The Poverty of Identity Politics

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May 21 2018 21:49
The Poverty of Identity Politics

The basic problem with identity politics is that is focuses on identity in the past and now. What exists now is a product of an abusive, divisive alienated society. Certainly it seeks to change things that need changing BUT on what basis and towards what goal? No one knows! We can perhaps identity some characteristics of what equality and non-oppression means but we cannot be precise in this, its only guesswork and everyone is entitled to their own guesses. We cannot say now what should exist in future because no individual has any idea of what a non-alienated cooperative society where people can behave and establish relationships an open and self-identifying manner truly is. This is why the definitions of non-sexist, non-racist, non-oppressive behaviours are the subject of argument and disputes between different factions who seek to represent oppressed minorities. No one knows what is right!!

By basing arguments solely on what individual behaviour has been in the past and in the present, all identity politics is proposing is changes to current behaviour and reforms to society when no change is being threatened to the material conditions that produce those behaviours in the first place.

Today’s so-called anarchists and libertarians have fallen in to this morass of identity politics demonstrating a wishful thinking for revolution. In fact all they do is continue the trend of reformist politician since the middle of the 19th century who maybe correctly identify evils in society but seem to think that fighting them means changing laws and social morality. Today’s identity politics fail to recognise see that it’s the actions of their antecedents that have led to the behaviours they condemn today because they continue the same type of activity as though is progressive!! As a result we see the vicious squabbles between the radical feminists of 1960s/70s with those of today without recognising they are in fact part of the same movement - reformist bourgeois feminism – nor that they actually demonstrate the impossibility of them truly uniting to fight an oppressive system.

What is missing from the discussions about identity and oppression libcom is any awareness of the distinction between bourgeois and working class movements and any application of a class analysis to such movements. Intersectionality as a theory tries it hardest to ignore class and that leads down a reformist path. Accepting leadership from bourgeois feminism, bourgeois anti racism, bourgeois nationalism and any bourgeois movement leads away from revolution. What is really important here is to identify and distinguish between campaigns that are initiated by for example academics, actresses, press, trotskyists and mainstream political parties or those that appear as movements developed genuinely from below by working class and the poor.

The key meaning here is that real change ie revolution, can only come about in the practice of a revolution by a property-less and non-oppressive class. So yes, it is important to understand sexism racism, transphobia and how capitalism oppresses individual groups, but all the movements based on these oppressions have not got rid of capitalism. Only a class war can engage the real enemy and start to make these changes to society as part of a revolution against property money and class power.

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May 22 2018 15:00
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Intersectionality as a theory tries it hardest to ignore class

It doesn't sound as though you've actually read very much intersectional theory if this is your takeaway. Or even looked at the Wikipedia page, which includes an entire section on intersectional Marxism.

In fact I'll be honest, this post basically seems to be just a bunch of poorly-constructed whinging about liberals who don't add a class dimension to their politics. Which I mean, fine, but what d'you expect from liberals?

Mike Harman
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May 22 2018 09:47
link wrote:
What is missing from the discussions about identity and oppression libcom is any awareness of the distinction between bourgeois and working class movements and any application of a class analysis to such movements.

So here it looks like you're referring to other discussions on the site, but it also looks like you haven't read them. There's a few articles either posted or re-posted that discuss intersectionality vs. class, which you're claiming no-one is doing, including some historical references to past movements:

https://libcom.org/library/intersectionality-identity-politics-class

https://libcom.org/blog/identity-crisis-leftist-anti-wokeness-bullshit-22082017

https://libcom.org/blog/workers-world-unite-some-notes-class-unity-identity-politics-18052012

Also this from viewpoint: https://www.viewpointmag.com/2017/03/16/identity-crisis/

And this old one from Robin Kelley: https://libcom.org/library/identity-politics-class-struggle

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May 22 2018 12:09

How surprising, nowhere in this rant is there a definition of "identity politics".

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May 22 2018 12:15

I'd recommend link read this as well: http://libcom.org/library/intersectional-identity-path-progress

But tbh, I have to admit that the op gave me such a strong sense of repetition and deja vu that my immediate response was "Same thing day after day - tube - work - dinner - work - tube - armchair - rant about identity politics and intersectionality that never names, cites or quotes anyone specific or gives an actual example of how its targets operate - sleep - tube - work - how much more can you take?"

