There is also class

I’ve been thinking about identity politics, aka privilege, aka intersectionality. Not really aka but they’re all talking about much the same thing – kinds of people who are treated badly in some way because they belong to that “kind”…aka because they have that identity.

I have mixed thoughts about it, as I do on so many things. (This isn’t allowed, I can’t help noticing. You’re not allowed to see what The Enemy is getting at, you have to spit at it and stamp on it, instead. The ensuing conversation tends to be rather thin and drab for my taste.) I get why identity politics can get tedious, and indeed grating. But – the fact remains that people are treated badly because they have particular disfavored identities.

It’s odd though that identity politics tends to neglect class. Why is that? Because it’s too close to Marxism, and thus too old school?

Or is it because class is something that can eventually change and thus disappear? Individuals can change their class (given the right circumstances) in a way they can’t change their identities, and markers of class origin can fade away if the individual chooses.

Some don’t choose. Barney Frank has hung on to his New Jersey accent all his life, when he could easily have switched it if he’d wanted to. That’s interesting to me, because his accent doesn’t have the faintly posh overtones of some New England accents.

The fact that class can fade away means that some people have less privilege than they seem to. The sleek prosperous pale male with the golden hair and the silver voice may have started out in poverty of every kind.

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