Dispossess Episode 4: Identity

  • Posted on: 5 September 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

This is the podcast Dispossess where we explore the ideas, tendencies, ideologies, spooks, spirits, and other possessions and conversations that are relevant to the hosts of the show as providing for nourishing dialogue from the perspective of a non-ideological critique of civilization

For the four episode we will be discussing the subject of identity and exploring the tensions between individuality and identity.

What is identity? What does it mean to identify with something? Do identity and individuality fundamentally contradict one another? What is the value or non-value of identity?

Listen here: https://archive.org/details/identity_201609

Visit our website at dispossess.wordpress.com (or dispossess.tk for short!) to find more content outside of the recorded shows.

You can contact us at dispossess@riseup.net

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Comments

it would be nice to link to them in your podcast announcement...
just sayin'

The links are on the website. Don't be so lazy. :P

that identity is no big deal, and if only people would stop talking about it...
without even the humility to acknowledge their own possible blinders.
to have any credibility at all you could've started out with a) things you've read on the topic (besides pieces by other white dudes), b) conversations you've had with people who disagreed with you, and/or c) just the idea that you're both coming from a particular place that doesn't give you as a duo much to bounce off of (or at least nothing that you talked about).
as it is this comes off as a self-congratulatory conversation between two beginners to this conversation. so... good for you?

identity deserves smarter conversations. goddamit.

How does the color of a person's skin have any bearing on what they say?

Regarding your other points:-

a) Despite their voracious appetite for forcing their identitarian view in people's faces during discourse, I've not come across a coherent piece on identity by someone who is able to explain why they use it, or what they get out of it. Feel free to recommend something if you have any suggestions.

b) ALL of the conversations I had with people that disagreed with me were brought to an abortive halt before they could even really get going, by people denouncing, insulting, and labelling me (against my will), and of course backing this up with the age-old tactic of saying that it is me that is doing the denouncing, insulting and labelling (when I'm not).

c) I'm not really sure what your point is here. It's not the most dynamic conversation he and I are ever going to have, granted, but it was more a gentle exploration of these ideas. Take them or leave them.

Btw, you don't know what congratulate means. It does not mean the same as 'praise'.

Different poster but here's a tip, disability doesn't pop up in this discourse nearly enough, maybe it's an example that's more resilient to certain critiques of identity?

If I'm navigating through life in modern society as a visibly disabled person, is the stigma I experience only "a spook", especially when I'm trying to find a job? Is my disproportionate likelihood of poverty?

Everyone probably spends some time wondering what parts of their life are a result of their own decisions and failings, as opposed to hostile forces in the external world (i.e. sources of oppression). For me, identity is about when I'm identifying a correlation between various hostile forces, latent or otherwise, aimed at me because of who I am and not what I say or do. That is to say, intrinsic characteristics of me as an individual, not the consequences of my choices.

Liberal social-justice types would then build arguments around why it's "unfair". But I'm an anarchist, so I declare war.

"..is the stigma I experience only 'a spook'..?"

I like the way that Dragonowl puts in in that article from last year:

"..Systems of oppression based on gender, race, and so on are sociologically real, but ultimately rest on other people imposing a particular spectre - treating another person not as a unique one, but as an instance of X..”

X could of course include 'disability'. People could abuse, pander to, or patronise a person based on their disability, or they could see them as a unique person.

I had a friend with severe spina bifida who projected such a great unique presence that friends who hung around with him did not see him as 'disabled'. And despite any disadvantage he had with lack of mobility, etc., he was easily the greatest illustrator I've ever seen. If you've ever looked in a wildlife book and seen black and white drawings so lifelike that they could almost be photos, chances are you've seen his work.

Again, I think this relates to what I was saying before about how when you get to know someone, most people can move past the 'identity'. What I'd like to see is a minimisation, perhaps even an eradication, of the concept in the first place.

I remember when I took some other friends to my friend's house to play D&D with him, I briefly considered telling them "he is disabled", but after a few seconds, I just thought "I hope they get on with him as well as I do", and that thought completely eclipsed my brief moment of weakness.

I think the more that people disadvantaged (by people imposing the spectre) focus on the ostensible reason (often not the real reason) that they are being oppressed and marginalised, the longer those oppressions will endure.

We should, as much as possible, support all those we care about to improve their esteem, and make them feel loved and valued, regardless of their strengths and hindrances.

You missed the point. Your disabled friend isn't the point and you and your friend's attempts to treat him equitably isn't the point although the sentiments are commendable enough (still a bit condascending).

The point is you have no control over everyone else and whether or not they stigmatize him (some people inevitably will). The fact that these people's shitty attitudes are simply in their heads doesn't change the fact that some of them will directly affect his life in tangible ways. That has nothing to do with his own perception of himself, it's the external world and the other individuals which you can't control. That's why identity is as real as the people who stigmatize, you can't eliminate them so there's little comfort in telling disabled folks that identity is a "spook". It's a moot point.

I really don't know what you're saying.

Are you actually saying that it is not possible to change some people's minds?

If arguing with people on this website isn't enough to convince you that there's no changing some peoples minds, then nothing will.

No ... I'm saying the world is a big place and your opinions are small. I'm a disabled person who's encountered all different flavours of bias in regards to my disability. Some people are gems and truly don't care, others try too hard to seem considerate and many are just ... shitty. I only develop relationships with a tiny fraction of these people but many of them stigmatized me. The easiest example to understand is trying to get a job but there's many others.

A disabled person is many times more likely to be poor as fuck because they're viewed as undesirable workers. This is an economic reality that has nothing to do with their "attitude" or their perception of their own identity but it can be understood through the lens of identity. You dig?

I'm all for more intelligent conversations. I just want to know what's in it for me - aside from more race-baiting PC guilt trips, that is.

Well … I was attempting to explain why identity was valuable to me. So, a powerful set of tools to differentiate between my own failings (I didn't figure out how to be on time for stuff until my late 20s, for example) and the shitty attitudes of other people in decision-making roles that automatically end up screwing me over … that was extremely valuable to me.

