I spent a long time deciding whether or not to post this. I don’t expect it will make my friends on the right or the left happy. But after reading a complete list of the murder victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack last week, I see something constructive (albeit small) that can be done.
So I’m addressing myself to two camps who don’t see each other as allies but should try to find more common ground—especially here.
We don’t have to listen to every seminar or comb through the Slack logs of self-professed white supremacists (that sounds depressing), but we should take the time to understand their strategy and what it’s meant to accomplish so that we can do our best to make sure it’s not successful. Read more →
“Free people trade. They form associations. They employ one another. They create communities. Even “atomized individuals” tend to form molecules.” – Virginia Postrel
“It is thus that man, who can only subsist in society, was fitted by nature to that situation for which he was made. All the members of human society stand in need of each other’s assistance, and all are likewise exposed to mutual injuries.” – Adam Smith
FEE recently published Why We Should Teach Girls to be Individualists Instead of Feminists. Unsurprisingly (sigh.) it has been doing exceptionally well on libertarian social media. But replace every instance of “feminist” in the piece with “Christian”, “Jew”, or “Muslim”, and it should quickly become obvious that a blanket condemnation of groups isn’t necessary or even helpful for libertarians.
Feminism has been a part of liberalism for a very long time—including the radical liberalism that makes up much of the history of libertarianism—because liberals believe in the importance of the individual. There are feminists who reject or undermine the role of individualism. There are members of most groups who do so. But though libertarians might eventually convince feminists otherwise with enough indignant foot stomping, there’s nothing inherently collectivist about feminism.
The diversity of movements and organisations shapes them.
This might sound trite, but it also creates a barrier to more diverse movements. This 2011 Daily Kos article is one of my favourite things on the Internet. (I know. The headline. Persevere.) It’s a consultant’s story about trying to help feminist groups become more racially diverse.
The first order of business seems to be to decide what, exactly, we mean by ‘identity politics’. Jason Kuznicki agrees:
“An equivocation is occurring here, between good and bad, both claiming to be “identity politics.” In cases like that, it’s morally imperative to differentiate rather than to lump together.”
I am concerned about identity politics as it’s represented by Tom Palmer and Jason Kuznicki, so I’ll draw from them as I take a stab at nailing down a definition of the ‘identity politics’ that worries me. Read more →