Thursday, November 17, 2011

class and f&sf: identitarianism, granfalloons, OWS, and Racefail '09

Part of what makes Kurt Vonnegut's Cats Cradle great is the religion of Bokononism, which claims that people have a true group, called a karass, but they're subject to false groups called granfalloons, "a proud and meaningless association of human beings" such as "the Communist Party, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Electric Company —and any nation, anytime, anywhere."

Identitarianism could be called granfalloonism. By accepting the identities imposed by the powerful to divide us, identitarians fight among themselves, leaving the powerful untroubled.

from European History: Class and the Right to Vote
The issue of class was thus closely connected to the question of women's suffrage. Many European countries continued to restrict voting by socioeconomic status as well as by gender. Yet some proponents of women's suffrage argued that extending the vote to middle- and upper-class women would, in fact, strengthen the subordinate position of the lower classes. Some opponents of women's suffrage, by contrast, argued that any broadening of the vote would begin a process of democratization that would undermine the system of class differences. Finally, political radicals believed that enfranchising women would bring about meaningful change, since women were considered more sympathetic to the idea of incorporating other subordinate groups into the political system. The debate surrounding whether women should vote thus revolved around questions of class.
Identitarians confuse cause and effect.

Identitarians confuse tribalism and racism and miss what matters: KFC commercial in Australia.

Identitarians prefer the echo chamber to the agora.

I generally agree with Thomas Jefferson's call in the Jefferson Bible: you can discard Paul if you want to appreciate Jesus. But I'm awfully fond of Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one..." What matters isn't tribe or privilege or sex: we're all one.