identity politics

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Mon Apr 17 21:11:00 MDT 1995



I support Kenny Mostern's analysis of identity politics

and Justin's remark: >>>

Just as obviously workers have multiple intersecting
identities which matter to them,<<<

We all have multiple intersecting identities, in this
increasingly fragmented world.

I know identity politics appears to go against the most basic
message of the Communist Manifesto:

"All previous historical movements were movements of minorities,
or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the
self conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in
the interests of the immense majority."

but I think Kenny's approach is in the *spirit* of marxism in
that materialist analysis of any one individual requires a
dialectical understanding of his/her many interests and
identities.

So what to prioritise? It does not always have to be the class
one. Nor must it always avoid the class one. Suppose it is the
principal contradiction for that individual, or that group? They
are probably struggling with it anyway.

And supporting the democratic interests of one group, so long as
they are not in antagonistic conflict with the interests of
another group, will support the democratic rights of the vast
majority against the capitalist system.

Is it really impossible to make some alliance, however partial
and limited, with Black Muslims for example?

Chris B.



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