The Poverty of Privilege Politics

From Shift Magazine

Privilege. Now there’s a word we are hearing a lot. The concept and finger-pointing of privilege is coming to increasingly concern us as a problem and a poor semblance within the alternative left. We feel not only embarrassed by the simplicity of this undisclosed and undefined overarching theory but concerned that it further leads a stagnant movement down more dire dead ends. And yet our disquiet is not because we believe interpersonal politics are less worthy of our attention, nor because we are without awareness and rage about the oppressive power structures within our lives and political milieus. We do not believe that these are minor details that can wait til after the revolution. Whilst we are currently organising what is suspiciously like a women’s consciousness raising group, we dismiss those laughable and cringeworthy lists that have gone viral in the social networking world. These might appear as conflicting positions, but as we hope to explain, we do not find them so.

As mentioned, we are confronted with endless lists asking us to ‘Check our Privilege.’ We have encountered the ‘heterosexual privilege checklist” the “cis privilege checklist” and the “able bodied checklist.” (examples of these checklists are included at the end of the article- the Eds.) We think you get the picture? Soon we will be carrying around score cards wishing to be the most victimised person in the world. This sort of privilege scorekeeping is tallied in our everyday encounters but most often called out in a certain political context, such as a political meeting, discussion or lecture. We now are presented with the ‘manarchist’ who uses his male privilege taking up space in meetings. Taking up space is not seen as only about the amount a person of privilege speaks but often the language used. We see a growth in these subcultural movements in the UK of an adherence to a new political language and analysis with a centrality of privilege as an overarching ideology. We find an anti-intellectualism where both theorising and militancy are seen as a privilege in and of themselves, as if acting on the front line as WELL as analysis are only weapons of the oppressive rather than weapons of the oppressed. We find this dangerous because it evokes that the most ‘oppressed’ are helpless and weak, encourages a lack of activity and analysis away from ‘make do and mend’ circles, and further rarefies the notion of resistance.

Another vagary is the self-flagellating groups emerging that prop up a culture of shame. For example, recent workshops have emerged under the theme of ‘Men dealing with their patriarchal shit.’ Whilst we want individuals to examine, analyse and challenge their own behaviour in political terms these punkier than thou equal ops sessions reinforce the holier than thou attitude of the attendees….and the ones who could do with it rammed down their hairy throats wouldn’t dream of attending. These examples of new emerging themes demonstrate that on one side of the coin you have a points based oppression outlook (we’ve made the complexities of power into a handy ticklist for you!) and on the other you have individualised guilt and self- victimisation (which is another way of re-focusing on the ‘more privileged’ ironically). This focus on the individual and self as the problem is a product of privilege leading us nowhere. It’s a dead end. We feel a political lens of privilege is divisive and unhelpful when we are part and parcel of a system that already thrives on the division of the working classes, through gender, class and sexual oppression.

So how then do we divide these concepts so we neither become a self parodying shell of victim politics nor replicate the power structures we seek to destroy? How does this differ from an analysis of power? Does it permit spaces for movement and resistance? Or does it revert back to the activist quagmire of guilt, shame and stagnation? These are questions that should be discussed within our wider political groups.

We recognise the well meaningness of checking your privilege. We too understand that people are silenced not just as individuals but due to identities. However, we perceive wrong footed attempts to right this balance. In meetings we witness call outs where someone will announce that six men have spoken and no women. This is an attempt to expose the hidden subtleties of patriarchy and male dominance, and to empower women. We have never seen this work to readdress power relations. This call of male privilege may serve to quieten the six men who have spoken, but it does not give more voice to the silenced. More awkwardly, it is often uncomfortable for the women in the group who may feel, as we do in this scenario, an obligation to speak, but with it comes an unnatural sense of representation. The opposite usually takes place; a silencing of people rather than the growth of new conversations. One that is forced, fake and full of disdain. Whilst the next person, woman, is to speak but feels an artificial pressure of representation that we are supposed to be speaking on behalf of all women, from an identity as ‘woman’, and only as ‘woman’. And when we, or she, speaks, it is of course as a woman within patriarchy and to a room where she is being observed and judged by the six men who have spoken, under a political male gaze. Because of these things, and more, we do not see these clumsy attempts moving any steps toward challenging sexist oppression. To do that we need first to acknowledge intersectionality of power, history and privilege. With a singular identification of privilege we reduce the myriad of power relations within the group to a straightforward visible one. We don’t want a politics that reduces and simplifies power into an ideology of privilege. Intersectionalities of power, oppression and privilege need to be examined mixed with relations of capital. Analysing and pinpointing privilege to an obsessive extent in political circles can be demobilising as well as futile. But most damaging of all, these performances of privilege call out, mislead us into believing that challenging patriarchy within our interpersonal relations occurs within the formalities of a meeting and it is who speaks rather than what they say.

Because ultimately, it is not woman’s voice we should be seeking but feminist voice. A feminist voice is not one based on identity but rather on a shared transformative politics. A feminist voice is a stance rather than a given. As bell hooks reminds us; feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression. We suggest this will often be best realised through those most facing sexist oppression but also we are vigilant to note that not all oppressed are resisting, subverting or fighting this oppression, nor are those who seem to benefit in ways from it always or automatically in alignment with the oppressive forces. So where does that leave identity and privilege in the struggle for freedoms? Understanding politics through the lens of privilege is intrinsically entangled with identity politics. And, for reasons stated, we find identity politics a monolithic and restrictive way to understand the world. We are our identities but we are never just one identity, we are a complexity of them. And identities do not line up in a straightforward ABC of oppression, no matter how much the privilegists want them to. This just falls into binaries that we are attempting to escape from, or creates more. The queer movement challenges the notions of “men” and “women” yet seems to be opting instead for “cis” or “trans” giving new permanence and boundaries to our gender. This is not to downplay the struggles but we believe that these fixed linear positions are not just unhelpful but often false. Cis gender may not seem intrinsically a privilege to the women killed by domestic violence or childbirth. Nor male privilege to a gay Ugandan. The relationality of power has to be optimistically understood if we are to move beyond an idle determinism and singular identity code. But, also, to resist we must understand our power; the strength in our collective power rather than this frugal analysis of power where privilege divides us into mundane categories of oppression. We need to galvanise on our power as a class, as this class being fucked over by capital within all it’s facets of everyday life. Rather than creating new prisons and new boxes to further tear ourselves to pieces within, we need to analyse and act with fluidity and creativity in terms of our intersectional identities in the kitchens, the bedrooms, the meeting spaces, the pubs and in the streets we demand to occupy.

