Identity Politics?

On the cast @ interweb, I see criticisms of identity politics thrown around a lot. Especially when people are just doing things to make the lives of people in a shared situation less shitty. Im trying to get it but don't so maybe you can help. Most of the time no one's pretending what they're doing is the rev or whatever.

Starting a support group for families with family members facing deportation? Identity politics
Arming trans women with pepper spray? Identity politics
Saying cops are killing Black people and racism is a huge problem? Identity politics
Asking other people to refer to you in a way that doesn't make you feel shitty for the rest of the day? Identity politics.

Yeah, there's a lot of ways to misuse identity.

Liberal control freaks have often used it for passive aggressive manipulation on the more weak minded within radical circles and a lot of younger folks try to use the theories without fully grasping them, usually humiliating themselves in the process.

So those two problems, combined with the deliberate pushback from reactionaries, makes for a lot of critique of identity, some of which is valid!

But I personally think that anyone who tries to dismiss identity entirely is a fool. It's their mistake to blame the tool because they're watching someone using it wrong.

I'm against identity politics and have been talking a lot against those on this site, but for most of these questions I don't agree they represent identity politics. Just real politics.

I myself have recommended to a female queer and non-White roommate to get herself some pepper spray because of the neighborhood she lives in has a number of fucked up, crack-headed, racist fucks that have been giving the cops a reason to be preying around.

I didn't understand that last part tho. Specific to which kind of identities? I'm being reduced to feel like shitty for my entire days due to being a misfit umpen who never managed to get...

1- a family
2- a vibrant circle of friends
3- a career

So how is the identity thing so important... or maybe I should consider myself as part of a "mentally ill" social identity?

We need to defend our identity though from those who seek to appropriate it for their own shallow purposes. I think those who are against identity politics have personal aces to grind rather than anything wrong with sticking up for who we identify with since white cishetereonormative oppression is the one doing the defining. Think about it. Identity politics are a threat to white supremacy and people need to know they are not alone. Only by collectively organizing can we push against this society that defines and excludes us. Seriously, think!

I'm hetero and maybe cis yet not normative... if you're serious about this comment and not some vague sarcasm then you gotta re-think your whole model of "identity politics" since it's just not sticking. But hey I guess that all I'm doing is talking out of my White cis privileges denying all the "oppression" of those from higher social backgrounds having it their way with friends into artist lofts and whatever...

We're not identities. We're a bunch of people who are strangers to themselves, yet tons of weak-minded fools need to cling to hardcore convictions about who they are in this social game so it gives the a paycheck and some security. THINK... this is a world of insecurity. Of people afraid of the great unknown. Of people not getting whywhatwhenwherehow about what's happening to them because they are led to believe in prefab constructs.

Blacks and Whites are not real. They are made to be real.

Gay, lesbians and heteros are boxes.

The world isn't made of categories (political identities).

"Gay, lesbians and heteros are boxes."

But if I chose not to describe myself as one of those boxes, I'd still get harassed on the street and called a faggot or tranny by dudes. Marginalized people don't have the agency to not subscribe to identity, because other people will force the shittiest aspects of it upon them. The only thing we can do is choose not to talk about it, which doesn't help either.

this is a different commentator. why are you trying to take away agency from people? I mean just because shitty people who can't accept ways of living that are not normative put people into boxes doesn't mean that people don't have the agency to not identify with those very boxes that those shitty people put them in. also its completely possible to talk about how non-normative ways of life are treated in this world without having to resort to using those very boxes. You just have to use more imagination.

They're not … you're missing the point. Identity is something that gets projected on to you by other people. When someone uses identity politics (with a proper understanding of it), they're wrestling a weapon away from the people with more power and turning it around to defend themselves and identify with others who share similar experiences.

I'm disabled, native, poor, working class, a criminal, whatever. Those are just labels but because other people perceive me through those labels, it's strategic for me to understand the context and try to turn it around on them. At the very least, I can analyze how those labels effect my relative position in society and point out how it's not a level playing field.

Better still if I get together with people who can relate to those labels and we form a community or affinity group although it's a trap to completely believe in the label because of course we're all individuals first.

If it's a social trap, then it's just not better. You end up putting your individuality and personal experience on the altar of the cult for a sacrifice.

