***Official Political Discussion Thread***

Joined Jun 28, 2004
I do want to make clear something about terminology. Specifically wokeness. I use woke in two ways, with and without quotations. Without, it means, to me at least, the social phenomenon in the early and mid 2010's where critical analysis of race and gender dynamics went mainstream and did so pretty quickly. In that context, Woke is a state where a person applies tools of analysis that center on racial and gender power dynamics and from there, one can make sense of the world around them.

Why do Republicans hold Obama to a standard they didn't hold Bush or now hold Trump to? Why do women make less than men or the same work? Why are black people much more likely to live in poverty or get killed by the police or not be homeowners? If you're woke, you know, if you're not woke, you'll have a bunch of confused and internally contradictory explanations.

By contrast, companies become "woke" because it sells. Companies do what companies do, commoditify social movements and reduce them to symbols to sell stuff. Gentrifiers, who paint rainbows on hostile, anti homeless architecture, are "woke."

I would argue that the Democratic Party and the center and center left media are, depending on the context, both woke and "woke" in their approach to politics.

On a personal, note, I would be a Marxist today if I were not woke six or so years ago. I went from being a libertarian, who saw no systemic injustice, to some who saw racial injustice as not only real but systemic and later on I became a Marxist by applying the same principles of justice to economics. So for me at least, I see the struggle for racial and economic justice as so similar and so intertwined that it's vulgar to put one over the other.

As a consequence, I just have the belief that if someone is truly and sincerely anti capitalist they either are anti-racist or will likely become that and vice-verse. But I'm not hands off about and since I know more anti-capitalists, I find myself, IRL, making the argument and making it forcefully for the abolition of white supremacy. Now in here, I find myself arguing a lot of the abolition of capitalism, most everyone here doesn't need to have white supremacy enplaned to them. For me, it's jarring to be told I need to do better on race and to care more about race because most of my in-group arguments out there are on race and racial justice. But to fair to you guys on here, the majority of my posting does look at criticism of capitalism more so than white supremacy.
Joined Aug 11, 2012
When the GOP base votes you out for being too damn racist...:wow: :rofl:

We're living in such wild times man
This is crazy. Conservative white people in Iowa looked at ole boy and thought "he too racist for us" :lol:
Y’all giving them too much credit. Their reason for voting him out, was he didn’t have his committee appointments anymore....and to them, couldn’t affectively promote the trump agenda more.

They could give a F about his racism. Man had 9 terms :lol:.

Also, Kevin Mcarthy tried to sneak and give him back his committee appointments before the election....but got caught doing it, and had to back off. Once they saw that...he was dead in the water.

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Methodical Management

Staff member
Joined Dec 8, 1999
It's very frustrating that every allusion to socialism, Marxism is met with these slick little attempts to say that all or most leftists are secret white supremacists.

We criticize white supremacy and anti racism on here and that is not met with insinuations that all anti-racists secretly love neoliberal capitalism.

Well at least you're being direct about it, Rusty.
It strikes me as odd that the opposition to socialism is that by abolishing one hierarchy, capitalism, you cannot guarantee that it will abolish another hierarchy, white supremacy. So the solution is to not abolish capitalism and instead plead with it to diminish the severity of capitalist and white supremacist hierarchies.

Now @RustyShackleford I know that you have a skeptical view of Marxism. That's too bad. Liberation from the bonds of capitalism is necessary though not a sufficient precondition for ending white supremacy.

For those who are open to Marxism but concerned that it is maniacally focused on class at the exclusion of race, please consider that Marx and his cothinker Engels, analyzed and remarked among the inseparability of capitalism from the enslavement and subsequent exploitation of Africans and the domestic exploitation of the unwaged labor of women, respectively. Marx died in 1881 and thinkers and practitioners of Marx has added and enriched and expounded upon his insights to this day. Many of the most notable of these people were leaders of anti colonial movements in the global South and the Black Panthers right here in our own country, hardly a roster of affluent white men hell bent on laundering white supremacy.

