On recent attacks on the ICC on libcom

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jk1921
On recent attacks on the ICC on libcom
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: On recent attacks on the ICC on libcom. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

jk1921
I didn't see anything

I didn't see anything "trans-phobic" about the ICC's statement on these events, but it doesn't surprise me at all that such an allegation is raised. We are in a cultural moment where there is little moderation and debate is marked by an inability to accept that there are degrees of misundstanding and confusion regarding multifaceted topics like the clash between "trans-activism" and certain strains of "fenimism." Just putting the quotation marks in the wrong place can get you accussed of a grievous violation of human rights. Calling the ICC's statement "transphobic" does a real disservice to the victims of real anti-trans violence. 

Still, I can already anticipate the objections to the following formulations in the article:

"For our part, we want to emphasise that not only do we not take sides in this clash between different brands of identity politics: we are opposed to all of them. As our sympathiser Baboon put it in a post on our forum: 'I don't think that the fight between radical feminists and trans activists has any possible advantage for the proletariat or in any way assists the pressing needs of the class … I'd seen these two groups confronting each other on the TV weeks before the bookfair on Channel 4 news where (at a Gay Pride march I think) their confrontation was turning very ugly and very nasty[4]. At the bookfair apparently the police were called by one faction and both factions were involved in mobbing and scapegoating, a situation that showed nothing positive from a working class perspective and was entirely in line with certain populist developments arising from capitalism's decomposition'[5 ]"

Certainly, one side is this dispute is more right than the other? The fact that the dispute offers "no advantage for the proletariat" will be seen as beside the point. If there is an emancipatory moment in this confrontation, would it not be the task of those committed to human emancipation to tease out the significance, not to simply ignore the issues at hand because it frustrates a more long term unity? Of course, it is possible that there is no emancipatory potential at all in either side, but then it has to be explained why not. Still, if the "proletariat's needs" get in the way of understanding certain forms of oppression and exclusion, then why wouldn't we just say "so much the worse for the proletariat"? I think we need a better method here.

baboon
Given the nature of the

Given the nature of the responses to the position of the ICC so far - 'shut-up and fuck-off', 'ban it', comments on it from someone who admits to only reading part of it, complete refusal to engage in discussion on the major points of the article, then, in my opinion, further negative responses or none at all can be assumed.

The furious activism around this issue is an example of the dead-end of identity politics and an expression of the dissolution of revolutionary energies. These single-issue campaigns follow a pattern which inevitably ends up, one way or another, in, around, and bolstering the democratic process. They openly boast about it. First comes the restriction of consciousness from the increasingly narrow focus and then its perversion meaning that the fundamental issues of the class struggle are smothered and lost. I didn't see anything emancipatory in the confrontation just abuse and a readiness to attack each other.

Feminism, as an ideological campaign, has always been a feed for division within the working class and an attack on the latter's identity. Radical feminism and the whole overblown "space" argument take this to new levels. I think that trans people, just like everyone else, are entitled to be respected, especially for their "difference" (or, if you prefer, difference). I don't see why they shouldn't have access to what they consider to be their "space" in conditions they feel comfortable in (I'm thinking of toilets, some use the "prison" argument). Given the very small numbers of such encounters it's not exactly a pressing issue for the working class. And I would suggest, from my limited experience in this area, that from women in general, particularly working class women, there's a genuine feminine solidarity with trans people, a generous tolerance that the radical feminists should take note of.

 

zimmerwald1915
The confrontation had

The confrontation had probably been building for a while, but it's worth noting the spark anyway; the question of how to respond to legislation coming out of the bourgeoisie's Parliament. To which the orientation really ought to be, "that's not for you to decide in any case, because your decadent class ought not to be ruling society and dragging it into the abyss with you." There is no question that the Gender Recognition Act or whatever they're calling it is an instrument of divide and rule; even if it could hardly be otherwise, the proof is in the pudding.

jk1921
I fear that any attempt to

I fear that any attempt to weigh in on the substance of the dispute would only reveal a deep ignorance of the issues and likely infuriate both sides, but here it goes anyway:

My first instinct as someone concerned, as the young Marx was, with human emancipation is to sympathize with the transactivists who seek to live with dignity in the identity of their choosing. The altitude of the TERFs reeks of intolerance of individual freedom in order to protect a group identity that the mere existence of trans people threatens form their perspective. On the other hand, the main way in which trans identity is being framed today, as not really a choice, but an expression of who these people really are on some level of interiority smells to me like a form of biological essentialism that has potentially problematic outcomes. Some feminist critics have criticized this and warn against seeing "gender dysphoria" as a disorder that has a medical solution. I can also sympathize with this point of view.