For a person who doesn't need to spend much time analyzing whether they're being held down by other people's shit-headedness, I guess they should recognize the utility of a tool, regardless of whether they need it.

Do you go up to a carpenter and start arguing that hammers are stupid and pointless, just cause you're not a carpenter?

Except that your identity doesn't exist. It's not a fixed thing, it can't be located anywhere or as anything (by you or anyone else) and your insistence that it can be anything other than constant flux is an assertion that has historically led to all manner of hierarchical violence.

Doesn't exist like a fucking rock does or what?! I know that ... I swear some people are just drinking this egoist kool aid and they drone on, sounding like an ass while utterly convinced they have some special insight, it's ridiculous.

The point is, identity is "real" for as long as there's one person left who judges people by their biases around identity, relative to that persons ability to screw other people over.

(Or are you just trolling?)

A "fucking rock" is not even a thing. It's the image of a concept that is in your head. If we ever meet and you show me, in the real, this "fucking rock", I will see a thing, that is indeed called "a rock". In English.

But if you go to some backward place in Russia where no one speaks English and tell someone about a "fucking rock" they'll just look up and down at you, say a sentence in rude, incomprehensible slavic speech, and walk away.

TLDR: Identity is a cultural construct, expressed through language. Symbols, representations, names, concepts and all that.

Your identity can be only defined as a unique persona or individual. Beyond that, this is all social referents.

Pedantic and pointless. Anybody who's reading at a highschool level already understands this. Do you really think you're contributing here? The distinction you're either failing to grasp or trolling on is a political one.

I've he'd made the same point using ebonics, would it then have been less objectionable to you?

… .. … no?

Why not? Ebonics are as non-pedantic as you can get. I would have thought you'd be all over that.

Word to yo motha!

"Identity" is a very broad term. In what sense are you using it? Are you referring to your identity as an individual or as a member of a particular group? Even inanimate objects such as rocks or toaster ovens have "identities," so I just want to clarify what exactly we're talking about here.

Just FYI, above post is mine.

I haven't a desire to wade too much into this, especially considering how long it's taken me to get around to checking this out but still it's still going on apparently I want to respond to a couple of the sentiments expressed in your post and some of the ones following it to clarify.

"two white dudes agreeing that identity is no big deal, and if only people would stop talking about it...
without even the humility to acknowledge their own possible blinders."

I'll just chime in to say that I was not saying that identity is no big deal. I was saying that identity is a spook that imposes something upon my uniqueness, a certain homogenizing spirit that I am opposed to. If you find use out of that, so be it, I do not.

I feel as if I explained fairly well (but perhaps this was lost on you) that identity is not no big deal as concerns the way we live in this world. It doesn't matter how I identify or not, society imposes an identity upon me that is inescapable in any permanent way (doesn't mean that I'm not going to resist it in whatever way I can though). The fact that I am going to be perceived as particular racial and gender identities by this society (and you moronically enough considering you don't fucking know me but apparently think you do enough by listening to my podcast to impose all of these stupid identities upon me) is not going to go away just by the fact that I don't think identity has use, and the potential benefits, privileges, or lack thereof that will come from society identifying me in any particular way (whether that be class, racial, gender, or whatever particular identity it wants to impose) is very real unfortunately. I was exploring this within the context of living in a world that sees identity as a real thing when it's not. And I was exploring it as someone who is familiar with it both as having "privileges" bestowed upon me as a result of perceived identities as well as having received a lot of bullshit and been in dangerous situations for identities that have been bestowed upon me and hating both. It doesn't matter how the fuck I've identified in either situation, the results have been the results and I'm not seen as me (similar to what you've done after listening to a 90 minute fucking podcast of me and a friend talking).

"to have any credibility at all you could've started out with a) things you've read on the topic (besides pieces by other white dudes), b) conversations you've had with people who disagreed with you, and/or c) just the idea that you're both coming from a particular place that doesn't give you as a duo much to bounce off of (or at least nothing that you talked about)."

To have any credibility to you, perhaps. I don't need your validation for my project though. And again the highlighting of the "white dudes", do you know who all the people are who we mentioned to know whether they fit into the *right* identity categories or not? This is so incredibly fucking stupid and it supports so much of what I was criticizing in the podcast that was apparently lost on you since you were busy hating me for being a "white dude".

"identity deserves smarter conversations. goddamit."

Then go fucking have it and post it. I never laid claim to having the most perfect conversation on identity ever to exist a

Is it not true that nearly everyone has multiple identities? Just thought I would ask.Is there a difference between Identity and Identity Politics? And what are the relationships between them?

Is it not true that nearly everyone has multiple identities?

Yes, I think that's absolutely true. And, to push this line of thought even further, I would add that, if you're going to speak of these "multiple identities" as constituent elements of "a Self," it is important to clarify that neither these elements nor the Self that they constitute are ever fully constituted "from the beginning." The very act of becoming an individual within a given social context implies that I am always-already in the process of drawing together the various aspects of myself in order to create who I am. This means that my very ability to speak of myself as a Self is always an open-ended project.

Is there a difference between Identity and Identity Politics? And what are the relationships between them?

That's a little more difficult to answer because "Identity Politics" as typically understood by both its sympathizers and its detractors is usually understood to deal exclusively (or primarily) with collective rather than individual identities (e.g., ethnic minorities, women, gays, etc.) To the limited extent that "the Individual" is taken into account at all, it is usually as an empty vessel to be filled up by service to "the Cause" of collective emancipation. Granted, it isn't possible to completely cut oneself off from one's environment and say, "everything that makes me who I am is wholly internal to myself while other people - as well as social, economic, and political institutions - are wholly external." Because the very nature of becoming an individual means affirming myself as multiple, I will, by implication, have to confront the fact that I have various social as well as psychological personae that I act out on a daily basis with varying degrees of consciousness and unconsciousness. While I am not going to offer a fixed definition of "identity politics" than can either be accepted or rejected for now and for all time, I will say this: any version of identity politics that essentializes group identity rather than seeing it as one emergent property of multiple individuals engaged in their own respective processes of self-creation is not worth pursuing.

