'Identity politics on the Left eventually triggers identity politics on the Right'

And individual liberty loses. So argues New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt.



In a disturbing segment over at the BBC World Service's Newshour, New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt is asked about "the psychology of rising nationalism." From the interview:

Haidt: So the story that I tell, is one in which in a sense the globalists, or the Left started it, or I should say they did things that amplified the conflicts. So we have to ask why; why even in Scandinavia, why are the really successful and prosperous democracies, why are they having the same issues of rightwing reaction?

And I think what you have to see is that globalization doesn't just change our economies, it changes the next generation of people, so young people who are raised in peace and prosperity develop values that shift to the Left. That is they begin to care about women's rights, animal rights, gay rights, the environment. You get this very progressive set of values in the next generation. So the generation that fought World War II, they were tough and changed by that in many profound ways, but their children come out not caring much about nationalism and patriotism, but much more about women's rights and other issues far away. So that's beautiful in many ways, but it creates a generation that really is anti-nationalist, anti-patriotic. And I think the anthem here is John Lennon's song Imagine.

But you know what? A lot of people, maybe more than half, in any country have a very different psychology; they don't find this beautiful, they find this basically a commitment to eliminate many of the things that they love most: their nation, their culture, their sense of identity. Globalists have to understand that they are doing things that trigger authoritarian reaction.

Q: And what is it that you think is the outcome of this new division of globalists versus the nationalists because there appears to be not just a sense of acute polarization but actually intolerance on both sides.

Haidt. Yes, I think that there are two disastrous outcomes; two things I am very, very worried about for my country, and for all of the Western democracies; it's the same thing. One is identity politics on the Left has been brewing for a long time. I've been a professor since 1995 at the University of Virginia and now at New York University; so I've watched identity politics get stronger and stronger; more focused on matrices of oppression – straight white males this and straight white males that – and after a while, as I forget who pointed out in the current election, if you keep treating white men as an identity group, you keep saying that "they are terrible; they are evil"—eventually they become just like another identity group and they voted their racial interests, in a sense you might say. So identity politics on the Left eventually triggers identity politics on the Right.

The BBC segment evidently didn't get to Haidt's second disastrous outcome. Bolstering Haidt's insight that Left's relentless promotion of identity politics has created a nationalist/populist reaction is an article on rising "identitarian movement" in Europe just published by the Economist. According to the Economist the identitarian movement's "professed mission is to preserve national differences. 'Human rights include the right to a homeland' is a typical mantra."

It is more than tragic that Leftwing/Progressive promoters of identity politics do not realize that they have, in fact, embraced on the anti-universalist anti-liberal reactionary views of 19th century conservative French philosopher Joseph de Maistre who declared:

Now, there is no such thing as 'man' in this world. In my life I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, and so on. I even know, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be Persian. But as for man, I declare I've never encountered him.

In his brilliant essay, "The Culture of Liberty," Peruvian novelist and thinker Mario Vargas Llosa explains that identity politics is actually the opposite of liberalism. He notes that "in reality, globalizaiton does not suffocate local cultures but rather liberates them from the ideological conformity of nationalism." Vargas Llosa continues:

The notion of "cultural identity" is dangerous. From a social point of view, it represents merely a doubtful, artificial concept, but from a political perspective it threatens humanity's most precious achievement: freedom. I do not deny that people who speak the same language, were born and live in the same territory, face the same problems, and practice the same religions and customs have common characteristics. But that collective denominator can never fully define each one of them, and it only abolishes or relegates to a disdainful secondary plane the sum of unique attributes and traits that differentiates one member of the group from the others. The concept of identity, when not employed on an exclusively individual scale, is inherently reductionist and dehumanizing, a collectivist and ideological abstraction of all that is original and creative in the human being, of all that has not been imposed by inheritance, geography, or social pressure. Rather, true identity springs from the capacity of human beings to resist these influences and counter them with free acts of their own invention. …

Globalization extends radically to all citizens of this planet the possibility to construct their individual cultural identities through voluntary action, according to their preferences and intimate motivations. Now, citizens are not always obligated, as in the past and in many places in the present, to respect an identity that traps them in a concentration camp from which there is no escape—the identity that is imposed on them through the language, nation, church, and customs of the place where they were born. In this sense, globalization must be welcomed because it notably expands the horizons of individual liberty.

The global outbreak of tribalism spurred by the spread of reactionary Leftwing/Progressive identity politics now threatens to stifle individual liberty everywhere.

For more background on moral psychology see Haidt's Reason feature article, "Born This Way?"

NEXT: 'Fake News' Is Easier to Trace and Debunk Than Ever Before

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  1. This is pattern I was thinking about during election. If everyone’s going to be in their tribe, whitey will revert to the mean.

    When lefties speak of demographic destiny, they make erroneous assumption whitey will always think beyond tribal identity as presently they do – one sees the conceit when pundits dice up the whitey-slice on demographic pie chart into educated whitey, unmarried whitey, girl whitey, etc., while the Darky and Brownie slices are only that, and nothing else.

    Same thing will happen with Team Jesus if Team Camel keeps getting a pass.

    1. A decent reason my job is to inform all my brothers and sisters in “Team Jesus” that the man said “love your neighbor as yourself” and defined “neighbor” as the one who is supposed to be most opposed to you. Also, I have to remind them that government is NOT supposed to be a tool used by Christians as he said “My Kingdom is not of this world”.

      Also, “Do unto others” and all that…

  2. Good grief. The Right as just as much “identity politics” as the Left. Stop this crap.

    1. Where did you get that crazy idea, from your Eleanor club?

  3. Fucking individualism, how does it work?

    1. But thinking for yourself is so difficult. And what if you make a decision of which others disapprove?

      1. True. Especially when one can get ‘free’ stuff taken by force from others!

      2. Why, you get stoned to death.

      3. I saw the trend before the election, found it depressing and went offline for a month or so because of it.

        Stuff that shouldn’t be racial is turning racial. BAD.

    2. Fucking individualism, how does it work?

      Well, X, when a mommy group of identitarians hates freedom, and meets a daddy another group of identitarians, they will collude with each other to rob people of their natural rights, so that they can have social and political power….

          1. Hey, it’s Alice the Goon! And she shaved her arms!

          2. “I wonder why he only ever wants to put it in my butt.”

