How identity politics makes the Left lose its collective identity

The identity politics phenomenon sweeping across the Western world is a divide and conquer strategy that prevents the emergence of a genuine resistance to the elites.

A core principle of socialism is the idea of an overarching supra-national solidarity that unites the international working class and overrides any factor that might divide it, such as nation, race, or gender. Workers of all nations are partners, having equal worth and responsibility in a struggle against those who profit from their brain and muscle.

Capitalism, especially in its most evolved, exploitative and heartless form – imperialism – has wronged certain groups of people more than others. Colonial empires tended to reserve their greatest brutality for subjugated peoples whilst the working class of these imperialist nations fared better in comparison, being closer to the crumbs that fell from the table of empire. The international class struggle aims to liberate all people everywhere from the drudgery of capitalism regardless of their past or present degree of oppression. The phrase ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ encapsulates this mindset and conflicts with the idea of prioritising the interests of one faction of the working class over the entire collective.

Since the latter part of the 20th century, a liberally-inspired tendency has taken root amongst the Left (in the West at least) that encourages departure from a single identity based on class in favour of multiple identities based upon one’s gender, sexuality, race or any other dividing factor. Each subgroup, increasingly alienated from all others, focuses on the shared identity and unique experiences of its members and prioritises its own empowerment. Anyone outside this subgroup is demoted to the rank of ally, at best.

At the time of writing there are apparently over 70 different gender options in the West, not to mention numerous sexualities – the traditional LGBT acronym has thus far grown to LGBTQQIP2SAA. Adding race to the mix results in an even greater number of possible permutations or identities. Each subgroup has its own ideology. Precious time is spent fighting against those deemed less oppressed and telling them to ‘check their privilege’ as the ever-changing pecking order of the ‘Oppression Olympics’ plays out. The rules to this sport are as fluid as the identities taking part. One of the latest dilemmas affecting the identity politics movement is the issue of whether men transitioning to women deserve recognition and acceptance or ‘whether trans women aren’t women and are apparently “raping” lesbians’.

The ideology of identity politics asserts that the straight white male is at the apex of the privilege pyramid, responsible for the oppression of all other groups. His original sin condemns him to everlasting shame. While it is true that straight white men (as a group) have faced less obstacles than females, non-straight men or ethnic minorities, the majority of straight white men, past and present, also struggle to survive from paycheck to paycheck and are not personally involved in the oppression of any other group. While most of the world’s wealthiest individuals are Caucasian males, millions of white men exist who are both poor and powerless. The idea of ‘whiteness’ is itself an ambiguous concept involving racial profiling. For example, the Irish, Slavs and Ashkenazi Jews may look white yet have suffered more than their fair share of famines, occupations and genocides throughout the centuries. The idea of tying an individual’s privilege to their appearance is itself a form of racism dreamed up by woolly minded, liberal (some might say privileged) ‘intellectuals’ who would be superfluous in any socialist society.

Is the middle-class ethnic minority lesbian living in Western Europe more oppressed than the whitish looking Syrian residing under ISIS occupation? Is the British white working class male really more privileged than a middle class woman from the same society? Stereotyping based on race, gender or any other factor only leads to alienation and animosity. How can there be unity amongst the Left if we are only loyal to ourselves and those most like us? Some ‘white’ men who feel the Left has nothing to offer them have decided to play the identity politics game in their search of salvation and have drifted towards supporting Trump (a billionaire with whom they have nothing in common) or far-right movements, resulting in further alienation, animosity and powerlessness which in turn only strengthens the position of the top 1%. People around the world are more divided by class than any other factor.

It is much easier to ‘struggle’ against an equally or slightly less oppressed group than to take the time and effort to unite with them against the common enemy – capitalism. Fighting oppression through identity politics is at best a lazy, perverse and fetishistic form of the class struggle led by mostly liberal, middle class and tertiary-educated activists who understand little of left-wing political theory. At worst it is yet another tool used by the top 1% to divide the other 99% into 99 or 999 different competing groups who are too preoccupied with fighting their own little corner to challenge the status quo. It is ironic that one of the major donors to the faux-left identity politics movement is the privileged white cisgender male billionaire George Soros, whose NGOs helped orchestrate the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine that gave way to the emergence of far right and neo-nazi movements: the kind of people who believe in racial superiority and do not look kindly on diversity. There is a carefully crafted misconception that identity politics derives from Marxist thought and the meaningless phrase ‘cultural Marxism’, which has more to do with liberal culture than Marxism, is used to sell this line of thinking. Not only does identity politics have nothing in common with Marxism, socialism or any other strand of traditional left-wing thought, it is anathema to the very concept. ‘An injury to one is an injury to all’ has been replaced with something like ‘An injury to me is all that matters’. No socialist country, whether in practice or in name only, promoted identity politics. Neither the African and Asian nations that liberated themselves from colonialist oppression nor the USSR and Eastern Bloc states nor the left-wing movements that sprung up across Latin America in the early 21st century had any time to play identity politics.

The idea that identity politics is part of traditional left-wing thought is promoted by the right who seek to demonise left wing-movements, liberals who seek to infiltrate, backstab and destroy said left-wing movements, and misguided young radicals who know nothing about political theory and have neither the patience nor discipline to learn. The last group seek a cheap thrill that makes them feel as if they have shaken the foundations of the establishment when in reality they strengthen it.

Identity politics is typically a modern middle-class led phenomenon that helps those in charge keep the masses divided and distracted. In the West you are free to choose any gender or sexuality, transition between these at whim, or perhaps create your own, but you are not allowed to question the foundations of capitalism or liberalism. Identity politics is the new opiate of the masses and prevents organised resistance against the system. Segments of the Western Left even believe such aforementioned ‘freedoms’ are a bellwether of progress and an indicator of its cultural superiority, one that warrants export abroad be it softly via NGOs or more bluntly through colour revolutions and regime change.

‘The Little Savage’ by Frederick Marryat – Reading the First Chapter Aloud

 

14 July 2018

I fell down a rabbit hole in a literary sense.  I was looking at various videos on Youtube that criticized popular movies for being ‘politically correct’ and using an all female caste just to have an all female caste.  One example that attracted lots of Youtube video makers anger was ‘Ghostbusters’ with a number of women as the lead characters.  I saw someone had a video noting the all female caste of a re-make of ‘Lord of the Flies.’  The book of note has had two movies already – one black and white, the other more recently in color.  So…why make it again?  To sell tickets hopefully should be the first consideration.  I guess.  Or to make a point.  One could be made.  Women would handle the situation of being on an isolated desert isle differently than the boys in the book.

As I was reading the comments about the movie idea I read someone refer to a book that ‘Lord of the Flies’ was a kind of answer to – The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1858) is a novel written by Scottish author R. M. Ballantyne.  The work became a standard for youth education in England and perhaps America in the 19th century.  I looked the work up and found links to the text on Project Gutenberg and an audio reading on Librivox.  I started to listen to the work but was lulled into disinterest by the obvious moral tone of this adventure-sermon.  Britain is praised, Christianity is validated, and drunken louts of low class sailors are punished.

But the work lead me to another title in the Wikipedia article about the sailing adventure.  I saw the title ‘Mr Midshipman Easy’ by Frederick Marryat.  I seemed to remember an Illustrated Classic comic book cover with that title.  A man in a broad striped shirt swinging on a block and tackle next to the side of a 19th century wooden sailing boat.  One of the covers of those comic books that made me long to know what the story was all about.  So, I listened and read the text of ‘Mr Midshipman Easy.’  I was delighted with the first opening lines of the work at the wit and word play.  This man, Frederick Marryat, could tell a story.

Mr Easy 2

Having time on my hands since Angie is at day camp I pushed through ‘Mr Midshipman Easy’ in two or three days with a combination of audio while looking at text, listening to audio while lying down, or simply reading the text with no audio.  Sometimes witty, sometimes a plain adventure, and sometimes a bit of a counter-attack against a blind belief in the ‘Rights of Man.’

Little Savage

I moved on next to ‘The Little Savage’ by Frederick Marryat.  But, when I looked at the Wikipedia page there was a link to Project Gutenberg text, but no link to a Librivox audio.  There was no audio available.  I tried looking on Audible.com, but they make it hard to see what they have.  I thought I had found an orphaned audio classic; I could make a voice recording and pin my fortune to a famous star.

Yesterday, when Angie was at camp, I made a video recording of me reading the first chapter.  I set up my tripod and put the camera on auto and made a video recording.  I wasn’t aimed at my face, because my face would not be on the finished video.  I took the video on a memory stick/ thumb drive and put it on the parlor computer where I could get  a video of a candle burning as the visual to put my audio to.  I used the Windows Live Movie Maker to edit out the coughs and word stumbles.  Then I put the video in Adobe Premier Elements to put the video and audio together.  I put the finished movie back on the memory stick and put it on Youtube for anyone to see.  I went to my bedroom laptop and put a number of ads on Reddit to direct people to see my video.

