against 'entrenched identities' or" Identity Cleansing

bautiste at bautiste at
Tue Jun 23 07:46:05 PDT 1998

> In my conception of communism, there won't be any such things as whiteness,
> maleness, heterosexuality, etc., nor will there be 'identities' that have
> been subordinated to the above, _after_ the successful abolition of
> capitalism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc., for there won't be any
> social relations and ideology that would give rise to either.

Kind of like THX-19 or some of those other sci-fi pieces huh? What's the fun in that?

AS a matter of practicality, I imagine a world of sameness would be boring and blah. Also, it seems to me that sameness of this kind is logically impossible. People will always be different, whether in hair color, personality, voice tone or some such difference. Or do you advocate a eugenics program to make everyone the same?

Your ideas against difference seem to be the height of psycho-cultural imperialism.

> 'Identities' are social facts that have been historically constituted by
> structures of oppression, and as long as oppressive social relations and
> ideologies remain in place, there will be 'identities,'

Just because certain forms of cultural idenitity are socially constructed does not necessarrily mean that personal idenitities are constructed in the same way. Any way, what do you mean by a social fact? It;'s almost as though you envision some big machine that spits out idenitities. I think the facts of psychology and identity formation are more subtle than this.

Also, just because one form of socio-economic framework will create a certain type of identity does not mean that identities per se are eradicable, either in practice or even in terms of desirability. I might disagree with a type of bourgeois identity formed by central Pennsylvania but that does not mean that I want to eradicate its existence. I would like to see it (or rather others formed by this society) become more enlightened and take on more "open" identities. To preach eradication in one form or another comes close to what is practiced in Bosnia as "ethnic cleansing." Your program might be dubbed "identity cleansing."

chuck miller

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