Don’t Build Your Identity Around Opposition

Don’t Build Your Identity Around Opposition

While it’s crucial in the process of polarization to be clear about what you are against, something must be said about the inanity of building one’s identity solely around opposition to another identity or a movement.

First of all, it reeks of helpless hatred that can only attract similarly disgruntled individuals. It seems rather hollow that your entire political existence is based on an opposition to something that is already established. Are you not dependent on your object of hate then? Doesn’t it seem ironic that you exist as a parasite to what you despise? All these anti-racist, anti-feminist, anti-religion and other groups seem rather pitiful and seem to be compensating for their lack of identity by latching onto a hatred for another group.

I myself reject the existence of god, which would make me an atheist, but I don’t base my identity around it nor do I feel the need to actively attack those who do believe in god like some of the more militant atheists do. In fact, I don’t even think of myself as an atheist. It seems rather silly and redundant that I would define myself as someone who doesn’t believe in something that doesn’t exist. I don’t need to cover myself with labels and beliefs—I am who I am.

Second, a movement based solely on opposition or the destruction of a certain pre-existing identity usually have nothing better to offer in its place. The assumption here is that once the problem is wiped away, everything will be back to normal. Human nature and the dynamics of society, however, suggests otherwise. If the problem in question, whether it be a certain political movement or even certain groups of people, exists in the first place, then it is not enough to oppose those entities themselves. They exist because the right conditions were created that allowed for their existence. Without addressing the source of the problem and the interconnectedness of it all, only wanton destruction will prevail and the resulting vacuum will be refilled once again. On a side note, this is also why war on drugs and terrorism is always futile.

As an example, look at the destructive revolutions of France or the cultural revolution of China. Both revolutions caused enormous amount of chaos and carnage with very little to show for. Whatever new society they promised and whatever new paradise they dreamed up never materialized. They were profoundly successful in rallying the people against both internal and external threat to come out on top victorious, but once they ran out of opposition to persecute and destroy, they turned that destructive energy onto themselves. In the end, both revolutions only ended up succeeding in bringing back what they have fought against stronger than ever with Napoleon crowning himself the Emperor of France and Deng Xiaoping coming to power in China to bring about reforms that would effectively wash off communism from the country.

Any political force must first have a clear sense of identity and their creative spirit for development must exceed that of their destructive tendencies. That is the only way to guarantee perpetuity and success in fight for existence. Anyone declaring themselves anti-this and anti-that should re-examine their motives and their own identity.

1 thought on “Don’t Build Your Identity Around Opposition

  1. I dunno, Maoist China and Revolutionary France, for all its’ faults did provide an improvement. And honestly, just being defined against something is all that is needed. Hate is a powerful force, and I don’t have a problem with that.

    You might be correct, that once x group or ideology is wiped out, that things will not be perfect. However, you can still improve the world by still removing said problems (feudalism, aristocracy, hierarchy). Even if you’re right and the revolutionaries cannibalize each other, that is still a net beneit over pre-revolutionary society.

Leave a Comment