It seems to me that identity is most often approached as something internal to, caused by, someone by proponents and critics of identity politics alike. To me identity is more an issue of context than anything particularly causal. First off, we currently speak languages concomitantly arising/evolving with habitats we call ‘mass-society’ wherein any degree of shared sensuousness has become ever increasingly tenuous at best. Up to now, abstractions, along with the desire (if not demand) for their universality, has been key to keeping each mass-society somewhat intact, at least to all appearances.
Buried deeper still is the history, development, of an article of faith philosophers have named the correspondence theory (of truth). To the contrary of those who might object that philosophy has no relevance to everyday life, I tend to see this theory as girding modern life as it permeates every ideology (each a tendency toward a totalizing system of meaning) up to now as well as today’s ascendant global economic habitat, itself perhaps best described as an over-saturation of meaning obscuring and dominating sense.
We hear a sort of mutual acquiescence (to borrow Sakolsky’s terminology) to this theory by self-professed ‘realists’ of varying stripes in phrases like, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Not only does ‘cigar’ entail a belief in ‘objects’ and ‘things’ but an underlying demand for a ‘correct view’ purportedly transcending our actual view, perspective, perception; the latter (each our perspective) must become subordinate to the former. Thus, the word/concept becomes dominant, and more prized, than all our fleshy immediacy, our shared stories, of that cigar’s coming-into-appearance. All the shitty monocultured crops, horrid working conditions, pollution and addiction attached to the long, rolled, brownish tobacco leaves, which are snipped of their interwoven sensuousness in order to become identified as ‘cigar’ in a hierarchy of order itself relevant within a totalizing worldview of things.
To illustrate a bit more, Borges put it this way:
“The world of appearances is complicated, and language has only verbalized a minuscule part of its potential, indefatigable combinations. Why not create a word, only one, for the converging perception of the cowbells announcing day’s end and the sunset in the distance?”
At the end of my day I cannot but see the question of identity as inseparable from the development of our language, concepts, and grammatical structure; thus the values, articles of faith (‘givens’) grounds itself in great measure as the very perspective embodied by each speaker/participant, willing or otherwise. That ‘anarchists’, like nearly everyone else on Earth at this point (the Piraha perhaps an exception), continue to speak the language of mass-society, embody the articles of faith within it (including 'the correct view') leads me to feel that identity, the rationale for it, the attacks and defenses of identities made within it (ie, ‘politics’ in a nutshell) will be with us for some time to come regardless of my thoughts, feelings, evaluations about it all.
And yet, I simply cannot remain silent and/or allow myself to be silenced by the demand of others to quickly ‘get to the point’ on their terms and time schedules, which seemingly get speedier by the day.