David Warren & Identity Politics

(Aside: Crazy busy, and under stress. Playing the piano gives relief; writing spirals to a stop as my mind clutters like a bridge downstream of a debris-choked flood. Hope to get back to blogging regularly soon.)

David Warren, here, says in part, in reference to the violence and vileness of combox warriors and pettiness of sports figures ‘protests’:

The nice term for this is “identity politics.” Mary Eberstadt, a writer and thinker I have long admired, has just written an excellent piece on the phenomenon under title, “The Primal Scream of Identity Politics” (Weekly Standard). She traces it very plausibly to the destruction of the family through the progressive innovations of the last half-century.

My own views run along this line. We have people from broken families whose identities are now acquired from other sources; people by now extremely uncomfortable in their own skins, who seek to blame someone. But all whom they could validly blame abandoned them in childhood; left them prey to the demonic influences of the very ideologies that brought collapse. Self-organized through the new social media, they now travel and hunt in packs. Or alternatively, moulder on opioids. Mandatory progressive schooling has likewise left them inaccessible to reason.

Truth is (TMI warning!) I’m a nearly antisocial introvert hiding behind a talkative exterior. Crawling off to be alone is my normal reaction to almost everything. So, I read, and think, and have a mind stuck on high – not high intelligence, exactly, just high RPMs, which is in some ways the opposite of intelligent. At least, I suspect it keeps me from wisdom more often as not. No small quiet voice has a chance in there.

I mention this to offer a lame (and no doubt boring – sorry about that!) background to explain my joy at finding people like David Warren and Mike Flynn. I often get the thrill of recognition when I read them, the idea that, however much better they may say it and understand it, I can still recognize in some of their writings the basic outline of ideas I’ve formed in the anxious tumult of my own muddled mind.

The above quotation is a prime case. I’ve said things like that here on this blog – not as well, surely, not as pithy. But I can’t help – I am indeed weak! – feeling something like relief. Maybe I’m not just some bitter crazy, cherry-picking a million pages to find the lines that confirm my nutty theories. Maybe some of this stuff is as obvious upon intelligent inspection as it seems to me.  One can hope. One can learn.

Don’t know how anyone could put up with me. Yet I have a wife and kids who love me. Talk about unmerited blessings! End TMI.

“We have people from broken families whose identities are now acquired from other sources; people by now extremely uncomfortable in their own skins, who seek to blame someone. But all whom they could validly blame abandoned them in childhood”. My God! I see this daily, the evil of parents (themselves recapitulating the damage they endured, sometimes running back 3 or 4 generations now!) enforcing their raw wills on their defenseless children. For what defense could a child have against his own parents? It is their lot to suffer, no matter the tepid surrender or violent rejection with which they react to the imposition of parental will. They thing they cannot choose is to not be hurt. A child can only take it and react. Rather than having parents share in and perhaps mitigate their suffering, the child receives that suffering from them in what can only appear an unnecessary and arbitrary act of will.

The kid doesn’t matter. His will doesn’t matter. His needs don’t matter. Only parental will matters.

No amount of pretend band-aides make any difference. No amount of apologies and new promises make the pain go away.

And everybody knows this.

They scream in anger and pain against an oppressor, who can be anyone besides those actually responsible. And then they, in turn, recapitulate until we reach a generation who have, as one wag put it, a dog and an abortion instead of children.


Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

5 thoughts on “David Warren & Identity Politics”

  1. I echo your admiration of both Mr. Warren and Mr. O’Floin. Another dangerous aspect of Identity Politics is that it draws people on the outside of the “affected group”, who should know better, into the crowd out of deep sympathy for the victims. I see this first hand with Jesuit educated SJWs who come from stable Catholic families. And misguided leaders in the Church. And… The list seems to be ever-growing.

    1. So true. Good intentions without understanding quickly go bad. And then, as Lewis pointed out, they can work any amount of evil with a clear conscience, because they’re the good guys!

      1. Joseph,
        Thanks for the post. I have the same weariness whenever I read today’s commentators. In fact Tom O’Folin wrote a nice post for All saints on how the Church embraced all from everywhere. A helpful antidote to all this identity politics


  2. I fear that we might be messing up our children– in the totally no-collective sense, that is, me screwing up, my husband screwing up, our actual biological offspring being messed up– and I, and he, both examine everything we do to figure out if it’s good. (first for ourselves, then for the other, lots of double-checking)
    Hopefully, that’s enough.
    They sure SEEM to be great kids….

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