Monday, November 10, 2014

Why the identitarian left is losing, in national elections and online

That identitarians are doing worse nationally is a simple fact: Six Points on the Midterm Elections notes, "Democrats did a bit worse with its “of color” coalition: 89% with African Americans (vs 93% in 2012), 63% with Latinos (vs 71%), and, most surprisingly, only a split with the small, but fast-growing Asian American cohort (49% vs a whopping 73%)."

A number of articles in 2012 noted that Racial prejudice in US worsened during Obama's first term. The "number of Americans with implicit anti-black sentiments jumped to 56%, up from 49% during the last presidential election "

If you want to understand why, Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist is helpful, partly for what's objectively true, partly for what people on the right believe is true. The writer describes life in the identitarian left fairly well, so I see no reason to doubt her story is sincere.

Because identitarians rely on belief, they avoid studies that show identitarian campaigning makes racism worse. In 1997, a government study in Australia found, "The problem with anti-racism campaigns is that there is no clearly understood or agreed method of changing people's prejudices, values, attitudes or behaviour. What is known is that direct confrontation is likely to be counter-productive.  ... In 1997 the Council of Europe coordinated a year of anti-racism campaigns and activities throughout Europe. A survey at the end of the year, conducted in European Union countries by the polling organisation Eurobarometer, found that rather than a decline in racism, it had been marked by a growing willingness on the part of Europeans to openly declare themselves as racist."

Whether identitarians are doing worse online is a bit harder to tell. The OP at PZ Meyers and other "SJWs" from Atheism Plus have slowly lost popularity... offered this Google Trends chart as evidence of Myers' decrease:


Vox Day regularly makes claims that his readership is growing while John Scalzi's is shrinking. I don't pay much attention to either, so I don't know if Scalzi's denied that, but the quick google suggests he hasn't. In March, VD claimed,
I think the fact that [Scalzi] has stopped his previous practice of divulging his site traffic and his sales numbers, and hidden his previously available blog statistics at Quantcast, is sufficient evidence that shining a light on his web of deceit is also an effective strategy. Here were the last three months of Whatever traffic that were available to the public prior to him shutting it down; contrast them with the year before, when I began exposing his various deceits and con games:

Nov 2013: 407,363 (Nov 2012: 768,725, down 47 percent)
Dec 2013: 475,543 (Dec 2012: 861,912, down 45 percent)
Jan 2014: 542,192 (Jan 2013: 840,874, down 36 percent)

My own monthly traffic went up 36 percent, from 786,956 to 1,076,538, during that same time period. That monthly average is more than Scalzi's all-time peak of 1,027,644 in May 2012, which marked the only time Whatever exceeded one million pageviews.
VD's numbers are available through Quantcast, but Scalzi's no longer are, so I just checked Alexa. It gave this for Scalzi's Whatever:

Global Rank 


Global rank icon87,114 19,805

Rank in United States 

United States Flag17,450 
And for Vox Day's blogspot:

Global Rank 


Global rank icon49,581 17,577

Rank in United States 

United States Flag23,807   

So right now, Scalzi's ahead in the US and behind in the larger world. Without better numbers, we can't have a complete picture, but this seems clear: so long as people feel their choice is between the identitarian left and conservatives, conservatives win.

ETA: As usual, the US offers little class analysis of election results. My suspicion is that more working class people voted in 2012 than in 2014, so much of what appears to be a racial result is actually a class result.  But, of course, I could be wrong.

Related: A universalist socialist's response to "Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist"