"Identity" -- the bane of the contemporary Left
Publisher: The Charnel-House
Year Published: 2013
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21753
Historically, identitarian ideology is a product of the failure of the Left. The various forms of identity politics associated with the new social movements coming out of the New Left during the 60s, 70s, and 80s (feminism, black nationalism, gay pride) were themselves a reaction, perhaps understandable, to the miserable failure of working-class identity politics associated with Stalinism coming out of the Old Left during the 30s, 40s, and 50s (socialist and mainstream labor movements). Working-class identity politics admittedly avant la lettre was based on a crude, reductionist understanding of politics that urged socialists and union organizers to stay vigilant and keep on the lookout for alien class elements. Any and every form of ideological deviation was thought to be traceable to a bourgeois or petit-bourgeois upbringing. Ones political position was thought to flow automatically and mechanically from ones social position, i.e. from ones background as a member of a given class within capitalist society.