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Social Justice, Intersectionality, and Privilege

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Cisairse
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Social Justice, Intersectionality, and Privilege

Postby Cisairse » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:50 pm

I came across this article recently and it really made me laugh.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12741562/ ... alifornia/

Leftists such as myself constantly deride the wealthy for attempting to co-opt social movements, and "woke" white liberals (usually women) for creating co-optable social movements in the first place and essentially ceding the seriousness of their goals to those who would co-opt it to increase the value of the personal or corporate brand.

So I figured this was as good as a catalyst as any to start a discussion on social justice, the "social justice movement," and what the role of intersectionality is on progressivism.

The intellectual argument — to the extent that there is one — for intersectionality is that fighting against a specific injustice requires "powerful allies" in order to be broadly successful in modern Western society. More specifically, the theory of social intersectionality (which, importantly, is distinct from feminist intersectionality, which is an unrelated although superficially similar concept) allows the existence of "ambassadors" for social change that are in some way privileged in order to help advance the progressive agenda more rapidly than would be possible without such "ambassadors."

The argument against this concept is that those who hold privilege in society cannot reasonably relate to the struggles of those being oppressed because they are not forced to live under oppressive conditions. This inability to relate to the struggle means that the "ambassador" is only taking up the progressive cause for selfish reasons (whether they know it or not) — to make more money, to get more publicity, or simply to help themselves feel better. In short, the "ambassador" does not need to support reform, they just want to, which means that when the cause becomes burdensome to support, the "ambassador" will abandon it and return to their privileged lifestyle — something the oppressed are physically not capable of doing.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you believe that it is worthwhile for progressive causes to seek allies among the media, celebrities, and politicians? Is Ms. Milano's ironic story emblematic of a fundamentally damaging phenomenon, or merely a unique expression of hypocrisy?

Personally I feel that intersectionality in social movements is entirely counter-productive and that people who hold positions of privilege in society should not attempt to insert themselves into the narrative of social change unless they actually are making a difference.
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Nilrahrarfan
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Postby Nilrahrarfan » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:51 pm

Cisairse wrote:I came across this article recently and it really made me laugh.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12741562/ ... alifornia/

Leftists such as myself constantly deride the wealthy for attempting to co-opt social movements, and "woke" white liberals (usually women) for creating co-optable social movements in the first place and essentially ceding the seriousness of their goals to those who would co-opt it to increase the value of the personal or corporate brand.

So I figured this was as good as a catalyst as any to start a discussion on social justice, the "social justice movement," and what the role of intersectionality is on progressivism.

The intellectual argument — to the extent that there is one — for intersectionality is that fighting against a specific injustice requires "powerful allies" in order to be broadly successful in modern Western society. More specifically, the theory of social intersectionality (which, importantly, is distinct from feminist intersectionality, which is an unrelated although superficially similar concept) allows the existence of "ambassadors" for social change that are in some way privileged in order to help advance the progressive agenda more rapidly than would be possible without such "ambassadors."

The argument against this concept is that those who hold privilege in society cannot reasonably relate to the struggles of those being oppressed because they are not forced to live under oppressive conditions. This inability to relate to the struggle means that the "ambassador" is only taking up the progressive cause for selfish reasons (whether they know it or not) — to make more money, to get more publicity, or simply to help themselves feel better. In short, the "ambassador" does not need to support reform, they just want to, which means that when the cause becomes burdensome to support, the "ambassador" will abandon it and return to their privileged lifestyle — something the oppressed are physically not capable of doing.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you believe that it is worthwhile for progressive causes to seek allies among the media, celebrities, and politicians? Is Ms. Milano's ironic story emblematic of a fundamentally damaging phenomenon, or merely a unique expression of hypocrisy?

Personally I feel that intersectionality in social movements is entirely counter-productive and that people who hold positions of privilege in society should not attempt to insert themselves into the narrative of social change unless they actually are making a difference.

