Identity Politics = Tribalism

In an extended discussion, panelists consider the nature of identity politics from several angles. Here’s a partial transcript of Steve Simpson’s remarks:

So, one point here. What it reduces us to is members of a larger group. So this is a — and what we’re talking about here, we’re seeing the consequences of a long, you know, many, many decades, even centuries, of very bad philosophy. And there are a number of — there’s a lot that one can say about it. Part of it is collectivism, and I think that the best way to describe it in today’s world is, it’s tribalism. It’s, you are a member of a tribe, and you should say only what that tribe says. And, I mean, if you look at the way tribes function, they always rigidly enforce, you know, tribal adherence and—because the whole idea is that there is no such thing as the individual. There’s only a member of a group. And your role as an individual is just to give yourself over and sacrifice your life for the good of the group. . . .

The panelists are Steve Simpson, director of Legal Studies at the Ayn Rand Institute and editor of Defending Free Speech; Flemming Rose, author of Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech, and Dave Rubin, creator and host of The Rubin Report. The event, “Free Speech Under Attack,” took place at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.