The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites.
A core principle of socialism is the idea of an overarching supra-national solidarity that unites the international working class and overrides any factor that might divide it, such as nation, race, or gender. Workers of all nations are partners, having equal worth and responsibility in a struggle against those who profit from their brain and muscle.
Capitalism, especially in its most evolved, exploitative and heartless form – imperialism – has wronged certain groups of people more than others. Colonial empires tended to reserve their greatest brutality for subjugated peoples whilst the working class of these imperialist nations fared better in comparison, being closer to the crumbs that fell from the table of empire. The international class struggle aims to liberate all people everywhere from the drudgery of capitalism regardless of their past or present degree of oppression. The phrase ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ encapsulates this mindset and conflicts with the idea of prioritising the interests of one faction of the working class over the entire collective.
Since the latter part of the 20th century, a liberally-inspired tendency has taken root amongst the Left (in the West at least) that encourages departure from a single identity based on class in favour of multiple identities based upon one’s gender, sexuality, race or any other dividing factor. Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best.
At the time of writing there are apparently over 70 different gender options in the West, not to mention numerous sexualities – the traditional LGBT acronym has thus far grown to LGBTQQIP2SAA. Adding race to the mix results in an even greater number of possible permutations or identities. Each subgroup has its own ideology. Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to ‘check their privilege’ as the ever-changing pecking order of the ‘Oppression Olympics’ plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or ‘whether trans women aren’t women and are apparently “raping” lesbians’.
The ideology of identity politics asserts that the straight white male is at the apex of the privilege pyramid, responsible for the oppression of all other groups. His original sin condemns him to everlasting shame. While it is true that straight white men (as a group) have faced less obstacles than females, non-straight men or ethnic minorities, the majority of straight white men, past and present, also struggle to survive from paycheck to paycheck and are not personally involved in the oppression of any other group. While most of the world’s wealthiest individuals are Caucasian males, millions of white men exist who are both poor and powerless. The idea of ‘whiteness’ is itself an ambiguous concept involving racial profiling. For example, the Irish, Slavs and Ashkenazi Jews may look white yet have suffered more than their fair share of famines, occupations and genocides throughout the centuries. The idea of tying an individual’s privilege to their appearance is itself a form of racism dreamed up by woolly minded, liberal (some might say privileged) ‘intellectuals’ who would be superfluous in any socialist society.
Is the middle-class ethnic minority lesbian living in Western Europe more oppressed than the whitish looking Syrian residing under ISIS occupation? Is the British white working class male really more privileged than a middle class woman from the same society? Stereotyping based on race, gender or any other factor only leads to alienation and animosity. How can there be unity amongst the Left if we are only loyal to ourselves and those most like us? Some ‘white’ men who feel the Left has nothing to offer them have decided to play the identity politics game in their search of salvation and have drifted towards supporting Trump (a billionaire with whom they have nothing in common) or far-right movements, resulting in further alienation, animosity and powerlessness which in turn only strengthens the position of the top 1%. People around the world are more divided by class than any other factor. . .
Source: How Identity Politics Makes the Left Lose Its Collective Identity
Reblogged this on The Secular Jurist and commented:
This is an intriguing and highly recommended read which supports my ongoing warnings about the fragmentation of the political left.
I can agree with this to some extent because I have blogged about the fact that the LGBT group is screaming loudly while BlackLivesMatter is also screaming while whites feeling the economic pinch are screaming and joining alt-right groups and ANTIFA. Meanwhile, those who are kicking all of our asses are laughing their heads off.
I know you have blogged about this, Shelby, which is why I suppose it was lodged in my consciousness. I blame Obama mainly for the rise of identity politics. The Democratic Party abandoned working people (white and black) decades ago. But it was Obama who repeatedly pitched that you could still be a good liberal/progressive by fighting other working class people (instead of the ruling elite) to fight your own particular identity group.
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Obama did more to fracture the so-called ‘left’ than he ever did to unite it, that is for damn sure! He even touted one group above others which then made enmity develop even further between the different groups. Oh, he was as smooth one, he was. Bill Clinton can just take a step back because Obama is the top dog “Slick Willy!”
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Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.
See also: “USA: The Efforts to Cover the Struggle for Social Justice and Peace, to cover The Class Struggle by the “Race War” concept”: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/usa-the-efforts-to-cover-the-struggle-for-social-justice-and-peace-to-cover-the-class-struggle-by-the-race-war-concept/
Interesting link, Schluter. Thank you.