I think that the label (or boxes) appear to be necessary to impose some respect of your difference, but they must also be got over with when they serve their purpose, or else that'll become just another kind of cultural fascism, where identity politics are cutting you off from having relations with people not of your turf (as in lesbian separatism, or Black separatism). Isn't the goal to be able to have interactions and relations with others and ourselves that are freed from those abstractions in the first place?

This thing has been briefly addressed in that thread about Shadowsmoke and the RCP... Nobody is forced to like another person's different preferences, but on the other hand there's no reason to cast judgements or insults upon this person for it. If a gay buddy of mine insistently grabs another dude's butt, that's like.. uuuuhms I'll just be looking somewhere else for a while, maybe towards a cute girl or a butterfly over the terrace. I'm still going to like this buddy, tho, even if one or two things he does isn't quite my taste.

Seems like you've got a chip on your shoulder on the subject. I answered your question and you didn't tell me anything I don't already know with your reply. Hopefully you can begin to realize that not all identity is being misused and abused. It's being deployed strategically by smart people but those aren't the examples that get turned in to anti left memes.

here is the other commenter: So which is it? they have no agency to identify otherwise or are they just deploying those identities strategically for their own purposes? cause those are two different things. look, this society likes to put everything in categories that it itself defines and to embrace those identities is to embrace the confines of this societies definitions of that category. In fact, that a way to give yourself no agency is to accept the dominate orders terms of how to see yourself. You also make it seem like you cant understand the context of an identity or your position in this society without taking on the identity that is put on you, and that's ridiculous, you can understand the categories that this society uses without using it yourself. you can very easily form affinity groups based on your opposition to being categorized by this society.

They have all the agency they ever had ... I'm talking about cynically gaming people's prejudices, while always knowing that their stupid labels are ultimately meaningless.

That said, it's very stupid to tell the people being aggressively targeted by prejudice that their identity is just an illusion. When you're getting jumped by a bunch of people for being queer or of colour or whatever, the illusion becomes very real.

I dunno... which agency? I just fell asleep on this thread.

They would not be playing a role in this digital age of identity proliferation.

Group answer for both you idiots even though I know ziggy is hopeless: the "roles" aren't optional most of the time. I couldn't get much work for most of my adult life because I'm disabled, resulting in poverty. When I'm homeless cause I can't pay rent or find somewhere to squat, my identity doesn't seem like such an illusion anymore but I still have just as much agency as I ever did.

PS you're both fucking halfwits and I'm being astonishingly patient with you right now. Punch yourselves in the balls for me.

In Canada they pay you almost twice the amount of welfare when you're disabled... which is enough to pay for most decent apartments plus the weed/pbr, telecom accounts and some food and medications. What are you still doing in the US!?

It's hard to find a friendlier prison than Canada

I'm in canada actually. Getting on disability during Harper's term wasn't easy. Besides, I'm only disabled from the perspective of most employers but the social workers would argue I was able to work. Anyway, it doesn't matter now, I did the bootstraps thing.

But I'll never forgive or forget. Identity was real enough to fuck me over for 10 years ;)

Not sure what disability you have since you don't say. I had nearly constant major depression age 16-22, bad enough I was putting myself in situations where I could get "suicided", and I nearly succeeded. I still have permanent brain damage from this affecting my working memory (2, 4, and 7 percentile on the tests for this). I also had borderline personality disorder (though not ALL the symptoms). After getting over all this (enabled by receiving a deep spiritual foundation), I did 3 different kinds of permanent damage to my spine from working too hard in my trade. When I moved into my truck, I could only work 15 hours a week and had no idea if I'd ever get better. In fact, I soon recovered 70% of my old strength - not having to worry about $$$ was probably the biggest help here. Being self-employed protected me from employment discrimination (and exploitation on the job), enabling me to get more work. I decided to live in my truck for 6 years - 4 years to pay off my beloved Land in the backwoods and develop it with cash, and 2 years to do more messy/difficult internal work. (Oh, and I've been in love with other guys, and have even (gasp!) slept with other guys. So I am REQUIRED to call myself a "Queer". To be honest here, oppression wise, I was never called a sissy when I was a kid.) My spiritual foundation gave me something normal (hunter-gatherer-permaculturist) humans have in abundance: skill, problem-solving capacity, and resilience. Whiny Identity Politics provide none of these. I suppose there are forms of Identity Politics that aren't whiny.