Identity politics is only when you do politics out of some identity. As in politizing one aspect of you, which makes this schizophrenic division of your reified self from yourself. I think Left-wing and Right-wing IP are very similar if not identical to that regards. They are all serving one form or another of social agency and political subjectivation.

which is mostly how they were using the term. and just that one meaning is plenty confusing enough without getting into personal identity, etc (although obviously there is relevant overlap between how we see ourselves and how others see us).
the fact that a brit is trying to have a conversation on racial identity for a u.s. audience is problem number one, as far as i'm concerned. race is obviously an issue in the uk, but it's a very different cultural scene there and here.
two, the comment what does skin color have to do with what someone says is mind boggling stupid. no offense. the point of white guys not being sensitive to how racial identity (for example) is significant has to do precisely because white men are the cultural default in the social imagination. the fact that you'd like to just have race be one of those things to ignore is ignoring the tools (as someone above referenced) that people have learned to use to defend themselves. i'm *not* saying that those tools are the best, i'd really like to have way better ones myself, but to take away the shoe someone is using as a hammer, while they still need to pound a nail, isn't helpful.
readings you could do: what are you really, by charles mills, is great about race. but it depends on what lens you want to take on identity. there is a ton of stuff on gender, sexism, race, disability, fat, etc and it's not that hard to find stuff that is not just leftist whining. any of them have something to say about the significance of having other people define you, and how that is not easy or simple to move beyond. and about how banding together may have limited usefulness, but it can still be an essential step in figuring out yourself, and thirdly how fucking boring it is to have people who don't have these problems dismiss them as mistakes of understanding.
i should never have listened to this podcast/episode. not one bit of humility or even open mindedness as far as i can tell.

"identity as in political identity which is mostly how they were using the term. and just that one meaning is plenty confusing enough without getting into personal identity, etc (although obviously there is relevant overlap between how we see ourselves and how others see us)."

THat is completely false. We explored political identity as one aspect of identity.

"the fact that a brit is trying to have a conversation on racial identity for a u.s. audience is problem number one, as far as i'm concerned. race is obviously an issue in the uk, but it's a very different cultural scene there and here."

My co-host has spoken for themselves but I'll just point out that this isn't a conversation for an audience that is based upon any particular geographical region.

"the point of white guys not being sensitive to how racial identity (for example) is significant has to do precisely because white men are the cultural default in the social imagination. the fact that you'd like to just have race be one of those things to ignore is ignoring the tools (as someone above referenced) that people have learned to use to defend themselves. "

Yeah, and democratic methods (voting, petitioning, etc) have also been one of those methods that people have used that I would critique. So that's a stupid point. Just because it's a tool that people have used to defend themselves doesn't mean that I have to see it as a valuable tool. Are you telling me you wouldn't want race to just be ignored? Would you prefer to have it continue to exist? That I continue to see you as a particular racial category or gender category rather than just as *you*, whoever you are? I don't wish to reinforce social constructs as some sort of identity category and I wish to explore ways to subvert that. That isn't to pretend that identiy doesn't exist, as explained above, it does, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to respect it or find use out of it. If you do, that's your problem, I'm not telling you what to do, I'm not saying this is *right* for the *people*. I'm saying that this is what *I* think, and that *I* find use out of these ideas.

"i'm *not* saying that those tools are the best, i'd really like to have way better ones myself, but to take away the shoe someone is using as a hammer, while they still need to pound a nail, isn't helpful."

You're right, lets just go vote for Hillary then and just accept the limited tools we have.

"readings you could do....it's not that hard to find stuff that is not just leftist whining. any of them have something to say about the significance of having other people define you, and how that is not easy or simple to move beyond. and about how banding together may have limited usefulness, but it can still be an essential step in figuring out yourself, and thirdly how fucking boring it is to have people who don't have these problems dismiss them as mistakes of understanding."

Have what problems? The problems of identity being imposed? The problems of dealing with bullshit from those identities being imposed? I love nothing more than how random anonymous anews trolls love to automatically lecture me about things based upon me posting a podcast on identity. Again, you don't know me. I do deal with shit over identity being imposed, and I gain what people would say are "privileges" from other identities being imposed upon me. Maybe this came through in the show, maybe it didn't, but I don't feel like I need to lay claim to some identity as a victim in order to be able to critique it, nor do I feel like I need to go through all the proper steps of explaining every fucking detail about my life in order to gain validation of talking about identity. Nor do I need read anybody to "figure out myself", if you do, I pity you.

"i should never have listened to this podcast/episode. not one bit of humility or even open mindedness as far as i can tell."

Maybe you're lack of "open mindedness" caused you to make assumptions about me that got in the way of your ability to actually listen to my podcast. Your imposition of particular identity categories onto me created a block towards being able to get anything out of this show apparently. Again, more of what I was critical of in this episode.

"the fact that a brit is trying to have a conversation on racial identity for a u.s. audience is problem number one, as far as i'm concerned. race is obviously an issue in the uk, but it's a very different cultural scene there and here."

What on earth are you on about? I've travelled all over the world and even have non-white people in my family. What are you actually trying to say? And how are you going to justify it? Based on what? Your total lack of knowledge for who I am? Mania.

EDIT: Furthermore, it is really insulting to non-white people in the inner cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester for you to heavily suggest that they don't face the same types of challenges as folk in the US.

they explicitly didn't say "worse than" but "different from." and i have to gree, you're sure not open to critical feedback.

I didn't say "worse than" either.

I'm open to critical feedback, but making assumptions about me, and making incorrect generalisations about the experiences of black people in the USA vs. black people in the UK, has absolutely nothing to do with the podcast.

A person who wants to say that these experiences are different has to demonstrate HOW they are different, and then, to make some kind of criticism of me based on the fact that I misunderstand this difference, they need to further demonstrate how what I said shows this understanding.