It is interesting that trans sexual issues have become something of a cause celebre for leftists today, whereas "trans-racialism" is considered something abhorrent and wrong (see Rachel Dolezal case). There is a clash of competing essentialisms there that reveals a certain incoherence in the underlying assumptions of identity politics. Is identity something you should be able to construct by free will and choice or is it something rooted in biology which it is wrong and injurious to the the self to suppress? It seems like the partisans of identity politics want to have it both ways, depending on the particular identity in question.

That said, it seems to me that the problem for Marxists is to differentiate what "partial struggles" are legitimate expressions of a human instinct for emancipation from the multifarious forms of oppression and domination that has characterized class society for millennia and which capitalism reinforces and which "identity claims" are more a product of late (decomposing) capitalism's creation of ever more alienated and reified forms of subjectivity in an agonistic culture where one group's mere existence threatens another's own identity construction. I don't think this task is a particularly easy one and it is only made more difficult by a cultural and political environment that increasingly lacks proportionality in how it deals with differences of opinion, misunderstandings and mistakes.

zimmerwald1915
Subject field

jk1921 wrote:
It is interesting that trans sexual issues have become something of a cause celebre for leftists today, whereas "trans-racialism" is considered something abhorrent and wrong (see Rachel Dolezal case). There is a clash of competing essentialisms there that reveals a certain incoherence in the underlying assumptions of identity politics. Is identity something you should be able to construct by free will and choice or is it something rooted in biology which it is wrong and injurious to the the self to suppress? It seems like the partisans of identity politics want to have it both ways, depending on the particular identity in question.

The reasons for this lack of theoretical coherence can be found to some extent in the histories of the politics in question - histories I'm the plural, because their current allied political constellation is comparatively recent. Antiracist politics defined itself against, among other things, pseudoscientific racial classification schemes that purported to base themselves in biology and denied the equal humanity of the races. So you get denials of race as biology as part of antiracist politics. Queer liberation politics defined itself against, among other things, charges that "alternative lifestyles" were a matter of individual choice and examples of antisocial behavior. So Queer liberationists marshal biology and innate qualities to their defense.

Of course that cursory description barely scratches the surface and, more importantly, incorrectly situates the construction of politics on the terrain of ideas justifying oppressions rather than on the oppressions themselves. Hence the "among other things," which alludes to vistas I'm scarcely aware of and don't have it in me to describe
or analyze (not least because I'm typing on a phone!).

It would also be incorrect to say, as my cursory description carelessly does, that antiracism is particularist and queer liberation is essentialist. jk1921 is correct to point out that there is essentialism and particularism in both camps, which only adds to the overall confusion. What is important is the historical perspective. What is likewise important is jk's question: what is the usefulness of the present constellation of identity-political forces for human freedom?

Put another way, does the alliance/coalition of all the "partial struggles" help to create a revolutionary subject? Leftists certainly seem to think so, whether they're of the persuasion that this coalition is itself a revolutionary subject against the oppressive majority, or whether they think this sort of alliance can overcome capitalist efforts at dividing and ruling the workers. That leftists think this should make us suspicious. But we can see for ourselves that that isn't true. Despite decades of coalition-building, the perspective against capitalism is gloomier today than it's been since 1967, and the disintegration of the whole society proceeds apace.

baboon
jk1921 post 5

Specifically in response to the post by jk above and generally relevant to the coming MDF meeting on single issue campaigns and reforms, then I recommed a reading (or re-reading) of the text on this website: "The question of the relation between nature and culture, on the book by Patrick Tort, Sexe, Race & Culture". The text shows how the multiculturism and inclusiveness of bourgeois society reproduces the ideas of identity politics and the fear of the Other, opposing against this the unification of diversity in the conscious struggle for revolution. As the text shows the contribution of Charles Darwin is immense in this very profound area.