            1. All those clammy malodorous folds get hard to tell apart after a while.

              1. “Was that a queef or an arm fart?”


                1. Shoggothim need love too.

            2. It being November the winter coat should be grown in by now. Oh yeah, global warming.

  4. Brian: Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!
    Crowd: [in unison] Yes! We’re all individuals!
    Brian: You’re all different!
    Crowd: [in unison] Yes, we are all different!
    Man in crowd: I’m not.
    Crowd: Shhh!

    1. + 1 stone

    2. Tell us more, oh Lord!

      1. He said blessed is the cheese makers.

        1. What’s so special about the cheese-makers?

          1. Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

            1. Also dog-whistle way of saying eternal hellfire awaits the lactose intolerant.

              1. Hellfire awaits the lactose intolerant… about ten minutes after we put too much milk in a cup of coffee.

        2. What a friend we have in cheeses.

          1. Damn you, Gaear!

  5. Joseph de Maistre! We get as much from him as we deserve.

  6. Globalization benefits corporations with the wherewithal to extend overseas and the countries whose economies benefit from the corporations moving to them.

    It ultimately kills small business and the ability to compete with the ever growing multi-nationals while simultaneously hurting the home economies of the countries the corporations vacate from.

    The problem with a Libertarian supporting globalization is it’s unsustainable for the economic well-being of the home country. The whole open world concept does not work when the countries of the world have so much inequity. If America limited its globalization efforts to Western Europe and Australia, everything would work just fine. But that’s not the way it actually happens at all.

    1. Who cares about the ‘economic well-being of the home country’? Globalization is quite sustainable, since people have no problem voting in inconsequential elections either. Bunch of sheep, all of them!

      1. I don’t look forward to the day that all the jobs have been taken over by automation or have been shipped overseas, creating a welfare state much larger than the one we have today. Especially because at that point welfare will just be a giftcard to Walmart, because Walmart will be the only business left.

        1. Well I don’t enjoy people like you using the State to infringe on my right to freely associate and trade with people around the world.

          1. When did I suggest infringing upon anything? I simply said that globalization in the long-term is a negative for a country like America that is already at the top of the economic food-chain.

        2. There are risks associated with increasing automation but there are also amazing opportunities. Like goods and services becoming so cheap that we can have a high standard of living with substantially reduced work and more time for leisure and other personal pursuits. Like with every other technological revolution.

        3. Robot income tax? Make em pay their 15.3% at least and turn em off at retirement age. Warehouses full of unproductive, non consuming taxpayers. We’ll all retire in comfort!

      2. Who cares about the ‘economic well-being of the home country’?

        The people who have no realistic choice except living there, probably.

        1. It is all beside the point. Mercantilism is based upon false premises. Individuals are the agents of economics, not nations.

    2. All we care about is free markets, how that works out is how it works out.

    3. Trade with China has, on net, improved the lives of those in China and the US.

      1. China has benefited much more so than we have.

        Life has been great in America for a long time. Since well before China started shipping in cheap garbage. In fact, wages in America have failed to keep up with inflation.

        So exactly how you claim that the cheap garbage which has suppressed American wages is a net improvement is beyond me. But thank God I saved $0.35 on that shovel.

        1. China benefiting more than we have in no way diminishes our benefits. This isn’t a zero sum game

          As for wages not keeping up with inflation, that is far more complex than international trade. The segments of the population that have experienced wage stagnation should look to a broken education system, technology, and stiffling regulations. Trade had had an impact but it’s not the only factor. Meanwhile cheap Chinese goods have made life better for lots of Americans.

          1. You do understand what “net” means, yes?

            Just under 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts today. Why? Because despite all that cheap Chinese shit, the cost of living has gone up but wages have not kept pace. But hooray for that cheap shit that’s improved my life even though it hasn’t kept my cost of living down relative to the money I bring in!

            1. Once again you’re blanking trade for things that you shouldn’t.

              But hooray for that cheap shit that’s improved my life even though it hasn’t kept my cost of living down relative to the money I bring in!

              Then your experience is atypical as the cost of most consumer goods have decreased since the 1970s, in some cases dramatically, when measured by the hours worked that are needed to afford them

              1. Yeah because housing, cars, food and even shit like movie tickets hasn’t increased at all.

                What index are you getting these decreased costs from exactly?

                1. The primary driver of the expense of automobiles has been the constant ramp up of environmental and safety regulations. You cannot buy a new car manufactured to the standards of the early 2000s, never mind the 1980s or 1960s.

                2. Housing and food are more or less immune from foreign competition. So is the price of a movie ticket for that matter, and is largely a reflection of the price of domestic labor (full compensation, not just wages) and rent, both of which have increased. Really, you’re picking terrible examples for your anti-trade stance.

                  The retail price of cars has increased at a steady clip, mostly in line with CPI. But cars today are loaded with so much features and built to such a higher quality than they were even 15 years ago that it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. And that is due to a combination of increased technology (which progresses faster in a free trade environment) and increased competition (again a point in trade’s favor). They’re not the same product, even if they fill the same niche.

                  A functionally equivalent car to my own would have sold for ~$17-19k back in 1995, but a ’95 Taurus and a 2010 Fusion are as different as an iPhone7 and a StarTac.

                  1. How about we look at the actual numbers surrounding something like cars and their relative cost as opposed to your anecdotal opinion driven bullshit?

                    More expensive

                    1. Average car price is $31,000? I’m going to need to see some details on that. A nice midsize SUV can be had for much less than that, to say nothing of a good sedan.

                    2. You can get a Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus for under $19,000. A Camry or Fusion are under $23,000. If the average is going up because the high end of the market has grown, that’s not good evidence for decreasing prosperity.

                    3. How about we look at the actual numbers surrounding something like cars and their relative cost as opposed to your anecdotal opinion driven bullshit?

                      I don’t know if you’re responding to me or to KDN but regardless, looking at the changes in numbers does nothing to explain the causal factors leading to the changes.

                      A car sold in 1950 wouldn’t even rate on the modern safety scale. Anybody making one in the U.S. would be sued into oblivion before they could roll out a full production line. Hell, a car made in 1990 would probably get a 1-star rating on the 2015 safety scale. Forget “comfort” features like air conditioning or power windows, the lack of seatbelts, airbags, and especially crumple zones on a 1950 car make it utterly incomparable to a modern car. Collisions that people routinely walk away from today would have been fatal or crippling in the 1950s.

