It seems that there is underway a profound shift the consciousness of human kind. Across the planet, forces are aligning themselves in opposition to opponents, perceived or real, at an alarming rate. While some may dispute that there is anything new in this, Im of the view that the rate of change as well as the sense of ownership of both the change itself and the events that are playing themselves out (due mainly to the all pervasive nature of mass/social media and internet) mark this as perhaps the most notable era since the end of WWII.

However, despite the constant hysteria and outrage that we are exposed to on a daily basis its extremely difficult to categorise the different forces at play…and having given it a little bit of thought of late Ive come to the conclusion that much of what is passing itself off as debate via old fashioned, trusted channels is no longer of that much relevance… and that much, if not most, of what is transpiring is rooted in and around what could be loosely described as issues of ‘identity’, both in the traditional sense, as well as in attempts to reclassify or redefine personal or cultural identities in accordance with the perceived realities of new, amended social norms.

We see this in the western world in the debate in and around the mass migration/refugee issue in Europe as well as in the culture wars associated with the rise of Trump in the US. A somewhat similar phenomenon is underway in India (home to 1 in 5 of the world’s population) as the BJP seeks to reconstitute and codify what it means to be both Indian and Hindu. Within the Islamic world there appears to exist a clash between Sunni and Shia (as well as some other sects), ostensibly based around what constitutes true Islam and what it means to be a Muslim…but in some respects is little more than an ethnic (identity) conflict. Indeed, within western countries an entire branch of what was once the political left has adopted the politics of identity as its central tenet, relegating class and class-based ideology to a pretty inconsequential annoyance ie something that ‘old white guys’ get exercised about.

In terms of western societies, what this means for dynamics of political debate into the future is obviously anyone’s guess but it appears that for many people, asserting ones identity has become more important than making a convincing argument. For example, it seems to be the case that displaying ‘tolerance’ or being in favour of ‘diversity’ (regardless of the issue under consideration) asserts not just ones tolerant or diverse credentials, but also one’s membership of the educated, middle classes. On the other hand, displaying a tendency toward arguments that lean toward any degree of pride in nation or class appears to be taken as code for knuckle dragging illiteracy (and most likely racism) in the eyes of those that matter. What seems to be developing therefore is the emergence of a massive social divide between people (generally educated, generally well off) who, on the one hand, live and operate in globalised, diverse work and social environments and for whom nationality or class are archaic and of no real value…and on the other hand, an increasingly disenchanted lower and lower middle class grouping whose world is less global, less diverse and who value national identity and class as a source of pride and a strong marker of identity. In political terms, these two groups can never meet and in times of flux may even find themselves violently opposing each other.

Therefore, if (non-national) identity is the new class what of the future direction of western societies? Is such a retreat from ideas of nation and class quite simply inevitable or irreversible in the new globalised, Orwellian age? Im of the view that, despite the dictats of the powers that be and their cheerleaders (on here and elsewhere), nothing is set in stone or fully inevitable. People are fully capable of taking ownership of their own societies and acting in their own collective interest if the so decide. However, it would obviously take a degree of effort…interested to hear the views of some here…


I think you’ve discovered by your third paragraph what has recently been coined and is more commonly known as “virtue signalling”. People wearing these things like badges lamest, it’s like a badge of honour/tolerance/diversity. These are the new virtues like Gods to be worshipped and put on a pedestal.

I think when you say identity we’re dealing with Cultural Identity no?

It’s a topic Stefan Molyneux has become more impassioned around and seems to hit on the same theme of identity walking around such factors and aspects pertaining to the fall of Rome. I’m only halfway through it myself, I think it has much value.


I’m.not familiar with the guy but I’ll have a look at the video when I get some free time.

Re the question you pose, I’m not really sure whether cultural identity (at least as it has been traditionally understood) is actually the issue being discussed.

