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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

5 Comments

  1. John G. Wood
    April 22, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

    You know, much of that essay describes what I believe, yet I have had immense trouble putting it into words (or even form a coherent argument within my own head). And you dash this off when drunk. I hate you.*

    I am going to have to reread this several times, I think. My brain doesn’t absorb and process things half as well these days as it used to.

    Ta muchly!

    • Disclaimer: Declarations of hate may not be applicable in all regions. Terms and conditions apply.

    Reply

  2. isfalsewhenquined
    April 23, 2016 @ 5:40 pm

    This is fantastic! I’m apparently a Marxist now…

    Reply

  3. Kit Power
    April 24, 2016 @ 5:23 pm

    As the guy who is often irritatingly inserting himself into SJW conversations about intersectionality saying ‘don’t forget about class!’, bravo. It’s not either/or, it’s always ‘yes,and’, By ignoring/minimising class, SJW’s sometimes cede unnecessary ground to far right groups who exploit white working class resentments, IMO, but equally, to ignore privilege is to deny reality, which is never a great way to try and find solutions.

    Reply

  4. Richard Evans
    April 24, 2016 @ 10:03 pm

    Good stuff Jack, some useful ground-clearing here.
    It should be quite clear that any decent analysis of class relations will be careful and detailed in looking at how the faultlines lie across the social picture as a whole; and that any realistic discussion of repression will take into account the way the subject’s position in class society will define how that repression will play out on a day to day level.

    ‘Intersectionality’ as a term is fine and does the job, which is to represent for today’s generation an idea of commonality of struggle. But the idea it represents is, of course, far from new.

    It’s always been a sign of the better sort of oppositional thought that it can recognise sufferings extrinsic to its own narrow interest-range.

    The socially utopian and revolutionary aspect of the 60s pushed towards exactly this sort of broad-as-fuck coalition, the student and the worker and the drop out, veggies and lefties and hippies and shop stewards and mystics and so on, united beyond the crude divisions of class by their commonalities of oppression (on paper, at least!)

    This possibility of coalition and collaboration was alive and kicking in the UK as late as the 1980s, when gay and lesbian groups saw it as their duty to commit to solidarity with striking miners (a fairly recent film deals with the culture-clash-leading-to-broken-down-barriers aspect of this phenomenon), and alternative cabaret and revue was replete with acts of different ethnicities, a panoply of pluralistic queerness, entertainers with disabilities, and of course lots of women both writing and performing their own material.

    I think the assumptions of what we now call ‘intersectionality’ were inherent in the whole 80s cultural opposition to Thatcher.

    As a youth, I remember that all the good musicians, comedians, writers, actors, artists etc. were by definition Thatcher-opposing CND-badge-sporting Amnesty-supporting types.

    I think the fact that we need to reassert the non-contradictory nature of class analysis and the other type of analysis might be a sign that we’ve gone backwards to some extent. Atomisation of the public psyche has proceeded somewhat since the 1980s.

    Marxism has this idea that anyone can look at the system of which they’re a part, and ask how it got there, starting with whichever bit is the nearest to them, say a pencil on the desk, and follow that answer wherever it leads, to lead and graphite mining, to timber production, to all the material forces that brought that bit of the world to you, and in doing so measure the misery and destruction and unfreedom it brought about on the way. And within this panoptic view, you can see yourself also, as in a mirror, holding the pencil that you bought, from a particular shop, for a particular amount of money, which came to you from a specific source and to obtain which you will have had to do certain things, which in turn will have their own ramifications in the real world. We are each both subject and object. Oppressed in one aspect, oppressor in another. Both the buyer and the seller, both the bought and the sold. This seems pretty obvious, to me, it’s just common sense, innit? Let’s get some goddam solidarity going, comrades, you know what I mean?

    Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, Jack, on behalf of drunken Marxists everywhere…

    Reply

  5. hank
    April 26, 2016 @ 8:31 pm

    Bertell Ollman’s characterisation of Marxims as a ‘philosophy of internal relations’ is crucial

    Marxims …

    Reply

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