Mike Macnair's views on some of the Marxist/Marxian origins of intersectionalist thought and practice (i.e. CPUSA and Maoism) offer a useful complement to James Lindsay's (of "Grievance studies hoax" fame) emphasis on the Frankfurt School and its critical theory.
The Communist Party of the USA in the 1930s developed the idea of race, gender and class as the trilogy of oppressions with equal standing. [...] They constructed this idea of race, gender and class as three separate oppressions, and this would provide the basis for the claim that the liberal women’s movement and nationalist black movement were allies of the working class. [...]
Going along with this is the ban on factions, of which there are two aspects. First, people who want to raise issues of race or gender within the party have to do that in some sort of official caucus — otherwise it would be a case of ‘factionalism’. [...]
The next step relates to the theory of the labour aristocracy and privilege theory [...] that sections of the workers’ movement, particularly
skilled workers, are on the right wing of the workers’ movement because they are privileged [...]
Then there is ‘speaking bitterness’. This was a technique the Chinese communists used to mobilise peasants in particular for land seizures in the last years of the ‘liberated zones’ period before the fall of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949 [...] The idea was to bring the peasantry together — separate from the landlords, and separate from the priests and the middle class — to talk about all their grievances in order to raise their consciousness [...]
The vast bulk of the US far le came out of the Communist Party directly or indirectly, and among the biggest attractions was Maoism and versions of it. [...] And the unorthodox, so versions in particular picked up on ‘speaking bitterness’ and consciousness-raising. It was for that reason that this tactic was adopted by the radical black and women’s liberation movements, as well as by the gay movement, in the late 1960s [...] it was a technique of Chinese Maoism, which they had adapted for their purposes. [...]
While consciousness-raising for workers may often be a waste of time, for women, blacks and gays and lesbians it is a different story. They are hardly in a position to overthrow the exploiter, and their oppression is more diffuse. There is more atomisation. Consciousness-raising may produce radicalisation — but not the ability to move from here to immediately decisive action. [...]