2007 - 2020

At the Intersection

trump_feelings_tshirtsIf you’re heads buzzing with the debate about privilege, class, power and how to talk to each other that’s been running before and through the Trump victory  (‘Trigger warning: The Left can’t connect with the working class’) – then this piece by Jessica Valenti  (‘Vote shaming’ Trump supporters is fair. What they have done is shameful’) – won’t really help at all, but read it anyway:

“The same people who wear shirts that read “fuck your feelings” and rail against “political correctness” seem to believe that there should be no social consequences for their vote. I keep hearing calls for empathy and healing, civility and polite discourse. As if supporting a man who would fill his administration with white nationalists and misogynists is something to simply agree to disagree on.”

Neither will reading this by Harry Giles ‘All the ways we are hurt matter’, but read it anyway.

Neither will this by Laurie Penny ‘Against Bargaining’ but read it anyway:

“The trouble with the five stages of grief is that one of them is bargaining. As a rogue’s gallery of far-right ideologues, white supremacists, and howling authoritarian sociopaths line up to take control of the White House, bargaining is what well-meaning liberals have spent all week doing—at least, those who have not already been personally threatened into silence. They’ve hopped from denying a Trump win was possible to telling themselves and each other that maybe it’ll be alright, just as you might soothe a child in a storm shelter. Maybe the federal government will save us, or moderate conservatives, or Jesus.”

So here we are, at the Intersection, staring in mutual incomprehension.

One of the problems here is that, as Stevie Anderson commented: “…all the ways we hurt do matter. Hard to find a segue from that to doing politics that matter.”

It seems to me that we have lost any sense of collective action – and the two parts of that sentence are intimately connected. A culture of blame needs to be replaced by a culture of solidarity but to do this we need genuine dialogue rather than closing down debate and discussion about the ways forward. And, if the left is in disarray then thinking differently and considering different ways of being and doing seems inevitable.

The debate about language and privilege seems to be the wrong one. If you’re talking to someone face to face (and) as an equal then sophisticated language isn’t a problem. It only becomes a problem if you are talking down to people.

Comments (5)

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  1. Truculent Sheep says:

    And once again, the only answer is that we’re simply not being nice enough to the far right.

  2. Peter Burnett says:

    The stating of the phrase political correctness in “inverted commas” is funnier the longer I look at it.

    Do we have to accept all this ‘demise of the left’ stuff, just because Stefan Molyneux and Sargon of Akkad say so? Reading some of this is like their message re-iterated, it’s weak. Are we really talking about the left – – with or without a capital L?

    I’m left but I’m no so-called SJW, and all of my friends are left too, and not SJWs. So who are we talking about here?

    Collective leftist action persists. It just doesn’t have a YouTube channel.

  3. john young says:

    Message from the Kogi,until we re-connect with mother earth until we regain our soul our spirituality,we are lost,Our Lady of Fatima says that through prayer we will become “whole” again,never more so than now,we have lost our way and are carrying on stumbling into the darkness,will our secular world survive?

  4. John Page says:

    Pro Indy demos at Calton Hill and Glasgow Green if Trump gets State visit to UK? Or better still at Faslane with every Green and SNP elected representative at the front?
    John

  5. Yan says:

    Too far gone, even at this point there is no comprehension on the left side as to the political turmoil that their ideological dabbling has unleashed.

    That ideological dabbling and brainwashing had no respect for boundaries even extending into academia from the low to the high.

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