13 COMMENTS

  1. It’s not just a matter of identity or ideology – it’s also a matter of power and financial remuneration. Social determinants require large-scale social ACTION, and this threatens the bottom line of big corporations (and the politicians who depend on their donations) as well as threatening the hold of dominant groups on power over those they deem below them in social value.

  2. Unfortunately Dragon Slayer is right (no pun intended) — but for reasons that has he yet to comprehend.

    “Intersectionality” is a bullshit liberal/”progressive” way of avoiding class struggle, or reducing it to a matter of powerless people lecturing each other about their relative “privilege” without any sense of context or the slightest notion of how to change any of the situations they profess to be enlightened about. Different forms of oppression do not simply happen to “intersect,” they all serve the interests of capital, which is the “mother of all oppression.”

    The twisting of ideology here into a prescription for “health” is as bad as if they had said “mental health,” in which case at least some people would point out the slippery slope such conceptualizations pose. Plus unless one is unreservedly anti-capitalist they should not be using terms such as “right wing” and “left wing,” which are meaningless without a class analysis, they just become accolades or pejoratives in a social exercise masquerading as political struggle. Bottom line, this is indeed totalitarianism, though it doesn’t deserve the title “left-wing.”

  3. “Intersectionality” is a bullshit liberal/”progressive” way of avoiding class struggle, or reducing it to a matter of powerless people lecturing each other about their relative “privilege” without any sense of context or the slightest notion of how to change any of the situations they profess to be enlightened about.

    This is true to a point, but only if it is understood to describe the opportunistic neoliberal version of intersectionality that has become fashionable lately among centrist Democrat Party types. The idea of interlocking oppressions originated with the Combahee River Collective, which was a Black feminist lesbian organization and was also anti-capitalist. The goal of their analysis was solidarity rather than individualistic oppression olympics.

    It’s important to remember that these kinds of analyses came about in the first place because people who experienced multiple forms of oppression in addition to class oppression and exploitation were not getting their needs addressed (much less met) in the prevailing left organizations of the time. This is often still true today, and when these other intersections of oppression are not addressed by leftists, then those who suffer under them are alienated from left politics. This is why actual leftists need to be careful not to minimize the struggles of ethnic/”racial” minorities, LGBTQ people, immigrants, women, and other marginalized groups.

    This podcast does a good job explaining it all: https://www.blubrry.com/jacobin/29831767/the-dig-keeanga-yamahtta-taylor-on-recovering-identity-politics-from-neoliberalism/ “The Dig: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Recovering Identity Politics from Neoliberalism”

    • It would be better if you could explain what you mean in your own words, I rarely click on people’s links here. I have no interest in “recovering” identity politics, it’s largely the domain of self-indulgent Westerners. (This as differentiated from politics based on self-determination, such as separatist women’s organizations, the former Black Panther Party, etc.)

      PS I don’t think any socialist/Marxist organizations support identity politics in any form.

      • I already said what I thought was most important about it. I recommended the podcast as a source of more detailed information about the history of these ideas. The bottom line is that there *are* interconnected systems of oppression at work (yes, with capitalism at the center) and not only is there nothing wrong with acknowledging that fact, but failure to acknowledge it alienates those members of the working class who are affected by these other systems of oppression.

        • Everything is interconnected, and all true oppression in the current day emanates from capitalism; still “intersectionality” is a mystifying concept in my book and is primarily used by those with little class understanding or particular interest in such. I don’t see anything to be gained by using it. (Perhaps Susan would be interested in commenting on this.)

  4. The relationship between lower social status and sickness/mortality has been documented and redocumented since 1845: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/condition-working-class-england.pdf

    In 1936, Hans Selye explained how it happens: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2038162/pdf/brmedj03603-0003.pdf

    The problem is not lack of knowledge or not enough science; the problem is that capitalism is invested in explaining all human maladies in biological, individual, blame-the-victim terms. If it did not do this, it would have to take responsibility for an immense amount of unnecessary suffering.

    This is a political problem, and it can only be solved politically.

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