What Is Brocialism? What Is Wrong With It?
Brocialism, sometimes known as “manarchism” refers to a specific behavior amongst leftists who downplay, or worse yet, even deny the points of oppression beyond or outside class struggle. This commonly manifests in (largely) cishet white male socialists who insist that struggles like feminism, Black Liberation, LGBTQ+ struggles, ableism, etc; are to be held off until after a successful working class revolution, usually because such things are, in their mind, divisive. Other than the immediate revulsion one should meaningly have to such a thing, it is in a practical & tactical sense, absolute garbage. Further to the point, it allows for abusive and even reactionary ideas within the socialist movement. Not one comrade should tolerate these ideas.
The Tactical Problems of Brocialism
The brocialist claim is that things outside the class struggle, i.e. identity politics, are divisive. On the contrary, it is this exact rhetoric which does such damage. The working class is as diverse as humanity can be. Every race, gender, religion, creed, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, every kind of person, exists within this vast array of peoples. And within capitalist society, it is the oppression of the majority, both in the sense of identity and class, that is propped up. As Malcolm X once said “You cannot have capitalism without racism.”
It is our need as a movement to understand oppression beyond class struggle. True, class may be the only universal point of oppression, but it is not the sole point of oppression. A cishet, white, male, able-bodied, neurotypical movement, will never gain the proper traction to create a revolution. If we do not take into account that like the ideology of capitalism, the ideology of patriarchy and white supremacism has dug itself deep into us from an early age, and if we do not do everything in our power to destroy it, both in ourselves and society, then capitalism has already won.
We will not ever win the majority of society to our side if we do not acknowledge the complex, and indeed intersectional nature of oppression in society. We will be the eternal fringe, the ideal society that will never come into being. And as we know from the violence and ecological decline capitalism brings, we will have, whether we like it or not, unwittingly contributed to our own destruction, as a movement and a species.
The Practical Problems of Brocialist Society
The brocialist claim is that the class struggle must be prioritized, because it is only after pouring our energy into this struggle that issues like racism, sexism, homophobia, etc; can be eradicated. The condition for this liberation is at least correct. Capitalism cannot be separated from any system of oppression, this much we know to be true. But can a movement which rejects struggle beyond class ever achieve such a society?
Assume for a moment that despite all logical odds, a working class revolution takes place. Can such a state of affairs be the point at which these other points of oppression be destroyed? No, it cannot. It is impossible. History has demonstrated such.
Firstly, our revolutions have rarely, if ever, done away with such things. Antisemitism and homophobia breathed air quite easily in Soviet Russia (hell, to this day homophobia is an accepted doctrine amongst the CPRF). Revolutionary Catalonia had an air of violent sexism, to the point where it was only reduced (not eliminated, mind you) after the involvement of Mujeres Libres. The Paris Commune denied suffrage to women. Fidel Castro's homophobic past is documented. Never mind the historical bigotries of various influential leftists.
Secondly, all post-revolutionary societies bare the birthmarks of it's predecessor. It is impossible to do away with these forms of oppression over night, and it is made unthinkable to do away with them if they were never combated in the first place. The old world, the bourgeois society, must be destroyed entirely for socialism to properly exist.
Finally, and most damningly, if these birthmarks are left unchecked, then any utterance of a “socialist society” will be a parody. What socialism? Where can there be socialism when entire sections of the workers are cut off from social and political freedom? Where can there be socialism when no meaningful form of democracy can exist, as it must stifle itself to meet these ridiculous untouched ideas? Where? Where I ask you, comrades?
How Brocialism Is To Be Smashed
Reactionary views are to be at all times combated. Reaction is to be fought constantly, and the ideas of capitalist society, are to be fought against. As Mao said in Combat Liberalism (liberalism, of course, being the ruling ideology of capitalism):
To let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate. Or to touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the organization and the individual are harmed. This is one type of liberalism.
Even amongst comrades, we are to make this clear. Should one reject a point of struggle, should they be the aid of oppression, they must be spoken to. How they are spoken to about the matter is a different conversation, and indeed such conversations will vary depending upon the people involved and the conditions therein. But nonetheless, the first step is to not only reject these ideas in theory, but combat them in practice. Disciplinary action and even expulsion, if necessary, are to be used, especially if the offense is particularly grievous (i.e. the act of sexual assault, repeated harassment, constant apologism for reactionary ideas, etc;).
What Is To Be Embraced
Liberal identity politics cannot be our guiding force. Just as brocialists reject identity struggles, so to do liberals reject class struggle. It is the liberal opinion that should the United States embrace a person from a marginalized community in a position of authority, then somehow the abuse and violence of this authority becomes progressive (an obviously ridiculous idea). This does not mean, however, that identity politics are to be rejected outright.
Reject Clintonite feminism and all that it entails. Reject the liberal notion of “As Long As They Don't Move Next Door” anti-racism. Embrace proletarian feminism, proletarian anti-racism, embrace radical LGBT+ liberation, embrace the frameworks of liberation that have been set down for (at a conservative estimate) over a century.
WORKERS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES OF THE WORLD, UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS! YOU HAVE A WORLD TO WIN! ☭
Suggested Introductory Reading:
Anarchism and the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin
The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State by Friedrich Engels
Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism edited by Zillah R. Eisenstein
Beyond Feminism: Anarchism and Human Freedom by L. Susan Brown
borrowed from r/s