After the revolution, everything is gonna be so dank.

Right after the 2016 election, several of my well-intentioned (but comically misinformed) male friends attempted to console me with the argument that Trump’s presidency would only hasten “the revolution” and was hence a net good. It wasn’t a comfort. Lemme tell ya why.

Accelerationism, whether of the pseudo-intellectual cyberpunk or the vacant Bernie Bro stripe, is the privilege of the comfortable and clueless. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to check out on the Rob Zombie-produced stage play that is contemporary electoral politics, but only someone who has never had to consider the idea of being in arbitrary physical danger (and has never been exposed to detailed information about the history of large-scale revolutions) could flippantly bandy about the idea that we’re due for a “revolution” without thinking about what that might entail. Hence, most lefty chatter about “the revolution” emanates from overconfident white dudes who have never even been poor.

The variety of lefty “revolutionary” movements these days is about as broad as it was in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (probably more so), but there’s a key difference: lefty revolutionaries in earlier eras created well-elaborated critiques of capitalism as it functioned at the time and theorized alternative arrangements that at least made an attempt at plausibility. Another fairly important characteristic of these movements was the recognition that economics, politics, and culture were not discrete realms and that any revolutionary program that hoped to achieve meaningful change had to address all three. (Nota bene: they all still eventually failed, probably because none of them bothered to include women as anything but dupes/tokens.)

One of the keys to the capitalist world system’s increased success in the aftermath of these movements was the construction of conceptual walls between culture, the economy, and politics in the academy and in the minds of the populace. Capitalism is agile and adaptable. It functions almost nothing like it did during its brief period of fragility, which very few half-stepping neo-revolutionaries seem to realize. Hence, anyone who espouses one of these proliferating and laughably incomplete ideologies is too stupid to follow anywhere, even on social media.

I don’t want to sound like Jordan Peterson or anything, but “let’s burn everything down and then figure out what to do” just isn’t a sound program for the future, especially given the history of how women have fared during revolutions and their aftermaths, the unpredictable nature of revolutions themselves, and the absolutely ludicrous premises of most contemporary revolutionary movements. (Ever heard of brocialism or manarchism?)

Sure, there’s a chance that things could get better “after the revolution” (depending on what revolution we’re talking about), but the far more likely outcome is things becoming exponentially worse (especially for women and children) in the short and medium term and, once the dust settles, a much worse system emerging out of the vacuum that would result from the lack of thorough post-revolution planning.

And let us not forget the historical leitmotif of radical women being assured by dishonest male revolutionaries that all they needed to do was sideline their own concerns for the duration of the revolution itself, after which — no, I swear — all of that “women’s stuff” would automatically be resolved in women’s favor. Ding Ling comes to mind.

I’m not too worried about the fallout of any of these aspirational revolutions, though, because they’re all about as likely to occur as Law and Order is likely to be taken off the air. It’s pretty hard to imagine any of the infinite number of anarcho-whatever or Marxist groups on social media emerging as armed mass movements capable of overthrowing the US (or any other) government. It’s hard to imagine any of them even taking over a student council group at UC Santa Cruz.

Seriously, why are people still arguing the finer points of dead revolutionary ideologies? Marxism has limited functionality as a system of critical analysis of capitalism. Anarchism correctly (when it’s actually understood — a rarity) questions hierarchical social arrangements. That’s about it. Marxism and anarchism are now forms of white male identity politics in my book (and so are a lot of other groupings — but that’s another post).

Watching people call each other “tankies” and argue over Trotskyism on social media is like listening to a bunch of teenage boys argue about the officiating of a Super Bowl they didn’t even see. And it’s about as likely to lead to political change. I know that fantasizing about participating in a violent revolution of one sort or another appeals to people raised on first-person shooters and Michael Bay movies, but it ain’t gonna happen (at least not in the way they think).

