Identity politics vs. class struggle. Where’s the debate?

The massive retreat of the labor movement globally in the last decades accompanied by the general sell out of the social democracy to liberal politics seems to have allowed identity politics to dominate the left discourse. More and more voices on the left are now trying to push back against this liberal avalanche

Identity politics is a paradigm where political change is driven by identitarian struggle — to it, equality and justice will never be truly realized until all forms of discrimination against marginilized identities are quelled. That’s how is generally perceived. For the classical left however, bigotry is rather a downstream effect of wealth disparities and symptomatic of ongoing class struggle — in this interpretation, dominant demographics are much less interested in casting out minorities as they are in preserving their current status. The massive retreat of the labor movement globally in the last decades accompanied by the general sell out of the social democracy to liberal politics seems to have allowed identity politics to dominate the left discourse. More and more voices on the left are now trying to push back against this liberal avalanche. Unfortunately, there almost is no debate. Instead new supposed to be insulting terms are being invented in order to make dissent cease according to the cancel-culture mechanisms, “class reductionism” for example. Maria Cernat and Boyan Stanislavski discuss an intriguing topic in a talk that took place on 25 July 2020. They also dissect the issue of Polish government’s intention to renounce its ratfication of the Istanbul Convention.

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