[...] it is important to learn how to discern the classed and anti-capitalist dimensions of what is sometimes misconceived reductively as ‘identity politics’. After all, how could the political movements and militant theorising of those whose labour and lives have been confiscated, devalued and ‘primitively’ accumulated through gendered and racialized exploitation not concern class understood in its most crucial, which is to say its relational dimension? If start from class as a relation rather than class as an identity (an identity that would allow us to demarcate, as too many Marxists beginning with Marx have done, a good working class from bad lumpen, free from forced labourers, etc.) then we can begin to attend to the invisible ‘iceberg’ of exploitation (to borrow Maria Mies’s characterisation of the role of ‘women, nature and colonies’ in capitalist accumulation, recently revisited and revitalised by Jason W. Moore) which lends class determination its full weight. Ironically, as I already suggested, beginning with a more orthodox, even dogmatic definition of class (relation to the means of production, etc.) would today perforce lead one to recognise how the working class, globally conceived, but also in the so-called ‘North’, is anything but a white, male redoubt. None of this is to ignore that a focus on identity (including in a narcissistic-individual sense) to the detriment of collective experiences of exploitation and antagonism remains an ideological problem, that liberal (or even reactionary) reflexes inhabit us all to varying degrees. But I think that to reproduce this dichotomy – class politics versus identity politics – is not only to freeze the necessary internal debates in the left into the sterile terrain of 1980s skirmishes around postmodernism, but to conceal all the ways in which political and theoretical work across the twentieth century had already dismantled it. Stuart Hall et al.’s turn to the language of experience and mediation in their landmark Policing the Crisis is very instructive in this regard, when, in speaking of the Black British proletariat they write: “racial oppression was the specific mediation through which this class experienced its material and cultural conditions of life, and hence race formed the central mode through which the self-consciousness of the class stratum could be constructed”. Analogous if not identical arguments could be made in terms of gender or sexuality.