Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the personal is not political

I've been thinking about systems and the flaw of identity politics. That reminded me of the saying, "the personal is political," a term I agreed with before I began to understand power. The personal is not political. In politics, the personal is irrelevant. Only the action of a group can be political. The only political thing an individual can do is create something so powerful that it inspires others. Otherwise, the personal is only personal.

Someone suggested identity politics first flowered with second-wave feminism. I'm not sure that's true, but "the personal is political was embraced by and may have been coined by "me generation" feminists. Which led me to wondering about the self-absorption of identity-politics activists. A quick google brought up Psychology Today's Is The "Me Generation" Less Empathetic? It has no conclusions, but that's fine; I don't either. I'm still working on finding the right questions.