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Which has the stronger case

Intersectional identity politics
- 0 (0%)
Liberation politics
- 2 (13.3%)
To be honest I've never heard of Liberation politics before
- 13 (86.7%)

Total Members Voted: 14


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Author Topic: Intersectional Idpol General  (Read 3026 times)

Loud Whispers

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Intersectional Idpol General
« on: July 21, 2016, 05:29:51 pm »

The full thread title I would suppose would more accurately be "Intersectional Identity politics vs Liberation politics," but that is hardly as catchy as the Intersectional Idpol General - it's like poetry, it rhymes.

Thread rules for safest of space conduct:
  • When conducting discussions on identity politics, tread carefully and respectfully. Most importantly, do not insultingly use identities as a substitute for arguments, pro or against. That also includes "ur a fookin wite male" jokes, and accusations of being an SJW or [insert equivalent political phrases, politically correct or incorrect].
  • Don't be an arse, also for sake of time, generally avoid cursing in posts wherever possible. People, when defensive, will usually err towards reading a post in the most hostile way imaginable, so try to reduce leeway for hostile interpretations.
  • Avoid the usage of "regressive." It gets very confusing to see multiple types of progressive all calling each other regressive whilst maintaining theirs is the true progressivism.


With that out of the way, this is what the thread is about:
Quote
“Identity Politics” and the Project of Liberation

Historically, the loaded term “identity politics” has been used to describe a range of ideas, behaviors and actions under the rubric of moving beyond a class-reductive analysis of power. From the Black Panther Party to Sisters Uncut, identity-based movements have helped to carve out spaces for self-organisation and for the development of a theoretical understanding of constructed identities as a category of power. This has been critical for movements of colour, anti-colonial revolutions, feminist struggles and queer liberation movements. In particular, these spaces have been vital in complicating wider movements; for example, during the struggles of the 1960s and 70s in the West, the creation of women of colour-only spaces intervened in the dominant feminist discourses, creating a more enriched, nuanced analysis of the intersectional nature of patriarchy, capitalism and white supremacy.

The moment at which we are making this intervention is one in which the language of “privilege baiting”, positionality politics, confession and “safe spaces” have come to dominate self-defined radical theory and praxis. Indeed, identity politics has taken on a negative valence recently – with many preferring to identify instead with “liberation politics” – due to the theorisation and organization along racial, gender or class lines having a tendency to reinforce the very identity categories activists and scholars are seeking to overcome. Critics of identity politics claim that it reduces political and radical collective action to individualism and that it effaces the possibility of solidarity and movement building. For many, this new construction of identity politics constitutes a problematic shift from intersectionality as an analysis of power and an understanding of oppressions as social relations to reductive essentialism and fragmentation. Perhaps more seriously, this conception has been read as a reproduction of the power of capital and the state, whereby focus on the individual – as a confessor, oppressor or victim – has come to replace the theoretical and political work of dismantling the structures of domination.

This is from an open call for papers being done by Oxford, in an admirable attempt to reconcile a progressive academia which is currently in the process of self-consumption due to endless conflict between tumblr feminists, neoliberals and idpol, trigger warnings, safe spaces, smug e.t.c, with the issues concerned:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Being altogether quite vast.

Each topic could itself own its own tumblr, but the overarching conflict is this; has identity politics and intersectionality gone horribly awry, to the point where it perpetuates the structures progressivism set out to destroy?
I myself no longer sincerely believe in or support progressivism, so I have no gut feeling on this, my days of instinctively understanding progressivism are a memory to me. So I went onto /leftypol/ and observed their discussions on identity politics, and their forum seems to focus on conflicts between 3rd worldism vs 1st worldism class struggle, and anarcho-feminism vs marxism sans idpol.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Taken from their discussions. Note, the soviet trash man had the caption: "reject divisive identity politics!", but upon uploading it to imgur it got lost due to transparency issues.
The Liberation(ers?) mocked identity politics for having gone far off the deep end, the meme they use to describe this phenomenon usually involves a picture of insane identity politics with the caption of "pure ideology" (ideology being of the Marxist definition, a collection of beliefs set by the bourgeoisie to get the proletariat to accept oppression). For example, I saw this used in a critique of "adultism," of how adults discriminate against children and oppress them by refusing them total agency in all matters, and to deny them such agency is to use the same logic used to justify slavery. Their response: this is PURE IDEOLOGY