I repeat: I have black people in my family and have lived all over the world. I am not ignorant. I have seen a lot of these problems first hand.

Fuck identity other than personal. Also fuck identities related to fucking. Everyone can fuck with whoever they like as far as consent goes, and fucking is a personal and interpersonal thing, not a political and public thing. I hate to see couples getting high on love delusions together, but that's their thing.

Fuck identity other than personal. Also fuck identities related to fucking. Everyone can fuck with whoever they like as far as consent goes, and fucking is a personal and interpersonal thing, not a political and public thing. I hate to see couples getting high on love delusions together, but that's their thing. So fuck also identity based on sexual preference, and all the ganging up and cliques built through it. Gays are no better than cis, cis no better than lesbos.

Plus there are no gays, cis and lesbos... it's all fucking social construct, once again. And worse.... you may be co-constructing it BENEVOLENTLY, without anything in return. This, also is "social work", ever noticed? If this society pays you back, well good for ya, citizen! But if it doesn't, why bother working for it?

"Fuck this shit!!!"

so the Lord said!

Society makes us divided into coldly hermetic bubbles, so STOP FUCKING REPRODUCING IT, you robotic reifiers of order! We don't need the popo when we have you, here and abroad.

different language architectures handle 'definitions' [identities] in different ways.

in timeless (relational) language-and-grammar architectures, there is only 'now' and the 'defining' of forms is purely relational or 'situational'. in language architectures which employ 'time' as in past, present future, one can associate 'intention' with a visible form, which gives rise to the concept of 'destination' and not just 'voyage' as is all there is in a transforming-in-the-now relational continuum [the place one is headed for is not the same when one gets there and neither is the voyager the same voyager; i.e. inhabitant and habitat is a non-duality].

so the question of identity can be seen in terms of whether a person puts a 'harmonious voyage orientation' ahead of or behind a 'destination attainment orientation' [situationism over intentionism or vice versa],

psychologists have explored which is the dominant force in an 'individual' between 'situationism' and 'intentionism'; i.e. most Western people feel as if they have within them a set of moral principles that they 'intend to be faithful to' regardless of the 'situations' they find themselves in [this is a form of 'identity']. Milgram's and Zimbardo's experiments (respect for authority / guards and prisoners) suggest that situationism prevails over intentionism [the orientation to cultivating and sustaining balance and harmony within unpredictable unfolding situations naturally prevails over one's internally driven/directed intention-result orientation]. in other words, we are 'chameleons' at the base of it, with situationally actualized identity, rather than internally-sourced identity. [Lamarck prevails over Darwin].

The issue of 'what is real' pops up here or rather 'what one regards as real'. in the relational view, 'identity' is inductively actualized and shape by situation. in the being-based view, 'identity' is given by internal traits and intentions.

For the indigenous anarchist and his relational language, 'being' does not 'exist' ('be') and thus 'identity' is indefinitely deferred within the transforming relational continuum. his ethic is to cultivate relational balance and harmony within the transforming relational continuum, thus his balancing act is 'who he is', he is not a 'thing-in-itself' definable by local properties, internal components, processes and 'intentions'.

in a relational language based culture, one's identity is fluid; i.e. it is one's unique cosmic fetalizing, the complex of relations of one's situational inclusion and there is no local being-self that can be defined by common properties based categorization, as in the 'being-based' Western culture.

'Identity politics' only occurs in cultures with being-based (noun-and-verb) languages where we create local being by measuring the local properties of an intrinsically non-dual form, as we do with the hurricane, reducing it to a local system involving circulating winds, pressures, condensations etc. Once these common property measurements are available to define it as a local thing in itself [removing its nonlocal roots in the 'One'], we can compare all these local common-property defined entities against one another and assign relative 'identities' to them.

One of the properties is 'output' or 'production of product' and since Western moral judgement based justice imputes full and sole authorship to the entity as a local thing-in-itself, the notion of a 'superior producer' arises even though the thing is really a relational activity in which input and output are channeling through [the 'producer-product output' is a sink and source circulation and there is no local 'fountainhead' that is fully and solely responsible for the output]. being-based language thus creates notional local doer-deed achievers out of relational forms, and this is where common property based categories come from which source 'identities' that become political footballs in 'identity politics'. these being-based language-defined local things-in-themselves DO NOT EXIST IN THE PHYSICAL REALITY OF OUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE; e.g. they do not exist in the relational language of indigenous aboriginal cultures. in those cultures, the individual 'is' his cosmic fetalizing and to get to know him, one has to get acquainted with his web of relations with the world around him, that he is situationally included in.

some 'conclusions';

1. identity as a local thing-in-itself 'knowable' by its common property defined 'category' is an artefact of being-based language and being-based culture.

2. only by believing in the existence of 'local things-in-themselves' [artefacts of noun-and-verb language and cultural belief traditions] can we infer differing value [superior or inferior] to differing categories.

3. categories imply local things-in-themselves knowable by their own common properties. they do not exist in a transforming relational continuum.

4. Western belief in local categories of things-in-themselves knowable by their 'common properties' is nonsense. attributing their 'productive actions' fully and solely to these local things-in-themselves is compounding the nonsense.

5. Ranking the relative value of categories [whites relative to blacks, males relative to females etc.] is more compounding of nonsense.

6. The 'sensible' response to 'unfair value ranking of different categories' is not to lobby for the new value rankings [e.g. 'black lives matter'], but to dispute the imputed 'reality' of categories of local, independent-existing things-in-themselves knowable by their 'common properties' [out of the context of their cosmic fetalizing; i.e. their situational inclusion within an unfolding relational complex].

7. wolf, rodent, indigenous human, colonizer human and whale are INTERdependent relational forms within a transforming relational continuum; i.e. they are MUTUALLY DEFINING relational forms [i.e. their 'individual identity' is indefinitely deferred within the relational flow-continuum].

