Monday, August 21, 2017

Mark Fisher on Class Reductionists

I reread Exiting the Vampire Castle and was struck by this (italics mine):
I’ve noticed a fascinating magical inversion projection-disavowal mechanism whereby the sheer mention of class is now automatically treated as if that means one is trying to downgrade the importance of race and gender. In fact, the exact opposite is the case, as the Vampires’ Castle uses an ultimately liberal understanding of race and gender to obfuscate class.  In all of the absurd and traumatic twitterstorms about privilege earlier this year it was noticeable that the discussion of class privilege was entirely absent.  The task, as ever, remains the articulation of class, gender and race  – but the founding move of the Vampires’ Castle is the dis-articulation of class from other categories.
Two more bits from his essay:
The bourgeois-identitarian left knows how to propagate guilt and conduct a witch hunt, but it doesn’t know how to make converts. But that, after all, is not the point. The aim is not to popularise a leftist position, or to win people over to it, but to remain in a position of elite superiority, but now with class superiority redoubled by moral superiority too. ‘How dare you talk – it’s we who speak for those who suffer!’
We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Mobbings of Mark Fisher, Freddie deBoer, and Leftists who Criticize the Identitarian Left

I can't say for sure that Mark Fisher killed himself because he was mobbed by the identitarian left, but I suspect it, and I'm not alone in that.

I can't say for sure that Freddie deBoer broke because he was mobbed by the identitarian left, but...

I can't say for sure that the leftists I see suffering online (whose names I will protect) are suffering because they were mobbed by the identitarian left, but...

I can say for sure that the identitarian left broke me.

I was mobbed in 2009. My sins were rejecting race reductionism and, because I didn't know about Poe's Law at the time, being ignorant enough to ironically say I was outing someone who was using her full legal name in public posts on her public LiveJournal. My mob was more heavily weighted toward neo-liberals than those that targeted Fisher, deBoer, and others—my mob hated talking about class so much they made it a square on their racist bingo card—but the differences in the mobs are smaller than the similarities. All of the mobs involve peers who ought to have been able to engage in civil debate, but instead relied on everything from mischaracterizations to anonymous death threats.

After I was mobbed, a friend, a tough guy who I never would've expected this recommendation from, told me that Judy Blume's Blubber should be required reading for everyone on the internet. If you understand the fifth-graders who bully with name-calling, lies, and innuendo, you understand half of the problem.

But the second half, the effect on the victim, gets less attention. After I was mobbed, I couldn't understand why I was so depressed, why I couldn't concentrate on my work, why suicide seemed like a reasonable solution. So I began researching mobbing. That resulted in these posts:

Mobbing drives people a little—or a lot—mad

How to survive a mobbing (that mostly happens online)

We humans are pack animals. The cruelest thing we can do is drive our fellows out of the pack, and yet we do it with hardly a thought. Now that I understand mobbing, I'm a bit surprised it leads to few mass murders—but then, if it led to more, it would get more attention. The mobbed usually turn on themselves. Their suicides are assumed to come from depression, and few people ask what factors made the depression fatal. The slower ways that mobbing kills, the stress-related heart attacks and deaths from drug or alcohol-abuse, are even more easily disconnected from mobbing. Those who have not been mobbed think it's something that can be easily shaken off. One friend doubted the possibility that Mark Fisher's suicide was connected to a mobbing that had happened four years earlier. I pointed out that my mobbing happened eight years ago and its effects are still with me. I expect to die with them.

Mobbers are bullies who use everything but fists. When their targets break, they mock them for breaking. That's already happened in Freddie's case—you can see a few despicable people at work at Freddie DeBoer's Dank Meme Stash*.

Good luck, Freddie deBoer. Rest in peace, Mark Fisher.


*Facebook group either deleted or private now.


I’m fed up with political correctness, and the idea that everyone should already be perfect  by Fredrik deBoer

Exiting the Vampire Castle by Mark Fisher

Journey back into the vampires’ castle: Mark Fisher remembered, 1968-2017

Mark Fisher, 1968–2017

Purity leftism – MattBruenig

Leslie Lee III on class reductionists

"If any class-reductionist leftists actually exist they would still be 100 times more helpful to black people than neoliberals." —Leslie Lee III

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The shortest history I've ever written of Privilege Theory

A comment I left at Facebook:
Privilege theory comes from Kimberle Crenshaw's fusion of bourgeois feminism with Derrick Bell's Critical Race Theory, which comes from the black churches. Privilege theory ignores the working class because its believers want bourgeois women and people of color to have all the privileges of bourgeois white men.
Here's a more complete post: The Problem with Privilege Theory

And here's an example of how privilege theory ignores the working class: Why #BlackLivesMatter should be #PoorLivesMatter—now with graphics