understand him correctly).

3/ This process is potentially vulnerable since it relies on intimidation of dissenting voices (common ground).

4/ If the intimidation loses its effect and open debate resumes then many of the more malign aspects of the various progressive campaigns will be exposed to sharp criticism or ridicule and often will be withdrawn (my point)

5/ This will still leave
“progressive” ideas and individuals embedded in various institutions but it is a step in the right direction.

6/ Forensic journalism of e.g. the Tavistock will lead to change in specific institutions (as Satori highlights). This depends, however, on a wider Overton window just as debate does. They flourish in parallel.

I may be optimistic and/or naive but I am not sure that our differences are as great as all that. Debate works but only if those who control the levers of power respect and support it. This is not currently the case for many “woke” issues but could become so once again.

Last edited 11 months ago by m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

Incidentally I am also known as Rupert or Alex Carnegie.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

Well said, commenter also known as multiple Carnegies (they let you switch so freely?).
I agree that there is sizable common ground underneath, though the tone of the exchange, especially between N. Satori and myself, became disputatious.
I don’t think dissent and good-faith debate are as endangered as they may seem. Periods of open-exchange tend to alternate with those that are repressive and conformist. We are in an repressive-leaning age, and while the public square is threatened and needs defending, we’re not unable to voice our views opinions in most cases, though public speech in academia and many workplaces is stifled at present, in a major way.
N. Satori makes a valid, critical point about the diminished voice of most individuals, and the silencing power as well as ideological capture of institutions. However, that is not new, and the extremists, on both sides–though we can usually better agree to focus on and attack the far left here at UnHerd–are not winning as much, nor with as many as is rumored, in my estimation.
The loudest hard-liners are taking up too much air, and exploiting new technology for dissemination and amplification. That is also, in significant measure, a new version of a very old problem.
Thank you for your polite, sensible, and insightful comments. I could stand to steal a page or two from your calm and measured approach.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

My apparent Multiple Personality Disorder on UnHerd is involuntary. I must have done something to confuse the UH software at some point.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

Wow. Interesting glitch.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

Wow. Interesting glitch.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

My apparent Multiple Personality Disorder on UnHerd is involuntary. I must have done something to confuse the UH software at some point.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

Well said, commenter also known as multiple Carnegies (they let you switch so freely?).
I agree that there is sizable common ground underneath, though the tone of the exchange, especially between N. Satori and myself, became disputatious.
I don’t think dissent and good-faith debate are as endangered as they may seem. Periods of open-exchange tend to alternate with those that are repressive and conformist. We are in an repressive-leaning age, and while the public square is threatened and needs defending, we’re not unable to voice our views opinions in most cases, though public speech in academia and many workplaces is stifled at present, in a major way.
N. Satori makes a valid, critical point about the diminished voice of most individuals, and the silencing power as well as ideological capture of institutions. However, that is not new, and the extremists, on both sides–though we can usually better agree to focus on and attack the far left here at UnHerd–are not winning as much, nor with as many as is rumored, in my estimation.
The loudest hard-liners are taking up too much air, and exploiting new technology for dissemination and amplification. That is also, in significant measure, a new version of a very old problem.
Thank you for your polite, sensible, and insightful comments. I could stand to steal a page or two from your calm and measured approach.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago
Reply to  m3pc7q3ixe

Incidentally I am also known as Rupert or Alex Carnegie.

m3pc7q3ixe
m3pc7q3ixe
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I do not see it as an either/or situation.

1/ Debate normally has worked in western societies (as AJ Mac and I argue). Public opinion has usually led to action.

2/ The radical progressives have been successful over the last decade in part because they have avoided open debate and focussed on taking control of various institutions (as N Satori emphasises if I understand him correctly).

3/ This process is potentially vulnerable since it relies on intimidation of dissenting voices (common ground).

4/ If the intimidation loses its effect and open debate resumes then many of the more malign aspects of the various progressive campaigns will be exposed to sharp criticism or ridicule and often will be withdrawn (my point)

5/ This will still leave
“progressive” ideas and individuals embedded in various institutions but it is a step in the right direction.

6/ Forensic journalism of e.g. the Tavistock will lead to change in specific institutions (as Satori highlights). This depends, however, on a wider Overton window just as debate does. They flourish in parallel.