Hawkeye
ICC v libcom

I'm sorry to say that all this seems like a storm in an eggcup at the far end of a cul-de-sac. Never mind. Take care. Cheers.

Link
Nature and culture

Thanks for the link Baboon.  It was hard reading but it made an interesting point re human social development and evolution and an interesting argument against the idea of a non-sexist or non racist capitalism

 

baboon
I'm not entirely sure that

I'm not entirely sure that the over-the-top reaction from some of the Libcom administration was totally down to the "terf" question, though that was certainly involved. I think that the short mention in Alf's original post, which I think was a fundamentally important marxism v anarchism contribution, of libcom's links to the police and their defence of them, also contributed to their response to the piece (Steven: 'I haven't read it, but ban it'). There was of course no response from them on the fundamental issues about the weaknesses of anarchism. Since then there's been a more nuanced response from them which has taken the form of a deeper attack on the Bolsheviks. An in-depth piece by Mike Harman called "Lenin orders the massacre of sex workers" has whipped up an anti-Bolshevik hysteria quoting some things out of context and some not. The discussion has continued with a split by Noa Rodman where the argument has degenerated further into a body count tally with the libcom admin and their sympathisers saying that the terror and atrocities of the anarchists in the Spanish civil war wasn't as bad as the Bolsheviks because it was more limited in scale. This argument ignores the 'limited scale' of the Spanish Civil War compared to the Russian revolution but, more importantly, it ignores the political lessons of a red terror for the working class.One of the striking features of the anarchists response on the question of the Bolsheviks, and it's typical of anarchism, is that of the complete absence of the bourgeoisie from the equations of the Russian and Spanish uprisings and what it falls back on is its partial view largely based on petty-bourgeois and anarchist morality.

jk1921
Race vs. Sex?

Link wrote:

Thanks for the link Baboon.  It was hard reading but it made an interesting point re human social development and evolution and an interesting argument against the idea of a non-sexist or non racist capitalism

Interesting. The popular Hulu show "A Handmaids Tale" (The 2nd season just started a couple of weeks ago)--based on a decades old book by a Canadian author, which depicts society in a dystopian post christian fascist takeover of the United States, has come in for assault from "critical race theorists" for its depicition of African Americans in the imagined society. In the Hulu version, African Americans are present in the social space and there appears to be little to no racial animus or even awareness of racial categories. While its not clear to me that there are any African-Americans among the highest caste, African American women function as handmaids, meaning they have sex with their Commanders in order that their infertile wives can appropriate the offspring. Presumingly, the biracial offspring would be accepted as the children of the Commander class. For some critics, however, this depiction is totaly unrealistic, because it fails to appreciate the essential nature of racial oppression to the functioning of American society. The centering of women's oppression as the central oppression that allows this society to reproduce itself (literally and figuratively) is itself a form of racial mariginalization in that it falsely imagines a form of American society that is not racist (but can't imagine one that is not sexist).

This all rather ironic, because in Margaret Atwood's original book, the racial issue was dealt with by imagining that in this post-coup society African Americans were simply expelled from the community and sent to live on Bantusans in the Midwest somewhere (or something to that effect). Of course, this version of the story is also attacked as a form of racial marginalization in that it simply does away with the race problem by literary fiat--there is a kind of deus ex machina that alleviates the author from having to think through racial problems, but also a failure to depict a viable form of American socity, because no American society--even a Chrisitan fascist one that perhaps takes its rheoric about all humanity being the children of god seriously--can function without a racial caste. Of course, this leaves open the question about whether this caste must be "racial" or if it could be "racialized"? Is there actually a racialized caste in Handmaid's Tale after all? If so, who is it?

