A Poisonous Identity

Identity politics both fascinates and scares the crap out me.  I have a lot to say on the subject, but unfortunately too little time today to write up something worthy of your attention.  Instead I’ve copied parts of a recent Wall Street Journal article below outlining a speech given by Jonathan Haidt.  It’s outstanding and pinpoints exactly the corrupting influence of the movement.

From the article:

Jonathan Haidt delivering the 2017 Wriston Lecture to the Manhattan Institute, Nov. 15:

Today’s identity politics . . . teaches the exact opposite of what we think a liberal arts education should be. When I was at Yale in the 1980s, I was given so many tools for understanding the world. By the time I graduated, I could think about things as a utilitarian or as a Kantian, as a Freudian or a behaviorist, as a computer scientist or as a humanist. I was given many lenses to apply to any given question or problem.

But what do we do now? Many students are given just one lens—power. Here’s your lens, kid. Look at everything through this lens. Everything is about power. Every situation is analyzed in terms of the bad people acting to preserve their power and privilege over the good people. This is not an education. This is induction into a cult. It’s a fundamentalist religion. It’s a paranoid worldview that separates people from each other and sends them down the road to alienation, anxiety and intellectual impotence. . .

Taken from the November 23, 2017 Wall Street Journal, “Notable and Quotable: Jonathan Heidt on Identity Politics.  Read the rest of it here.

Jonathan Haidt is an interesting man by the way.  As a former atheist and liberal, he challenged himself to think more broadly on morality and human nature and writes some very interesting stuff. Give his name a google or just go here.

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39 Responses to A Poisonous Identity

  1. Thanks for the heads up on Jonathan Haidt. Haven’t read him before but will definitely do so now.

    Be blessed. God is with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wally Fry says:

    I was a liberal arts person myself…back in the day. The day being around 1980 LOL. Nobody was scared of ideas at all; in fact we thrived on ideas and talking about them. I was quite the liberal at the time to be honest(not as it’s defined today though), but nobody acted like the “powers” were out to get us. The world has gone nuts I say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I was a liberal arts person too! Aside from one Communist psychology professor, none of my teachers preached politics and were all very open to discussing all sorts of things. Requesting a “safe space” from opposing ideas would have gotten you laughed right off campus.

      I was liberal too but I think everyone is by default at that age. Then we grow up…;)

      Like

  3. Al says:

    Colleges have long been the hotbed of liberal cultism (as he himself puts it). How nice a former liberal academic is brave enough to call it what it is. I just hope he isn’t assaulted by Antifa for his honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Al says:

    It’s me again. Tricia. By coincidence I was reading another article which referenced Jonathan Haidt. It’s long so I don’t expect you to read it all, but his reference to Haidt is in about the sixth paragraph. Thought you would be interested. Always nice to see a post by you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dennis says:

    Have you ever noticed that the pendulum swings too far before correcting a social “problem”? A brief study of American history will be filled with examples. I have the utmost confidence that society will correct itself and get back to the center. No worries.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too was liberal arts—-but was no liberal— more humanitarian as at one point I considered the peace corps ….but I was one who could see and think through a variety of lenses —one who could actually think for myself by pulling from a myriad of sources I’d been gifted to learn— what a mess we now have—- I was in the bookstore at UGA when the bulletin came over to He radio that Reagan had been shot— and I was devastated when Anwar Sadat was assassinated— I saw in him hope for the Middle East…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I could definitely see you as a humanitarian Julie, in fact you still are but probably think differently than you did when in college what is good for human welfare. My grandfather was in the Peace Corps, he always talked about how it was the best part of his life.

      It was the norm not so very long ago for people to think for themselves and see through different lenses, whether liberal or conservative. Now, like you said, what a mess! Something has gone very, very wrong.

      How cool you got to see Anwar Sadat. I was a kid when Reagan got shot and even then I knew it was a very big deal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I never saw him in person—but oddly he was a hero of mine as I saw him tolerant to Christians, wanting to “heal” relations between Palestinian and Jew along with Menachem Begin — because even then I knew the importance of that little corner of the world to our collective faiths…I admired his courage.
        I loved Reagan and adored John Paul. I can remember watching that night when the smoke turned white and shortly afterwards out steps, not an Italian, but rather a Pole of all people—I knew that exact minute God was afoot—-and things would be mighty and never the same…and this coming from a non Catholic—-
        by this time I was the Art Ed major—much of my “art” work focused the peace accord, the assassination of Sadat and “the Troubles happening in Northern Ireland—and later it was the Balkans—I had so often seen foreign conflict but here we had European vs European…much like the two world wars but this was contemporary….I did a piece about the children of conflict—Palestinian, Jew, Northern Irish of Catholic and Protestant and then the Cambodian boat people—a messy time—so I suppose we are not much different now….
        Funny thing about the Peace Corps. I had to have the recommendation of my Bishop—a man I was very close to and actually called “uncle”, but he wouldn’t write the letter.
        He told me there were other things I was to do rather than head off to some foreign soil for two years…
        there were many times over the years I regretted his not writing the letter but chances are I would not be who I am today or have the family I have–it’s all often odd how things work out—instead I spent 31 years in High School 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tricia says:

          That’s so cool the impression you got from Menachem Begin, a man I admittedly no little about. But Reagan and that Polish Pope guy I did hear endlessly about from my Grandmother who adored John Paul and my dad who was a staunch Reagan Republican. I became big fans of both at an early age.

          God was indeed on the move then as he was with the plans for your life and as he is now.

