Alt Left: The Relationship Between Feminism and Marxism and Between Marxism and Identity Politics

Rod Fleming: Hmmm…Gloria Steinem took most of her political thinking straight from Marx, and Steinem is at the root of modern feminism, along with Dworkin, another disgrace to the species and the most overtly sex-negative of the credible 20th-C authors. There were other prominent socialist thinkers than Marx who are also reflected in Steinem but the identitarianism inherent in modern feminism seems to come from Marx. We can argue as to whether their interpretation of Marx was accurate or not, but it’s clear that they are reflecting his influence.
Essentially, Marx depends on identities — proletariat, bourgeoisie –and identities are obviously the core of modern Identitarian or ‘Intersectional’ feminist thinking.
Marx, along with Engels and later Lenin, of course, was a Jew who had left Germany because of antisemitism (specifically, the problems over Jewish emancipation) there. I think it’s likely that the experience of actually being a scapegoat did have an influence on his thinking and the progress of Marxist political philosophy generally. It’s probably not possible to be a Jewish author and not think in identitarian terms, since it is impossible to think outside the Logos and the Jewish Logos is conceived on the notion of an essential and heritable Jewish identity that is independent of belief.
That is why atheist Jews are still Jews; being Jewish is not about theology but about an unimpeachable sense of identity that exists through blood. An interesting sidelight is found in the US, where people whose families, for generations, were born in the US and who are themselves indistinguishable from any other modern white American, still claim to be Scots, even though they would understand hardly a word of any Scottish dialect, archaic or modern and have not a scoobie about Scottish culture. I have never, ever, encountered a person of US birth who claimed to be English. Identitarianism is much deeper than one might think.
Whatever, identitarianism, repackaged by feminists as ‘intersectionality’ is the curse of modern life in the West.

Dworkin never talked much about Marx. She just talked about how much she hated men.  Radical feminists say they are Communists and they are, but they never talk political economics. All they ever talk about is how much they hate men. Incidentally, Socialist Feminists would have thrown Dworkin out of their movement for that because Socialist Feminists forbade feminists from hating men and said men and women workers had to struggle together against capitalism.
I haven’t the faintest idea if any of this is true. I have read quite a bit of those early feminists, and I rarely hear them quote Marx. I have read Steinem quite a bit, and I can’t remember her quoting Marx. More importantly, is Gloria Steinem a Marxist? Hell no.
Radical feminism came out of Marxism in a sense, but they substituted class struggle for the struggle between the sexes. Instead of proletariat and bourgeois, you have women and men, women as an oppressed class and men as an oppressor class.
The Socialist Feminists completely reject Radical Feminists on this question and accuse them of substituting class struggle with gender struggle. For Socialist Feminists, the primary struggle is a class one. Further, both Marxist and Socialist Feminists officially state that men and women workers need to work together to battle capitalism and establish a more just society, so neither wing is much into man-hating, although on the Western Left, you find an awful of lot of quoting of radical feminists. Radical feminism formed the theoretical base on the whole 2nd Wave and much of the 3rd Wave.
Marx was not an Identitarian at all. In fact, many socialists and Marxists have strongly opposed modern Identity Politics as basically bourgeois politics that does nothing but divide the working class. Many of the worst critics of IP have come out of the Left. They really hate dividing the working class into all of these micro-identities.
Marx never discussed IP in any form.
He barely talked about the Woman Question. Engels talked about it more.
Marx and Engels were both backwards on race, and neither liked homosexuals.
Both of them were rather socially conservative men by our standards.
Proletariat and bourgeois are not identities. Those are classes. Identities are generally things you are more or less born with – race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

Rod Fleming: –and identities are obviously the core of modern Identitarian or ‘Intersectional’ feminist thinking.

This is correct.

Rod Fleming: Marx, along with Engels and later Lenin, of course, was a Jew who had left Germany because of antisemitism (specifically, the problems over Jewish emancipation) there.

I don’t think so. Marx was an atheist Jew. In 1844, he wrote a tract called On the Jewish Question which bashed Judaism to Hell and back. It has been labeled an anti-Semitic tract forever now, but I don’t think it was. He didn’t like any religion and he hated Christianity and Islam just as much.
Marx left Germany because he was a journalist and editor of small newspapers and journals and a political organizer who founded some of the first Communist organizations in German or in Europe for that matter. These organizations were shut down and raided, and a number of their members were imprisoned. Marx fled political persecution and imprisonment to Paris and then to London.
I think it’s likely that the experience of actually being a scapegoat did have an influence on his thinking and the progress of Marxist political philosophy generally.
Except that to my knowledge, Marx never experienced much anti-Semitism. As an atheist Jew, Marx had all but left the Jews. Marx also called for the assimilation of the Jews, and many Jews consider that to be antisemitic. There was a not a huge amount of anti-Semitism even in Germany in the 1840’s and 1850’s. People were too busy worrying about other things. Germanic, especially Austrian, antisemitism really took off in the late 1800’s when racial antisemitism first got started with Mars and the rest. Mars founded the first Anti-Semitic League in Germany in ~1880. However, by that time, he had already married and divorced three different Jewish women. Perhaps this is why he turned anti-Semite? Just kidding.

Rod Fleming: It’s probably not possible to be a Jewish author and not think in identitarian terms,

This is probably true but no one gets more outside of the Jews than Jewish Marxists, and no Jews have criticized the Jews as strongly as the Marxist Jews. They are widely considered to be self-haters. For instance, Trotsky, when asked if he were Jewish, described his nationality as “working class.”

Please follow and like us:
error0
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

One thought on “Alt Left: The Relationship Between Feminism and Marxism and Between Marxism and Identity Politics”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *