5 Comments

  1. Michael Brahier

    “people may have many of the same issues, and may need to work together on solving their problems…but none of their problems, however similar, are exactly identical.”

    I think the solution is to be empathetic and to use positive intersectionality in trying to identify with those you meet that in a given situation may be less privileged.

    I believe the problem of privilege will persist for some time because we have, I believe, an instinct and tendency towards tribalism and so tend to team up for mutual benefit and guard against those not of the tribe taking advantage of resources we believe to be ours.

    Until we out grow or find a better way of channeling our tribal nature, I believe identity politics and privilege, whether real or imagined will persist.

  2. Ben Kilpatrick

    “Ever since (to select an arbitrary but nevertheless watershed moment in Western philosophy) the translation of Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology into English in 1976, Anglophone thinkers have gleefully interrogated the delusion of the sovereign subject.”

    First point – The translation of awful, obscure French writing into English has never been a “watershed” moment in Western philosopher. Awful, obscure German writing? Yes, but that’s because Kant had something important to say while Derrida is just nonsense on stilts and verbal gymnastics designed to conceal his utter lack of substance.
    Second point – What the hell is “interrogating the subject?” Do you take it into a back room and yank its fingernails out? Maybe you don’t want to flagrantly violate the Geneva convention, so you just stick to some enhanced interrogation methods? And that leads into my third point:
    Third point: Postmodernism is crap. Rubbish. Alan Sokal had its number when he wrote Intellectual Impostures and Nietzsche had it even earlier when he wrote the quote that follows. Postmodernism and other faddish movements that have popped up in the last 30-40 years rely on obscurantist jargon to conceal their utter lack of substance. Hence such terms as “interrogating the subject,” “hypercontextuality,” the “decentered self.” It’s not because it’s saying something new and interesting in the history of philosophy – it’s because all of its insights are, at absolute best, trivial.

    “This, indeed this, is bitterness for my bowels, that I can endure you neither naked or clothed, you men of today. All that is uncanny in the future and all that has ever made fugitive birds shudder is surely more comfortable and cozy than your ‘reality.’ For thus you speak: ‘Real are we entirely, and without belief or superstition.’ Thus you stick out your chests – but alas, they are hollow! Indeed, how should be capable of any belief, being so dappled and motley – you who are paintings of all that men have ever believed? You are walking refutations of all belief, and you break the limbs of all thought. Unbelievable: thus I call you, for all your pride in being real! All ages prate against each other in your spirits; and the dreams and pratings of all ages were yet more real than your waking.”

  3. aezl dren

    Great article, I will definitely link to some of the works cited to expand my ideas. Intersectionality has always been at the heart of my thinking, even before I became familiar with it formally via feminist reading. It solves a lot of questions for me on a subjective level. I, my sense of identity, the areas where I enjoy privilege, my motivations, my beliefs, even what I believe I voluntarily will, do/does not float independently above the interlocking mesh of signs, language, culture, etc, within the structures that I arise from. Still, cogito aside, I maneuver in this mesh and seek liberation not only for myself but as well for all other conspecifics. Therefor, no, I am not a sovereign self, but I am also not a de-centered self. I am the negotiated self. Maybe mainstream libertarians are a lost cause, or maybe there is a merger to be made between libertarianism and a kind of liberationism. At some point this language does begin to sneer under the pretense of analysis. People are not victims. They do have lives. There is something to be said for human ingenuity and productivity and the institutions that bridle these inheritances, and fence them off, and turn them against each other.

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