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Capitalism Vs.

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Afropessimism is not radical pessimism is a predictable response to postmodern
capitalism and is a crucial part of the system
Eagleton 95 (Terry Eagleton Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, Professor of Cultural Theory at the
National University of Ireland, In defense of history: Where do postmodernists come from?, Monthly Review, vol. 3 no. 47 (July 1995), pp. 5970 // JJ)
Imagine a radical movement that had suffered an emphatic defeat. So emphatic, in fact, that it seemed unlikely to resurface for the length of
a lifetime, if at all. As

time wore on, the beliefs of this movement might begin to seem less false or
ineffectual than simply irrelevant. For its opponents, it would be less a matter of hotly contesting these
doctrines than of contemplating them with something of the mild antiquarian interest one might have previously
reserved for Ptolemaic cosmology or the scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas. Radicals might come to find themselves less
overwhelmed or out-argued than simply washed up, speaking a language so quaintly out of tune with their era that, as
with the language of Platonism or courtly love, nobody even bothered any longer to ask whether it was true. What would be the
likely response of the left to such a dire condition? Many, no doubt, would drift either cynically or sincerely to the right,
regretting their earlier views as infantile idealism. Others might keep the faith purely out of habit, anxiety, or nostalgia, clinging to an
imaginary identity and risking the neurosis that that may bring. A small clutch of left triumphalists, incurably hopeful, would no doubt carry
on detecting the stirrings of the revolution in the faintest flicker of militancy. In others, the radical impulse would persist, but would be
forced to migrate elsewhere. One

can imagine that the ruling assumption of this period would be that the
system was, at least for the moment, unbreachable; and a great many of the left's conclusions could be
seen to flow from this glum supposition. One might expect, for example, that there would be an upsurge of
interest in the margins and crevices of the system--in those ambiguous, indeterminate places where its
power seemed less secure. If the system could not be breached, one might at least look to those forces
which might momentarily transgress, subvert, or give it the slip. There would be, one might predict, much celebration
of the marginal--but this would be partly making a virtue out of necessity, since the left would itself have been rudely displaced from the
mainstream, and might

thus come, conveniently enough, to suspect all talk of centrality as suspect. At its

crudest, this cult of marginality would come down to a simpleminded assumption that minorities
were positive and majorities oppressive . Just how minorities like fascist groups, Ulster Unionists, or the international
bourgeoisie fitted into this picture would not be entirely clear. Nor is it obvious how such a position could cope with a previously marginal
movement--the ANC, for example--becoming politically dominant, given its formalist prejudice that dominance was undesirable as such. The

historical basis for this way of thinking would be the fact that political movements that were at once
mass, central, and creative were by and large no longer in business. Indeed, the idea of a movement that was at
once central and subversive would now appear something of a contradiction in terms. It would therefore seem natural to demonize the mass,
dominant, and consensual, and romanticize whatever happened to deviate from them. It would be, above all, the attitude of those younger
dissidents who had nothing much, politically speaking, to remember, who had no actual memory or experience of mass radical politics, but a
good deal of experience of drearily oppressive majorities. If the system really did seem to have canceled all opposition to itself, then it

would not be hard to generalize from this to the vaguely anarchistic belief that system is oppressive as
such. Since there were almost no examples of attractive political systems around, the claim would seem distinctly plausible.
The only genuine criticism could be one launched from outside the system altogether; and one would
expect, therefore, a certain fetishizing of "otherness" in such a period. There would be enormous
interest in anything that seemed alien, deviant, exotic, unincorporable, all the way from aardvarks to Alpha Centauri,
a passion for whatever gave us a tantalizing glimpse of something beyond the logic of the system altogether. But this romantic ultraleftism would coexist, curiously enough, with a brittle pessimism--for the fact is that if the system is all-powerful, then
there can be by definition nothing beyond it, any more than there can be anything beyond the infinite curvature of cosmic space. If there
were something outside the system, then it would be entirely unknowable and thus incapable of saving us; but if we could draw it into the
orbit of the system, so that it could gain some effective foothold there, its otherness would be instantly contaminated and its subversive
power would thus dwindle to nothing. Whatever negates the system in theory would thus be logically incapable of doing so in practice.
Anything we can understand can by definition not be radical, since it must be within the system itself; but anything which escapes the system
could be heard by us as no more than a mysterious murmur. Such

thinking has abandoned the whole notion of a system

which is internally contradictory--which has that installed at its heart which can potentially undo it. Instead, it thinks in
the rigid oppositions of "inside" and "outside," where to be on the inside is to be complicit and to be
on the outside is to be impotent . The typical style of thought of such a period, then, might be
described as libertarian pessimism--libertarian, because one would not have given up on the dream of
something quite other than what we have; pessimism, because one would be much too bleakly
conscious of the omnipotence of law and power to believe that such a dream could ever be realized. If
one still believed in subversion, but not in the existence of any flesh-and-blood agents of it, then it might be possible to imagine that the
system in some way subverted itself, deconstructed its own logic, which would then allow you to combine a certain radicalism with a certain
skepticism. If the system is everywhere, then it would seem, like the Almighty himself, to be visible at no particular point; and it would
therefore become possible to believe, paradoxically enough, that whatever was out there was not in fact a system at all. It is only a short step
from claiming that the system is too complex to be represented to declaring that it does not exist. In

the period we are imagining,

then, some would no doubt be found clamoring against what they saw as the tyranny of a real social
totality, whereas others would be busy deconstructing the whole idea of totality and claiming that it existed only in our minds. It would not
be hard to see this as, at least in part, a compensation in theory for the fact that the social totality was proving difficult to crack in practice. If
no very ambitious form of political action seems for the moment possible, if so-called micropolitics seem the order of the day, it is always
tempting to convert this necessity into a virtue--to console oneself with the thought that one's political limitations have a kind of objective
ground in reality, in the fact that social "totality" is in any case just an illusion. ("Metaphysical" illusion makes your position sound rather
more imposing.) It does not matter if there is no political agent at hand to transform the whole, because there is in fact no whole to be
transformed. It is as though, having mislaid the breadknife, one declares the loaf to be already sliced. But totality might also seem something
of an illusion because there would be no very obvious political agent for whom society might present itself as a totality. There are those who
need to grasp how it stands with them in order to be free, and who find that they can do this only by grasping something of the overall
structure with which their own immediate situation intersects. Local and universal are not, here, simple opposites or theoretical options, as
they might be for those intellectuals who prefer to think big and those more modest academics who like to keep it concrete. But if some of
those traditional political agents are in trouble, then so will be the concept of social totality, since it is those agents' need of it that gives it its
force. Grasping a complex totality involves some rigorous analysis; so it is not surprising that such strenuously systematic thought should be
out of fashion, dismissed as phallic, scientistic, or what have you, in the sort of period we are imagining. When there is nothing in particular in
it for you to find out how you stand--if

you are a professor in Ithaca or Irvine, for example--you can afford to be

ambiguous, elusive, deliciously indeterminate. You are also quite likely, in such circumstances, to wax
idealist-though in some suitably new-fangled rather than tediously old-fashioned sense. For one primary way in which we know the world
is, of course, through practice; and if any very ambitious practice is denied us, it will not be long before we catch ourselves wondering
whether there is anything out there at all. One would expect, then, that in such an era a belief in reality as something that resists us ("History
is what hurts," as Fredric Jameson has put it) will give way to a belief in the "constructed" nature of the world. This, in turn, would no doubt
go hand in hand with a full-blooded "culturalism" which underestimated what men and women had in common as material human creatures,
and suspected all talk of nature as an insidious mystification. It

would tend not to realize that such culturalism is just as

reductive as, say, economism or biologism. Cognitive and realist accounts of human consciousness would yield ground to
various kinds of pragmatism and relativism, party because there didn't any longer seem much politically at stake in knowing how it stood with
you. Everything would become an interpretation, including that statement itself. And what would also gradually implode, along with
reasonably certain knowledge, would be the idea of a human subject "centered" and unified enough to take significant action. For such
significant action would now seem in short supply; and the result, once more, would be to make a virtue out of necessity by singing the praises
of the diffuse, decentered, schizoid human subject--a subject who might well not be "together" enough to topple a bottle off a wall, et alone
bring down the sate, but who could nevertheless be presented as hair-raisingly avant garde in contrast to the smugly centered subjects of an
older, more classical phase of capitalism. To put it another way: the subject as producer (coherent, disciplined, self-determining) would have
yielded ground to the subject as consumer (mobile, ephemeral, constituted by insatiable desire). If the "left" orthodoxies of such a period
were pragmatist, relativist, pluralistic, deconstructive, then one might well see such thought-forms as dangerously radical. For does not
capitalism need sure foundations, stable identities, absolute authority, metaphysical certainties, in order to survive And wouldn't the kind of
thought we are imagining put the skids under all this The answer, feebly enough, is both yes and no. It is true that capitalism, so far anyway,
has felt the need to underpin its authority with unimpeachable moral foundations. Look, for example, at the remarkable tenacity of religious
belief in North America. On the other hand, look at the British, who are a notably godless bunch. No British politician could cause anything
other than acute embarrassment by invoking the Supreme Being in public, and the British talk much less about metaphysical abstractions like
Britain than those in the United States do about something called the United States. It is not clear, in other words, exactly how much
metaphysical talk the advanced capitalist system really requires; and it is certainly true that its relentlessly secularizing, rationalizing
operations threaten to undercut its own metaphysical claims. It

