“Left-wing liberals who are opposed to the identity politics developments on the left increasingly find ourselves accused of being right wing, referred to as “right wing” and scornfully urged to admit that we are right wing by identitarian lefties.”
Came across this article, from 2018, today (HT: @jon_tennant). All quotes in this post come from this article (highlights in bold are mine).
“More recently, we have seen a rise of the identitarian lefties who hold very different ideas about objective truth, evidence, reason and language and who view society as structured by discourse (ways of talking about things) which perpetuates systems of power and privilege. As they often fit the definition of “radical” but have little in common with the older radical leftism and seldom address economics or class issues coherently, preferring to focus on identity groups like race, gender and sexuality, things have become much more messy, and communication and compromise much more difficult. These are the individuals who frequently insist that the liberal lefties are actually right-wing.”
“Left-wing liberals […] are motivated by values which are left-wing. [W]e largely support the freedom of markets but there is also a strong focus on supporting the most vulnerable in society. […] This focus on supporting the most vulnerable in society is a primary one and has historically been for the benefit of the working class but also, when warranted, for women and for racial and sexual minorities.”
"We are liberal lefties. And being liberal, we’ll be happy to discuss […] with you and consider other perspectives."
“[Identitarian] left-wing academics and activists saw identity politics as politically empowering and were critical of liberal leftism which sought to make identity categories socially irrelevant. […] [T]hey see racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia everywhere because of their intense focus on language which they read through an ideologically problematizing lens. […] There is little support for white, working class men and they frequently deny that straight, white men can face any disadvantages at all or speak in ways which assume this.”
“Because of the belief that power in society is constructed by language, they are also prone to authoritarian censoriousness about what language can and cannot be used and which ideas may or may not be discussed.”
“Liberal lefties receive most of the identitarian rage because we cannot support the postmodern rejection of an objective truth nor their science-denying cultural constructivism.”
"Identitarian lefties come from an intellectual development which took place on the left and the left must take responsibility for that and fix it. […] The only way for the liberal left to fix this problem is to engage with it. For too long, too many of us have minimized the problem due to a perceived need to maintain solidarity against the rise of the populist right, alt-right and far right. […] Others are afraid of being called racist, sexist or homophobic and associated with the right which is, in fact, what is happening."
“There is also that problem inherent to liberalism: an excess of tolerance, a willingness to compromise and a desire not to impose on other people. Because the liberal left is the least radical, least authoritarian branch of the left, it is vulnerable to being shouted over by more radical voices who come to define the left for waverers.”
“The liberal left has been hindered in its aims to oppose the identitarian left by misguided loyalty, by incomprehension, by denial, by fear, by despair, by complacency and by excessive tolerance. This gives the impression that there are few of us left and that the left is now defined by the identitarian, authoritarian ideologues. This gives strength to the right. We need to get more visible, more unified and braver. We need to accept that the problem exists, understand how it works and speak out against it calmly, civilly and reasonably […]”