There is neither a discernible overarching vision that unites all workers and aids in broad class solidarity nor an easy way of layering strategies so that they serve complementary ends. Whether this misalignment proves damning for labor remains to be seen.
To assume that this leads to progressive politics is wrong as much as the opposite (that working-class positions are inherently associated with far-right politics). This dichotomy ignores the constitutive split of the class: the same workers that demand recognition of their specificity as an existing ‘class’ of people (affirming their class position) may also call for the undermining of class divides through the redistribution of resources. This paradox of class identity is not to be resolved by those dedicated to class analysis as a pathway to a more equal society. But a deeper understanding of how it works, could make this way shorter.
The Wages of Whiteness or White Fragility? W.E.B. Du Bois and the Enduring Problem of Interracial Unionism
For Du Bois, whites embrace racism not because they are imbued by a psychological predisposition nor because they’re grasping for a shred of psychological superiority. Rather, they embrace white supremacy because the threat of job displacement—and the economic hardship that implies—drives whites to pursue their economic interests in racialized terms.
The possibilities for a new southern labor upsurge seem palpable, and opportunities for insurgent, more radical leadership are not inconceivable.