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May 22 2018 12:26

Link may find this of interest: With Allies Like These

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May 22 2018 12:55
Serge Forward wrote:
Link may find this of interest: With Allies Like These

Didn't Common Cause dissolve because of mass defections related to how it handled numerous sexual assaults?

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May 22 2018 13:25

Anything to say about that text besides smearing the writers, Juan?

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May 22 2018 14:15

There's a long post here, on the Common Cause archive itself, critically discussing how they developed an internal process around handling sexual assault and had to respond to actual cases on several occasions. It was posted next to the piece that Serge posted did on the linchpin archive so probably not that far apart chronologically (but nothing on linchpin.ca has dates on it so it's hard to tell). I don't think it's a smear to refer to things that the organisation itself has partially documented?

I looked for a post-mortem of the dissolution, but couldn't find one yet - it might be useful to refer to if Juan knows of one.

We can compare the two articles though:

With Allies Like These wrote:
Call-out culture and the fallacy of community accountability creates a disciplinary atmosphere in which people must adhere to a specific etiquette.

There is no mention of dealing with sexual violence within the organisation here...

Taking Account of our Politics wrote:
There have been situations in which our members have been sexually assaulted, situations where members have been aggressors, and situations outside our organization where we have been asked or felt compelled to offer our perspective.
[...]
In Common Cause, we have found that reorienting ourselves away from “community accountability” and toward “political accountability” has been a positive step in addressing sexual violence and sexism more broadly.

But there definitely is in this one...

So in With Allies Like These, 'call out culture' and 'a disciplinary atmosphere' are invoked with no concrete examples of what they mean, and 'community accountability' is dismissed as a fallacy

In Taking Account of our Politics, the concept of 'community accountability' is dealt with critically (with the idea of 'political accountability' having taken its place), and they acknowledge lots of errors made in developing accountability processes, but they also situate this within the context of having to apply these practically to things that happened in the organisation/to its members.

Common Cause published a couple of other pieces which I've not read yet but probably give some more background on how various issues were discussed - it's talking about the growth of MRAs in Canada and similar:

http://linchpin.ca/on-contesting-populism/
http://linchpin.ca/combating-the-reactionary-forces-of-liberalism/
http://linchpin.ca/bourgeois-influences-on-anarchism-redux/

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May 22 2018 14:51
Serge Forward wrote:
Anything to say about that text besides smearing the writers, Juan?

It's not a "smear". There's at least one long-time libcom poster who resigned from the group due to, in their words, its "rape culture". While I don't know who wrote the text you linked, at the very least, Common Cause's views on issues of identity should be viewed critically.

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May 22 2018 15:03

Hmm... thanks for finding that. That seems to be the only mention of common cause in this light. Is there any other info on this?

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May 22 2018 15:15

@Serge http://linchpin.ca/taking-account-of-our-politics-an-anarchist-perspective-on-contending-with-sexual-violence/ linked above?

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May 22 2018 15:20

i dont know if there is anything more on it than scatted forum posts, but Khawaga made other posts here https://libcom.org/forums/theory/platformist-groups-vs-cadre-groups-vs-cadre-lite-groups-21082014#comment-543280

Khawaga wrote:

I wouldn't trust Common Cause at all. They have a serious problem with sexism, rape culture and tend to treat other organizations as competitors, as if the class war is some gang war fighting over turf. Going cadre is only going to make them more insular they they already are; in many ways they refuse to actually engage normal people, but are always looking for people that are exactly like them. They may sound good on paper, but in practice they are an extremely problematic organization.

Ex-member.

and in this thread https://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015?page=12

Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
4. Movement highly based around dominant male personalities with no culture of dealing with anything. Criticism of concrete political points most often countered by mobbing.

is omnipresent in the US, across tendencies. I'd like to think MS wouldn't have gotten away for it for so long here in the US, but, a lot of dudes do get away with horrendous behavior of one sort or another for long periods of time. This has gotten me wanting to write in general about the adoption of hypermasculinity and gender dynamics in revolutionary organizations; I should start blogging again

Ajjohnstone, is this the dynamic you are trying to point to as an example of TofS? I'd agree. And I've also observed a lot of hypermasculinity in anarchist organizations to the point where even showing emotions were frowned upon (since that's something that gets in the way of the "cadre" doing their very important revolutionary work).

