“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” – C.S. Lewis
Would that it was so, Lewis.
The present-day postmodernist has hijacked this term, “progress” (at least in the sense Lewis describes) and used it to describe what embodies his values and perceptions. “PROGRESS!” he proclaims! “THAT is what drives us. We seek to abolish the hierarchies of old! And it is postmodernism that will be our guiding light!”
It was under this light that the idea of identity politics took seed and burgeoned. To give the crux of Identity Politics – they basically say that we do not matter as individuals. What matters is the group we belong to and how victimized that group is. This leads into intersectionality, which fundamentally says that the more victimized groups you belong to, the more that your opinion matters on the grand stage of politics.
So, what is the problem with this? The problem is that it utterly vitiates the entire ideology on which western culture was predicated.
When the founding fathers introduced the idea of individuality to the country, the leap of progress that they took was so great, so unprecedented, and so monumental that they set the rules for an entirely different ballpark. It was a qualitatively divergent view that required the construction of an alternate conceptual universe. A universe that is so new to the world and so unique to America that we still find ourselves floundering in it as we try to figure out what more can we do to progress?
The postmodernist cannot even begin to fathom American politics of individual worth, and so he generalizes to simplify the state of politics.
Let’s have ourselves a basic example. Let’s say that you’re a black woman. Well, to the postmodernist empathizers, that’s a very bad deal for you! You belong to TWO of their parties of victimhood! Now, imagine… what if you’re GAY, black, and a woman? What if…you’re MUSLIM and gay and black and a woman? What if…what if you’re short, ugly stupid, Muslim, gay, black and a woman?
The postmodern progressives can keep playing that bloody game on into infinity, but what they will find is that at the end of that game, you’ll see that the ultimate minority that encompasses each status is the individual. They’ll get there eventually if they don’t kill us all first.
So what does this mean for progressivism? It means that Identity Politics will take us BACKWARDS in time! NOT. FORWARD. We are already FAR ahead of you. It’s. Not. Progress.
Back to what Lewis was saying…
If we are on the wrong road, we need to turn around and make our way back to the road that WILL take us on a progressive route. This is exactly the concept that the postmodernist will tell you applies to us. According to the postmodernist, we need to turn around so that we can make progress.
But compared to what?
Will this ideology of identity politics take us forward? Where is it leading to? What will come as consequence? Will things get better?
Let’s look at what these ideas did under Stalin. Under Mao. Under Hitler. Under Pot.
The idea that the collective matters more than the individual will always leave a great many of us behind. We’ll be dead, miserable, or even unaccounted for. Our count of how many people died under Stalin and Mao is off by the tens of millions. No government will ever be able to account for each of it’s citizens through collectivist ideology.
So. How do we fix this exactly? How do we make sure that no one gets left behind?
Here’s an idea. How about we make the government subordinate to the people? That’s a grand idea! Only problem with that is that we know from history, an outright democracy won’t work! That’s already been demonstrated in Greece. If the collective voted that it was legal to take away your bike from you, they very well could! People get left behind!
So, let’s expand on this – let’s bestow rights on every individual regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, sex, status, age, height, width, intelligence…let’s make every individual matter and be protected! Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Oh, right…this system was already built in America…
Our system ensures no one is left behind unless they allow themselves to be left behind. Our system passes accountability on to the individual and protects their rights to life, liberty and property. By doing so, they have no one in their way of the American dream.
By protecting every individual on the legal level, government (so far as we can tell this early on) ensures that no one is ever left behind unless he or she has made bad decisions.