Is autonomy enhanced by identity struggles?
Without a doubt, solidarity among women (or blacks, etc.) is essential, welcoming each other, recognizing and sharing the problems that only they suffer and ways of treating them. But when they are closed in on themselves, that is, as identity struggles, they are necessarily punitivist, and as such merely claim the reinforcement of the state's repressive apparatus, if not direct gang or racket repression ("escraches", “exposures”). For example, in practice what does identitarian feminism suggest to transform society? More repression. Repression is the only possible social praxis of identity struggles. I am not saying that they could demand anything other than repression, but that one can not expect from the identity struggles, as such, even the slightest possibility of going beyond the status quo, in which repression (rewards and punishments) is the only praxis possible.
Women are the overwhelming majority of those earning a minimum wage or less in Brazil. And they are the majority who keep earning the same for the rest of their lives ... How to deal with this? There are two ways. One is by protection of identity and consists simply of protesting for new laws and for further strengthening repression to implement them, further "empowering" the ruling class. The other way is by solidarity that comes from mutual trust between men and women, black and white, which is the only way to break the power of the ruling class and its repressive apparatus, mutual trust based on dissolution of privileges (of sex, race, ethnicity ...), confidence in the solidarity from others if one suffers identity violence. Obviously this is a class perspective: autonomy of the proletariat. (note: “privilege” comes from "privus legis" - private law.)
Of course, in the “given” context of mistrust and widespread competition in which we survive, in this dog-eat-dog world in which the call for one even more threatening violence (gang, manager, police and / or state) is always the only “guarantee”, the identitarians will always argue that it is a "hypocritical naivete" to expect to find solidarity and mutual confidence among the proletarians, or expect them to refuse their crumbs of privileges (“meritocracy”). The identitarians are right, because, faced with the suffering of identity violence, there is no time to expect the still hypothetical solidarity of class, leaving no room except to appeal to the ruling class (the power) as the only available resource to reduce suffering.
However, this context, this status quo, is unbearable and absurd. True hypocrisy is to accept it. It is necessary to seek to make the call for “one most threatening violence” (gang, manager, police and / or state) materially meaningless. And for this, it is not a question of defending "facts", but of asserting a position (which is not a "militancy" or "base work", which always leads to rackets, but, on the contrary, peer relations on the street, at work, on the bus, train…): favoring solidarity, mutual trust, refusal of privileges, proposing “to each one according to their needs” against competition (undermining the corresponding “meritocracy”, method of domination of those who hold the "most threatening violence", ie the ruling class), that is, enhancing everything that contributes to the autonomy of the proletariat, to the "disempowerment" of the ruling class ...
humanaesfera, December 2014
Note: Identity struggles (women, blacks, homosexuals, consumers, ethnicities, youths and even militant groups ...) claim to exist outside the sphere of production. But something that is supposed to exist outside of production is something that is supposed did not come to be, that does not produce itself, which is as an eternal platonic form, a thing given once and for all - in short, it is the old reification. Therefore, every fight that supposes defending something outside of production is for this reason reifying - and this is the case of all identity struggles. To consider everything in his production was really Marx's great insight, in radical opposition to marxists and anarchists, who cling to their "pureblood" identities, their militancy and their doctrines.
Thus, for example, women's oppression can only be fought in the sphere of production, transforming material conditions of existence in which women are practically constrained to submit to the arbitrariness of others. The oppression of women will never end as long as the woman is affirmed as an identity against another identity (this only leads to punitivism, that is, to pure irrationality, to adherence to the violence of power), but only if they liberate themselves from this reification by transforming (with all of us) their conditions of existence in order to produce themselves freely, which obviously involves a general struggle to produce the conditions for the existence of a free universal association (communism) in which free individuality can develop, forever. (The proletariat is defined as the one to whom production is private - thus, when it takes production, it dissolves all identities, including himself).