Lastly, Methodical Management Methodical Management I have to be honest. Every interaction we've had since I started to support Bernie and voice support for abolishing economic power structures boils down to you throwing out a back handed "you're pretty not class reductionist, for a Marxist." You were cool when I rejected white supremacy, an ideology which I tolerated for far too long in my life, to be sure. Yet when I later on started to wholesale reject capitalism, that was too far.

I'm a Marxist and a socialist and that makes me part of a community which I'm proud of. Like all communities, we have our problems and we have people in our community whose own personal conduct and world views are not always exemplary. But it feels offensive having to be told that our belief system is invalid because each and every member of our community is not perfect in every facet. believe me, we hate the red scare pod more than you do because their awful racial, gender and even body politics has probably scared off people who are on the fence about moving from liberalism over to leftism.

Now you are one of if not the most passionate and sharp advocates for social justice that I have come across and surely you know that if whites supremacy is to be abolished and the wounds that it has caused are to be healed, there can be no sanctity of private property. Concentrated capital must be broken up. In order to achieve such an end, it will require radicals, radicals in theory and in practice. It will require working with people whose politics are not ideal in every way but who share the resolve that hierarchies have now have to go. Typically, though tragically not always, people who categorically oppose one sort of hierarchy are relatively easy to convince that they should *** other hierarchies to their list of hierarchies to be abolished.

Even if you may not be a Marxist or a socialist or an anarchist, the sort of reforms that I know you want will require people who are more radical, on economics and political theory, than you or I might be. Consider the fact that we, for all intents and purposes, do not live in a democracy and it becomes even clearer that our political fates are bound up at this point.

So to you and @RustyShackleford please don't forget who the biggest enemy is and don't let me forget it either.
Rex, you know I appreciate that you’re one of the more reliable sources of Simpsons references here, and that your eventual rejection of libertarianism and its dog whistle racism gave longtime participants cause to feel like our collective patience was not in vain, but you need to step back and reassess this. You've warped Rusty's views beyond recognition and you're doing the same with mine.

Let’s recap:

Yesterday morning, I made a post that opened with a single line asking, rhetorically, if any class reductionists still need convincing that racism is not somehow subordinate to classism.

I haven't exactly been shy about mentioning you directly when I've taken issue with something you've posted in the past. Why would I start now? I quoted you twice in that post, but not in relation to the aforementioned comment, and without any hostility.

You asked me to clarify the subject of that post's initial sentence, which I thought was pretty clear, and I did so. I showed you an example - which did not involve you. (It wasn't even the only one I could've cited from this week alone.) I went out of my way in the following reply to state that, "my comments are directed at class-reductionists."

That post was my last of the night.

Sometime between then and now, I apparently called Frantz Fanon a White Supremacist and was cast as the antagonist in a three act play in which I’m a closeted bigot and you’re an oppressed minority.

This is, to put it kindly, a little much.

Your objections appear to center around:

a) things I did not say about you.
b) things I did not address specifically to you.
c) things I did not even address to a group you personally identify with.
d) my failure to immediately respond to a question requiring a recklessly speculative answer, which you posted at 10:47 PM at the end of a long day in which I, among other things: had to handle staff vetting and training, carefully monitor volatile discussions on COVID-19 and the ongoing demonstrations (a thread frequently disrupted by posts prioritizing property damage over the lives of Black civilians), work on our community fundraiser for COVID-19 relief, discuss scheduling of an upcoming code update so as to minimize the adverse impact on those who rely on NikeTalk as a safe place to discuss the weekend's protests, address a swelling backlog of messages, including five increasingly indignant PM's from a similarly entitled user demanding to know why I was deliberately ignoring his requests to personally instruct him in the academic definition of racism and how it is that we allow White people to be so hurtfully labeled, fit in a workout, and, if there's time, attend to various human functions like eating or communicating with friends and family. And, not that it matters, but I was running on about four hours of sleep from the previous day.

