Socialism isn’t just about equality for its own sake, but also the lived experience of fraternity and sorority, of politics as the work of brothers and sisters joined together to make a better world. It’s hard to square the professed socialism of the Dirtbag Left with calls to “bend the knee.” Beyond violating leftist ideals, dominance politics seems like a tactic doomed to fail. Politics is about persuasion and coalition-building.
Jeet Heer on the “Dirtbag Left“.
Let’s just be super-clear about something: chauvinist, anti-progressive socialism isn’t “new”. It’s the norm, and has been for at least the entirety of the twentieth century. Labor unions were great for things like the forty-hour work-week but they were also fundamentally about “jobs for the boys”, i.e. keeping women and people of color out of the workforce. The political-economic arm of the hippie movement, the New Left, was almost exclusively white and male and often stood in direct opposition to the civil rights arms of the counterculture. And that’s not even mentioning the whole swag-bag of socialist/communist countries that were or are deeply chauvinist, from the USSR to China to India. Which isn’t to say liberal countries are inherently better on this front–they aren’t, obviously–so much as it is to decouple the idea that socialism is somehow inherently socially progressive. Because it is not now and has never been.