[Marxism] Fwd: A Question of Class. A New Class Politics – A Connective Antagonism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Sep 13 06:16:46 MDT 2017

Today, the class question is no longer associated with left-wing, but 
rather with right-wing protest. While the membership base of parties 
such as the Alternative for Germany or the Front National, and of 
movements such as Pegida or “Manif pour tous” (opponents of homosexual 
marriage in France), consists largely of groups from the economically 
secure middle classes or the petty bourgeoisie – and mainly of men –, 
these parties and movements are now able to attract a relevant number of 
workers and unemployed persons as well. Didier Eribon (2013) calls this 
electoral decision in favor of the radical right an “act of political 
self-defence” – a measure taken in order to feature within political 
discourse at all, if only in the form of “negative self-affirmation”. 
Eribon's autobiographical self-experiment, his Returning to Reims, was 
no doubt the surprise bestseller among last year's political books. A 
book on his return to his parental home, which he had left as a “class 
refugee”, in order to be able to live out his homosexual orientation and 
become a professor of sociology – and not to return for decades. The 
many-faceted book, which narrates tales of shame, of the life and 
nightmare of the working class, and especially of women, attempts to 
furnish elements of an explanation why a working class that once voted 
left – at least to a significant degree – is now voting right. Sold out 
by social democracy, disappointed by the ineffectiveness of the 
Communist Party, many turn to a powerful new narrative: that of 
defending hard-working people, the nation and culture against others, 
“Islam”, “immigrants”, globalization, gay and LGBT persons, the 
“moralizing members of the 1968 generation”, who are now in power, etc. 
Eribon strikes a nerve.


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