the (methodological) problem with class-first reactions against critique of whiteness or patriarchy or colonialism is that it's a shitty, self-serving interpretation of economic determinism. like you're literally just refusing to do a material analysis that is not difficult to begin to sketch out
is production structured through race and gender and colonialism? yeah!
are race and gender and colonialism economic forces which structure our material conditions, which is to say, constrain and determine how it is we eat, drink, shelter, heal, and upkeep? yeah!
are racism, colonialism, and (re/structuring of) gender historical mechanisms dialectically involved in the development of capitalism? yeah!
the base determines the superstructure. the base got race and gender and colonialism in it. your comrades come to you with material analysis you aren't rehearsed on, it's up to you to catch up
you see, when someone deconstructs the ideology of racism and patriarchy and colonialism, this is what is known in Marxist circles as "demystification"
*if* someone DOES flounder when it comes time to talk material, economic circumstances — and, sure, that's not everyone's first tool! sometimes people learn from one another — they might have a good reason to consider you a worthy mutual consciousness-raiser *if* you can actually address the material of their concerns.
so, drumroll please: you have to take racism, colonialism, and patriarchy seriously. put on your Marxist hat *to address those things directly*. if you can talk about "capitalism" but you can't talk about whiteness, you're not actually much good at talking about capitalism!
but if you can put what someone already knows into a revealing light, if you give their consciousness of oppression a new foothold to rise, you've done something of worth. and learning to do that will *absolutely* raise your own class consciousness.
and god fucking knows Black Marxists have been taking class seriously the whole time WHILE analyzing the class dimensions of race and gender and the racial and gendered dimensions of class and capitalism. decolonial resistance has been integral to the ongoing development of Marxist-Leninist thought for an age. socialist feminism has Been analyzing the relationship of gender to production and reproduction of the productive forces.
I am a Marxist because I genuinely believe Marxist theory has useful insight for the oppressed, whether at first blush that oppression "sounds economic" or not. I'm far from the first or the most far-sighted to hold that belief. Marxism's usefulness and appeal to Black Americans resisting Jim Crow, and the bona fides white communists earned by fucking showing up against anti-Blackness, is well-documented and a major motivator for American anti-communisn in the 20th century.
you have to actually do the fucking thing, though, or you're not actually helping
@byttyrs the reverse of this is also true and is equally important: you cannot understand the various -isms that plague the world today without asking how they are constituted economically and materially as part of the class structure.
@byttyrs Marxism without any of these things- which I'm going to call identity politics for lack of a better term, and boy do i wish there was a better term- is chauvinism and white supremacy replicating itself with a leftist costume.
identity politics without Marxism is how you get toothless liberal shit like more 👏 female 👏 cops and the idea that racism is interpersonal meanness rather than a historical phenomenon
@melissasage absolutely. and our basic task as Marxists is to help people reach the place we know they can get to because we had to get here too. this way of thinking about the world isn't hard to learn, especially with help that comes from a genuine place of fellow learning
white Marxists, or het dude Marxists, or imperial citizen Marxists balking at *doing* that economic thinking, *doing* that fellow-learning fellow-teaching about topics that don't directly serve our own interests, anything that requires meaningful solidarity, is such a Basic failure of this project
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