This is a thread to discuss a unique form of oppression which has been practised since the ancient times. It’s an extremely potent form of oppression which makes sure that people are willfully enslaved within oppressive ideological confines for centuries without realising what afflicts them. This oppression creates a unique mechanism which has the potential to alter human behaviour sometimes perhaps permanently --- behaviour that harms people in several ways. Escape from this mechanism is almost impossible. This is the politics of social identities. It creates a mechanism whereby artificial ideologies developed by those in power are institutionalised into social identities. The objective is to consolidate power that these groups are enjoying for whatever reason. These identities are then propagated as basic, even natural human identities. This makes sure that people are then divided on the basis of these identities and groups belonging to different identities become sworn enemies. It also severely limits human choices as people are confined by their identities. The mechanism favours and gives unreasonable power to the preferred social group over the rest --- leading to further exploitation of the disempowered group by the powerful group. This thread is meant to discuss such social identities and how they have harmed or benefitted (if any!) humankind. We’ll also look at emerging trends and find out ways to deal with them --- nip them in the bud. We’ll try to see who is benefitted by these mechanisms and who stands to loose. I can think of three prominent instances of politicising social identities. These are: - The Indian caste system: incorporation of human professions into social identities started in ancient India. - Religion: incorporation of human spiritual needs into social identities called religion by Christianity and Islam in the medieval times. - Sexual orientation: incorporation of claimed/ (often indirectly) enforced sexual preferences into social identities of straight, gay and bisexual by the modern heterosexual west. Let’s discuss them in detail. Do also post more examples of politics of social identity.