Dec 17, 2021 • 1HR 12M

The Cult of the Privilege Walk

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Matt Taibbi
Katie Halper
Useful Idiots is an informative and irreverent politics podcast with journalist Matt Taibbi and podcaster/writer Katie Halper. Episodes feature on-the-road coverage of the 2020 campaign and exclusive interviews, with humor, commentary and dissection of the politics news of the week. Join Matt and Katie as they examine important stories that have slipped through the cracks and what the media got wrong – and laugh about whatever is left to laugh about.
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Journalist and professor Christian Parenti’s latest NonSite (the Adolph Reed site) article, The First Privilege Walk, has, among other things, one of the greatest subtitles of all time:

How Herbert Marcuse’s widow used a Scientology-linked cult’s methodology to gamify Identity Politics and thus helped steer the U.S. Left down the dead-end path of identitarian psychobabble.

The article, which Matt described as “an article after my own heart,” (to which Katie replied, “It’s like it was made in a lab for you,”) explores the way identify politics (or the weaponization of it) undermines the fight for economic (and racial) equality and looks at the origins of one of its exercises, namely “The Privilege Walk.” As Parenti explains,

Mainstream critics say the exercise propagates divisive identity politics and mock it as foundational to the Oppression Olympics. A Marxist critique would say that the Walk transmogrifies material problems into cultural ones, economic exploitation becomes the more nebulous problem of oppression.

In the same way Professor Adolph Reed criticizes Robin DiAngelo’s antiracist jumble as fake left, the new liberal “identitarian psychobabble” not only contradicts the Sandersian left, but hurts it.

Take a listen as Christian Parenti unravels the cult.

Plus, Biden won’t extend the student loan pause, McConnell is still a hypocrite, and oh god the new Jimmy Fallon/Ariana Grande/Megan Thee Stallion song. #SMH

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out. And click here for the ad-free episode.