Sunday, February 23, 2014

1 Why I Can't Stand Junot Díaz: Decolonial Love is About Hate, Not Love

Why I Can't Stand Junot Díaz: Decolonial Love is About Hate, Not Love
By: Brandon Archambault

I haven't read any of Junot Díaz's fiction. I plan to get there eventually, but when I critique Díaz, it's for his politics.

Decolonial theory is associated with names like Walter D. Mignolo; if you want a solid critique from someone much more qualified than me of Mignolo specifically and his decolonial bugbears, then the first thirteen pages of this monograph do exactly that.

Díaz, though, is specifically more well-known for talking about “decolonial LOVE,” and that's why I single him out for being intolerable. First, let's step through where Díaz and I are in full agreement on race and love:

First, racism exists in a violently unbalanced asymmetry, which is why the U.S. social justice  (SJ) movement consistently refers to racism as “white supremacy” (often citing bell hooks' support of this change of phrasing): the violence is overwhelming a one-way street. Whatever episodes of violence by people of color (POC) exist, they are dwarfed by the centuries of white violence, white police, white military, white slave-trading, white lynchings, white anti-immigration acts. Even when POC violence is explicitly committed as anti-white retribution, this is not only dwarfed by white anti-POC violence, but is clearly and obviously symptomatic of a universe in which racism is posited by white bodies who claim for themselves the top tier of value, meaningfulness, and right-to-life. (An analogy often used in the SJ movement is the distinction between Israeli and Palestinian violence: an Israeli state that can bomb, kill, demolish, and colonize with international impunity has a monopoly on violence that Palestinian violence can only, at best, weakly retaliate against.)

White supremacy is the thesis, and all other races are the antithesis it generates.

Secondly, in a December 2012 talk, Díaz said, “we are never going to get anywhere as long as our economies of attraction continue to resemble, more or less, the economy of attraction of white supremacy.”

This is where we break, because while I would say the exact same thing, Díaz and I are angrily opposed in what we mean.

Díaz's politics are what Nietzsche condemned in his Genealogy of Morals as “priestly morality,” or “ressentiment;” mine are what Nietzsche called “transvaluation” and Hegel, “sublation.” (Sublation is negation, but negating something at a fundamental level, not merely asserting its opposite: the sublation of white is not black, but colorless.)

Nietzsche wrote a fable to explain what he saw as the historical development of morality in Europe. Originally, the story goes, were the strong, noble, warrior class—who considered themselves Good—who rules over the slaves—by comparison, weak, inferior, therefore Bad—and were supported by the priestly class. But in Nietzche's story, the priests come to resent the warriors' comparative advantage, and teach the slaves to resent all the qualities of the warrior too—their strength, their power, their dominion—as Evil; ergo, since the slaves are the opposite, they must be Good. So began the slave rebellion, led by the priests, getting us today's moral system where political conservatives constantly paint themselves as the poor, abused victims in order to gain moral authority (instead of merely touting the fact that they are rich and powerful and in control—we would resent them for that, instead of meekly obeying).

Applying this story of morality to race—“White being, absolutely, a moral choice,” not some simple question of skin color, as James Baldwin reminds us—whiteness is what calls itself Good; the racial others, the racially “abjected,” the racially “subaltern,” the racial “neo/postcolonial”—to use some of Díaz and the SJ's movements own jargon—are Bad.

But with the priestly revolt, which is the SJ movement broadly and Díaz specifically, we invert the terms: I know that I am Good because you are all these things (racist, privileged, a settler, ignorant) and I am not them; by the process of elimination, since I know you are Evil, I must be Good.

In fact, I am ONLY Good because I am not YOU. And this is what separates Good and Bad from Good and Evil: Bad is the antithesis generated by the thesis Good, but Good and Evil reverses the sequence,  re-evaluates—redeem, in a literal sense, “deem again, value newly”—the antithesis OVER the thesis, calling Bad Good and Good Evil.

