In “Manufacturing Consent”, Noam Chomsky builds a picture of how states indoctrinate people through such institutions as the mainstream media and even academia. I think even those who think they are “outside” the system, have taken the red pill (please try to remember a time before the goddamn MRAs co-opted The Matrix film) and seen the Matrix for what it is, and have woke, have seen things for what they are, have achieved class consciousness, etc, shouldn’t think they are invulnerable. Instead, I think the reality here is that we are constantly drawn in like quick sand, purely by living in this shitty society. Not unlike how women who have close relationships to men find it difficult to break the spell of internalized misogyny — only when they spend time in women-only space do they come to realize how deeply they betray themselves and other women by capitulating…and also, what capitulating looks like, since we’re also prevented from knowing what that is if it is not simply life itself. What is required is vigilance and self-awareness against groupthink — a strong sense of self, of existence, of boundaries. You have to “stay woke”.
There are two predominant ideologies which regularly mold and indoctrinate us all, even as we resist them: liberalism and patriarchy. Liberalism is the ideology constructed by straight, white, male (so we are told by the history books) thinkers as early as John Locke, and as recent as the political “scientists” (ha!) today, which politicians use for policy and academicians use for pedagogy. The status quo is liberal, and all political conflicts are framed by liberal thought — the only thought. As a result, our ability to resolve political conflicts is strained, and the discourse about these issues is basically ruined. Patriarchy is the ideology which…well, it needs no introduction, and strains our ability to look out for women.
What I have noticed is that, over and over, groups of competing interests under liberal democracy try to outdo each other in order to negate each other. Only in liberal ideology will you find that one person’s oppression can be canceled out by another person’s. The ruling class benefits and would likely have a vested interest in maintaining a system of rivaling groups of variously oppressed people, keeping them distracted and ensuring that life goes on as usual. Even more devious in this is that it opens the opportunity for a never-ending cycle: struggle for legally enshrined gains for one oppressed group repealing the rights of another oppressed group. This cycle could continue indefinitely, if it isn’t stopped short by removing the personhood from all of those groups. This cycle has gone on for many issues, including for issues relevant to the working class such as the bearing of arms and the 40 hour work week. Although, the working class seems to be the only group which isn’t pitted against another group, only against other members of the group.
We’re doing their dirty work for them. It’s about as disgusting as a prison guard forcing prison mates to fight to the death in return for freedom. The entire situation is objectionable. The only difference here is that, maybe, one prisoner will go free. For us, though, there is only assimilation into the ruling class or annihilation: there is no way out. There is no ethical way to go about this. Even assimilation into the ruling class in return for personhood only leads you to turn around and exploit someone else, even those you called your own people, workers, sisters, etc.
Activists have seen this rivalry happen before with black liberationist hostility towards homosexuals, and with feminist’s respectability politics justifying the exclusion of lesbians. Gloria Steinem, a sketchy-as-fuck, second wave, feminist liberal, is well known to have been a snitch for the feds when COINTELPRO was known to be active and to have written polarizing, racist screed about black men, which sowed division between black feminists and white feminists. There is no question that race, sex, class and sexual orientation are real struggles, yet they have had their gladiatorial cage matches in the liberal establishment. Why should I not find it suspect that the left is so divided when it comes to physical differences between people, especially over sex? As long as liberal society can keep us like crabs in a cage, the ruling class can secure their dominion.
It’s not simply about whether you’re male or female, black or white, straight or gay — it is, but it’s also more than that. It’s also about the formation of social hierarchies that give rise to white heteropatriarchy and an exploitative political-economic system. Without examining our political methods, social war will continue endlessly.