On Identity

Some Preliminary Thoughts & Provocations

From Leon Wieselteir, Against Identity (1996)


“It is important to distinguish between identifying yourself and justifying yourself.”


“Diversity means complexity. Identity means simplicity. Anybody who takes diversity seriously will see that identity is an illusion….The American accomplishment is not the multicultural society, it is the multicultural individual. And the multicultural individual is what the tribalists and traditionalists…fear.”


“‘I love it because it is mine.’ This is the language of identity. Properly translated, this means: I do not love it, I love me.”


“Only one in possession of an identity would understand why one would wish to be rid of it.”


“It is never long before identity is reduced to loyalty.”