This controversy illustrates a few things: 1.) Its hard to please in identity politics; 2) More importantly though it poses the question of whether it is possible to imagine a non-racist captialism or a non-sexist captialism and if one form of oppression is really more essential to the operation of capitalism than the other(s). This is not a new question obviously. It has been the subject of a long running debate between the theorists Charles Mills and Carole Pateman who alternatley examined the "racial contract" and the "sexual contract" that were moments in the construction of capitalist modernity.

Could these forms of marginalization, oppression, exclusion, etc. be remedied in the context of neo-libeal progressivism or are they more rooted in the very nature of the system itself. Is racial oppression really different from sexual oppression? Do the "advancements" in race, sex and gender consciousness in recent decades suggest a possible resolution of these problems within captialist relations or is it the case that the backlash these advancements engender renders them unsolvable within capitalism? Is it merely the political backlash that is the problem or is there something more fundamental and structual about these forms of oppression, which cannot be eradicated by cultural and ideational changes, but which require the ovethrow of captialism to really address?

jk1921
Lessons?

baboon wrote:

 This argument ignores the 'limited scale' of the Spanish Civil War compared to the Russian revolution but, more importantly, it ignores the political lessons of a red terror for the working class.

What are those lessons?

baboon wrote:

One of the striking features of the anarchists response on the question of the Bolsheviks, and it's typical of anarchism, is that of the complete absence of the bourgeoisie from the equations of the Russian and Spanish uprisings and what it falls back on is its partial view largely based on petty-bourgeois and anarchist morality.

I didn't quite understand that part. Could you explain the absence of the bourgeoise part?

baboon
1. The fundamental lesson is

1. The fundamental lesson is the need to avoid violence within the working class, either by using a Red Terror or by using an invasion of force in order to spread the revolution. It's a position that the ICC defends along with Rosa Luxemburg. Nowhere is this question even raised in the outpourings of the anarchists, libertarians, etc. on Libcom.

2. Again, nowhere in these discussions on Libcom is the question of what the bourgeoisie, mainly its western and democratic components, are up to in and around the Russian revolution and the Spanish civil war. Quite simply the anarchists, etc,, do not see the bourgeoisie and its actions as part of the class struggle; there is only the workers' struggle and its deficiences in the abstract. This is typical of the petty-bourgeois moralism of anarchism.

The Libcom admin (some of them), in this centenary year of the Russian revolution have done a hatchet job on the Bolsheviks in the abstract and have thereby contributed to the widespread campaign of the  demonisation of the Bolsheviks and the devil Lenin, which is entirely complementary to the campaign of the bourgeoisie today on this issue.

jk1921
Sense

baboon wrote:

1. The fundamental lesson is the need to avoid violence within the working class, either by using a Red Terror or by using an invasion of force in order to spread the revolution. It's a position that the ICC defends along with Rosa Luxemburg. Nowhere is this question even raised in the outpourings of the anarchists, libertarians, etc. on Libcom.

I agree of course, but what about the accusation that Lenin "massacred" sex workers? Is this even true? What purpose could this have possibly served? I remember a discussion in history class years ago where one student kept attempting to call Lenin an anti-Semite. After about four or five times of making this claim, the professor (no fan of Lenin), quite exasperated, retorted, "LOOK! LENIN SHOT ANTI-SEMITES!" Should the working class shoot anti-semites? Probably not, but I can at least see some tactical sense in repressing anti-Semitism, where I can't see any in murdering sex workers. But what is the historical evidence this actually happened?

baboon wrote:

2. Again, nowhere in these discussions on Libcom is the question of what the bourgeoisie, mainly its western and democratic components, are up to in and around the Russian revolution and the Spanish civil war. Quite simply the anarchists, etc,, do not see the bourgeoisie and its actions as part of the class struggle; there is only the workers' struggle and its deficiences in the abstract. This is typical of the petty-bourgeois moralism of anarchism.

The Libcom admin (some of them), in this centenary year of the Russian revolution have done a hatchet job on the Bolsheviks in the abstract and have thereby contributed to the widespread campaign of the  demonisation of the Bolsheviks and the devil Lenin, which is entirely complementary to the campaign of the bourgeoisie today on this issue.