There are exceptions, but the tide of neo-identity politics has hamstrung most would-be revolutionaries on the left and the alt-right and trapped them in the splintered realm of cultural antagonism and archaic politico-economic pedantry, leaving economic and political structures immune to disruption. When some faction of the rabble gets a little too restive for comfort, the elites drop a meaningless policy concession on them and get right back to business, and this new-and-improved identity politics continues to serve as a buffer between the masses and the true beneficiaries of the neoliberal global order, especially the rapacious neoconservative/neofascist bloc in the US.

Studying and taking account of culture, geopolitics, economics, feminism, and (ideally) world-systems theory isn’t quite as fun as ripping on people whose social values appear clownish, but if your revolutionary program ain’t doing all of the above, it ain’t doing shit but creating meme fodder. The atomization of political culture and the pitting of tribalized factions against each other in a series of increasingly stupid and violent culture wars were intentional moves by the beneficiaries of the global order. They cannot be successfully combated while we’re combating each other over a bunch of manufactured “outrageous” bullshit and impractical esoterica, and that’s the whole point.

(I don’t wanna hear any nonsense about feminism being a form of identity politics. “Women” isn’t a term that coheres around a manufactured identity, it’s a material reality. We’re more than half the population globally, and extending human rights and proportional political participation to half of the population is not tokenism. This is also not a traditional lefty “class before race/sex/etc.” argument but a “class and race/sex/etc.” one. That dichotomy/opposition is a neoliberal falsehood that benefits no one but those elites we were just talking about. Oh, and lefty white dudes.)

When Democrats spend their “mental energy” drawing elaborate analogies between Trump and Voldemort, when Libertarians and Anarchists concoct an opium-nod of a future based on digital Monopoly money, when Republicans envision an unhinged libertine leading the nation into an extended episode of Leave It to Beaver despite all evidence to the contrary, when Marxists/Socialists delude themselves into believing a proletariat still even fucking exists, they’ve all rendered themselves NPCs. It’s called intellectual decadence, and it’s one of the chief indicators of a system in collapse.

It’s an unfortunate and repetitive occurrence; systems in collapse are ripe for intelligent manipulation, but only intelligent and manipulative people seem to recognize and act on that, which is exactly what the nihilist/realist moneyed class is doing in order to ensure its own survival. They know what’s coming down the pike and they expect the culture wars (that should become Civil War 2 any day now) they’ve fomented to distract everyone else while they enact their own silent revolution that ends with them all sipping the last of the world’s Moët on man-made, floating resort islands and laughing while we kill each other over water.

Culture can and probably must be the starting point of a comprehensive, prescriptive political theory that could lead humanity out of the morass, but only if it starts from scratch from a set of ethical reference points that completely supplants tribalism and the politics of fear and extends outward to politics and the economy. You know, weird shit like empathy, self-control, dignity, curiosity, critical thinking, the recognition of the humanity of every human being. Identity politics ceases to be necessary if we aren’t focused on fighting over crumbs bestowed by a divide-and-conquer governing/corporate elite. Easy, right?

In the meantime, go ahead and proactively fight for the lesser of whatever set of evils present themselves. Nihilism is lame.

33 thoughts on “After the revolution, everything is gonna be so dank.

  1. Last thought:

    I was looking through some of your past articles tonight and noticed that the most commentary is on pop culture topics like commercials & individual scandals. Like you said, this deeper, more complex stuff isn’t “fun” for most ppl – the colonist culture demands to be “entertained” and gets so easily bored and distracted – I was no different back in my colonized daze.

    I know this article is recent, so time will tell how much commentary you get. I suspect it won’t be much, which is unfortunate because I feel like you hit the CORE and HEART of where we need to look and walk towards for true Change. I hope I’m wrong as I’d love to hear what others have to say about this stuff.

    p.s. Your series on un-mining porned minds is EPIC and something I have been, and will continue to share far and wide forevs. So grateful for your work here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post ND, probably one of your best.