I agree Intersectionality is 100% counter-productive. What does fighting for your right to be Nonbinary have to do with African-American rights?
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West Leas Oros 2
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Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:07 pm

Cisairse wrote:I came across this article recently and it really made me laugh.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12741562/ ... alifornia/

Leftists such as myself constantly deride the wealthy for attempting to co-opt social movements, and "woke" white liberals (usually women) for creating co-optable social movements in the first place and essentially ceding the seriousness of their goals to those who would co-opt it to increase the value of the personal or corporate brand.

So I figured this was as good as a catalyst as any to start a discussion on social justice, the "social justice movement," and what the role of intersectionality is on progressivism.

The intellectual argument — to the extent that there is one — for intersectionality is that fighting against a specific injustice requires "powerful allies" in order to be broadly successful in modern Western society. More specifically, the theory of social intersectionality (which, importantly, is distinct from feminist intersectionality, which is an unrelated although superficially similar concept) allows the existence of "ambassadors" for social change that are in some way privileged in order to help advance the progressive agenda more rapidly than would be possible without such "ambassadors."

The argument against this concept is that those who hold privilege in society cannot reasonably relate to the struggles of those being oppressed because they are not forced to live under oppressive conditions. This inability to relate to the struggle means that the "ambassador" is only taking up the progressive cause for selfish reasons (whether they know it or not) — to make more money, to get more publicity, or simply to help themselves feel better. In short, the "ambassador" does not need to support reform, they just want to, which means that when the cause becomes burdensome to support, the "ambassador" will abandon it and return to their privileged lifestyle — something the oppressed are physically not capable of doing.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you believe that it is worthwhile for progressive causes to seek allies among the media, celebrities, and politicians? Is Ms. Milano's ironic story emblematic of a fundamentally damaging phenomenon, or merely a unique expression of hypocrisy?

Personally I feel that intersectionality in social movements is entirely counter-productive and that people who hold positions of privilege in society should not attempt to insert themselves into the narrative of social change unless they actually are making a difference.

Considering that most people espousing it tend to be liberals with no idea what they're talking about, I'm somewhat inclined to agree.
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Auristania
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Postby Auristania » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:17 pm

Political Correctness gone mad, they say.

PC has never gone mad, PC is a very efficient system for the Bosses to suppress the Workers with Ideology. If PC ever supported the Workers versus the Bosses, THAT would be PC gone mad and it has never ever happened.

OP suggests that ambassadors are an excruscence upon the Movement who will betray the Movement when convenient. I assert that those liberal Boss ambassadors are the Rulers of SJW from the very start.

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-Astoria-
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Postby -Astoria- » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:23 pm

Someone coming in with a "ChOmMuNiSt" rant in 3...


Do you believe that it is worthwhile for progressive causes to seek allies among the media, celebrities, and politicians?

As long as it's solely in order to enhance said cause's exposure, then yes - of course, depends on what the cause is exactly...

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Diarcesia
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Postby Diarcesia » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:30 pm

Three words: Critical Race Theory

Talk about overcorrecting to the point of not being grounded in reality anymore.
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The of Japan
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Postby The of Japan » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:07 pm

And unsurprisingly the class reductionists come filing in one by one.

On the topic at hand, intersectionality is "the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage." I don't think anyone could reasonably deny that race, class, gender, and other social categorizations are interconnected, and that these interconnections are at play with how certain people within a particular social group are more or less advantaged or disadvantaged. Now many who are on the left or claim to be on the left think that most if not all oppression is rooted in class divide, and that by fixing class divide it would fix the other issues. I do not think that this holds up, given how oppression and the disadvantaging of certain social groups continued after worker-control of the means of production was instated. It is important that we on the left recognize that class is not the only thing dividing society, and that we also need to tackle divisions on racial, gender, and other grounds also. These exact divisions are intentionally maintained by the ruling classes, as they divide the proletariat and help stave off revolution through said division.