is clear, however, that without pragmatism and plurality

the system could not survive at all. Difference, "hybridity," heterogeneity, restless mobility are native
to the capitalist mode of production, and thus by no means inherently radical phenomena. So if
these ways of thinking put the skids under the system at one level, they reproduce its logic at
another. If an oppressive system seems to regulate everything, then one will naturally look around for some enclave of which this is less

true--some place where a degree of freedom or randomness or pleasure still precariously survives. Perhaps you might call this desire, or
discourse, or the body, or the unconscious. One might predict in this period a quickening of interest in psychoanalsis--for psychoanalysis is
not only the thinking person's sensationalism, blending intellectual rigor with the most lurid materials, but it exudes a general exciting air of
radicalism without being particularly so politically. If the more abstract questions of state, mode of production, and civil society seems for the
moment too hard to resolve, then one might shift one's political attention to something more intimate and immediate, more living and
fleshly, like the body. Conference papers entitled "Putting the Anus Back into Coriolanus" would attract eager crowds who had never heard of
the bourgeoisie but who knew all about buggery. This state of affairs would no doubt be particularly marked in those societies which in any
case lacked strong socialist traditions; indeed, one could imagine much of the style of thought in question, for all its suspiciousness of the
universal, as no more than a spurious universalizing of such specific political conditions. Such a concern with bodiliness and sexuality would
represent, one imagines, an enormous political deepening and enrichment, at the same time as it would signify a thoroughgoing
displacement. And no doubt just the same could be said if one were to witness an increasing obsession with language and culture--topics
where the intellectual is in any case more likely to feel at home than in the realm of material production. One

might expect that

some, true to the pessimism of the period, would stress how discourses are policed, regulated, heavy
with power, while others would proclaim in more libertarian spirit how the thrills and spills of the
signifier can give the slip to the system. Either way, one would no doubt witness an immense linguistic inflation, as what
appeared no longer conceivable in political reality was still just about possible in the areas of discourse or signs or textuality. The freedom of
text or language would come to compensate for the unfreedom of the system as a whole. There would still be a kind of utopian vision, but its
name now would be increasingly poetry. And it would even be possible to imagine, in an "extremist" variant of this style of thought, that the
future was here and now--that utopia had already arrived in the shape of the pleasurable intensities, multiple selfhoods, and exhilarating
exchanges of the marketplace and the shopping mall. History would then most certainly have come to an end--an end already implicit in the
blocking of radical political action. For if no such collective action seemed generally possible, then history would indeed appear as random
and directionless, and to claim that there was no longer any "grand narrative' would be among other things a way of saying that we no longer
knew how to construct one effectively in these conditions. For this kind of thought, history would have ended because freedom would finally
have been achieved; for Marxism, the achievement of freedom would be the beginning of history and the end of all we have known to date:
those boring prehistorical grand narratives which are really just the same old recycled story of scarcity, suffering, and struggle.

Using experience as a starting point for social theory ignores larger structures of
capitalist development and exploitation
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale 3 (Valerie Scatamburlo-DAnnibale Professor at the University of Windsor, The Strategic Centrality
of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies, vol. 3 no. 2 (2003), pp. 148-175 // JJ)
This framework must be further distinguished from those who invoke the terms classism and/or class elitism to (ostensibly) foreground the
idea that class matters (cf. hooks, 2000) because we agree with Gimenez (2001) that class is not simply another ideology legitimating
oppression (p. 24). Rather, class denotes exploitative relations between people mediated by their relations to the means of production (p.
24). To marginalize such an understanding of class is to conflate individuals objective locations in the intersection of struc- tures of inequality
with individuals subjective understandings of how they are situated based on their experiences. 7 Another caveat. We are not renouncing
the concept of experience. On the contrary, we believe that it is imperative to retain the category of lived experience as a reference point in
light of misguided post-Marxist critiques that imply that all forms of Marxian class analysis are dismissive of subjectivity. We

are not,
however, advocating the uncritical fetishization of experience that tends to assume that personal
experience somehow guarantees the authenticity of knowledge and that often treats expe- rience as
self-explanatory, transparent, and solely individual. Rather, we advance a framework that seeks to make
connections between seemingly iso- lated situations and/or particular experiences by exploring how
they are consti- tuted in, and circumscribed by, broader historical and social conditions. They are linked, in
other words, by their internal relations (Ollman, 1993). Expe- riential understandings, in and of themselves, are
initially suspect because dia- lectically they constitute a unity of opposites they are at once unique,
specific, and personal but also thoroughly partial, social, and the products of historical forces about
which individuals may know little or nothing. A rich description of immediate experience can be an
appropriate and indispensable point of departure, but such an understanding can easily become an
isolated difference prison unless it transcends the immediate perceived point of oppres- sion, confronts
the social system in which it is rooted, and expands into a com- plex and multifaceted analysis (of forms of
social mediation) that is capable of mapping out the general organization of social relations. That, however,
requires a broad class-based approach. Having a concept of class helps us to see the network of social
relations constituting an overall social organization which both implicates and cuts through
racialization/ethnicization and gender . . . . [A] radical political economy [class] perspective emphasizing exploitation,
dispossession and survival takes the issues of . . . diversity [and difference] beyond questions of conscious identity such as culture and
ideology, or of a paradigm of homogeneity and heterogeneity . . . or of ethical imperatives with respect to the other. (Bannerji, 2000, pp. 7,
19) Various

culturalist perspectives seem to diminish the role of political econ- omy and class forces in
shaping the edifice of the socialincluding the shift- ing constellations and meanings of difference. Furthermore, none of
the dif- ferences valorized in culturalist narratives alone, and certainly not race by itself, can explain
the massive transformation of the structure of capitalism in recent years. We agree with Meyerson (2000) that
race is not an adequate explanatory category on its own and that the use of race as a descriptive or analytical category has serious
consequences for the way in which social life is presumed to be constituted and organized. The

category of racethe concep-

tual framework that the oppressed often employ to interpret their experiences of inequalityoften
clouds the concrete reality of class, and blurs the actual structure of power and privilege; in this
regard, race is all too often a barrier to understanding the central role of class in shaping personal and
collective out- comes within a capitalist society (Marable, 1995, pp. 8, 226).

Information Sharing
Information sharing is a tool of the capitalist system and key to the
imperialist strategy
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapyer 6, pgs 102-103, 2009//SRSL)

Information warfare is a key imperialist strategy and modus operandi of cap- italism; so is
'enfraudening the public sphere'. 'Enfraudening the public sphere' is a term coined by David
Geoffrey Smith (Smith, 2003, p. 488-489) to describe 'not just simple or single acts of deception, cheating
or misrepre- sentation' (which may be described as 'defrauding'), but rather 'a more gen- eralized active
conditioning of the public sphere through systemized lying, deception and misrepresentation'.
The major strength of transmodernism, I would argue, lies in its argu- ment that European philosophers still are not facing the historical responsibilities of their legacies (Smith, 2004, p. 644). As I argued elsewhere (Cole, 2008d), transmodernism

makes an important
contribution to an under- standing of the legacy of the European invasion of the Americas
because it reveals how the imperialism in which contemporary U.S. foreign policy is currently
engaged has a specific and long-standing genealogy. Smith (2003, p. 489) argues that the Bush Administration's 'war on

ter- ror' was used to veil long-standing, but now highly intensified, global impe- rial aims. Following McMurtry (1998, p. 192), he suggests that, under
these practices, knowledge becomes 'an absurd expression' (Smith, 2003, p. 489). Again, following McMurtry (2002, p. 55), Smith (2003, pp. 493-494)
argues that the corporate structure ofthe global economy (dominated by the United States, particularly through its petroleum corporations) 'has no life
co-ordinates in its regulating paradigm' and is structured to misrepresent its indifference to human life as "life-serving"'. Thus

we have terror
in the name of anti-terrorism; war in the name of peace seeking. Accordingly, U.S. secre- tary ofstate, Colin Powell
(2003) was able to declare with a straight face and in a matter-of-fact tone that the 'Millennium Challenge Account' ofthe Bush administration was to
install 'freely elected democracies' all over the world, under 'one standard for the world' which is 'the free market system...prac- ticed correctly' (cited in
Smith, 2003, p. 494). This

provides the justifica- tion for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
children since 1990 through NA TO bombing and the destruction of the public infrastructure
(water, healthcare, etc.). This slaughter has, of course, taken on a new dimen- sion since the March 2003 invasion and occupation oflraq. Such
justification is also given for the destabilization of democratically elected governments throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia (Smith, 2003, p.
494). Smith (2003, p. 494) describes this rhetorical

process as enantiomorphic- whereby a claim is made to act

in a certain way, when one actually acts in the opposite way. Enantiomorphism reached its
zenith, I would argue, in the absurd claim nurtured by Bush and Blair that the invasion and
occupa- tion of Iraq was necessary because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,
which he was going to use on the West. There were also reason- able claims made that he tortured his people and was antidemocratic. The Americans and their allies were going there, we were told, to find the weap- ons of
mass destruction, stop the people being tortured, and bring democ- racy. The reality is, of course, that not only
did Saddam have no weapons of mass destruction (it is the Americans who have such weapons, and remain the only country that has dropped atomic
bombs in warfare) but the Americans and the British have continued the torture (see later in this chapter); and upheld the lack of democracy.2