Privilege Checklists:

Tabitha Bast and Hannah McClure are engaged in the following crimes of passion; mostly together, but some as singular adventures – the Space Project (a radical education Space), as writers (latest article in “Occupy Everything: Reflections on Why its Kicking Off Everywhere), New Weapons Reading Group, various Queer ventures, Plan C, Footprint Worker’s Co-operative, working with domestic violence perpetrators, parenting, and general Leeds/Redhills based agitation.



yay. thanks for posting.

Oh wow!! I always thought the privilege checklist was just a little tongue and cheek prod and identity politics, but no, it really does exist.

I totally hear the "I'm more oppressed than you" being played all the time and you got to think, it's a tad bit bizarre/outright offensive to hear someone that rides a bike everyday talking about being victims of ableist on account of their peanut allergy or because they have a fucked up thyroid...ect.

When bell hooks interviewed Ice Cube (yes really), bell mentioned that they had bought a BMW and that some people were surprised by the purchase. She thought it was racist that they would focus on her buying a luxury car.

But, did she not know that was seen as anti-capitalist and that her buying a BMW might seem a little off...Not in the sense of consumerist politics, but just plain hypocrisy. People are dying in the streets and a wealthy tenured university professor who is critical of capitalism but is enjoying the spoils of the system.

What would it change for bell hooks to drive a less luxurious car?

i don't think it's the car purchase that is the point but that it automatically triggered a "you're racist" remark. but who knows.

"People are dying in the streets and a wealthy tenured university professor who is critical of capitalism but is enjoying the spoils of the system."

That's probably the ultimate point.

Bingo, non white male members of the elite may well run into rude shit and feeling out of place in elite places, but I have a hard time caring. Cops with stutters may be the butt of other cops jokes, I don't care about that either.
OK, maybe that's not fair, bell hooks has probably done less shitty things than most members of her class but the point is I don't give a shit about the ways that class treats its own members that look different. It's wrong but irrelevant to me.

Until I see "wealthy tenured university professors" show up to our protests / black blocs / meetings / event nights, etc, why would I see them as anything other than "above us"?

My comrades are ones I see on at least a monthly basis.

Noam Chomsky probably owns a Rolls-Royce, but does that make him less of an anarchist ?

maybe not, but believing the social state needs to -- should -- get bigger before it gets smaller definitely does.

Yeah yeah---- and Fanon was into white women, MLK packed a pistol and was unfaithful to his wife, Huey P became a crackhead.....blah blah blah....and so on and so forth.....SO WHAT?! Does this really invalidate all of the work that these people put in to bring about change? This society is packed full of hypocrisy, and you and I are not exempt. Hell, the entire first world are net exploiters of the global south; we are parasites.
I'm not going to think lower of bell hooks for drivin a benz.

Yes It discredits EVERYTHING they have ever said, or ever will say.

'discreditation' is a subjective analysis.
if a person tells one lie and one truth - they might be a liar,
but it doesn't change the fact that that 'truth' is true.
this shit is so old.

Nope, either you are a truth teller or a liar. Bell Hooks, Frantz Fanon, and MLK all were/are liars, therefore everything they say is false. Stop making excuses for these slimy hypocrites.


bell hook is a first worlder, on top of that she's a wealthy college professor.

When she talks about capitalism being bad, laugh at her. The anarchists I like are poor.

Yes, the nobility of poverty!

No my friend, it's the WILL to poverty. (I'm just here to confuse the semantics)

You have to wonder about the good faith of someone who claims to be against consumerism, class society etc., yet drives around in a super-expensive car that most people can't afford. Frankly, it's obscene. Anarchists don't have to go around in rags, and we're all hypocritical to some extent, but if you push that argument far enough you can end up justifying anything. If you don't feel in your bones that it's disgusting to live a wealthy, luxurious lifestyle while billions are oppressed, I'm not going to trust your commitment to anarchist principles. We all compromise to the extent it's necessary, but it's not necessary to make a six-figure salary at a prestigious university where people are brainwashed into the system, etc.


just kidding. but what's not a luxurious lifestyle compared to 1billion permanently hungry people in the world?

Yeah comrade, its a terribly slippery slope. however, so is moralism, which you seem to have discovered

Not moralism, just a healthy hatred for the class enemy and a belief that theory is bullshit without practice.

agreed. we/people are relational. categories are idealization. if we start believing in categories we become straitjacketed by generalized definitions; e.g. ‘husband’ ‘american’, ‘christian’, ‘atheist’, ‘gay’ etc. and the associated profiles of what these categories are supposed to do.

meanwhile, bell hooks ” ...has focused on the interconnectivity of race, capitalism, and gender and what she describes as their ability to produce and perpetuate systems of oppression and class domination.” in other words, she builds another ‘bellhookian’ social theory of ‘what we should be doing’ that is BASED ON CATEGORIES [race, capitalism, gender]. is the BMW a departure from her self-declared category profile? or is the mistake to take language based ‘category’ idealizations seriously?

the problem is in imposing ‘categories’ in the first place as convenient descriptors and then taking them to be ‘real’. out-of-balance relations are not going to be solved by building solutions based on the categories. these categories are psychological impressions coming from ‘language’. they do not exist in nature. we impose our notion of species or category over a particular node in a relationally interdependent ecosystem, and it is useful for discourse but the relational ecosystem is the physical reality, while the notional ‘things-in-themselves categories’ are ‘idealizations’. our attempts to ‘manage’ the categories are like environmentalists’ [as contrasted with deep ecologists’] attempts to manage species on a one-by-one basis; i.e. ‘there goes the ecosystem’ [the ecosystem derives from relational interdependence rather than a linear combination of the dynamics of the parts; i.e. the relationally interdependent ecosystemic dynamic is in a natural precedence over the dynamics of the individual participants; e.g. extinctions in the geologic record show up in ‘batches’.].

cultivating and sustaining balance and harmony in social relations doesn’t need to be intellectually determined, based on categories [which do not define individuals but which are the product of language-based idealization/generalization], ... it is best done through direct sensitive engaging that suspends the imposing of language-based categorizations. why should a male treat his female friend differently from his male friend, other than on the basis of how she prefers to be treated and what works in a mutually acceptable way? why pre-empt the relational dynamic by interposing ‘gender profiling’ from a book, bell hooks' book or some other ‘authority’ on category profiling?

there are no heroes, and there never have been.

Currently listed as #10 on google search out of nearly 2 million searches

No, his voting makes him not an anarchist.

Maybe if he actually believed in "people power"...

This article discusses ‘categories’ as if they are something ‘physically real’. That is the problem; ... people taking categories to be ‘real’ as in ‘things-in-themselves’. There are only ‘relations’ in the relational physical space of our sensory experience and ‘relations’ give rise to ‘patterns’ and ‘appearances’ without ever actually producing ‘things-in-themselves’. The low pressure system and the high pressure system are ‘relational’ dynamics that have an associated ‘appearance’ that ONLY IN LANGUAGE, because it is discursively convenient, do we treat as separate/different/opposite ‘things-in-themselves’. There are no ‘things-in-themselves’; this is abstraction, absolutism, idealization that, while convenient to 'discourse' and 'economy of thought' [Mach], are not 'physically real'.

As Mach, Nietzsche and other philosophers have continued to point out, ‘categories’; e.g. ... male, female, queer, trans, proletariat, bourgeoisie, are ‘idealizations’. They are a way of ‘talking about’ the relational dynamics of the space we share inclusion in. There are male and female 'forms' in many different cultures [and animal families] and it is 'relational dynamics' that define them, and where contention arises, there are no innate thing-in-itself 'identities' other than by 'word definitions' and 'common belief' in them.

The politics of identity and privilege build on the confusing of idealization for physical reality. This sort of politics is also operative at the scale of ‘nations’. We have categories of nations as well, ‘powerful’, ‘weak’, ‘rich’, ‘poor’, ‘civilized’, ‘savage’, ‘mono-racial’, ‘multi-racial’.

Do you believe in ‘nations’ aka ‘sovereign states’ as 'real things-in-themselves'? If so, you probably believe in faeries and leprechauns. Even in the view of serious thinking ‘law historians’, the sovereign state is a ‘SECULARIZED THEOLOGICAL CONCEPT’ that stands or falls on the basis of people BELIEVING in it. The 'believers' cultivate and sustain BELIEF in it, by speaking its name over and over in contexts that treat it as real. Does any group of animals without language have anything like a ‘sovereign state’? Of course, not. The ‘sovereign state’ is the product of language and has no basis whatsoever in physical reality. Sure, if you get a bunch of believers in something, they will behave as if it were something that ‘really existed’ and their behaviours would imply that there was something ‘real’ there, like the sacredness in a cow, or white elephant, and their behavioural dynamics would be physically real, but when one searched for the source of their behaviour, it would not lead back to anything tangible, it would lead back to an idea in their heads, and idea/belief that everyone, the group of believers, shared.

Want to create a new sovereign state? ... the state of Queeria or Lesbia, all you need is a group of people who come up with these WORDS and if they have sufficient money and guns to back them up, they can seize a piece of land that is weakly defended somewhere and unilaterally make a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE of the new sovereign state of Queeria, and negotiate non-aggression treaties with the major world powers, who have gone through the same process of creating belief-based pseudo-existences some time back, offering them some sort of trade or other concessions, and you will be in business. After a while, when the media has got hold of it, people will tip their hat at you and say; oh, you’re from Queeria, ... that sounds like a really nice place. My next door neighbour took his vacation there last year.

There is no difference in creating ‘categories’. They are like phonetic alphabet based words, purely symbolic with no inherent meaning in the ‘word’. The meaning comes from a definition that is supported by nothing other than ‘COMMON BELIEF’.

Yes, of course, the ‘category’ often has a distinctive appearance. You can come up with one by wearing a distinctive hat, like a turban, or putting a veil over your face, and people will IDENTIFY you as a ‘category’ on the basis of ‘appearance’. ‘Identity’ is all about the combination of ‘APPEARANCES’ and ‘BELIEF IN DEFINITIONS’.

“So [since the problem of certainty in identity such as A=A is handled, in Euclidian geometry, by invoking the notion of invariable solids] “objects” are implicitly assumed to be invariable bodies. Therefore the axioms of geometry already contain an irreducible assumption which does not follow from the axioms themselves. Axiomatic systems provide us with “faulty definitions” of objects, definitions that are grounded not in formal logic but in a hypothesis — a “prejudice” as Hans-Georg Gadamer might say — that is prior to logic. As a corollary, our logic of identity cannot be said to be necessary and universally valid. “Such axioms,” says Poincaré, “would be utterly meaningless to a being living in a world in which there are only fluids.” — Vladimir Tasic

If we can ‘fit’ a geometric form to the ‘appearances’, we have ourselves an ‘identity’, even if it is included within a continually transforming relational spatial-plenum, as modern physics describes the physical world we live in, and as our sensory experience informs us is the case [the geometric form of a sovereign state is fixed, even if the land on which it is superimposed is slumping into the ocean depths, and being washed away by rainfall runoff and blown away by the wind, not to mention that the lithosphere behaves as a convecting fluid that is purely relational and has no absolute 'solid ground' to it, other than by way of the notional geometric solids concepts we psychologically impose on it'.

“The skillfully drawn borders that cartographers have provided for us are ... spiritual and philosophical abstractions representative of a form of quasi-belief. They are ... not detached maps of reality as proponents would have us believe. These geographies reflect an ardent desire to make (or impose) sovereignty a physical reality as natural as the mountains, rivers and lakes....” – Mark Owen Lombardi, ‘Third-World Problem-Solving and the 'Religion' of Sovereignty’: Trends and Prospects’

All of this ‘category’ language game-play confusion associates with the ‘Standard Average European Languages’ (SAE languages) as discussed by Edward Sapir, Benjamin Whorf, Moonhawk Alford et al. It never existed in the oral tradition of indigenous aboriginals.

“Over 300 million people on earth today can be said to be truly "indigenous" -- living on lands which they have inhabited since time immemorial. In every instance, indigenous communities are legally circumscribed by one or more nation-states, within territorial boundaries drawn by government geography. These 300 million constitute an increasingly self-aware force for global rethinking of the nature of power. Their challenge is increasingly overt and serious to the world's political structure.” – Peter D’Errico, law professor emeritus, Univ. of Massachusetts

So what did the aboriginals of Turtle Island say when people flooded in from Europe and flashed their new ‘identity cards’ to the indigenous peoples? Sure, yeah, you say that you are an ‘American’ and that you have certain rights and privileges and guaranteed freedoms that go with your ‘identity’. Where does this come from, this word ‘American’? ‘Oh, I see, ‘your identity as an American was named in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, for his discovery of the mainland of Turtle Island’. ‘YOUR DISCOVERY’ is nothing other than a partial cure for your gross ignorance and tremendous hubris. Your identity derives from nothing other than your ego combined with your SAE language whose architecture is based on idealizing appearances as ‘things-in-themselves’!

“In its origin language belongs in the age of the most rudimentary form of psychology. We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language, in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere it sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things -- only thereby does it first create the concept of "thing." Everywhere "being" is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a faculty. Today we know that it is only a word.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

Now, who are these nutcases with their language games that invent ‘identity’ and on that basis lay claim to special status, to rights and privileges and freedoms associated with nothing other than THEIR OWN COMMON BELIEF IN THEIR CLEVER WORD GAMES? Oh, yes, they are the people of Western Civilization and they have come here with charity in their hearts to take over land that is in a terrible mess, where the indigenous people live in squalor, in tents made of animal hides, with stunted capacities that produce only the tiniest of GNPs, and in the primitive belief that they ‘belong to the earth’, unaware of the Christian God and His having delegated his powers to believers in Christ to “fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground”

These 300 million indigenous people haven’t all forgotten about the SAE language ‘identity game playing’ trickery that has superimposed imaginary ‘sovereign state identities’ over top of them, imposing an ‘inferior being’ identity status on them and seeking to exterminate them and their non-believer heresies. They remain a force for restoring sanity to a world that has been hijacked by the cult of identity; i.e. the cult of confusing SAE language constructs for physical reality, the cult of ‘Western civilization’. You can read more about those that have resisted this identity-cult politics ‘here’. they are the 'anarcha-indigenists' whose circle processes eschew and transcend 'identity' games and the hierarchies of rights and privileges that attach to them. their understanding is that 'identity' is relational and does not derive from a notional 'innate-local-thing-in-itself', as befits a world of interdependent connectedness and as accords with our sensory experience, ... but which is in no way supported by popular SAE language games which idealize 'appearances'; 'things-considered-in-themselves', reducing them to notional 'things-in-themselves' which then claim for themselves 'their own' rights and privileges.

In the newly equated sovereign state of Queeria [or Heteroa or Lesboa or Transia or America] those with an identity-proving credential may lay claim to the rights and privileges granted by the founding mothers/queers/fathers etc. of the state to all of its Queerians or Heteroans or Lesboans and Transians or Americans, such rights and privileges being protected and guaranteed by the physical force of law enforcement agencies and violator prosecuting courts and judges. These rights and privileges, which follow the unilateral declaration of a new independent identity, shall follow the great tradition of SAE language based identity creation and privilege granting; e.g;

INTER CAETERA, MAY 3, 1493 -- "Among other works well pleasing to the Divine Majesty and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest, that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself. ... [O]ur beloved son Christopher Columbus, ... sailing ... toward the Indians, discovered certain very remote islands and even mainlands ... . [W]e, ... by the authority of Almighty God ... do ... give, grant, and assign forever to you and your heirs and successors, kings of Castille and Leon, all and singular the aforesaid countries and islands ... "

The necessity for the recognition of privilege based on identity isn't negated by the fact that these identities are ultimately created by social and linguistic forces, in fact, that is exactly why we need to be aware of these things. Pretending like we live in a special magical space where our use of language and social situation doesn't affect how we interact with people, and that how we interact with people doesn't reinforce the false categories that exist is absolutely absurd. Queer people never chose a queer identity, it was thrust upon them. Ditto with other oppressed groups(by which I mean individuals who fall into some category or another that society has constructed as a means of oppressing people), and even groups that aren't oppressed. But to pretend like those identities have no meaning ignores how the world actually works. We can't just magically start talking different and think that it will suddenly cause these things to go away.

who said anything about ‘pretending’ that our use of language doesn’t make a difference? i just posted several paragraphs that makes the opposite point i.e. you say;

”Pretending like we live in a special magical space where our use of language and social situation doesn't affect how we interact with people, and that how we interact with people doesn't reinforce the false categories that exist is absolutely absurd.”

and what is absurd in your statement or at least obscurantist, is that, you imply (a) that our manner of social interaction reinforces false categories, and, (b) that false categories [language] shapes our interactions with people;

“how we interact with people reinforces the false categories that exist” . . . and . . .“our use of language... affects our interactions with people”.

would you care to share whether, in your opinion; ‘in the beginning was the word’ or ‘in the beginning was the deed’? do you think it impossible that a young man in a remote-from-society wilderness meets a beautiful young woman and they become a loving couple, and then, when they come into society, hear, respectively; ‘what are you doing messing with that nigger/cracker?’

Geschrieben steht: »Im Anfang war das Wort!«
Hier stock ich schon! Wer hilft mir weiter fort?
Ich kann das Wort so hoch unmöglich schätzen,
Ich muß es anders übersetzen,
Wenn ich vom Geiste recht erleuchtet bin.
Geschrieben steht: Im Anfang war der Sinn.
Bedenke wohl die erste Zeile,
Daß deine Feder sich nicht übereile!
Ist es der Sinn, der alles wirkt und schafft?
Es sollte stehn: Im Anfang war die Kraft!
Doch, auch indem ich dieses niederschreibe,
Schon warnt mich was, daß ich dabei nicht bleibe.
Mir hilft der Geist! Auf einmal seh ich Rat
Und schreibe getrost: Im Anfang war die Tat!

p.s. here's an english translation of the above quote from Goethe's Faust which explores the relative precedence of 'word' and 'deed' in our behavioural engaging ... ['you seem to have really enjoyed those fried maggots!' --- 'you say what?' ];

'Tis written: "In the beginning was the Word!"
Here now I'm balked! Who'll put me in accord?
It is impossible, the Word so high to prize,
I must translate it otherwise
If I am rightly by the Spirit taught.
'Tis written: In the beginning was the Thought!
Consider well that line, the first you see,
That your pen may not write too hastily!
Is it then Thought that works, creative, hour by hour?
Thus should it stand: In the beginning was the Power!
Yet even while I write this word, I falter,
For something warns me, this too I shall alter.
The Spirit's helping me! I see now what I need
And write assured: In the beginning was the Deed!

do you think it impossible that a young man in a remote-from-society wilderness meets a beautiful young woman and they become a loving couple, and then, when they come into society, hear, respectively; ‘what are you doing messing with that nigger/cracker?’

So without society everything is fine? But we have society. There is no "without society".

would you care to share whether, in your opinion; ‘in the beginning was the word’ or ‘in the beginning was the deed’?

There was no beginning, I think you of all people would know that.

Society is a language-based idealization [referring to patterns of social relations] that you confuse [haha] for a thing-in-itself that EITHER ‘exists’ OR does not exist; i.e. you say;

“... we have society. There is no "without society".

“remote from society” does not imply that society is a ‘thing’ that is located at such and such a latitude and longitude where ‘remote’ would be ‘greater than 100 miles from society”, it refers to proximity/distance to/from where social relations are complex and intense as in mixed society urban areas. [i am accepting the straight-man role here to get to a general philosophical sharing point]

To move on through to what the article is about [which is where my comment was pointing], we get to the growing practice of politicizing social or societal categories and claiming rights and privileges for one’s personal ‘societal category’ [as if it were ‘real’], often in response to having been involuntarily ‘categorized’ in the first place by the supra-society [society of societies] one is included in, based on the colour of your skin, or by a behavioural trait that departs from the arbitrary ‘behavioural norm’ of the majority.

‘Privilege’ is the manner in which society accommodates a particular ‘category’, so there is no point in even talking about ‘privilege’ unless one first accepts the real existence of a ‘category’, since the point of the privilege listing exercise is that different ‘categories’ tap into different ‘privileges’.