When it comes to seeking allies among the media, politicians, and celebrities, then I would general concur with Astoria.

Also, big business "coopting" these movements is generally because they think it would bring them additional profits by publicly supporting said social movements. When such a social movement Is not very popular you would likely rarely ever see such public support from big business, precisely because its the bottom line they care about.

Edit: When it comes to "ambassadors" for said movements, it is true they often do not share the disadvantages/ oppression of the lower class experienced by many in the movement and who the movement is trying to represent. They could still share the struggle though of being LGBTQ+ or female or black or of some other social group though, if they are of the same marginalized group they are trying to represent and support publicly.
Last edited by The of Japan on Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Costa Fierro » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:47 pm

People of wealth and influence "adopting" social causes is one of the reasons why people do not take these kinds of movements seriously. Celebrities and other people of social influence simply jump onboard with these movements for personal reasons, as it builds up their image while they simultaneously work to promote the current status quo. They benefit from both the status quo and social movements, because it guarantees them influence and notoriety.

As for intersectionality and social justice, they're often abused by the people who need them the most, and most often there's no actual attempt to fix the problems but to assert one's beliefs over others and to to assert control and influence of their own.
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Diarcesia
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Postby Diarcesia » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:57 pm

Costa Fierro wrote:People of wealth and influence "adopting" social causes is one of the reasons why people do not take these kinds of movements seriously. Celebrities and other people of social influence simply jump onboard with these movements for personal reasons, as it builds up their image while they simultaneously work to promote the current status quo. They benefit from both the status quo and social movements, because it guarantees them influence and notoriety.

There's that, and there's also influential people that support the cause for it to gain critical mass. One is good. The other is bad. How do we reconcile this?
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The Reformed American Republic
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Postby The Reformed American Republic » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:27 pm

-Astoria- wrote:Someone coming in with a "ChOmMuNiSt" rant in 3...

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Nilrahrarfan
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Postby Nilrahrarfan » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:38 pm

Costa Fierro wrote:People of wealth and influence "adopting" social causes is one of the reasons why people do not take these kinds of movements seriously. Celebrities and other people of social influence simply jump onboard with these movements for personal reasons, as it builds up their image while they simultaneously work to promote the current status quo. They benefit from both the status quo and social movements, because it guarantees them influence and notoriety.

As for intersectionality and social justice, they're often abused by the people who need them the most, and most often there's no actual attempt to fix the problems but to assert one's beliefs over others and to to assert control and influence of their own.

My BIGGEST issue with Intersectionality (and Social Justice in general) is this
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:25 pm

Democracy doesn't work at all without intersectionality. Arguably there's too much of it in Two Party democracy, but only because it's required by the electoral system.
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Dumb Ideologies
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:17 am

I've moved around on this issue substantially over the years. Back when I was at university my position was roughly as follows:

1. Intersectional theory describes social fact. Two or more kinds of social disadvantage do often form a somewhat analytically distinctive form of disadvantage whereby elements of each kind interlock and intensify each other above and beyond what you would expect if you considered the two forms as merely additive.

2. Praxis should follow material reality. The highest priority areas of politics and social policy are those that help to provide relief to the most disadvantaged.

3. The intersectional strategy (seeking to elevate and protect the most vulnerable minorities) should be the primary basis for a leftist struggle. "Privileged" groups from outside these particularly disadvantaged communities-within-communities are morally obliged to offer their support.

However, over the years I noticed that this theory had a number of problems in terms of the type of internal culture it encouraged. These cultural problems then have impacts both upon the quality of the theory produced by "the movement" and in the creation of political action problems.

