Pride is Dead, Long Live Pride
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left-wing melancholia
class politics
neoliberal capitalism
identity politics


The transformation of pride from being a quality of economically disadvantaged groups who sought acceptable living standards to individuals engaging with a commodified ideal that rests upon celebrating uniqueness has created another item to be negotiated in the world marketplace, separating the haves from the have nots. While certain forms of marginalization benefit the middle-classes who strive for recognition in an increasingly anonymous world, such diverse and beautiful colours do little to clothe and feed the multitudes that still remain below poverty levels worldwide. Matthew Warchus’s Pride (2014) tells the story of the miners and the LGBTQI+ community supporting each other politically during Margaret Thatcher’s government, highlighting what was perhaps the last period in which such a coalition between two now distinct political groups was possible. The subsequent disintegration of class politics as the central focus of the left, replaced by a new emphasis on identity politics, created an atmosphere where some previously marginalized groups become integrated into the mainstream culture. Hence, the neoliberal capitalist system dismantled communal action through division that privileged distinct non-class-based identities as new commodities for exchange – eliminating the possibility of unity between those groups marginalized on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and those structurally subordinated due to class. Warchus' Pride provides one alternative that may have since then been lost. Still, if the political left is to regain its ability to prioritize equality, it must relinquish its bonds to the commodification that has begun to pervade its socio-political agenda.

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