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Identity Politics and the Issue of Class
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SwiftEscudo Offline
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Post: #1
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

I've always been frustrated with identity politics. Y'know, stuff like feminism and the civil rights movements.

As with Marxists, they agree that oppression exists through existing inequality. They also agree that those being oppressed play a pivotal role in fighting said oppression.

However, they simply do not believe that those not experiencing oppression can ever play a role in fighting it. Feminists do not believe that men will benefit from the end of sexism, LGBT activists do not believe that straight people will benefit from the end of homophobia, and black rights activists do not believe that white people will benefit from the end of racism.

By extension, they believe that all facing sexism/racism/homophobia are united in opposing it and that they all have common interests. This is far from true. Barack Obama is a black man and he is the president of the United States. Hilary Clinton is a powerful female politician. Barney Frank is an openly gay politician.

These three people do not share the same interests as other oppressed groups, they have never demonstrated strong leaning to any of these movements. They are protected by the shield of class, they do not truly suffer from this oppression. The white male-led 'patriarchy' is not the true cause of this inequality, the identities of those running the system are not the problem. The system itself is, regardless of who is in charge.

Fighting sexism, racism and homophobia is important, but it is not enough to simply do that. Oppression is a byproduct of the exploitation that drives capitalism. A materialist analysis of class actually demonstrates how the ruling class shares a common interest in keeping capitalism going and how the working class shares a common interest in overthrowing it. A materialist analysis is a far better measure than the garbage that these special interest groups throw out, because it shows the systematic benefits of racism and sexism.

The ruling class 'divide and conquer' strategy makes the working class squabble amongst each other rather than fight against their natural enemy. No working class person benefits from this, the idea of wage differences (like those that existed in the south) benefiting white workers is untrue. When a black man came to work and earned less, the employers typically lowered the wages of everyone. Wages fall and profit is gained by the ruling class.

All working class people suffer from oppression and worker's solidarity is a far greater option than splitting up and fighting each other.

RIP GORE GOROTH
RIP SAINTVICIOUS
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06-18-2014 08:34 PM
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Ky Offline
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Post: #2
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

I find equality to be a laughable concept, in part because all who fight for it refuse to let me fight alongside them.

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06-19-2014 02:19 AM
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thewake Offline
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Post: #3
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

Equality's not a very useful concept. I think the people who have such a drive for it are either immensely jealous or confuse equality with ensuring everyone has a minimum standard of living, and the minimum argument is a whole other ball game altogether. Do people in poverty really need equality? No, arguably they just need a minimum. They don't necessarily need to be equal. I'm more than happy to argue against the government giving that too, but it's definitely an argument I understand quite a lot better than the calls for equality.

I think it's rather interesting how these identity politics come into play, too. But isn't class an identity just as well as black or gay? How is this class based stuff any different from the other stuff? Ultimately, it's not really. It's possible that class might bind people more strongly than these things, but I don't necessarily see that either.

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06-19-2014 04:07 AM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #4
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

Amoeba don't have identity. Amoeba are everything.

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(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

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06-19-2014 09:53 AM
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Rule_BreakerXVIII Offline
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Post: #5
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

Divide and rule- that's what it is. I like the term you gave it -"identity politics"...and such identity politics can be defeated easily by networking - kind of like how SSF and Laveyan Satanism agree on the core philosophies of ,individualism, free thought, skepticism, epicureanism, and secularism. We should find out what's common, not what's different.

Quote:However, they simply do not believe that those not experiencing oppression can ever play a role in fighting it. Feminists do not believe that men will benefit from the end of sexism, LGBT activists do not believe that straight people will benefit from the end of homophobia, and black rights activists do not believe that white people will benefit from the end of racism.

By extension, they believe that all facing sexism/racism/homophobia are united in opposing it and that they all have common interests. This is far from true. Barack Obama is a black man and he is the president of the United States. Hilary Clinton is a powerful female politician. Barney Frank is an openly gay politician.

These three people do not share the same interests as other oppressed groups, they have never demonstrated strong leaning to any of these movements. They are protected by the shield of class, they do not truly suffer from this oppression. The white male-led 'patriarchy' is not the true cause of this inequality, the identities of those running the system are not the problem. The system itself is, regardless of who is in charge.