My post is a bit disjointed as it’s more a musing on the concepts or.ideas that seem to be motivating people of late…and their impacts upon political culture ( which is supposed to reflect society generally, but obviously doesn’t)

For example, take what’s described as hipster culture. It seems to have in some respects become akin to an ethnicity in cultural terms ie it’s an identity that appears to define a certain segment of society. However, the identity is transnational, non-religious, non-ethnic etc. Forms of hipsterism can be found everywhere around the globe where there is a bit of affluence, including in the third/developing world…basically hipsters are plugged into a global culture which views itself as separate from the mainstream wherever it exists (I’ve met self proclaimed hipsters from Kabul) with many having carved out livelihoods which again, are globally connected/ interchangeable in nature. In.essence, they tend to have more affinity in terms of identity with a similarly inclined soul on the other side of the globe than they do with their working class neighbours in the physical neighbourhood they are tend to be in the process of gentrifying.

Contrast this with the culture, identity and concerns of people who are often living around them in physical terms , and who view their identity as being rooted in notions of traditional family, community, country etc…they basically exist on different planets…and.while you might say that there has always been class differences which divided societies, in the past the different classes jostled for position within the same physical and political spheres ( with inevitable consequences of course) ie they were well aware of each others existences. The reaction of much of the media and right on commentariat to some.of the political events of the past months/ year ( ie absolute bewilderment/ incredulity) would suggest that nowadays many people know absolutely nothing about those they share society with…as well as appearing to have absolute disdain/ intolerance for the interests of those with whom their own interests do not coincide.

The question I have posed therefore, is where does politics go from here? Indeed, how can it function when the basic interests of some (ie the premise on which all.democracy is based) is deemed at base level, to be an affront to good taste and indeed downright offensive to many more? Where is the compromise that underpins the democratic process supposed to emanate from? How can a society, which does not even aspire to being a coherent whole, function in any cohesive manner? Indeed, does society, political or otherwise, even exist anymore? Or can it exist given the fragmentory tendencies that be setting about defining the future?


To add a thread: for those who get a lot of their connection via digital media, there’s an increased tendency for parallel/non intersecting bubbles:


Yes. Very interesting and quite apt. If I don’t like what I’m reading I unfriend you or put you on ignore meaning that people exist in a world of confirmation bias…


It is interesting how people latch onto events elsewhere and then confuse their own reality: Black Lives Matter holding up traffic in the UK.


Who claims differently?


I don’t think it IS confusing their own reality. I think it’s a positive step forward where people want to make a positive change and show support to others in a different culture rather than being indifferent and tuning out. If it was innocent irish people being shot be police in America I don’t think anyone would think anything was wrong with people holding a protest in Dublin, and i’m sure they would welcome the support of Latinos, blacks etc instead of asking them was their reality confused?

And if you look at the people interviewed at the protests it’s kind of insulting to say they are latching on - some were black americans living in London who could identify very easily with the victims, others oppose police brutality, some would have felt the effects of racism and wanted to protest at how they felt policing was going.

As for people degrading the ‘blacklivesmatter’ by saying ‘all lives matter’, there was a good article about that … aragraphs/


The last time Irish people were being killed in another jurisdiction the British embassy in ballsbridge was burned out in protest.

Perhaps the protesters should head for the USA embassy rather than pissing off people who would otherwise would support them.


That link (which to clarify is a blog that quotes a Reddit like it had been written by an eminent Logician) really sums up a lot PtG’s point.

  • The myopia of it ‘read paragraphs and print them and hand them to people. I’m just so convincing and convinced’. Did you ever see the like of this ?

  • the Reddit’s reference to a Hollywood movie really signals the shallowness of the writers life experience and lack of deep reading symptomatic of The click click click of a millennial and his superficial Internet search based intelligence

  • the general tone of shock/rage at anyone daring to contradict


Not necessarily racist, but maybe just a twat. For example, the good old fashioned class war dichotomy seems to emanate from the same poisonous combination of too much indignation and too little empathy.

Whether ways of life have equal value is possibly a more interesting question. At the very least, there might be a good utilitarian argument in favour of approving, or at least not disapproving, of any habits that preserve the greatest degree of personal discretion consistent with peace and public order and discouraging those that eclipse the gaiety of nations and impoverish the public stock of harmless pleasure.

I’ve posted often enough here for you to know that by most people’s standards, I’m pretty close to asocial. I mix socially only with a small number of people with whom I have interests in common, but I recognise that I depend on others, both nearby and further afield, with whom I share at least material interests. I don’t really participate much in Irish society, but I’m perfectly happy to acquiesce to it.

As for expecting one’s neighbours to be fully integrated both socially and economically into the majority society, I don’t particularly care about either, nor think it’s important, as long as they’re not troublesome. I have no problem with people leading separate lives as long as they don’t try to impose them on others. After all, I largely do so myself. Nor do I care much if, within those conditions, they form self-contained subcultures. As an example, the Amish have opted out of much of the modern world and mostly keep to themselves, but you don’t hear of them blowing up their neighbours. (Still, even the Amish example isn’t perfect. Leaving the community is a very big thing and not easily done.)


I endured 45 minutes of it. People have projected their existential angst on the fall of Rome since the fall of Rome. And even since Edward Gibbon’s supposedly scholarly historical treatment they have held it up as a mirror image of today’s society, warning about its frailties and vulnerabilities in spite of its successes. And, of course, they inevitably they bring their own prejudices to the story too. Molyneux’s story – at least as far as I’ve been prepared to watch – is that Roman immigration without assimilation is what “done for it”.

The funny thing is that the Romans engaged in similar projections of societal angst, but with Carthage as their subject. Rome was painted as the successor to Carthage’s greatness, with the inevitability of Roman victory written ex post facto into works like Virgil’s Aeneid. (There was nothing inevitable about it – the Punic Wars extended across more than a century and were the biggest in the history of the world at the time). Many Romans pondered about Carthage’s downfall, and wondered whether whatever fatal flaw brought it about might also beset Rome. I’ve no doubt some of them blamed the Berber immigrants, or the Numidian mercenaries used by the Carthaginians. I picture the right wing Roman press using it as a dire warning about the Goths and Huns.


Yes, Rome’s rise was more a story of appropriating the beliefs and gods of conquered peoples as the empire spread. Subjects might not actually become Roman, just merely engulfed by the Roman world.

The whole thing was built on momentum and when that faltered then the cracks appeared.


Getting back on topic:

There is no western world any more (assuming the OP means more than a geographical location). Its last vestiges are all but gone. The barbarian is inside the gate, and it’s not some Syrian bogeyman. It’s the product of a new irrationality that has its roots way back in the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment.

The former with it’s doctrine of sola scriptura jettisoned the rational modes of thought that the wider Christian churches had inherited from Greek philosophy. The latter, which had its roots in that same history of rational inquiry, got bogged down in positivism and then in scientism. America, which styles itself as the rightful inheritor of western culture, is caught in the crossfire of both these forces which have resulted in the so-called culture wars.

Europe is in a crisis too, but of a different sort. It has another conflict on its doorstep – the one between Sunni and Shia Islam. This is another conflict of irrational forces , but Europe has long since lost any confident rational philosophy of its own to assert. Instead it is fractured between petty nationalism, radical individualism, and a misguided humanism.

The OP is right that this is a search for new identities, but I don’t think the vestiges of “the West” will easily find any coherent new identity.


Mod Note:
Had to clean up this topic substantially.
Let’s give it one more try for some proper debate.

#16 … n-politics

#17 … or-renewal


Well total insanity can only last so long. Competing uncordinated power systems vying for control are dismantling and destroying each other. Very similar to death in an organic organism, maybe cancer in that rapidly expanding power systems without central direction are spreading in directionless areas eventually overwhelming the central organising authority leading to chaos/death. RF blog is the best explainion I have seen, although it is really just a restatement of Plato’s republic.


Re the fall of Rome bit, may I present you with… THE LIST. Basically, anytime anyone finds anything they don’t like, that’s what destroyed the Roman Empire.

Personally, I blame golf.


Black Lives Matter protestors chained themselves to a tripod on a runway in London City Airport this morning, shutting the place down. A protestor explained on the BBC just now that climate change is a racist issue, because black people are more likely to live near airports. The people using London City Airport were engaging in “frivolous travel” and were earning loads more than those living in the vicinity.