Information sharing is a tool of the capitalist system and key to the imperialist
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for
Education for Social Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race
Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapyer 6, pgs 102-103, 2009//SRSL)
Information warfare is a key imperialist strategy and modus operandi of cap- italism; so is 'enfraudening
the public sphere'. 'Enfraudening the public sphere' is a term coined by David Geoffrey Smith (Smith, 2003, p.
488-489) to describe 'not just simple or single acts of deception, cheating or misrepre- sentation' (which may be
described as 'defrauding'), but rather 'a more gen- eralized active conditioning of the public sphere through
systemized lying, deception and misrepresentation'. The major strength of transmodernism, I would argue, lies in its argu- ment that
European philosophers still are not facing the historical responsi- bilities of their legacies (Smith, 2004, p. 644). As I argued elsewhere (Cole, 2008d),

transmodernism makes an important contribution to an under- standing of the legacy of the European
invasion of the Americas because it reveals how the imperialism in which contemporary U.S. foreign
policy is currently engaged has a specific and long-standing genealogy. Smith (2003, p. 489) argues that the Bush

Administration's 'war on ter- ror' was used to veil long-standing, but now highly intensified, global impe- rial aims. Following McMurtry (1998, p. 192), he suggests
that, under these practices, knowledge becomes 'an absurd expression' (Smith, 2003, p. 489). Again, following McMurtry (2002, p. 55), Smith (2003, pp. 493-494)
argues that the corporate structure ofthe global economy (dominated by the United States, particularly through its petroleum corporations) 'has no life coordinates in its regulating paradigm' and is structured to misrepresent its indifference to human life as "life-serving"'. Thus

we have terror in the

name of anti-terrorism; war in the name of peace seeking. Accordingly, U.S. secre- tary ofstate, Colin Powell (2003) was able to
declare with a straight face and in a matter-of-fact tone that the 'Millennium Challenge Account' ofthe Bush administration was to install 'freely elected
democracies' all over the world, under 'one standard for the world' which is 'the free market system...prac- ticed correctly' (cited in Smith, 2003, p. 494). This

provides the justifica- tion for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children since 1990
through NA TO bombing and the destruction of the public infrastructure (water, healthcare, etc.). This slaughter has, of
course, taken on a new dimen- sion since the March 2003 invasion and occupation oflraq. Such justification is also given for the destabilization of democratically
elected governments throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia (Smith, 2003, p. 494). Smith (2003, p. 494) describes this rhetorical

process as
enantiomorphic- whereby a claim is made to act in a certain way, when one actually acts in the opposite
way. Enantiomorphism reached its zenith, I would argue, in the absurd claim nurtured by Bush and Blair
that the invasion and occupa- tion of Iraq was necessary because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass
destruction, which he was going to use on the West. There were also reason- able claims made that he tortured his people and was
anti-democratic. The Americans and their allies were going there, we were told, to find the weap- ons of mass
destruction, stop the people being tortured, and bring democ- racy. The reality is, of course, that not only did Saddam have
no weapons of mass destruction (it is the Americans who have such weapons, and remain the only country that has dropped atomic bombs in warfare) but the
Americans and the British have continued the torture (see later in this chapter); and upheld the lack of democracy.2

Capitalism penetrates nature for profit and the affirmative is no
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapyer 6, pgs 99-100, 2009//SRSL)

The unrelenting abuse of nature, viewed as a resource to plunder by global neoliberal

capitalism, has had disastrous consequences. Millions of poor people have been driven off their land, while whole areas of agricultural land have been
damaged, and rain forests destroyed by mining, logging and oil companies. Our health is seriously at risk by the food we eat, genes are
being engineered and modified, and 'global warming' is threatening the survival of life on the
planet. Elsewhere (Cole, 2008d, pp. 90-96; see also Feldman and Lotz, 2004) I have dealt with the effects of environmental destruction under the following headings: Unhealthy Food; Genetic

Modification; the Destruction ofResources; and Climate Change. I have argued that the food that we eat in 'developed' countries is unhealthier than ever before, and that it is estimated that 70 percent of the 20

I further noted that the last

twenty-five years or so has seen a dramatic extension and deepening of global capitalism's
penetration of nature for profit. For example, genetic modification, having first occurred in 1973, is an unprecedented incursion. Moreover, this knowledge is being
privatized through patents on genes (Feldman and Lotz, 2004, p. ll8). Paul Gilroy (2004, p. 84) has described these developments as the 'corporate control
of the substance oflife itself', 'linking 'the colonization of territory and human beings with the
colonization of all life'. Jeremy Rifkin, 1999, cited in Feldman and Lotz, 2004, p. 137, has summed up the dangers of genetic engineering as
a whole, where: a] handful of corporations, research institutions and governments could hold
patents on virtually all 100,000 genes that make up the blueprint of the human race, as well as
the cells, organs, and tissues that comprise the human body. They may also own similar patents
on thousands of micro-organisms, plants and animals, allowing them unprecedented power to
dictate the terms by which we and future generations will live our lives With respect to the
destruction of resource, I pointed out how intensive farming in the last 60 years and the turn to
industrialized agriculture under current globalization have resulted in ecological catastrophe. Of
particular concern is the destruction of rainforests, home to more species of plants and animals
than the rest of the world put together. The drilling and produc- tion of oil is also a great threat
to large areas of rainforests. Burning oil and other fossil fuels pollutes the atmosphere, and contributes to global warming and climate change, one of the greatest threats to the
million global annual food adver- tising budget is used to promote (unhealthy) soft drinks, sweets and snacks (Feldman and Lotz, 2004, p. 129).

survival of the all the inhabitants, and indeed all living things on our planet. Glaciers in Greenland are slipping into the sea at a rate that doubled between 1996 and 2000, and the Antarctic ice cap, which holds
70 per- cent of the world's water, is now losing water at the same rate as Greenland (Ward, 2006, p. 12).

The causal role ofneoliberal global

capitalism in global warming is indisputable.

An annual growth rate (GNP) of 3 percent (the accepted rate for the developed world) means

capitalist system ... is incapable of downsizing except by means of destructive slump or war'. As
argued earlier, capitalism is out of control 'set on a trajectory, the "trajectory of production" ...
powered not simply by value but by the "constant expansion of surplus value"' (Postone, 1996, p. 308, cited in
Rikowski, 2001, p. ll). (Rikowski's emphasis) Petroleum is the main fuel used by consumers. The connection between increased fossil fuel use and
imperialist adventures in oil-rich countries is an obvious one. One of the primary reasons for
U.S. imperial expansion is, of course, to control access to, and the marketing of oil (the other being U.S. capitalist
hegemony). This, in turn , creates further environmental degrada- tion and destruction, both in
that production is doubled every 24 years, and there is a close correlation between GNP and the rate of increased fossil fuel use (Kinnear and Barlow, 2005). As Phil Ward (2005, p. 14) puts it,

the United States, and worldwide. I will now consider the role of the 'New
Imperialism' in the twenty-first century, and, in the last chapter of this volume,
will argue the case for a study ofimperialisms to be a central feature of the
curriculum . Ellen Meiksins Wood (2003, p. 134) has captured succinctly globalization's current imperialist manifestations: Actually existing globalization
.. . means the opening of subordinate econo- mies and their vulnerability to imperial capital,
while the imperial economy remains sheltered as much as possible from the adverse effects.
Globalization has nothing to do with free trade. On the contrary, it is about the careful con- trol of trading
conditions in the interest of imperial capital (cited in McLaren and Farahmandpur, 2005, p. 30) While globalization is used
to further the interests of capitalists and their supporters per se, it is often similarly used

ideologically to justify the New Imperial Project. On September 17, 2002, a document entitled National Security Strategy of the United States of America
(NSSUSA) was released which laid bare U.S. global strategy in the most startling terms (Smith, 2003, p. 491). As transmodernist, David Geoffrey Smith points out, the Report
heralds a 'single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democ- racy and free
enterprise'. Europe is to be kept subordinate to, and depen- dent on, U.S. power, NATO is to be
reshaped as a global interventionist force under U.S. leadership, and American national security
is claimed to be dependent on the absence ofany other great power. The Report also refers to 'information warfare', whereby
deliberate lies are spread as a weapon of war. Apparently, a secret army has been established to provoke terrorist attacks, which would then justify 'counter attack' by U.S. forces on countries that could be
announced as 'harboring terrorists' (The Research Unit for Political Economy (RUPE), 2003, pp. 67-78, cited in Smith, 2003, pp. 491-492). While the NSSUSA states that American diplomats are to be retrained
as 'viceroys' capable of governing client states ((RUPE), 2003 cited in Smith, 2003, p. 491), the New Imperialism, in reality, no longer seeks direct terri- torial control ofthe rest ofthe world, as did British
Imperialism for example, but instead relies on 'vassal regimes' (Bello, 2001, cited in Smith, 2003, p. 494) to do its bidding. This is because capital is now accumulated via the control of markets, rather than by