  • Partly because of an elevated awareness of and an impulse to protect the most socially vulnerable, and partly in an attempt to keep together a disparate coalition of people who are constantly being pulled apart by the wider social conditions, the movement becomes increasingly sensitive towards - and restrictive of - dissent
  • The theoretical underpinning of the movement tends to become weaker due to a lack of effective internal debate, and more people are chased out of it for asking unacceptable questions, leading to fragmentation, an image of brittle fragility, and scope for populist opportunism
  • This is particularly the case as those deemed "the most oppressed" are given relatively free reign to make very generalised nasty stereotypical comments about the "privileged" even though they should be aware that intersectionality means there will be some within any so-called privileged group who are less advantaged than many of them. This leads to grievances, at which point the poor handling of dissent starts to kick in
  • It hogties together an ever-growing number of struggles that for the vast majority of members of each of the communities have little to do with each other. People are told they must sign up for everything or they are not a "true leftist". Many then understandably decide that they are not leftists
  • In a society that has not reached post-scarcity conditions and in which capitalist conditions predominate, the logic of social policy is that groups to some degree compete with each other for economic resources from the established political forces. When "the left" is constantly fighting for minority-within-minority causes, the wider group of the economically disadvantaged often feels disenfranchised
  • Among those who remain, levels of genuine commitment between the various groups to each other are often minimal. When discrimination against a particular group gains attention many of those who turn up to protests do so out of a sense of obligation. This is a recipe for sapping of political enthusiasm
  • Whenever momentum builds up towards a political cause the mainstream appropriates a tokenistic and "system-friendly" version of it and, while not delivering substantial change, it uses that appropriation to sanctify the existing system. As the genuine commitment of the coalition of groups to each other tends to be minimal many go over to a "liberal" version of their theory and become advocates for "equality and diversity" within the existing system
My opinion today is that intersectional theory is to a substantial extent at its base analytically true. However, the academic culture and works produced on its back are problematic. The organisational and political consequences for the wider left that have emanated from these conclusions have also largely been disastrous. We should therefore reconsider whether this is truly an appropriate basis for anti-capitalist struggle.
Last edited by Dumb Ideologies on Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Glorious Hong Kong
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Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:35 am

It could just as easily be the case that SJWs are coercing celebrities, rich people, and large, multinational corporations into toeing the woke line under pain of cancellation and/or a (possibly minor and insignificant, but that won't stop those fat cats) loss in revenue. These same celebs and corporations (e.g. LeBron James, Disney, Blizzard, Facebook, Google, etc.) have been known to simultaneously appease the CCP all the same, although there is currently no proven link between the CCP and American leftists other than shared ideology. Fear is what drives compliance among non-Marxist "allies" as much as greed and self-interest. Both Marxists and rich, virtue-signaling non-Marxists view the other as useful idiots. This is similar to the unholy alliance between wealthy businessmen and the CCP in Hong Kong. It would explain the existence of state capitalism.

As for intersectionality itself, I do not support the idea that a rich, black, trans, lesbian, Muslim woman is "oppressed" while a poor, white, cis, hetero, Christian man is "privileged". Intersectionality has never been about social justice. This is an attempt by leftists to seize power at all costs by inciting racial, gender, and other forms of resentment and hatred between certain groups of people. This is about divide & conquer. The real intersectionality involves identitarian Marxists aided and abetted by unprincipled or fearful non-Marxists oppressing ordinary Americans of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and gender identities. The oppression Olympics is nothing more than a smokescreen and a prelude to real tyranny.

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-Astoria-
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Postby -Astoria- » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:55 am

The Reformed American Republic wrote:
-Astoria- wrote:Someone coming in with a "ChOmMuNiSt" rant in 3...

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West Leas Oros 2
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Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:23 am

Diarcesia wrote:Three words: Critical Race Theory

Talk about overcorrecting to the point of not being grounded in reality anymore.

The name sounds pretty wack.