Because this is Diaz's project, his only possible move is to invert the terms (and this is what Mignolo does more explicitly): where we were Eurocentric, we now must IGNORE questions deemed “European,” since they “do not matter” for the subaltern of the third world (Gayatri Spivak, who coined the term subaltern, makes exactly this claim in one of her critiques of Jacques Derrida). Where we were once white supremacists, we must value and celebrate the history of the indigenous, the black African, the Maori—well-known things like the slogan “black is beautiful” or poetry and novels written in various creoles or patois. (Remember again that this is an argument relevant almost exclusively to the U.S., not even the English-speaking worlds—neither Díaz nor the SJ movement seem to have the first clue about Maori or Australians who would never identify with the U.S.-centric “AAPI” grouping, since they are referred to, in English, as “blacks” in Australia and New Zealand)

As Kalpana Seshadri-Crooks unforgivingly put it, “Race, if it is working at all, is about the sense of one's exclusiveness, exceptionality and uniqueness. Put very simply, it is an identity that, if it is working at all, can only be about pride, being better, being the best.” Díaz and the rest of the decolonial critics' politics is to do exactly that: assert that they are better, be proud, be the best. Specifically: denigrate all the settler-colonial culture of America called “good” as evil, and assert that what it said was “bad” is actually good! Even those who do not go so far as to engage in things like black supremacy—and Díaz certainly does not—we wind up only with the more common, Democrat-party fantasy where we are ALL able to be the best, we are EQUALLY unique and special and valuable, where the thesis makes its amends to the antithesis, and the two are somehow brought to a future harmony of racial balance and equality.

In a word: I hate you because you are Evil, and that makes me Good. My love for the other Good is a consequence of my hate for you.

(Note: Intra-POC violence—like black-on-Asian violence after Rodney King—fits the pattern Seshadri-Crooks predicts, as documented by Anne Anlin Cheng: black supremacy is a movement of ressentiment which, in the specific case of the King beating, turned into an assault on Korean locals in a display of race supremacy, attempting only to re-order the relative privileges of race.)

This hate of Evil also demands a certain performance of the subjects who are Good: the black body who is insufficiently “authentic” is policed for their false consciousness, as is the lower-class white body who is, somehow, accused of “appropriating” a culture they are much closer to than the sneering academics who found them wanting on their “intersectionality” spreadsheet. The values are inverted, but the freedom of bodies to desire and perform however they choose remains as restricted. Boxes and boundaries are shuffled, but not destroyed.

Sublation (Hegel) or transvaluation (Nietzsche)—whichever you want to call it—does no such thing. Nietzsche's road out of Good and Evil was never to return to the values of the “warriors.” (That interpretation, in fact, is exactly what the Nazis believed and why they popularized his works). We had to revalue ALL things: consider irrelevant what we once desired, prize what was considered, not bad or disgusting or ugly, but totally worthless, unnoticed, unconsidered. This is the mistake Díaz makes: he still makes his decisions about love based on the white economy; he only wants to call pennies dollars and dollars pennies, hate what the white economy loves and love what it hates (thus his love is a function of hate). “Transvaluation,” on the contrary, burns the money up, introduces a new currency, or a barter economy, or a communist utopia, but it treats dollars and pennies both as simply nothing—it is as indifferent to them as you or I are to the monetary value of a snailshell or a hat full of snow. (That is what makes this sublation—from white to colorless—instead of ressentiment negation—from white to black or back again.)

