Identity Politics Only Divides Society
"Revolution is the rat of empire. No matter how hungry it is", writes Alexandra Marshall.
Winston Churchill created a fabulous collection of butterflies. They were as diverse as they were beautiful, greatly loved by all who came to admire them in their manufactured paradise. He was a conservationist, trying to resurrect natural beauty from extinction in his forests of lavender and buddleia, kept behind glass. One night, the fragile ecosystem was broken into and the butterflies devoured by a rat. It tore their wings off and feasted on the corpses, leaving devastation for Churchill in the morning. So it is for the West. We are part-museum, part-nursery with our delicate and grand ideas bred in their peaceful cage, imported from all corners of the globe, and hatched from lost civilisations.
Revolution is the rat of empire. No matter how hungry it is, the result is always a garden full of corpses. Before smashing the glass, we must be honest about the premise and damn sure we want one. Ordinarily, they rise organically, driven by starvation and despotism where an underclass finds itself trapped in hell by the invisible walls of prejudiced law. It is meant to be about overthrowing privilege, but in 2020 the Western world is not a creation of impassable privilege stacked like India’s castes, nor is it starving and marauded over by despots.
Identity politics divides society, segregating once equal people into sub-groups of race, sexuality and gender before attaching a value or ‘victimhood’. Intersectionality is a word invented to describe the crossing of these groups, ensuring that not only are people divided, their allegiance is also confused.
This played out during Occupy Wall Street in 2011, where the same revolutionary force tried to assign democratic value and speaking rights based on this madness.
Next, manufactured grievance is introduced, pitting groups against each other until outrage becomes the modern era’s answer to starvation. Finally, when the mob is fuelled by social media, they are set loose upon the privileged class. The academics copying notes from the French Revolution made one mistake – we don’t have a privileged class – and so ‘white privilege’ was birthed as a toxic, easily debunked myth to demonise the peaceful majority.
Identity politics divides society, segregating once equal people into sub-groups of race, sexuality and gender before attaching a value or ‘victimhood’.
Any sensible commentator watching the evolution of culture should have paused here. Facts are irrelevant to a crowd ignited by disassociated rage. Meanwhile, the political movement orchestrating events, waits for law and its enforcers to be weakened until the nation is defenceless. Communism’s demands are already printed on today’s placards. What was dismissed off-hand as dangerous nonsense last year is now agreed to out of fear. We are watching the elite rise against the people, where millionaires and billionaires cheer on violence against the working class. Make no mistake, this is not a bourgeois revolution.
It is true, no civilisation is stable. Politics is always rocking back and forth across the centreline, swept forward by the wind and retreating with the tide. Storms can throw it into the rocks, or land it on a new continent, but its destination is largely down to the quality of the navigator. There is no Captain Cook on board, only a rabble of kids fluent in CAPSLOCK, searching for reception in the middle of the ocean.
Western civilisation has lost its stomach for revolution, preferring to settle squabbles in the halls of parliament. It is why we frame politics as a battle and limit the power of our leaders. Submitting a nation to revolt risks even greater terror than before. There was no liberty in France after the first statue fell – only the embers of those burned by the revolution. Those are the coals upon which Napoleon set his throne.
Watching teenagers warm their hands in the glow of burning books makes me nervous. Stalin, Hitler and Mao burned books at the beginning of their cultural revolutions. Now it is the self-styled ‘woke’ brandishing matches, assigning arbitrary value to the butterflies in our enclosure, setting the flame beneath their wings.