[Asad] Haider would have us turn to the model that has failed the working class for years: rhetorically accepting identity-based particularism at the implicit expense of class-based universalism.
Of course, Haider does not overtly suggest that this is an either/or. Instead, he insists that we must do both — working-class politics and identity politics. But “doing both” is easier said than done. Identity politics and class politics understand capitalist power structures in distinct ways and therefore lead to distinct political strategies. More importantly, however, “doing both” misreads the balance of power in America today: institutionally on the Left, we have nothing but a fraction of the already miniscule labor movement to back our platform and our analysis.
But liberalism has a major political party, the media, academia, and the entire world of nonprofits, which today controls about as much wealth as the Church did before the French Revolution. And it’s in the “do both” strategy that these powerful enemies of the Left (and allies of capital) worm their way into our coalition and play up identity to reshape working-class demands until they’re neutralized. [...]