    There has never been a revolution that has solved the fundamental problem of male domination and Patriarchy. The American Revolution did not solve the problems of slavery, sexism, genocide, or colonization either. The US Constitution is basically a document of universal white male suffrage, excluding all others. I have no reason to believe that the next revolution will be different, especially when white lefty dudes continue to dominate the conversation and make politics all about their own feelings of being ripped off by the system. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that women and minorities have already been ripped off a thousand times over, if white lefty dudes aren’t first in line to rise above their station, they’ll just destroy it all. If they can’t have it then nobody can.

    It’s been mansplained to me that white lefty dudes think that women, minorities, and the poor are too stupid and complicit in their own oppression to know what’s good for them, therefore, it’s the white man’s burden to destroy identity politics and destroy the Democratic party for everyone’s collective good. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process, and it doesn’t seem to matter that people have actually been murdered since Trump was elected. To them, those lives are expendable and a necessary sacrifice if it means achieving their long term agenda. During the entire Obama administration, they ripped on white women every chance they got for being privileged and for centering their feminism around themselves but refuse to see how they center their anti-capitalist rhetoric around the most privileged group of all: white males.

    To be clear, my own personal viewpoints about politics and the world can be seen as nihilistic. However I’m also not stupid enough to try to destroy the Democratic party either. I’m even going to keep voting blue as long as the world hasn’t ended yet. I will say NO to Republicans until the bitter fucking end.

    So my question is, why are THEY (white lefty dudebros) trying to destroy the Democratic party knowing it’s the only thing standing between life and death for several groups of people here in the US? Why are THEY so willing to allow Republicans take office no matter who gets hurt? Why are THEY okay with basically punishing people for not assimilating into the Bernie Borg? My guess is that they don’t want to solve the fundamental problem of male domination and Patriarchy. And this is why their revolution is going to fail. The violent, self-centered males they support now are going to be the violent, self-centered males that’s going to oppress and exploit them and their descendants all over again. NO class of males can seem to come to terms with this (not even the most oppressed of men), thus, we are doomed to watch men fuck themselves and fuck the rest of us over repeatedly. And that’s why I lean strongly toward nihilism because even if people COULD live life in a meaningful way, most of the time they don’t want to, and they could care less how it affects the rest of us to have to watch them destroy themselves and other people for stupid fucking reasons.

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    1. Its extremely naive of accelerationists to think that once things get so bad the bottoms take over and fix it. Often in deep crisis a point of bifurcation is reached where there is maximum potential for the best possible outcome or the worst possible outcome to take place. However, given the faliabilty of humans the odds lye with the worst outcome. So I think revolution shouldn’t be welcomed so optimistically, things can keep getting worse. Also, squashing the bottoms of society doesn’t usually lead to revolutionary conditions. In Russia, it was ww1 which lead to the system breaking and leaving it up for grabs for whoever was willing to fight for it. Not the bottom of society getting fed up and revolting. To analogise, imagine a car with the elites partying inside whilst attaching people to the back of the car with a rope and dragging them along. They won’t revolt, but if the car itself breaks then it’s suddenly things are there for the taking.

      With the exception of the Bush and Clinton presidencies, democrats have mostly represented expansion whilst republicans represented contraction, in regards to foreign policy. Under Obama the US empire came very close to stretching itself too thin, and a Clinton presidency undoubtedly would have pushed the US to this point. The idea that the accelerationist position is to support republicans is some mythology which I think hinges on the idea that republicans being more for destroying civil society, would push the masses to revolt. When in actual fact, destroying civil society would just lead to social hell without the risk of revolution bearing down on the elites. Conditions for revolution are less favourable now than at the turn of the 20th century, plus with technological forms of control that didn’t exist back then. Russia was the only real successful revolution back then and even that wasn’t a revolution of the proletariat. But the foreign policy of the US could certainly be something that would break the system.

      Also, the American Revolution wasn’t a revolution. It was merly a reconfiguration of power among elites, and this is never done to solve fundamental problems such as the ones you mentioned.