Yes, there's worlds beyond the whiny bullshit. What a lot of folks are doing when they insist that it's "all playing the victim" or whatever is just a simple confirmation bias. Whiny liberal IDpol is very noisy online, meanwhile all the people that actually deserve respect only talk about identity quietly when somebody actually asks them. The rest of the time, we're just doing our thing like everyone else, obviously.

Respect for your story Red, thanks for sharing :)

Hey Red, just a warning, if this is the same disabled dude who spends most of his time using his hands on a keyboard trolling me, or else dipping into a jar of petroleum jelly beside the computer monitor, be VERY freakin' careful, he's capable of the worst character assassination and ad hominems I've ever experienced on the internet. But I may be wrong and this commenter is legit. Keep your guard up though, just in case ;)

And it only took a couple of months to get right inside your little head! Adorable! Anyway, you're quite right that I'm much nastier than you but I never bothered anyone who didn't deserve it.

I'm not arguing that identity is mere illusion, I mean it is an abstract concept that is put upon people to put people into neat categories to either dismiss or praise and when that abstract concept is believed by others it becomes real in a certain sense, so because the ideas of whiteness/white supremacy and for example blackness/black inferiority are believed by people that is what gives it a real quality, because those people are acting on those ideas and relating to people with those ideas in mind. but that doesn't change the fact the origin of those categories and the value placed upon them come from this society and put upon those within its grasp and not a quality inherent to that being, so that's why some one like Stirner used the term 'spook' to refer to those ideas that continue to haunt us and influence how we act and think (not like others on this site who try to use him by just saying those ideas are mere illusion) as its impossible to argue against the fact that we are continually haunted by the racial categories of colonial Europe and thus they still have an effect on the world. I guess i would just question how "gaming peoples prejudices" by embracing those identities is all that liberatory for those who those identities are put on and are are effected by them.

"Libratory"? It's occasionally useful. Liberation comes later, maybe through collective power or probably by default after civilization finishes tearing itself apart.

Liberation isn't just a state of mind you know. Ziggy says he isn't a realist but everybody who's really having to reckon with identity becomes a realist by default.

I'm an aging street hustler, being realistic was everything. It wasn't by choice, it was desperation that forced me to reckon with identity. But it's not who I actually am, just a navigational tool. My agency is what I was doing to survive, including playing the role sometimes if it got me paid.

Is not exactly being done by people in dire straits.

True but fuck those liberal demagogues! Why would you rely on their analysis? Same with all the social media kids who won't stop bleating in to their webcams. Why refer to the shittiest, most watered down versions of a theory?

That's like saying a flat-earther YouTube channel somehow delegitimizes physics as a science.

Is that it goes back to pomo post structural analysis and the radicals of that theory did not exactly IDPol logic in mind. IDPol is what happens when you take that radical theory and turn it towards an enfranchisement end. That's where the liberals come in. It also does not help that the structure of Marxist thought eventually lends itself to this when its economic political ideas inevitably fail.

I say you're turning it in to a spook when you try and chase academic lineages like that.

Identity has existed in some form for a very long time. Recently it's been formalized in to a set of theories by enquiring minds, some of which turned it towards a "liberal enfranchisement", aka trying to keep the social fabric from tearing itself apart.

But like I've said before, seems like you're blaming the tool instead of the user.

Outside of liberal modern enfranchisement. It's essentially played a key configuring role in this digital identity age that we are living in right now. The thinkers that I liked cut to the core and addressed corporeal domination, something very different from identity and oppression.

It's not really that different. I've been using identity to talk about "corporeal domination" but you want to focus on the libs and whiners because they're easier targets.

The practice is an analytical one or sometimes a cynical one where you play a role and collect your windfall from "enfranchisement".

Tools get used if they're useful.

Problem is you are akin to Jacques Cammatte the communist who is vastly outnumbered and outdirectioned in regards to the idea. IDPol does have an overall approach that IS NOT concerned with the as such problem of corporeal domination and reification.

I am not against enfranchisement in an of itself, however I can't help but notice that with the growth and complexity of spooks such as rights you also see the further growth and complexity of a managerial state.

Pretty soon the coming fully configured digital state will give the bulk of the 60s based disenfranchised roughly what they want but it will be far from any kind of anarchic mode of terms.