Writing from a liberal perspective

sovereignty over territories.

, Michael Lind (2004, p. 5) points out that this does not stop many neo-Conservatives in the United States
hanker- ing after British Imperialism (and in particular the young Winston Churchill) as their model. British neo-Conservative popular historian and TV presenter Niall Ferguson, for whom the British Empire was
relatively benevolent, has similar views. In a speech in 2004, he argued that the American Empire which 'has the potential to do great good' needs to learn from the lessons of the British Empire. First it needs to
export capital and to invest in its colonies; second, people from the United States need to settle permanently in its colonies; third, there must be a commitment to imperialism; fourth there must be collaboration
with local elites. Success can only come, he con- cludes ifthe Americans are prepared to stay (Ferguson, 2004). George Bush and Tony Blair were, of course, pivotal in extending and consolidating U. imperialism.
Ferguson (2005) argued that Bush is an 'idealist realist' who is 'clearly open to serious intellectual ideas'. Bush is a realist because he belieYeJ that power is 'far more important than law in the relations between
states. and an idealist because he wants to spread 'economic and political freedom around the world'. Bush, he goes on, has picked up two main ideas from the academy, namely that free markets accelerate
economic growth which make democracy more likely to succeed, and democracies are 'much less likely to make war than authoritarian regimes'. Ferguson then offers the President a further idea. It helps to think

The lesson to be learnt from that Empire is the need to

stay longer. 'Elections are not everything' and the danger posed to liberty in the United States,
and on the imperial front, he concludes, is less worrying than 'a decline in US power ... surely
something about which idealists and realists can agree'. Wall Street Journalist, Max Boot has gone so far as to state that 'Afghanistan and other
of the U.S. Empire (Ferguson's words not mine) 'as a kind ofsequel to the British Empire'.

troubled lands today cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets' (cited in Smith, 2003, p. 490) (see pp. 57-60 and p. llO of this
volume for a discussion of the imperialist views of Barack Obama; see also the Postscript to this volume).

The intrusion of EEzs is an example of postmodern imperialism

specifically the imperialism of neighbors approach
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapyer 6, pgs 103-104, 2009//SRSL)

In Cole, 2008d, pp. 98-100, I also discussed the 'postmodern fantasy' of Robert Cooper (2002,
p. 5).3 Briefly, Cooper argues that postmodern impe- rialism takes two forms. The first is the
voluntary imperialism of the global economy, where institutions like the IMF and the World
Bank provide help to states 'wishing to find their way back into the global economy and into the
virtuous circle of investment and prosperity' (ibid.). If states wish to benefit, he goes on 'they
must open themselves up to the interference of international organizations and foreign states'
(ibid.) (my emphasis). Cooper (ibid.) refers to this as a new kind of imperialism, one which is
needed and is acceptable to what he refers to as 'a world of human rights and cosmopol- itan
values': an imperialism 'which, like all imperialism, aims to bring order and organisation' [he
does not mention exploitation and oppression] 'but which rests today on the voluntary
principle'. While '[w]ithin the postmod- ern world, there are no security threats' ... 'that is to say,
its members do not consider invading each other' (p. 3), that world, according to Cooper has a
right to invade others. The 'postmodern world' has a right to pre-emptive attack, deception and
whatever else is necessary. The second form ofpostmodern imperialism Cooper calls 'the
imperial- ism ofneighbours' (Cooper has in mind the European Union), where insta- bility 'in
your neighbourhood poses threats which no state can ignore'. It is not merely soldiers that come
from the international community; he argues, 'it is police, judges, prison officers, central
bankers and others' (my empha- sis). Between 1999 and 2001, Cooper was Tony Blair's head of
the Defence and Overseas Secretariat, in the British Cabinet Office.

U.S. cultural politics take an ivory tower approach to difference and representation
while ignoring the material violence of the capitalist system they further
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale 3 (Valerie Scatamburlo-DAnnibale Professor at the University of Windsor, The Strategic Centrality
of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies, vol. 3 no. 2 (2003), pp. 148-175 // JJ)

It is remarkable, in our opinion, that so much of contemporary social theory has largely abandoned the
problems of labor and class analysis at a time when capitalism is becoming more universal, more
ruthless, and more deadly. The metaphor of a contemporary tower of Babel seems appropriate hereacademics striking
radical poses in seminar rooms while remaining oblivious to the possi- bility that their seemingly radical
discursive maneuvers do nothing to further the struggles against oppression and exploitation which
continue to be real, material and not merely discursive problems of the contemporary world (Dirlik,
1997, p.176). Harvey (1998) has indicted the new academic entrepre- neurs, the masters of theory-in-and-for-itself whose discourse
radicalism has deftly sidestepped the enduring conundrums of class struggle and who have, against a sobering background of cheapened
discourse and opportunis- tic politics, been stripped of their self-advertised radicalism (pp.29-31). For years, they contested socialism,
ridiculed Marxists, and promoted their own alternative theories of liberatory politics, but now they have largely been reduced to the role
of supplicants in the most degraded form of pluralist poli- Tics imaginable (pp.30-31). As they

pursue the politics of difference,

the class war rages unabated, and they seem either unwilling or unable to focus on the
unprecedented economic carnage occurring around the globe (pp. 30-31). Harveys searing criticism suggests that
post-Marxists have been busy fiddling while Rome burns, and his comments echo those made by Marx (1978) in his critique of the Young
Hegelians who were, in spite of their allegedly world-shattering statements, the staunchest conservatives (p. 149). Marx lamented that
the Young Hegelians were simply fighting phrases and that they failed to acknowledge that in offering only counterphrases, they were in no
way combating the real existing world but merely combating the phrases of the world. Taking a cue from Marx and substituting phrases
with dis- courses or resignifications, we would contend that the

practitioners of ludic difference politics who operate

within exaggerated culturalist frameworks that privilege the realm of representation as the primary
arena of political struggle question some discourses of power while legitimating others. 16 In their
anath- ema towards totalization and in their penchant for thematizing culture with a particularizing
impulse that domiciles class in the hinterland of a divertissement, they reinscribe racial formations
within the prevailing logic of capitalist social relations. Moreover, because they generally lack a class
perspec- tive, their gestures of radicalism are belied by their own class positions. We agree with Reed (2000)
who contended that cultural politics are class politics insofar as they are manifestations within the political
economy of academic life and the left-liberal public sphere of the petit bourgeois, brokerage politics
of interest-group pluralism (p. xxii). Regardless of the radical-sounding patina that such theorizing attempts to lay over this alltoo-familiar worldview and practice (p. xxii), the paralysis and inconsequentiality of post- al, culturalist discourses in the face of globalized
capitalism are patently clear. As Ahmad (1997b) has contended, One may speak of any number of disorientations and even oppressions, but
one cultivates all kinds of politeness and indirection about the structure of capitalist class relations in which those oppressions are
embedded. To speak of any of that directly and simply is to be vulgar. In this climate of Aesopian languages it is absolutely essential to
reiterate that most things are a matter of class. That

kind of statement is . . . surprising only in a culture like that of

the North American university. . . . But it is precisely in that kind of culture that people need to hear such obvious truths. (p. 104
Ahmads provocative observations imply that substantive analyses of global- ized class exploitation have, for the most part, been
marginalized by the kind of radicalism that has been instituted among the academic Left in North Amer- ica. He has further suggested that

although various post-Marxists have invited us to join their euphoric celebrations honoring the
decentering of capitalism and the abandonment of class politics in favor of a post-al tomorrow filled
with the proliferation of more and more forms of difference, such formulations will never be able to
challenge let alone overturn capitalist universality (Ahmad, 1998, p. 22). Indeed, such gestures often result in
a pragmatic fetishization of particularity and difference that precludes systemic critique, a serious
analysis of capitalism, and coherent action. As such, Ahmad invited us to ask anew, the proverbial question, What then, must
be done? To this question, we offer no simple theoretical or political prescriptions. Yet we would argue that if social change is the aim, as it
has traditionally been for the Left, progressive educa- tors and intellectuals must cease in displacing class analysis with the politics of
difference, they must resuscitate a sustained and unrelenting interrogation of capitalism in its globalized forms, and they must overcome the
corrosive skepti- cism of those narratives that have rendered visions of social transformation hopelessly impractical or obsolete.