                      Car companies have also had to adapt to the introduction of unleaded gasoline, ever-tightening emissions regulations, and now 10% ethanol as a standard component of fuel. None of that shit comes for free.

                    4. Why I used to be able to buy a horse for two bushels of corn and a jug of whiskey! Try buying a car for that! Damn Chinese….

                3. Good info here

                  Also check out human

            2. You do understand what “net” means, yes?

              Yes. It’s something that divides a tennis court in two equal halves.

            3. Just under 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts today. Why? Because

              savings accounts don’t pay shit because the Federal Reserve has set rates to almost zero.

              1. Are you suggesting that 70% of Americans are so in tune to the financial markets that they have moved their money to more lucrative places instead of the simple explanation backed up by numerical fact that there is simply less discretionary money to be thrown around?

                1. They don’t have to be very in tune to financial markets to notice that their bank account has basically the same balance this year that it did last year.

                  Having less so-called “discretionary income” would explain savings accounts growing at a slower rate. It does not, by itself, explain savings accounts being depleted or eschewed entirely.

                  Right now, debt is easy to get and savings accounts aren’t rewarding. So it is not exactly surprising that people have lots of debt and not a lot of savings, on average.

                  1. They have to be in tune to financial markets and investing if they’re going to do anything other than leave their money in a savings account.

                    Most people don’t have financial guys. Most people don’t buy and sell stocks on their own. Most people just put their earnings into retirement funds and savings accounts.

                    The fact that you say “so called discretionary income” tells me all I need to know about your understanding of basic economics.

                    1. WTF? Who was talking about stocks?

                      Don’t tell me my understanding of economics is lacking when you can’t even understand the difference between a savings account and the stock market.

                  2. Just to note something; a lot of money sitting in your savings account means that if you’re young you aren’t leveraging debt enough. Make no mistake, a savings account is a terrible measure of wealth. Especially in an economy where, as kbolino tried to tell you, leaving money there means it isn’t earning for you elsewhere.

                    There are criticisms of the free market one could make, but it’s unfortunately very clear that you don’t understand economics well enough to even make a cursory critique. I’m not saying that to be mean, it’s just really obvious to anyone that’s had any formal economics training. I’m by no means an expert, I just took Econ 1 & 2 in college, but your ignorance is really showing here.

                    1. LOL, I just read your comment where you lump savings accounts and retirement funds in the same breath as you’re bitching about savings accounts. Yeah. Because a retirement fund isn’t a stocks account/IRA/401K which are totally the same thing as a savings account.

                      God you’re not only ignorant, but you’re proud of it.

          2. stiffling regulations

            Stiffle it, Edit’.

        2. wages in America have failed to keep up with inflation

          Who created the inflation?

          Why is it that people bitch about wages, which are a product of market forces and thus very much beyond any institution’s control, and not inflation, which is a product of government management of the money supply and very much under the government’s control?

          1. Why is it that people bitch about things being more expensive while their salary doesn’t keep pace?

            Is that a serious question?

            1. No. he’s asking why people don’t bitch about things being more expensive while their salary doesn’t keep pace.

              For example the cost of medical care.

            2. I don’t know if you could miss the point more thoroughly, but maybe I just failed to communicate it.

              Inflation is the cause of all these complaints. There is no reason to expect wages to “keep pace” with inflation because money doesn’t grow on fucking trees. For the same reason you are having a harder time paying for things, your employers are having a harder time paying you.

              But why does no one call out inflation? Why is the blame laid at the feet of trade, or businesses, or markets in general when those things are only reacting to inflation? The government creates inflation. The government has set an intentional and explicit policy of undermining the value of your earnings and your savings.

              Why do you not assign blame where it is due?

              1. I didn’t miss anything.

                You’re ignoring basic humanity.

                Things cost more money. I have less discretionary money. I have less things. I’m mad about that.

                It’s a pretty simple equation.

                1. I’m mad about that.

                  So be mad. At the people responsible.

                2. Could you be more obtuse?

                  Here’s a hint: Don’t be mad at trade. Be mad at the fucking government that is driving inflation and ACTUALLY causing things to be more expensive, including your labor.

              2. Guvment and Reason mag told me there’s no inflation so I’m blaming the yellow man.

        3. China has benefited much more so than we have.

          Even supposing that’s true, so what? We (i.e. “Most Americans”) are most assuredly better now than we were before freer trade with China and others. The call for increased protectionism is special pleading from a minority that is hurt by the arrangement and lacks the wherewithal to adjust his life in the face of a changed world.

          wages in America have failed to keep up with inflation.

          That’s mostly due to accounting shenanigans. Total compensation has more than kept up with inflation, but too much of it is shunted into items like health insurance that are largely hidden from employees.

          thank God I saved $0.35 on that shovel.

          And here is a perfect example of the provincialism at play. You’re offering blindness to the bigger picture as if it’s some sort of virtue. You know what else you saved? Thousands of dollars each on your last computer, television, and car, tens of dollars on every piece of clothing you own, etc.You want me to have to pay thousands of dollars more per year on durable goods because you don’t want to move out of the Mahoning Valley.

          1. Yes, the lack of money in American’s bank accounts assuredly means we are all better off than we were before when we actually had money in our bank accounts.

            You are conflating technological and medicinal advances with economic.

            1. You are ignoring the impact that trade has on the ability of these advances to happen, be brought to market, and be offered to the masses at a price which generates a decent profit. We’d be several years behind from where we are today technologically if we eschewed our relatively free trading stance of the last several decades.

            2. And you are conflating wealth with money. Hint: they aren’t the same!

          2. Huh. Now the Mahoning Valley is well enough known to be used as an example in economic arguments. Weird.

            Almost no one heard of the place outside of NE Ohio prior to about 2 weeks ago.