In this discussion you seem to be insisting that ‘categories are real’ because in our society, we ‘categorize others’ and that’s just the way society is. I am saying that the process of ‘categorizing’ is a ‘word game’. Thus, to discuss ‘privilege’ that is based on ‘category’ is to ‘compound two word games’. It is bullshit-on-top-of-bullshit, not to say that there are not people feeding on it.

How about prostitutes or ‘sex workers’ as a category? Is it real, or is it part of this artificial [language game] ‘subjectizing’ that nietzsche talks about?

“Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’ 484

nietzsche’s point is that we start with relational dynamic [wherein the ‘deed’ is born] and we infuse an artificial ‘subject’ into the relational dynamic to come away with a ‘doer-deed event’. this artificial ‘subject’ that we stick in there to make the relational dynamic ‘one-sided’ and ‘where the buck starts and stops’ is part of our ‘language game’. The day before the U.S. declared itself to be a ‘thing-in-itself’ or ‘local, independently-existing doer-of-deeds’, it was an interesting feature in the relational dynamics of the globe. It was in the category of a gathering social whorl like ‘Katrina’, a ‘dimple’ in the transforming relational spatial-plenum [global relational dynamic] that was unnamed yesterday and would be named tomorrow so that we would have a ‘subject’ or ‘doer-of-deeds’ to talk in terms of. This ‘subject’ would provide us with a discursive convenience [language game ploy] that liberated us of the baggage of talking about dimples in a physically unbounded relational-spatial dynamic. The difficult part about relational dynamics is that the animating influence is ‘non-local’, ‘non-visible’ and ‘non-material’; i.e. it is ‘relational’ as the transforming atmosphere is.

Katrina is from birth to death animated by non-local, non-visible, non-material influence, but why not use the power of words to RE-PRESENT her in ‘local, visible, material’ terms; i.e. why not make her out to be a local, independently-existing material system with her own locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviour? This is a lot easier to ‘talk about’, right? As Emerson says, the animating genius of nature [which is non-local, non-visible and non-material or in other words ‘relational’ or ‘field-based] not only inhabits the organism, it creates the organism. Language allows us to use ‘words’ to notionally infuse some local ‘subjecthood’ that NOTIONALLY locally jumpstarts the dynamics, ... what the hell, it’s cheating but we can forget about that after a few generations of us have been regularly playing these word games.

Ok, how about our sex workers or ‘prostitutes’ as a category? This time, we’ll go in backwards and investigate the relational dynamics that were subjectized to deliver the doer-of-deeds we call the ‘prostitute’.

Men have historically looked forward to ‘tough times’ because women can get downright desperate in difficult circumstances. In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Prince Hal and Falstaff are talking about imminent civil unrest, and Falstaff remarks that “you may buy land now as cheap as stinking mackerel”, and Prince Hal responds;

“Why then, it is like, if there come a hot June and this civil buffeting hold, we shall buy maidenheads as they buy hob-nails, by the hundreds.”

Should we then assume that the deed comes before the word ‘prostitute’ but the first part of the animative sourcing ‘goes missing’ because it is ‘purely relational’ and thus ‘non-local’, ‘non-visible’ and ‘non-material’ as purely relational dynamics are wont to be? What is local, visible and material is where these women come forward and shamelessly offer themselves to me, for a mere pittance, like Prince Hal says. Sounds like they coincidentally all got a sudden dose of irrepressible immoral desires or nymphomania or the like, for hundreds of them to get so frisky at the same time and go out on a john-soliciting rampage.

That is, should we assume that men, including men ‘of nobility’ who control the money/food supply and who withhold giving any ‘regular wage earning opportunities’ to impoverished females nor otherwise care for them, wordlessly and reluctantly acquiesce to participation in ‘the deed’ when they are, ... uh, ... ‘pressured’ to do so? This ‘subjectizing’ of inherently relational dynamics is, as nietzsche observes, part of our SAE language game-playing; i.e. we interpose a doer-of-deeds subject to ‘localize the assertive sourcing’ of a relational dynamic; ‘lightning flashes’, ‘it’ rains, ‘bonny fornicates’, ‘the earth rotates’, ‘jean valjean steals’, Katrina destroys New Orleans, etc. etc. In all cases, the physically real animating source of the dynamic ‘goes missing’ and we instead artificially ‘jumpstart’ the animative sourcing of the dynamics from the language game-enabled ‘subject’.

Who needs the relational-spatial aspect of the dynamics, the physically real animating source of the dynamics. In the prostitute we have something that is ‘local’, ‘visible’ and ‘material’ all in a word, ‘prostitute’, doer-of-deeds subject/category. Why not ‘RE-JUMPSTART the dynamics from the subjectized word-thing, ‘prostitute’?

When the Western judge looks down on the prostitute, or Jean Valjean for that manner, he will see before him, as supported by experts in the biological sciences, a ‘local, independently-existing material system with its own locally-originating, internal process [purposeful intellection] driven and directed behaviour, a scourge on society.

Ernst Mach, or Chief Joseph might play defence attorney and say; ‘Your honour, the behaviour of the person standing before you is not simply local, internal-process animated, it is the relational dynamic of the universe/community expressing itself’, indicating that the local, visible material aspect of the behaviour is only the half of it, and that the primary aspect is a conjugate non-local, non-visible, non-material animating influence that lies deeper than the notional ‘local subject’.

In a restorative justice circle where the community accepts responsibility of authorship of dissonances as arise within the relational dynamics of community, this defence would be accepted, but in a regular Western court of justice, the language game with its synthetic subjectizing which imputes local jumpstarting of animative sourcing of doer-deed behaviour to a synthetic, language based ‘subject’ is accepted as ‘the truth’. That’s how bosses can make slaves/prostitutes out of workers with the protection of the police and the courts.

So, this subjectizing of relational dynamics is a word game that Western culture has institutionalized.

Thats why I’m saying that this subjectizing/categorizing is bullshit, and that listing ‘privileges’ is bullshit on top of bullshit.

