4/12 The crisis and intersecting identities, national and sexual : Peter Drucker

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SUMMARY

The simultaneous crises of capitalism, the labour movement and the socialist alternative
have produced a turn towards non-class, particularly national/ethnic and sexual identities.
The feminist concept of "intersectionality" can help us understand how these different identities
overlap, interact and clash, how their reactionary aspects can be combated,
and how different liberation struggles can dovetail with the struggle against capitalism.

OUTLINE

Introduction

Introducing the reporter: his national, ethnic and sexual identities
Place of the report in the session: closely linked to earlier reports
(crisis, working class, migration, women) and
later reports (social movements) — and the missing report on religion!
Central question: relationship between class-consciousness and other identities
(Multiple) crises and people’s impulse to take refuge in (pre-existing) identities;
forms of resistance and forms of reaction
Central principles: self-organization and self-emancipation
Motto of the report: citation from Lenin
Difficulties of the report: enormous diversity of religious, ethnic and sexual identities
Objective analysis and lived experience, collective and individual: for the discussion
Three interlinked parts: intersectionality; nationalism/ethnicity; sexuality

Part one.Intersectionality

Conceptual tool developed by feminists of colour
Oppressions are not additive
Brenner’s Marxist adaptation: capitalist restructuring and relative privilege
Towards an inclusive, working-class, internationalist movement (of movements)
Autonomy and unity: a dialectical relationship

Part two. Nations and ethnicity

What’s at stake politically

National liberation and socialist revolution in the 20th century:
Yugoslavia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua
Contemporary national struggles: Kashmir, Mindanao…
… and workers’ movements fragmented by national conflict

Nationalism and internationalism: a contradiction of capitalism

Capitalist classes need national markets and a national state
At the same time, capital needs to expand beyond national markets
Limits of Marx and Engels’ understanding in the Communist Manifesto

Rules of thumb for our positions on national conflicts

Abstract internationalism is not enough
Oppressor nations and oppressed nations
The right of self-determination — even for ethnic groups that are not ‘nations’

Globalization, nationalism and crisis

Partial and dependent integration of the periphery into globalized capitalism — and into its crisis

Indigenous struggles: sovereignty and autonomy

In Latin America: from the Comintern (Mariateguí) to Nicaragua and 1992
Chiapas: Mexican sovereignty and indigenous autonomy — and Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru?

Armed globalization, ‘war on terror’ and the Arab world

Nationalism, fundamentalism and Islamophobia
Muslim immigrants in Europe — a national question at the heart of European working classes

National identity, religion, gender and sexuality

Abortion, homosexuality and Catholicism
Imperialism: champion of women and LGBTs?
Intersecting oppressions: the explosive issue of the Islamic headscarf

Internationalism and identities:

Towards a new internationalist culture

Part three. LGBT sexuality and identities

The rise of LGBT movements in imperialist countries

Massive scale of mobilizations
Recent right wing and Islamophobic tendencies (Netherlands, Denmark)

LGBT liberation: a global struggle

Universality of oppression
Imperialism and homophobia
Transgender and bisexuality (MSMs)
LGBT people in the crisis
The Arab world: a special case (similarities and differences in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia)
Beyond gay and straight?
Imperialism and repression: Egypt and Iraq
Hybrid identities, combined struggles: Lebanon and Palestine

LGBT immigrants

Heteronormativity, homonormativity and tolerance
What’s at stake: unity against an oppressive system in crisis

Conclusion

The workers’ party as a tribune of all the oppressed

Reading Materials

  • Further readings