Less joky and more serious of their arguments though, was how Western liberalism had become the face of smugness. Of how in the 50s the face of the left was the working class man, but steadily over time has grown to become wealthy, well educated and elite liberals, convinced of an intellectual superiority over the working class - who by voting against them, are voting against their own interests, and are only too "low information" to grasp that their superiors know what's best for them. If you followed the Brexit referendum, one of the things that was abhorrent was how in response to losing even in safe strongholds, globally liberal media responded by slating the Leave victory as that of the poor, uneducated hateful, versus the wealthy, educated enlightened, completely ignoring that they lost in cities where the men clashed with Thatcher's police as the Unions were destroyed in the name of leftism before many of them were even born. "A movement once fleshed out in union halls and little magazines shifted into universities and major press, from the center of the country to its cities and elite enclaves." - Anonymous poster
They posit that these urban elites have fostered through identity politics, a system which does not aid class struggle, and instead enforces the ideology of the bourgeoisie. To quote two particularly passionate posters:
"This is the difference between, right wing extremists like pol, the alt right, neo nazis, at least they are honest. You know where they stand, you dont agree with them, but they aren't trying to be your friend. The SJW, the moderate, the gated community corporate liberal, they are the ones that wear the mask of the left, "oh, I love gays and blacks and trans people... Just don't move into my neighbourhood :DDD" - Anonymous poster

On behalf of identitiy politics:
The Anarcho-Feminist perspective was pretty hard to find cos they just shitposted in other people's threads and didn't make their own, and they didn't seem to agree on much. But in regards to their idpol arguments, these ones didn't find adequate rebuttal in leftypol:
In mixed gendered marxism, women can often end up having a smaller voice than men. Sometimes literally:
"Consider volume. Men often actually SHOUT in discussions. I’ve seen conversations - not pub conversations, or even emotive conversations, just normal conversations - in which the men are bellowing loudly and the women are occasionally saying something quiet. Consider tone. Being abrupt, sarcastic, relaxed, angry, etc. are all modes of power which make statements about the strength of your argument. Hesitating, sounding nervous, looking around, etc., are all modes of weakness. You have easier access to the power modes as a man - consider not using them." But also in terms of political capital, access to media and most importantly - to ears.
Then there was the international intersectional argument, whose strongest one I saw I think speaks for itself:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
There are considerably more arguments against identity politics in /leftypol/ than arguments for it, and they are so hostile to identity politics, that the detestation of it is itself, expressed through memes. Thus I cannot trust /leftypol/ to be providing the strongest arguments in favour of it, and my perusals of tumblr were altogether wasted time. It is simply impossible to talk to people who mentally breakdown at the mention of the words trauma, or find everything ableist or some other ism.

So anyone whose interested, whose case do you think is strongest, the Liberation Progressives or the Identity Politics Progressives?

TempAcc

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2016, 05:58:21 pm »

My opinion is: set fire to all commies.
Identity politics are shit and have only resulted in dividing people even more by inventing the idea that everyone should be safe and happy, and the main way to do it is to blame everyone else for their problems instead of actualy being useful and solving problems.
However if the alternative is pretending everyone is magically equal and the state should be everyone's megadad then what kind of ideological shithole have we come to lol.

I'll give the real answer when I'm feeling less lazy and I'm not eating some sort of delicious fish, which I am.
Bask in my fish privilege and despair.
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Harry Baldman

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2016, 06:15:28 pm »

The identity politics guys have more of a leg to stand on in your average developed country than Marxists (I'm not sure how anyone can actually invoke something like 'fighting against capitalist oppression' with a straight face anywhere, let alone 4chan), since a lot of things are socialized these days already and the conditions that gave rise to the original iteration of Marxism (we've all heard about the things that went on in the Industrial Revolution) don't really exist anymore for such a vast majority of residents of these countries that to pretend otherwise seems intellectually dishonest to me.

Nevertheless, that is not to say that identity politics has got much of anything right either. It gets pretty weird and recursive in how they try to regulate each and every form of their thought and expression to eliminate all traces of prejudice and cultural appropriation, and that's not even getting into their attempts to tell other people to do the same. It's like a strange variant of pop psych these days, which is something of a parallel problem to the Marxists. Racism, sexism and paternalism haven't been in vogue for a long time now, which does leave idle hands and idle minds around with easily available tools passed down from previous generations, now refined for much more precise hunting of undesirable thought-forms.

They're both relicts, are they not, much like a trans-exclusionary radical feminist would be in our day and age, a bizarre mutation of little discernible modern purpose.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 06:17:35 pm by Harry Baldman »
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TempAcc

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2016, 06:43:57 pm »

RIP delishus fish ;~;7

Anyway, identity politics have fallen into a trap of its own making. In attempting to create an idea of different entities with are at a disadvantage and discriminated against by pretty much everyone else and how they should get together in order to have strenght, relevance and safety as some sort of group, as a sort of neo-marxist way of increasing people's dissatisfaction with society in order to emulate a new kind of class struggle; it has only managed to enforce differentiation from others, group policing and the idea of unacceptable currents of thought, which in turn only served to splinter people even more.

Groups splintered into subgroups which eventualy got as angry at one another as they're angry at everyone else they perceive as normal, up to the point that in the end it all degenerates into a multicoloured soup of groups which are distrustful of one another, and whenever one of these groups gain prominence, they attempt to gain power for their own perceived identity rather than actualy trying to do anything that would be actualy beneficial to everyone. This is why the black panthers, who started as a pseudo anarcho-marxist group thing that wanted to protect black people eventualy just became terrorists linked to black supremacy groups, a path that some sections of black lives matter is taking, etc.

Feminism suffered the most from this, as trans critical feminism alienated a whole lot of their LGBT allies, and third wave feminism is essentialy a huge joke made up of women who mostly have it pretty well while women who actualy have a shitty time end up having no voice because the rich college student type feminism took it away. Feminism has been basically murdering its parents as it moves through time, as the feminists of yesterday (which are still alive and kicking) are seen as "too problematic" for the feminists of today, while the older feminists choose to not blame every problem of the world in the existence of dicks, but also are not entirely fond of this whole transwomen are real women thing.

Liberation politics have... Basically done nothing? I haven't actualy seen much about it anywhere but from the little I know of it, it just seems like some sort of ideology made up to try and somehow bring together the enourmous pile of identity left leaning groups into some sort of entity that has more cohesion than your run of the mill leftist parties nowadays, but kinda hasn't really resulted into anything and will likely not do anything ever because the conditions that favor that kind of union against some sort of painted enemy just aren't here anymore, like Harry Baldman said. There aren't rows of starving impressionable peasants on the streets to charm to the tune of the marxist flute anymore. Everyone has found a group to hold onto, everyone has found a place, even if its shitty. Making them give up on their individual sense of group security in order to join up because someone came around and went "lol guys forget about hating eachother lets hate X instead, and together!".

Plus its so artificial and cheesily lefty that nobody can take it seriously anymore, other than the kind of people who cosplay as north korean officers at conventions while brandishing crayon coloured red stars and sickles.

I'm not sure if thats how you spell sickle.
I'm also kind of a jerk. I miss my fish.
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George_Chickens

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2016, 08:40:04 pm »

This thread can only end in tears and slapfights, so I'm going to give my thoughts, explain some things to hopefully steer conversation away from a wall, and run like the wind.

First of all, I'd like to give my two cents on identity politics: it's bad. Nothing wrong with equal treatment, everything wrong with paranoia and seeing everything as an act against a race or sexual preference. I'm not just referring to 'tumblr politics' here, most identity politics I've seen is guilty of this, be it with right or left rhetoric.

Secondly, I'd like to explain where their disdain comes from, at least from my perspective. Around election time this year, I decided I was fed up with major parties and decided to look at a few of the minor or less-than-minor-ones. My first recognition was that we, in Australia, seem to have a lot of conspiracy theorist parties, and the second thing I noticed was that the socialist parties seemed to have abandoned their core elements (worker's self management, internationalism, working class in politics, etc) for 'fighting sexism in X industry' and the like. I imagine that would get people on that side of the spectrum pretty upset.

Thirdly, this:
since a lot of things are socialized
I'm assuming you mean the American term for nationalized. How did that come to be, anyway? I mean, using the term socialized in place of state-owned or nationalized. Anyway, the reason why most of them are 'fighting on' so to speak is that the core element of socialism is not nationalization, but rather the working class seizing control of their workplaces. It's in pretty much every socialist writing, and most of the socialist states have paid some homage to it. The board mentioned in the OP even memes about this.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 08:53:26 pm by George_Chickens »
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Morrigi

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2016, 09:15:18 pm »

Identity politics are a cancer on society. They only ever divide instead of unify, and cause more problems than they solve.
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Draxis

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2016, 09:25:53 pm »

Politics that don't care about identity and intersectionality are inherently , but 'identity politics' as it is called today is the substitution of identity for politics, not just politics that recognizes that 'liberation' does not always look the same.
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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2016, 09:45:22 pm »

Posting To Popcorn. Because this is like piling up fifty bales of straw, dousing it in gasoline, handing out lighters and then asking everyone to politely and calmly juggle their lighters without causing any problems.
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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2016, 12:00:22 am »

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Cthulhu

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2016, 01:19:36 am »

Back when I was a Marxist (before I grew a brain, a dick, and a heart) I saw idpol (at least as I understood it) as further splintering a body politic that needed to be unified to create real change.

Now that I'm full capitalist, I still kind of think that?  Assuming the definitions I"m working with are the same thing.  I understood identity politics as a school of thought that argued it wasn't possible to properly understand the experiences of x unless you're a part of x.
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Harry Baldman

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2016, 07:24:10 am »

I'm assuming you mean the American term for nationalized. How did that come to be, anyway? I mean, using the term socialized in place of state-owned or nationalized. Anyway, the reason why most of them are 'fighting on' so to speak is that the core element of socialism is not nationalization, but rather the working class seizing control of their workplaces. It's in pretty much every socialist writing, and most of the socialist states have paid some homage to it. The board mentioned in the OP even memes about this.

I take socialization to mean free availability as well as nationalization, but I suppose you're right in that it's not really a part of socialist dogma. It fits pretty well, though: nationalization and free availability of healthcare, benefits and various rights addresses the core concerns of the workers, which is their careless exploitation by higher authority and horrible existence in a machine that cares not for their well-being, while also maintaining the stability and predictability of a state that you don't need to build anew, no bourgeoisie that needs purging and regrowing. It's the best of both worlds as far as the general public is concerned.

Spoiler: Continued waffling (click to show/hide)
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DJ

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2016, 09:39:54 am »

Workers controlling the means of production doesn't have to be nationalization, it can be workers self-management. Ie, instead of employer-employee relationship everyone working is a partner and owns a share of the company, and instead of salary they get dividends from the company's profits. Isn't this how a lot of law firms do things anyway?
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BorkBorkGoesTheCode

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2016, 09:43:38 am »

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2016, 09:52:21 am »

Yeah, that looks like it. IMO that's the fairest economic model for everyone involved.
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Reelya

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Re: Intersectional Idpol General
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2016, 10:08:49 am »

However if the alternative is pretending everyone is magically equal and the state should be everyone's megadad then what kind of ideological shithole have we come to lol.

That's actually the exact opposite of what Marx advocated. "Communism" in Marxism is a stage in which the state doesn't even exist. Sure we can conceive problems with this stateless system in which local communes run everything, but they're certainly not the same problems of "too much centralization".

These are things you can basically look up yourself if you're not lazy. Suffice to say, everything that happen in the USSR is the exact opposite of what Marx actually recommended. It's a lot like the Crusades, where massive armies tortured and killed people in the name of Jesus.

Marx's theory has three stages:

capitalism: how things are now
socialism: formation of local democratic communes to run enterprises
communism: abolition of the state, communes left as the sole political structure

Basically, it's closer to anarchism or libertarianism than it is to what the USSR implemented.

The Soviets didn't even really try and pretend they made any progress: they advocated their system as a "temporary" stage in between capitalism and socialism. But power corrupts, and the Russian government actually exterminated the communes that were starting to form. Kinda hard to make a commune-based system when you keep murdering the people who form communes, isn't it?

Additionally, "everyone being the same / paid the same" is not a Marxist idea. The idea of people as drones was a Soviet thing. It makes people easier to control when you view them as interchangeable.

The basic tenet of Marxism Socialism was "To each according to his contribution" which is a core principle of non-exploitation. If you work twice as hard, you should get paid twice as much. Clearly the Soviets did not operate like this. The other organizing socialist principle is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". This doesn't really match the idea of everyone being "magically equal" either, unlike how the Soviets did things. Marxism recognizes that people have differing abilities, and it's reasonable to expect their contribution to society is proportional to their ability to provide, and that they have differing needs, and it's reasonable for society to provide for their actual needs, even for people who lack the ability to work.

So basic socialist theory says to work hard (From each according to his ability), reward hard work (To each according to his contribution) but to help those who legitimately can't help themselves (to each according to his needs). These things are really common sense in almost any society.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 10:44:02 am by Reelya »
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