You tell me that society categorizes people and that is just the way it is. In other words, you think the categorization is ‘real’ while in my view it is no more than a ‘language game’. I’m not saying that language game’s can’t generate hurt, what I’m saying is that those who are being hurt by language games should call society’s bluff. The justice system is a sham, both in a formal and informal-social sense. The protestor’s actions, that he is personally being held responsible for, is ‘the relational dynamics of the community expressing itself’. It is ridiculous that the community [including the so-called offenders and victims] should not take responsibility for ‘prostitution’, ‘protests’, ‘thefts’, massacres etc. As Nietzsche says, it is stupidity to believe that these behaviours jumpstart out of language game ‘subjects’, notional ‘doers-of-deeds’ that language games invent to RE-PRESENT animative sourcing as jumpstarting out of the subject so that we don’t have to deal with the complexity of the animative sourcing, AS IT PHYSICALLY REALLY DOES DERIVE, non-locally, non-visibly, and non-materially from the relational spatial dynamics of community and beyond.

best emile comment ever. thank you.

thanks for feedback.

i beg to differ. you can quote whoever the fuck you want and be as philosophical as you want but one cannot negate the fact that "privileges" and "language games" have real day to day, systemic impacts that are easy for some of us to look past because we simply don't face them...or at least we think we don't.

i agree that all this is bullshit on top of bullshit but when you constantly step in that bullshit, you're being hit in the face with that bullshit and your family, community, house, culture, et cetera is being hit with that bullshit...what do you do? Ignore it? Look past it? Not address it...which can or cannot be a workshop or discussion? NO.

it's like ignoring the cancer and not treating it, yet looking/waiting around/hoping for a cure. Both can be done.

so, this whole 'apathetic' masked as 'nihilism', 'blaming the victim' approach ain't cutting it.

ironically, this article exemplifies the fact of why we need to continue having discussions about privilege and checking our own and each others privilege(s). A lot of assumptions were made that may or may not be true so just with that alone there is privilege already with in this article and defeats its own points and purpose it was trying to make.

When reading this i heard "i don't care about your oppression, there is work to be done!"..."we're all people so let's stray away from focusing on specific struggles of people of color, gender non conforming folks, et cetera...takes too much's all about CLASS"...

..well easy for you to say if you come from a privileged background...a privilege set for and by those in "power", the "empire", the 'whatever is fucking oppressing me'. And how dare you speak on what other people may or may not perceive as "privilege" when you have no fucking idea. And how dare you recognize and acknowledge the importance of 'privilege talks and workshops and then shit on them at the same time...real fucking fake and stupid.

Please go somewhere with this privileged, "colorblind", it's not about race, sex, gender...X Y and Z but "CLASS" rant bullshit.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THOSE THINGS and who are we to say or define what "we" should be focusing on or not...who "we" is depends on where we're coming from and yes...even our own privileges.


You clearly need to work on your comprehension.

Nah, they got it just about right. Class is the only important thing according to this. Or at least the only oppression that we can fight.

perhaps you missed this part? "..our disquiet is not because we believe interpersonal politics are less worthy of our attention, nor because we are without awareness and rage about the oppressive power structures within our lives and political milieus. We do not believe that these are minor details that can wait til after the revolution...we are currently organising what is suspiciously like a women’s consciousness raising group..."

Because an existential crisis thrust upon you by the world negates any productive action, right? You can stand around pissing about identity, but any anarchist worth their salt already understands privilege and identity politics. If they don't they are clearly a conflicted individual.
Y'all can keep your drum circles and awareness raising, I would be happy to work with anyone - any anarcho-queer/feminist/oppressed minority who could put their own special snow flake existence aside for a while and focus on the cause, because that shit is related to a personal-public sphere and not its inverse.

Not everyone understand privilege and identity politics by any stretch of the imaginations. Generally people link to articles like this to prove they don't need to. Given the way they end it with the call to class as the most important thing you could maybe see the problem?

This is a really easy situation to deal with - do not align yourselves with people who do not understand the finer details of oppression. No one is forced into anarchist collectives at the barrel of a gun, the idea of changing anarchist groups through liberal 'tolerance' ideology is fucking insane. It is a matter of 'wanting to fit in' to 'be included' to 'identify with other anarchists' - which is honestly the most schiziophrenic attitude in anarchism, collectivism invites compromise with open arms, and turns into a democratic pissing contest of who has the most oppression, the most to lose, the most to cry about. The only thing all anarchists have in common is an opposition to the state (sometimes not even that much and the pretense is a disguise); it is high time that all of the hypens started to recognise this fact, then maybe we could torch the state and talk about identity after? Discuss who is the most 'anarchist', who has betrayed the cause to reinstate oppression. It doesn't matter while the state still stands - the state is still stating, the criers are still crying - 'What do we do?!' - you grab some petrol, a rag and a fucking bottle and lob it at the nearest government building, you don't 'organise' better, you break shit and hope someone is inspired to do the same, call those people witnessed 'allies til you find out otherwise' if you learn too late to save yourself from the 'new oppressors', or the old, then it may be a lesson well learnt (one that can be avoided by dabbling in the history of anarchism, instead of repeating platformist bullshit.)

This is a really easy situation to deal with - do not align yourselves with people who do not understand the finer details of oppression.

And this is how activist/anarchist ghettos are born.

This whole comment seems terribly confused. First you say that all of us anarchist need to quit worrying about tolerance, then you say we need to recognize that we don't agree, then you say we should all throw some molotovs, an insurrectionist position to be sure.

You go right ahead being insurrectionist, I don't think that helps much at all, but then again you probably don't think what I do helps either.

I wasn't literally refering to throwing molotovs, I was making a point about propaganda by the deed. Shit that used to be a cornerstone of anarchism, y'know, like fighting the state in all its permutations.

Which I'm down for. There are lots of permutations.

Like how the author flippantly throws out FnB as being a successful anarchist organization. That's probably the most important thing we can do to attack the state, fucking feed people without forcing them to work.

hey now, not all insurrectionists share that stupid view-point.

Liberal consideration is the only thing you will get from putting 'self' before the class distinction of 'oppressed' and 'oppressor'. No one needs a sympathy lecture to understand that.

The hairy throats thing was a little cissexist...

I kinda think it was a jab against punks, not Trans people.

IGTT 8/10. I almost responded thoughtfully.

This site sucks more and more...

After the US census in 2010, a famous academic sociologist noted that since 2000 there about 44,000 more Asian women married to white men than the opposite. At the same time, whites overall are become less repsented in various science focused academics white asians, middle easterns, east europeans and some non-Mexican latin americans are becoming more and more. The relations of power are somewhat like emile says but it's not entirely wise to ignore the categories we've so far constructed, only that we should consider them clearly, as in the further relations between two three four and many more races and genders and identities. The individual is greater than the sum of intersectional identities.

But could the question be posed? How could we reach a world without privilege, an equal world or a just world or whatever. Could it be that all these idnetity politics are not erased by the abolition of capital, but the general move of capital to become less discriminating and more about capital itself? a class society with no apparent identity based oppression, a purely random division of individuals as whatever you know.