Fixation on the black-white binary and U.S. race relations recreates colonialism and
undermines resistance through American exceptionalism
ODriscoll 13 (Dnal ODriscoll, Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege, Dysophia: Anarchist Debates on Privilege, vol. 4 (November
2013), pp. 54-56 // JJ)

Sticking with skin-colour as a useful example for the moment, what we have is a very simplistic view of
race that is used in many circles to overlook other issues. For instance, by focusing on skin colour, other
forms of racism and ethnic struggle are glossed over e.g. inter-'white' racism in Northern Ireland; or against travellers
and Eastern Europeans immigrants. The reliance on particular forms of anti-racism theory has meant 'White' has
become synonymous with the privileged / hegemonic group which has the effect of creating the belief
among some activists that because some groups are white-skinned means they cannot know racism, so
denying their experience. In a similar process, this binary can treat all 'non-whites' as a homogenous
group whose experience is universal that is of being oppressed. Inter-group tensions and racism are
likewise ignored. It allows people to ignore how social class and national culture affects experience of
racism for different peoples. Just because someone has an attribute that confers privilege in some
contexts, there are other factors which mean they don't get those benefits in others. Their experience is not
so much devalued as considered non-existent. This is something commonly seen in the way 'white male' is used as a set phrase, yet also is
played on in a classist way, for example in discussions of 'chavs'. Experiences of patriarchy and economic powerlessness are relevant across all
situations of concern in privilege politics, and are just as destructive to people who fall into the broadly drawn 'oppressor' groups as they are
to those in the oppressed groups. I believe

this is in danger of becoming a form of cultural / academic

imperialism centred on the US experience , and emphasises why we need to develop our own
anarchist theory and practice of privilege theory. In particular, the notion of 'whiteness' is very much
based on US racial laws and is not applicable to the situation in other parts of the world.

It is rarely asked

if the wholehearted application to Europe is actually appropriate. The irony is that, in the UK at least, it is an imposition of identity by sections
of the anti-racist Left on oppressed populations who do not see themselves in those terms. Tariq Modood, in particular, points out how
inappropriate the terminology of 'white' and 'black' as political terms are for the experiences of Muslims and South Asians in Europe (albeit, he
is a liberal intellectual who relies on laws and states for solutions) 8 . (C) Status This

simplistic approach of binaries also

means that individuals can focus on that aspect of their life where they experience membership of an
oppressed group and conveniently ignore all those other aspects in which they experience privilege.
Through our own political critiques, anarchists readily recognise the notion of how different oppressions overlap ('intersectionality', in the
jargon) and affect people. However, often this

intersectionality is only paid lip-service and anarchist are often

equally as much at fault as those with reformist / liberal politics when it comes to privilege. Instead, we
find individuals, anarchists included, who seek to protect the advantages they have in life by emphasising the
particular oppressed group they belong to, even where they do not suffer disadvantage. The differences
between disrespect and oppression are blurred as it is ignored that oppression is specifically about disadvantages. The result is those with the
loudest voice claiming status in an inverse hierarchy of oppression, while quieter ones often get ignored. Thus, for example, we see working
class carers being abused by middle class disabled employers. Or the needs of a person with a hidden disability being ignored because their
ethnicity is white or they are cis-male. Action ceases to be about revolutionary change, but asserting that they are members of an oppressed
group regardless of context. One effect of this is a tendency towards separatism. It

is worth citing at this point that obsession

with identity is a problem in itself. As an example, at the 2012 Kln- Dsseldorf No Borders camp, migrants complained that a
section of the European activists were so focused on dealing with 'critical whiteness theory' that it came to dominate the camp at the
expense of the needs of the migrants, whom the camp was there to help. (D) Victimhood and Pacification A

side-effect of the
influence of the middle-class liberal approach is encouragement of victimhood and pacification of those
suffering oppression. By constantly emphasising that those oppressed are victims, they are
disempowered from action. Yet at the same time, the oppressed are expected to the source of radical
social change. This vicious circle maintains the status quo. And where oppressed groups have sought to break out of it, famously the
Black Panthers or the militancy of the suffragist movement 9 , that revolutionary history is denied or discretely written
out of history. Expression and definition is very much controlled by a middle-class narrative, and

outbursts of anger are neutered or discouraged as being counterproductive to the reformist approaches
that serve their needs. This 'pacification of the oppressed' aspect of the implementation of privilege theory is pointed out in the
article, Privilege Politics is Reformism, published by the Black Orchid Collective. 10 They argue it is being applied in a
way that does not challenge the liberal-capitalist structure of society. The aspirations of oppressed
groups ceases to be to be about radical social change and a fair, just society, but about getting access to
the class ladder. A focus on the individual makes it easier to ignore the wider impersonal social
structures which are just as important sources of oppression. So, apparently liberatory politics end up
reinforcing the very discriminations they want to challenge through poor application of the politics,
something that goes right back to anti-colonisation struggles. 11 Failure to recognise the role of class politics in shaping
the theory is undermining it and is what Audrey Lorde warned of when she famously wrote The master's tools will never dismantle the
master's house. Sadly, I

see privilege theory becoming a way of maintaining status in some activist circles,
where advocates of identity politics create in-groups based around a particular identity, rather than
perceiving a wider notion of solidarity (aka love & caring) or recognising contexts. In parallel to what has happened with
consensus decision making in many places, a particular form of the theory is being taken up dogmatically and is being applied uncritically,
undermining what it is seeking to achieve. We see implicit hierarchies of oppression and a culture of seeing individuals as victims of
oppression, thus denying them histories of rebellion (many anarchist circles excepted) and even the ability to see themselves as agents of
change. People become entrenched in their positions and see those they are most naturally allied with as a threat, rather than seeking to
incorporate them in the solution. This is often closer to home than we like to admit how many working class groups are focused around men,
implicitly excluding women, arguing that class is more important than gender in revolutionary change? And vice versa...


Root Cause

Capitalism reconstitutes slavery
Philip McMichael 1/2/11 Springer Slavery in Capitalism: The Rise and Demise of the U. S. Ante-Bellum Cotton Culture Pgs 321 324 (Cornell University) MG
My argument in this essay is that U.S.

ante-bellum slavery did not stand in such an "external" relationship to

capitalism. The slave South had a distinctive politics, but a politics increasingly implicated in a broader
social current as industrialism encompassed the slave plantation.2 However, the relation was not simply
one of political effects. It was also a question of the changing social organization of cotton production.
Slave plantations assumed a new intensity in scale and management, referred to by DuBois as a shift "from a
family institution to an indus- trial system."3 And slave labor itself assumed a new meaning as plant- ers
acquired slaves less for social status, and more as commodity- producing labor. In this movement slave
labor became a phenomenal form of value-producing labor. As value-producing labor, ante-bellum
slavery was "internal" to world capitalism. This is not to say that colonial slavery was not related to European capitalism, rather
it is to emphasize that capitalism itself was qualitatively different in the nineteenth century. Industrial capitalism transformed the
content of world-market relations.4 Instead of being regulated within the mercantilist framework,
commerce, now globally Theory and Society 20: 321-349, 1991. ? 1991 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the
Netherlands. 322 organized, was driven by value relations. Under these new relations, combining metropolitan wage labor and
peripheral slave labor, the content of the latter changed while its form remained. The central issue here, to be developed
below, is that phenomenally slavery and wage labor coexisted as distinct social forms of labor, and yet
theoretically value relations were their common determinant. Briefly, the reproduc- tion of
metropolitan wage labor depended on the reorganization of global finance to expand and unify
commodity circuits. The cotton cul- ture was a creature of this movement. Through this mechanism slave
labor was subordinated to the competitive requirements of the regime of industrial capital. One expression of
this shift was the adoption in plantation management of a new bureaucratic regimen in the ante- bellum period, characterized by Thompson as
"military agriculture."5 My

argument depends fundamentally upon demonstrating that indus- trial capital and
its new global circuits reconstituted slavery in the ante- bellum period. The most obvious change was the rise of the
gang- system of slave labor in the South, associated not only with the cotton crop in particular (rather than tobacco), but also with the
concentration of planter capital in the ante-bellum period. Gang