Therefore, what separates Hegel's and Nietzche's critique of love within the white economy form Díaz's is that, paradoxically, Díaz's love is conservative: the thesis (whiteness) and the antithesis (POC) are preserved. Ressentiment attempts to reverse the thesis and antithesis, to negate the thesis with the antithesis, to invert hate and love, which keeps both, but rebrands their values (Good becomes Evil, Bad becomes Good). What Nietzsche called transvaluation and what Hegel called sublation is not about a “synthesis” in which thesis or antithesis are reconciled in unious harmony; sublation eliminates the thesis and the antithesis along with it: to lose white supremacy is to lose all sense of a shared black identity, of being Asian-American, of indigenous history; all of these were retroactively posited by white supremacy to explain its own existence (“We came to the land of noble savages with human chattel and are now fighting against the unwanted racial others trying to share in our prosperity”—all ideological hallucinations with real, material consequences: the genocide of Natives, the enslavement of black Africans, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the present hysteria about Latin@, esp. Mexican, immigrants).This opens the space for a NEW thesis; and that is something decolonial love can only hate: it loses its own identity, its own conviction that it is Good.

More than that: Good is in a struggle with Evil to remake society in its own image; that is when victory is achieved. But transvaluation demands giving up on the illusion of a future, of a future that is “better”: we must live rightly NOW, damn the rotten corpses we'll be and whatever future society rises. It is not about building a new society. It is not about replacing the present culture. It is about YOUR life, NOW.

As Žižek puts it later in that same essay linked above, when it comes to class oppression, “the goal of the revolutionary activity is [not that everyone becomes like workers but], on the contrary, to change the entire social situation so that workers themselves will no longer be 'workers.'” Racially, this is what revolutionary achievement aims for as well: Not that we all become more white (the neoliberal goal) or that we all convert to the side of the oppressed (what the frequently-cited Paolo Freire openly advocates in his “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” another favorite of the SJ clique), but that THE VERY DIFFERENCE IS DESTROYED. We are made free because these coordinates cease to control us—ANY of us.

"None of us are free until all of us are free," as the now-unpopular slogan goes, since that involves grace for the devil, who must also be released from hell, even though he is the king of it. And we don't want that. We want retribution.

And this, finally, is why the politicians of ressentiment cry “foul” and accuse the Hegelian/Nietzschean radical of being a political conservative: they cannot tell the difference between the two positions, the neoliberal “post-racial” fantasy (which is a simple regression to the point where white supremacy is hidden and invisible again) and the actual elimination of white supremacy and all it generates as a result: racial profiling, the concept of white trash, xenophobic immigration acts—the end of white supremacy means the end of a universe in which these ideas can even make sense.

In the first case of post-racism-as-regression, as Díaz himself knows, white supremacy masquerades as non-existent, as the unmarked position, as common-sense knowledge, not some biased “ideology.” Furthermore, we are all implicated in this, we are all affected by white supremacy. But for Díaz, that means that POC have been duped, are being deceived in to betraying those they should be in solidarity with for the benefit of those who think they are white, sometimes in exchange for minuscule privileges. But however much they have learned to depend on those scraps of privilege to stay alive, they must learn to give them up.

Nonsense. For sublation/transvaluation, the fact that we are all implicated means we are all enabled to fight and destroy white supremacy, no exceptions. None of this imbecility about how “clearly revolution must come the working class women of color as they are best positioned to see white supremacy 'as it really is.'” The ressentiment politician has learned that white supremacy's invisibility is a lie, but is convinced that the impossible is, well, impossible: not only is there no future in which a non-raced subject can exist, they sure as shit can't exist NOW...

And that is where Díaz ultimately reveals himself to be on the side of ressentiment. While we both want to go full Bane in the Gotham Stock Exchange when it comes to “the economy of attraction of white supremacy”—catastrophically destroy it—Díaz wants the colonized to engage in some kind of “return” to a proud past, to achieve a love AGAINST the neocolonial subjectivity they've been raised into.

