Sunday, 29 July 2018

Weaponised Identity

The antisemitism accusation has become the most devastating weapon in
the far-right's arsenal of lies and fake news. In a secularising age
there are few moral absolutes available, but the strongest of them is
memory of and horror of the Holocaust, which is taught to all
schoolchildren. The next strongest is the innocence of childhood,
which makes accusation of paedophilia a weapon too.
Both these accusations are in effect unanswerable, because no evidence
can be presented to prove a negative. It's the "Have you stopped beating
your wife?" effect, the accusation itself doing the damage regardless
of evidence. It's the lowest form of argument, and a measure of the
sheer rottenness of the current Right, who have themselves abandoned
all moral principle.
It was very disturbing to see Elon Musk - who is a hero to many of my
tech colleagues - descend to their level over the Thai Cave rescue.

As Phil Cohen has pointed out to me, weaponising racism and sexism forms part of the methodology of Identity Politics and we’re stuck with it – we will have to learn how to navigate within it...

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