            1. A former roommate of mine is from the Youngstown suburbs. I’ve been using it for ages.

          3. “The call for increased protectionism is special pleading from a minority that is hurt by the arrangement and lacks the wherewithal to adjust his life in the face of a changed world.”
            I don’t disagree but I would point out that if you are over age 50 and find yourself in this world changed by opaque, indecipherable trade deals crafted by political actors over the course of multiple presidents and legislatures, you will almost certainly will not have the wherewithal to adjust. While these people may be in the minority they are not insignificant and they will act in their own self interest. It’s one reason we will soon have president Trump. My betters call this reaction nationalism. You can call it what you want but

      2. Trade with China has benefitted China so much that companies looking to outsource aren’t considering China as much due to rising wages. They’ve risen enough that there are companies that bring people over from China for shopping trips.

    4. Globalization benefits corporations with the wherewithal to extend overseas and the countries whose economies benefit from the corporations moving to them.

      Counterpoint: sugar. Opening the US sugar market will save Americans dollars and save jobs.

      The US is extremely protectionist when it comes to sugar. There are tariffs on sugar so that imported sugar costs as much as US sugar plus quotas to limit the amount of sugar coming into the US to prevent prices on sugar from falling.

      The result is that sugar costs about 50% to 100% more in the US than outside the US, resulting in Americans paying 1.4B USD extra for the sugar they consumed in 2013. As a response to that, sugar-using manufacturers have left the US for where sugar is cheaper ? like Brach’s which went to Canada, which has a sugar tariff 1/12 that of the US and Mondelez (manufacturer of Oreos and Chips Ahoy) which went to Mexico. While the tariff has saved jobs for US sugar manufacturers, that has come at the cost of 3 jobs in sugar-based manufacturing per job in sugar production so far.

      If we keep the sugar tariff and quotas, we’ll see that number keep going up. If we cut the tariff back severely and eliminate the quota, regular Americans will save money on sugar and manufacturers that use sugar will see their costs fall and the temptation to move to Canada will shrink.

  7. it’s unsustainable for the economic well-being of the home country.

    You are too egalitarian sir. Having a giant free trade zone binding the wealthy of Massachusetts with the poor of West Virginia is unsustainable!

    Only when the prosperous counties allowed to enact trade barriers preventing the residents of poor counties parasitically sucking out the prosperous counties’ wealth and degrading them into a destitute state will there be a sustainable prosperity.

    1. Perhaps. How many hundreds of pages will your “free” trade treaty be instead. As an idea, globalization should just be the progression of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. In practice, it appears that only having every person under the same sovereign power structure really allows the sort of trade you are describing.

      1. I agree. When I rise to power, after we have disposed of all the drug warriors in the boats, the next step will be to alter the nation’s economic path to a prosperous one: unilateral free trade (i.e. no tariffs or import duties). If the French wish to tax (and impoverish) their citizens in order to provide us with cheaper airplanes, it will make me very sad, but I will take advantage of it.

      2. Freer trade is still better than less free trade, even if free trade is the ideal.

        1. I also agree. But I’m pointing out that what goes under the moniker of globalization is not all the reduction of barriers to the flow of capital, goods, and labor to their most efficient use. One can both support free trade and oppose so called free-trade pacts that discuss how to prosecute copyright “violators” more uniformly and various other carveouts to the tune of nearly 1000 pages. I don’t agree with Jay, but to pretend that what we have now that is called globalization is free trade is a farce.

        2. Strctly speaking, yes. That said, let’s say every job in the economy was protected but your own. Yes, your loss of protection would still mean the economy was better off. You’d still probably rightly think you were getting royally screwed.

    2. The relationship between Massachusetts and West Virginia is not equivalent to America and Thailand.

    3. The standard response from the prog would be twofold: first, even if you have no interest in identity, identity has an interest in you. Essentially unless you are an autarchist living on a deserted island, you are influenced by, and influence in turn, those around you, and that influence is in part predicated upon the things which form identity groups (skin color, sexual orientation, etc.)

      Second, identity groups form to protect themselves from the dominant oppressive group. Therefore justice is only served when everyone *except* white straight males forms into identity groups, because white straight males are the oppressors of the world. So there is no hypocrisy from their standpoint to explicitly encourage identity politics among everyone else, while demonizing white straight males for same.

      1. Huh, that wasn’t supposed to be a response, I meant it as a new comment.

        1. The third item when I rise to rule will be the dropping of trade barriers.

          The second item will be euthanizing the squirrels.

          1. Eliminate barriers to commenting, while you’re at it.

        2. There are no new comments, Jim. The last new comment was made in the late 5th Century BC, by Euclid of Megara, telling an opponent that he was an asshole of the Form of the Good.

          1. I’ve always had a soft spot for the classics.

      2. So there is no hypocrisy from their standpoint to explicitly encourage identity politics among everyone else, while demonizing white straight males for same.

        OK, but what do they say will happen once they reach that goal where white males are no longer capable of oppression?

        1. It isn’t enough that they no longer be capable of direct oppression. As long as inequality exists anywhere on the globe, it is evidence of the pernicious effect of lingering subconscious structural oppression. Thus, you’re describing a problem they may have 1,000 years from now, and is such a distant concern that no thought is spared to it.

          1. Invisible oppression everywhere, impossible to disprove? Sounds like mysticism to me.

            1. It will be called the Invisible Fist, I suspect.

        2. White males are capable of oppression simply by existing and breathing. In the future a small, token number of white males will be kept in preserves to ensure that other identity groups have someone to blame, because their extinction would cause the entire blame-based structure of modern society to come crashing down into chaos.

      3. If you put a narrow group of people like straight white males in a group, tell them they are shit and the reason for the entire world being shit, eventually you’re going to create the very us vs. them scenario that was claimed all along.

        Thus the tail wags the dog.

        1. From their perspective, it was always us vs. them from the Age of Exploration on. They don’t see it as creating that environment, only as their finally fighting back by fighting fire with fire.

          1. I’m not really sure what group you’re referring to as ‘us vs. them’ since the age of exploration in all honesty. The royalists? Progressivism isn’t that old, to my recollection.

            1. I’m not talking about progressivism, I’m talking about the groups that progressivism claims to represent. They view the Age of Exploration as the beginning of the great war between straight white men and the rest of the world.

              1. Whose ‘Age of Exploration’?

                There have been numerous such ages. From the first, African one that started before homo sapiens existed, lasted longer than all other combines, and peopled the earth, to the current global one that has most nations hurling things into space in the hope that something will stick.