I may be optimistic and/or naive but I am not sure that our differences are as great as all that. Debate works but only if those who control the levers of power respect and support it. This is not currently the case for many “woke” issues but could become so once again.

Last edited 11 months ago by m3pc7q3ixe
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

If you’re simply arguing that debate, by itself, won’t save society or humankind or even come close: on that we totally agree.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

What a dreadful reply. It’s true there’s no possible useful debate with someone who’s convinced of their high rectitude, with lessons to teach (or shout) but nothing to learn. That’s the sort of person you appear to be right now.
I handed you an olive branch and you came back with your hair on fire. You shifted the goalposts to now argue that change in opinion or perspective is rendered meaningless unless someone has a certain amount of power to effect change. That is a bullshit pivot.
Sometimes admitting movement or change within ourselves is the only power we have–in fact, that is often only thing within our control, to the partial degree that it is in our control. Might not be a lot of power, but it is not nothing either.
I do understand your opinion, and I respect it, if not your rude insistence on how I don’t understand or can’t accept its to-you-self-evident truth.
Have a good day and don’t lose all your remaining piece of mind just because you disagree with or don’t like me.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

AJ Mac, I am about to start tearing my hair out in frustation!
Is it what I am saying really so difficult to understand? What does the subtle altering of opinion matter if he who holds it has no power to effect change?
Rupert Carnegie began by complaining about useless Jeremiads. His alternative, when challenged, was a menu of debate and discussion. I expressed my doubts about that giving my reasons.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

At times, N. Satori, you do seem hostile to a good-faith exchange (and I can be too, but not always). If you regard your own posts as neutral, in no way patronizing in their tone, you might want to re-read them yourself.
The point you continually sidestep (of late anyway) is that while debaters rarely admit they’re wrong on the spot and almost never in full, that their opinions are very likely to be subtly altered, often significantly over time, as a result of certain exchanges, either as an audience member or participant. The framework of a classic debate often has both sides arguing an extreme and rigid case; most sensible listeners will already be positioned somewhere in the middle.
Why would you bother arguing with the UnHerd ol’ boys club if you had no hope of persuading anyone?
That said, while I disagree with you on this particular subject–and don’t plan to budge any time soon–I think you make a lot of sense and make a strong overall contribution to these often chaotic online “debates”, your exchange with Mr. Carnegie included. No condescension intended. See you on the boards, sir.

Last edited 11 months ago by AJ Mac
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Oh Lord, AJ Mac! My attempt to get one basic point accross is really is turning into a uphill struggle against the UnHerd cosy old pals club – don’t worry, just kidding (kind of)!
I’ll try again. To repeat:

No matter how amiable the spirit in which debates are conducted the opposing sides will never simply admit defeat and change their ways. The true winner is he who can turn his beliefs into effective action.

and…

Even if you generate public support with open debate what will that ammount to in terms of effective action? 

However, I’m sure you have no interest in what I actually posted (clearly shown by that astonishingly patronising lesson on how people generate opinions) but only in my unwillingness to accept Rupert Carnegie’s view of the ultimate effectiveness of debate.
Perhaps it’s worth considering a popular sentiment political stalwarts are fond of uttering following electoral defeat: ‘We may have lost the vote but we’ve won the argument!’.
Anyway, for the commentariat opinion versus opiinion is the only battle that counts.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Check back in six months from now when you’ve had time to fully integrate your exchange with Mr. Carnegie. Just kidding, kind of. Not everyone is so impervious to persuasion, not even those who imagine themselves impervious (though some truly are).
We don’t spontaneously generate all of our own opinions and principles inside our own individual minds, do we? In other words, our current beliefs–anyone’s, however they differ–are largely a synthesis of persuasive & rhetorical & argumentative inputs we’ve encountered “in the wild”. A form of long-term debate.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

Well stated. I appreciate your politeness and fair-minded approach. Buried in your mega-paragraph above (along with much else of substance) is this key point: “We need to accept that the public square needs agreed and transparent rules”. Amen.
A worthwhile exchange. Excellent series of posts.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

