Hitchens on “identity politics”

Why Evolution Is True

Reader John S. called my attention to this addendum to chapter 15 of Christopher Hitchens’s Letters to a Young Contrarian, which I haven’t read in a long time.  It’s fifteen years old now, but rings especially true these days—a time when the Left is divided into mutually carnivorous factions, feasting on the “small differences” Hitchens mentions.

PS: Since this often seems to come up in discussions of the radical style, I’ll mention one other gleaning from my voyages. Beware of identity politics. I’ll re-phrase that: have nothing to do with identity politics. I remember very well the first time I heard the saying “The Personal Is Political.” It began as a sort of reaction to the defeats and downturns that followed 1968: a consolation prize, as you might say, for people who had missed that year. I knew in my bones that a truly Bad Idea had entered the discourse…

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