Modern social-liberalism – in the form of identity politics – has been exposed as an elitist scam. Gender politics, LGBTQI+ movements, and tino rangatiratanga struggles were all presented as a way to alleviate the poverty, oppression and discrimination of those at the bottom of society. Instead these ideologies have only acted to elevate a few coming from various subjugated groups.
For example, gender politics has been mainly about putting middle class women into positions of power within the political and business world. The LGBTQI+ movement has been easily incorporated into the market economy with “pink capitalism” and with a normalisation of rainbow diversity. And tino rangatiratanga struggles seem to have only led to a few more brown faces amongst the rich listers.
Clearly identity politics – whether in the form of feminism, kaupapa Maori politics or LGBTQI+ movements – has not helped the majority of subjugated people who are at the bottom of society.
So, if identity politics has only helped an elite of those from subjugated sectors of society, is an anti-Establishment class-centred politics then the way forward? The identitarian-left argues that those who focus on material wellbeing, economics and class politics act to ignore other social divisions that exist under capitalism? A class-centred analysis is seen as crudely reducing questions of gender inequality, homophobia and racism to questions of economics and capitalism? Guest blogger John Moore explores these critiques of class politics, and offers an analysis that rejects both the crude economism of the traditional left and the politics of contemporary social liberalism. [Read more below]