“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach

8. 'histories' of notional 'things-in-themselves' are a means of defining 'identity' of a notional thing-in-itself. as has been pointed out by howard zinn and others, 'histories' are entirely subjective and the dualist self-other form of histories of 'things-in-themselves' belies the reality of relational flux wherein inhabitant and habitat are a non-duality.

9. there are many who feel that the current relational social dynamic is dysfunctional and needs to be restored to a more harmonious and balanced condition.

for the relational language/culture, this means letting oneself better serve the cultivating and sustaining of balance and harmony within the transforming-in-the-now relational continuum that one is situationally included.

for the being-based language/culture, this means to launch one's thing-in-itself being into cause-effect actions that will determine/construct a more desirable future state of affairs.

* * *

in the relational view, where, as Heraclitus says; 'it is wise to agree that all things are one', it makes sense to say 'all lives matter', but it is nonsense to say; "black lives matter just as much as white lives" or "female lives matter just as much as male lives" since it is impossible to define individual categories-in-themselves in a world wherein;

“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach

thus, issues of identity and definition are artefacts of language and culture. more specifically, 'categories' of local things-in-themselves defined by their common properties DO NOT EXIST IN THE PHYSICAL REALITY OF OUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE; i.e. they do not exist outside of the built-in idealized assumptions of noun-and-verb language-and-grammar.

We live our lives in a relational world expressed as situational events. These events emerge as manifestations
of happenings. Happenings occur as the en-folding of situational contours of space-time. They indicate
the actualization of virtual potentialities that inhere in the formation of multiplicities of essences of "thisness"
characterize the notation of disturbance, temporarily concocted. They have attributes of significance, elements of the
geo-physical , elaborated with intensities. Situation are unique, exquisite, and ex-citing. When they imply creative
combinations of discordant compositions, they throw-off amazing, shall we say, innovative force fields of sublime beauty.
this explains why disjunctive disruptions can emanate such surprising affects, percepts and then, concepts; as well as activities that describe new ways of connecting with each other in fascinating ways.This is a time-continuum . Moments of grace, the religious might say; what we here call here
an eruption of freedom and authenticity, without Masters or Borders, nor limited by Definition, Explanation, nor Justification-
just the way we do those things that we do as a matter of course, without Intent but with much vigor. And with agonizing yet
thrilling > anticipation.

Hey "lone raven", you focused on the least interesting part of that persons criticism. The good part is where they're like "seriously? You don't see how dismissing racial identity as insignificant relates to you being a white guy?"

Plus you keep mentioning how you have POC friends/family and earlier you brought up your disabled friend too, in context with how you don't get why it matters that he's identified or identifies as disabled.

Maybe you should reframe from "identity doesn't matter" to "I clearly don't understand why identity matters".

Mattering must have a referent. Note that I have repeatedly said that these concepts are "sociologically real", as Dragonowl put it, but only as long as people invest their energy in them.

Your obsession with me being "white" ignores the fact that in some of the countries I've lived, this made me a second class citizen, so I'm not ignorant as to what it is like to be on the receiving end of prejudice and abuse. In parts of East London I have also been the victim of people projecting a spectre onto me.

In a black and white world where something is all good or all bad, where a person is all-knowing or all-ignorant, where someone is all-privileged or all-disenfranchised, maybe I could get where you are coming from, but seriously, when you keep returning to this claim that I "don't understand why identity matters" you are 100% wrong.

I understand WHY it matters to some people. I understand why it doesn't matter to others. And the division is NOT along race lines like you people besotted with IP want it to be. My sister's husband, who is from Lamu, is completely unconcerned with the kind of spectres IP want him to base his life around. He has been the victim of anti-Muslim hatred from the Maasai and the Kikuyu. He has been the victim of 'soft racism' in his former workplace, in a part of London entirely controlled at that level of politics by Bengalis.

But his viewpoint remains the same as mine, that 'race' is all just completely unnecessary thinking.

You want to pretend that all white people don't (and can't) 'get it', unless they subscribe to IP? You want to pretend that all 'POC' love IP and totally want it? You want to pretend that this isn't actually about possession of spectres and all the kind of followship that Dragonowl so brilliantly described?

Then write a full-length response to Dragonowl's piece and show where the logic of the argument breaks down.

So yes, seriously, advocating a non-identitarian perspective is not something that only Nords like me can engage in.

Maybe you should reframe from "identity matters" to asking "whom does it matter to, and why?"

Mattering MUST have a referent.

Would you accept arguments that say "The state matters" - "The market matters" - "Law and order matters" ?

Western man, as in Western religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism), portrays humans as independently existing material beings with free will who are the full and sole jumpstart authors of their own actions. These actions are deemed EITHER 'good' OR 'bad' and Western society has constructed an 'action management [rewards and punishments] system' or 'justice system' that protects the freedom to author 'good' actions [or 'not-bad' actions] and that punishes and suppresses the authoring of 'bad' actions.

Western society has developed a secular version of this values-based management system based on the notional 'independent existence' of language-defined entities [humans, states, corporations], which is where 'identity' comes from, endowing them not only with notional 'independent existence' but with the 'rights' to own and amass property in the free 'pursuit of happiness' [as if, according to the secularized theological belief system called 'science', inhabitants exercising such rights to build their own accumulations of property, are 'independent' of the habitat in which they share inclusion; i.e. as if the amassing of huge amounts of property by the few does not prejudice the 'making a living' efforts of the many.]

“Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts. Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility ... This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.” – Vatican Archives, The Catholic Catechism.

By a strange coincidence, the common properties that we measure, which are the basis of defining 'identities' of races, ... changed radically during the era of colonization when the colonizers appropriated the lands of the colonized. The common properties related to the productive capabilities of the colonizing race shot up relative to the productive capabilities of the colonized races, which went into free fall and have stayed that way.