Is it anything like Afrocentrism?
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West Leas Oros 2
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Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:35 am

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:It could just as easily be the case that SJWs are coercing celebrities, rich people, and large, multinational corporations into toeing the woke line under pain of cancellation and/or a (possibly minor and insignificant, but that won't stop those fat cats) loss in revenue. These same celebs and corporations (e.g. LeBron James, Disney, Blizzard, Facebook, Google, etc.) have been known to simultaneously appease the CCP all the same, although there is currently no proven link between the CCP and American leftists other than shared ideology.

Most American leftists loath the CCP, so I don't know what you're on about.
Fear is what drives compliance among non-Marxist "allies" as much as greed and self-interest. Both Marxists and rich, virtue-signaling non-Marxists view the other as useful idiots. This is similar to the unholy alliance between wealthy businessmen and the CCP in Hong Kong. It would explain the existence of state capitalism.

This warrants further explanation.
As for intersectionality itself, I do not support the idea that a rich, black, trans, lesbian, Muslim woman is "oppressed" while a poor, white, cis, hetero, Christian man is "privileged".

Congratulations! You're more Marxist than the "Marxists".

Intersectionality has never been about social justice. This is an attempt by leftists to seize power at all costs by inciting racial, gender, and other forms of resentment and hatred between certain groups of people. This is about divide & conquer.
Now this is some wacky shit. What do we have to gain by inciting bigotry? The only people that win under that arrangement are the powers that be. If the people are divided into identitarian sects trying to kill each other, then good luck overthrowing capitalism. You know how people like Trump draw up fear of immigrants to keep workers in line? So too do the liberals preaching their brand of identity. They want us fighting each other, not fighting the capitalists.
The real intersectionality involves identitarian Marxists aided and abetted by unprincipled or fearful non-Marxists oppressing ordinary Americans of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and gender identities. The oppression Olympics is nothing more than a smokescreen and a prelude to real tyranny.

Total citation needed. You have to realize not everything you hate is some Marxist conspiracy. In fact, plenty of Marxists reject this line of thinking. We don't want any ordinary American oppressed, and we are rooting out our ranks of those that do. The truth is, these identitarian nutjobs have nothing to do with Marxism, and in fact, their goals run counter to it.
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Aureumterra III
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Postby Aureumterra III » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:38 am

Critical Race Theory is possibly one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard and should be collectively delegitimized by the social scienctist community
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West Leas Oros 2
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Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:38 am

Auristania wrote:Political Correctness gone mad, they say.

PC has never gone mad, PC is a very efficient system for the Bosses to suppress the Workers with Ideology. If PC ever supported the Workers versus the Bosses, THAT would be PC gone mad and it has never ever happened.

OP suggests that ambassadors are an excruscence upon the Movement who will betray the Movement when convenient. I assert that those liberal Boss ambassadors are the Rulers of SJW from the very start.

Sorry, "bosses" is offensive! It's people of wealth! And by the way "b**rgeois" is a slur. When will you proles check your privilege!? :p
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Aureumterra III
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Postby Aureumterra III » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:41 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:Democracy doesn't work at all without intersectionality. Arguably there's too much of it in Two Party democracy, but only because it's required by the electoral system.

No…
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Alternamerica
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Postby Alternamerica » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:36 am

West Leas Oros 2 wrote:
Diarcesia wrote:Three words: Critical Race Theory

Talk about overcorrecting to the point of not being grounded in reality anymore.

The name sounds pretty wack.

Is it anything like Afrocentrism?


Afrocentrism, like Eurocentrism, is a biased view of social science from the lens of those groups.
Critical Race Theory is basically breaking things down to race relations. It's the founder of Microaggression and "Whiteness as property"
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West Leas Oros 2
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:40 am

Alternamerica wrote:
West Leas Oros 2 wrote:The name sounds pretty wack.

Is it anything like Afrocentrism?