Khawaga wrote:
Akai wrote:
I think there is a problem with the second trend and this is a much harder issue because you'll find a lot with vanguard attitudes there. ln these sorts of environments, the macho, vanguardist person will be enabled and may actually be able to smuggle across lots of weird ideas without being challenged.

Yes, this did happen with my ex-group (Common Cause). The Toronto branch was pretty much all theory, lots of fantasies about mass revolution etc, very masculine outlook. One dude managed, in a meeting, to argue that women should not be the only ones to decide whether to have an abortion or not because that would be individualistic. Rather it should be up to the community! The only person challenging him? A non-member (room mate of a member) whose apartment the meeting was held.

Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
Wow. That is mind boggling (the abortion position)

Yes it is. And that's just the tip of the ice-berg of a lot of fucking crap like that from the branch, and part of the reason why our branch decided to leave the organization in the end (after trying, but failing to combat such crap for about half year). Even when we told this to the other branches they just didn't seem to care (sadly because there are a lot of great people in those other branches).

What's even worse is that the organization has put out articles about how they account for their actions and all that shit. But they still actively defended their crap against us, and treated a rape survivor like dirt. They don't even realize how fucked up they are.

But I'll end the derail now.

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May 22 2018 15:24

Common Cause never did any accounting for the fucking shit they did. Sure, normally I'd say you should deal with the arguments of a text, but in this particular case, the text was more or less a cover for their shitty practical politics. The problems in the Toronto branch wasn't just one or two people, but almost the entire branch. That branch also did most of the writing.

And it wasn't just me that left. Our entire branch did, after staying in the org trying to change shit. We left when we realized that CC didn't really care about accountability or dealing with the horrible, near abuse, internal dynamcs in the TO branch (to quote then; if nobody has cried, it's a good meeting).

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May 22 2018 15:25

Okay, thanks for the explanations, links and quotes. I'll have a shuftee at the links.

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May 22 2018 15:41

Just to add: as far as I know it wasn't the sexual assualts that led to the dissolution of CC. If that were the case, they would have folded much earlier.

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May 22 2018 17:53
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Today’s so-called anarchists and libertarians have fallen in to this morass of identity politics demonstrating a wishful thinking for revolution.

Ok, if that is what ‘so called’ anarchists have done, what have actual anarchists done?

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May 22 2018 18:17
Juan Conatz wrote:
How surprising, nowhere in this rant is there a definition of "identity politics".

Yeah this is exactly what came to my mind.

If you're not going to explain what you think "identity politics" is, then your critique is completely meaningless.

I mean I could start a thread called "The poverty of socialism", then slag off Ed Miliband. That would be as pointless as this thread.

Although I do think it's concerning that despite the OP not even offering any suggestion of what they are referring to that Serge Forward has rushed to defend them.

While I, and the rest of the libcom group, would have a critique of "identity politics" (which I will define below), in my experience, reading hundreds or even thousands of discussions online, most people who start ranting about "identity politics" normally just have a problem with women or people of colour who complain about sexism or racism. At best, they have the view that struggles against racism, sexism, sexual violence, etc are less important than what they see as the (separate) struggle against capitalism. Of course failing to realise that these are all part of the same thing.

What I personally see as "identity politics", in a negative sense, is the general desire/campaign for different oppressed groups to have equal representation within capitalist power structures (e.g. female CEOs, black politicians). However given that so many people misuse the phrase I don't use it, and don't really think anyone else in the libcom group does either.

Finally, this is a point which was first made by someone else who I can't remember, but ironically most such critics of "identity politics" actually support identity politics based on the identity of working class. In that rather than support the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the emancipation of the working class, they support the election of "representatives" of the working class into capitalist governments. And they do this without a hint of irony.

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May 22 2018 18:18

Actual anarchists have brought us to the very cusp of revolution and the only thing standing between them and the final overthrowal of capitalism is identity politics.

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May 22 2018 21:34

Not so many arguments against what I actually said folks - so thank you Steven for attempting to explaining issues. I do agree with the point about the need to define identity politics but its clear that the posters on this thread have a wide variation of definitions themselves – is it really up to an opponent to define it? However I will explain what I am using the term to mean is, albeit loosely, oppression politics, personal politics, politics focussing on identity as determined by social category.

The definition Steven gives is: “I personally see as "identity politics", in a negative sense, is the general desire/campaign for different oppressed groups to have equal representation within capitalist power structures (e.g. female CEOs, black politicians)”.