labor proved to be the most efficient organization of

agricultural labor in the United States at the time, depending fundamentally upon the open
Southwestern frontier.6 Planter capital concentration was rooted in the development of a mobile cotton
culture, driven by an elaborate system of commer- cial advancing, where cotton production, rather than
a stable planta- tion culture, became the overriding goal. Land and slaves became less a source of social
status, and more the ingredients of a specialized branch of commodity production stimulated by a global
financial "putting-out" system. The framing conception of this essay is the idea that ante-bellum slav- ery and its political system can
be reinterpreted as increasingly subject to the forces of a wage-labor regime with global dimensions. This approach is an attempt to resolve the
problems inherent in, for example, Genovese's essentialist conception of slavery on the one hand, and Wallerstein's undifferentiated
conception of world capital- ism, on the other. Genovese identifies the slave-labor relation as his analytical unit,7 as the basis of a distinct slave
mode of production in the Old South.8 But this reduces an already problematic concept of "mode of production" to extant production relations
devoid of the world-historical dimension of circulation relations. As

a result, the world-market context of the ante-bellum

South remains external to the 323 specification of cotton slavery.9 And consequently the cotton-culture
dynamics reconstituting slavery are discounted. Genovese's abstract methodological individualism is matched by Wallerstein's
abstract generality. The concept of the "world-system" tends to reduce differ- ences among systems of
commodity producing labor in a mutually determining world economy to variations of capitalism. Arguing
as he does that "the essence of capitalism" lies simply in the "combination" of diverse relations of
production, Wallerstein forfeits the ability to give analytical priority to any one relationship, in particular, wage-labor.10 My argument here
is that one can understand the specificity of nine- teenth-century world capitalism and slavery only by
elaborating the global determinants and implications of wage labor. The key to each was the ongoing

development of global capital circuits (money and commodities, including labor), and a state system
within which to anchor them." In the nineteenth century, a unified world market reduc- ing the legitimacy and need for formal
mercantilist relationships emerged as the substantive foundation of British hegemony. Liberal political-economy anchored new
commercial circuits, integral to the "self propulsion attained by industrial capital,"'2 and marking the
establishment of a wage-labor regime and its world economy. This regime extended and reformulated
value relations throughout the world, in particular expanding the industrial inputs (e.g., cotton) and wage
foods'3 of the new metropolitan industrial culture. The master- slave relation, once organized particularistically, was
reorganized gen- erally as a value relation through its contribution to cheapening the costs of industrial capital. In this essay I examine the
trajectory of the "cotton culture" as a conse- quence of the incorporation of Southern plantation slavery
into the global wage-labor regime. Incorporation transformed Southern slavery, displacing its patriarchal
form with an industrial form. Such transfor- mation generated contradictory social and political currents
leading to the eventual political demise of the Southern slave regime. The demise of ante-bellum slavery
was not a logical outcome of the confrontation of capitalist modernity with slavery, however. Rather it derived
from the intensification of slavery as it was fully incorporated within the regime of industrial capital. Intensification encouraged Southern
expansionism, in a proto-nationalist form, and this generated regime- threatening conflict from both within and without the region. 324 Wagelabor as a world-historical relation This essay seeks to contribute to a growing body of literature con- cerned with locating the formation of
moder regional identities and local labor systems within larger, world-historical processes.14 The goal is two-fold: (1) to emphasize the mutual
conditioning of world- economic and local processes and actors; and (2) to

offer alternative explanations of social change to

those conventional linear accounts common to both liberal and Marxist historiography.

Racism is a result of capitalism

Selfa 2
(Lance, writer for the International Socialist Review, International Socialist Review, Issue 26,
November-December 2002,, acc.
7/4/14, arh)
Racism is a particular form of oppression. It stems from discrimination against a group of
people based on the idea that some inherited characteristic, such as skin color, makes them
inferior to their oppressors. Yet the concepts of race and racism are modern inventions. They
arose and became part of the dominant ideology of society in the context of the African slave
trade at the dawn of capitalism in the 1500s and 1600s. Although it is a commonplace for
academics and opponents of socialism to claim that Karl Marx ignored racism, Marx in fact
described the processes that created modern racism. His explanation of the rise of capitalism
placed the African slave trade, the European extermination of indigenous people in the
Americas, and colonialism at its heart. In Capital, Marx writes: The discovery of gold and silver
in America, the extirpation, enslavement, and entombment in mines of the indigenous
population of the continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the
conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of black skins are all things that
characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production.2 Marx connected his explanation of the
role of the slave trade in the rise of capitalism to the social relations that produced racism
against Africans. In Wage Labor and Capital, written twelve years before the American Civil
War, he explains: What is a Negro slave? A man of the black race. The one explanation is as good
as the other. A Negro is a Negro. He only becomes a slave in certain relations. A cotton spinning
jenny is a machine for spinning cotton. It only becomes capital in certain relations. Torn away
from these conditions, it is as little capital as gold by itself is money, or as sugar is the price of
sugar.3 In this passage, Marx shows no prejudice to Blacks (a man of the black race, a Negro
is a Negro), but he mocks societys equation of Black and slave (one explanation is as good
as another). He shows how the economic and social relations of emerging capitalism thrust
Blacks into slavery (he only becomes a slave in certain relations), which produce the dominant
ideology that equates being African with being a slave. These fragments of Marxs writing give us
a good start in understanding the Marxist explanation of the origins of racism. As the

Trinidadian historian of slavery Eric Williams put it: Slavery was not born of racism:
rather, racism was the consequence of slavery .4 And, one should add, the consequence
of modern slavery at the dawn of capitalism. While slavery existed as an economic system for
thousands of years before the conquest of America, racism as we understand it today did not

The need to conquer through manifest destiny is the reason why

racism exists
Foster 4
(Gerald, American Slavery: the Complete Story, Cardozo Public Law, Policy, and Ethics
Journal, May, 2004,, acc. 7/4/14,
How did slavery and race become so patently intertwined as distinctly American phenomena?
Slavery in America was different from any other corner of the world primarily because in
America it was viewed early on as the primary foundation upon which an emerging republic
could solidify its economic primacy in the global commerce of the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. Two hundred and twenty-eight years of free labor will assure business success
anywhere in the cosmos. However, the social and political dilemma for a new republic was how
to justify public professions of equality, individual rights and democracy while at the same time
holding fast to African captives who had been systematically and mentally dehumanized and
designated as personal property. Therein lay the challenge for the founding fathers and the
signers of the Declaration of Independence (1776) as well as the United States Constitution
(1787). This marked the beginning of contentious race relations in America that persist to this
day. False sciences and religious zealotry were the primary fervent justifications for how black
slaves were treated and for the terror and brutality that flourished well into the twentieth
century, decades after slavery was legally ended. Social and political illusionists who purveyed
racial inferiority, genetic deficiencies, primal instinct and infantile proclivities successfully
convinced a nation that it was in fact acceptable to treat blacks as property because it was
scientifically and religiously sanctioned and preordained. In reality, it was a perverted extension
of manifest destiny.

A combination of capitalism and colorism led to modern/post-modern slavery

Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
The color of plantation laborers changed from white to black during the last quarter of the 17th century and
the first half of the 18th century. African slaves began to pour into southern colonies in large numbers, throughout the late 17th and the 18th centuries. Between
1700 and 1750, roughly 45,000 African slaves were imported to Virginia alone. The African population in this colony increased from about 9,000 to more than
100,000 (Morgan 1975, p. 301). In the Carolinas, the African slave population equaled the European population by 1708 and exceeded this population by 1724. By
1765, the African population was about 90,000 compared to a European population of about 40,000 (Franklin 1969, p. 79). In the first half of the 18th century, the
slave population increased dramatically in almost every colony, including northern ones. For example, the African slave population in New York increased from
2,170 in 1698 to 6,171 in 1723, and to 19,883 by 1771, when blacks accounted for more than 10% of the colony's total population (Franklin, p. 90). As

number of imported African slaves increased, the number of imported indentured servants declined
(Morgan 1975). A clear shift occurred from a reliance on indentured servants to a dependency on black slave labor. Several factors contributed to
this shift. First, mortality rates declined, and life expectancy increased. This change made investment in slave labor more attractive.
Second, expanded agricultural production increased the demand for labor at the very time the supply of
indentured servants was declining. No doubt the declining costs of transportation across the Atlantic, the
growing unpopularity of indentured servitude status, and the increase in the demand for unskilled labor in
England's expanding industries all contributed to the decline in the supply of indentured servants. Moreover, capital accumulated in the colonies during the 17th
century provided resources to purchase large numbers of slaves. Third, r ebellion

and discontent among freed indentured servants

and the tendency of African slaves to escape with indentured servants made social control in the racially

