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Great perspective, Ada. As a gay woman in her early 40s, I had a period of "extreme queer pride" starting from when I came out in my mid-20s. Lots of flag-waving and hyper-focus on the identity, perhaps to ease the coming out process. But, then you grow up. By my late 30s, it was beyond old. Who wants to think about their sexuality all the time? I still have friends my age, and others into their 50s, who can't seem to stop talking about being queer and can't do anything socially that isn't associated with queerness. This does strike me as insecurity more than anything else (and perhaps narcissistic). It's also quite isolating. These people have a disdain for the rest of the world outside of their gay bubble that I don't think is productive or healthy, nor does it align with the era we are in (people are more accepting now than they've ever been in history). Thanks for the reflections on this topic.

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It was Fukuyama who declared the End of History when the Cold War ended circa 1990, he got that wrong, perhaps tried to make amends with a critique of identity. Fukuyama drew on the logic of Hegel as did Marx, what all recognised was the centrality of conflict. Lord Sewell, who is shown in the link cut his teeth with The Voice newspaper (something he and they would prefer to forget), this paper was and remains firmly identitarian. What’s my problem? This paper has in the past had the backing and support of senior establishment figures, party and political leaders for example. If we choose to be tribeless that’s fine, racial separatism has not been politically successful amongst black people in the UK, but when certain factions acquire political influence, that affects us whether we like it or not. We then face political questions, what is the identitarian agenda? Why is it supported by the political establishment? And how do we challenge it?

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29Liked by Ada Akpala

A brilliant and profound essay. And, what's more, you're absolutely right! Thank you for sharing these thoughts :-)

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Glad you enjoyed it!

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Jun 29·edited Jun 29Liked by Ada Akpala

Great read especially about the current rage for 'selfies' (not just photos). I especially appreciate your proposition that 'What we're witnessing is a peculiar glorification of uninhibited self-indulgence' but, Ada AkpalaI, I refuse - don't want - to believe, tho' I can't prove it, that our ancestor homo sapiens didn't indulge in the deepest individual introspection. Great Socrates said at his trial "The unexamined life is not worth living"? Didn't Marcus Aurelius, another of many great classical thinkers, rediscovered in the Renaissance, leave us such reflections as “You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength", “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them“ and "The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts". Were these long gone ancestors so very different from us? Sure, there are the people you describe 'imprisoned' in cults with restrictive social norms who at the arrival of unbidden personal thoughts swiftly regulate their right to them, unless in an exaggerated affirmative setting like a modern Pride Parade. Perhaps you're right that at different times in history self-reflection has been forbidden, allowed, encouraged and, as you point out, in these bizarre times, strenuously promoted as 'lived experience' - a unique path to truth that trumps objectivity, reason and scientific method; hence Goya's sketch "The Sleep of Reason brings forth Monsters".

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