My continuing exposure to the culture wars and the political skirmishes of present-day prompts occasional “aha!” moments. Today’s is the conclusion that progressivism and identity politics are, despite their fixation on creating more and more and more strata in the mountain of identity groups, fixated upon destroying the concept of the individual.

Today’s example is a mantra that I’ve heard time and time again in recent years, that “‘people of color’ could not, by definition, be racists.” This utterance was recently shared in a friend’s recounting of a conversation regarding anti-Semitism and its growth in the left wing of modern politics.

This notion, that minorities cannot be racist, is born of a re-definition of the term “racism” itself, a re-definition that’s not the result of a broad societal/cultural shift, as organic changes in language are typically born, but one decided by the Best-and-Brightest minds that spend their time concocting ways to alter, corral, blinder, and narrow our thinking to fit their view of how the world should be. They started by adding a requirement that racism must involve power, and used that requirement to redefine racism away from its original and commonly understood meaning.

Now, rather than being based on an individual’s thoughts, words, and deeds, it’s a collective definition, one that imposes additional behavioral requirements for some and absolves behaviors for others.

Since society is racist (their presumption), you are racist if you are a – of an “oppressor” identity group and b – not actively doing something to counter this societal/systemic racist. Merely being not-racist yourself is no longer good enough. Indeed, they’ve decided that “color-blind” behavior (and the phrase itself) is racist, since your inaction supports the racist status quo. That is, if you’re a member of an “oppressor” identity group. If you’re white, you are de facto racist unless you take action to remediate racism (such action includes supporting preferential treatment for “oppressed” identity groups and shunning of members of “oppressor” groups that don’t behave as required).

On the flip side, if you are a member of an “oppressed” identity group, the collectivist nature of racism as it has been redefined means you cannot, by definition, be racist, since you lack the power that the oppressor groups have. You can say “kill whitey,” you can rage against Jews and gays (as Louis Farrakhan has his entire life), and you can, by their rules, be exempt from accusations of racism. Doubly so, if you are a loud advocate for identity groups that are given “most oppressed” status.

This is maddening enough, simply on its own, but it’s infinitely worse when its implications for individualism are considered.

Human beings are individuals, and can only control, outside of the use of force against another’s rights, their own thoughts, words, and deeds. Philosophy and law throughout the entirety of human civilization understands the concept of the “ego,” of the individual, and the evolution of society that culminated in the American Experiment, with its protections for individual rights, has continued to validate that reality.

The progressive movement’s wildly radical nature is found in its rejection of the individual as an independent thinker and actor, its elevation of the individual as a collection of superficial markers, and its subordination of free thought and free interaction to a set of “hive mind” requirements and mandates.

You, as an individual, are of no use to this sort of society. You only matter as a small and compliant bit of a mass sufficiently large to override others’ dissent and impose a collective will. Check that – impose the will of those who’ve decided how things should be for everyone else. The re-defining of racism is a part of a broader initiative that includes the re-branding of socialism, the dogmatizing of global warming, and the special hatred that is demanded for any member of an “oppressed” identity group that dares engage in wrongthink.

History and speculate fiction are chock-full of examples of societies that have quashed individuals and individualism in favor of obeisance to a “greater good,” a greater good conveniently defined by someone else. The demands placed by those who think this way are both one-way and endless, with little more than empty and oft-broken promises offered in return. Because we’ve been resistant to these false promises, they’ve expanded their tactics, redefining the very language we use to suit their agenda and advance their goals. Orwell told us that when you control language, you control the truth, and you control the masses. That is the agenda here, and it is only in recognizing it that we can effectively resist it.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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