Jack Elliott thinks not. The concept of social equality did not exist in ancient Judea. Bacon Jack Elliott takes pride in his career of liberal activism.
But there was one specific misinterpretation that I want to try to clarify. And that is, indeed, what the apostles of the normcore left often accuse people like me of doing.
But it is not at all what I was trying to do. I think this arises from a genuine blind spot and not, in most cases, a conscious bias. And the real working class, far from adhering strictly to those expectations, is constantly in a state of either failing to live up to them, or not even wanting to try.
So the point is not to set the left up as its own separate subculture. Rather, the point is to embrace the full diversity and weirdness of working class culture as it already exists and to embrace that, and accept the inherent weirdness of then adding to that a politics that demands the overthrow of the entire capitalist mode of production.
All the variegated parts of the working class have to come together to form the only subculture that matters: Composing that class will not happen by subsuming all of our various subjectivities under some blank normality.
And in any case, normie is itself a subculture. In a Facebook thread discussing my post, Jesse Kudler notes that in many cases: Young white educated people actually universalize from their rather particular circumstances and orientation. As Kudler said in a later post, learning Roberts Rules of Order is itself very weird subcultural behavior.
One consequence of this mental habit is that it inhibits the ability to distinguish between not centering some particular part of the working class, versus actually dismissing or attacking that class fragment.
What is it, exactly, that makes these demands particular? They do not demand abolishing ICE or prisons only for certain people, they simply demand that nobody should be deported or incarcerated.
The charge of particularism can only made to stick if it is taken to describe, not who is affected by a policy, but who is most perceived to be affected by it. And this brings us to another rhetorical move that is routine in normitarian universalist circles: There are two related problems with this.
First, as an organizing strategy it amounts to a belief that white and male workers are fundamentally racist and patriarchal, and can only be won to socialism if they can be tricked into believing that they are not fighting for the interests of women or people of color.
This is, I think, contrary to reality and historical experience, but worse than that it is self-reinforcing: One can easily imagine a compromise version of Medicare for all that leaves out reproductive rights, or the trans health services that, as Fainan Lakha notes, are critical to a left-wing health care politics.
On a policy level I find much to agree with in the linked articles. I just have a hard time believing that such people represent a specially persecuted group on the left. A related problem came up in the debate over the Haider review that I mentioned above. What critics had to point out, whether explicitly or not, was that the entire premise of the call for universalism was patriarchal and white supremacist.
When this is pointed out it immediately leads to defensive reactions, because, unsurprisingly, a political tendency that assiduously avoids talking about race and gender is not very good at structural understandings of race and gender.
Instead, people tend to fall back on the kind of liberal ascriptive politics they paint onto their opponents: Rather, it is to seriously investigate what it takes to actively take the working class as it exists in itself, in many different modes and combinations of everyday life, and combine and compose that into a fighting class for itself.
The above statement, though today often attributed to antifa mascot Grittywas actually made by Kate Griffiths of the Red Bloom Communist Collective. But what is it to be normal?theology & sexuality, Vol.
21 No. 1, , 1–19 The Limits of Inclusion: Queer Theology and its Others1 Linn Marie Tonstad Yale Divinity School, USA In this article, I describe three problems found in some inclusive queer Chris- tian theologies: a strong contrast between Christian queer inclusiveness and the exclusive other — a contrast that sometimes takes anti-Semitic form; ignoring what.
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Some recent discussion on Twitter has me thinking again about one of my longstanding projects, and something I want to do at book length soon: the contradictions of building social democracy.. My basic outlook, as described in the linked essay, is that the socialist project must be conceived in terms of “building the crisis”, or “building social democracy only in order to break it”.