In the struggle for a better world, with social justice and real freedom for all, there are specific issues that demand attention on a day-to-day basis. These include racism, homophobia, sexism and religious bigotry. The fight against these is a noble, worthwhile endeavour that should not be denigrated or discouraged. However, it is worth pointing out that these particular crusades are not, necessarily, linked to what the left ultimately believes is the engine driving social inequality; the class system.
Capitalism is not inherently sexist, racist, homophobic, religiously intolerant or even fascist. It simply does not care what sex you are, what race, what sexual orientation you are or what religion, if any, you adhere to. What it is, is an unethical, desperately unfair system of organising human production in which the wealth created by the many is stolen by the few. That is it, in a nutshell. Whether the many are black, brown, white, male, female, straight, gay, Christian, Islamic, Atheist…is completely and totally immaterial.
Nonetheless, in order to maintain the iniquitous status quo those who benefit most from it must create distractions to prevent the downtrodden majority from seeing the true source of their misery and acting to remedy it. This is where the prejudice comes in. Immigration becomes an ‘issue’, rather than a simple fact of life – humans have migrated since they came into existence, and are, at heart, a nomadic species which travels to wherever there are more resources, better quality of life, or a less horrendous state of affairs generally. Likewise racism; there are no differences between races. None. We are all human. End of. Yet the spread of racism, and even the fight against it, are alike encouraged by those at the top of the Capitalist food chain – it is a welcome tangent to divert those whose interest is more in tearing down the system rather than railing against its symptoms.
Nationalism is utilised by the powerful too, imaginary borders drawn which create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ which helpfully ignores the inequality between those in one country and ignores the class unity across national boundaries. The fight for sexual progress is carried on in an inefficient and painfully blinkered manner; it is often said, absolutely correctly, that male liberation will never take place unless female liberation occurs too – what is missed, however, is that the converse is also true. The reason sexism, racism, homophobia, nationalism and religious bigotry gain any traction at all, is because the systems engenders a social inequality which drives people to see the personal differences between them rather than the structural economic divisions which maintain their status and class identity.
This does not mean that we should stop clamouring for social equality. Far from it. All it means is that we should recognise that the fight for women’s lib, LGBTQ, ethnic minorities and religious freedom are not, and cannot, be independent of the fight for the one system which inherently values equality at its very heart. That system is Socialism.
☭ ☮ Ⓐ Solidarity, brothers & sisters...♀ ★ ♥