Identity Politics: the impasse, the debate, the thread.

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by danny la rouge, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Well the engagement is presumably standard Labour Party engagement - for example I imagine the whole reason why there is a reduced rate for BAME members who go to that event which people are up in arms about is to make it more attractive for them to go. (As cack handed as that is).

    What was interesting from one of the recent Novara podcasts was that membership of "BAME Labour" as a group is quite low, compared to the total BAME membership. Which suggests that some people just can't be arsed with it or that signing up isn't that easy. ALSO that having a BAME Labour seat on the NEC (or some other body, I forget which) is far from representative.
  2. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Yeah. There's no perfect system. But imo the principle that your ethnicity is not something that is imposed on you by an authority - be it the state or a group you belong to like the Labour Party - is an important one.
    crossthebreeze likes this.
  3. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    If Self-Identification = being, then Rachel D did nothing wrong. (Not that me or anyone else wants to go there again).
    MochaSoul and mojo pixy like this.
  4. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    When you ask these kinds of questions, you rely on people being honest in their answers to make the data meaningful. That's true whatever wording you have.
    NoXion likes this.
  5. 8ball

    8ball Considerably more oppressed than yow

    I think the bureaucracy is stuck with running well behind how people move around and mix with each other. I see what you mean, but it means you have to admit the BAME membership count of eg. the Labour party is something of a guess, and makes things more fraught if using this as the basis for individual decisions.
  6. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    I agree. I also think that while racism still exists, some kind of ethnic monitoring has its place. In France, this stuff is banned in a 'we're colour-blind' kind of way, and that never ends well.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  7. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Whether or not self-identification = being is an interesting existential question. :)

    I'd assume that self-id works in most cases because most people are fairly decent and won't go to the trouble of pretending to be black so they can get 10 quid off a Labour Party conference.

    This may change though as the wacky world of ID-pol intensifies - and/or if there are other advantages to being in BAME Labour (such as voting for who gets on the NEC?). I'd hope that there was some scope for removing someone if they were blatantly taking the piss though.
  8. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Let's not pretend this bureaucratic crap is political. It's to future-proof in advance from legal challenges. That this discussion turns (just as the transgender one cools down eh?) into stuff that starts from ID politics basis is maybe telling.
    MochaSoul likes this.
  9. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.


    It's a dubious comparason given that we know RD lied through her teeth. For the RD comparason to work the implication/suggestion is that other people will lie/are liars too. :hmm:
    Mation likes this.
  10. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Or that they choose not to be part of a political group based on ethnicity.
  11. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Yes that's what I was getting at with "can't be arsed". :cool:
  12. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    It could be a lot stronger than 'can't be arsed', though, which was my point.
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  13. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    It might be semantic, but i believe the usual term is "describe yourself as" or "are" disabled - because that at least implies something material - that someone is disabled by society not meeting their needs (social model) or by an impairment or condition (medical model). Also some Deaf people and autistic people specifically say they don't identify as disabled (because they see being Deaf or autistic as positive) so wouldn't tick a box that says they identify as disabled, but might still see themselves as affected by ableism or usually describe themselves as disabled on forms like this.
  14. crossthebreeze

    crossthebreeze Well-Known Member

    I filled in an equal opps form yesterday that came with a job application for a large national organisation. The first three boxes they wanted you to tick were
    Gender (female, male)
    Gender identity (female, intersex, male, non binary, prefer not to say, trans)
    Is your gender identity the same as the gender you were assigned at birth? (no, prefer not to say, yes)

    MochaSoul likes this.
  15. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Sexism still exists but you are fine I think with self-id gender identity replacing any kind of monitoring by sex. But this is probably the wrong thread for that.
    MochaSoul likes this.
  16. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Anything else I've never said that you can tell me I'm fine with?
  17. IC3D

    IC3D Post Mid Arc

    You're required to put a photo on your CV in France and my ex said she was regularly turned down for interviews because she was black. Not so colour blind.
  18. Tom A

    Tom A Goat among sheep

    In the past I was pretty cynical about the left's emphasis on trade unions, since in the present day there is the risk of excluding people who are either not in work or working in ununionsied workplaces, especially since many working class people are actually in temporary jobs and zero hours contracts, and in comparison their unionised counterparts can be seen as being in a position of privilege, even if they just have those rights that every worker should be entitled to. I do not dismiss the trade union movement entirely, but it is just one aspect to the struggle, and trade unionism needs to reach beyond the workplace in order to gain new relevance, but that goes for any movement dedicated to class struggle.

    Conversely I see the "ecological struggles" of back then as mainly having a middle-class lifestylist dynamic to them (particularly Climate Camp and the forerunners to it), part of an activist subculture where they can afford to live the most eco-friendly lifestyle possible, buy the nice organic food from their "worker's" co-op rather than a big nasty supermarket, and wear the organic Fairtrade hemp clothes since they can afford to not get everything from Primark. But my past experiences left me rather jaded in that regard. However I still have a romantic view of the road protests of the 90s which did engage the grassroots and people from all walks of life, going far beyond "Swampy" (a hero of mine at the time all the same).

