Privilege theory argues that workers who do not belong to an oppressed background are the beneficiaries of privileges that flow from society’s racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. This approach to understanding oppression is often encountered in today’s liberal and radical circles. In contrast to Marxism’s argument that workers have a collective interest in challenging all forms of oppression, privilege theory claims workers have a stake in maintaining oppression. These debates have significant consequences for the left’s strategies and tactics for fighting oppression.
This session will explore the Marxist critique of privilege politics and its consequences for fighting oppression today.