I’m sorry, Rupert Carnegie, but I remain unconvinced on the debate question. Debate will see righteous minds on both sides of the issue busy with their heated exchanges (making salient points, exposing the hollowness of the opposition’s arguments etc) while the Woke continue to take over the actual centres of influence and power.
Even if you generate public support with open debate what will that ammount to in terms of effective action? We need a political force ready and willing to act. As a prime example: the debate over the rights and wrongs of mass immigration from the third world to the West is never ending even though majority public support for tight control of mass immigration has been well and truly generated – yet illegal migrants just keep on coming.
Anyway, I remain in favour of freedom of speech, freedom of information and convinced that the main forces driving unwanted cultural/political change need to be exposed and their aims and methods more widely understood.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Thanks.
I accept that few individuals openly concede defeat during a debate but the audience can be persuaded one way or another. It is also true that most people adjust or tweak their views after they lose an argument if only to make them more easily defended.
To take the specific example of the Tavistock as an example, if strong internal debate had been encouraged then I doubt that the misguided policy of the automatic “affirmation” of some teenage girls’ belief that they needed to change gender would have survived unmodified.
I also entirely agree with you on that the Woke have been very skilful in quietly seizing control of key parts of the system and using those to manipulate policy on the issues that interest them. I take the view that this undemocratic modus operandi relies upon the silencing of dissenting voices which is why they are so reluctant to engage in debate and so aggressive about cancelling those who disagree.
My point is this manipulation / intimidation strategy can not not survive an open debate. Forcing progressives to defend their plans in public will make them abandon some and modify or moderate others.
A focus on this issue of an open debate is also more likely to generate public support than trying to, say, explain the nihilistic philosophical core of the “critical theory” mindset underlying most Woke campaigns.
I do not know which side will win but I believe that this approach has a better chance of success than anything else I can think of. I suppose it is a variant of the view that “sunshine is the best disinfectant”. It is not just a naive liberal reflex but is also intended to be a hard headed strategy to exploit a potential weakness in the approach of the “progressives”.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rupert Carnegie
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

Thanks for that very well thought out reply. 
I’m afraid I cannot share your faith in the efficacy of debate. No matter how amiable the spirit in which debates are conducted the opposing sides will never simply admit defeat and change their ways. The true winner is he who can turn his beliefs into effective action.
Back in the mid-1990s when Labour were still licking their wounds after electoral defeat by John Major’s Tories I remember reading a piece by the late Gerald Kaufman in the London Evening Standard in which he attempted to take a hard and realistic look at Labour’s repeated failures (this was before Tony Blair became their new leader if memory serves). In Kaufman’s view Labour’s failure lay in it’s inability to understand how to build up and wield political power – concentrating instead on ‘the rightness of their cause’ if I can put it that way. At the time Labour ‘grass roots’ were seriously depleted while the Conservatives’ were in good health.
If you think that point is irrelevant just consider what has happened to our institutions. The Woke Left have certainly learned where the control points of power are. An interesting observation made by Martin Gurri:

The path to Communist revolution, wrote Marx in the Manifesto, ‘involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas’.

That most radical rupture (not merely with ideas but but with beliefs, customs, history, cultural identity and even sexual identity) is taking place daily and is proving very effective in undermining and destabilising Western culture. If every achievement of the culture you were raised in can be denounced as moraly suspect (if not degenerate) what happens to your self-belief? Can you answer your critics with anything more than pathetic promises of atonement?
The phenomenon of transgender activism provides the latest battleground – an unlikely identity group suffering alleged injustices. As Douglas Murray said some years ago, transgender activism is being used as a kind of battering ram against capitalism. Judging by the ready capitulation to trans demands that battering ram works well. 
Hardly a week goes by without some supposed setback for one of the pet woke causes and we are supposed to believe that the tide is turning – yet the Woke keep on winning. We who believe in free speech look in anger at what ‘the long march’ is doing to our institutions yet only rarely is attention given to the actual individuals who are enforcing this Woke agenda. They need to be put clearly in the spotlight and their exploitation of their positions of power exposed. More and better investigative journalism is needed.
Anyway, to paraphrase that old NRA slogan:

Institutions don’t oppress people. People oppress people.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

