Identity politics strips away thinking of one’s interest in having to work for a living.
Only racist people can shame you for fighting racism, misogyny and xenophobia.
The specter of stealthy racism and misogyny rises again in the progressive movement, this time from the pen of famous leftist economist Michael Hudson (is he leftist?) in his recent article Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party? at Counter Punch magazine. I have to ask “is he leftist?” because Counter Punch is the preferred site of alt-right third-way conservatives who speak, without an accent, the leftist lingo to better contaminate with their racism and misogyny the minds of unsuspecting progressives. Paul Craig Robertson is one of those alt-right and openly conservatives whose right-wing ideology is often published there under the guise of ‘leftist’ opinion; that good they are at impersonating leftist’s ‘thinking’.
But that’s a different story. I’m here to talk about Mr. Hudson’s, and the alt-right’s, anti-women and racist ideology passed on in his article as criticism of “identity politics” (IdPol)
The enemy within: “Identity Politics as anti-labor politics”
Mr. Hudson opens the discussion of Identity Politics defining in the heading IdPol as “anti-labor”. It’s the only definition he offers of it to the reader, passing then to wrongly describe what IdPol does. By defining it as “anti” labor, he clears up the battlefield for the confrontation between the two enemies: the ‘labor movement’ vs everybody else.
You see, if you happen to believe that there are other forms of institutionalized oppression, in addition to labor, with roots both in culture and economic politics, then Mr. Hudson will cast you on the side of the enemy of the white male “working class”: you are “everybody else”; and if you ARE a unionized working person, then you must be the enemy within. Let’s be honest, today, the intellectual leftists are more preoccupied with the suffering of the white male working class “abandoned and insulted by Clinton and the democratic party” than with that of women and children, be it as workers (child labor) or sex-slaves; not even interested with the economical well-being of ‘colored’ laborers. So when the intellectual leftists, Mr. Hudson and the alt-right use the term “working class”, white male working class is what they mean. And they mean race and gender are the enemies of that particular segment of the working class.
The article does not mention the unemployed women and ‘colored people’ demands for jobs, whether historically or in the present. The non-whites’ struggle for jobs is not part of the author’s idea of ‘working class’. That’s why Mr. Hudson implies that the reason these people ‘practice’ IdPol is because they don’t want to work for a living, as he says in the article:
“Identity politics strips away thinking of one’s interest in terms of having to work for a living.”
Mind you, not even the ‘labor movement’ itself adopts Mr. Hudson’s extreme stereotyping definition of IdPol, for they continue to support with actions the demands of so-called ‘identity’ groups: women, immigrants, people of color, LGBT. But with his anti-IdPol, Mr. Hudson and the extreme GOP alt-right can light up in what remains of the labor movement the fire of hatred of women, with the leftist intellectuals fanning that fire in their leftist media.
Answer this quickly: When have you seen a racist/white supremacist/GOP/conservative calling for an end to racism and misogyny? That’s why only “labor politics” matters to Mr. Hudson and the leftists intellectuals.
The Black Panthers: enemies of labor?
He starts the discussion of Idpol by saying that the term ‘identity politics’ is a “new term introduced to the English language“; that’s it, period. He forgets to state ‘when’ or ‘who’ “introduced” it. It matters, ‘who’.
According to some writers (e.g., Howard J. Wiarda in “Political Culture, Political Science, and Identity Politics: An Uneasy Alliance”), the term has been in use since at least the 1960-70s; that doesn’t make it “new”, or does it? The revolutionary movement of that time used the term to inform the public about oppression by capitalism in all spheres of human relations, including the personal. Groups like Black Panthers and feminists used it, you know, the people who, according to Mr. Hudson’s definition of IdPol, you should condemn today for using ‘identity politics’. But we don’t want to condemn them, do we?, at least not consciously.
That’s why Mr. Hudson’s assertion about the origin of the term IdPol is purposely superficial, because it surreptitiously leads to the condemnation of the recent history of the people’ struggles against all forms of capitalist/conservative oppression. And what is good for the goose is good for the gander: if we accept that it was necessary for those people in the 60s and 70s to fight against the racism and misogyny that comes intertwined with economic oppression, so it is today.
Culture and the culture of oppression
Mr. Hudson’s and the alt-right’s racist ideology stands on the believe that the oligarchy, globalists, and conservative elites of all flavors don’t use culture to oppress the rest of humanity; that only our 9 to 5 work-life interest them, but not controlling what happens in our ‘cultural space’ after hours. Believe that ideology on your own peril.
Were concentration camp ‘Jews’ anti-labor?