The attributes of the colonized races [inhabitants that are independent of the habitat, as Western science makes clear], now that Western scientists have ready access to measuring them through colonization, feature relative incompetence [as compared to the colonizing races] in the basics of survival and prosperity and also expose a weakness of being more prone to depression and alcohol addiction. The colonized races are so inferior in their basic productive competencies that they have become 'the white man's burden'. This has become apparent as colonization has juxtaposed the colonizing and colonized races, side-by-side and measured their common properties [IDENTIFIED AND CATEGORIZED THEM] relative to a notional absolute space and absolute time measuring/reference frame.

"Identity matters' because it is the basis on which we 'identify' "... the free and independent 'individual' whose ... deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility ... [are] ... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach". and it is on this basis that 'rights and rewards are awarded' and 'offenses and punishments are administered'.

can you imagine a society wherein the social relational dynamics were not simply accounted for by attributing them to 'free beings' wherein "Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility"? [e.g. a society that acknowledged the over-riding importance of inhabitant-habitat relations].

how could we properly 'identify' so as to reward, the colonizer-landlord for his deliberate actions on [his] own responsibility' that are producing tons of apples?, and by the same token, how could we properly 'identify' so as to punish, the colonized-indigenous aboriginal for his deliberate actions on [his] own responsibility' of stealing apples from land which he does not own, which by legal declaration, belongs to colonizers?

the 'identity' of a man is given by the record of the "deliberate actions on his own responsibility" which are "... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach."

Who are 'indians'? We know they are 'independent beings' that are fully and solely responsible for their own behaviour and we know that they are, in general, 'incompetents' or inferior producers [how many indians own 10,000 acre ranches, like members of the colonizing races do?] who are prone to depression and alcoholism and child and spousal abuse. We came to America and these are the people that we found here. Their identity is not very attractive, and they are a burden on all of us who 'identify' among the superior performing colonizer races.

What can we say about 'identity' generally?

First of all, it is a 'pragmatic idealization' that does not exist in the physical reality our actual experience in a transforming relational continuum [where 'everything is in flux'].

Secondly, we live in a culture with a language [language=culture] that reduces the relational dynamics of nature to the notion terms of 'the actions of independent things-in-themselves', and it is the 'tracking' of these notional 'things-in-themselves' like 'Katrina' the storm-cell [it looks like she is a persisting thing-in-herself even through she is a relational form in a transforming relational continuum who is 'not stepping into the same flow/river twice because it is not the same flow/river and she is not the same cell that is stepping into it (she is a reciprocal complementarity or inhabitant-habitat non-dual flow-feature).

Noun-and-verb language and culture is where 'identity' is manufactured, and 'identity' can be fleshed out by inventing 'categories' defined by the measuring of 'common properties' [all those things with vaginas being one category and so on]. 'Identity' is fashioned no only from an inventory of 'common properties' to serve the development of identity as built up from general to particular [larger or smaller vagina etc.] but from each 'independent being-thing-in-itself' having a 'log book' which tracks its notional " ... deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility ... [which are] ... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach".

Thus, the 'identity' that is filed under the name 'Bill Cosby' evolves with the accumulating record of his "deliberate actions on his own responsibility [which are] the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach"

hence, in response to issues such as;

"Maybe you should reframe from "identity doesn't matter" to "I clearly don't understand why identity matters".

and,

Why does identity matter? Maybe you should reframe from "identity matters" to asking "whom does it matter to, and why?"

one could say that Western society uses noun-and-verb language-and-grammar to invent 'identity' and attach it to 'relational forms in the transforming relational continuum, as with 'Katrina', a storm-cell in the continuing flux. there are no grounds in the physical reality of our actual experience for 'beings' with 'persisting identity', only in our noun-and-verb based 'semantic reality' that we construct by assigning 'names' to relational forms. imputing persisting being to relational forms is 'pragmatic idealization' that facilitates our arranging and organizing our observations. this 'pragmatic idealization' is unfortunately too often confused for 'reality' [our understanding is too often bewitched by language]

why does identity matter, and to whom does it matter?

Western society reduces relational dynamics [wherein 'relations' are the basis of things rather than vice versa] to notional terms of 'what independently-existing things-in-themselves do', assigning 'identity' to relational forms seen as notional 'things-in-themselves', and then making the actions of these notional 'things-in-themselves with persisting identities', "the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach".

practically speaking, how the Western social collective assigns praise or blame, merit or reproach', ... 'matters'. since if it 'matters to the Western social collective', it 'matters to the individual' whose actions are being 'assessed' by the social collective. [I include the adjective 'Western' since cultures other than the Western culture; i.e. those with relational languages, do not reduce dynamics to terms of 'what local material independent material entities/beings do' so they do not employ 'identities' and neither do they manufacture concepts [semantic realities] such as "deliberate actions on his own responsibility" which are "... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach." ]

Identities matter because they are, in Western society, the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach."

In cultures with relational languages, there is no reduction of dynamics to notional causally determined results manufactured by independently-existing material entities with persisting identities. Thus, in these cultures, if you are a ghetto kid who the community is treating like shit which inductively actualizes your venting of violent actions, there is no invoking of this notion of "deliberate actions on your own responsibility" which are "... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.". instead, the assumption is that you are the vent for relational tensions that the entire community is contributing to ["it takes a whole community to raise a terrorist, rapist, rebel, criminal, schizophrenic"].

[Instead of portraying 'genetic expression' (aka 'material dynamics in the void') as the primary reality, relational cultures acknowledge 'genetic expression' as being the shadow of the primary (field-before-matter) physical reality wherein epigenetic influence is inductively actualizing, orchestrating and shaping genetic expression].

Western culture communities stand out for 'scapegoating' the 'venters' who vent 'relational tensions' that arise from imbalances in the community dynamic, so as to be able to perpetuate, with impunity, imbalances [in wealth and privilege] that give rise to relational tensions that induce venting by 'rebels' seeking to reconfigure relations so as to relieve those tensions [e.g. the inductive actualizing of 'robin hood activity'].

Thus, even if one is a non-believer in the identity-politics that are built into Western culture, 'identity still matters' because one will be 'scapegoated' by the community if one protests the perpetuating of imbalances and the relational tensions that associate with them.