This is too large a subject to address effectively in a comments section – and were UnHerd to solicit essay length contributions then I would be happy to provide one – but a few headline points might be: 1/ It is too easy to be defeatist or fatalistic. I am not complacent about the seriousness of the challenge – and, in particular, the way “progressive ideas” have become embedded in teacher training and the overall educational system – but there are encouraging historical parallels. In the 1930s many students and others supported Pacifism or Marxism. In the 1960s their successors embraced a variety of radical political and social ideas (as well as each other). In both cases their parents were horrified but the former cohort became the “greatest generation” and the latter the liberal if self indulgent boomers. Western society has historically progressed through facing challenges and reacting constructively. It is premature to assume we will fail this time.2/ The current reaction is gathering momentum. The “Overton window” has noticeably expanded. That said, my impression is that the main impact in the last eighteen months has been that the over 30s have woken up to what has been going on. It is far less clear if there has been as much movement amongst the under 30s. 3/ I see the central challenge as persuading Gen Z – and especially Gen Z students at the more prestigious universities – to recognise the virtues of open debate with objective truth not conformity as being the trump card. It produces better results.4/ Put another way, the core issue is about means not ends. Many people agree with – or at least accept as legitimate – many of the complaints of Gen Z. The problem is not that the Woke want tolerance for trans, less economic inequality, racial justice, more action on climate change, etc but their reluctance to debate these issues and their attempts to intimidate and delegitimise any dissent even on matters of detail. They are attacking the Enlightenment values which dominated the western approach for two hundred years. In particular, they are seeking to destroy the primacy of free debate as the route to good decisions.5/ This is not just a battle of ideas per se. It feeds off a number of structural factors as well. The impact of identity politics, social media, polarisation, ideological bubbles, etc have been widely discussed. They provide the fertile soil without which the seeds of progressive radicalism would have withered not flourished. Western society needs to adjust its legal, political and technology frameworks.6/ The area which would benefit most from informed debate is the regulation of social media. Quite apart from the psychological impact on teenagers, the status quo is unacceptable e.g. algorithms which deliberately push individuals into ideologically extreme corners of the internet may benefit the owners through increasing enraged “engagement” and thus profitability but the impact on society is pernicious. We need to accept that the public square needs agreed and transparent rules. Big subject.7/ Most people respond more forcefully to stories than abstract concepts. In addition to focussing on individual examples such as the Tavistock, trans success in women’s sports, etc certain grand historical counter narratives need to be developed and pushed e.g. depicting the “Western system” as a set of institutions and values that have rescued billions from poverty and tyranny, can be deployed beneficially anywhere – and could just as easily have arisen in the Middle East or China as in Europe – and have an inherent capacity for endless self improvement, rather than as the system of racist and patriarchal oppression unchanged in essentials since the seventeenth century as described in post colonial studies. 8/ Personally, I believe that the economic predicament of Gen Z is a much more important factor in its radicalisation than is generally accepted. If their individual prospects were less dispiriting then I suspect they would become calmer on a wide range of topics. How to achieve this is another area for debate.9/ Britain would also benefit from a declaration of psychological independence from the United States. There is a clear contrast between the British reactions to McCarthyism – horror – and to the American Social Justice movement – emulation – despite the obvious parallels. We need a renewed confidence to think for ourselves.10/ The overall point is that we need to restate the core values of the Enlightenment but also to develop new ideas as how to apply these given current society and technology e.g. it is insufficient to defend “free speech”; we also need to establish new rules for how certain speech is privileged and other speech is de-emphasised in the public square. Most would agree that the soft censorship during covid was overdone but that so are the algorithms that exacerbate polarisation and extremism.11/ Pushing a positive agenda is important but so is a relentless critique of the theory and practice of the radical progressive movement. We need to excoriate the mindset that sees everything as a power struggle between endlessly redefined privileged and marginalised categories as well as point out the practical results of individual persecutions, ill thought schemes to defund the police and DEI training sessions which turn out to increase unconscious bias.Others would stress different points. A thorough going debate – in the constructive and amiable spirit UnHerd encourages – would undoubtedly lead to richer conclusions than those produced by any one individual. 

