A great and necessary post from Erik Loomis at Alterdestiny that I think is relevant to the way we pursue queer and trans politics:
A truly left blogosphere does not exist. If the left side of the neoliberal consensus is as far left as respectable policy makers and writers are going to get in this nation, I have no chance of ever making a difference through my own writings. Because the things that I call for–the return of manufacturing jobs to the United States through a combination of penalizing companies for moving factories outside the country and working with other nations to make hard decisions about which industries and products to protect and which to trade freely on the international market, forcing companies to pay high wages and follow U.S.-style environmental legislation if they move their factories abroad, deconnecting housing prices from measurements of economic growth, full employment as a human right, etc., have no chance of ever being taken seriously, even by people who I should ostensibly be allied with.
It is my strongly held belief that the current neoliberal economic system is both a short and long-term failure. It is environmentally unsustainable. We are flat running out of rare earths that are desperately needed for modern technology. Climate change is already causing problems in some localities and nations. The nation’s commitment to letting corporations rule the country has only increased since 2007, despite the fact that their actions are what drove us into financial collapse. It’s almost impossible to put people back to work in the face of a long-term economic depression (not necessarily this one) because we have destroyed our industrial infrastructure and allowed capital to become fully mobile. I could go on.
But even if progressives agree with all of this, they still like the idea that they can go buy a Kindle.
Loomis is quite right to point out that the enchantments of capitalist consumerism (contra Max Weber in some sense) is an obstacle, that even on the putative Left there is the acceptance of inequity that comes with the production of interesting commodities. Consumerism amuses us for good reason, but it’s not enough because it’s made from human misery via sweatshops and other forms of exploitation (as we all know on some level but repress most of the time).