In other words, so long as one is living in a Western culture community, one's 'identity', which is assigned by the community on the basis of observing you as if you are a 'thing-in-itself' like 'Katrina the storm-cell' and thus seen to be fully and solely responsible for your own actions, will be the basis on which you are rewarded and punished.

Even in the case where colonizing peoples (aka races) appropriate all the land of the colonized peoples (races) and become rich and fat on it while the colonized peoples become beggars and thieves, ... thanks to the idealized concept of 'thing-in-itself' based 'identity', the 'thieving' will be seen as being the full and sole responsibility of the 'thief'. This is because the independent 'identity' of relational forms is manufactured by imposing a notional absolute space and absolute time reference frame to substitute for the transforming relational continuum which is the source of relational forms. Science owes its clarity and logical certainty to foundational assumptions including the following reduction of the dynamic relational continuum to terms of 'what things-in-themselves with persisting 'identity' do over 'time';

"instead of embracing in its entirety the progressive development of a phenomenon, we simply try to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding. We admit that the present state of the world only depends on the immediate past, without being directly influenced, so to speak, by the recollection of a more distant past. " — Henri Poincaré, ‘Science and Hypothesis’, Chapter IX, Hypotheses in Physics”

That's how 'thing-in-itself identity' is manufactured [we forget about how the colonizing races 'stole all the land' when we are prosecuting the colonized man for stealing an apple; i.e. "instead of embracing in its entirety the progressive development of a phenomenon, we simply try to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding."

Of course, in the physical reality of our actual [relational] experience, "The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants" -- Mach's principle

in other words, the colonizers transformed the inhabitant-habitat relations, inhibiting colonized peoples access to essential resources of the common habitat, and facilitating colonizer peoples access to essential resources of the common habitat, conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants so that the colonizer peoples manifested 'superior performance' while the colonized peoples manifested 'inferior performance', and in a semantic reality featuring 'material entities operating in a space where void is notionally substituted for relational space', performance can derive from only one source; "deliberate actions on your own responsibility" which are "... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach."

So long as society sustains belief in 'thing-in-itself identity' [human, race, nation, corporation] and makes these 'identities' the 'subject' of 'deliberate actions on their own responsibility' ... the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach',, we are fucked.

that is why indigenous anarchists such as Taaiake Alfred [Peace, Power and RIghteousness] establish as a first priority "undermining the intellectual premises of colonialism" since those 'intellectual premises' scapegoat the natural rebels whose violent ventings derive from the relational tensions associated with 'have' --- 'have-not' imbalances, by imposing on them 'things-in-themselves' identities which are fully and solely responsible for their own actions, denying that their actions are 'ventings' from relational tensions associated with imbalances; i.e. denying that "it takes a whole community to raise a rebel, criminal, terrorist, rapist, schizophrenic/bipolar/depressive". In other words, inhabitant and habitat are a non-duality, they are not a duality wherein the inhabitant resides, operates and interacts in a habitat that is independent of the inhabitants that reside within it. likewise, matter and field are a non-duality, they are not a duality wherein material entities reside, operate and interact in a space that is independent of the material entities that reside within it.

“1. Purely mechanical phenomena do not exist. The production of mutual accelerations in masses is, to all appearances, a purely dynamical phenomenon. But with these dynamical results are always associated thermal, magnetic, electrical, and chemical phenomena, and the former are always modified in proportion as the latter are asserted. On the other hand, thermal, magnetic, electrical, and chemical conditions also can produce motions. Purely mechanical phenomena, accordingly, are abstractions, made, either intentionally or from necessity, for facilitating our comprehension of things. The same thing is true of the other classes of physical phenomena. Every event belongs, in a strict sense, to all the departments of physics, the latter being separated only by an artificial classification, which is partly conventional, partly physiological, and partly historical.
.
2. The view that makes mechanics the basis of the remaining branches of physics, and explains all physical phenomena by mechanical ideas, is in our judgment a prejudice. Knowledge which is historically first, is not necessarily the foundation of all that is subsequently gained.” – Ernst Mach, ‘The Science of Mechanics: A Critical and Historical Account of Its Development’, Chapter V, ‘The Relations of Mechanics to Other Departments of Knowledge (Physiology)’

The Western worldview is a purely mechanical worldview. That is where 'identity' comes from; i.e. the subject-verb-predicate constructs that are used to fabricate a 'semantic reality' that is purely mechanical. employing it as our 'operative reality' doesn't work. It clashes with the physical reality of our actual experience and is inherently dysfunctional, but it continues to be the dominating 'operative reality' that we know as 'Western society'.

cf. my 9/10 response to your post of 9/7. Thanx-
The key management systems currently include
Patriarchy via Misogyny, Signification of Color via White Power, Displacement via Forced removal and dispersal of our world's
peoples, impeding solidarities, in a "climate" of the Mega-Machine via technological and communicative control Technics.
we must encourage understanding of these key features so as to undermine, disengage-from, and otherwise do away with
this Regime of Power Relations. Sites like this allow us to expose these "issues" and to lay the ground work to explore
openings to other ways ,other paths, other tactics, other signs which validate our self-respect and promote mutual aid. This will fosters to explore new methods, new
styles, new insights and new tactics as to our abilities to interact creatively with one another. Experimenting with new designs for the new peoples
that we desire to-be. New worlds for new peoples- like us, and those others of our brethren > out there.

Abandoning "identity" as a concept is only going to be as useful as the downsides of "identity" are products of your own mind. If you don't dance because you're white and under the impression that "white people can't dance", then that's something you could theoretically escape by abandoning your identity. On the other hand, if you're black and worried that you're gonna be shot dead by cops on your way home from school, not identifying as "black" isn't going to help you much, and in a lot of ways will probably make things worse (you'll take less precautions and it's gonna be a lot harder to talk about your plight publicly, etc).