                The entirety of identity politics rests on ignoring all but one.

    4. Screw it–free trade with everyone.

      1. Worked for the UK 1850-1913.

        1. Why not act now, while the world wallows in socialism, and become rich as fuck again?

          1. Because we don’t have idiots like China demanding silver and then being so corrupt that they sell it back to us for opium that costs us nothing? Also, try selling tea off an American flagged ship in a British port in the early free-trade years.

            1. Actually the U.S. taking advantage of the foolishness of other nations would also make us more fabulously wealthy.

              1. Especially if we didn’t follow the currency race to the bottom.

        2. The relationship with Britain and the world of that period is nothing like that of America and the current third world. There is nothing to be learned from that period.

          Too much is at stake. Some poor sod somewhere might have to find a new line of work, and that’s just a shame no man should bear. Protectionism now, protectionism forever.

  8. “So identity politics on the Left eventually triggers identity politics on the Right.”

    I made this ppint in the alt right article the other day. I can’t imagine growing up today as a young white man and everything is going swimmingly and then I get to college and all these people have their own little identity culture going on with one thing in common, they all consider me a racist and rapist. What do they think is going to happen?

    1. And I realize that most people on campus’ are probably not caught up in all that idiocy, but there are probably enough to make me at least want to troll the shit out of them.

    2. You fix the cable?

      1. Sorry love. No time for the ol’ in-out, I’m just here to check the meter.

      2. Yeah, Saturday. Had to replace dvr/wireless modem aka gateway. Came 2nd quarter of osu game. My dad would have gone nuts Thanksgiving without sports on.

    3. they all consider me a racist and rapist. What do they think is going to happen?

      You’re going to rape black women?

      1. I would never put forth that much effort

    4. Human beings are hardwired to be at least somewhat tribal. Pretending otherwise is to deny human nature, just as communism is doomed to fail because it runs contrary to basic human nature. Hammering people over the head with their differences 24/7 is madness in a multiracial, multiethnic, polyglot society.

      1. By that line of reasoning Libertarianism is antithetical to human nature as well. Just saying.

        1. Some versions of libertarianism may very well be incompatible with human nature for a significant number of humans.

        2. Why do you hate utopia?

        3. I identify (oops, there’s that identity thing again!) as a libertarian because my own opinions are closest to the principles of libertarianism by a large degree, but I don’t agree with absolutely everything that gets the L label, and I doubt many of us truly do.

          To me, the genius of federalism is that it allows for real differences between the states while also reaping the benefits/protections of belonging to a larger federal entity. The individual states have the freedom to govern as per the wishes of their citizens, and the citizens are free to choose to live in whichever state is most amenable to their beliefs.

          I’m no more a libertarian utopian than any other sort of utopian. Federalism is the best, by far, of imperfect systems.

  9. Why is she wearing eye glasses? Did she need to read fine print or a far-away traffic sign?

    I am being a total prick here, but there is tendency to fancy up black people with eye glasses and golf shirts.

    I don’t think this is required.

    1. +1 NBA post-game press conference.

  10. Nonwhites have been using ethnic nationalism to bludgeon whites for decades. It was inevitable that a white ethnic identity bloc would reemerge as a political force in the US and Europe. It’s blowback plain and simple.

  11. For all of the talk about the rise of the dreaded “white identity politics”, no one seems to notice that the Democrats have been playing white identity politics for decades. It is not the same sort of identity politics as they play with minorities but it is identity polics none the less. Minorities vote Democrat because the Democrats have convinced them Republicans hate them and they are best served voting as a block out of raw group self interest.

    With whites, the Democratic party is the tolerant brand. Voting Democrat is the way white people show they are tolerant and not racist and thus superior to other white people who do not vote Democrat. That is nothing but white identity politics. It just has a splash of class elitism to make it more palatable to whites. This sort of identity politics only appeals to progressive whites. Independent whites and conservative whites don’t give a shit what prog whites think of them. But it still serves a vital function to the Democratic party in that it keeps progressive whites from voting third party.

    1. We just had an election where it was revealed that the Democratic nominee fixed the primary to steal the nomination from the preferred choice white progressives. The Democratic nominee also made no secret of the fact that she was the candidate of the establishment and wall street, all things white progressives claim to hate. Yet, Clinton got something like 90% of all Democratic votes. Why didn’t the Bernie Sanders supporters, who were nearly all white and all far left, walk away from Clinton? Because voting Democrat and against Republicans is how they show their tolerance and superiority over other whites. And that identity politics is more important than anything Clinton did to Sanders. Without it, the Democratic party would either have to run someone like Bill DIBlasio every presidential election or be doomed by a third party challenge from the left.

      1. ‘Super Delegates’ always ensured Hillary’s win in the Primary, but you’ll note that this didn’t stop her from further stacking the deck. It’s almost as if she just can’t help herself when it comes to cheating.

        1. In fairness, why not. She still got the votes of the Bernie supporters.

    2. Interesting, but it’s not the topic in tread in here.

      1. It is tangentially. The rise of dreaded white identity politics in the US is associated with the rise of the nationalist right in the Europe.

  12. Great, the ads have one for “Miami’s hottest gay bars and night clubs” featuring a picture of two women of color. Now I really do know how it feels to be completely in the out group. White, male, heterosexual, and not in Miami. FINE, TABOOLA, JUST OTHER ME!

  13. I think people are simultaneously indifferent to the fact that the lives they live today are indisputably better than the lives their parents and grandparents lived and hostile to the agents of change that created such a world.

    So in other words, people become short-sighted and irrational when they lack proper morals and principles.

  14. Also, when Vargas Llosa talks about globalization, I’m not even sure if he’s talking about the same kind of “globalization” as others have done. It’s like the term has lost all its meaning (like liberalism).

  15. The global outbreak of tribalism spurred by the spread of reactionary Leftwing/Progressive identity politics now threatens to stifle individual liberty everywhere.

    No Ron. What caused the rise of nationalism in Europe is a particular tribe of people coming out of primarily Arabia and North Africa who are colonizing Europe and have a bad habit or murdering people in the name of their religion. And the elites who run Europe refuse to even admit the truth much less do anything about it.

    The rise of nationalism in Western Europe is the result of its elites failure to deal with Europe’s Muslim problem. Any time someone talks about the rise of nationalism in Europe and fails to talk about the Muslim problem like you have here is lying and shouldn’t be taken seriously on the issue.

    1. The rise of nationalism in Western Europe is the result of its elites failure to deal with Europe’s Muslim problem.

      And why are the elites refusing to deal with it? Because acknowledging its existence would negate a major component of the mythology that justifies their identity politics.

      I would argue that it is a devotion to identity politics that really made the crisis. Syrians who faced the knowledge they’d be vigorously prosecuted for rapes, who faced the expectation that they would have to get along with the residents instead of being able to misbehave with impunity and collect welfare while doing it to boot(!), would behave very differently.

      If it weren’t the syrians it would be some other injustice caused by identity politics creating the counterreaction. Because at its core identity politics consists of demonizing people for what group they belong to and not for their actions. It always has innocent victims.

      1. I think you are right about that. They made the Muslims a designated victim group and enabled Muslim’s worst tendencies. The irony is that it is likely to end very badly for Muslims when the backlash finally comes. If your goal was to goad Europe into murdering all of the Muslims, you could not have come up with a better way to do it than do what the Western European Elites have done.

        1. I went to a tony private prep school catering to Boston Brahmins. Since the brexit vote they have been very active on facebook whinging about the unwashed masses voting against the masses’ best interests.

          They are part of the elite. One is married to some very wealthy eurocrat who heads some fucking bureau.

          They literally cannot comprehend how out of touch with reality they are. And much of that detachment is the product of denial. They deny the rapes happened. They deny the sexual predation at Rotterham. They deny that arabs have backward cultural practices (apparently only West Virginians have those). They deny that the U.S. foreign policy in the middle east is fomenting rather than tamping down conflict, they deny that the U.S. middle class is facing an erosion of its standard of living, that small businesses are being destroyed by federal policy. They deny that there is any reason other than racism and sexism to oppose their enlightened policies. Reading their fart sniffing congradulafests, I am oft reminded of King Arnulf in Eric the Viking obliviously telling everyone everything is fine.

          Because they deny that people disagreeing with them have a point, they don’t really get the limits of how far they can push their brilliant ideas. And are absolutely surprised when the people they are needling turn around and rhetorically punch them in the nose.

          1. Yeah. I have many friends just like that. Hell, what you wrote describes the author of this article and the reason staff to a large degree. They don’t see reality for what it is. They see reality as whatever confirms the morality play going on in their heads.

  16. I don’t disagree but people still have agency. This particular reaction to progressive identity politics was never inevitable.

  17. The global outbreak of tribalism spurred by the spread of reactionary Leftwing/Progressive identity politics now threatens to stifle individual liberty everywhere.

    Not necessarily, because belief in individual liberty is not equally distributed everywhere. It’s heavily concentrated in Western civilization, which is largely Christian and (hang onto your hats) white. That does not mean that those ideals are inherently connected to any ethnic/religious/geographic group, but historically, they often have been. (Exactly why that is, is a whole ‘nother topic.)

    One clear example is that belief in individual liberty is rather scarce in the Muslim world. So as much as it may discomfort libertarians, if the US did stop Muslim immigration, that would, on balance, be a win for our liberty, because we’d have fewer people devoted to anti-libertarian beliefs, and have less need for government anti-terror surveillance. And I’m aware of nothing in libertarian theory that requires me to sacrifice my liberty for that anti-libertarians can have more liberty. I don’t think any sane person can argue that German liberty has been increased by a flood of Muslim migrants.

    Harsh, but true.

    1. And it should come as no surprise that someone like Robby Soave would find the rise of right wing politics and the degradation of left wing politics as something scary. You know who else feared a diminishing of leftist power?

      1. Hitler? No that can’t be right.
        Oh I know. Ned Flanders.

  18. While I think Haidt makes some good points, I think he’s a bit too lenient on the social justice warriors and progressives.

    Imagine a world where academic credentialing didn’t exist and a bartender or priest (nevermind just someone with a bachelors or a masters in psychology)could open up shop as a psychologist. How many of his peers and associates would look on the new entrants as a threat? How many would be moving to have the new entrants taken out of the labor market? Now, imagine the response from polite society to their complaints was contempt and accusations of moral failure.

    1. IN Libertobia, immigration would rarely be an issue. If there were no public schools, welfare of any sort nor anything beyond the most basic services, immigrants would only come here if they could support themselves and there would be little danger that they would consume more government services than value they produce to the economy. Anyone who couldn’t or wouldn’t work would quickly find life pretty unbearable and go home or more likely never come in the first place.

      We don’t live in libertopia. We do have public schools and welfare and a huge variety of government services. So people will come here even if they don’t have a job or not look for one once they get here. Moreover, even if they get a job, they often will not produce enough tax money to cover the cost of the services they use. So a huge influx of low skilled workers becomes a drag on society where it would not be in Libertopia.

      1. I’m sure what you’re talking about is part of it. But, I think there’s another factor in play here. I can easily see where a lot of people might kind of feel that liberalization has been done awfully unevenly. Government payrolls (both number and salary) still seem to keep growing and rules to make those with inside access more valuable continue to multiply. More and more jobs are placed in the position of demanding additional academic credentials. Human Resources departments seem to continue to swell with additional regulation.

        Now, if I’m a working guy, I think I might look at this and start to wonder why the hell it is that the only person who seems to be getting rationalized through offshoring or imported labor is me.

        1. Every single journalist, academic and politician who argues for free trade and open borders benefits from that. You will never meet a single one of them who ever doesn’t benefit from them much less are harmed.

          Regardless of what you think about the ultimate issue, you have to admit that it is often a case of one class of people expecting another to suffer for their benefit. It would be nice if the advocates of free trade and open borders would at least be honest about that instead of pretending that everyone who objects to either is just irrational or a racist and they are the only ones not acting in their own self interest.

          1. I’ve never said there aren’t people who lose out on trade and immigration. Anyone who claims otherwise is just plain dishonest. The rational claim is that total gains more than offset total losses.

            Now, as a libertarian, I’d suggest the answer isn’t to not liberalize, but to liberalize more broadly.

            1. The rational claim is that total gains more than offset total losses.

              Yes, but individual results may vary. Markets have winners and losers. And the judgement of the market is not the judgement of God. The deeper question that needs to be asked is who said that total wealth is the only legitimate end to economic policy. Isn’t that a pretty utilitarian argument?

              Moreover, we are already a fabulously wealthy country. If gaining a percentage point of GNP comes at the cost of putting hundreds of thousands of people into long term unemployment and suffering the social disruptions associated with it, maybe that extra point isn’t worth it.

              Further, maybe there are other reasons like national defense or keeping society from becoming fit for only a certain kind of skill that would cause us to walk away from that wealth. Do we really want to no longer be able to produce items vital to the national defense domestically? Do we really want to allow the abundance of cheap foreign goods to warp our economy completely towards services? If you are someone in the service industry sure. If you are someone in the manufacturing industry and whose skills are best suited to that, maybe not.

              These are the questions that free trade advocates never consider. If they ever were expected to do anything but personally benefit from their preferred policies, they might consider a few of these issues.

              1. These are the questions that free trade advocates never consider.

                Only the shallow ones.

                The U.S. is a large and economically diverse country. Making shit elsewhere and shipping it here is, ceteris paribus, more expensive than just making it here. But that additional cost has been drastically outweighed by the cost of doing business here.

                People vote in feel-good policies like regulations and constant welfare payment raises but never take any blame for the negative consequences.

                1. Making shit elsewhere and shipping it here is, ceteris paribus, more expensive than just making it here. But that additional cost has been drastically outweighed by the cost of doing business here.

                  Sometimes but not always. If some other country is subsidizing that good by manipulating its currency or just paying the industry, that may not be true. And free trade advocates see that as a good thing since, what is not to love about getting consumer goods below cost, as if there are no negative effects to subsidized goods. If you don’t believe me, Veronica De Rugy makes that argument all of the time. Look it up.

                  Lastly, the principles of comparative advantage would dictate that other countries are better at making some things and we are better at making others. If that wasn’t true, there would be no point to trading with them. The problem is sometimes taking advantage of that comparative advantage comes at a cost to our national defense or our societal stability that it is not worth doing.

                  1. Subsidized goods are not cheaper. They only have lower prices at the point of sale. Somebody still has to foot the bill for the subsidy. It may drive one industry temporarily but it does so at the expense of the rest of the economy. When you factor in trade, that means U.S. consumers benefit at the expense of foreigners.

                    Yes, comparative advantage and division of labor are essential for trade to function. But as I said, the U.S. is a large and economically diverse country. Comparative advantage functions within the country as well as without. The U.S. is its own best trading partner, so to speak. We may not be internationally superlative in every industry, but there’s no reason why we would have to depend on foreign trade to make anything.

                    Even if foreign trade for whatever reason leads to the U.S. becoming a net importer of a particular good, there is no reason why that situation must be permanent except for the policies of the U.S. and state governments. India subsidizes steel production for a while? Ok, fine. So we get cheaper steel for a while. Then the subsidy ends. So we bring steel plants back on line in the U.S. No, it won’t happen overnight. And no, it isn’t without cost. If not for the EPA, the NLRB, OSHA, and various and sundry other Federal and state agencies, why wouldn’t it happen?

                    1. It may drive one industry temporarily but it does so at the expense of the rest of the economy. When you factor in trade, that means U.S. consumers benefit at the expense of foreigners.

                      Yes consumers benefit. But there is more to the economy than consumers. And yes it does come at the expense of foreigners. The problem is that it warps our economy. If consumer goods are cheaper that their actual cost, people buy more of them than they normally would. That means they save less or purchase other things they would have purchased. It also means there is less money in manufacturing consumer goods than there should be. This causes the economy to be warped towards the service sector and away from the manufacturing sector. And that would be fine except that it is not the result of any market comparative advantage. It is just the result of foreign elites fucking their own consumers.

                      It is no coincidence that people in the service sector like DeRugy think this is a great thing and there is no downside, even though her economics training should cause her to know better. Veronica just wants her fucking pony.

                    2. If consumer goods are cheaper that their actual cost, people buy more of them than they normally would.

                      Except for perfectly inelastic demand, which probably doesn’t exist in the real world, demand generally increases when prices drop, regardless of why they drop. But demand is not perfectly elastic, either. Once I have satisfied my need for spoons, I’m not going to buy another dozen just because I can afford to.

                      That means they save less

                      Dubious. Maybe they save less at first because they would only have been saving to buy the things that they can now afford. But even so, once the cheaper goods are bought, tomorrow’s income can be saved for other things. A sudden drop in prices may result in a short-term drop in savings but should, again ceteris paribus, result in greater long-term savings due to income being freed up.

                      It also means there is less money in manufacturing consumer goods than there should be.

                      Again, prices do not change costs. There is, roughly speaking, the same amount of money being spent as before, it is just coming from different sources.

                      It is just the result of foreign elites fucking their own consumers taxpayers.

                      As corrected, yes. The shift in production was driven not by market demand but instead by the forcible redistribution of funds. However, again, that doesn’t affect the actual cost of the thing. The subsidy cannot continue indefinitely.

                    3. Yeah

                      You cant just “bring back online” manufacturing places

                      Here’s a thought, i know that you like to tell yourself the onyly people who know anything are the other college educated types, but machining/manufacturing is an extremely deep trade reauiring years of experience to master.

                      Hacent heard of machining? Yeah thats because its dying, and it wont be eqsy to bring it back again

            2. Bill, you seem to ignore a crucial factor: what if immigration consists largely of people who want more statism? That happens all the time, even within the US: people vote for democrats and high taxes, then their state becomes too expensive, so they move to a low-tax state and repeat the process. There’s plenty of evidence that Latin American and Muslim immigrants tend to do similar things.

              1. I see you’re familiar with Californians, some of which I suppose are decent people, coming to Texas and trying to turn the state blue, completely oblivious to the reasons why their businesses left Cali in the first place.

                1. I’ve heard the same thing about CA -> OR, CA -> NV, NY -> FL, NY -> VT, etc.

        2. good point.

    2. Imagine a world where academic credentialing didn’t exist

      Credentialing is fine, when it’s nothing more than a selling point, not a government mandate or licensing scheme.