So it's no surprise that many people like Díaz prefer to cite the passages of White Skin, Black Masks that Fanon immediately disavows at the end of that chapter (like the passages praising black beauty). As you'll see Žižek himself cite Fanon, “I am a man, and what I have to recapture is the whole past of the world. I am not responsible solely for the slave revolt in Santo Domingo. Every time a man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with his act. In no way does my basic vocation have to be drawn from the past of peoples of color. In no way do I have to dedicate myself to reviving a black civilization unjustly ignored. I will not make myself the man of any past.” This runs loudly counter to the “historically-aware, systemic collective action” of most SJ thinkers. The usual objection is that all of this is just an individualistic fantasy (always the consequence of my or someone's else's “unchecked privilege”), insufficiently “structural” and unable to come to terms with “collective action.” What does Fanon's privilege in being able to make the above claim, they would say, do for the 14 year old black boy on the Boston T who's felt worthless his entire life, and then, as Cherrie Moraga knew, gets shot in the head by a cop (see the preface to “This Bridge Called My Back”)?

The very question shows a gross misunderstanding of the problem. It is not Fanon's privilege to ask this question; it is the sign of his liberation. Living in a violently racist, decolonizing world—which is still OUR world!—he asserted his humanity, his freedom from the past that ressentiment politicians and white supremacists alike hoped to bind him too (if for different purposes), his ability to rejoice in all successes and grieve with all defeats. The boy who gave Moraga an existential crisis was robbed of his ability to live that life by a bullet. But until we too are dead, we must employ a practical, pragmatic ability to live in this miserable reality we call home. Decolonial love denies that love in the time of misery is possible; Hegel asserts that the only time is now.

Such a response is also why I detest privilege: as bell hooks naively, even cluelessly, put it in her “post-modern blackness,” “it's easy to give up identity, when you got one.” That is not a thing anyone who has ever tried to give up privilege can respond to except with abrasive, mocking laughter. hooks was specifically trying to defend identity politics as valuable; but what hooks cannot theorize is that privilege is not simply concrete, material goods like access to food, employment, housing, safety, etc.

Privilege is a bribe, and when you have privilege, you have been BOUGHT. To fight against it will go for you about as well as anyone who's ever seen a cop movie knows—the corrupt system will either ignore you (because it can), discipline you (beat you, humiliate you, alienate you, rescind your privileges), or when you cease to be an acceptable level of threat, destroy you.

White racial identity is one such privilege. James Baldwin—who, impossibly, is a favorite of decolonial love fans—knew this, as he wrote in his beautiful “On Being White... And Other Lies.” It is worth quoting at length:

“No one was white before he/she came to America. It took generations, and a vast amount of coercion, before this became a white country.... America became white—the people who, as they claim, 'settled' the country became white—because of the necessity of denying the Black presence, and justifying the Black subjugation. No community can be based on such a principle—or, in other words, no community can be established on so genocidal a lie. White men—from Norway, for example, where they are Norwegians—became 'white' by slaughtering the cattle, poisoning the wells, torching the houses, massacring Native Americans, raping black women... This moral erosion has made it quite impossible for those who think of themselves as white in this country to have any moral authority—privately, or publicly... But this cowardice, this necessity of justifying a totally false identity and of justifying what must be called a genocidal history, has placed everyone now living into the hands of the most ignorant and powerful people the world has ever seen: And how did they get that way? By deciding that they were white. By opting for safety instead of life. By persuading themselves that a Black child's life meant nothing compared with a white child's life. By abandoning their children to the things white men could buy. By informing their children that Black women, Black men, and Black children had no integrity that those who call themselves white were bound to respect. And in this debasement and definition of Black people, the debased and defined themselves. And have brought humanity to the edge of oblivion: because they think they are white, they cannot allow themselves to be tormented by the suspicion that all men are brothers. Because they think they are white, they are looking for or bombing into existence, stable populations, cheerful natives and cheap labor. Because they think they are white, they believe, as even no child believes, in the dream of safety.”

Love will risk its life for the object of love; but the person who thinks they are white will do anything to believe they are safe. This is the opposite of love; this is fear. The person who thinks they are white, in a word, is incapable of love.

