Digging in the Wrong Cemetery

It must be troubling to postmodern types to recognize—as you can tell they do at some level given how shrill they have become—that Omar and the Squad will fade in time, not because of racism, but because they do not really stand with working people. 

If they did, their politics would look very different. And the masses would be behind them. 

Photo from The Independent. The associated story presents the “Squad” and mischaracterizes Trump’s notorious “love it or leave it” tweet as racist.

You cannot be for working people and push identitarian politics. You cannot claim to be a democratic socialist while confusing the proletariat with deep disuniting cultural pluralism—unless of course “democratic socialism” is just a ruse to confuse the masses. The politics of division is characteristic of all fake socialism—and actually-existing capitalism. 

No genuine socialist fails to grasp this truth: that racial, ethnic, religious, and other divisive ideologies fracture the proletariat. When a woman tells “black faces” that they must be a “black voice,” and “Muslim faces” that they must be a “Muslim voice,” she is instructing people oppressed by capitalism to abandon the historic mission of the proletariat—which must necessarily be against racialism and theism to be genuine—and instead adopt the bourgeoise tactic of distracting the masses and diverting the class struggle. Such rhetoric is not merely a dead end. It is a reactionary progressive strategy to subvert the right of workers to collectively control their destiny. (You only need to study the history of progressivism to know what I am talking about.)

Omar (deformed by Jew-hatred) and her ilk (racialists through and through) operate from a bad theory of history because they not only fail to put social class central to their analysis-such-as-is, but they reject materialism itself. Their politics are unscientific. Their thought undialectical. They are ideologues when we need scientists. Demagogues when we need dialecticians. 

They fail to heed the communists’ admonition that the proletariat must first settle accounts with its own national bourgeoisie, an admonition issuing from a firm grasp of history that the worker movement must build through the interstate system an international socialist movement from a position of strength—that this cannot happen without solidarity rooted in a common culture, shared values, and the struggle to achieve a worker state in the most powerful capitalist nations, the most advanced democratic systems, those systems with protections for individual liberty and human rights. 

Third worldism (albeit here really more of a posturing) is not just a failure. It’s a disaster. You only need to ask: Where is power’s center of gravity? Answer: It’s in the belly of the beast. 

Newt Gingrich thinks Omar and the Squad exhibit anti-American communist sentiment. The Georgian is only half right. There is no communism (or socialism) here. Only anti-Americanism—a deep contempt for secularism, individualism, and for working people, whom they regard as reactionary and stupid. The people see this. It’s why they elected Trump over Clinton. The Squad only guarantees more of the same. 

Without class analysis, without a commitment to a common culture, to democracy, to civil liberties and rights, there is no actual proletarian politics—there is not democratic socialism.

Those who support identitarianism inevitably make a poor choice of comrades because they suffer from a deep false consciousness, a profound misunderstanding of the way the world works. Tragically, the rest of us suffer with them.

Objectively, Omar and her ilk are allied with the neoliberal corporatist even if this is not their intent. They prize diversity over justice, equity over equality, political correctness over free thought, open borders over the republic, and the administrative state over democracy. 

Our allies are the working people of secular societies—democracy, however flawed, as it nonetheless is at the highest level of social development. 

Marx and Engels were right: Capitalism spawns its grave diggers. But identitarians are digging in the wrong graveyard. They are not digging a grave for the capitalist class, but for the worker struggle.

Omar and her ilk, whether by aim or by function, subvert the ground upon which a successful counter-hegemonic movement could be made. They function as sheep dogs for the bureaucratic corporate elite (again, whether intentionally, who can tell). They are celebrated by the establishment media because they serve the interests of the establishment. 

Of course, they are up against the masses of Americans who love their country and love their freedom (but who suffer from their own false consciousness, which I need to critique here). 

The Squad will fade away. But they will buy time for the bourgeoisie by keeping America divided—time the bourgeoisie desperately need to think up new ways to keep the proletariat away from class analysis and populist struggle.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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