Identity Politics or Marx vs. Mill

Here are two of the more sober, clear and nuanced analyses of the current socio-cultural-political shit-storm. The first from one of the few on the Left still retaining some semblance of neuronal activity — Jonathan Rutherford (Ben Cobley is also a very thoughtful and honest commentator). The only thing I take issue with is that progressive politics is NOT liberal — on the contrary, the sine qua non of progressivism is akin to a glacier relentlessly and ever trivially flattening the social landscape or the “crooked timber of humanity”. The second supporting piece (again referencing Haidt) summarizes the duality of the current university — activism or truth. It is quite amazing that so many who spout reheated marxism have never read Marx nor indeed marxist commentators such as Jerry Cohen or De St. Croix. I have always said, Marx was a profound diagnostician but things go dreadfully wrong in its application. On the practical side I’m with Mill because equality of outcomes notion is surely the most incoherent, impracticable and toxic of outlooks.

To reconnect with the country Labour has to recognise the limitations of its liberal progressive politics. It lacks the range of virtues to represent the depth and breadth of human experience. Progressive politics has become over-reliant on its abstract values that exist prior to people’s everyday experience and which it superimposes on their lives.

The political right has been making the running with its language of “our people” and its valuing of cultural inheritance. The liberal progressive left, with its deracination of culture and its rationalistic policy solutions for meaning of life issues, is shrinking into an electoral conclave.