Thought for the Day: The problem with Identity Politics

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The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. That is exactly what happened to the Soviet Union and its empire, and it is happening now in Venezuela.

In the West, along with a softer but no less corrosive form of old fashioned socialism, we have an updated form of socialism, namely the identity politics of the left. Under old fashioned socialism money is stolen from productive people to give to less productive people on the grounds that the people of the lower “class” need the money. Leftist identity politics invents guilt to be inflicted on those deemed to be “privileged” and then leverages this guilt to steal their money and give it to those deemed “underprivileged”; ie, it steals from white men to give to everybody else.

But just like old fashioned socialism, the problem with the updated version is that sooner or later the left are going to run out of white men’s money.

This is encouraging.

Ayn Rand wrote a 1300 page book, Atlas Shrugged, based on the idea that the productive classes had two choices; they could let themselves be slowly strangled and starved to death by the irresistible momentum of socialism, or they could hasten the socialist system’s collapse by denying it their resources. This gives hope that they might live long enough to see the rebuilding of a new world once they had literally killed off the old one – not by force mind you, but by removing the one thing keeping it alive; themselves.

Similarly, if white men ever calculate that the forces aligned against us are unstoppable, we can simply remove our resources from the system, and it will collapse.

Even if we lose, we win.

My one problem with this logic is that I believe if the other characters of of Atlas Shrugged had been prepared to fight as hard as Dagney Taggart, or perhaps Augusto Pinochet, the old world could have been saved, and the cancer destroyed. Something tells me white men are going to be more inclined to fight for the old world than starve it in the hope of building a new one.

  • John Sheppard

    Can we just invite all leftists in Australia to move to Tasmania and live their socialist utopian dream and leave the rest of us to enjoy the benefits that capitalism brings to those who actually want to be successful?

    I am happy to let Tassie be yet another example of why socialism doesn’t work (sorry to the good people of Tassie).

    • After they move to Tasmania, can we please please please, arrange for it to be sunk in a giant tsunami ?

  • Karen Dwyer

    David, who was responsible for the brilliant (but uncredited) silhouette graphic?

    It’s a perfect accompaniment to this article. 🙂

  • Paul Thompson

    Socialism: the political/economic ideology for people whose only real creative skill, is making babies.