Tagged: intersectionality

Battle of evermore

March 8th is the real May Day.

Liberal feminism is low hanging fruit for any competent critic. It’s been criticized ad nauseum. Will yet another book add anything substantially new to the “to be read” pile? It is doubtful. It would be another matter to bring a critical torch to bear on the current post-liberal feminist orthodoxy: intersectionality. It needs to be torched. But this would require more courage and ingenuity than is need to bash the liberal women of the second wave. Unlike the critique of liberal feminism, there are no well-worn grooves in which to slot an argument.

Outrage slavery

The latest twitter outrage (as reported in The Guardian):

Meryl Streep and three other cast members of the film Suffragette have been the subject of criticism online, after appearing in a photo shoot last week wearing T-shirts featuring a controversial slogan.
“I’d rather be a rebel than a slave,” the slogan read, quoting a 1913 speech by women’s rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst.

Those who can’t comprehend metaphor and/or analogical reasoning will be the ruin of contemporary civilization.

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The dirty secret of the National Rifle Manufacturers Association: mass shootings are good for business.

With his blundering in Ukraine and now Syria Mr Putin has become the Russian version of G. W. Bush.

Democrats appear to be taking seriously polling data suggesting Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup. Why? He won’t be elected President. He may not even win the Republican nomination. For now, enjoy the misery of the Republican Party and its Fox News politburo.

The unshirting of the Air France executives, which revealed flabby abs, is the most creative act of popular protest since riding the stang went out of favor.

Clock strikes ten

The shift from humourless intersectionality to ironic, lifestyle feminism is welcome. Thank you, Ms Dunham.

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In the wake of the Greece debacle (for Mr Tsipras and the demagogue Varoufakis), talk of the final days of capitalism is sure to ensue. It’s worth remembering that the end of capitalism was just around the corner. In 1848. The final crisis of capitalism never quite happened. Hence, in its place there arose the “crisis of crisis theory” (Claus Offe). Anyone recall the “falling rate of profit”?

Capitalism is always innovativing, which Marx recognised. Methods of procuring profit are revolutionised constantly; whatever does not work, is abandoned. What Marx failed to recognise was the role that the state would play in extending the shelf life of capitalism well beyond his worst fears. The state is not merely the “executive committee” of the bourgeoisie in its struggle against the working class; it is also an engine of capitalist expansion. Most importantly, the state makes the ethereal, invisible hand quite visible to investors.

The term “postcapitalism” is a fudge on the fact that it’s still capitalism (or “late capitalism” as per Adorno). Mr Graeber is, at best, a theorist of the “last crisis,” not the “next crisis” and certainly not the “final crisis,” which never arrives anyway. My advice: don’t waste time enrolling in Potlatch Economics 101.

Diamond dust

Republicans are falling all over themselves in the rush to pass “gay codes,” under the guise of “religious liberty.” However, they are not doing religion — which is diminished whenever it is used as a justification for bigotry — any favors.

Mr Bernard-Henri Lévy is a buffoon, not to be trusted.

Klitschko is Dubček.

I thought Tony Blair was the Bill Clinton of the Labour Party. It would be foolish to dismiss such a presence.

Spike Lee is hopelessly bourgie.

Intersectionality is just another philosophical attempt to avoid the Real.

Check your privilege checking

Privilege checking is a public shaming ritual that accomplishes rather little other than emotional damage for the victim and smug self-congratulation for the perpetrator. It mistakes the intersectionalist mantra for theoretical insight, empirical accuracy, and political efficacy.

The genealogy of privilege checking stretches back to the early 1970s. The model was established first within “second wave feminism,” when radical (lesbian) feminists challenged the political commitment of their cultural (straight) feminist comrades who continued to love men. By the late 70s and early 80s, it had become the modus operandi of “third wave” feminism in the USA. Books by bell hooks from that era could serve as primers on how to privilege check.

Intersections

Intersectionality was au courant 20 years ago, the era of pitched skirmishes over identity and resistance to postmodernism, when the politics of theory was substituted for a theory of politics. Today, only extremely late adopters trot it out as a cudgel. Around this idea an academic church of sorts has formed, whose adherents, operating much like orthodox Lacanian disciples, are enthralled by a catechism. They mostly speak to each other, policing errors, reaffirming the faith, rarely venturing outside their beloved community. This is why a simple question can set off a fierce counter-attack: the adherents experience it like a sharp slap in the face. It is as if the intersectionalists suddenly realize there’s a reality outside their idea that doesn’t receive it as an article of faith. The shock of this negative epiphany can be met only by a swift over-reaction.