I sort of agree as I was reading an article saying how affirmitive action results in better race representation but looking at philosophical views and alot of the people getting through are capitalists sympathizers and wannabe's.

to jumpstart using the concept of ‘privilege’ as a fixed kind of thing that correlates with 'category' implies a dualist relationship between self and other [category and society]. meanwhile, social dynamics are like all dynamics, they are relational and non-dualist. the 'category' is not real and thus the 'privilege' accorded the 'category' is not real; it is all just 'talk'. if we ignore the talk it will all go away.

like a driver in the flow of the freeway, our individual moving contributes to the shaping of the relational openings that accommodate our moving. nothing is fixed. if you are in the flow of the freeway from san francisco to los angeles, you will likely find yourself included in clusters of drivers that are continually changing and with these changes will come differences in the way the local ‘social collective’ accommodates your penetrating of the unfolding openings in the relational matrix. after lunch you may be relaxed and as you get hungry, you may move more aggressive and contribute to less tolerance/resilience in the clusters that you are moving through and that are moving through you..

One thing you know for sure is whether ‘you’ are ‘driving friendly’ or otherwise. If it seems like you are getting ‘special treatment’ by the clusters you are passing through or that are passing through you; i.e. with how the collective is accommodating your actions, such ‘privilege’ can only be based on your ‘appearances’, the trappings of your vehicle, the colour, licence plates [are you a german travelling in holland? etc.], the car model/condition and the bumper stickers etc. in spite of continual change in the driver-clusters or ‘societies’ you are in, you might be able to get an estimate of ‘privilege’, how the collective is accommodating your movements; e.g. more privileged than average, less privileged than average.

Once you have tied down ‘your privileges’, you can ask the question ‘who is it that ‘owns’ these privileges’?

If you have ever borrowed a friend’s car with license plates from another state/country and trappings that are nothing like on your car, you will find that people will assume that you are from that state/country and that you are the kind of guy that buys such a car etc. You will be like John Howard Griffen in ‘Black Like Me’, a white texan who, in 1959, stained his skin black and got treated like a black.

It doesn’t really matter ‘who’ is in the car, or in the body, ‘privilege’ is determined from the outside inward by how society feels about you based on ‘appearances’. ‘you’ are not the ‘owner’ of ‘your privileges’. ‘privileges’ are accorded to you from the outside-inward. If you put on a Hell’s Angel’s jacket, people will step aside for you. As Joseph Campbell observed, Homo Sapiens should instead have been named ‘Homo Symbolicus’.

If you put black skin on white texans, they will be treated like blacks; i.e. they will no longer have ‘white privileges’. But as was just established, the privileges do not belong to the ‘subject’, they are accorded outside-inward by the society. The black-whiteman will not longer get the deference not even from blacks that he got as a white.

Therefore, what does it mean when people profile the behaviour of ‘blacks’?

“An episode on the bus reveals the climate of the times (1959). Griffin [a white who dyed his skin black] began to give his seat to a white woman on the bus, but disapproving looks from black passengers stopped him. He thought he had a momentary breakthrough with the woman, but she insulted him and began talking with other white passengers about how sassy "they" were becoming.”

There is no such thing as a ‘subject’ or ‘category’ or ‘thing-in-itself’ that has a ‘list of privileges’. The web of relations that constitutes ‘community’ or ‘society’ doesn't just accord the privileges from the outside-inward, IT DEFINES THE CATEGORIES FROM THE OUTSIDE-INWARD [the 'categories' are not real things-in-themselves].

It is evident that it doesn’t matter who you are, society will define who you are from the outside-inward, whose ever car or body you are in. Who you ‘really are’ doesn’t matter diddly squat to who you will be defined as. Why then, would anyone let themselves be defined from the outside-inward, and form a political lobby group to complain about being under-privileged? They are whoever they understand they are, they are not who they are being defined to be. If I am a dutchman driving my german friend’s german-licensed car in holland, i will be treated like a german. 'society' is a collective that doesn't know 'who i am' other than by the appearance of the 'body' or 'car' that i'm 'driving in'.

I know whether or not I am driving friendly, regardless of how the collective I am in is accommodating or dis-accommodating my actions. Some people will be aware of that and respond to it no matter 'what i am driving', but in the racist society that prevails today, they are still the minority.

Bottom line, there is no such thing as a ‘subject-in-itself’ or ‘identity’ and therefore there is no such thing as ‘privilege-that-belongs-to-a-subject-in-itself’ and therefore, it makes no sense to accept one’s ‘identity’ since it can only be an ‘identity’ that others are foisting on you from the outside-inward. To start believing in it yourself and to commence banding together to lobby for ‘more privileges for our group' is to let ‘who you are’ be defined from the outside-in by society, to submit to letting society trap you in an identity of their choosing.

Society imposes definitions of category, there are not categories-in-themselves. There is thus no point in getting suckered in to believing that one is a member of a category defined by society. meanwhile, it makes sense to work for the abolition of a hierarchy of category-based privileges, but it should be remembered that society not only accords the privileges from the outside-inward, it defines the categories from the outside-inward; i.e. it doesn't care who you really are inside the thing you're driving, it goes only by 'what you're driving'. the shocked guy in 'the crying game' who discovers, by and by, that his beautiful sweetheart has a 'male package' has simply traded out one vehicle-appearance based illusion for another while the 'person' inside remains 'undiscovered' because there is no such thing-in-itself as 'subject'/'category', there are only non-dualist relations.

"i don't see color, i only see people" rofl. you may close your eyes but the sun still shines.

i don't see colers i only see purpel

This article is really privileged. Not everyone has the time to write long articles like this, or read them.

thank god we all have time to post comments

Articles and comments should be limited to 140 characters.

That was a good article. I have some things to add:

Being an anarchist, feminist, vegan, communist, activist, protester, liberal, leftist, democrat or radical is not a sign of privilege.

Being part of radical movements like the anarchist movement is not a sign of privilege.

Being part of a subculture like the punk, vegan, queer, gay, lesbian, trans or hipster subculture is not a sign of privilege.

Reading, learning and studying radical ideologies like anarchism is not a sign of privilege.

Being able to read, write, see, hear, walk and talk is not a sign of privilege because most people can do those things.

Being a writer, author, intellectual, speaker, musician or artist is not a sign of privilege.

Talking about oppression is not a sign of privilege.

Having a college degree is not a sign of privilege.

Being in college is not a sign of privilege.

Having detailed knowledge about politics, philosophy, history or social science is not a sign of privilege.

Protesting is not a sign of privilege.

Doing illegal direct action is not a sign of privilege.

Marching in the black bloc is not a sign of privilege.

Going to an out of town protest is not a sign of privilege.

Living in the United States is not a sign of privilege.

Many radicals who were middle class, white, college educated, american, male or heterosexual have permanently lost their privilege after entering radical movements because the US government cracks down hard on radicals. The government puts many radicals in jail. The government spies on radicals for the rest of their lives. A person who enters radical movements like the anarchist movement permanently loses their privilege after entering the movement because of government repression.

eating a waffle is not a sign of privelege
shopping at whole foods is not a sign of priveileg
eating two apples is not a sign of appleprivillege
farting on the poor is not a sgn of priviliegef
firing your butler is not a sign of pravlege

hipster subculture/college kids is not a sign of privilege.....Wrong!