Afrocentrism, like Eurocentrism, is a biased view of social science from the lens of those groups.
Critical Race Theory is basically breaking things down to race relations. It's the founder of Microaggression and "Whiteness as property"

So different, but similar in that they're both ridiculous bullshit?
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Sundiata
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Sundiata » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:41 am

Ultimately, I think it's better for us all to work towards a society where all people live virtuously.
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Cisairse
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cisairse » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:47 am

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:As for intersectionality itself, I do not support the idea that a rich, black, trans, lesbian, Muslim woman is "oppressed" while a poor, white, cis, hetero, Christian man is "privileged". Intersectionality has never been about social justice. This is an attempt by leftists to seize power at all costs by inciting racial, gender, and other forms of resentment and hatred between certain groups of people. This is about divide & conquer. The real intersectionality involves identitarian Marxists aided and abetted by unprincipled or fearful non-Marxists oppressing ordinary Americans of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and gender identities. The oppression Olympics is nothing more than a smokescreen and a prelude to real tyranny.

This seems particularly divorced from reality, for a number of reasons:
  1. Members of racial, ethnic, gender, and religious minorities demonstratably face oppression — although it is my earnest belief that the oppression they face is not superior to (or even coequal with) the oppression faced by proletarians as a group.
  2. Intersectionality is in fact only about social justice, often to the point of anguish of classical-minded revolutionaries.
  3. I am not sure what "real tyranny" you think leftists espouse; the entire idea behind Marxism is proletarian liberation (and the entire idea behind intersectionality is the liberation of all oppressed groups). Trust me when I say that if you're a proletarian, I fight for you; and if you're an oppressed minority of any flavor, intersectionalists will probably fight for you.
  4. Identifying structures of oppression against minorities with individuals in majority groups is not only extremely fallacious, I would argue that it is downright malicious.

Feel free to provide further evidence for any of your claims; I find your post lacking in that department.
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West Leas Oros 2
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby West Leas Oros 2 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 8:50 am

Cisairse wrote:
Glorious Hong Kong wrote:As for intersectionality itself, I do not support the idea that a rich, black, trans, lesbian, Muslim woman is "oppressed" while a poor, white, cis, hetero, Christian man is "privileged". Intersectionality has never been about social justice. This is an attempt by leftists to seize power at all costs by inciting racial, gender, and other forms of resentment and hatred between certain groups of people. This is about divide & conquer. The real intersectionality involves identitarian Marxists aided and abetted by unprincipled or fearful non-Marxists oppressing ordinary Americans of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and gender identities. The oppression Olympics is nothing more than a smokescreen and a prelude to real tyranny.

This seems particularly divorced from reality, for a number of reasons:
  1. Members of racial, ethnic, gender, and religious minorities demonstratably face oppression — although it is my earnest belief that the oppression they face is not superior to (or even coequal with) the oppression faced by proletarians as a group.
  2. Intersectionality is in fact only about social justice, often to the point of anguish of classical-minded revolutionaries.
  3. I am not sure what "real tyranny" you think leftists espouse; the entire idea behind Marxism is proletarian liberation (and the entire idea behind intersectionality is the liberation of all oppressed groups). Trust me when I say that if you're a proletarian, I fight for you; and if you're an oppressed minority of any flavor, intersectionalists will probably fight for you.
  4. Identifying structures of oppression against minorities with individuals in majority groups is not only extremely fallacious, I would argue that it is downright malicious.

Feel free to provide further evidence for any of your claims; I find your post lacking in that department.

In what way is intersectionality only about social justice?
I personally have a lot less skepticism toward intersectionality because it hasn't gone off the deep end, which is more than can be said for some theories. Of course, the nature of it's theory draws suspicion from a paranoid fool like me.
WLO Public News: Outdated Factbooks and other documents in process of major redesign! ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE: <error:not found>
How many South Americans need to be killed by the CIA before you realize socialism is bad?
I like to think I've come a long way since the days of the First WLO.
Conscientious Objector in the “Culture War”

NationStates Leftist Alternative only needs a couple more nations before it can hold its constitutional convention!

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