Wednesday 13 February 2019

American Jews defend Ilhan Omar

Noah Kulwin is a senior editor at Jewish Currents, an American quarterly magazine about the thought, culture, and activism of the Jewish left. He writes in Jacobin, which is a more or less Communist site, to defend newly elected Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar's attack on the influence of the Israeli lobby in Washington. Other left-wing American Jews have done the same.

Left and right are increasingly hard words to use. Questions like Israel and Syria make bedfellows of right and left. So does Brexit, which the old hard left supports (Dennis Skinner, Jeremy Corbyn secretly). 

Marxism is increasingly out of date and identity politics increasingly important. 

Of all Marxism's mistakes, Marx's idea that class conflict not national conflict drove history (and therefore, in György Lukács's phrase, nations and ethnicity were false consciousness) was the biggest. 

National and ethnic loyalties and conflict in fact drive history, as does religion, but the left and right often prefer to talk of values when discussing conflicts. Liberals (whether classical liberals, modern liberals or American Democrats) always did. For conservatives this is a habit they got into when opposing Communist Russia. For the left ethnicity is now becoming crucial too in the sense that non-whites are replacing the white proletariat as the progressive cause.

1 comment:

  1. Of all Marxism's mistakes, Marx's idea that class conflict not national conflict drove history (and therefore, in György Lukács's phrase, nations and ethnicity were false consciousness) was the biggest.

    If you look at the history of the West since WW2 it's been driven almost entirely by class conflict. Identity politics has been pushed in order to advance the interests of the ruling class. The objective was to create a confused, demoralised and divided populace that would be unable to fight for its own interests against the ruling class. Racial politics has been pushed for the same reason.

    The fact that western society is now a mob of degenerate, alienated, atomised individuals represents an overwhelming victory for the ruling class. They have freed themselves from their one great fear, that the have-nots would combine against the haves.

    Brexit is a good example. Brexit was something terrifying - a revolt of the lower orders against the elites. It had to be stopped, and in practice it has been stopped. What matters to the elites is not Brexit in itself. What matters is to crush the hopes of the non-elites, to teach them a lesson that in future they must do as they're told.

    Globalism is class war on an international scale. Marx hoped that the workers of the world would unite. In fact it was the elites of the world who united.

    The great achievement of our ruling class has been to convince us that class conflict is an outdated concept. That has left them free to wage the most vicious class war in history.

    Marx turned out to be right after all.