Economic Justice Will Not Deliver Social Justice

Economic justice will not save us all on its own.


Left wing politics needs to be updated. Left wing political solidarity is held together by the common thread of fighting economic justice. If you look at the typically left movements across the world, or even in the UK such as Labour they are led by one core group: working class people. This is not in itself problematic. Working class people should be leading political movements, but it does mean that there is one problem.

One of the core aims of a left wing movement is to deliver economic justice. This is radical and good. But it is not the only thing. An economic revolution will not necessarily lead to a social revolution. Economic justice, in short, will not deliver social justice. Even if we have a basic income that will not stop racism and police brutality. It will not diminish queermisia or the assault on trans rights. It may help those sex workers who want to leave the industry to do so, but it will not deliver better protections or autonomy for sex workers over their lives, safety of industry.

“An economic revolution will not necessarily lead to a social revolution”

This is something the left needs to take into its foundations and rebuild as a new movement. Too often the focus has been only on class. We need a class revolution and that will help disabled people, queer people and people of colour who are more likely to be in poverty in the first place. But we also need a movement that puts just as much emphasis on liberation, social justice and fighting marginalisation.

This is why roughly 12% of Bernie voters switched to Trump. It’s why there are left wing people who believed ardently that we need to leave the EU and stop freedom of movement. It isn’t enough to just fight for economic justice. We need a progressive social agenda at the heart of our politics.

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