Identity Politics

Skip to first unread message

David Shackleton

Apr 16, 2019, 2:03:31 PM4/16/19
to realpsychohistory
The grievance politics of social justice warriors, known as identity
politics, has taken over popular culture. It seems to me to have
psychopathological features such as virtue signalling, moral superiority,
guilt projection (onto white males), etc., that would lend it to
psychohistorical analysis. Can anyone point me to an essay or other
writing on this question?


David Shackleton

Denis O'Keefe

Apr 16, 2019, 7:56:39 PM4/16/19
No literature to speak of that I know.  But your hypothesis begs the question...who are social justice warriors?  There appears to me to be circularity here.  Does such a group exist? My professional identity, as a social worker, coalesces around the pursuit of social justice, which I have engaged in for some 20 years.  Does this make me a social justice warrior?  I don't identify as such or know of such a group.  No.  The term, as you are probably aware, is a pejorative one rebranded on social media sites, and in my experience, used to poison the well or simply as an ad hominem attack during debates on social issues avoiding any substantive dialogue.  If this is a fabricated identity, and one composed of opponents who you believe embody the traits you mention, then why bother.  You've answered your own question.  And if no such group exists other than in the imagination (read phantasy) of some, then wouldn't a psychohistorical analysis want to focus on this?

David Shackleton

Apr 17, 2019, 9:21:08 AM4/17/19

I am familiar with the kind of argument you offer. It seems to me that
there is most definitely a very large group of people who lean to the left
and have departed from the healthy form of social advocacy movement that
Martin Luther King led (visionary, collaborative) and for fifty years now
have driven a highly dysfunctional movement (accusatory, grievance-based,
hypocritically claiming to be pursuing equality when moral superiority is
built in at the foundations). I am interested in whether psychohistory
has seen fit to analyze this movement, or whether it overlooks it due to
its academics being subsumed within the movement and thus unable to
perceive it. I suspected the latter, your reply adds evidence to that

> Visit this group at
> For more options, visit

Dr. Diane G.

Apr 18, 2019, 1:40:21 AM4/18/19
to realpsychohistory
Some of us who “lean left” might take exception to your characterization which we feel is, rather, emblematic of the extreme left. Like right wing extremists they are gone from the playing field entirely. What we have now is two extremes which squeeze out everyone in the middle who try to evaluate both sides of a question in equal measure but cannot be heard above the din. Good night.

James Sturges

May 1, 2019, 11:32:01 PM5/1/19
David (& Diane & Dennis),

I think the question of social justice warriors is part of a larger context that is too big for the academic psychohistory of which I am familiar.

What I mean by that is that it is part of an ongoing war between Christian (and its close relation: Judaic), Western Civilization and predominantly atheistic collectivism--where collectivist idols such as distributed justice and environmentalism fill the void (for Americans and Europeans) left by separation from God.

That's not to say there are no "Christian" socialists ... but I am skeptical of their bona fides, even if their title is Pope.

Anyway, what we might (perhaps) all agree on is that both sides find the other side to be highly irrational, to the point it is difficult to communicate.

Still this little thread is a ray of hope. There is a place for the ideas of academic psychohistory, BUT, there should also be room for the much bigger ideas of Christ Jesus, Apostle Paul and yes, Karl Marx and Josef Stalin ... not to mention Lincoln, Lenin, Obama and Trump.

These are the practitioners of psychohistory writ large, as Lloyd used to refer to it.


>> email to
> email to

> To post to this group, send email to
> Visit this group at
> For more options, visit


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "realpsychohistory" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to

Esa Palosaari

May 2, 2019, 5:32:25 AM5/2/19

Hi there,


A few comments.


On the terms: I’ve been just reading about the religious wars in Europe, and I think putting value disagreements in religious and war-like terms might not be the best way to bring about hope. Paradoxically, the atheistic and materialistic philosophers, who thought that all men should be considered “evil” or selfish, there is no way out of that, and we must build states on that foundation, (Machiavelli, Hobbes) may have helped to bring about relative peace and prosperity after centuries of religious violence and poverty.


About Jim’s claims about religion and civilization, there might be something there especially in the Unites States, but there are many Christianities. My vague understanding is that early Christianity was more “socialist” even in hating the rich kind of way ( Most significantly it was preaching and practicing the equality of everybody, including slaves and state officials. The Roman empire seems to have had lots of “fascist” aspects and the Church may have taken some of that into itself when Christianity was made the state religion. And more recently, the religious right in the US does not seem particularly egalitarian.


In deMause’s psychohistory, “social justice warriors” may have previously been called “activists” and products of the helping mode childrearing.


In social psychology, you might be interested in Jonathan Haidt’s writings. He makes two relevant points based on his and colleagues’ research: liberals and conservatives have developed their innate moral tastes (potentialities) in different ways. Liberals have highly sensitive tastes for fairness and harm and do not see anything else as morally relevant because they have not developed the tastes that conservatives also have for loyalty, purity, and hierarchy. Haidt also speaks for the toleration of different values. Loyalty, purity and hierarchy might serve evolutionarily adaptive functions and may have been important for building that “Western Civilization” and states and empires which may have been better than the state of nature in many respects. Therefore, they can be good and important, and not necessarily just irrational, cruel, and oppressive.





Lähettäjä: <> Puolesta James Sturges
Lähetetty: 2. toukokuutata 2019 6.32
Aihe: Re: Identity Politics

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages