Marxist Identity Politics …Say What?!?

I love the work of James Howard Kunstler, and he deserves recognition for his unremitting tenacity to hold to the truth that …well, actually, it has grown to be more than what I was thinking of. Which was that the US 2020 election was a fraud perpetrated by deep state and the Democratic Party to rob the, in any case, undeserving Trump of a second term in office and to gain freedom of action to impose a death drug vaccination mandate on both America and the world at large. It goes back much further than those recent acts in the long running play script. Back at least to the campaign of lies by the same perpetrators in the 2016 elections.

Kunstler, and I (taking his lead and also input from a more generalised spread of opinion), have long expressed the view that there is something decidedly rotten and pustulent about what underpins American politics and culture, to the point where the foundations of western imperialistic society are about to fail under the load of corrupt practices that have weighed down upon it over many years, bringing down the whole structural edifice it currently supports. Those changes are imminently upon us. Those forces which seek to preserve the status quo have appeared to gain the upper hand in masking this situation – through the deception of media manipulation, but we have held the line that eventually all will be inevitably revealed. The wheels of justice turning ever so slowly and from time to time having the appearance of having stopped any movement at all. But that is also deceptive, and underneath all of the subterfuge, justice is working away for the truth to be ratified. We are now seeing some of that ratification come about. Much more will surely follow until all the accumulated pustulence has been eradicated – or so we hope. All the while drawing closer to the main culprits, the Clintons and the Obamas (not forgetting the Bidens). This is entirely justified.

But every time I get to thinking I can share something Kunstler writes, he goes and spoils it with some generalised stupidity. If it is not some incorrect impugnment of a false nature to China, then it is this week’s gaff of associating ‘Identity Politics’ with Marxism. What is it with Americans that while they can see some things clearly, they have huge blind-spots to others?

Anyway, no matter to that, there is enough in this Kunstler post to make it worth reading (if only to explain more on what I have just been talking about).

I am not going to say more here, because I also want you to read this fine piece – a long-form article – on “The failure of identity politics: A Marxist analysis” from the Marxist Left Review – the voice of “Socialist Alternative, a revolutionary organisation based in Australia.

I will just quote a snippet for those who might throw their arms up in horror at the thought of reading the complete piece from such a source…

The roots of identity politics

Originating in the US, identity politics as we know it today became established in the late 1980s across the Western world. It was a product of the defeats and distortions of the social movements of the previous decades. The decline of social struggle and rise of neoliberalism drove back the working class and the left. At the same time, a layer of middle-class professionals from various identity groups emerged and became entrenched. Within the academy, this layer developed ideological justifications for the social movements’ retreat from the goal of liberation, and helped to develop a more progressive face for neoliberalism. Simultaneously, governments established identity-based bureaucracies, allowing a cohort of diverse professionals to advance their careers within the system while providing governments with cover for neoliberal reforms. This model continues to be used in government and the corporate world today. A substantial section of the capitalist class and the political establishment is wild for diversity.

I should say, in passing, that I do not ‘identify’ as a ‘Marxist’, though I am not averse to such thought. I generally eschew attachment to all and any unnecessary labels of any kind. We all have certain inescapable ‘identity’ labels though, as well as labels of ‘social class’ – which is what Marxism actually talks about (in my limited view of the subject). The two of course are entirely separate.

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