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      1. The same applies to the Chinese Revolution; the CCP simply filled the power vacuum when the imperialist powers went home after WW2. (To be fair, they had a far more appealing program than the Guomindang and did manage to drastically improve people’s living conditions in the years immediately following the civil war. Too bad they lost the plot less than a decade in and most definitely failed to keep the large part of their promises to women.)

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        1. But it is important to keep in mind that the imperialist powers did not go home after WWII. The U.S. military cooperated with the Japanese invaders in China and kept them in power, and did all sorts of things to sabotage any sort of revolution, including burning Chinese villages. I highly recommend William Blum’s Killing Hope (I’m reading about Nicaragua right now and though I knew U.S. activities were atrocious it’s still difficult reading), which is a catalogue of U.S. interventions after WWII from such radical sources as Foreign Affairs and the New York Times.

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          1. You’re right; I was oversimplifying (there’s that four-year gap to be accounted for, during which what you mention occurred). The alliance with the US (and the failure to address the opium crisis, and the failure to repell Japan, etc.) is part of what turned people away from the GMD and the CCP was right there to welcome them. My only point was to agree with Sergio that even that revolution wasn’t exactly the bottom-up revolt against elites that everyone would have us believe.

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      1. I don’t think they think long enough to consider the implications of anything they do. Do now. Deal with what comes later. Any consequences that arise and erupt – blame/scapegoat whoever you devalue. Very similar to the corporate world now that I think about it.

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  3. Thank you for this brilliant and very enlightening analysis. This is one of the main reasons why i read radical feminist websites. Nowhere else can i find this level of coherence, especially when it comes to implementing the very crucial male decadence in all its various forms.
    The comment is also spot on, especially the last part. I couldnt agree more, and it is so very frustrating. Sigh.

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  4. “(Nota bene: they all still eventually failed, probably because none of them bothered to include women as anything but dupes/tokens.)” I read an article about the Black Panthers which pointed this out and which was not naïve about the activities of the U.S. government in relation to the Panthers.

    Excellent essay and I agree totally with Lana Banana. I, too, read radical feminist websites for their coherence and sanity. I grew up in a radical leftist family (my mother was too radical to be accepted for membership in the Communist Party in the 1930s), was a typesetter mostly working with leftist groups, and over the years I have become very suspicious of white male leftists.

    There is something about them — the desire to dominate would be one way to summarize it — that ordinary people find very unsettling. I recently had a Disqus exchange with “Far Left Radical” who is neither leftist nor radical, but appears to be an ordinary brogressive. He told me what I am and how to talk. And these dudes wonder why they cannot gain any traction with people politically — anyone with a partially functioning bullshit meter would run as fast as they could to get away.

    All this reminds me of some socialist group trying to set up meetings in the Boston area in the 1970s. They complained because no working people would come to meetings. My husband and I, both working class, have laughed and laughed about this over the years. And my husband believes most of these men are trust funders, which is the dirtiest description imaginable in our old farmhouse.

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    1. Every single leftist revolution I’ve studied follows the same pattern: come up with a facile theory of women’s oppression in order to convince women to join, tell them to shelve their concerns until the revolution ends for the sake of “revolutionary unity,” then back to business as usual between the sexes in the “new” society. And that’s for successful, large-scale revolutions. Smaller revolutionary groups in the US are just openly patriarchal in most cases. Were anyone to actually take women’s existence seriously and develop a revolutionary program that took women’s needs and participation into account in a meaningful way, they’d have a surprisingly effective AND persuasive theory on their hands, but tell that to any male revolutionary and he would laugh and tell you it’s impractical. That’s how you know they don’t have any clue what they’re talking about and are only interested in being a “big deal.” I’d join a revolutionary movement led by Silvia Federicci, for example.

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      1. One of my female friends in high school told me that women’s issues would have to wait until after the war (in Vietnam) was over. As though war and militarism aren’t high-priority women’s issues since women and children are always the most devastated by war. But her parents were super creeps who tortured animals at Ohio State University, so what else could I expect?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with Meg that this is one of your best pieces, though for me it’s tied with your series on porn. Your witchcraft one was pretty brilliant too. That said, I just tonight saw how much of your blog I’ve missed, so I look forward to some great enlightenment along with gleeful LOL’s. A true pleasure (and pain) to read. But that’s what makes you a good writer – mega heart and soul and brain power.

