Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
There is only one -ism that counts, and that is the one which embraces all others, and that is socialism.
A genuine socialist cannot be sexist or racist because she or he accepts the equal worth of all people as an axiom.
Sadly, socialist politics and activism have long been dominated by white western men who've often been painfully slow to embrace others. Well into the 1970s, male socialist thinkers and activists were dismissing the gay and women's liberation movements as distractions from the main business of the class struggle. Homophobia in the trade unions was endemic (although it was also through
the trade unions that workplace discrimination against gay people was contested). Western socialists still support policies that exacerbate inequalities between developed and developing countries.
As I understand it, socialists recognise that social conflict is caused by inequality. The goal of eliminating inequality can't be achieved without targeting and, to some degree, disempowering the people who benefit from it. These people may get upset; many will react
in defence of their privileges. Because they have power and status, they have many methods at their disposal. They don't tend to worry too much about, for instance, stigmatising minorities, stirring up nationalist sentiment, financing reactionary movements or, when necessary, flexing their muscles to retaliate against protesters, discredit campaigners and bully critics. They can easily find people to justify their actions, usually in the name of liberty, security, or maintaining the current order. I'm not frightened of challenging people who benefit from that order to examine their own place in it, and inviting them to see how they are part of the problem. That may be uncomfortable or upsetting. So be it. Until it has happened, I doubt that they — we; I include myself in this — can contribute anything useful to the campaign against inequality, however lofty our principles.