But for the SJ thinker and the decolonial critic, this is good! This is privilege! This is what it means to “survive in America”!

BULLSHIT. “[Those who believe they are white] have divested themselves of the power to define and control themselves”—they have given up their freedom! They believe in the delusion that they must do this to survive! They have lost control! They cannot love! And this is GOOD?

BULLSHIT! “White being, absolutely, a moral choice,” it is a choice for evil, a choice against the belief that all men are brothers.

The SJ movement cannot be tormented by the thought that all men are brothers, either; it tastes to them of a conservative lie, a smile standing in front of a knife, a road of broken promises. It is understandable; but it is not acceptable. It is hatred, which is no more love than fear.

As Baldwin observed elsewhere, “So long as you think you are white, there is no hope for you.”

Here, however, we find the final, and perhaps most compelling objection decolonial love can ask: Yes, but so what? That is white people's problem. Are we expected to have sympathy for our oppressed oppressor? Or are we supposed to go even further and claim the same for the antitheses—“so long as you think you are black, that you are a woman, that you are AAPI, that you are American...” you cannot love?

That would be a very stupid thing to assert. The history of European racism makes this obvious: no matter how many times people identified with the antithesis give up their identities, whiteness will find them new ones. Foucault observed in his History of Sexuality that at the end of 19th century sexual perversions were being classified more quickly than they could actually be diagnosed: the well-known homosexual and heterosexual but also “auto-monosexualists, mixoscopophiles, gynecomasts, presbyophiles, sexoesthetic inverts, and dyspareunist women” among others. It is a shame that he did not observe this same process in race, where it had gone on for much longer with names just as bizarre: Celestials, mongoloids, sub-human Slavs, Caucasian, white, Celt, half-caste, mestizo, barbarian, half-orang, Ethiop, Abbyssinian, Aryan, Dravidian, noble savage, redskin, morisco, crypto-Jew.

For the antithesis to redefine itself means nothing for the thesis. That is the concrete reality of the “radical asymmetry” mentioned at the beginning: destroying the antithesis is as good as cutting off the head of a hydra. For those antithesis-identities, the answer is the same as those with a thesis-identity: Burn it all to hell. The freedom of both “oppressor” and “oppressed” depend upon the destruction of white supremacy; neither is capable of love until they cease to love within the white economy.

So Díaz and the SJ movement repeat the mistake when talking about what they mis-call love, and we wind up with all sorts of imbecilic separatism: only black women can stand for black women; there is no shared gender oppression; black lesbians announcing that transwomen are men; the conviction that in “safe spaces” that the privileged parties should learn to shut up and be silent because this fight is not their fight (they're winning, after all—who wants to actually question the goodness of what patriarchy and white supremacy and heterosexism promise its elite, have taught them to desire?) and on and on.

To learn to desire outside the white economy is NEVER, EVER to want what it tells you NOT to want—to simply shout “black is beautiful” or de-exotify Asian and Latina bodies. It is to give exactly zero fucks about it. That is an insanely painful process. To learn to love outside the white economy—to learn how to love a black body or a white body or a body raced any other way—is nothing short of miraculous.

Such a love cannot be bought or ruined by the white economy. It would die for its love, because such a love knows that it has nothing to lose in a loss, and nothing to gain in a victory. As I said in my previous piece, “Now—in this shattered, violent, horrible world, with its racist standards of beauty, its heteronormative aims—we affirm our sexual freedom [our freedom to love]. There is no future we can do it in instead.” This is the present; no delusions that we won't die or that we will be vindicated by some future society (we will know even less about them then than we do now, since we'll be dead). We cannot lose ourselves in the fantasy of being good-by-proximity through collective action, cannot tell ourselves that we are responsible for anything but what we do with our own lives. To be perfectly cliché: We must love our neighbor as ourselves.

