janan.ganesh@ft.com contemplates the American ‘Age of Fragmentation’. Old Socialist comments

This quote from the originator of the ‘Southern Strategy’ Richard Nixon demonstrates that Mr. Ganesh needs to immerse himself in American political/cultural history, instead of parading his utter ignorance of that history as some kind of what?  An Enlightened stance on the danger of ‘Identity Politics’ and citing the Neo-Straussian Mark  Lilla, masquerading as a ‘Liberal’? His political mentors, two notorious Neo-Cons, Daniel Bell and Harvey Mansfield. Despite the notion of ‘lip service’ that places these pronouncements on the indivisible nation into the category of the dubious !

The difference is that racial politics was, for the most part, implicit. It was a matter of coded language and suggestive television advertisements. At no point did either party stop paying lip service to the ideal of an indivisible nation. “They are black, they are white,” said Richard Nixon, even, of his “Silent Majority” in 1968. “They’re native and foreign born.”

Identity Politics’ is the name used by the defenders of  ‘White Male Privilege’ that has ruled the ‘West’ for millennia! But it is also the name for any  politics that the advocates of that privilege don’t like. It is a simplistic shaming technique, to identify those ‘outside the political mainstream’ because politics ,here, is reduced to a tribalist endeavor: insider vs. outsiders.

Look to the recent Financial Times propaganda tool of ‘The Rebellion Against the Elites’ as a once usable tool, that failed to arrest the dreaded ‘Populist Menace’. Gone is the coruscating cynicism of Ganesh Past, as the reader confronts the new incarnation of Ganesh Present, as Political Prophet:

The dread for the republic is that neither reversal ever happens, and the future is fragmentation.

Old Socialist





About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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