A Few Words on Marxism and Identity Politics — by Albert Terry, III

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Summary: This article examines identity politics, and the intersections between race and class to argue for a new “Marxist identity politics” that overcomes class reductionism, while standing against an understanding of identity politics that abstracts from a class analysis. Orig. published on Jan. 8, 2017 in Left Voice (1500w) – Editors

A Few Words on Marxism and Identity Politics

One comment

    sam friedman

    October 13, 2017

    I very much like Albert Terry’s article, but wish it had covered two additional issues.

    One is it would have been useful if it had discussed the Sanders campaign and the post-campaign politics of the Sanderistas and perhaps the Democratic Socialists’ recent conference.

    The other aspect is one where I would take a slightly different theoretical tack. Terry discusses race, gender etc and class in terms of oppression. This is valid–people are oppressed in all these ways, and their thinking and their organizing is at least in part shaped by that.

    But class is different in at least two ways. One is that of exploitation. The working class is exploited and the capitalists profit from that and use the gains of the exploitation to shape production etc. in ways that lead to wars, climate change, etc. This too shapes consciousness, organizing possibilities and struggles. The other way in which class is different is that the broadly-defined working class has the ability (we hope) to take over the workplaces and then to use this power, together with that of workers/neighborhood councils organized in the struggle, to democratically re-shape the world. (Of course, issues of intersectional oppression and different life experiences will remain and need to be struggled over.)

    Thank you, Albert Terry, for a useful read!

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