The election and reelection of Barack Obama seemed to many to be a moment of redemption for America’s long history of slavery, segregation, and racism. And the powerful role that minority groups and women now play in elections seems to vindicate a dramatic turn by the Left in the past forty years toward a primary focus on identity politics, particularly highlighting the Left’s efforts to counter certain forms of oppression faced by women, African Americans, LGBTQ people, Latinos, Asian Americans, immigrants, and people with disabilities.

Yet progressives and liberals have not yet fully grappled with the limitations of narrowly conceived struggles against identity-based oppression. For example, if struggles against the gender wage gap are framed narrowly in terms of “equal pay for equal work,” such struggles are fundamentally unable to challenge the larger structure of capitalist domination that leaves millions of women and men...

You do not currently have access to this content.