Yep! Me and Jacques are hopelessly surrounded. I'm used to that feeling!

You might be surprised by how many of the anti-authoritarian left feel similarly. We don't participate in struggle because we think the glorious revolution is coming. More like we're trying to create a little space to exist in at all.

If I'm alone I actually prefer to be ACTUALLY alone. Hell there's a reason I use the terms anarch and neoanarchy nowadays as I see it as the only way to take the idea of anarchy to the next level. I can't imagine sticking around people even less preferable.

The thing about being a hermit is ... you're very vulnerable. If you never find that out the hard way, lucky you. I don't particularly like you ziggy but may your self-imposed isolation always be relatively tranquil.

Not true! IDPolitic has not been around for a very long time if you're talking about millenium and not including religious belief. There was only the ultra-binary religious paradigms and extermination for one of the sides if they were a minority. Brush up on your history, ID politics originated out of Marxist end-game obsessions.

I said "identity has been around in some form for a long time." Read more carefully before you jump in.

I didn't jump, if identity takes the same uniform belief system as its model, it will become politicized, look at the paleolithic merchants of Urr, isn't haggling a form of the politics of survival?

So you admit that this SOCIAL ROLE that was this politicized identity, supposed to be putting your individuality under the rug of a social/political category, was a bunch of fuss. And that identity/ticket has given you some work that was quite abusive for yourself, like prostitution and probably drugs. So I fail to understand who this game was that helpful for you!?

Not saying this was any wrong or a bad choice for a living. I can't pretend that my masculine identity gave me any less shitty outcomes.

You know... like the stuff the Situationists have been exposing and combating.

You set up some spectacularized identity, making a spectacle of your-self, based on social categories drawn by Women's Studies and other privileged academic masters (emphasis on last word). Think about that ultra-liberal Judith Butler for instance. Between her and Ann Coulter, I don't see much differences other than the level of studies and consequential mastery of language.

But well argued nonetheless.

anon 17.44 I had to chuckle at your honesty, yes, the radical twisted mold out of which you were forged (did it have wheels attached?) really did a job on you, and you are correct when you say it is not a level playing field. May I make a suggestion? Try to smile when you get out of bed every afternoon, and remember there are children in under privileged countries who don't make it to playing field AT ALL, yep, so forget about all the self-pity and GET YOURSELF A LIFE without dragging everyone you mix with into the endless discussion groups talking about ME ME ME and MY MY MY problems.

You're a real smug piece of shit, ain't you? No, you may not make a suggestion. Request denied ;)

When's your birthday dude, I saw these cheap socket sets made in China at a dollar and dime store, I might send you one so you can fix those wheels and get yourself out of that basement for a change of scenery? ;)

You can consider yourself however you want but if you're wondering why you're broke all the time, it MIGHT be because prospective employers stigmatize you and pass you by (just one example) or maybe you're just a lazy asshole or perhaps a bit of both?

Identity is mostly about noticing all the little ways that certain demographics have to put up with a disproportionate amount of completely irrational bullshit from other people.

It's not who you actually are, it's about how much of a minefield you have to navigate through because of prejudice.

Is all you need for that not IDPol. At the end of the day it is individuals that are getting fucked over whereas the identity is the happens to be.

I thought I had the "Right to be Lazy", you reactionary slime?

Your world is so fascinating... made of "assholes" and cool dudes who're "winners". A-MAZING!

So you missed my point entirely, ok, one more try. Your problems might be because of other's perceptions of you (aka identity) or you might be the primary cause of your problems. I don't know because we're total strangers, although you certainly seem like an asshole, based on first impressions!

...had nothing in it that's got an asshole attitude. You are actually the only one being an asshole in this thread.

Because, just like you, I said so.

Oh I answered that question in good faith. I said "maybe you're being stigmatized or maybe you're a lazy asshole" as in, those are equally plausible scenarios since I don't know anything about you. I wasn't insulting you, just saying that identity might OR might not be the problem.

That's just my sense of humour, no offense intended in that particular instance. I'm definitely an asshole but not the only one in this thread ;)

This site is incredibly educational. Whereas all sites delete assholes, here we have the opportunity to read lengthy threads by numerous assholes and a chance to realize that most of them are incredibly intelligent and lesser assholes than the ones who purport to not be assholes and do all the deleting. Brilliant!


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