But yeah, let me drop everything and ballpark the percentage of misguided Marxists in the world who think that focusing on class would also eliminate sexual assault, bathroom bills, and racial profiling.

If you're under no obligation to answer to behavior you don't endorse, and you aren't, I don't see any reason why I should have to substantiate a claim I didn't make.

I seem to recall that when you first returned to NikeTalk after finally denouncing your former beliefs, you were disappointed that I characterized your progress as "moving from Point A to Point A[SUB]2[/SUB]" rather than all the way to Point B. And yet, apparently I was a lot "cooler" to you then than I am now - because of my purported hostility to the grave threat you now pose to my beloved capital.

Here's where my memory gets hazy, because I can't for the life of me remember demonstrating a penchant for exalting capitalism and rejecting democratic socialism. In fact, I seem to recall that you used to describe capitalism as something akin to a helicopter that rescued people from the flames of poverty. Your go-to move was to try and handcuff anyone who criticized free market (read: crony) capitalism to Pol Pot. Now, you have modified your outlook in this regard in the intervening years, but I have not. So, what's the angle here? If not everyone who is a Marxist (let alone a socialist) is a class reductionist, and I only called out class reductionists, how is it that we've switched places and I'm the Islamophobic defender of capitalism you used to be? Suddenly I'm the younger you in an ill-conceived remake of the already ill-conceived film Gemini Man.

If you're at all interested in the truth, here it is: my comment was not intended for you - it was intended for people like Rusty, whom I know to share a similar sense of exasperation with class reductionists that predates your arrival on NikeTalk. If you share that frustration, great! If not, you could've focused on the sections of that post that actually were specific to you, or moved on to another reply.

I find it hard to believe that you haven’t encountered a sufficient number of smug class reductionists in your ideological travels to consider that contingent a noteworthy irritant. I know I sure have - and I know that I'm not alone. I've spoken about this with some frequency over the years.

Whatever side of the affirmative action debate in the 90’s and 00’s you were on, when Ward Connerly et al. were waging war on race and gender-based affirmative action programs through misleading ballot initiatives and Karens Involved In Community Schools launched a legal assault against integration, surely you must’ve been familiar with the specious arguments made in favor of “race neutral”, “class based” alternatives. Calling that out is like calling out supply-side economics. To act like my opposition to this began with you backing Bernie Sanders is... not the best look for you. (Incidentally, you might want to push pause on any angry letters you're writing to Carly Simon.)

If you don't identify with class reductionists and don't wish to defend their narrow praxis, it's neither incumbent upon you to defend nor condemn them - especially when your name hasn't even been mentioned.

As an aside: you shouldn't keep asking everyone how you can help build a more inclusive movement unless you're willing to hear their answers. I've been doing this for a long time, and if you think I'm hostile to an agenda that includes public healthcare, guaranteed public sector employment/UBI, and environmental justice, then you know precious little about my beliefs. It is exhausting to be part of a coalition whose adhesion is secured through unswerving deference to White Fragility, where mollifying "economic anxiety" is paramount and the central pitch too often amounts to: if we achieve the mythical class consciousness whose absence deprives some straight, White, cisgender Christian men of the lone injustice they do face, surely social justice will trickle down like a mighty stream for everyone else. It is exhausting to deal with line-jumping dilettantes who demand that their own liberation be given precedence and their feelings be spared, lest they exercise their privilege to disengage.

If you don't feel you should be made to answer for that: don't. Literally no one has asked you to. That, you have every right to decide. What you cannot decide on your own is whether this constitutes a problem that others might wish to discuss and commiserate over.


When people Whitesplain every social justice issue in terms of class, it's kind of a turn-off. Does that describe every Marxist? No, and it certainly doesn't describe every democratic socialist - but if you're going to grossly distort the positions of everyone who so much as grazes this raw nerve with you, then you would be protecting class reductionists.
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