- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, Uk ) on April 15, 1999 at 17:19:12:

In Reply to: The struggle against capitalism and the US socialist Left posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on April 15, 1999 at 11:07:22:

: 2) I had to teach those little brats for four years as a teaching associate at a university.

*Breaks out world's smallest violin...*

: The advocates of identity politics also usually specified that there had to be some working-through of internalized and socialized racisms, sexisms, heterosexisms, silencings, etc. before the abovementioned "procedure" would allow us to do anything good at all, to allow us to "struggle against capital" for something we knew was better. Having said that, however, I'm sure that this recommended ideological "working through" is indeed a good idea, perhaps, for some of the readers of this message. After all, even if the "struggle against capital" were to succeed, what is to insure that the force triumphing over the lackeys of capital will create a better world? Perhaps this is why the patrons of identity politics bicker so furiously, because even though they have asked this question more sincerely and persistently than old-line Marxists, they still don't know the answer to this above question. Having appealed to various groups who feel an urgent need to be liberated, identity politics cannot itself spell out the liberatory alternative.

Right, well, obviously as a e member of the 'no reforms' camp I might be expected to come down hard on identity pollitics, and indeed, I do agree with the line of some comrades who note that now we have openly gay ministers, etc. that capitalism seems to have decided that queer folk can repress the working class as well as straight folk.

However, my point more generally, is that there is a distinct limit, or rather a pont, where identity politics collides with class politics, where women's liberation runs up to a point where it cannot liberate anymore, without dismantling economics structures of capitalism, likewise race, or even sexuality. I think the problem then becomes, how can we convert identity poltitics into mass politics, and my only answer is to look to early eighties Britain, where many gay and black and women's campiagn groups affiliated to the mass labour movement- so our option is to persue both, we must build a mass working class party, so that identity and other repressed groups can choose to join it.

Now, I think this is consistant with our stance- we will not campaign ourselves on an identity reform issue (As say, the SWP would), and would call on such groups its in their inetrest to join us, as part of a revolutionary movement. Socialists should only campiagn for socialism.

Did any of that make sense? I'm tired....doh....

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