Last edited 11 months ago by Rupert Carnegie
Duane M
Duane M
11 months ago

I agree completely. The shared delusion that has led us to this point in history is that we are individuals who join together in societies. That is the foundation of Liberal thinking. And it is false.
Humans are social animals by nature. We exist primarily as members of society and secondarily as individuals. I live in an area with many Amish. They put their Amish community first and their individual wishes second. And they are successful.
To give up so much of our individuality would be quite difficult for most of us. Equivalent to dropping everything and moving into a monastery. But something along that line is what we need, because an obsession with individual identity and individual desires is near the root of our problem.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Duane M

Interesting take that I partly agree with. But don’t many traditional conservatives lionize individualism too, and don’t many classical liberals argue for the common good? I understand that these terms are cloudy and subject to dispute, but your claim seems at once valid and reductive.
The Amish present an example of extreme communitarian conformity. It works for those who surrender fully, but those who don’t are, in effect, exiled, at least if they don’t settle down after Rumspringa. Then again the degree of conformity or ostracism involved would depend somewhat on the individual household or village.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Duane M

Interesting take that I partly agree with. But don’t many traditional conservatives lionize individualism too, and don’t many classical liberals argue for the common good? I understand that these terms are cloudy and subject to dispute, but your claim seems at once valid and reductive.
The Amish present an example of extreme communitarian conformity. It works for those who surrender fully, but those who don’t are, in effect, exiled, at least if they don’t settle down after Rumspringa. Then again the degree of conformity or ostracism involved would depend somewhat on the individual household or village.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago

How about we all rally around “saving the planet”? We could hold hands, drink from paper straws and share stories of how we keep warm in winter when the sun isn’t shining or the wind stops blowing.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

A genuinely useful, plausible suggestion, and certainly worth a try. Perhaps a dynamic and varied set of competing “coherent ideas” would foster a significant break in the calcified cluster of disputes dominating these pages of late.

Rob C
Rob C
11 months ago

What set of ideas could possibly stand up against Equitarian morality? It’s clearly the highest morality and it’s hard to make a case against the highest morality. Arguing that it will lead to universal human misery won’t cut it.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

OK Rupert Carnegie. Why wait for UnHerd? Just break the cycle of boredom yourself. Set the ball rolling now with your own coherent set of ideas and let’s see how far they go.

Duane M
Duane M
11 months ago

I agree completely. The shared delusion that has led us to this point in history is that we are individuals who join together in societies. That is the foundation of Liberal thinking. And it is false.
Humans are social animals by nature. We exist primarily as members of society and secondarily as individuals. I live in an area with many Amish. They put their Amish community first and their individual wishes second. And they are successful.
To give up so much of our individuality would be quite difficult for most of us. Equivalent to dropping everything and moving into a monastery. But something along that line is what we need, because an obsession with individual identity and individual desires is near the root of our problem.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
11 months ago

How about we all rally around “saving the planet”? We could hold hands, drink from paper straws and share stories of how we keep warm in winter when the sun isn’t shining or the wind stops blowing.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago

A genuinely useful, plausible suggestion, and certainly worth a try. Perhaps a dynamic and varied set of competing “coherent ideas” would foster a significant break in the calcified cluster of disputes dominating these pages of late.

Rob C
Rob C
11 months ago

What set of ideas could possibly stand up against Equitarian morality? It’s clearly the highest morality and it’s hard to make a case against the highest morality. Arguing that it will lead to universal human misery won’t cut it.

Rupert Carnegie
Rupert Carnegie
11 months ago

The most important point is the final sentence: “… the ragged engine of identity has an open road ahead and will continue its suicidal rampage through American life until opposed by a coherent set of ideas.”
I am bored of articles describing or decrying what is going on. Anyone with an open mind and reasonable intelligence grasped the dangers of current trends some time ago. What we ought to be debating instead is what “coherent set of ideas” we should deploy as a persuasive alternative to the radical progressive creed. We need practical suggestions and a positive vision not just expressions of horror or distaste.
Some of these “coherent ideas” can come from long standing Enlightenment values but we also need new ideas especially in response to the impact of social media on debate and globalisation on western economies. Previous politically destabilising technological changes e.g. printing or radio were eventually tamed. No scheme of reforms will work which does not inter alia improve the prospects of Gen Z.
Maybe UnHerd should ask for submissions and publish the five best “coherent set of ideas” on a single day. It might spark something more useful than yet more repetitive Jeremiads.

Last edited 11 months ago by Rupert Carnegie
S Smith
S Smith
11 months ago

I definitely agree with the last sentence here. As someone who always has loosely identified with the “left,” it is now unrecognizable to me in all its monstrous forms; especially as it pertains to the security state and the military-industrial complex. But woke identitarianism has also been captured by the financial speculators and the very largest, most corrupt corporations on the planet. The spirit of the Old Left–an attempt to lift up the poor, the downtrodden, the working class and even the middle class, has been replaced by a mean-spirited capitalism that I would say is far more insidious than the Rockefeller kind of old–as it is cloaked and disguised the language of Wokeism and can therefore do terrible things in its name.

Rob C
Rob C
11 months ago
Reply to  S Smith

Haven’t they just gone global (the Left)? Tearing down the more prosperous nations will help lift up the poorer ones.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  S Smith

So true. As one of the “old left” I find myself floundering because I absolutely don’t identify with “wokeism”. That label has now been attached to the left so what can one say one is?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

A fair-minded independent?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

An ex-partisan?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

An ex-partisan?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

A fair-minded independent?

Rob C
Rob C
11 months ago
Reply to  S Smith

Haven’t they just gone global (the Left)? Tearing down the more prosperous nations will help lift up the poorer ones.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  S Smith

So true. As one of the “old left” I find myself floundering because I absolutely don’t identify with “wokeism”. That label has now been attached to the left so what can one say one is?

S Smith
S Smith
11 months ago

I definitely agree with the last sentence here. As someone who always has loosely identified with the “left,” it is now unrecognizable to me in all its monstrous forms; especially as it pertains to the security state and the military-industrial complex. But woke identitarianism has also been captured by the financial speculators and the very largest, most corrupt corporations on the planet. The spirit of the Old Left–an attempt to lift up the poor, the downtrodden, the working class and even the middle class, has been replaced by a mean-spirited capitalism that I would say is far more insidious than the Rockefeller kind of old–as it is cloaked and disguised the language of Wokeism and can therefore do terrible things in its name.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
11 months ago

We simply don’t realize who the real enemy is. It isn’t Trump supporters or woke academics or raging essayists; it is the neo-liberal multi-national corporation that wants to keep our politics mired in the muck while they rake in profits and hire cheap labor. Their idea of equity is to pauperize the working class. We are so busy dividing ourselves into tribes that we can’t even comprehend what they have done. Our rage is misplaced.

Rob C
Rob C
11 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

I think that’s backward. The Neo-liberal multi-national corporations are just the useful idiots of the Equitarians. In time, they will be crushed.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
11 months ago
Reply to  Rob C

Yeah, Jamie Diamond is a useful idiot. You have it backwards. The woke have been co-opted by corporations because as long as they make virtuous noises about DEI they get to do whatever they want. It’s a game of bait and switch.
Where do you think the money to keep CNN and MSNBC on the air comes from?

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
11 months ago
Reply to  Rob C

Yeah, Jamie Diamond is a useful idiot. You have it backwards. The woke have been co-opted by corporations because as long as they make virtuous noises about DEI they get to do whatever they want. It’s a game of bait and switch.
Where do you think the money to keep CNN and MSNBC on the air comes from?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

Exactly.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

Exactly that, thankyou. All this other stuff is simply a by product of a wealth distribution bent out shape. Fix that (and it IS fixable) and most of these other issues will go away.

Rob C
Rob C
11 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

I think that’s backward. The Neo-liberal multi-national corporations are just the useful idiots of the Equitarians. In time, they will be crushed.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

Exactly.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
11 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

Exactly that, thankyou. All this other stuff is simply a by product of a wealth distribution bent out shape. Fix that (and it IS fixable) and most of these other issues will go away.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
11 months ago

We simply don’t realize who the real enemy is. It isn’t Trump supporters or woke academics or raging essayists; it is the neo-liberal multi-national corporation that wants to keep our politics mired in the muck while they rake in profits and hire cheap labor. Their idea of equity is to pauperize the working class. We are so busy dividing ourselves into tribes that we can’t even comprehend what they have done. Our rage is misplaced.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
11 months ago

“equity means …” Hang on a minute.