That sounds like a pretty clear admittance that identity politics is always reformist and a bourgeois movement?? Im quite happy to agree with you there

Fleur on the other hand thinks we are at the point of revolution today (really???? That’s an interesting one. On what basis????) ) and it only needs is a good bit of identity politics to complete the revolution against capitalism!! So IP is explicitly revolutionary in itself!!

Also, Id like to make it clear, that I also argue against giving power to so-called ‘representatives’ of the working class (and I did explicity mention trotskyists and mainstream political parties ie including the Labour Party but I will also include Stalinists Maoist and TU leaders in that if that helps.

Fleur uses the term ‘actual anarchists’ but I think we need a definition there too. Who are actual anarchists nowadays? The identity politics expressed by libcom posters mostly fits in with Steven’s definition of reformist politics trying to influence capitalism and that most clearly has nothing to do with getting rid of the state and creating an anarchistic society.

It seems to me that those arguing against my points need to express clearly what they are trying to achieve, because, as I said, identity politics is a morass, a muddle!

I don’t think class is just another identity. It is the fundamental one in all societies. The relationship between the ruling class and other classes is economic and political and that is the bedrock on which develops the more specific features of how society functions and thinks and behaves in general. When the working class struggles and fights the ruling class in individual strikes and mass strikes and revolution it tends to overcome personal and group anatagonisms to work together to pursue that struggle. Oppressed groups in society have some unifying characteristics its true but ultimately are unable to unite because the individuals within represent different class interests and this tears them apart ultimately. I thank Chris Harman for his reference to A Reed jr, an American left academic who as far as I can see, who was at least able to describe how black freedom movements and black nationalism gets incorporated into the system by social and legal changes and incorporating of black leaders into the democratic state ie a black ruling class

I criticised identity politics as trying to ignore a class analysis because it is not sufficient to write about the working class in one article then focus on social groups in another and think you are still using a class analysis. You cant discuss class struggle in one pigeonhole and then turn to a separate pigeonhole to talk about struggles by oppressed groups using a different method of social analysis.

A class analysis needs to be used to discuss oppressed groups to understanding what is going on and how the ruling class both inside and outside those oppressed groups are controlling and manipulating them.

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May 22 2018 22:09

You still haven't defined what you mean. The definition you gave:

Quote:
oppression politics, personal politics, politics focussing on identity as determined by social category.

… doesn't make any logical sense. And it could equally include the class politics you supposedly hold, as class is a social category as much as race and gender.

Also you have very much misunderstood my post, and completely misunderstood Fleurs.

If you actually think you have a valid point, please explain what you think "identity politics" is in comprehensible English (if English is not your first language I apologise, let me know and I will try and go through my post to explain what you have misunderstood). Otherwise I don't really think there is anything to engage with here

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May 22 2018 22:16

I was being sarcastic about your "so called anarchists."

link
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May 22 2018 22:44

Ill keep it simple and accept your definition. "What I personally see as "identity politics", in a negative sense, is the general desire/campaign for different oppressed groups to have equal representation within capitalist power structures (e.g. female CEOs, black politicians). " Ill point out also that I did say that 'class is not just another identity ...... etc'

I hope that helps you 'engage' with the rest of what I have said

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May 22 2018 22:44
link wrote:
I do agree with the point about the need to define identity politics but its clear that the posters on this thread have a wide variation of definitions themselves – is it really up to an opponent to define it?

"why should i say what it is I actually oppose?"

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May 22 2018 22:48
link wrote:
Ill keep it simple and accept your definition. "What I personally see as "identity politics", in a negative sense, is the general desire/campaign for different oppressed groups to have equal representation within capitalist power structures (e.g. female CEOs, black politicians). " Ill point out also that I did say that 'class is not just another identity ...... etc'

I hope that helps you 'engage' with the rest of what I have said

so you accuse anarchists/communists of "fallen in to this morass of identity politics" so you must clearly have examples of them campaigning for female ceos and black politicians right?

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May 23 2018 00:01

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/lupus-dragonowl-against-identity-politics

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May 23 2018 01:39

Identity Politics is an almost useless term.

Sometimes it refers to a genuine critiques of liberal politics. Such as attempting to group people together on the basis of a single identity, and thus encourage cross class alliances (eg 'women should back Hillary' 'black people can all identify with Obama' 'more openly gay MPs will improve things for other gay people in our country' 'we need more women CEOs').

