‘Identity politics’ claims, on the face of it, that everyone has the right to identify as anything they want, and we all have to accept that. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Brilliant. So egalitarian. And yes, if I decide that I ‘identify’ as a Prosthetic Vogon leading a constructor fleet across the galaxy which intends to obliterate the Earth to make way for an interstellar superhighway, or that I am Superman, Napoleon or for that matter Jesus Christ, then it matters little; I’m just barking mad and decent people will humour me until I become so delusional that I need to be locked up for my own safety. I would be, in common-sense terms, a harmless lunatic.
Identity Politics (IP) is a product of Postmodernism, the corrupted thinking that gave us Political Correctness (PC). This operates by denying an opponent the language needed to present a case, and thus preventing that person from doing so. It is intellectually lazy and morally bankrupt, because it is directly contradictory to free speech. You cannot speak freely if the language you must use has been censored so that you cannot express yourself. However, the Regressive Postmodernist Left has never been very keen on free speech. It prefers that people toe the party line.
IP ‘identifies’ a hierarchy in society, which it defines as ‘relative privilege’. It suggests that there is such a thing as ‘the patriarchy’, which apportions ‘privilege’ to individuals according to their identities — white men, black women, and so on. It proposes to counter this by establishing a hierarchy based on ‘oppression’. It says that those who are awarded most patriarchal privilege should not be allowed to speak about matters that affect the less privileged. This applies even if the person speaking is a recognised expert quoting the best science.