The Chris Hedges Report Podcast with Professor Norman Finkelstein on how woke culture and identity politics are used to perpetuate the class warfare waged by corporations and ruling oligarchs.
There are few intellectuals who have been as attacked, censored and blacklisted as long and as ruthlessly as the Middle Eastern scholar Norman Finkelstein. He has been hounded out of universities, denied speaking engagements, had his books and scholarship either ignored or dismissed. It is surprising, perhaps, that Professor Finkelstein’s latest book is a savage attack on identity politics. He likens the current woke culture of the left to red baiting when his heroes Paul Robeson, Pete Seager, Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Sweezy and Annette Rubinstein were marginalized and in the case Luxemburg assassinated. “The cancel culture of my childhood targeted,” he writes, “in the name of anti-communism, popular leftist movements rooted primarily in class politics. The new cancel culture still targets class politics but this time round in the pseudo-radical name of identity politics. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. “Whereas class politics has historically focused on a massive redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots, identify politics (racial, sexual, etc.) in the uppermost tier of a social structure left largely intact in all its steep gradations.” he writes. “The primary vehicle of this politics is the Democratic Party, the mass base of which was once the white working class, but which is now in transition to becoming an identify-based party, in which identity displaces class as its organizing principle and base constituency.” Joining me to discuss woke culture, which Professor Finkelstein calls a “civic form of McCarthyism,” and how it buttresses the ruling capitalist class is Professor Norman Finkelstein.