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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Typology of Leftism

There are two general types of leftism:

1. The old-fashioned class consciousness / class solidarity leftism. The response to issues is based on asking, “Is there a class conflict here? Is anybody getting exploited?”

2. The consumerist leftism. The response to issues is based on asking, “Are any individual choices being thwarted here? Are any individuals prevented from doing what they want to do?” 

I’m obviously in group 1 and feel sad that it’s so successfully marginalized by group 2. 

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4 thoughts on “Typology of Leftism

  1. Stringer Bell on said:

    Here’s one in the second camp.

    Jennifer Palmieri, Director of Communications for the Clinton campaign:

    “You are wrong to look at these crowds and think that means everyone wants $15 an hour.”

    “It’s all about identity on our side now,” she continued. “They want to show, ‘He does not support me. I support you, refugee. I support you, immigrant in my neighborhood. I want to defend you.’ Women who are rejecting Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are saying ― they’re saying this is power for them. ‘Donald Trump doesn’t take me seriously? Well, I’m showing you my value and my power.’ And I think it’s like our own version of identity politics on the left that’s more empowering.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-protesters-15-hour_us_58a1efe1e4b03df370d8db2b

    Forget about a living wage. Just reaffirm your identity and stop shopping at Nordstrom. Excellent advice for a worker at a fast food restaurant! Oh, and remember to Lean In.

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    • When I read the quote I thought she was being sarcastic. That one should say this kind of thing completely in earnest is completely ridiculous. These people are so out of touch, they should all go jump off a cliff. Freaks.

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    • Shakti on said:

      I started watching the video and I had to stop.

      She is completely clueless and is suggesting events in lieu of (instead of in addition to) voting down cabinet members. Look lady, if your senator/congressman can’t vote down something dumb when it doesn’t cost you politically, why does anyone want to vote for a generic party member, let alone come out? There’s no indication that Republicans in Congress will swap votes or make concession in exchange for votes with Democrats in Congress, if past behavior is any indication. Pelosi should know this, for one.

      This “Look at how reasonable I am and how unreasonable they are” has done NOTHING politically. It’s very nice and soothing to reasonable people who just sit at home but does nothing to get them to the voting booth and have their votes counted. Reasonability reads as weakness to these other people.

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  2. On a semi-related note, I read an interesting interview on Jezebel with a critic of the consumerist “choice” feminism that you are also critical of. It was good food for thought, as were comments, even I think some of it is bullshit. I’d be interested to hear what you think: http://themuse.jezebel.com/a-frank-talk-with-jessa-crispin-about-why-modern-day-fe-1792367458

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