Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Post-Marxist Left’s Race Problem

Via Kenneth


"From a right-wing perspective, the left’s division over race is all very good news. As long as the post-Marxist left ignores the reality of class discrimination, its parties will continue to bleed working class voters to the right."

A recurrent theme in Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (1980) is how the prospect of a coalition between poor blacks and poor whites has often struck fear in the hearts of the wealthy classes in American history. Not surprisingly, Zinn longed for the emergence of an interracial coalition that, in his view, would bring about a more humane and just America for all. As a traditional Marxist, he equated injustice with class oppression and justice with socialism.

Such an interracial coalition had emerged for a short time in conjunction with the populist movement of the late 19th century. Today, we may be witnessing the emergence of another such alliance—ironically, perhaps, on the populist right—in part because the left has largely abandoned Marxist concerns with class struggle.

In a chapter on the prevalence of racism in pre-revolutionary America, Zinn writes:

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