Is the State Part of the Matrix of Domination and Intersectionality? An Anarchist Inquiry (Anarchist Studies 1, Spring 2016)

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Publication date: March 1, 2016

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Francis Dupuis-Deri

The notions ‘matrix of domination’ and ‘intersectionality’ have become buzzwords in discussions of power relations (patriarchy, racism, capitalism). Systems of domination must be examined in terms of their overlaps and mutual influences (‘matrix’), institutions and individuals being necessarily positioned at the intersections of these systems. In the scholarly literature, the focus is generally on three systems: sexism, racism, classism. Other aspects, such as age, may also be included. Apparently, however, the state is never regarded as a system but rather as a secondary or auxiliary institution affecting systems of domination or serving social movements in their quest for justice. Informed by anarchism, this article raises the possibility of viewing the state per se as a system of domination, oppression, appropriation and exclusion, one that is interwoven with other systems and influences them as much as they influence the state.