Identity politics never entirely go away.
Look, we can squash it down to a reasonable degree, but everyone has an identity, multiple identities even.
Let’s say you identify as a member of a departmental softball team. Sure, it’s only a small slice of life, but within that slice, while you may work on things that overall make the company league better (including your team), if it’s your team, you’ll not be deliberately dropping catches to let the other team make runs.
Your team, you’re helping them.
There is nature, and nurture. Some things indeed are social constructs – like what fashions are considered particularly masculine. Others, like the statistical tendency toward more analytical thinking on average, greater size, greater strength, greater percentage of fast-twitch muscle, greater upper body strength, flatter IQ curve with wider “tails”, a greater percentage of testosterone, are inherent.
And a large percentage of our personalities is inborn. Depending on which measured factor, likely from 50-80%, with IQ at the higher end.
And different population groups, statistically, tend to have different, shared patterns of genes. This is not under dispute – there are several companies that can trace out a good chunk of your ancestral heritage by the likely population groups different ancestors must have included.
Ethnicity is more than just skin color. It’s an expression in culture of the net nature of overall personalities in a demographic group, and how that culture then influences which traits express themselves, and how, and which ones go on to new generations. Talk to a black doctor or programmer from Nigeria – and then consider what Africa could become if there were more black Africans like that.
But, as large chunks of the continent, Rwanda, Somalia, and the slow motion disaster that is South Africa show, they’re not. It in a way doesn’t matter why. Sure, understanding the root cause will help with a solution, but it doesn’t change what’s there right now.
So, we have large population groups within the US, even among the “white” population, that have different assumptions for behavior, different standards, and are – even with the mobility of the last century – still identifiably distinct.
And it goes on – in addition to that, we have different, manufactured identity groups like women and the various LGBTBBQ coterie. And they overlap in many ways with the ethnic groups, such that someone can intersectionally be a black female lesbian, and get credit in any progressive stack for each and every identity claimed.
Most of this now was kept to a dull roar. There was an overriding identity of “American” that appeared to be the primary one – in other words, if there was a conflict between the interests of two groups a person identified themselves with, then people would prioritize “American”. A lot of effort used to go into forcing immigrants to adopt the new identity – to make them learn the language, not be a drain on society, and leave much of their culture and ways behind.
How do you tell a globalist? Their primary loyalty is not to any “arbitrary” nation but to the world, and they have for decades explicitly preached that. That is why so many crises, especially global warming, are preached as global issues – because most won’t subsume their closer attatchment to people like them without a threat greater than their nation.
Me, I’m only going to be globe-first in the face of an alien invasion. I’m an american, and I’m not going to join a global program unless it’s actually in America’s interest.
How do they break up the nations? By atomizing us – by creating different identity groups participating in the zero sum game of government power. Balkanizing us. Once we no longer have attachments to the nation we can be moved around until the distribution is homogenous, and all differences in culture are wiped out.
Theoretically. In practice it’s pretty bloody, not clean and sanitary.
Here’s the rub though.
If group B decides that they’re going to organize for all B-ites, and vote in the interest of B-ites over country A as well as other major ethnic groups B and C, they become the intolerant minority (in the Taleb sense, no matter how much inclusivity they claim). Unless groups C and D identify as “A” primarily, and are willing to tell group “B” to shove it, guess who gets their way?
To do that in concert though, regardless if they do it as members of group “A” or separately as members of subgroups B and C, they have to act in concert… identity politics.
And there’s no way to avoid it when you start letting people who are different in in any large quantity. Nevermind the insanity of todays lack of even attempting cultural assimilation, the generations before that were made to assimilate still have recognizable pockets where their culture holds sway, and I can speak from personal experience are more invested in their parents or grandparents fatherland/motherland than America, when push comes to shove (even if they don’t realize they’re too americanized to go back).
Ethnic groupings will tend to group together, share interests, etc.
Aside from those, various other identity groupings will gather round as well.
Once they decide to start playing identity politics as a zero sum political game – and there’s always a greedy bastard eventually willing to bend ears – rather than just self-help and promotion, the only possible response is for another, or the “other” identity groups to push back and squelch it. That includes metagroups like “americans”
But we don’t do that anymore. Patriotism, I’m assured, is dead. Scary. Nationalistic.
How bad the pushback gets depends on how bad it’s allowed to get in the first place, and right now it’s pretty bad.
Of course, one way to reduce the number of ways some asshole can play those games is to have a common culture with shared standards and a high degree of shared assumptions and personality traits.
In practice, this eventually may mean a largely shared ethnicity as even with the broad range of personalities, and the significant overlap between groups, the small average differences add up over time, enough for recognizable stereotypes, Or one hell of a propaganda program.
More thought on this is needed.