I have often cited this post on politics always being divided into two sides (the government and opposition, in parliamentary terms). For an example of that paradigm’s use beyond marginal internet cranks, the POLVIEWS index of left vs right begins with Federalists and their opposition. I was reminded of that while reading this comment on a discussion of Apocalypse Now that got very off-topic. Some of it goes as follows:

“we should think of gender as basically Men (TM) as socially constructed, which basically means oppressors/The Patriarchy (so depending on the particular context this may mean white men, straight men, cis men, etc); and Everybody Else. Thus even if you are genderfluid or nb or anything else you align yourself politically with womanness because Woman is constructed as that which is not Man and which is controlled and oppressed by Man.”

This struck me as somewhat similar to Steve Sailer’s writings on the politics of “core” vs “fringe” identity. This is a bit complicated by a later bit of that paragraph dinging certain mainstream forms of white feminism as merely aspiring to politically male status, but it’s not as if Sailer demarcated white women as “fringe” (only that the big-tent incentive would be to do so), and has often noted the divisions within any aspiring fringe coalition.

The unifying factor among these two along with melendwyr/Caledonian is defining based on what one is not. And I have to acknowledge that even while I hold the essay Keep Your Identity Small in reasonably high regard, I find myself doing it myself. Even in relatively trivial matters (though an argument could be made that all folk politics is trivial) I’m more likely to note that I have no immediate plans to see the new Star Wars movie (I’m not some sheep handing over money just because of a brand!) than of what I am looking forward to.

Advertisements