Alexander Bard on Fri, 26 Oct 2018 09:20:54 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Identity and difference

For the sake of simplification: Identity politics is Rousseau and class struggle is Marx. All over again.
This explains why Rousseauians have detested Marxists and Marxists have detested Rousseauians for the past 200 years and torn apart The Left again and again in between them.
And the reason is simple: The two strategies are incompatible. because Rousseau based his ideology on the celebration of the victim whereas Marx based his ideology on the celebration of the hero (as heroic class, not as an individual hero as in Nietzsche). Rousseau is destruction (for example as in crush the patriarchy) where Marx is construction (build a matriarchy to match the patriarchy etc).
#metoo is the perfect example of a Rousseauian media hoax where western middle class women take offense in male etiquette in the salons (just check how offended American upper class women turned out to be with Mexican guest workers' glances and vocabularies, they took to the smelling salts like mad at places like Hollywood and Harvard) while Marxists are preoccupied with the continuous exploitation of working class women by middle class men (and women). Today most clearly found in young Kurdish women's fight against ISIS etc. Which is real struggle, as in the streets of Paris and not in the salons of Versailles.
The problem with Rouessauianism being that it really isn't leftist at all (Freud attacks both left and right, Hitler and Stalin, in "Civilization And Its Discontents" for a good reason). The Extreme Right is merely the response to the Rousseuian project of using the white heterosexual man (increasingly the working class white heterosexual man) as the abject to unify all the different identities of the Identity Left's myriad of victimhood appointments. Once everybody else was appointed a victim blaming the WHM it was only a matter of time before the WHM would stand up and turn himself into the victim and voila we had the Extreme Right. Which is of course where workers rightfully skipped The Left and are now lost for good.
It's the same old identitarian epidemic that we had in Europe in the 1930's all over again. And before that in the 1840's. Cheap solution narcissistic populism replacing class struggle proper.
The Left should never have abandoned Marx for Rousseau in the 1970's. But that is what happens when academia takes over political struggle from the working classes and academia is full of ambitious and narcissistic middle class careerists. Camille Paglia is totally right on this point (and way more Marxist than she realizes). This is the mess we live with today. An empty pretentious left without a story.
I'm more a Marxist than ever. Class and class struggle are real. Global. For Marxism to return it needs a new utopian and/or visionary heroic story (the old one was kidnapped and domesticated by capitalism and called social democracy). And tons of realism. We are not even close to build a global society. We need borders that work first of all. I agree 100% with Brendan ONeill here, another Marxist totally opposed to the disaster called Identity Politics.
Because I firmly believe Identity Politics is one sick dead end. And soon a bloody one too. It has infantilized society completely, while identitarianism is also neither left nor right. Rather Identity Politics is Charlottesville and Charlottesville is prophetic. We are bound to see many more meaningless bloody Charlottesvilles soon. And none of them will deal with the issue of class. None.
My hope is that we return to Marx. And cherish adulthood over childhood. My liberal feminist mom is 83 years old, an avid reader of Simone de Beauvoir, and she detests #metoo. I completely understand her (who came up with the idea that women are weak hidden backstabbers rather than strong public activists) and I also share her sentiment only adding Marx to what I believe is the perspective of an important liberal ally. Those are my ten cents.
Best intentions
Alexander Bard

Den fre 26 okt. 2018 kl 07:33 skrev Patrice Riemens <>:
In a French philosophy class 50 yrs ago this thread would have provided
a fantastic 'baccalaureat' exam subject, since it encapsulates the no 1
issue of French philosphy, as expressed in the title Vincent Descombes'
awesome overview of the same: Le Meme et l'Autre (The One and the Other)
being the question whether there is an identity between identity and
difference, or a ... difference.

It also epitomize the emptinesss of discussions of identity, this time
illustrated by a member of Bilwet's famous, but totally vacuous phrase
"rather a complex identity than an identity complex", completely
overlooking that the latter is a consequence of the former, not its

Alterity is just as bad a carrier of progress as identity.

This being said: The Winter Is Coming ...

Cheers all the same, p+2D!

On 2018-10-26 01:36, Johnatan Petterson wrote:
> i have seen isabelle stengers in brussels in 1994 who was dissing
> "economy" as the "real enemy" of movements
> she was connected with.
> the leftish dream of labor never became aesthetic or economic, one
> does not contradict the other.
> on what basis would economy and aesthetic contradict one another?
> economy seems in ari's post like metric.
> spinoza seemed opposed to metric (measurement) in his quest for
> aesthetic freedom.
> how would you plug metrics into the aesthetic (creative) understanding
> ?
> Le ven. 26 oct. 2018 à 01:07, Alice Yang <> a
> écrit :
>> Identity politics _is_ class struggle. The nostalgic leftish dream
>> of labor became aesthetic because it did not include women and the
>> racially oppressed.
>> On Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 6:47 PM ari <> wrote:
>>> The primacy of identity has transmorphed class struggle into
>>> ressentiment politics. Generation identity is the bastard child
>>> of the
>>> failed alterglobalisation movement. If at a time when poverty is
>>> the
>>> source of wealth you insist on denying the economy matters, you
>>> sure
>>> inhabit culture, but it's a culture of denial.
>> --
>> Alice
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