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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:41 am 
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Had to clean up this topic substantially.
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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:53 am 
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Of Systemic Importance

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The reasons are not difficult to explain. The hyper-globalisation era has been systematically stacked in favour of capital against labour: international trading agreements, drawn up in great secrecy, with business on the inside and the unions and citizens excluded, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being but the latest examples; the politico-legal attack on the unions; the encouragement of large-scale immigration in both the US and Europe that helped to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic workforce; and the failure to retrain displaced workers in any meaningful way.

As Thomas Piketty has shown, in the absence of countervailing pressures, capitalism naturally gravitates towards increasing inequality. In the period between 1945 and the late 70s, Cold War competition was arguably the biggest such constraint. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there have been none. As the popular backlash grows increasingly irresistible, however, such a winner-takes-all regime becomes politically unsustainable.

Large sections of the population in both the US and the UK are now in revolt against their lot, as graphically illustrated by the support for Trump and Sanders in the US and the Brexit vote in the UK. This popular revolt is often described, in a somewhat denigratory and dismissive fashion, as populism. Or, as Francis Fukuyama writes in a recent excellent essay in Foreign Affairs: “‘Populism’ is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don’t like.” Populism is a movement against the status quo. It represents the beginnings of something new, though it is generally much clearer about what it is against than what it is for. It can be progressive or reactionary, but more usually both.


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The wave of populism marks the return of class as a central agency in politics, both in the UK and the US. This is particularly remarkable in the US. For many decades, the idea of the “working class” was marginal to American political discourse. Most Americans described themselves as middle class, a reflection of the aspirational pulse at the heart of American society. According to a Gallup poll, in 2000 only 33% of Americans called themselves working class; by 2015 the figure was 48%, almost half the population.

Brexit, too, was primarily a working-class revolt. Hitherto, on both sides of the Atlantic, the agency of class has been in retreat in the face of the emergence of a new range of identities and issues from gender and race to sexual orientation and the environment. The return of class, because of its sheer reach, has the potential, like no other issue, to redefine the political landscape.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... n-politics

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― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:57 am 
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Of Systemic Importance

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This is why the unexpected emergence of Trump and Sanders may signal a big opportunity. For all his faults, Trump has broken with the Republican orthodoxy that has prevailed since Ronald Reagan, a low-tax, small-safety-net orthodoxy that benefits corporations much more than their workers. Sanders similarly has mobilized the backlash from the left that has been so conspicuously missing since 2008.

“Populism” is the label that political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don’t like. There is of course no reason why democratic voters should always choose wisely, particularly in an age when globalization makes policy choices so complex. But elites don’t always choose correctly either, and their dismissal of the popular choice often masks the nakedness of their own positions. Popular mobilizations are neither inherently bad nor inherently good; they can do great things, as during the Progressive era and the New Deal, but also terrible ones, as in Europe during the 1930s. The American political system has in fact suffered from substantial decay, and it will not be fixed unless popular anger is linked to wise leadership and good policies. It is still not too late for this to emerge.


https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles ... or-renewal

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"It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Planning Tribunal Attendee

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Posts: 1413
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:01 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:44 am 
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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.

XX

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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:16 pm 
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BLM are racist and terrorist organisation which should be de-legalised.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAu44wVgb58

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Why it was so windy there?... I am out.

For future reference, a 'soft landing' theorem:
06/2007: Central Bank predicts soft landing for housing
http://www.independent.ie/business/iris ... 96858.html
It's all grand


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:48 pm 
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Of Systemic Importance

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Location: On the Road
Excellent article about the loss/abandonment of the European/British working class by the new left with particular reference to the trend highlighted by the Brexit vote.....

Quote:
The left naturally embraced the mantra of the Occupy movement – the glaring division between the super rich and the rest of us embodied by the slogan “We are the 99%”. Objectively, the idea of a division between a tiny, light-footed international elite and everybody else holds true. But in everyday life, this division finds little expression.

Instead, the rising inequality fostered by globalisation and free-market economics manifests itself in a cultural gap that is tearing the left’s traditional constituency in two. Once, social democracy – or, if you prefer, democratic socialism – was built on the support of both the progressive middle class and the parts of the working class who were represented by the unions. Now, a comfortable, culturally confident constituency seems to stare in bafflement at an increasingly resentful part of the traditionally Labour-supporting working class.

The first group has an internationalised culture, a belief in what the modern vernacular calls diversity, and the confidence that comes with education and relative affluence. It can apparently cope with its version of job insecurity (think the freelance software developer, rather than the warehouse worker on a zero-hours contract). But on the other side are people who have a much more negative view of globalisation and modernity – and in particular, the large-scale movement of people. In the UK, they tend to live in the places that have largely voted Labour but supported leaving the EU, and whose loudest response to globalisation is to re-embrace precisely the “custom and practice”, as Blair put it, that modern economies tend to squash: to emphasise place and belonging, and assert an essentially defensive national identity.

Does anyone on the left want to write off the working-class voters who chose Brexit as a mass of bigots and racists?

From a sympathetic perspective, to put out a flag can be a gesture way beyond mere jingoism. It often stands as an assertion of esteem – and collective esteem, at that – in an insecure, unstable world that frequently seems to deny people any at all. Those who were once coalminers or steelworkers may now be temporarily-employed “operatives” waiting for word of that week’s working hours. In a cultural sense, by contrast, national identity offers people at least some prospect of regaining a sense of who they are, and why that represents something important. Even when it comes to resentments around immigration, a nuanced, empathetic understanding should not be beyond anyone’s grasp: people can be disorientated by rapid population change and anxious to assert a sense of place without such feelings turning hateful.


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/201 ... ?CMP=fb_gu

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"It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:41 pm 
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Of Systemic Importance

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Location: On the Road
Is fiction writing to be the next victim of the politics of identity?

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I am hopeful that the concept of “cultural appropriation” is a passing fad: people with different backgrounds rubbing up against each other and exchanging ideas and practices is self-evidently one of the most productive, fascinating aspects of modern urban life.

But this latest and little absurd no-no is part of a larger climate of super-sensitivity, giving rise to proliferating prohibitions supposedly in the interest of social justice that constrain fiction writers and prospectively makes our work impossible.

Seriously, we have people questioning whether it’s appropriate for white people to eat pad Thai.
So far, the majority of these farcical cases of “appropriation” have concentrated on fashion, dance, and music: At the American Music Awards 2013, Katy Perry got it in the neck for dressing like a geisha. According to the Arab-American writer Randa Jarrar, for someone like me to practice belly dancing is “white appropriation of Eastern dance,” while according to the Daily Beast Iggy Azalea committed “cultural crimes” by imitating African rap and speaking in a “blaccent.”

The felony of cultural sticky fingers even extends to exercise: at the University of Ottawa in Canada, a yoga teacher was shamed into suspending her class, “because yoga originally comes from India.” She offered to re-title the course, “Mindful Stretching.” And get this: the purism has also reached the world of food. Supported by no less than Lena Dunham, students at Oberlin College in Ohio have protested “culturally appropriated food” like sushi in their dining hall (lucky cusses— in my day, we never had sushi in our dining hall), whose inauthenticity is “insensitive” to the Japanese.


Quote:
What stories are “implicitly ours to tell,” and what boundaries around our own lives are we mandated to remain within? I would argue that any story you can make yours is yours to tell, and trying to push the boundaries of the author’s personal experience is part of a fiction writer’s job.

I’m hoping that crime writers, for example, don’t all have personal experience of committing murder. Me, I’ve depicted a high school killing spree, and I hate to break it to you: I’ve never shot fatal arrows through seven kids, a teacher, and a cafeteria worker, either. We make things up, we chance our arms, sometimes we do a little research, but in the end it’s still about what we can get away with – what we can put over on our readers.

Because the ultimate endpoint of keeping our mitts off experience that doesn’t belong to us is that there is no fiction. Someone like me only permits herself to write from the perspective of a straight white female born in North Carolina, closing on sixty, able-bodied but with bad knees, skint for years but finally able to buy the odd new shirt. All that’s left is memoir.

And here’s the bugbear, here’s where we really can’t win. At the same time that we’re to write about only the few toys that landed in our playpen, we’re also upbraided for failing to portray in our fiction a population that is sufficiently various.

I’m hoping that crime writers, for example, don’t all have personal experience of committing murder.
My most recent novel The Mandibles was taken to task by one reviewer for addressing an America that is “straight and white”. It happens that this is a multigenerational family saga – about a white family. I wasn’t instinctively inclined to insert a transvestite or bisexual, with issues that might distract from my central subject matter of apocalyptic economics. Yet the implication of this criticism is that we novelists need to plug in representatives of a variety of groups in our cast of characters, as if filling out the entering class of freshmen at a university with strict diversity requirements


Quote:
Thus in the world of identity politics, fiction writers better be careful. If we do choose to import representatives of protected groups, special rules apply. If a character happens to be black, they have to be treated with kid gloves, and never be placed in scenes that, taken out of context, might seem disrespectful. But that’s no way to write. The burden is too great, the self-examination paralysing. The natural result of that kind of criticism in the Post is that next time I don’t use any black characters, lest they do or say anything that is short of perfectly admirable and lovely.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... assing-fad

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"It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


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 Post subject: Re: Identity
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:06 pm 
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Of Systemic Importance

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Location: On the Road
Quote:
Last week, the US academic Mark Lilla joined the why-Trump? circuit with an analysis of identity liberalism as “a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity”. It granted selective rights and privileges, but never duties. “Expressive, not persuasive … it distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force.”

Lilla is scathing of the “whitelash” excuse, which licenses liberals to abuse those voting for Trump and Brexit as racists, and political correctness as yet another rightwing conspiracy. To him, these voters are poor people who fear for the integrity of their communities and see globalism as a mis-selling scam. They may be wrong, but they’re not evil.


Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy
Read more
Across the Atlantic, this onset of electoral realpolitik has created a discourse. Trump may indeed be a nightmare, but what shall we do about it? In Britain, liberalism shows no such intellectual robustness, rather a denial clothed in hysteria. The attempt by the remain tribe to undo June’s Brexit vote is ludicrous, a sign not of bad losers but of stupid ones. They should fight for soft-Brexit, not no-Brexit.

For myself, I cheer as people protest that it no longer “means” anything to be left or right, liberal or conservative. If the left is so lacking in confidence it needs to launder itself as “progressive”, that is fine by me. But I just want to kick over the tables, rip up the rule books, get on with the debate. I want to re-enact the glorious revolution of 1832.

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As for the future, commentators such as Haidt and Lilla seek a “post-identity” liberalism, built round a restoration of the nation state as repository of agreed values. This may mean accepting such majority concerns as the pace of immigration. It is one thing to ask a small community to take in two Syrian families, but impose 200 and liberalism will have an eternally uphill struggle.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... liberalism

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"It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan.”
― George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia


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