Concentration Camps and Identity Politics (EP. 99)

Intersectionality

Summary

Identity politics is quickly becoming a dangerous trend. It is bad enough when we do it to ourselves, for example, “I am Asian, therefore I will vote for Asian candidates because only they will have my best interests in mind.” It gets far worse when the identity group is assigned to us, and then we are kept in line, by being told, for example, “You are a woman, and if you don’t vote for women candidates wherever possible, you are being a traitor to your gender.”

Nazi Germany identified groups; Jews, homosexuals, the mentally ill, gypsies, and more, and assigned them to concentration camps. Note the name: these identified groups were concentrated in camps, not wanting them to mingle with the rest of the populace, and making it easier to punish them. WWII America forced the relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry. Oh, and the US Supreme Court was just fine that.

Powerful forces, political and otherwise, are using identity politics to force us into ideological camps, and punishing us when we think and act outside of the thinking and actions that are expected and allowed to those identity groups.

For the next 10 minutes, we will tie these two subjects together, and talk about what it means for our Republic.

Transcript

Identity politics is quickly becoming a dangerous trend. It is bad enough when we do it to ourselves, for example, “I am Asian, therefore I will vote for Asian candidates because only they will have my best interests in mind.” It gets far worse when the identity group is assigned to us, and then we are kept in line, by being told, for example, “You are a woman, and if you don’t vote for women candidates wherever possible, you are being a traitor to your gender.”

Nazi Germany identified groups; Jews, homosexuals, the mentally ill, gypsies, and more, and assigned them to concentration camps. Note the name: these identified groups were concentrated in camps, not wanting them to mingle with the rest of the populace, and making it easier to punish them. WWII America forced the relocation and incarceration in concentration camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry. Oh, and the US Supreme Court was just fine that.

Powerful forces, political and otherwise, are using identity politics to force us into ideological camps, and punishing us when we think and act outside of those camps, outside of the thinking and actions that are expected and allowed to those identity groups.

For the next 10 minutes, we will tie these two subjects together, and talk about what it means for our Republic.

Today’s Key Point: Forces that push groups identified by gender, race, religion, disabilities, sexual preference and the like, into camps are always doing the wrong thing. And it does not matter if the camps are secured by physical walls backed by guards, or thought- and action-control walls backed by verbal (and physical) bullies.

Moreover, assigned identity groups are told which other groups to ally with, and which groups are their natural enemies. This  dangerous extension of identity groups is something called intersectionality.

On an international scale, intersectionality, groups pre-aligned with each other against other groups that were also pre-aligned with each other, led to the devastation of WWI in 1914. A Serbian assassinated the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, heir apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Austria appealed to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany for support, should any shooting start, before they dealt with Serbia, initially believing that Serbia would promptly surrender in guilt for the assassination. Bolstered by Germany’s support, Austria refused to be at all reasonable with Serbia, and pushed for war. In what could be seen as an international bar fight stemming from a single aasination, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers).

If Austria hadn’t had a “blank check” from Germany, bolstering its “courage” in dealing with Serbia, is there any doubt that the assassination would not have resulted in a world war? A single assassination might have resulted in economic or other sanctions, but nothing more. It was the bravado, the feeling of power and self-righteousness, that came from being part of the Central Powers group, that was the real trigger for the war, not the murder.

This is exactly where we are headed, where we are being herded, in the US today. Yes, we have enemies, but not the enemies that the intesectionalists want us to see. Whites and blacks are not enemies; men and women are not enemies, Christians and secularists are not enemies. And intersectionality, groups against groups, is encouraging us to take small slights, real or imagined, seriously enough to start political wars. Wearing the wrong hat (pink or red), holding up the wrong sign, espousing the wrong cause, can incite real anger and hostility.

All of us, every last one of us, do indeed have natural enemies; self-serving leaders and casual voters are the enemy. The self-serving leaders part is obvious; casual voters may need explaining. To start with, if we want better candidates and better office holders, we need to be better voters. As always, it is not on “them”, it is on us. Casual voters are the ones who get their information from sources they know will agree with their current beliefs and convictions. Casual voters are the ones who think that sayings and slogans constitute thought and well-formed arguments. Casual voting is part of what has produced the political taffy pull that we are seeing today. Casual voting will never, never, produce the candidates and officeholders we need.

To get the leaders we need, we voters need to do in-depth research on the issues ourselves. Walter Cronkite is dead; the days where the evening news on the three networks was (mostly) unbiased reporting are gone. Where once you could flip through the three channels, and get pretty much the same unbiased, straight reporting, take on the news of the day from each one, are behind us. Today, virtually all news source have a spin, a bias, a point of view. We need to dig. We must do our own research, go to sources with differing opinions and biases. Know our history and how that history informs today’s debates. Know at least some world history. Think. We need to let ourselves see real facts, no matter how challenging those facts may be to our current worldview. Facts and non agenda-based logic will lead us to the truth. And the truth will indeed set us free. Free from slogans and cliches. Free from being assigned identity groups. Free from the intersectionality wars.

All of this ties to the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, which are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

If we apply those two core principles simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0,  were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. . In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean my “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
  • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.

Join me. Let’s grow this together.

Links and References

Identity Politics–Wikipedia

Identity Politics–Podcast

As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

It is time for our usual parting thought. For us at Revolution 2.0, it is not only change your thinking, change your life. It is change your thinking, change your actions, change the world. And if you can do it in love and enjoy the people around you at the same time, all the better.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is like running a winning race, then stopping just before the finish line.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

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Will Luden

I am your host, Will Luden, former long-time high-tech CEO and Board Chair. I had no idea when I started this podcast that it would become the highest calling of my professional career. Lincoln famously hoped that a government, “…of the people, by the people and for the people…”, would not perish from this earth. My hope, the reason for Revolution 2.0 ”A Booster Shot”, is that a government based on common goals, achieved by applying non agenda-based reasoning to core facts, will allow us to continue to build on our mutual inheritance of a legacy of dedication to seemingly impossible ideals, a legacy that also includes a history of achieving them.
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