Until seems like yesterday, equity meant the share of an asset you owned.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

According to my dictionary Equity means:
“The quality of being fair and impartial” which, I suppose is pretty elastic given the variety of possible meanings for those two terms?
The key is: Equality of inputs not outcomes. If inputs cannot be equalises then they can be compensated for but not by jumping all the way to outcomes.. so, perhaps free grinds for disadvantaged students so they can compensate for a bad education? ..but not a qota

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You are conflating equity with equality.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

And there you have the crux of the problem – forget about equality of input / opportunity, even after tilting the scales in their favour, women, blacks, Hispanics etc are unable to deliver equality of output in many areas. Stem, business ownership, many high achieving careers…

And it’s absolutely unacceptable to consider any explanation other than racism / patriarchy.

Of course, this only works one way. Blacks in sports, women in media / medicine / teaching? Absolutely ok.
Hilariously, we have “racism” against blacks in college but those pesky white men seem ok with majority women in education.
Ditto sports, where patriarchal white males force women to run slower but are happy with blacks dominating.

Stoater D
Stoater D
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You are conflating equity with equality.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

And there you have the crux of the problem – forget about equality of input / opportunity, even after tilting the scales in their favour, women, blacks, Hispanics etc are unable to deliver equality of output in many areas. Stem, business ownership, many high achieving careers…

And it’s absolutely unacceptable to consider any explanation other than racism / patriarchy.

Of course, this only works one way. Blacks in sports, women in media / medicine / teaching? Absolutely ok.
Hilariously, we have “racism” against blacks in college but those pesky white men seem ok with majority women in education.
Ditto sports, where patriarchal white males force women to run slower but are happy with blacks dominating.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
11 months ago

According to my dictionary Equity means:
“The quality of being fair and impartial” which, I suppose is pretty elastic given the variety of possible meanings for those two terms?
The key is: Equality of inputs not outcomes. If inputs cannot be equalises then they can be compensated for but not by jumping all the way to outcomes.. so, perhaps free grinds for disadvantaged students so they can compensate for a bad education? ..but not a qota

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
11 months ago

“equity means …” Hang on a minute.

Until seems like yesterday, equity meant the share of an asset you owned.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
11 months ago

It is indeed like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers – the best version being the original 1950s one. I even said as much during the COVID scam when people were doing the elbow thing and double masking.

Emil Castelli
Emil Castelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Lizards in skin suits……

If you do not think Biden and Pilosi have full time taxidermists on their payroll you have not been listening to enough David Icke.

Jane H
Jane H
11 months ago
Reply to  Emil Castelli

Have you ever read a David Icke book? He has been the most vilified author of our times but ironically the most staggeringly accurate visionary.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Jane H

I haven’t but I intend to!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Jane H
Jane H
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Wikipedia? You’ll need to do better than that as a recommended source for information/judgement.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jane H
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Jane H

Not when you are recommending a complete charlatan with grandiose delusions. What credibility or sourcing does Icke use to document–or lend any plausibility to–his special conversations with the Spirit World?

Jane H
Jane H
10 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Every claim made in any of David Icke’s books are meticulously researched and referenced. But then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle by never having actually read one and are a perfect example of how successful the deliberate vilification and ridicule campaign has been to discredit him. To the deep state his is an extremely dangerous man, provably and too close to the truth. Their campaign has been very successful as very few, including you, would ever bother listening to what he has/had to say.

Jane H
Jane H
10 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Every claim made in any of David Icke’s books are meticulously researched and referenced. But then you’ve fallen at the first hurdle by never having actually read one and are a perfect example of how successful the deliberate vilification and ridicule campaign has been to discredit him. To the deep state his is an extremely dangerous man, provably and too close to the truth. Their campaign has been very successful as very few, including you, would ever bother listening to what he has/had to say.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Jane H

Not when you are recommending a complete charlatan with grandiose delusions. What credibility or sourcing does Icke use to document–or lend any plausibility to–his special conversations with the Spirit World?

Jane H
Jane H
11 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Wikipedia? You’ll need to do better than that as a recommended source for information/judgement.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jane H