[A]n economic revolution is not tantamount to a sociopolitical overhaul. To put a finer point on it: Achieving a $15 minimum wage will not stop racially prejudiced cops from shooting black people. It will not stop immigrants or refugees from being detained at our borders. Dismantling Wall Street, whatever that means exactly, will not shore up or extend women’s reproductive rights.


The Achilles heel of Marxism is humanity itself. The universalism of the workers’ fight against “Wall Street” or the “1%” or whatever term is currently being used to describe the capitalist bourgeoise deliberately overlooks oppressed identity groups such as women, people of color, the disabled, immigrant communities.

Marcie Bianco on different revolutions.

This is why (one of the reasons why) I’m not a Marxist, and why I tend to side-eye people who claim they are. Let’s not all be in a hurry to forget, after all, that labor movements have a long, long history of being boy’s club protectionist rackets designed to keep women and people of color out of the workforce, and that this has constantly been used by the political right to play wedge politics (“they’re taking your jobs!”).

Incidentally, the left’s clinging to the dredges of Marxism–in particular, its refusal to accept even “soft capitalism”–is also, I think, the reason why it’s useless at playing its own wedge game against the right. There’s a huge potential split between economic versus social conservatives,1 but the left has always been rubbish at playing to it, for whatever reason. Which might be a good thing, I suppose, from a strictly moralist sense, given that the best recent example of someone who was able to split the right-wing vote has been Donald Trump.

… Yeah. Let’s all not be like that guy, huh.

  1. Tl;dr, most of the ultra-rich Baron Of Industry type right-voters really aren’t that invested in issues like gay marriage or abortion, but will happily horse-trade them for tax breaks and declawed government regulators. But the left’s historic ties to labor and Marxism mean they’ll never do the opposite, i.e. trade tax breaks for more progressive social policies. In other words, for a social progressive, modern politics is really a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose scenario no matter how you slice it. []