    “Seriously, why are people still arguing the finer points of dead revolutionary ideologies?” —-> Good question. I think it’s bcuz the euro-western colonist culture is so new that it’s “founding” brethren are the only point of reference of “foundational learning” and ppl probably feel smart showing off their knowledge about those dudes and “debating” the “finer” points between them. On this topic of KrustyKolonistKrazies, the late indigenous activist Russell Means made a great speech in 1980 where he very clearly and coherently summarized the Big Picture – from Newton to Locke to Smith et al, he really sums it up as far as the euro-colonist mentality of dehumanization:

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/russell-means-mother-jones-interview-1980/

    I’ll post more later. Thank you so much for your posts. Your ability and patience (!) to learn all this his-stories, see through the bullshit, and bring it all together from your unique perspective, is really dynamite. Truly. Your words are truth bombs and your bullshit detector razor sharp.

    Peace & Luv

    p.s. I did have a question about how/why you use the word “tribalism” – how are you defining this term?

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      1. I think the way the euro-western/colonist culture uses the term tribalism is the way they see indigenous ppl (who were/are indeed tribal) – colonized minds truly see indigenous/tribal ppl as savage/barbaric/heathen/stupid, etc. Same with the word “primitive.” It’s the culture clash that has these words meaning very different things, and quite ironic when it’s the “civilized” way that is truly savage/barbaric/self-serving, etc.

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        1. Absolutely. I have been absorbing the political science use for the term in reference to US factions and have favored the term for use in describing them specifically because of that connotation (I only use it in reference to US political factions on the right).

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    1. Help me out, please. I understand your concerns about the use of the word tribalism, but I tend to use it locally to describe families in the rural area of Maine where I live. Enclaves? Though there is often a lot of violence and abuse within the extended family system, they jump to each other’s defense and close ranks if they perceive any threat from the outside. What is a better word to describe them? Family alone seems insufficient.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good question Susan. It’s pretty messy and twisted, bcuz the word is so loaded and even if used “correctly”, will most probably be heard/understood very differently by the receiver.
        I think it depends on how one understands the words “tribe/al” and “primitive” – to me, these words speak to a deeply intelligent, collective, communal way of living, which John Trudell reminds us that we ALL come from (indigenous, tribal ways), from our own home lands, before the domestication/civilization projects began. Some of us are just domesticated/colonized longer, so have more work to do when it comes to un-mining our minds, decolonizing, (re)indigenizing and naturalizing — the only solution as far as I’m concerned. The final solution. Says the Jew. 😀 Fuck hitler having the last say on what the final solution is!
        So when you use the word “tribal”, how are you meaning it? I think that’s what it comes down to. Sure, aggression is part of being tribal, if you/your loved ones are under attack, of course you’re going to rally, that’s the beauty of being tribal. Of course in the context of the psychotic colonist culture, the word gets twisted and often is used and/or heard “negatively”, bcuz the colonist culture is OPPOSITE of tribal – very individualistic, self-serving, etc. – as my wife says, separately together ppl in their separately together homes living their separately together lives, including NOT defending their own and letting them be fucked with, by others AND their own…

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        1. Correction: I should say that sure, self-defense (not aggression), is part of being tribal, when your ppl are under attack. Big difference. It’s only ONE group that is psychotically aggressive, clashing with relatively peaceful groups, who are then FORCED to fight back.