For many, this a bone lodged in their throat. Freud, famously, understood what a disgusting thought that was, because he recognized that the neighbor, for us, is a monster, a proving-ground for our own superiority, a hostile threat to our own-self worth. Diaz, along with the SJ movement more generally, share this sentiment. (Indeed, the SJ movement is hostile to THINKING—you will often find people crying that “Much theory does not good practice make,” but nearly no one realizes that tripping over themselves like beheaded fowl, just so every other headless cock can see they're doing SOMETHING, is worse. All this talk of Hegel and Nietzsche is so much academic jargon, unlike their own jargon of “privilege” and “white supremacy” and the rest of the inaccessible, clique-centric terms. If not for this anti-intellectual streak, how else do we end up with a decolonial love which is exactly the same as hatred, except that people nurse their hate, name it love, and call it a revolutionary practice?)

Díaz can't seem to imagine me with friends of color, lovers of color, colleagues of color, enemies of color, indifferent strangers of color, and the need to relate to them. Fanon can—“I find myself in the world and I recognize that I have one right alone: That of demanding human behavior from the other”—but Díaz can't. As Audrey Thompson put it in her popular but again, to my eyes, ultimately useless and misguided essay “Tiffany, friend of people of color,” they have no patience for the kind of love I am preaching here: It “is a different question from whether a white person can be the friend of a person of color. Here, I am focusing specifically on the universal 'friend,' as in 'good guy' or 'ally.' Even intimate friendship, though, is not safe from racism. As Lerone Bennett, Jr., suggests, such a relationship may 'transcend' racism without destroying it.” That is an incredibly stupid statement: how can a friendship transcend racism (Hegel, remember, is talking about practical, embodied love for this world)? And even if it could, how can any relationship transcend racism without being a threat to it? And if it can transcend in an unthreatening why, why the fuck are we calling that "transcendence"? All this is is a repetition of the standard SJ dismissal: you are an individualist, but I see things as they really are, on the level of systems and the universal; I think about the “universal 'friend'” (whatever that means!), while you only think about your specific, meaningless individual friends; your petty personal problems are never going to amount to any real change.

Against the sneering superiority of an SJ warrior who has no time for the individual, we should remember the fighting words of the Mishnah—Seder Nezikin, Tractate Sanhedrin, Chapter 4, Mishnah 5: “A single person is created to teach that if any causes a single life to be lost, it is on him as if he has lost a whole world, and if anyone saves a single life, it is on him as if he saved a whole world.”

Dostoevsky knew that all such attempts to love people “generally” are self-defeating: “The more I love mankind in general, the less I love people in particular, that is, individually, as separate persons... On the other hand, it has always happened that the more I hate people individually, the more ardent becomes my love for humanity as a whole.” That is decolonial love in a nutshell.

But the decolonial critic, again, cannot tell the difference between invisible white supremacy and white supremacy destroyed. To do some quick word-substitution on the one of Zen's most famous sayings, on how mountains and rivers are perceived during the steps of enlightenment:

First, I saw people as people. Then, I saw that people (including myself) were all raced. Then, when I had actually achieved enlightenment, I saw people as people."

The third stage is that of the bodhisattva, the practitioner enabled to cut through delusions and assist others on their quest to their own (unique, singular) enlightenment.
So that is the problem: Decolonial love says we must first decolonize our minds, our societies, our groups, our countries; that love, real love, is not possible now, today, that we must strive all our lives—more likely, must work for some future society in which it is possible, even if it will not be possible for us. But Hegelian love tells us that we are already, EXACTLY as we are, in a position to love: in this misery, in this brokenness, in this awfulness, we must love the broken, miserable people we are and who are around us. Decolonial love despises that, because decolonial love is rebranded hatred; Hegelian love is indifferent to the white economy of attraction, and loves without using its reference points.

