[Marxism] Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Wed May 31 13:05:07 MDT 2017

In my original post criticizing the author, I laid out how his attack on 
so-called "neoliberal identity politics" was tantamount to the long 
chorus of complaints against "political correctness," almost always by 
the right wing (which this author is not). I thought I had made a 
correct and significant identification between the two, and had to write 
about it.

Now a friend has pointed me to an earlier article (below) by the same 
author, Paul Street, in which he himself conflates the two terms, making 
my point for me. That was written a year ago in Counterpunch where he 
references not "neoliberal" but "bourgeois identity politics," and 
speaks of "liberal, power-serving and identity-politicized PC 
academicians over at the university," language you'd expect to hear from 
David Horowitz.

Lest anyone chalk this up to just language and name-calling, he goes on 
to cite several examples where he justifies his defiance of "political 
correctness." How one's PC-driven reluctance to speak up when seeing a 
suspicious middle-eastern man with a backpack could lead to them getting 
blown up. About anti-immigration sentiment reflecting valid working 
class economic interests such as falling wages. How he personally has 
"become at least mildly irritated" at Chinese students at his 
university, mind you only because they are rich ("But it has nothing to 
with them being Chinese.").

His conclusion is that by embracing "political correctness" the left is 
alienating the holy white working class so that their (alleged) bigotry 
leads them to support Donald Trump (at that time a candidate) and other 
right wing causes. He thinks the left needs to become, or at least 
pretend to be, equally bigoted, in order achieve victory and right the 
wrongs that lead oppressed groups toward identity politics. I guess 
we've heard all this before. But now I am becoming hyper-sensitive to 
any attack on "Identity politics" from within the left, reflecting this 
regressive point of view.

- Jeff

July 22, 2016
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
by Paul Street

On 2017-05-24 19:59, Jeff via Marxism wrote:

> On 2017-05-24 18:02, Glenn Kissack via Marxism wrote:
>> http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/24/beyond-neoliberal-identity-politics/
> This is a disgusting attack on what is absolutely a straw man.

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