Other times it refers to anyone organising with a focus on a shared oppression other than economic-class, or along side class. For example a group only open to women, or one that focuses on fighting the systemic oppressions its members face due to race.

Yet further definitions seem to incorporate everything from 'privilege theory', 'intersectionality', 'safer spaces', 'accountability processes', or just anything that's been done in an attempt to examine or deal with internal oppression within activist movements, and the contemporary historical lack of appreciation and understanding of struggles alongside the fight against capitalism.

All to often it is used to create a false dichotomy of their being only two types of anarchists. 'proper' class focused anarchists who understand history and economics, but don't know why calling a new member of the group 'darling' may be off putting being the first. With the second being so called anarchists, who are little more than liberals with their focus on personal slights, naval gazing meetings, and oppression Olympics.

I would've hung up my red and black flag a long long time ago were these representative of the anarchists i've actually come across. Not that I haven't met a few folks who could fit fairly neatly into both stereotypes.

If you need to follow a word, with a detailed several paragraph description of what you mean by the word, it's sort of failed in its role as a word. Especially if it only seems to exist to create pointless ruptures in a movement that, at its best, incorporates an understanding of capitalism and the state, with a desire to smash patriarchy, racism, and all other forms of oppression both right now and as the dream of any revolutionary project.

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May 23 2018 04:16

admin: discussion about Common Cause split to a new thread here https://libcom.org/forums/organise/issues-common-cause-23052018

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May 23 2018 04:30
link wrote:
Ill keep it simple and accept your definition. "What I personally see as "identity politics", in a negative sense, is the general desire/campaign for different oppressed groups to have equal representation within capitalist power structures (e.g. female CEOs, black politicians). " Ill point out also that I did say that 'class is not just another identity ...... etc'

I hope that helps you 'engage' with the rest of what I have said

well if that is the definition you are adopting, then the whole rest of your OP makes no sense. Like radical graffiti says, if you think you are making a valid point, can you please direct us to where "anarchists and libertarians" have campaigned for female CEOs or black politicians?

You didn't really seem to understand my post or my definition of identity politics, as evidenced by your response which clearly misunderstood it. So it doesn't really seem like that is how you understand what "identity politics" is.

So do you want to have another crack at saying what this "identity politics" is which you think is so terrible? And how about some concrete examples of where "anarchists and libertarians" have shown this serious failing?

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May 23 2018 06:21
link wrote:
Not so many arguments against what I actually said folks - so thank you Steven for attempting to explaining issues. I do agree with the point about the need to define identity politics but its clear that the posters on this thread have a wide variation of definitions themselves – is it really up to an opponent to define it?


Seriously though, if you're the person who wants to start a conversation, it's up to you to say what you want the conversation to be about. The rest of us don't automatically know.
And as above,

Quote:
What is missing from the discussions about identity and oppression libcom is any awareness of the distinction between bourgeois and working class movements and any application of a class analysis to such movements.

Where? Which specific discussions were you thinking of? For the record, I think this is pretty much the gold standard in terms of being a great critique of the reactionary elements of what you'd describe as identity politics, although I don't think the authors use that term themselves. But once again, that is a piece that's hosted on libcom, which shows that there is indeed critical discussion and class analysis of this stuff here already.

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May 23 2018 08:33

Another critique of IP dates back to 1987, by Jenny Bourne: 'Homelands of the mind: Jewish feminism and Identity Politics' (Race & Class, July 1987). It opens with the often-cited lines:

Jenny Bourne wrote:
Identity Politics is all the rage. Exploitation is out (it is extrinsically determinist). Oppression is in (it is intrinsically personal). What is to be done is replaced by who am I. Political culture has ceded to cultural politics. The material world has passed into the metaphysical. The Blacks, the Women, the Gays have all searched for themselves. and now, combining all their quests, has arrived the quest for Jewish feminist identity.

I mentioned that on this thread (which discussed a similar topic as this one, so let me repeat some other points made there):
https://libcom.org/forums/general/michael-rectenwald-doing-christopher-hitchens-28022017?page=1

"Criticism can be directed even against the best forms of IdPol. And it's not just pointing at its re-integration into the system, but it sabotaging actual resistance or even feeding into rightwing (ethnic/religious) identity politics."

