Privilege Theory

Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege

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Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege - Dónal O’DriscollAuthor: Dónal O’Driscoll | File size: 298 KB

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Privilege and the theory around it is a significant topic of debate at the moment among those interested in radical social change. Touching on many issues dear to the hearts of anarchists, it is hard to avoid. Yet, the two are not fitting together as well as they should and there is a sense of unease about this. Much of this is because privilege theory has emerged from US academic circles rather than anarchist ones and, ironically, has been co-opted to protect middle- class privileges. This is a situation in need of repair if we are to maintain our links with feminist, anti- racist and other struggles against oppression. If we are to create a mass movement capable of social change then it has to be able to engage with everyone in the first place.

This article is from the Irish Anarchist Review, no. 8, Autumn 2013

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AgitProp #15 – Privilege Theory: The Politics of Defeat

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AgitProp #15 - Privilege Theory: The Politics of DefeatAuthor: Unknown | File size: 516 KB

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I’ve been blissfully ignorant of these ideas of privilege and the concept of checking it until very recently. It came across my radar after the fall out of a twitter row. A set of ideas were put forward, and argument was made. The response to this argument boiled down to the person was writing it from a perspective of “white male privilege”. The issues were side stepped.

I assumed that this was an abuse of a theory that I didn’t understand, that privilege theory wasn’t simply a handy tool to dismiss an argument because you don’t like the person making it. I asked on twitter for some links so I could find out what this theory was really about. The most interesting and by interesting I mean the most infuriating was A Class Struggle Anarchist Analysis of Privilege Theory – from the Women’s Caucus.

Found at the SabCat site

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The Problem with “Privilege”

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The Problem with “Privilege” by Andrea SmithAuthor: Andrea Smith  |  File size: 328 KB

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“In my experience working with a multitude of anti-racist organising projects over the years, I frequently found myself participating in various workshops in which participants were asked to reflect on their gender/race/sexuality/class/etc. privilege. These workshops had a bit of a self-help orientation to them: “I am so and so, and I have x privilege.” It was never quite clear what the point of these confessions were. It was not as if other participants did not know the confessor in question had her/his proclaimed privilege. It did not appear that these individual confessions actually led to any political projects to dismantle the structures of domination that enabled their privilege…”

This article is from the blog of Andrea Smith.
It was found on the website of Miami Autonomy & Solidarity

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