Yeah … this has been explained repeatedly to this mouthpiece now. I tried pretty hard with the disability argument because he seems pretty entrenched on the topic of race but I'm starting to think he's a bit dense? The distinction is between the stuff that relates to your own attitudes and perceptions versus the reality of other people's biases in the external world and their ability to fuck you over. I can't really simplify it any more than that …

Fine. I'm dense. Tell yourself whatever you want, if you really can't bring yourself to understand why someone might hear all the arguments you're mentioning and STILL come to a different conclusion from you. I'm not the only one that might be seen as repetitive here, though. I don't know how any times I've said that I realise that peoples' experiences of oppression according to identity categories are sociologically real - as per "the reality of other people's biases in the external world and their ability to fuck you over". I've experienced that in my own life.

But the point I've made repeatedly is that this 'reality' is entirely dependent on spectres. These biases and 'fucking over' come from the other person's possession. So what you're saying equates to "People with 'identity' don't want to dispossess their selves because it won't change how other people treat them".

Exactly. So you can remained possessed, and the victim of other's oppression. Or you can be dispossessed and be the victim. But the latter is surely preferable to any thinking individual because at least they no longer wander down blind alleys of their own cognition because they've been led astray by spectres. They no longer make the mistake of pigenholing their self, restricting their own thought in any way.

As you said yourself, "I can't really simplify it any more than that".

Oppression of 'identities', felt by individuals, depends on the possession of the victim and the oppressor. That the oppressor may have too much at stake to change their mind DOES NOT mean that the victim needs to labour under a delusion as well.

Entrenched huh?

I'll make it easy for you. Give me a working list of all races, and we'll take it from there, OK?

noun-and-verb language-and-grammar constructs 'identity-based semantic realities'.

for example, statements like the following imply the 'existence' of 'things-in-themselves';

"the experiences of black people in the USA vs. black people in the UK, has absolutely nothing to do with the podcast."

do 'black people exist' and do 'white people exist' as implied in that statement?

"“The fact of the matter is that the ‘real world’ is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group . . . We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation.” – Edward Sapir

in relational languages, there are no 'beings' and thus nothing to anchor 'identity' to, and nothing to impute 'subjecthood' and 'local jumpstart authorship' to, there are only relational activity to such as 'dances with wolves'.

if you make 'black people' the subject of a sentence and if you make 'white people' the subject of a sentence and if you make 'the American' the subject of a sentence, and if you make 'Katrina' the subject of a sentence, you are affirming the 'existence' of the named subjects and imputing 'identity' to them.

"Every definition implies an axiom, that in which we affirm the existence of the object defined" -- John Stuart Mill

conflict can arise within multi-person relational dynamics. if there are four people involved and one them is killed in the conflict, noun-and-verb language might report this as; 'A Christian was killed by Muslims', or a Woman was killed by men. or A black was killed by whites.

why not; 'someone died in the fracas?' why 'identify' an 'author'? do we really need a notional 'causal author'? i.e. the world is a transforming-in-the-now relational continuum, an ongoing relational activity.

“Our judgement has us conclude that every change must have an author”;–but this conclusion is already mythology: it separates that which effects from the effecting. If I say “lightning flashes,” I have posited the flash once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, “is” and does not “become.”–To regard an event as an “effecting,” and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we are guilty.” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’, 531

Our pre-literate experience is of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum and it does not have to be shared or communicated. if we decide that we want to share/communicate it, it is not written in stone that it must be communicated in terms of subject-verb-predicate constructs that break it down into 'events' with causal authors. That is just one 'communications techniques' or 'language architectures' and it is a 'mechanical' approach which breaks things down into separate and seemingly unrelated events [it assumes that the present depends only on the immediate past]. in this noun-and-verb approach we create persisting identities out of relational forms in the transforming relational continuum.

prior to the arrival of colonizers in north america, were there any 'indians' there? after the colonizers arrived and appropriated all the land, would we be accurate in isolating [in space and time] acts wherein 'the indians are stealing apples from the colonizer's orchards'? the 'identities' of indians and colonizers cannot be separated out from their relational entanglement, as in 'indians are stealers of apples'. the imputing of authorship is something that comes from the device of breaking the transforming relational continuum into separate parts called 'events' that are portrayed as having a beginning and an ending as well as causal authors and results. it's convenient but it has some major drawbacks. for example, the post-colonization indian is nothing like the pre-colonization indian, so we can't say that 'indians were there' before they were discovered by the colonizers. in other words, as in the general understanding coming from modern physics, relations author things, rather than vice versa.

"“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach

because Western culture employs a noun-and-verb language [culture=language, language=culture], we share our pre-literate experience by using a type of language which breaks it down into local thing-in-themselves authors of cause-effect actions-and-results and make up 'stories' in this fashion. furthermore, we create a whole management infrastructure based on these stories that are in terms of 'independent things' and 'what these things do'. so, we end up defining 'indians' as 'stealers of apples' which fails to acknowledge the relational entanglement that blurs their identity with that of the orchard 'owners' and puts concepts such as ownership and theft in question [they have no meaning in our pre-literate experiencing of inclusion within a transforming relational continuum].

bottom line: 'identity' is foundational in noun-and-verb language-and-grammar. language = culture and culture = language. Western culture = noun-and-verb language. The 'semantic reality' in Western culture is 'being-based' [based on notional things-in-themselves with persisting identity that we construct using semantic structures like 'indians are stealers of apples'] and the noun-and-verb semantic reality is nothing like the 'semantic reality' in cultures with relational languages. 'Identity politics' is an artefact of Western culture = noun-and-verb language. It does not make any sense in our pre-literate experience. if you believe in Western semantic realities, which are what you find in the views of the world you hear on the media news and in the speeches of politicians, then you are confusing 'pragmatic idealization' for 'reality'. the pragmatic idealization that is in terms of what things-in-themselves are doing has little to do with the physical reality of our actual RELATIONAL [preliterate] experience.

don't believe what you are told, trust your pre-literate relational experience which has no need of explaining dynamics in the mechanical terms of 'things-in-themselves' and 'what these things-in-themselves do'.

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