          Lucky you spending so much time in high school! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • notice I didn’t add Jimmy Carter to that mix despite his having brokered to get Sadat and Begin to sign the accord as I was never, despite being from Georgia, a fan of Carter—he was / is a nice man…but as for leadership…not so much

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Since the lifeblood of Progressivism is “change change change”, the torchbearers of the Progressive movement know they must continuously manufacture the perception of a NEED to change society. What better way to do that than slicing and dicing us up into different identity groups, and then playing us off one another? They’ve even figured out ways to erect fortified barriers between the different identity groups to assure we stay fragmented and frothing at the mouth towards each other:

    1) Declaring safe spaces on college campuses (which are now the size of the entire campus!) so they don’t have to listen to anything they disagree with;
    2) Placing a stigma on “cultural appropriation”, and then shaming anyone that dares to steal any trends/fashion/slang/cuisine/music from another group’s heritage, which basically turns the act of “assimilating into the melting pot” into a crime punishable by excommunication from one’s identity group;
    3) Employing flashmob tactics to systematically organize “spontaneous” riots any time something is happening somewhere that they don’t agree with;

    …..etc.

    – Jeff

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      All very true Jeff and a little scary how quickly they’ve been able to push this agenda. The Democratic Party of course benefited from having all these competing victims running around because they could sop them for votes. I don’t think that’s so true any more though and maybe things have finally come to a head. Maybe….

      Thanks for coming by, we miss you around here!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. David says:

    Go figure, I have recently become a liberal (which really means open to any and all ideas). Obviously, no Democrat is even remotely liberal. I personally am keeping my white male privilege given to me by the thought police:

    Taken from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary year 1860.
    White Male Privilege: To grant the particular right or exemption to all white males that they cannot in any way shape or form be racist or sexist; to invest with a specific right of immunity to all charges of impropriety in any way shape or form; may not be charged in any situation or even insinuated that a white male could be racist or sexist; to be exempt from danger or censure in all situations.

    Since I am clearly infallible as you will attest I’m sure, it is really nice when everything is in my favor!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such an important perspective. When a person can INTELLIGENTLY and UNEMOTIONALLY share an opposing view, it doesn’t mean our personal views are any less valid. Instead, it offers an opportunity to debate ONESELF and consider broader thinking to EXPAND one’s views. It doesn’t make sense to live in a DYNAMIC world and expect thinking to remain steadfast in concrete. This attitude prevents progress; a contradiction to our evolving nation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      It does prevent progress Jonathan, truly a very intellectually stifling way to live. I think the people pushing such nonsense purposely want it that way because it preserves their backward agenda from fresh perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Citizen Tom says:

    Come from a science and engineering background, myself. Scientists and engineers know how to think. The big problem with scientists and engineers is they have so little respect for the “soft sciences” that they don’t want anything to do with politics or religion. Therefore, many of our most talented people refuse to participate in such discussions. This I blame on our education system. Most people don’t usually think of their occupational choices as steering them into an identity, but in our brave new world it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Coming from a family of engineers and biologists, I certainly agree with you on this. I wasn’t smart enough to go in to those fields so stuck with a liberal arts communications degree, 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Citizen Tom says:

        I did not understand what it means to be smart until I worked with some smart people. It just disappointed me how little regard many of them have politics and religion.

        When some is good with mathematics and working their way through problems logically, I suspect there is a tendency to quickly become frustrated with politics and religion and go back to science and engineering. Can’t say I blame people for having that attitude (been there, done that), but I suspect it disappoints our Lord.

        Liked by 1 person

    • David says:

      Men are born Ignorant, not stupid. They are made Stupid by Education. Bertram Russell

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tom, you used the phrase “brave new world”. Have you read the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (pub. 1932)? It’s on par with Nineteen Eighty-Four (pub. 1949). In fact, there’s an edition out currently that also includes Brave New World Revisited, which was a followup lengthy essay by Huxley written after WW2, in which he compares his version of dystopia to Orwell’s after the world had experienced the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. I highly recommend that edition:

      Cheers,
      – Jeff

      Liked by 2 people

      • Citizen Tom says:

        Read the book. Been awhile. The allusion was deliberate.

        I probably ought to refresh my memory and read it again. Thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Tricia says:

          I think I will read it too. I never read it and it will be interesting to compare it to today’s world as opposed to when the author wrote it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • David says:

            You shall know the truth, and the Truth shall make you mad! Aldous Huxley

            Liked by 1 person

          • Trish, if you get the edition I recommended, you’ll by please to find that the “Brave New World Revisited” essay (pub. 1958) has a number of chapters where Huxley speculates on the various techniques that oppressive governments can and might use to fool and coerce the citizenry into (more or less) WILLINGLY give up their freedom and liberty for cradle-to-grave safety and ignorant bliss. Many of those speculations have come true and are apparent in the EU and in the Progressive-oriented areas of the U.S. like SF, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Vermont, etc. as well as the ideology of the far-left-leaning ranks of the national Democrat Party.

            Please get back with me on what you think of it…..message me on FB.

            [Oh BTW: Fair warning…..the 1932 novel is a culturally grotesque dystopian tale of a really really Godless future society. You will devour it and marvel at the timeless tone of the writing for 85 years ago, but you won’t emotionally “enjoy” it. It’s like that 2011 Disney (?!) movie “War Horse” — compelling and well acted/directed, but making you feel mildly nauseous during most of the story.]

            – Jeff

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tricia says:

            Ha, thanks for the great review Jeff! I will be sure to keep you posted. 🙂

            Like

  11. David says:

    Aldous Huxley and George Orwell knew each other and both got their information from mainly the Fabian Society whose symbol is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It basically teaches the students how to lie to advance a leftist agenda. Hard to believe, but Obama was a student! He is a masterful liar!

    Liked by 1 person

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