You can argue about whether to call our culture post-modern, multicultural or politically correct. But its fatal contradictions ought to be beyond dispute. It was driven by the notion that a “rainbow coalition” of groups marginalised by straight white men deserved to be championed: women, gays, ethnic minorities. The alert among you will have noticed the first problem. There is no mention of class. An unemployed ex-miner coughing his guts up in a South Yorkshire council flat may be white, male and straight, but he is not more privileged than a female CEO, let alone a kleptomaniac politician in a post-colonial African state. Yet both the capitalist and the dictator can pose as victims and enjoy a global narrative that casts the sick old man as an oppressor.I always welcome his critiques of authoritarian leftism, and I do think the exclusion of class in social justice circles is a huge problem. (If one explained by the transient nature of class. The same can be said for age-- something else generally ignored by online activists. Though if most online activists are young and middle-class, those biases exist anyway.) But it's not CEOs and dictators claiming victimhood, it's those with some "privilege" but no real power to speak of finding themselves in a community that prizes suffering. No one wants to be an oppressor, so the only option is to identify as oppressed in some way.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Lack of privilege isn't a virtue
Nick Cohen explains the problem with equating marginalization with virtue:
Posted by KP at 8:56 AM