Douglas Murray is an author and journalist and has written several books on identity politics, including immigration issues and immigration.
We like to claim that we are color blind, but in reality we are obsessed with color. How can I, as a white person, understand myself and my own role towards people of color if I also claim that there is no difference between us?
Douglas Murray writes that God is dead, and what struggles we must fight in the post-religious society. We are now fighting a constant battle against everyone we believe is on the "wrong side" of the new truths we have built up in the shadow of God's death, the author writes.
We try to nail each other to the cross of shame and guilt.
The truth has become human, far too human. This means that you can quickly end up on the wrong side of the moral divide between good and evil when you begin to question the prevailing politically correct moral worldview: “Are you in opposition to social justice? What do you want? Social injustice? »
Modern identity politics
The European consciousness does not like to be confronted with its own past. Historic figures on pedestals in the form of large, towering statues now fall in the age of identity politics, rebellion and anti-racism. But the problem with being declared anti-racist is that anti-racism has become a totalitarian ideology. In the age of identity politics, you do not escape the accusations of racism if you are white, no matter how you formulate yourself. If you are not consciously racist, then you are unconscious. If you try to claim that you are not a racist, you will probably be told that you are either a racist without knowing it, or that you are trying to hide your anti-racist attitudes behind a veil of privileged superiority, only mixed with a suitable dose of shame. And how do we understand our identity in the light of modern identity politics? These are some of the key issues Murray addresses in his book.
"Third worldism" is often called the ideology that the third world is morally superior to the first, since the oppressors are morally inferior to the oppressed, an ideological view that Douglas Murray warns against: "The victim is not always right, deserves no praise, and may not even be a victim. »
In light of this, we can understand why large parts of the cultural struggle are about appearing as a victim of the abuse of others. For if one manages to give an impression of oneself as a victim, one has won the sympathy of the public, and thus the struggle over who has the right to define himself as the morally good party in a conflict. But of course: Anyone who is a victim in one position may well be an abuser in another position. No one is just a victim or just an abuser.
The author spices up the book with a number of festive examples of identity-political and gender-political problems. In the age of feminism, post-Marxism and transsexuals, it is precisely the concept of floating gender that is on the agenda. The great paradox is that we try to nail each other to fixed identities, at the same time as the postmodern concept of gender identity has become more and more fluid. A man who has committed abuse against a woman, and then changes gender before he is convicted of the abuse, should he be sent to a men's or women's prison?
The problem with being declared an anti-racist is that anti-racism has become a totalitarian ideology.
Why can lesbian women freely engage in sexual intercourse with each other in public, while a heterosexual man could never do the same to a woman without being exposed as a sexual abuser?
Some of these issues, the author writes, have to do with the development of social media. "Public shaming", as it is called in English, has dissolved the barriers between the public and the private. But, as he recalls, we lack mechanisms that can get us out of the situation we have ended up in, for example regarding public shaming. Contextual collapse is called when a statement on social media is attacked from all sides and its author is hung out for public ridicule and contempt when those who inflict shame do not know the original context.
The ability to forgive
Murray also constructs amusing issues such as: Who enjoys sex most, the woman or the man? And who will be able to decide this question? Murray claims that only a gay man, who "has both sexes built into his sexuality", is the right person to decide such a question. He also believes that the sexual play between two of the opposite sex contains many enigmatic elements, and that the rules for this game can far from be fully explained with politically correct concepts.
By the way, is it the case that the term "guilt" is all that is left of the Christian culture, while the ability to forgive has disappeared with the bathwater?
Precisely at a time when identity has become a fluid concept, the great paradox is that we try to nail each other to the cross of shame and guilt, placing each other in categories and dichotomies such as black, white, woman, man, victim, abuser; we expose people to shame who question our concepts, instead of developing a greater degree of forgiveness.
The author calls for generosity in the age of identity politics. But then we must not fall into the trap of believing that differences are something that does not exist. It is, as he writes, ridiculous to think that phenomena such as color and gender do not exist, but it would also be fatal to think that it means absolutely everything.
See also: The identity-political winds of the time