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Fr. 363

July 30, 2013

The fundamental problem with identity politics is linked or, at least, not without relation to to the Platonic Idea. Identity politics or questions of identity lock one into a position of being merely this, merely that, but not other. The leftist cannot be a compassionate believer. The compassionate believer cannot be a scientist, who, in turn, cannot be an artist, and so on to infinity. In short, identity cannot make sense of other, for, in assigning an identity to that which is other, the other can no longer be other to itself, become or possess any properties inconsistent with that identity assigned.

Wherefore the relation to Platonic ontology. The Idea of mother consists in that human being who is mother, but not daughter, sister, wife, etc., in short, anything logically external to that relation or relational property of mother. Although, in reality, as the copy or approximation of the Idea, the mother might well be all these things and more, as Idea, she cannot be anything more, other to this identity of Mother that Platonic epistemico-ontology imposes. Moreover, the Idea is of supreme value qua episteme whereas the woman’s participation in or approximation of the Idea is of secondary importance.

Yet this secondary fact is the moral to retain from the tale of the Platonic ideal: in reality, no human being is an Idea, a pure identity, for the human being is always (potentially) other to any identity that one might assign, a result of overwhelming (subjective) complexity. The human is never an Idea or an identity, and the goal of any contemporary theory of subjective political and ethical character should be the overturning of the Idea and identity.

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