The Manifesto against Identity Politics
During my high school years, I sometimes woke up with a solution to the maths problems I couldn't solve for days.
A month ago I woke up to realize that I need to fight identity politics (IP).
I will explain why.
1. IP is reactionary because it limits the flexibility of the subject. The definition of who you are comes from "I am this and that" instead of "I want to be this so I need to do that." In consequence, the subject needs to DEFEND who he or she is instead of figuring out who he or she can be and how to live his or her dream.
The only dream that is reserved for an I-am subject is to win points in all kinds of competitions.
A typical example:
"Those bitches did bad things to us. It justifies our bombs at their lawns."
2. IP proposes a liberation through the reduction of fractions. You need to get rid of all elements that contradict or spoil your purity. This is why we often hear an I-am subject focusing on repression, either real or imaginary.
The reduction is an exercise in purity.
Do I need an example here?
3. IP is based on the paradox that tries to bind singular and universal through a shared language. Your I-am narrative ("I am this and that") is the space for your imagination. You can tell whatever you like about yourself and people may believe you. However, it should follow the logic of the people around you; you MUST be believable, even if you make things up.
An I-am subject believes in a universal logic. Those who do bad things are insane, alien, or evil. It is hard to persuade an I-am subject that people may not make sense in the same way as he or she does.
A typical (and actually a real) example:
"People join a terrorist group because they are separated from their local community, so we show this film to return them back to their culture."
There are some phenomenologists in the advocates of IP, like Judith Butler, but they appeal to some social types, like men and women. For them, there are a few types of logics that require a translation. Culture and civilization are two synonyms to this universal logic. Comparative studies are a form of IP in academia.
4. The change in IP happens on the level of symbols. An I-am subject sometimes accepts what he or she was opposing as I-am-not. Stigmas become the symbols of pride.
A real example:
"For her, a hijab is the part of her feminism..."
IP is a liberal version of segregation politics: men and women; white, yellow, and dark red; rich and poor. These are labels to make us bark and fight to win points, to find an ephemeral goal in life. There is always a possibility for more.
Yet, at first, you need to imagine that possibility.