So the RR and SCW are understood in purely national terms and there is no understanding of the role of international actors in the degeneration of the revolution? That makes sense.

d-man
to jk

There is no evidence for it Jk. The problem was with the alcohol consumption among the red soldiers, i.e. lack of vigor/moral (this when Whiteguard front was approaching), I won't bore you with the textual interpretations (the thread is 8 pages long). Baboon was probably sarcastic when he wrote "An in-depth piece by Mike Harman", because it was just a copy-paste of Lenin's text, no depth whatsoever. The point was indeed to portray any Marxist/communist critique of "identity politics" as driven by hatred of minorities/women etc. (or in this case prostitutes, which apparently can be considered an identity).

Tagore2
Like drug dealers,

Like drug dealers, prostitutes can be a powerful factor of disorder in the military.

The complete quote is:

Quote:

It is obvious that a whiteguard insurrection is being prepared in Nizhni. You must strain every effort, appoint three men will) dictatorial powers (yourself, Markin and one other), organise immediately mass terror, shoot and deport the hundreds of prostitutes who are making drunkards of the soldiers, former officers and the like.

In other words, a white insurrection is being prepared, prostitutes are trafficking in alcohol and breaking the discipline of the Red Army.

Lenin does not care about prostitutes as prostitutes. The problem is that they disorganize the communist army on the eve of a white insurrection. What will the red soldiers do, the pants on their ankles, completely alcoholic, and not having slept all night, when the white scum goes into the barracks?

It is a common military tactic to send prostitutes who traffic drugs and alcohol to the enemy, just before a military operation, or chronically, to destroy the army through drug addiction and carelessness. This is one of the reasons for the defeat of the Americans in Vietnam.

Pimps and drug barons sell this kind of service to the armies. Lenin's orders are perfectly rational. Bourgeois manicheism is ridiculous.

baboon
Agree with Dman, alcohol was

Agree with Dman, alcohol was a major problem. I can't find the source - it might have been Trotsky - but the first soldiers sent to guard the Winter Palace got rotten drunk, so did the second lot sent to replace them, and the third I think. Finally an armoured outfit sent to sort it out also got rat-arsed. It was an anarchist unit, recalled from the front, that sorted the mess out, disciplined and effective.

https://libcom.org/history/drugov-fyodor-pavlovich-1891-1934. This is a short piece on libcom on the anarchist Fyoder Drugon, who fought for the revolution and became overwhelmed by the forces of its degeneration.

Tagore2
John Reed, in Ten days that

John Reed, in Ten days that chock the world wrote:

Toward the end of November occurred the “wine-pogroms” [7] — looting of the wine-cellars—beginning with the plundering of the Winter Palace vaults. For days there were drunken soldiers on the streets... In all this was evident the hand of the counter-revolutionists, who distributed among the regiments plans showing the location of the stores of liquor. The Commissars of Smolny began by pleading and arguing, which did not stop the growing disorder, followed by pitched battles between soldiers and Red Guards... Finally the Military Revolutionary Committee sent out companies of sailors with machine-guns, who fired mercilessly upon the rioters, killing many; and by executive order the wine-cellars were invaded by Committees with hatchets, who smashed the bottles—or blew them up with dynamite...

[7] Wine “Pogroms”

It was afterward discovered that there was a regular organisation, maintained by the Cadets, for provoking rioting among the soldiers. There would be telephone messages to the different barracks, announcing that wine was being given away at such and such an address, and when the soldiers arrived at the spot an individual would point out the location of the cellar...

The Council of People’s Commissars appointed a Commissar for the Fight Against Drunkenness, who, besides mercilessly putting down the wine riots, destroyed hundreds of thousands of bottles of liquor. The Winter Palace cellars, containing rare vintages valued at more than five million dollars, were at first flooded, and then the liquor was removed to Cronstadt and destroyed.

In this work the Cronstadt sailors, “flower and pride of the revolutionary forces,” as Trotzky called them, acquitted themselves with iron self discipline...