    In the last few months of my time in Left Unity I finally got round to getting onto the relevant groups and mailing lists of their Disabled People's Caucus, which seemed by then to be promoting the latest news from DPAC etc. I recall them having a huge hang-up over the term "person with disabilities" rather than "disabled person", preferring the latter as it embellished the disabled as an identity (this was something that was also mentioned when I helped work with a friend in the party on getting an anti-ATOS motion to conference). I one commented on their Facebook group that I personally did not see any issue with "person with disabilities" since I did not want to let my disability define my life nor did I see it a core component of my identity. I got a pretty curt reply accusing me of being ignorant of disabled people's politics (or at least their brand of it), and ending on how he saw disability as key to who he was as a person, insinuating that was how all disabled people should see their disability. Again, any view that contradicts groupthink will be dismissed, and in some cases will risk ostracism from the group.

    Fast forward two years and I have recently joined the Labour Party, still finding my way around and yet to get my feet wet (intend to attend a ward meeting next month). There is almost certainly a disabled people's caucus or similar organisation in the Labour Party, which I will probably investigate at some point but I don't hold up much hopes that it isn't afflicted by the same narcissistic IDpol that was characteristic of such groups in Left Unity (although LU was pretty notorious for its intense navel gazing and how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin debates). Like with the BAME group, I wonder how representative any disabled people's groups in Labour would be of disabled people as a whole within the party. The Left Unity Disabled People's Caucus didn't really represent my views that often, other than being common allies in fights against the usual suspects. I wonder if there is an elitism at play, and not only, if at all, because of "privilege" in the IDpol sense, but because such groups are predominated by people who have spent their entire political lives arguing for a specific politics, and because their politics drives them to participate in political groups and make their voices heard, they are the most visible and become associated with this groups, something I used to refer to as "dictatorship of the loudest" when it came to why ordinary people (for want of a better term) were underrepresented in left wing organisations in general. Anyone from outside who wants to come on board either (a) decides to tow the line and support the groupthink, (b) keeps quiet regarding points they disagree on, (c) speaks out but gets ignored at best, ganged up on at worst, or (d) decides these people don't speak for them and leave to do their own thing. I've often ended up doing a combination of (b), then (c) on issues that really do stick in my craw, followed eventually by (d).
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  19. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Both your view and mine are true. Those struggles had those dynamics within them (and more besides) and often there was tension among the participants relating to these. I hate to keep mentioning Aufheben, but they wrote some really good stuff around this back then.

    I also think to some extent the identity politics/liberal politics block won out as the dominant political force in some areas, climate camp especially for example. It's not a coincidence that I see many of those types having moved seamlessly into the intersectional/identity politics scene.

    (Of course it's also very possible to be a militant in terms of politics and activity, and have a lifestyle/sub-cultural orientation and perspective.)
    crossthebreeze, BigTom and Tom A like this.
  20. chilango

    chilango Neither Westminster nor Brussels....

    Earth First! and the signal workers. RTS and the Liverpool Dockers. Some interesting things. Might post more tomorrow.
  21. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    On the Today Programme this morning there was some discussion of Sara Khan being appointed to lead the new "Commission for Countering Extremism".

    The woman defending Khan was straight in there from the jump saying that the only reason she was being criticised was because she was a Muslim woman. Which was clearly bullshit as the critics were also Muslim women (including the odious Baroness Warsi).

    What this means, though, tactically - is that a fair chunk of the limited time for discussion revolved around "well I am ALSO a Muslim woman and blah blah blah" rather than talking about the issue itself.
    Beats & Pieces likes this.
  22. Calamity1971

    Calamity1971 If Mr Peanut says It's okay, then it is.

  23. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    I suspect littlebabyjesus was talking about the fact that in France, they don't keep (anonymous) monitoring figures of ethnic background as they do here for various things because everyone is French and therefore equal.

    It's bollocks of course as there obviously is discrimination (based on photo/name etc) just no figures to back it up.

    (My experience when I lived in France was that racism was a lot worse there than it is here.)
    hipipol and littlebabyjesus like this.
  24. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    krink, mojo pixy, Tom A and 4 others like this.
  25. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Also continues in their safer spaces policy.... no women's spaces please, they're transphobic...

    Safer Spaces Agreement
    MochaSoul, Tom A and Sunset Tree like this.
  26. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    MochaSoul and LynnDoyleCooper like this.
  27. It’s a euphemism for liberalism I think.
  28. fishfinger

    fishfinger تپلی

  29. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    This 'agreement' reminds me of of the declining years of The Lesbian Line (a helpline in London) when they stopped accepting volunteers who were white, not disabled or not against S&M sex.

    That was shortly before they closed forever.
    MochaSoul, Tom A, Sunset Tree and 4 others like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice