In at least one regard, micronations do not differ from macronations: they exist because people have learned from experience they can do more, and do it better, together than they can alone, as individuals.
And therein, says “New Atheist” Sam Harris, lies a problem. As a recent (16 Feb 2019) Guardian article on Harris puts it,
… if we want to converge on what’s fair we must “step outside of our identities”. He [Harris] believes that it’s when identity forms the basis for political activism that society suffers. “That’s guaranteed to amplify almost everything we don’t want,” he says.
Really? Is there any truth to this idea that runs directly counter to much contemporary Progressive political thought, at least in the U.S? Or is this statement an instance of the worst of white privilege and patriarchy? Is there a strong tendency in identity politics to continually subdivide into smaller and smaller factions, each angling for inclusion? Do any gains by the identity group outweigh the polarization that often ensures? And is “equality” really what we seek? Or is it more accurately respect for uniqueness, which applies to everyone, accommodates variations in individual difference better than mere “equality” — everyone lumped into the same democratic stew — and promotes each individual as more than a collection of characteristics that mark them as member of one often faceless group or another litigating for equality with every other faceless group? And after one group achieves its goals, does it labor to extend those same gains to other beleaguered groups?
I don’t have answers, or at least any good ones (yet), to these questions. But it feels important for me to raise them, and others to consider them, if they haven’t before.
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