So far about four people have seen the video.  Not much demand for a 1848 children’s adventure book.  Although I put the link on r/VoiceOver and the counter said 76 people had clicked on the link.  Perhaps they could watch the video on Reddit without leaving to go to Youtube and adding to the count there.

At least I made the effort to create something that did not exist that morning.  On the way home from camp I was talking to Angie about the video I had made and she said she wanted to see it.  That’s enough of an audience for me….or, at least an important beginning.  I want to get a better microphone; the one I am using is an 8$ model from Walmart, or the microphone on the camera that is picking up everything.

As I read along deeper into the story the tone seems to be very preachy and full of Christian homilies.  The story was not finished when Frederick Marryat died and his son took his notes and completed the work for publication.  The work does not contain any of the wit I saw in ‘Mr Midshipman Easy.’  The last half seems to be all ‘Trust in God’ from a missionary woman who arrives.

I was wondering if I should even continue to read the entire work.  I could just leave the first chapter on Youtube to get one interested and then the curious can follow the link to Project Gutenberg.  I also thought of re-writing the work myself.  The sections were God and Christ are explained could be a lot more entertaining, and true to what a real savage on an island might thing of 19th Century British Christianity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Church of Logic, sin, and love…..

I’ve had this song running through the back of my head for days. So I looked the work up online. I wanted to hear a cover version before I heard the studio major artist I remember. I found only two lonely cover versions by two small time bands. The first one was not bad, so I copied it to use as a sound track in something later. The second was in a bar, and noisy, one woman in the audience, off camera, is as loud as the band, so the performance was ruined. Only 98 views – no wonder.

The original was by “The Men.” What a name.

The band singing this song was on ‘mix tape’ video I made about 1994 of interesting songs. I still like the lyrics. Almost like a Hemingway short story, sketching out the minimum. I always assumed they were singing about a real road trip they had been on. One album from this ‘one hit wonder’ band. A good song that stands the test of time. I salute them by still singing their words out loud.

( I’d put a link to the song, but I think I get labelled as spam or something, but, look it up, nice video )

They weren’t surprised by the wind and rain
They took off anyway — east, I think that’s what they did
They were just two of the wildest, bored creatures on earth
Fed up with work, strip bars and loneliness galore
In an old oldsmobile that one of them bought off their father
They ate up so much road — they was grinnin’
(Then they came upon the thing)

chorus
This is real — this is now
This is the freak show baby anyhow
On the church of logic, sin and love
Heals the curious magic soul
Big top drama from head to toe
Cactus, venom, rodeo
On the church of logic, sin and love

Two hours later they decided to stop at a diner
Because they loved the smell of eggs and coffee
I just had to smoke a cigarette and wear a hat
By the time that they set off again, the sun was starting to set
It made the sky look red like a nuclear ray
One of them said “what do you want more than anything
in this whole wide world
Do you want money, do you want sex, or do you want all that success?”
I thought about that myself
(Then they came upon the thing)

chorus

The thing ahead sixty miles, do no miss
Not for the squeamish or depressed, not for the unbelievers
Truly obsessed — something you just don’t wanna miss
It’s the kind of place where space explorers could have landed
Around 1963 — when John F. Kennedy was in Life Magazine
And everything was aqua marine,

chorus out…

I can not, for the life of me, remember where, or when I first met…the philosophical ideas that shape my philosophy – Xenagogue Vicene

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It was a dark and stormy night and the sheets of rain fell down on the town as I made my way to the mailbox with a clutch of letters in my hand. I had finished my philosophical work and was posting it to various interested people.

‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it,’ I began boldly in my opening statement. I did not want to be one with a paucity of ideas and an undue reverence for source material, or a distinct feeling of creative exhaustion. But, still, as I walked down the hill I had a sinking feeling that everything I wrote had all been said before. Partly because most of my philosophy was copied from other people’s books, but, still….

I was raised by wolves on the edge of the forest before becoming a humble woodcutter who herds sheep. At least that’s how I remember it since I got my Poetic License.

Boston Common Right Wing Rally Outnumbered by Leftists Counter-Protesters – 18 Nov 2017

Boston 18 Nov 1

(Photo: Alt Right March to Rally on Boston Common)

Boston, MA – 18 Nov 2017

Around 11:30 am a crowd opposing the Right Wing rally on the Boston Common was gathering at the edge of the steel fences surrounding Parkman Bandstand. Two rings of barriers protected the protest area along with several hundred Boston Police officers in bright day-glow vests and helmets. A little before noon a group of Right Wingers gathered and marched along the perimeter fence towards the gate at the Public Garden end of the enclosure. The opposing Leftist crowd formed a line to block the Right Wingers. Police with bikes formed a line between the two groups and prevented contact. The Right Wing group turned around and marched back toward the Tremont Street side to enter.

Police made each person stop as they were frisked and patted down if they wanted to get in the protest area. People’s back packs were searched. After passing the first police check point people had to go through another check where police were using metal detecting wands. Both Right Wingers and media people were searched.

At the bandstand the speeches started to a small crowd of maybe one hundred Right Wingers, and the Leftist crowd of about a thousand along the fence about fifty yards away roared back. The Rightists repeatedly asked the Leftist crowd to define ‘fascism.’ The Leftist crowd chanted back ‘No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!’

At one point two black clad people got into some kind of altercation and were arrested. A crowd of Leftist gathered around the police and chanted, ‘Let them go!’ The police formed a wedge of a dozen officers and removed the arrested people.

Out of the Leftist crowd of about a thousand there were maybe a hundred black clad – black block – Antifa. They were vocal and stood together, but did not engage in any very provocative actions. Someone moved around the crowd with a Communist Hammer and Sickle flag. Many people had hand made signs and posters.

A couple of people from the Progressive Labor Party held up a banner that read “Never Again! Death to Fascism! Power to the Workers” while a woman spoke through a sound system. The group Refuse Fascism had a banner that read: “Refuse Fascism, In the name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

A couple of men played a ruckus song on brass horns while someone banged a tambourine. For comic relief there was a man with a white bib overalls with a pink heart painted on sloppily who had a long black rubber boot on his head. He had a bullhorn and circulated through the crowd making odd pronouncements. “We have you surrounded, give up!” But who was he talking about? The police, the Right Wingers, or the Leftists? The Boston Police Department was completely in control of the situation with hundreds of officers in bright vests and helmets as well as a half a dozen grim faced plain clothes officers standing with their hands in there pockets on the sides of the crowds nodding to their uniformed friends.

Different groups circulated among the crowd with banners, leaflets and newspapers. The Democratic Socialists of America had a banner, Don’t Resist Alone handed out cards for the website, and the Workers Vanguard newspaper was offered by labor union members. People used bullhorns and sound systems to address the Leftist crowd.

A young black woman stood on a green park bench with a mic and sound system and told the crowd that she would not stop fighting because she was from Roxbury, a predominately black neighborhood. “Coming from Roxbury I have to fight everyday,” she said. Shiva – a Republican candidate for senate stood near the edge of the rally with a banner and a few supporters.

After about a hour of speeches and taunts back and forth the crowd of about one hundred Rightists ended their event and were escorted out of the area by Boston Police while the crowd of Leftist were held back by bicycle police. The Right Wingers had come to Boston to hold another rally and were again met by a larger determined Leftist crowd of over a thousand.

 

On Youtube:

Boston Common: Right Wing 50 v Left Wing 500 – 18 Nov 2017 (3:10 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRYLONrQ-8s

Boston Common Right v Left Rallies – Right Wing View Video – 18 Nov 2017 (1:09:11 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qadI37xRK6k

 

With Witches on Boston Common Defending Immigrant Rights – 16 September 2017

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I was there with the black hat shading my face from the sun, yet two people said to me: “You have beautiful eyes.” Witchcraft. We were in a row at city hall plaza in the shadow of the JFK building.

The women in witch costumes had signs: ‘Protect the Dreamers,’ ‘Immigration is a Human Right,’ ‘Support Immigrants – Deport Racists,’ ‘Welcome Immigrants Their Children’  A lot of people gathered to take pictures as the witches sat on a cement wall in a row on City Hall Plaza.  I was standing up to the side holding Workers Vanguard on a clipboard and in my hand hawking to the crowd.

 

Earlier, just after noon, a large table laden with food was set out to feed the arriving protest organizers and rally supporters for immigrant rights. Next to the Massachusetts 54th Memorial, at the top of the stone steps, a sound system was set up and some music was playing. At the foot of the steps, up against a wrought iron gate, there were many signs supporting immigrants and calling for the re-installment of the Dreamers – DACA act.

As the rally’s official starting time of one o’clock approached more people assembled at the foot of the stairs and around a nearby drink vendor with a pushcart. People were sitting on the park benches chatting and eating food with their protest signs by their side. A group of young women gathered closely together as someone took a ‘selfie’ with their phone. The grey skies of the early morning where clearing up and the temperature was a summery seventy degrees.

While there was a good twenty percent or more of the crowd who were older, most of the people look to be in their twenties. There were lots of white people and Latinos along with a smaller number of black and Asian people. Some people had kids in strollers or by the hand. The rally had a festive atmosphere with food and music and conversations and people greeting friends warmly.

Various groups set up tables with books and newspapers like the Socialist Workers Party, and Socialist Alternative. People circulated through the crowd selling Workers World newspaper, and Workers Vanguard. Some had leaflets to hand out. There were passionate political discussions among the many clots of people gathered around before the speeches.

A large group of about a hundred chanting youth marched up the pathway from Commonwealth Avenue with a large banner chanting “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” to applause from the crowd which parted so the militant contingent could march to the front.

The crowd had swelled to about four hundred people as the first speaker began to address the crowd. On Beacon Street at the top of the stairs one police SUV with blue lights flashing blocked off one lane of travel, but the tourist double-decker buses and regular traffic still went by – some one on the tour bus might be able to get a picture that included the Robert Gould Shaw memorial and the assembled crowd rallying for freedom and compassion right nest to the statue. A dozen cops were near by some of them with bicycles. The police seemed relaxed and the rally and march had a permit with no seeming threat of violence.

A Boston Teachers Union member spoke, someone from the Chelsea Teachers Association also called for tolerance for immigrants whatever their status. Boston mayoral candidate Tito Jackson spoke to the crowd. Some of the speakers addressed the crowd in Spanish. People were steadily coming up the hill from Park Street Station. A brass band was playing near the fountain near the station, and the sounds drifted up and mingled with the chants.

One sign handed out read: “Trump: Tool of the Rich – Enemy of All Working People”

Another sign: “Justice for Immigrants #DefendDACA”

As the march was to begin the rally marshals lined one of the paths through the common and the speaker at the podium assured people that this was a completely legal march and that there was a permit and the police were in cooperation. The march headed down the slope towards Park Street and crossed Tremont Street as people watched and cheered or jeered from the sidelines. The common was full of people on a beautiful September summer day. Over at the bandstand the Cannabis ‘Freedom’ Rally was taking place. The marchers went down Winter Street as shopkeepers stepped outside to applaud the defense of immigrant rights.

The march turned north on Washington Street which was full of shoppers as the rally moved down the pedestrian mall. As the march stretched out there looked to be about 2,000 people walking and chanting and carrying signs. At the front of the march there were horn players and drummers making some noise and attracting attention. On the sidewalk people raised their cell phones to take pictures or videos of the protest. Many people applauded. In Boston immigrants have support.

Down Washington Street, past the Irish Famine memorial on School Street, past the Old Globe Bookstore now a food joint, past the Old South Church, and then left at the Old Statehouse where all of New England was once governed from by the Colonial Governor sent by the King.

Up Court Street past the back of the Old City Hall and onto City Hall Plaza and over to the steps at the foot of the JFK Federal Building. The crowd filed in and lined up on the stairs facing a podium and listened to speeches. A little after three o’clock the last speaker urged the crowd to continue the campaign to show support for Dreamers and other immigrants who need support from the community they are in, and from all decent people. The radical booksellers folded up their tables and some people left signs behind as the sound system was dismantled and some core planners gathered under the trees near City Hall to plan the next steps.

I was drawing on the train home and sketched on the back of a protest poster I picked up as I was leaving city hall plaza. I had a Workers Vanguard newspaper on my clip board and unrolled the sign on top as best I could on my knees. The front of the poster featured a picture of Trump with a diagonal red line across his face with a DANGER logo underneath and a yellow banner reading – ‘Racist Poison.’ Next to the graphic was the slogan: Trump Tool of the Rich – Enemy of All Working People. I turned over to the empty white back of the poster board and got a pencil out of my backpack. I looked up and saw a man’s tee-shirt facing me with an intricate Celtic weave pattern that I copied onto the back of the poster. In a trance I produced a wavy set of grey lines – what to put in the middle? I drew a cube head in isometric with Easter Island Eyes. You have beautiful eyes.

https://archive.is/d5vSr