mixed plantation system problematic. Moreover, as more indentured servants completed their terms of service, more were freed. These freed
people expected land and a decent life in an area in which land ownership was concentrated in the hands of a few. This concentration of land ownership, prevalent
in the southern colonies, limited opportunities for freed servants to own land. Frustrated and angry, these freed servants rebelled. The Bacon revolt in Virginia in
1676 was one of the largest such rebellions in colonial history (Morgan 1975, p. 308). Black

slavery had advantages in the area of social

control. Black slaves were easier to identify, distinguishable especially by skin color. They were unarmed and
easily confined to a small area, the plantation. They were rendered hopeless and had no expectations of
freedom and land ownership (Morgan 1975, p. 309). Finally, black slavery was more productive than indentured
servitude. The system of slavery allowed for much greater and more direct control over laborers. There was no limit to the amount of
work the master could extract from the slave, except the time necessary for the slave to eat and sleep (Morgan 1975, p. 309). Slavery
was also more productive for demographic reasons. Under slavery, black women and their children worked in the fields. Servant
women rarely worked the fields and their children were free (Morgan, p. 310). For these reasons, the complexion and treatment of the
lowest level of plantation labor changed in the late 17th century. The black skin became the stigma of
slavery and wretchedness. The treatment of the slave degenerated to the lowest level of brutality. The image
of the African became associated with savagery, paganism, immorality, ignorance, and primitiveness. In
short, racism materialized. Slavery, Public Policies, and Racism The change in the color of plantation labor did not
magically cause racism to appear. Rather, local public policies reflected and promoted this racism. Morgan (1975,
p. 331) maintained that Virginia's legislative body "deliberately did what it could to foster the contempt of whites for blacks and Indians." He noted, "In 1680 it
prescribed thirty lashes on the bare back 'if any negroe or other slave shall presume to lift up his hand in opposition against any christian'" (p. 331). This law
subordinated the black slave to the white Christian indentured servant. It allowed the servant to harass or assault the slave with little fear of reprisal. A 1705 law
mandated the dismemberment of unruly slaves but, at the same time, prohibited masters from whipping white Christian servants naked, without a court order
(Morgan 1975, p. 331). Laws

protected the property of servants but denied slaves any right to property. These
laws made clear distinctions between the status of black slaves and white servants. They made the black slave
subordinate to the white servant. They denied all human rights to slaves placed them in the lowest possible social position imaginable defined them as beasts of
burden, pieces of property, owned totally and absolutely by the master, and forced to do the most dreadful work in society. At the same time, these laws elevated
indentured servants, gave them some powers over black slaves, protected their property rights, recognized some of their human rights, and afforded them some
social privileges. Contempt for subordinated groups now focused on black slaves. A deeper, more profound subordination
produced a deeper and more profound level of contempt. Although the images of black slaves were similar to some of those of poor whites, the fear, contempt, and
hatred for blacks was much deeper than anything exhibited toward poor whites. This deeper contempt is reflected in laws enacted by the colonial legislatures
mandating the castration of slaves guilty of assaulting their masters or of habitually escaping. Of these laws, Jordan (1968, p. 155) said, It was sometimes prescribed
for such offenses as striking a white person or running away until 1722 South Carolina legally required masters of slaves running away for the fourth time to have
them castrated and in 1697 the Assembly ordered castration of three Negros who had attempted to abscond to the Spanish in St. Page 54 Augustine. Until the
1760s, North Carolina paid jailers to perform official castrations, reimbursing masters if their slave died (Jordan, p. 155). Statemandated castration of black slaves
found guilty of habitually running away or of striking a white person was one of the most powerful political expressions of the racism of this era. This policy
symbolized the absolute power of white masters over black slaves and the total emasculation of slaves. It symbolized the slave's relegation to the level of the bull or
workhorse, other animals that faced castration for the purpose of control. It reflected a deep contempt and a controlled hatred for black slaves. It was one of the
most sadistic and inhuman laws in world history. Racism, Slavery, and Economic Determinism Slavery

did not cause racism. Rather, slavery

provided the material basis for racism. Several conscious human decisions helped form and shape
racism: the decision to shift from the use of European indentured servants to African slaves the decision
to increase the level of control and brutality toward African slaves the decision to deny all rights to
African slaves but grant some rights to the lowest class of Europeans the decision to subordinate all
Africans to all Europeansall of these decisions contributed to a clear dichotomy, at the lowest level of
society, between black slaves and white free persons. The black slave became the most undesirable
thing to be. Even the lowest class worker was better off than the black slaves. In fact, as Roediger (1991) demonstrated,
European laborers developed their identity as free white workers in contrast to black slaves. Even the Irish, who were once treated no differently than African
slaves, identified with white labor. Black

slavery made white liberty possible (Morgan 1975 Cooper 1983 Bell 1987). Cooper (1983, p. 38)
whites, all of whom stood above the slaves economically and socially,
joined together in a hymn of liberty that gave thanks for the enslaved blacks, who made white harmony
and republicanism, thus liberty possible." The social acceptance of Africans as belonging to the slave class
allowed for greater solidarity among other European classes. That is, black slavery facilitated white unity.
made this point cogently when he said, "The

No matter how low their social rank, no matter how poverty Page 55 stricken they might be, Europeans could always identify with other whites and stand above

To be white is to be free. To be black is to be a slave.

Slavery is a product of class- race is the accidental evil associated with the cause of
Maller 8 [Katharine Maller, A senior at Hunters College who wrote this piece working with a PHD in
African American Studies, 2008, Capitalism, Slavery, and the Birth of Racism,, MM]
In his book Mythologies, Roland Barthes asserts that myths persist through inoculationadmitting the accidental evil of a class-bound

myth that has become fully naturalized, (Barthes, 11) or integrated, in American society centers on its history
of slavery. The prevailing myth insists that the institution was rooted in racism that Europeans, from
the onset of imperialism, enslaved Africans because of their skin color. However, historical documents
and studies, including the slave narrative of Olaudah Equiano, the poetry of Phyllis Wheatley, and
Linebaugh and Redikers text The Many Headed Hydra, show that early American and European slavery
institution, the better to conceal its principal evil (20). In other words, myth is carefully crafted to manipulate a societys view of history.

was justified not by race, but by class. Racism is the accidental evil, the ruse that conceals the
motive of the myth; the preservation of capitalism, the principle evil.

What is perhaps most important in

examining the early history of British and American slavery is that the institution was not limited to any one group of people. Religious

radicals, indigenous Americans, Africans, commoners, sailors, and women (Linebaugh and Rediker, 66) were all
equally abhorred by the ruling class that developed in Britain in the 16th century. These were people of the lowest
classes, who had neither wealth nor property, and were therefore of no value to the developing
capitalist society. They were all thus enslaved or slaughtered, either forced to serve the system of
commerce that oppressed them or be killed by it. Forced labor was used in conjunction with
imprisonment and capital punishment to control the peasantry, and thereby make the ruling classes
richer and more powerful. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 49) During the seventeenth century, some two hundred thousand *British, Irish,
and Scottish were shipped+ to American shores (Linebaugh and Rediker, 58) to become servants or slaves in the new world. The results of
this system become clear in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, in which Equiano,
among other hardships experienced as a slave, describes the Middle Passage between African and
America. The absolutely pestilential (Equiano, 424) conditions in which the African slaves were kept were certainly inhumane, but the
cruelty of the white sailors exacerbated the misery. The slaves were not well fed, and when they sought their own means of sustenance, they

Given the myth that slavery was always racialized, one would
assume that this cruelty was the product of the white sailors hatred of these black slaves. However,
Equiano also describes an incident in which the white sailors flogged *one of their own+ unmercifully.
(Equiano, 425) This removes race as the motivation for cruelty. The inhumane treatment of slaves confirms that slaves
suffered some very severe floggings. (Equiano, 425)

were viewed as commodities instead of people. The equally inhumane treatment of a white sailor
would then confirm that the sailors, too, were commodities in the capitalist system that they served.
They, along with the slaves they shipped, were the laboring subjects of the Atlantic economy, (Linebaugh and Rediker, 111) the slaves
that were essential to the rise of capitalism . (Linebaugh and Rediker, 28) This is not to ignore the fact that Africans were
enslaved, but rather to call into question the grounds on which they were enslaved. The focus of European
imperialists in Africa and the Americas was not on the race of the inhabitants, but their uncivilized
nature. Beginning with Columbus and spanning through centuries of literature written by explorers and colonists, natives in the new
territories were savages, but skin color was not deemed the cause of their savagery . They were instead
chastised for their lack of civilization, specifically their lack of Christian religion, and it became widely affirmed
that all good Protestants in England had an obligation to help convert the savages in America to Christianityall had a duty to extend English
dominion. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 15) Thus, colonization

and subsequent enslavement were deemed not only a Christian

duty, but also the only mode of salvation for African and American natives. This rhetoric was so deeply engrained that even those
enslaved were made to believe it; Phyllis Wheatley, an African American poet and slave in the 18th century, says Twas mercy brought me
from my Pagan land (Wheatley, 505) in her poem On Being Brought from Africa to America. While the superiority of American society is
conveyed in this poem, it is not a racial superiority. Rather, the supremecy lies in the knowledge That theres a god, that theres a Saviour too.