I didn't quite get the last paragraph....I mean, a faulty system is not as wrong as the people who keep using it, is it??

Don't play chess with pigeons-they'll just knock over the pieces, shit on the board and strut about like they won anyway.
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Quote:May the days and months of flowing bitterness be rewarded...
To forget!?

Unforgivable!!
06-19-2014 07:29 PM
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WalterScottDempsey Offline
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Post: #6
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

Identity politics is a great way to divide and conquer a nation.
06-20-2014 12:05 AM
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SwiftEscudo Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

(06-19-2014 04:07 AM)W Kuts Wrote:  I think it's rather interesting how these identity politics come into play, too. But isn't class an identity just as well as black or gay? How is this class based stuff any different from the other stuff? Ultimately, it's not really. It's possible that class might bind people more strongly than these things, but I don't necessarily see that either.

Class includes people of all races, genders and sexual orientation. It ultimately plays a bigger role in society than racism/sexism/homophobia. A rich black woman does not face the same problems as a poor black woman. She is shielded from racism and sexism through her class, those issues ultimately either partially or outright don't effect her.

Your class (At least in Marxist terms) is determined by your relationship to capitalism and the means of production. Race, gender and sexual orientation are almost completely unrelated.

Unless you're referring to class in terms of lower, middle and upper class. The type determined solely by income. In that situation, 'class' is the same as identity politics.

(06-19-2014 07:29 PM)Rule_BreakerXVIII Wrote:  I didn't quite get the last paragraph....I mean, a faulty system is not as wrong as the people who keep using it, is it??

The system itself is flawed, the people running and supporting it are not the problem. Simply changing the people and keeping the same system won't do anything. Furthermore, I was more or less trying to state that the system itself is a bigger issue than the 'white male'.

RIP GORE GOROTH
RIP SAINTVICIOUS
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(This post was last modified: 06-20-2014 09:20 PM by SwiftEscudo.)
06-20-2014 09:20 PM
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Alistoriv Offline
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Post: #8
Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

I thought you were b&???

RIP GORE GOROTH
RIP SAINTVICIOUS
(03-20-2013 05:08 PM)brainiac3397 Wrote:  Stand up with pride and say "No! I will not be a McDonalds employee. I WILL BE A GARBAGE MAN!"

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06-21-2014 01:34 AM
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Rule_BreakerXVIII Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Identity Politics and the Issue of Class

(06-20-2014 09:20 PM)SwiftEscudo Wrote:  
(06-19-2014 04:07 AM)W Kuts Wrote:  I think it's rather interesting how these identity politics come into play, too. But isn't class an identity just as well as black or gay? How is this class based stuff any different from the other stuff? Ultimately, it's not really. It's possible that class might bind people more strongly than these things, but I don't necessarily see that either.

Class includes people of all races, genders and sexual orientation. It ultimately plays a bigger role in society than racism/sexism/homophobia. A rich black woman does not face the same problems as a poor black woman. She is shielded from racism and sexism through her class, those issues ultimately either partially or outright don't effect her.

Your class (At least in Marxist terms) is determined by your relationship to capitalism and the means of production. Race, gender and sexual orientation are almost completely unrelated.

Unless you're referring to class in terms of lower, middle and upper class. The type determined solely by income. In that situation, 'class' is the same as identity politics.

(06-19-2014 07:29 PM)Rule_BreakerXVIII Wrote:  I didn't quite get the last paragraph....I mean, a faulty system is not as wrong as the people who keep using it, is it??

The system itself is flawed, the people running and supporting it are not the problem. Simply changing the people and keeping the same system won't do anything. Furthermore, I was more or less trying to state that the system itself is a bigger issue than the 'white male'.

Say then, if we replaced the people who followed the system with ones who don't. That's what I meant originally, that the people who follow and validate the system are at fault, since a system becomes defunct if nobody uses it anymore.

Good point about class there- that rich people won't suffer as much as poor ones. It's always been the case, sadly...In an ideal world no one would be discriminated against. But we're far from that point.

Don't play chess with pigeons-they'll just knock over the pieces, shit on the board and strut about like they won anyway.
-the Internet


Quote:May the days and months of flowing bitterness be rewarded...
To forget!?

Unforgivable!!
06-21-2014 01:42 PM
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