The Culture War: Identity Politics and the Fight against Surveillance Capitalism


Yves came. This article did not make the argument as clear as I wanted, but it did make a useful point: Identity politics and neoliberalism go hand in hand because they reinforce individualism.

In many areas, identifying with the previous “out” group is a career advancement. The daughter of a friend, she is a good friend playwright in New York City, and she did perform many shows (an appreciative regular guest watched a few shows with me and gave a thumbs up), it could have been easier to get Her if she presents herself as a lesbian (I think it’s enough to keep a girl’s beard). Instead, she reluctantly went to Los Angeles to write a TV show, and I knew she did a good job there.

Author: Adam Ramsay, the main website editor of openDemocracy, a member of the Scottish Green Party, a member of the board of the Voice of Scotland, and a member of the Economic Change Department and Soundings Magazine Advisory Committee.Originally published on Open democracy

The first time I saw Rosemary Bechler, we were sitting on the grass in London’s Embankment, eating ice cream, and we knew each other immediately. She is a former Communist Party member who has lost all signs of Stalinism, but none of her radicalism. The last time I talked to Rosemary—she was one of the founders of openDemocracy and a key force for us for 20 years until her death last month—we had a debate on identity politics.

“Activists of my generation,” she said, “their meeting started with something from Earth to London N6. They did these grand analyses of the whole world, and then it boils down to what you can do. They Very interested in the front lines of the class struggle.

“I think this leads to a completely different politics from that caused by identity politics (including the left).”

In recent years, the term “identity politics” has become an insult, discarded by some left-wing and most right-wing people. In my opinion, it is always used to describe any version of liberation politics that the speaker does not like. This weak phrase can be bent for many purposes, but is too loose to pick up and examine carefully.

But for Rosemary, the fate of black people is also the fate of “the front line of class struggle”, and so did the feminist movement that broke out afterwards. The death of Sarah Everard and Transgender activismShe told me that she supports almost all modern liberation movements, but does not support the “identity political factor”.

What she calls identity politics is “a very basic, neoliberal premise, that all you have to do in life is to be yourself. And you can do it yourself. I’m talking about all “do it yourself” books [I think she meant ‘self-help’]. I’m talking about consumerism and the broad industry of choice. “Your choice is you.” “What you eat is you.” “The perfume on your body, everything is you.”

Rosemary’s objection is a political one. In her opinion, the first thing to ask is “Who am I?” rather than “Where is the world?”

This definition nails the idea to the wall and puts it in a fixed taxonomy-you can agree. Or disagree.

‘Separate our society’

Strangely, this kind of individualistic concerns echoed in an article pamphlet published by the Conservative Party Members’ Common Sense Group this summer. In his contribution, John Hayes, the chairman of the organization, believes that identity politics is a product of the ultra-individualism of what he calls the “Blair paradigm”—somehow ignoring that Blair himself admits to be Thatcher’s heir, and “there is no such thing.” “As a social thing” is first of all her doctrine.

“On the surface,” Hayes argued, “the progressives of the New Labor Party and the neoliberals of identity politics have little in common. Blair at least believes that he is working hard to build a better society, and “identity liberals The definite goal of “Zhe” is to separate our society. However, Blair could not reconcile his belief in social democracy in the community with his liberal belief in the supremacy of the individual. Progressive people despair of the public, and they have turned their backs on social democracy. In turn, he accepted uncompromising liberalism.”

At the bottom of this pile of turf, we can feel more slippery terms running between our fingers: “progress” and “freedom”.

Because, of course, some people in the broad progressive coalition are too individualistic. Part of the reason is that the dominant system of the past 40 years has inevitably shaped the ways and styles to resist it. When they grow up, generations who only know the world of neoliberal individualism will find that they are fighting the system with the tools they are taught to use. We see this most clearly in environmental politics, where the actions of individuals and consumers have been promoted over a long period of time rather than the movement of institutional changes by citizens and workers. But this trend has basically passed.

Indeed, there are problems with the description of racism, sexism, homophobia, or transphobia. These problems attribute oppression to individuals with racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia, rather than social structures— Just like the consumerist politics of Noughties environmentalism. When blaming the blame on the individual, this approach may alienate potential allies, rather than pushing a powerful organization to achieve real change. But in reality, most activists and movements try to shift the blame to the police, companies, and government agencies—this is why people like common sense organizations hate them so much.

Modern capitalist companies can also use the image of emancipating politics to enhance their brands. They often oppose racism, sexism, and homophobia in their rhetoric, and are deeply eager to make everyone a consumer. To the hardline conservatives, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) appears to be both a progressive and an oppressor.

For these conservatives, it is indeed very helpful to be able to prove that he has both. In the brochure of Common Sense, MP James Sunderland and Daily Express reporter David Maddox made it clear that “huge amounts of money flowed from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (sic) to the pro-Democratic campaign group. And Black Lives Matter”.

In fact, Zuckerberg’s political funds have been spread among various institutional figures. Republicans and Democrats – Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer. No one who is usually described as a progressive party in the Democratic Party has received any news, and as far as I know, no black people’s fate is also fate – despite the pressure from Facebook employees condemning Donald Trump’s incitement to the platform The company did donate 10 million U.S. dollars to “a group dedicated to racial justice”.

In order to honor the Common Sense Group, they are right to say that social media is a very important stage for cultural struggles. But not for the reasons they think.

Neoliberalism is a form of capitalism that emerged after colonialism. It pushed the market back to the public sector of the former colonial powers, enabling capital to monetize and extract wealth from its weaknesses. Surveillance capitalism led by data giants is taking its place.

As scholar and writer Xiaoshana Zubov said, under surveillance capitalism, the new largest company on the planet makes money by drilling the market into our soul. By turning each of us into a single unit of their huge, multi-dimensional spreadsheet, Facebook, Google, and Amazon have fixed us in these corners through a steady stream of advertisements, telling us who we are and what we need to buy. Let us become complete and profitable.

As a lecturer in cultural politics Ben Little Point out to me that people’s response to the existing varieties of capitalism is by pushing back to sell them a new version of their own identity, insisting that it’s not who they are or what they meant. It shouldn’t be surprising who they are.

Little said that data giants want our identities to be hard, static and regular, so we are “more consistent with commodities.” He believes that anything that challenges this point “will become a resistance not only to the traditional form of conservative hierarchies”, but also to the logic of modern capitalism.

To a large extent, this resistance is not done alone: ??it is done through collective exploration and expression. Because while social media tries to profit by selling people versions of who they may be, it also creates opportunities to connect and allow people to discuss and discover other versions of themselves.

After all, identity has never been a personal issue. It is always about how we relate to each other and how we understand society: if I were the only person I met, I would not think of myself as having race, class, or gender. But it is also about how we relate to society and how we are created by society. How we view our own building in the world is always an iterative process-Facebook imposes its algorithm, we build our own groups.

This is not new. National identity was primarily invented in the 19th century when the capitalist printing press convened communities. Social media allows people to gather in their own communities. Gender roles are imposed on people by the church, the state, and capital. We unite and reshape them more than ever. The class system is established to promote control, and the racial hierarchy is to prove the rationality of the empire. When these identities are stimulated, prodded, and divided, people like the common sense group will feel a deep moral panic.

In a world where the market is trying to commoditize the relationship between each of us and society, it is vital that people organize, fight back, and persist in creating their own version of themselves. Just as importantly, in doing so, they dismantled the old social hierarchy, as common sense organizations feared. But this is not because we should imitate Margaret Thatcher’s denial of society. This is because we need a new kind of community in which we exist equally.

In fact, if you talk to people involved in Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the transgender rights movement, Fridays for the Future, or any major progressive social movement today, then the new equal community is exactly what they are trying to build.

The identity politics battle is a struggle about different ways of looking at ourselves and where we are.

One way is imposed from above and in the past. Another endeavor to rise from the bottom and bring hope to the future.

The alternative to identity politics is identity authoritarianism or identity capitalism—allowing us to see ourselves and be shaped by money and power. We already have too many such things. We need to start to defend ourselves.



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