And let us not be confused that they have the same end goals in mind, but irreconcilable plans to go about it, like the eternal war between the anarchists and the Communists: Hegel promises us no future, while decolonial love depends on one. As Žižek writes elsewhere:

In short, the ultimate deception lies in the failure to see that one already has what one is looking for... the final reversal of the dialectical process, as we have seen, far from involving the magical intervention of a deus ex machina, is a purely formal turnaround, a shift in perspective: the only thing that changes in the final reconciliation is the subject's standpoint—the subject endorses the loss, re-inscribes it as its triumph. Reconciliation is thus simultaneously both less and more than the standard idea of overcoming an antagonism: less, because nothing 'really changes'; more, because the subject of the process is deprived of its very (particular) substance.” That is, the subject of the racializing process—Diaz's “necolonial” subject—already ceases to exist, because it is revealed as a fiction. Not only is the lie revealed, we now live *as if we really believe in the truth* (as opposed to only paying lip service to it, saying "Yes, I know that is the case, but just the same..."

Again, this is not some detached “transcendence” after which the enlightened can no longer relate to those who do not think like them—indeed, that is a criticism I would level against SJ warriors generally. The point is that such people can no longer be bought. Such a person is enabled, even at the cost of themselves, of their privileges and their friendships and their lives, to wage a war against that which had possessed them and those they love. Such a person is able to love; such a person is no longer an acceptable threat.

Such a person is rare; but such a person loves.

But for Díaz and his type, the third stage of Buddhist enlightenment, or the Hegelian sublation, is exactly the same as stage one, because “nothing changed”; they cannot understand the difference between invisible white supremacy and the end of the white supremacy, the subject who loves outside the white economy in fact instead of deludedly believing there was no white economy they were loving within in the first place; because Díaz and his type “know” that nothing changes between the two positions. They are cynics, and as Lacan warned us about cynics, they're all dupes. “I know how things really are; so I persist in my racial fantasies and fictions of solidarity based on similarity, on calling (as Diaz does) my fellow people of color brothers and sisters because that is what white supremacy believes, not that all are siblings, but we, the oppressed...”


So. That's why I can't stand Díaz. He is irrelevant to me; his decolonial love has no way of redeeming the devil. As Propagandhi sings in “Refusing to Be a Man”:

i won't try to tell you that i'm different from all the rest; i've been subject to the same de-structure of desire and i've felt the same effects; i'm a hetero-sexist tragedy[...] i had different desires prior to my role-remodelling. and at six years of age you don't challenge their claims. you become the same. (or withdraw from the game and hang your head in shame)[...]sex has been distorted and vilified. i'm scared of my attraction to body types. if everything desired is objectified then eroticism needs to be redefined. and i refuse to be a 'man'. dead men don't rape. a gender war in your fucking face. a battle hymn to celebrate the fact that we don't have to become or remain what we've come to hate.”

That's god-damn anti-patriarchal hymn, and has nothing to do with the ressentiment fantasies of the separatists who think only women can be feminists, the Good Social Justice Men who “know” that women need to lead the movement, the intersectional feminists who know we have to account for all identities...

Propagandhi takes responsible for the demonization (lit. “being made into a demon”) that was not his fault and the consequences he will get for throwing it down. There is no idiotic talk about being a “good ally”; Propagandhi is not some altruistic angel fighting “for” women, not someone just trying to mask his attraction to certain body types. Unlike the likes of Macklemore, who will tried to claim that oppressed loves are the “same” as his, Propagandhi knows that white supremacist patriarchy has done unspeakable things to him and his desires, so he is set on setting them all on fire. The same goes for anti-racist work—it is my job to stop believing I am white, not bow and scrape and let POC “lead” the movement as if I, in fact, was not destroyed and demonized by white supremacy.

THAT'S “checking your privilege.” But it's a conception I have never, not once, found articulated by any self-identified member of the “social justice” movement; and it sure as hell has nothing to do with Díaz and his ilk's decolonial fantasies.

So I don't bother with them so much. Down with decolonial love.



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