Mike, like Steven here, then asked me "Can you define what this is though and give examples?"

I said:

"By best forms of IdPol, I mean those that acknowledge the reality of class struggle. That's a low bar (French liberal historians discovered it already). Jenny Bourne's article mentioned Bundism, which retro-actively can be classified as a form of IdPol. Even political Zionism had a large socialist current within it (Israel as a safe space)."

See Lenin's (and young Stalin's) writings against the identity politics of the Bund. A more recent example: the LRBW's black nationalism, criticised e.g. here .

(btw, even Hilary Clinton can speak about structural racism, so acknowledgement of material social, as opposed to mere "ideological", causes for oppression of POC etc. is not really revolutionary yet.)

And then I turned the tables on Mike (R Totale et al.):

"Why do you rant about boilerplate critiques of IdPol (as the one by Link in the present thread), when in fact your problem really is with "workerist" social democratic politics and rightwing/mainstream attacks on the lifes of minorities? Isn't it "idealistic" to regard the rightwing assault as based mainly on their having a critique of IdPol and appealing to the (white) working class? That's just a mirror version of the rightwing's story that the mainstream/elite's IdPol ideology is the tool of a leftwing ploy to destroy the country.

When good faith critique of genuine communists "falls far short of the mark", then, if "which is which" is to matter, in your view they must be complicit in "policy/attacks on the lifes of minorities". So why do you rant about those genuine communists' misguided boilerplate critiques of IdPol, if really your concern with them is that they their are complicit in or enabling policy/attacks on the lifes of minorities? "

"I posit that when anyone (in the mainstream/rightwing) rants about IdPol they don't have in mind the people on the street in Baltimore.

I posit that when anyone rants about IdPol they mean the dominant, non-class vulgar form of IdPol."

"When the Right (or anyone) rants about IdPol, I posit they have in mind primarily the non-class, vulgar form of IdPol, symbolic things like speech, cultural appropriation in the media and campus, not black youth on the streets of Baltimore or Ferguson."

"I differentiated the vulgar IdPol from the class-recognising IdPol, and indeed said that even the best form (the latter) can be criticised (for their IdPol). But I'm not oblivious to the fact that there is a difference between vulgar and class-recognising IdPol."

"Of course Reed does criticise even the "left" anti-racism (class-recognising IdPol groups). Perhaps you find some passages where his argument sounds too much like a lazy slippery-slope fallacy. But pointing out similarities doesn't mean to deny there is difference. Lenin dared to equate some Bundist claims to those of outright Zionism, however, that doesn't mean he believed they were literally no better than Zionists. "

But suppose we jettison all critiques of IP as useless, would that advance us closer to revolution?:

"Suppose you're right and everyone who rants about IdPol does have in mind people like the non-activist ordinary Ferguson protestors (i.e. ordinary people with serious grievances; organisers of sweatshop workers, protestors against police violence, fracking, unsafe drinking water, etc.), who are not positively engaged with, their voices not heard, dismissed/ignored/criticised. If it weren't for those ranters against IdPol, would then the local protestors' voices be better heard, would they be more positively engaged? What does that mean concretely?"

To paraphrase Fleur's sarcasm: if it weren't for those old class-struggle IP-critical dinosaurs (like Link), us enlightened modernist activists would have ended capitalism with its racism, sexism, etc. by now.

unironic meme:

In response to the inevitable retort, "ok suppose you class struggle dinosaurs are right about IP" "what should we do then?" i.e. you suggest doing nothing:

"This whole reasoning sounds much like when you criticise the unions or parliamentary parties and people reply; so you want to do nothing? Are you against organising/politics?

Is it really necessary for Reed (or even Spiked), to say that they are fine with ordinary people protesting police violence? Concretely it would not mean much any way, if Reed et al. did, nor does it mean much that you are saying 'let us not neglect the ordinary protestors'. "

and:

"activism, like anyone knows, can take passive forms from writing pamphlets or holding demonstrations to armed insurrection."

--

btw, a more quirky philosophical note, but for a critique of the concept "identity" see Thomas Wallace's 1827 pamphlet: A review of the doctrine of personal identity, in which are considered and compared the opinions of Locke, Butler, Reid, Brown, and Stewart, upon that subject.
https://archive.org/details/areviewdoctrine00wallgoog
or at google:
https://books.google.com/books?id=i4jc-lm-ZkAC