For starters hipsters aren't a subculture, look around, their fucking every where. I swear to good their worse than the plague.
Hipsterism is a pretentious consumer identity and 90% of college kids knew that never being able to go to college was not an option, which is yeah, privileged. Besides, college is a filthy breeding ground for hipsters, with their fucking neon shoes and well trimmed beards....anyways back to the point I was trying to make....We are getting fat off sucking the rest of the world dry.
so when you said "Living in the United States is not a sign of privilege."...sorry hipster, but your wrong again.
The only people not privileged in relation to 98% of the world in the u.s. and canada is the indigenous people of this land.
not to say that privilege doesn't play out with in these privileged nations

"The only people not privileged in relation to 98% of the world in the u.s. and canada is the indigenous people of this land."

Why? Id be interested in hearing a further elucidation of this point.

Um...let me think about that real hard....oh, oh wait, because a bunch of crackers stole their land, genocided their people and ruthlessly/intentionally assimilated their culture (or at least came close to doing so).
But do excuse me, perhaps I was confusing when I said us and canada and thus wrongfully ascribed everyone within the geographical confines that some rich white fuckers created as one, as part of one "national identity" or consumer culture, when in fact the struggle of indigenous people continues. Occupied people are not privileged people. Especially when considering that the bulk of their living conditions are no different than the 98%

And by the way, 98% is totally just a number I pulled out my ass, but it sounds right, so fuck you. Anyways tell me hipster, is the point elucidatededa enough for yeah?

"stole their land, genocided their people and ruthlessly/intentionally assimilated their culture (or at least came close to doing so)."

Yes a familiar story indeed. The same occured thruout the world. Ireland for instance.

Hipster Democrats are the most oppressed

No. Sorry, you're wrong. The government is not repressing anarchist the way its targeting black and brown communities. Fuck you for thinking identifying as radical puts you at the same level of threat as other folks who are oppressed. Such an arrogant thing to say.

Oh man, fuc women, I'mma search day and night till I find me a real Feminist's voice

What the hell? This is the weirdesrt thing I've read on anews

Aha. We must continue to realize the infinitely expanding layers of subtle idenity priviledge made possible by privilige politics and only then will we arrive at a truely just way of acting in meetings

Come out come out, little trollz, wherever you are!

And plus, who gives a shit? Rite? In the Unholy name of Great Satan all this feeling sorry for others and guiltily "checking yourself" (for what? STDs?? breast cancer? original sin??) really makes me laugh. Join a fucking religion if your a collectivist guilt-ridden fool please leave the unholy name of Old Mother Anarchy out of your neo-christian equation. Playing together nicely to achieve specific ends (the destruction of the State and economy wud be a nice start) is one thing, this privilege nonsense is another thing entirely. Anarchy = no more moralism. Ok?

Plus how come its idiots educated by Americas university shitstem, often from middle class backgrounds, that go on about all this shit constantly? Urgh its disgusting. Fuck off with your silly language, bikes, dietary moralism and condescending silly language. Hats off to all the bastards satisfying their egoist power drive by lording up their oppressed status over their foolish muddle class "comrades" - altho its a tad pathetic. but YEAH satisfy that unholy lust for power! only consider turning it to perhaps loftier conquests than a bunch of wooly headed morons sucking your dick/clit because of the color of your skin, economic bracket of origination or gender/sex orientation. C'mon.

Cry cry for all the injustices of the world, the cute bunnys dying in cages and the nasty baddies being unfair n shit, but remember - theres no God above who'll reward your self-flagellation and hounding of the sinful, or hear your woeful cries, but a dark god* resides in you of mighty laughter and terrible liberating power.

[* or shud that be god of color? LOL]

Riding a bike makes my legs stronger.

Your legs suck!!!

Only assholes romanticize poverty. Folks who got it all even wanna complain like they don't.

I find that most folks who would label critique of privilege as "divisive" are usually just doing that to deflect responsibility from themselves and their own relative privilege.

So much mansplaining and misogyny-apologetics here. No wonder anarchists can't get hardly anything done.

This is shameful, dumb, and unnecessarily dense for such an undeveloped argument. It sucks that this has probably been eaten up by so many people. For the author to use bell hooks, the conditions of women in places ravaged by European imperialism, and a call for more feminist voices as rhetorical fodder for a stupid fucking argument against privilege politics, which seems to conveniently omit an analysis of race, is fucking enraging.

This was written by someone or some people who have had their feelings hurt in a meeting and don't have friends calling their shit out and obviously aren't aware of the psychological impacts of the daily cultural violence inflicted on all people of color. This daily violence is one in which mainstream culture builds within many people of color a number of insecurities and inferiority complexes, it can affect performance and confidence in all aspects of life that include or are in relation to white people, especially academia and organizing.

So when we're faced with white privilege in a space, it can be a shit storm of feelings of inadequacy related to a system of oppression that they will only ever at best be able to conceive in theoretical terms but it will never live in their skin or be a part of how they know the world. This is on top of the overwhelming expectations from our community and the well meaning white liberals to transcend the limitations of color, culture, class, and gender so that we may better assimilate into the monster.

In terms of my experience in college I've learned that many come to universities on the hopes and dreams of their ancestors that they will do better than what the colonizer put them through. We're barely wrapping our minds around new language from the academy attaching to old feelings from how the empire effects us. Then we hearing white folks want to "tear the system down and its about class oh and maybe gender, but class first tho.'" It is bullshit to make claims to social justice and then to reject the perspectives of colonized and oppressed people, because a commitment to justice is a commitment to transforming social relationships, and that requires being open and listening to narratives outside of our own.

I don't believe the analysis of privilege or identity should be entirely dismissed. The problematic aspects of privilege politics, of which there are many, need to be addressed in both theory and praxis but it is not going to come from the perspective of people who have had their egos bruised by the practice. It is going to come from people thinking critically as to how we can begin to better navigate the dynamics of power within our relationships in ways that acknowledge difference and its tensions as necessary lessons on how to reestablish healthy kinship beyond the historical trauma of oppression that has strained everyone's connection to each other.

"It is bullshit to make claims to social justice and then to reject the perspectives of colonized and oppressed people, because a commitment to justice is a commitment to transforming social relationships, and that requires being open and listening to narratives outside of our own."

Is thinking you are ever going to come into that magical plebeian cry of social and cultural leveling via justice. You would need unity for such a thing and human unity does not exist.

Just create a new paradigmatic game for gods sake. Stop bitching about the historical advantages of Europe which are based on things well beyond human control.
Perhaps justice and social transformation to human authenticity are two different things entirely.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.
Subscribe to Comments for "The Poverty of Privilege Politics"