      1. But, the latter is what it increasingly seems to be. Don’t get me wrong. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of the right credentials. But, as I say above, I can’t help but wonder if a lot of the resentment isn’t being generated by people who are running the system running it to only let other people live with the consequences of liberalization.

  19. So we have to ask why; why even in Scandinavia, why are the really successful and prosperous democracies, why are they having the same issues of rightwing reaction?

    But you don’t want the answer, because it might just be that globalization as we’ve had it, is wildly unpopular with a critical mass of people basically everywhere on the planet, for better or worse. Maybe, just maybe, globalization as we’ve had it should not be thought of as a natural migration of capital and peoples, but a series of centrally planned government programs. Maybe, just maybe, globalization doesn’t so much liberate cultures as it undermines them. Maybe the “nation” is perceived to be a better model of governance than dispassionate bureaucrats working tirelessly to undermine national interests.

    Take foreign aid, it simultaneously works against the interests of all ostensible parties involved, particularly to the intended recipient, yet the utility and ethics of that enterprise is never meaningfully questioned. Consider the direction that international law has taken under the guiding hand of the globalists in the WTO, UN and IMF, working to undermine gun rights, free expression and property rights world wide, their mission is to ensure that freedom has nowhere to hide.

    For no small proportion of the world population, globalization means foreign bureaucrats knowing better than you and then giving you their wisdom good and hard.

    1. So we have to ask why; why even in Scandinavia, why are the really successful and prosperous democracies, why are they having the same issues of rightwing reaction?

      Why? It is just so hard to figure out.…..-explained

      1. Exactly. Even if one were to concede that every aspect of globalization is an economic benefit, there’s more to society and culture than economic benefit. Some people might not be so enthusiastic when a 5% increase in pay and benefits costs their society a 1400% increase in the rape rate. I know that I’d be willing to get paid fewer dollars if it meant that Somalis, Iraqis, and Afghans weren’t moving to my town en masse bringing all their anachronisms, barbarisms and other problems with them.

        That said, I’m not convinced that supranational states, proliferating NGOs and international consortiums of national banking cartels is a net economic benefit or that the globalization we’ve been experiencing is anything more than state capitalism at best.

  20. Screw it–free trade with everyone.

    Why do they allow computer privileges in the Le Petomaine Home for Criminally Insane Gamblers? It’s just not wise.

  21. Yet another lazy repetition of a shallow misreading of de Maistre. He was certainly a Papist reactionary and apologist of the ancien r?gime, but an insightful critic of socialist bunkum and the sanctimonious excuses for the violence of the Revolution. The full context of the quote is an attack on the foolish abstractions that had led to Robespierre and the reign of terror and soon incorporated into the Constitution of the Year III:

    “The constitution of 1795, like its predecessors, was made for Man. But there is no such thing as Man in the world. In my lifetime I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; thanks to Montesquieu, I even know that one can be Persian. But, as for Man, I declare that I have never in my life met him. If he exists, he is unknown to me….This constitution might be offered to any human association from China to Geneva. But a constitution which is made for all nations is made for none: it is a pure abstraction, an academic exercise made according to some hypothetical ideal, and which ought to be addressed to Man in his imaginary dwelling place.” (on p. 97, of my Lebrun translation, 1974).

  22. In other words, Libertarians are finally coming to understand what the alt-right has been saying for a decade.

  23. It’s the movie Higher Learning where the white male tries to befriend everyone and winds up being rejected by everyone except… you guessed it… white guys who are pissed at everyone. It explains the alt-right perfectly imo. Started out as a desire to be respected as a human in a world where you are told your genetic code makes you the villain. Ends up a racists d-bag. The sad part is that had his humanity been respected in accordance with the tolerance being espoused (but clearly not followed) then he may have never resorted to his own tribal identify politics and instead there may have been a peaceful union of diverse peoples. Instead, because he has gone too far off the deep end, what still exists as his real complaints about the world will be marginalized because of everything else he did.

  24. “I think what you have to see is that globalization doesn’t just change our economies, it changes the next generation of people, so young people who are raised in peace and prosperity develop values that shift to the Left. That is they begin to care about women’s rights, animal rights, gay rights, the environment.”

    People on the right care about these things, too, but they tend to take a different form or emphasis.

    When people on the right talk about the way gays and women are treated by ISIS, I don’t think they’re faking. It’s just that their concerns about those groups aren’t about pressing gay rights or feminism here at home.

    I think it’s the same thing on the environment. People on the right don’t call themselves environmentalists or say they care about animal rights, but they spend their weekends and vacations fishing, camping, hunting–and whatever you do, don’t mess with their dog. They don’t think much of slop hunting either–because it’s cruel to the animal.

    Because they’re unwilling to make sacrifices of their standard of living to fight climate change doesn’t mean they don’t care about the environment either. Just because someone says they believe in climate change doesn’t mean they’re willing to sacrifice their standard of living for the environment either.

    “We are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.”

    —Maya Angelou

    Yeah, I quoted Maya Angelou!

    Just goes to show that given enough time, anything can happen eventually.

  25. Immigrants, illegal or legal, only lean toward Democrat due to the identity politics thrust upon them when they arrive.

    When people consider themselves “white” in their homeland and come here where they are then told that they are “brown” like a sick game of telephone, by relatives living here and by the new-Left, then who are the real bigots in that situation?

    I don’t believe that all of these stories are what they’re portrayed to be, but it’s just as disgusting: whether perpetrated by a Democrat, a Republican, or a squirrel wearing a mask.

    Technically, for all that it’s worth, Semites are Caucasians, but these guys don’t care. Really, most people who identify as “alt-Right” aren’t alt-Right. They’ve been told what the movement is meant to be by the news media: anti-PC.

    The Alt-Right Reddit, and I would not know whether different prior to news media attention, has three million followers as I was linked it recently to prove that they’re “white” nationalists. The Alt-Right Wikipedia page didn’t exist before 2016.

    It’s as if the only way to validate exploitative & pandering identity politics for those who own the news media interests is to create some sort of opposing identity politics. Simple opposition to identity politics & subjectivity in academia is too morally justified.

    I’d assume that they hope the disgust with these stories, as I’m disgusted by them but not moved, will cause some sort of reactionary re-attachment to the new-Left.

  26. My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me..???????

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