The ever intrepid Jared Stepman spent his Fourth of July weekend attending the "Socialism 2019" conference in Chicago to get a firsthand look at the far-left base of the Democratic Party. The conference had the tagline "No Borders, No Bosses, No Binaries," and was sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America and Jacobin magazine. The event was pretty much exactly what you expected it to be. However, perhaps the most surprising thing was the explicit honesty the speakers had for their disdain of the traditional American family and why things like abortion, transgender issues, and even Teenvogue were so crucial to their fight to destroy capitalism.
The panel titled "Social Reproduction Theory and Gender Liberation" focused specifically on how destroying the traditional family means getting rid of gender roles.
Corrie Westing, a self-described queer socialist feminist activist based in Chicago working as a home-birth midwife, argued that traditional family structures propped up oppression and that the modern transgender movement plays a critical part in achieving true “reproductive justice.”
Society is in a moment of “tremendous political crisis,” one that “really demands a Marxism that’s up to the par of explaining why our socialist project is leading to ending oppression,” she said, “and we need a Marxism that can win generations of folks that can be radicalized by this moment.”She contended that economics is the basis of what she called “heteronormativity.”
Pregnancy becomes a tool of oppression, she said, as women who get pregnant and then engage in child rearing are taken out of the workforce at prime productive ages and then are taken care of by an economic provider.
Thus, for Westing, getting rid of capitalism would usher in a new society organized around "queer social reproduction."
"When we’re talking about revolution, we’re really connecting the issues of gender justice as integral to economic and social justice," Westing said.
An easy way of getting more on board with this line of thinking, another panel determined, was through "clickbait communism."
"I know there’s maybe a contradiction in inviting Teen Vogue to a socialism conference...especially because the youth spinoff brand is a magazine so associated with capitalist excess,” Lucy Diavolo, the outlet's transgender news and politics editor said. “If you’re not familiar with our work, I encourage you to read Teen Vogue’s coverage of social justice issues, capitalism, revolutionary theory, and Karl Marx, or you can check out the right-wing op-eds that accuse me of ‘clickbait communism’ and teaching your daughters Marxism and revolution."
The panel discussed how the outlet actually does quite well with young people. For this reason and others, as Stepman noted, these ideas cannot be cast off or ignored anymore. They are slowly seeping into the Democratic Party.
"What’s clear from my observations at Socialism 2019 is that traditional Marxists have successfully melded their ideology with the identity politics and culture war issues that animate modern liberalism—despite still being quite far from the beliefs of the average citizen," Stepman remarked.