Source

jk1921
Perhaps off-topic, but the

Perhaps off-topic, but the recent van attack in Toronto was supposedly carried out by a young man enraged by his "inceb" status (Involuntarily celibate). There was a similar incident some years back in California. There is a growing presence online of those speaking out against their "involuntarily celibate" status (sometimes they are linked with the alt-right), which has, of course, led to a feminist backlash at the patriarchial idea that men are somehow entitled to women's bodies--a clear example of "rape culture."

Obviously, the idea that any man is entitled to any individual woman's body is abhorrent, but at the same time it is also the case that the fact that there appear to be growing numbers of young men who cannot engage in the human experience of sex with a willing partner is itself a troubling and sad reality. These men could always visit a sex worker in order to be relieved of the immediate biological needs/desires--but that is probably not all of what they are after. The inability to form a sexual relationship with ties of love and intimacy with another only highlights the atomisation and personal degradation of this society and fuels a certain (de)masculinized rage against women, along with the feminist backlash--both of which appear as symptoms of growing social division, interpersonal suspicion and hostility.

But should sex workers be seen as part of the working class or should they be subjected to the contempt that Marxists often have for the "lumpenproletariat?" How do we make a social-political analysis of this without falling into some kind of moralism in either direction?

baboon
Persoal experience

A bit of an aside really, but I was a sex worker. After being dismissed, asked to leave, my job of ten years because of the disruptions I'd been involved in, I couldn't get a job locally so, through various connections, I travelled to the bright lights to get a job (on the books) as a projectionist in a cinema showing pornographic films. There's a hint of Midnight Cowboy about it; selling what was left of my soul. It was sordid stuff but the money was good and I'd get home every couple of weeks - thus restoring my soul. At work I usually spliced a number of films together on a large spool and read a book. They would inevitably go out of focus,but no-one complained - except one of the bosses who came in screaming and shouting every time. The two bosses, ex-workers, were a couple of bastards and no-one had much time for them. When I knew that I had the bouncers on side I organised a meeting in the cinema, asking for more money but really establishing our dignity in the face of things. It was a good meeting; projectionists, the bouncers, cleaners, receptionists, one of them a working girl. We sat round in a circle in one of the cinemas and had a good discussion, though strictly limited to our immediate concerns. One of the bosses burst in f-ing and blinding and said "you won't get another penny out of me". How wrong he was. We had now facilated communal networks in a business relying entirely on cash and specious records and we simply made our individual adjustments to the cash-flow. Nothing remotely dramatic but we did well in the circumstances to rise above them somewhat..

Comunero
jk, I have my doubts about

jk, I have my doubts about feminism being the backlash. One just has to look at the chronology of the appearance of this "intersectional" (postmodern) feminism and the alt-right and this "incel" Reddit thing. The foundations of this postmodern identity politics are laid in the beginning of the 90s, the alt-right around 2016. It took a while for idpol to get momentum beyond the academia, but in the English-speaking world it surely happened way before 2016. This idpol is inherently self-righteous and moralizing, and relies heavily on labelling in a demonizing way anyone who dares to criticize it, avoiding any kind of debate through characterizing any of their critics as being absolutely despicable (racist, transphobe, ableist, fascist, ageist --you name it). In a practical way, this serves pretty well the purpose of dividing the working class, particularly by attacking and scapegoating the white, male workers. I think this whole alt-right nonsense, deliberately offensive and full of hatred, is in fact the backlash of (mostly young) white male workers whom feel attacked. The Trump phenomenon was partially fueled by this backlash, I think.

Any succesful lie has its roots in some degree of truth. Identity politics have this roots in the very real problem and suffering that lots of workers have to face for having some different qualities. Idpol then procceeds to create a fixed, rigid, all-encompassing identity out of some of this particular qualities (the fact that Idpol starts just after the fall of Stalinism, at the same time that the anti-communist campaign attacking the identity of the proletariat as a class, deserves a closer look imho). In the same fashion, the backlash-ish alt-right movement (which probably can qualify as a kind of identity politics as well) creates a rigid individual identity out of the feelings of being attacked caused by postmodern Idpol among some sectors of workers.

