This week’s episode of International Marxist Radio welcomes Daniel Morley, a leading comrade of Socialist Appeal, the British section of the International Marxist Tendency, to discuss so-called identity politics, and why Marxists oppose its influence on the class struggle.
In many countries today, identity politics (i.e. the idea that one’s racial, sexual, gender identity etc., rather than social class, determines one’s fundamental interests and worldview) is exploited by right-wing figures in politics and the media. By whipping up controversy around oppressed groups, the so-called culture war has been used to distract people from the ongoing crisis of capitalism and prevent a unified class struggle against the bosses.
More specifically, identity politics has been a favoured weapon of the right against the left: smearing socialists and left-wingers on cooked-up charges of racism, sexism and so on, rather than engaging with their ideas. Shamefully, as the case of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party demonstrates, the reformist left has permitted these false charges to pass unanswered, and allowed themselves to be crushed under a barrage of bile.
With identity politics commanding a degree of influence among young people and even a layer of the labour movement, it is important that Marxists have a clear understanding of its reactionary character. Ultimately, only through a united class struggle against capitalism, which benefits from the division of working people, can all forms of oppression be abolished once and for all.
Read an article by Daniel on this subject: https://www.marxist.com/identity-politics-the-ruling-class-favoured-weapon-against-the-left.htm
The following is a document by the International Marxist Tendency setting out our position on identity politics: https://www.marxist.com/marxist-theory-and-the-struggle-against-alien-class-ideas.htm