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The identity-political winds of the time

Hordernes Hærgen – gender, race, identity
Forfatter: Douglas Murray
Forlag: Ellekær (Danmark)
IDENTITY / Hørernes Hærgen is a flame script against the identity-political winds of the time. It is a fiery battle script against contemporary moral currents.



They are currently falling on deaf ears in Denmark; the male politicians whose hand was on a female thigh years back. Now they are hit by the moral guardians of the time and brought out of play. First fell Morten Østergaard, chairman of the party Radicals, which had otherwise made it a flagship to fight violation and sexism. Then came the trip to Copenhagen's Lord Mayor, the Social Democrat Frank Jensen, who was also sent out into the cold after several women came forward with accusations of abusive behavior. He was given the title of serial offender, but found it extremely difficult to see that he had done anything wrong. Jensen withdrew primarily because he would now find it difficult to find peace of mind for the political mission.

The big question, then, is whether these male politicians are unfairly affected by the identity-political winds of the time, acting with a very different moral code than that which emerged when the violations took place? Or do they just finally get the punishment they have deserved over the years, namely by using force to gain access to women in abusive ways?

photo: pixabay

If you ask the English debater Douglas Murray, he will no doubt mean the first. Murray is with me Horde's Hærgen created a fiery battle script against contemporary moral currents. In four chapters – with the telling titles "homosexuality", "women", "race" and "trans" – Murray goes into infighting with all those who use only one of these words to say anything about our time. And with that, Murray also speaks to all those who want to say something critical or even condescending about the four areas – but who do not dare for fear of being called hateful, homophobic or politically incorrect.

Murray believes that democracy is in danger because the conversation takes place exclusively on the politically correct principles of the marginalized, which are even based on fatally erroneous analyzes. Murray allocates a large part of the misery to the university's humanities departments, where a social constructivist approach that was once marginal has now become mainstream, and where one therefore quickly – according to Murray – ends up in a mindset that perceives gender as just a construction and everything as power and thus potentially oppressive.

No one is just a victim or just an abuser.

Journalism and Metoo

Something is undoubtedly changing in our time. Allow me to give an anecdotal, albeit telling, example. During these months, I teach a number of journalism students from vastly different nations and cultures. We often have discussions about what journalism is and should be. Once – and that is 4-5 years ago – the students said words like objective, neutral, balanced, substantial. Now they say words like empathetic, human, should give voice to those who have no voice.

Is it a problem? Not necessarily. First of all, there is something quite natural in that this kind of thing changes as new generations and thus new perspectives emerge. New illustrations are emerging, and new experiences are emerging. This in itself is liberating.

Secondly, journalism could well need humanization. It has long had a partly predictable conflict and partly an inherent laziness, which has often meant that it is the same stories that are told, in the same way and with the use of the same sources. However, the students' new words can become a problem if their approach makes it impossible for a critical press capable of looking democracy in the seams. If they thwart certain parts of the public conversation to such an extent that this conversation is either not conducted or conducted in such a one-sided framework that it could just as well not take place.

The MeToo movement must not take place at the expense of an open debate where everyone can come
to order. Also the sexist scoundrels.

The Metoo movement

And that's how I feel about the spirit of the times in general. Take the MeToo movement. There is no doubt a need for a confrontation with a culture that has been based on the man's premises for far too long. Where he has raked power to himself and in this process and with this power also raked on the woman in the sexual sense. This should stop. But it must not happen at the expense of an open debate where everyone can come to order. Also the sexist scoundrels. Also those who still think it should be perfectly reasonable to flirt loose. Also those who happen to be born with a cock and not a pussy.

If the debate is curtailed, we have moved our society to a place where it should never be able to come again. The same applies to censorships with retroactive effect and to judge the deeds of the past from a contemporary point of view. We must not remove the past, because we cannot. We must thus embrace it, turn it around in our present and thereby ensure a common future that is far better and more human than what we have come from.

Douglas Murray

Also right-wing extremists

That kind of nuance is not something for polemical Murray. He has only one thunderous mission. And that's a shame, because that's how much the book does. By being swallowed up by his own belief in the free life of the present seen in relation to the bondage of the past, Murray almost manages to become blind to the very existence of racism and sexism. Furthermore, he is only able to see the leftists' use of identity politics and completely forgets that even right-wing extremists – for example the Alt Right movement in the United States – make use of exactly the same foundation.

Horde's Hærgen is a book on time. A flame script with a clear agenda. It will awaken the slumbering, convince the hesitant. Does it do so? It probably does so primarily if one already agrees with Murray's interpretation and thus on his side. I doubt Murray's world will get many new subscribers with this work.

See also: Anti-racism as a totalitarian ideology

Steffen Moestrup
Steffen Moestrup
Regular contributor to MODERN TIMES, and docent at Denmark's Medie- og Journalisthøjskole.

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