I don't know. Overall, this is a big mess and a big nonsense. The alt-right and its sister ideologies are disgusting, abhorrent and deeply dehumanizing. Idpol attacks everybody, including between its ranks, and replaces everywhere it takes root the very little amount of debate that could exist for permanent outrage, scapegoating and attacks. It's deeply isolating.

Sorry for not developing this ideas further, but I become quite demoralized, overwhelmed and despaired every time I try to dive deeper in this "ideological k-hole".

Are sex workers well, workers? Probably not per se, but the petite bourgeoises aren't either, and regardless of that some of them (notably Marx and Engels) are among the best militants of the working class. I think this is the best way to address the question.

I find very interesting what jk says about the growing difficulty for the experience of sex, and I'ld add, the general difficulty for any genuine human interaction. But yes, specially of the most human interaction, i.e. love. The dictatorship of commodities. Want sex? Well, pay. Want a boyfriend? Give him your body. Want a girlfriend? Pay, pay, pay, even presents are commodity exchange if they are given for something in return. And so goes.

We workers are still persistent in our human qualities and needs though. We still love, we still have friendship. It's increasingly difficult, yes. But we still struggle. I think this very basic struggle, deep down, is political too.

jk1921
Backlash

Comunero wrote:

jk, I have my doubts about feminism being the backlash. One just has to look at the chronology of the appearance of this "intersectional" (postmodern) feminism and the alt-right and this "incel" Reddit thing. The foundations of this postmodern identity politics are laid in the beginning of the 90s, the alt-right around 2016. It took a while for idpol to get momentum beyond the academia, but in the English-speaking world it surely happened way before 2016. This idpol is inherently self-righteous and moralizing, and relies heavily on labelling in a demonizing way anyone who dares to criticize it, avoiding any kind of debate through characterizing any of their critics as being absolutely despicable (racist, transphobe, ableist, fascist, ageist --you name it). In a practical way, this serves pretty well the purpose of dividing the working class, particularly by attacking and scapegoating the white, male workers. I think this whole alt-right nonsense, deliberately offensive and full of hatred, is in fact the backlash of (mostly young) white male workers whom feel attacked. The Trump phenomenon was partially fueled by this backlash, I think.

Right, I don't think feminism itself is a backlash, but there certainly is a rather agressive feminist backlash to the inceb thing. Perhaps, in some ways the outrage is warranted, but I am concerned by what appears to be a deficit of emphathy for the condition of the socially isolated young male who cannot find someone to love him and who is then often ridiculed for what society considers a personal failure. The tone of the "left" today is increasingly less about empathy and more and more takes on the tone of a kind of "carceral left" of incipient Jacobins waiting to get the chance to use the repressive power of the state against their enemies. This was one of the problems with the so called "March for our Lives," against gun violence in the US. While there was much righteous anger over the murderous effects of decomposition on young people, there has so far been little protest against the state's desire to execute the perpetrator--even though he is obviously a very emotional distubed individual who must have been a lot of pain. The "bleeding heart" left is in decline and there seems to be a new prosecutorial left taking its place, I think spurred on at least in part by some of the trends in idpol Communero identifies in his post.

Tagore2
I know a man who has not had

I know a man who has not had a girlfriend for 9 years. Nobody seems to care. He is not a violent person: he has never assaulted or even insulted a woman. He is unemployed.

I know a celibate woman for decades. She is slightly disabled. In recent years, she believes that her neighbor is watching her. He would have installed surveillance cameras in his apartment to look at her naked. She looked for these cameras, but did not find them.

She explained to me that if she had a boyfriend, she would like to be looked naked. But since she has none, since she has never had one, since she is now too old, too ugly, and disabled, it is a crime to look at her by mysterious means. She never met this neighbor, but if she saw him, she would break his mouth. She would like to kill him.

I think the lack of love makes everybody crazy.

Comunero
I deeply second the feeling

I deeply second the feeling of this last two posts.

d-man
after all, we're not intersectionalists

zimmerwald1915
Funny meme, doesn't much

Funny meme, doesn't much conform to my experience. But then, what do I know?