But IdPol have been in use since MANY years before the 7os. Mr.Hudson forgets to mention that the legs on which Hitler’s Nazism stood was precisely identity politics: German ‘racial superiority’, the ‘inferiority’ of Jews, Blacks, women, homosexuals, the mentally ill; and of non-German ‘ethnic nationals’…all of whom were so ‘inferior’ as to deserve been incinerated in concentration camps. Consider this: If you were a non-mentally ill/not physically disabled white ‘Aryan’ male in Nazi Germany, would you have feared Hitler’s RACIAL policies? What if you were a ‘Jew’, would you have feared his racial policies? Would you have said, in those days, ‘let’s not talk about Hitler’s identity politics of persecuting me because of my Jewishness/Blackness; let’s concentrate on Hitler’s union-busting practices?’
Only RACIST people don’t fear racist policies and politics. Only racist people can shame you for fighting against racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Only racists can tell you that you should worry ONLY about wages, that you should NOT support anyone who stands to defend you against racism…Only Mr. Hudson, a white male who has done nothing for “the working class” can define for you your priorities: racism and misogyny are NOT the priorities of the white male labor ‘movement’, so they can’t be yours either.
Woman, where were you on Trump’s inauguration day?
(The “52% of white women who voted for Trump”)
Mr. Hudson wouldn’t be worthy of being called a white elitist man if he didn’t attack women in his piece. He blamed. literally, the women’s march on D.C. for the absence of the left and unions on Trump’s inauguration day. Was he there that day? I didn’t see him.
I went to the inauguration, and my first observation was ‘Where are the unions, where are the leftists, where is everybody?’ There were less than 3K people where I was. Mr. Hudson answered the question for me: it was the women, stupid! Somehow those evil pro-Clinton women bewitched the leftists, the anti-war ‘movement’ and the unions members on January 20 to stay at home that day. Sounds to me like Mr. Hudson suffers from typical men’s primordial fear of women.
Maybe he should talk to Paul Craig Robertson who wrote an article about the demise of the American left. Paul is right, the American left is dead, and the alt-right has taken its place, that’s why they didn’t show up. But also because they are supporting Trump dreaming that he is the new revolutionary of peace because of his love for Putin. Everybody knows that the union movement have been decimated too, but not by the women’s movement. There were no leftists, unions or anti-war marchers in the millions at Trump’s inauguration because those movements have been destroyed: by the conservatives, GOP, globalists, and SOME in the Democratic party.
Also, Mr. Hudson states that “52% of white women voted for Trump”. I tell him 98% of BLACK women voted for Hillary Clinton. These are women who, with good reasons, are afraid of Trump’s racism; white women are not afraid of his racism. I congratulate Black women for being the ONLY group on which the media propaganda (left and right) failed completely to manipulate voters into voting for Trump. They may not all be feminists (must of them aren’t) but they sure knew that, in terms of national policies, Trump is the enemy. They know that the killing of their Black children will continue under Trump, but their boys bought the misogynistic fear of a woman running the nation and decided to stay home; they voted in that way against their own interests and their mothers.
Mr. Hudson says that the media “informed” us that white women didn’t feel welcome at the march. The media has ignored women’s activities, and when they mention them, it is ALWAYS to denigrate the women or to create division. The march in D.C. was very white indeed. Propaganda, what do you expect from our mainstream media?
The question is Where were those people who Saturday? Did they come to show support to working women, to victims of violence, to children, to disabled people; to stand against Trump’s upcoming wars, which we knew were around the corner? So much for ‘anti-war movement’.
The women’s march was open for everybody who knew that the struggle continues with Trump. But our intellectual leftists have filled the minds of some men and women with the idea that we must wait and give Trump a chance to prove that he is the “revolutionary” they have made him to be in their puny imaginations. These ‘leftists’ would rather stick a fork in their eyes than get caught marching with women!
Mr. Hudson didn’t show up there, actually, he doesn’t show up ANYWHERE, because he is a conservative. He considers women’s issues to be “non-issues, non-threatening to the donor class”; in other words, women are ‘wimps’. He and the intellectual leftists lament that women were marching against Trump. I’m sure that after Trump’s bombing of Syria, they will not recognize that women were correct in marching against him. As long as women don’t do as men tell them, men will be angry at them.
Mr. Hudson misses ‘the simplicity of the past’
(typical of conservatives)
According to the author, identity pol.
“used to be about three major categories: workers and unionization, anti-war protests and civil rights marches against racist Jim Crow laws. That ended when these movements got co-opted into the Democratic Party.”
When you put it like that, the people’ struggle against all kind of oppression seem less cumbersome, for we can now see what it is NOT about. The following is an incomplete list of non-issues derived from Mr. Hudson’ statement above:
- The fight against capitalism and for control of the means of production (only union-issues matter)
- Fight against institutionalized racism
- Fight for climate and environmental issues (poisoning of water resources…)
- Fight against institutionalized misogyny and oppression of women (gender pay gap, sexual harassment everywhere and in the job (not a problem of male workers), physical violence against women on a daily basis…)
- Globalists exploiting child-labor is a non-issue
- Keeping an army of unemployed humanity to serve as regulator of the cost of labor (if you are not working, you are a non-issue and Mr. Hudson will put you in the ‘enemy of the working class’ side)
Interestingly enough, these are all economic issues that affect the elite conservative businesses and the globalists, which is why they oppose the people fighting to achieve them. Fighting “Jim Crow” was OK, but not fighting against the institutionalized racism that Mr. King fought, the one from which white conservatives profited; and Black women are not in the image we get in our minds when we talk about racism. By mentioning only Jim Crow, Mr. Hudson shows us his true colors.
If we had focused only on those three issues, the following would have never happened, but they did:
- there would have been no disability movement to stop the atrocities committed in psychiatric hospitals,
- no removal of environmental barriers to help people with physical disabilities navigate the outdoors,
- no child protections laws, against child labor and child abuse in general,
- no attention to the problem of sex-slavery of women and children,
- no changes to the justice system that oppresses Blacks and minorities…
We take for granted many of the rights we ‘enjoy’ today, but they were all won with blood. Only conservatives and globalists want us to ignore those issues, mainly because they created and benefit from them.
Put the blame on Mame boys
That ended when these movements got co-opted into the Democratic Party.
Not only Mr. Hudson and the alt-right don’t blame the GOP for the ending of “these movements”, you will NOT find the leftist intellectuals blaming them either. All the blame for the loss of workers rights goes to the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton, as if the persistent attacks on labor didn’t start in the 1900s with the advent of the new capitalism. Don’t socialists agree in that capitalism can’t exist without the proletarians and is perpetually fighting against them? Is it possible that the GOP is not the representative of capitalists? Why attack the party with the most working class in it and leave the white supremacists’ party untouched?
You must ask yourselves why these people deflect attention from the GOP, who benefits from it and from destroying the democratic party; who benefits from leaving the GOP as the only party in the nation?
Propaganda is a fun when you know how to do it
In describing how IdPols ‘works’, Mr. Hudson says:
“Its aim is for voters to think of themselves as separatist minorities – women, LGBTQ, Blacks and Hispanics. The Democrats thought they could beat Trump by organizing Women for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), LGBTQ for Wall Street (and a New Cold War), and Blacks and Hispanics for Wall Street (and a New Cold War). Each identity cohort was headed by a billionaire or hedge fund donor.
Well…that quote is so offensive I don’t even know where to start. OK. I will start with the propaganda in it.
Many people accept that there is such a thing as “propaganda”, but most refuse to accept the examples of how it manifests, so you may not see propaganda in that quote. The phrase “and New Cold War”, in caps and all, is an emotionally negative message repeated over and over, and associated with the names of each group representing a political issue. This IS one technique of propaganda. “New Cold War”, that was the bogeyman used against the democratic party, not against the GOP.
Mr. Hudson expertly associates the fights against misogyny, racism and other forms of oppression by conservatives and globalists, with the hatred inculcated in some progressives against the democratic party. We LGBT, women, Blacks…we are all for “the Cold War” the dems are planning, according to Mr. Hudson. Hate them! (“1984”)
Of course, typical of a smear campaign, Mr. Hudson provides no evidence that there were “groups of women for Wall Street…” nor that there is a “billionaire” behind “each identity cohort”. Mr. Hudson, you are a liar, and your opinion drips with disdain for anyone who is not a white male like you.
But that doesn’t matter for those who believe in the “evil witch”; the attacks don’t have to be proven. The accusations themselves have become the ‘evidence’: just say it, it will become true by the magic of pronunciation.
Conclusion: Divide and conquer
Mr. Hudson’s article is an effort at dividing the progressive movement, just as the conservative white racists divided the labor movement by pitting Blacks and whites against each other. Here they are doing it again.
I know it’s too late to bring attention to how the alt-right has invaded the progressives’ consciousness with their racism and misogyny via the ‘leftists’ media: it’s fait-accompli (we saw it in the results of the elections). I lack the skills to make a sound argument, let alone writing skills. But this I can tell you: The alt-right wants us to forget history, ours and theirs. They shame us for fighting against the many forms in which we are oppressed daily. They portray us in the same way Nazis portrayed everyone who was not a white Aryan man: corrupt, lazy and ignorant. If they are planning concentration camps with ‘the wall’, we all are going to be shoved there.
For you out there who see what I see (am not alone), please, don’t stay quiet. Denounce these people, denounce Counter Punch magazine for passing alt-right propaganda as ‘leftist’ to progressives.