The Identity Politics Chickens have come home to roost.
In a new piece published on December 31, Reason’s Robby Soave reports that the organizers of the Eureka, California, “Women’s March” have cancelled their auspicious Postmodernist, “identity politics”, collectivism-pushing event.
Why? Those who were attending this march to “empower” (i.e. push fascist and collectivist legislation) the “female minority” (they actually comprise more than fifty percent of the US population) and its somehow monolithic interest were going to be… “too white”.
A rally had been scheduled for January 19, but Women's March leaders aborted their plans because ‘up to this point, the participants have been overwhelmingly white, lacking representation from several perspectives in our community,’ according to a press release. ‘This decision was made after many conversations between local social-change organizers and supporters of the march.’
Which is notable for a couple reasons.
First, by its nature, isn’t the idea of a march supporting the agenda of a particular group of people going to be mildly exclusionary?
When Martin Luther King marched with thousands of black Americans in favor of destroying Jim Crow laws and curbing government brutality, did he and fellow organizers cancel their rallies because there might not have been enough heroic white people like Charlton Heston who had chosen to march with him (and Mr. Heston did, by the way)?
If women have a legitimate beef with the structure of American society, can’t they organize a march to tell people, without having to pander to every cadre or interest? Or is there an inherent problem with their push to have everything rectified through government dictate?
After all, Postmodernism long ago adopted the collectivist push for “equality of outcome” and “equal value” in all things (statuses that must be achieved through the protesters’ preferred government mandates), but this is causing an unavoidable problem for the organizers.
Their drive for achieving political power through the use of identity politics -- splitting everyone according to race, sex, gender, religion, or cultural preference, and using said identity as a political, rather than social, weapon to paint any opposition as evil -- necessitates the extirpation of the individual in favor of the group. Yet, at the same time, their sensitivity to public image necessitates that they engage in what is called “intersectionality”, or the overt attempt to be inclusive of everything.
And while most Americans are averse to brutal exclusion based on meanness or prejudice, the concept of free association necessitates that people be able to exclude, or, if organizing a march focused on “Women’s Issues” (whatever the collectivists behind this march determine are those issues), to come to some conclusion about the issues for which they are marching.
Hence, one wouldn’t expect the Women’s March organizers to tell reporters that they’re marching for the rights of Star Wars fans to resurrect Han Solo, or they’re waiting until they get enough white male participants before they set a date for their march.
Instead, what seems to be happening behind the scenes is that the Women’s March organizers are fearful.
They seem fearful of being accused of engaging in the same “exclusion” for which they berate others. And recognizing this fact does not mean that one favors racism or prejudice. It merely acknowledges the reality that people should be left to decide these things for themselves, and not dictated to by the government to “make things equal”.
This is the key lesson:
The organizers of the Eureka Women’s March in Humboldt County, California, are moving the focus towards an event date on March 9th, in conjunction with International Women's Day, to ensure that the people most impacted by systems of oppression have an opportunity to participate in planning.
But, at the same time, those of us who believe in freedom and growth through societal interaction and experimentation rather than the use of aggressive government force can ask these politically-motivated march organizers:
You want “inequality” fixed through statute… In that case, should the government dictate to the Women’s March that they need to have “X” percent of one “group”, and “Y” percent of another? How about dictating who speaks and for how long?
If the organizers of the Women’s March want the government to force so-called “equal pay” statutes on business owners and consumers (business owners are all consumers, as well), should the government dictate “equal speaking time” statutes on those speaking at their event? Studies (and easy reference to human experience) show that women earn less for certain kinds of work because they make personal decisions that effect their professional tracks, resulting in them, on average, being unable to demand the same salaries as men who have made more professionally compatible decisions. Men also work longer hours (again, their own decisions) and accept much more dangerous, high-demand, jobs (like lumberjack and oil rig work) that can demand higher salaries.
If collectivists are to operate through their two primary weapons of envious “identity politics” and “intersectionality”, in order to “move forward” with laws that make everything “equal” as they see it, then why not push the idea of forcing, through statute, equal representation of every group, gender, sexual orientation, earning-level, religion, and age politicians dictate be at a march?
After all, if government “represents the people” as the old myth goes, then why not have government handle it all?
Perhaps there really is a larger lesson to be learned here. That the very legislative goals the Women’s March pushes – things like quotas, business regulations, and the redistribution of wealth – are best left to individuals to decide… best left to individuals, to show where they stand and to rise or fall because of their own decisions.
After all, as Ayn Rand said, “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”
Those who rally for the government to force people to do things stand against individual rights. This is axiomatic. Perhaps lots of protesters have legitimate gripes, but their prescription to "fix" things through government creates a monster that can be used on anyone.
But don’t expect the Women’s March organizers to understand that.