Welcome to Slow Politics: the campaign against identity politics
Our western society is sleepwalking towards a terrible fall. All the things we take for granted, the freedoms we hold dear, the relationships we value – all these could be replaced by fear and violent conflict. Seriously, it’s the way we’re headed.
Once reached, there will be no going back from this abyss. The forces that created this scenario will, by then, be too strong to break. It’s that serious.
And what will cause this spectacular fall? Answer: the lunacy of identity politics or, in a word, tribalism. For it is tribal thinking, tribal attitudes, a crass and limiting us-and-them way of viewing the world, which could one day undo everything we value. Literally everything.
Tribalism is growing ever stronger. More and more people now view themselves tribally, as a member of an allegedly oppressed race, religion, gender, or sexuality, and new categories to belong to appear all the time, the multiplicity of transgender acronyms being the most recent. A madness of endless divisions seems to be hoovering up the young.
But such identities are but bit-part players in a much wider sphere of antagonism, the biggest tribal split of all: the liberal-conservative divide itself, now so antagonistic, so instinctively hostile, so all-pervading, that nothing, literally nothing, can it seems be discussed rationally any more. Life itself has been politicised. And the politics of identity is at the very heart of this growing rift which disfigures our society.
We at Slow Politics aim to help, in our modest way, to heal the wound at the heart of our political life. We believe in universalist principles, which means the values of the Enlightenment are central to our thinking. We believe that people should be encouraged to see themselves as free and equal citizens first and foremost, and to scornfully reject the bandwagon of ethnic, gender and sexual identity politics. Instead, we want people to think for themselves; to take the time to examine views critically, and to possess genuinely thought-through opinions, not identities.
And the only way to achieve this is to create an all-encompassing identity around which everyone can rally, an inclusive identity which everyone can buy into and feel comfortable with. Such an identity needs to be muscular and assertive – the very opposite of the grievance industry identities which currently assail our culture. We aim to encourage people to throw off the shackles of infantile hatreds and us-and-them posturing, and to defend Western society with all their might.
We can only do this through goodwill, inclusivity, and clear thinking. Nothing else will succeed.
Will you join us?
by Jonathan Midgeley