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        2. Wow, great reply, and I agree TOTALLY with you about colonization/civilization. I like Richard Sorensen’s work on pre-/post-conquest consciousness, which I found out about by reading The Tao of Equus (but since he has tended to live in “the bush,” it’s hard to find anything he has written). It takes a lot of work to get the garbage in our culture out of our heads, and I was raised by a questioning, skeptical mother so had a head start, but still.
          I use the word tribal in relation to these families, but they exhibit all the worst aspects of tribalism without the positive aspects. There are many times when we should not defend our own and we certainly shouldn’t gang together and close ranks when family members are being abused, molested, etc. I don’t find much positive in the family system within civilization and years ago I read an interview with Bertolucci the film director about the horrors of growing up in an extended family, something many people who grew up in nuclear families idealized (he pointed out that instead of two people shoving conformity down your throat you had lots of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents shoving conformity down your throat).
          Unfortunately, my experience with members of my species is not positive. As long as interactions remain superficial everything is fine, but I avoid anything deeper. It is very difficult — and perhaps more so when one lives in what is called a low-population area — to meet people who think seriously about the issues you raise, that Nine Deuce raises, etc. I am grateful for the interesting conversations I read and participate in online; it’s the best thing about the internet.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Hey Susan, great reply too, you leave me thinking of a lot, so I may reply in pieces.

            Interesting @ “pre-/post-conquest consciousness” – sounds like I need to check out Richard Sorenson’s work. This also reminded me that I have to get back to reading “Columbus & Other Cannibals” by Jack D. Forbes & Derrick Jensen —-> it’s always nice (and one needs to be very cautious) when reading such works from non-indigenous/euro/colonist ppl, but they’re/we’re out there! I think so long as we privilege and prioritize (genuine and traditional vs. assimilationist) indigenous ppl/knowledges in our learning, we will get somewhere, and further out of the darkness, weeds and horror that is the civilized/colonized way. And yes it does take a lot of work! My own de-colonization process is years in progress and I have a LONG way to go.

            Sidenote: lucky for Sorenson that he is living in the bush. The civilization/colonization shit show has us so removed from our natural, “wild” (intelligent) ways of living, with the money system keeping us hostage and dependent, unable to be truly INdependent, while beating us over the head with double-speak messages. A hierarchical system can only exist by stepping on the throats of those “beneath” you. Great way to keep such a system in place by demonizing those on the lower rungs as “lazy” bcuz they won’t/can’t participate in the money game. Money is the currency of slavery. I find it so interesting that ppl who are less colonized literally are unable to participate in it – they either barely survive, die by murder or sickness FROM the colonist culture’s “projects”, or go down the road of checking out & just numbing the pain in order TO get through it (e.g. “drunken indians” – I highly recommend checking out John Trudell’s vid on YouTube about the so-called Drunken Indian – he gives such an excellent, different, deeper & more humane perspective on this).

            Re. “tribalism” – when you say “exhibit all the worst aspects of tribalism without the positive aspects”, I was going to ask what you meant, but I think I know – the physical self-defending/rallying of “our own”? If I assumed correctly, this speaks to how splintered and twisted the civilized/colonized way is. We are animals, no matter how much the colonist culture tries to tell us otherwise, and so our deep primitive ways of being will never be domesticated out of us, nor should they be. It is the parts that have become lost/numb/twisted that is the dis-ease. Such as the example you gave of abuse & molestation sprouting in families and it not being dealt with and ENDED. And the few times such cases make it to the colonist court system, good luck navigating it and looking for any peace or resolution, when it is a system reflecting the dis-eased culture – shame/judge/punish/revenge, not true justice or rehabilitation.

            I hear you @ extended families and problems. I myself am part of a very small family. For sure larger families have more problems/drama, but also there’s more chance of having at least ONE person in the mix that is like another, that you can lean on and find mutual support and comfort..

            “As long as interactions remain superficial everything is fine, but I avoid anything deeper.” —-> I get it. It is such a cluster fuck shit show with a lot of pain and disconnect and plain ole mis-understanding among SO many ppl and families…in my own family, me and my mom DO NOT get into the whole Jewish/Palestine convo bcuz we have different “politics.” She’s actually preparing to go on a trip to Israel soon. She has such deep love for that country bcuz they helped her so much when she immigrated there as a single mom (with me) from Russia. I see the Israel/Palestine situation as not much different from the usual colonist template. She does not. Lucky for us, the love between us outweighs politics, but it’s such a heated topic that we just “don’t go there.” Or she’ll “go there” and I’ll just nod and change the subject towards something more PERSONAL.

