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Primal Screams

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Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics by Mary Eberstadt

From the amazon.com blurb:
Legions of people—especially the young—have become unmoored from a firm sense of self. To compensate, they join the ranks of ideological tribes spawned by identity politics and react with frenzy against any perceived threat to their group.
The sexual revolution shredded our family relationships, shrinking the nuclear and extended families that people had depended upon since the dawn of time.

Prior to the 1960's if a person was asked who they are they'd define themselves in terms of their family. They are a mother, a wife, so-in-so's neice, so-in-so's daughter, and so on. Nowadays, for many people the family is no longer there. The father is gone, half of the family never belonged or no longer belongs to them. Grandparents are no longer relied on. For young people and old being lonely and dying alone is becoming very common. So it has become difficult for people to establish their sense of identity from what's left of the family.

The other main way people garnered a sense of identity was from traditional religions, but those have fallen in prominence also.

So people tend to grab onto what's left in society, which is political, ideological, and, increasingly, identity groups.

Identity politics is when people use some immutable characteristic -- sex, race, etc. -- to form groups with which they can identify and from which they draw ideas of what they should be like, should act like, should think and believe, and so on. By virtue of that group's experience they are deemed superior and deserving of special treatment and privilege. People react in an extreme fashion against any criticism of their group and they demand sometimes bizarre and ridiculous dispensations from the rest of society.

Identity politics is completely toxic and detrimental to the ideals of American culture. Because they think that their own groups should be elevated and others should be punished, identity politics is incompatible with freedom, equality, justice, fraternity, and the free market. In American jurisprudence individual justice is the only form of justice that is allowed. For identity politics group justice, i.e., "social justice", is all that matters.

And so, over the past 50 years American culture has evolved in incredibly bad ways and has become dysfunctional beyond belief. There's no way to get back to a healthy society now short of some sort of unforeseeable huge calamity or reform.
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  1. TheGoverness's Avatar
    What a bunch of nonsense.
  2. Jesse Booth's Avatar
    Imagine unironically believing that identity politics didn't exist until the 60's.
  3. Redress's Avatar
    Holy ****ing ignorant of history! I cannot even imagine being that ignorant of basic US history...
  4. Angel's Avatar
    The truth apparently does not set everyone free.

    Props on this blog theme, LowDown. You have given us the lowdown on our contemporary socio-cultural mishegas. That there are those lower down than the lowdown is not surprising, alas!

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