Unite and Fight?
Marxism and Identity Politics

Socialism 2015

July 02, 2015

How we understand the nature of racial, gender and other oppressions shapes whether and how we challenge them. At the heart of the theory of identity politics, which has dominated US social movements for decades, lies the notion that only those experiencing a particular form of oppression can define or fight it. By extension, all those not facing a form of oppression are conceived as having a stake in the maintenance of others' oppression. This theory—in its various guises—has profound implications on whether and how oppressed groups unite to challenge oppression and whether oppressed people organize independently of any class basis. This talk will explore both the history and theory of identity politics and the alternative approach of Marxists for whom class is lived through race and gender.

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