            If the personal is truly political and vice versa, then we have a ways to go as a culture/society or group (if we’re talking about feminism). That’s why I feel like we have to get busy getting our immediate relationships “right”, bcuz how can we hope in any way to get shit fixed Big Picture wise when there’s so much pain, trauma, dis-connect, misunderstandings, etc., within people’s most intimate relations? Though there’s something very important and powerful in chosen family too..

            I am also very grateful for ND and this space she has created, and for the brilliant, open minds and GOOD HEARTS that come here, thinking about and searching for and finding our way through. I think there is something very big and powerful in this.

            Peace & Luv

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s taken me a while to get back and I want to check out the video link you posted and the Cannibals book sounds interesting. I’ve just started Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. I am severely disabled and very tired from getting in firewood, planting garlic, etc. The rush before the ground freezes! But we have had three lovely dry days in a row and even saw the sun, which felt delicious. Yes, this is why I like radical feminist websites — good discussions and exposure to books and other media I did not know about. I am a big fan of Janice Peck’s after someone suggested reading her book about Oprah Winfrey. Dialectical academia at its very best!

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  6. Last point for tonight – I think as soon as we stop looking at what the euro-western KrustyKolonistKlown brethren are doing or have done (since it’s all so dejecting and disappointing), AND stop wanting/expecting/hoping to work with them/have a seat at their table, and instead go do OUR thing, the more sane we will feel AND the more power and empowerment will come.
    It fills me right up knowing that pre-colonist contamination/pre-european “contact”, MOST indigenous nations here in the Americas were matriarchal, made up of post-menopausal women. They were the leaders. The euro-colonists just couldn’t wrap their tiny minds around this and so demanded to always see the “male chief.” It’s kind of amusing.

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  7. Could you define “identity politics” as you use it? The phrase is applied so broadly and indiscriminately at this point I feel it’s lost meaning (and certainly the original one).

    I do agree with most of your points and would like to make sure I’m grasping your full intent.

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    1. I generally use it to refer to internecine fighting on the left over who is the most oppressed, as if it’s a zero-sum game in which only one identity group’s needs can be considered important. It’s a foolish tendency that has rendered the left open to easy trolling and divide and conquer tactics. It’s possible for a leftist movement to cohere around the concepts of compassion/dignity/economic rights without discounting the needs of people in different status categories, but people will have to wise up and work together instead of trying to win an oppression contest. And we absolutely must stop allowing lefty white men to prioritize class so they can continue to dismiss women and people of color.

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      1. I see identity politics as something that people indulge in who are not exploited as an economic class. Poor and working people, WOMEN, and people of color are all exploited economically, both for underpaid and unpaid labor. These are not identities (which can be here today and gone tomorrow), but actual realities that cause tremendous suffering. Rather than deal with their privilege, it seems that many comfortably off white people, especially males, want to whine about how oppressed they are. At my age, I’m beginning to think they need to experience genuine oppression — let’s say forced labor camps — so they can begin to understand actual domination and exploitation.

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      2. Thank you.

        Incidentally, I really like this line: “Watching people call each other ‘tankies’ and argue over Trotskyism on social media is like listening to a bunch of teenage boys argue about the officiating of a Super Bowl they didn’t even see.” And also, “Seriously, why are people still arguing the finer points of dead revolutionary ideologies? Marxism has limited functionality as a system of critical analysis of capitalism.”

        It took me a little while to name what felt so familiar about engaging with male Marxists as I overlapped with them more and more in my twenties, and then I knew: They are eerily like the Christians who surrounded me in my youth. Even to the point of telling me to go look things up in the Holy Book of Marx to shut down debate.

        I hope you do make a longer post on the limitations of Marxism. I am particularly partial to the critiques I’ve read from ecofeminists Maria Mies and Ariel Salleh.

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