Wheatley also asserts that Negroes, black as Cain/May be refind and join th angelic train, (Wheatley, 506) which clearly indicates that she
was writing in a time before blacks were considered inferior because of their race; through Christianity, those born in Pagan lands could
become equal to Europeans. If slavery was not always racialized, how and when did it become so? The seeds were planted towards the end of
the 17th century. The

capitalists who profited from the slavery and indentured servitude of the poorer
classes quickly realized that those who served them vastly outnumbered them. By collecting Irish, Scottish, and
English peasants as servants and enslaving African natives like Olaudah Equiano and Phyllis Wheatley, the slave and servant class
became immense, which facilitated new forms of self-organization among them, which was alarming to
the ruling class of the day. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 40, emphasis mine) The goal of the Parliamentarians and royalists, former
antagonists in the English Revolution and civil wars (Linebaugh and Rediker, 132) was thence to divide this mass, in order to prevent them

The most efficient way to divide this class was along racial lines .
Citing fear that *white+ lives will be as cheap as those negroes, (Linebaugh and Rediker, 134) white servants were granted rights
to protect them, while black slaves were defined by law as a form of property. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 138) This
divide would ensure that, like the sailors that abused Equiano, whites would continue to exercise power over their black
charges, rather than uniting with them in resistance to the system that oppressed them both. According to
Barthes, myth deprives the object of which it speaks of all history. (21) Indeed, the perpetuation of the
from conspiring to overthrow their oppressors.

myth that slavery was always a racialized institution deprives all others who were enslaved of their
history . But to what end? All myths are also motivated what is the motivation behind the assertion that slavery
was always motivated by racial hatred? For the past century and a half, it has been accepted in American society
that slavery is an immoral institution, one that has no place in a country that cites freedom as its most
important principle. In order for slavery to be abolished, the ideologies that supported it had to be
condemned. But capitalism could not be abolished, as America is as much rooted in capitalism as it is
in ideas of freedom. Thus, although American slavery was essential to the rise of capitalism, (Linebaugh and
Rediker, 28) it was not acknowledged as such. Myth gives natural and eternal justification, (Barthes, 17), and
the natural and eternal justification given to slavery was race. Racism took capitalisms place as the
ideology to be disposed of along with slavery. This permits America to say, with confidence, that slavery
is an institution entirely in the past, despite the fact that the roots of the system are still the roots of
our existing society. T he accidental evil is acknowledged as the whole evil, and reality is
understood more cheaply. (Barthes, 20-22) Capitalism, the principal evil, therefore thrives.

Slavery was not based on racial antagonism, but economic exploitation

Alexander 2010 (Michelle, associate professor of law, Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute for the
Study of Race and Ethnicity, former direct of ACLUS Racial Justice Project, J.D., Stanford Law School) The
New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, The New Press 2010, pages 23-25, MM)
The concept of race is a relatively recent development. Only

in the past few centuries, owing largely to European

imperialism, have the worlds people been classified along racial lines. Here, in America, the idea of race
emerged as a means of reconciling chattel slaveryas well as the extermination of American Indians
with ideals of freedom preached by whites in the new colonies. In the early colonial period, when settlements remained
relatively small, indentured servitude was the dominant means of securing cheap labor. Under this system, whites
and blacks struggled to survive against a common enemy, what historian Lerone Bennett Jr. describes as the big
planter apparatus and a social system that legalized terror against black and white bondsmen. Initially, blacks brought to this
country were not all enslaved; many were treated as indentured servants. As plantation farming expanded, particular
tobacco and cotton farming, demand increased greatly for both labor and land. The demand for land was met by
invading and conquering larger and larger swaths of territory. American Indians became a growing impediment to white European
progress, and during this period, the images of American Indians promoted in books, newspapers, and magazines became increasingly
negative. As sociologists Keith Kilty and Eric Swank have observed, eliminating savages is less of a moral problem than eliminating human

beings, and therefore American Indians came to be understood as a lesser raceuncivilized savagesthus providing a justification for the
extermination of a native peoples. The

growing demand for labor on plantations was met through slavery. American
Indians were considered unsuitable as slaves, largely because native tribes were clearly in a position to fight back.
The fear of raids by Indian tribes led plantation owners to grasp for an alternative source of free labor.
European immigrants were also deemed poor candidates for slavery, not because of their race, but rather because they
were in short supply and enslavement would, quite naturally, interfere with voluntary immigration to the new
colonies. Plantation owners thus viewed African, who were relatively powerless, as the ideal slaves. The systematic enslavement of
Africans, and the rearing of their children under bondage, emerged with all deliberate speed quickened by events such as
Bacons Rebellion. Nathaniel Bacon was a white property owner in Jamestown, Virginia, who managed to unite slaves, indentured servants, and
poor whites in a revolutionary effort to overthrow the planter elite. Although slaves clearly occupied the lowest position in the social hierarchy
and suffered the most under the plantation system, the condition of indentured whites was barely better, and the majority of free whites lived
in extreme poverty. As explained by historian Edmund Morgan, in colonies like Virginia, the planter elite, with huge land grants, occupied a
vastly superior position to workers of all colors. Southern colonies did not hesitate to invent ways to extend the terms of servitude, and the
planter class accumulated uncultivated lands to restrict the options of free workers. The simmering resentment against the planter class
created conditions that were ripe for revolt. Varying accounts of Bacons rebellion abound, but the basic facts are these: Bacon developed plans
in 1675 to seize Native American lands in order to acquire more property for himself and others and nullify the threat of Indian raids. When the
planter elite in Virginia refused to provide militia support for his scheme, Bacon retaliated, leading an attack on the elite, their homes, and their
property. He openly condemned the rich for their oppression of the poor and inspired an alliance of white and black bond laborers, as well as
slaves, who demanded an end to their servitude. The attempted revolution was ended by force and false promises of amnesty. A number of
people who participated in the revolt were hanged. The events in Jamestown were alarming to the planter elite, who were deeply fearful of the
multiracial alliance of bond workers and slaves. Word of Bacons Rebellion spread far and wide, and several more uprisings of a similar type
followed. In

an effort to protect their superior status and economic position, the planters shifted their
strategy for maintaining dominance. They abandon their heavy reliance on indentured servants in favor of the importation of
more black slaves. Instead of importing English-speaking slaves from the West Indies, who were more likely to be familiar with European
language and culture, many more slaves

were shipped directly from Africa. These slaves would be far easier to
control and far less likely to form alliances with poor whites. Fearful that such measures might not be
sufficient to protect their interests, the planter class took an additional precautionary step, a step that would later
become known as a racial bribe. Deliberately and strategically, the planter class extended special
privileges to poor whites in an effort to drive a wedge between them and black slaves. White settlers were
allowed greater access to Native American lands, white servants were allowed to police slaves through slave patrols and militias, and barriers
were created so that free labor would not be placed in competition with slave labor. These

measures effectively eliminated the

risk of future alliances between black slaves and poor whites. Poor whites suddenly had a direct,
personal stake in the existence of a race-based system of slavery. Their own plight had not improved by
much, but at least they were not slaves. Once the planter elite split the labor force, poor whites responded to
the logic of their situation and sought ways to expand their racially privileged position.

Capitalism is the cause of slavery- the alternative is a class-based critique of the

system which is the only way to deconstruct racism
McLaren 4, Distinguished Fellow Critical Studies @ Chapman U and UCLA urban schooling prof, and
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale, associate professor of Communication U Windsor, 4
(Peter and Valerie, Class Dismissed? Historical materialism and the politics of difference, Educational
Philosophy and Theory Vol. 36, Issue 2, p. 183-199, MM)
For well over two decades we have witnessed the jubilant liberal and conservative pronouncements of the demise of socialism. Concomitantly,

history's presumed failure to defang existing capitalist relations has been read by many self-identified radicals as
an advertisement for capitalism's inevitability. As a result, the chorus refrain There Is No Alternative, sung by
liberals and conservatives, has been buttressed by the symphony of post-Marxist voices recommending that we
give socialism a decent burial and move on. Within this context, to speak of the promise of Marx and socialism may appear
anachronistic, even nave, especially since the post-al intellectual vanguard has presumably demonstrated the folly of doing so. Yet we
stubbornly believe that the chants of T.I.N.A. must be combated for they offer as a fait accompli, something which progressive Leftists

should refuse to accept namely the triumph of capitalism and its political bedfellow neo-liberalism, which

have worked together to naturalize suffering, undermine collective struggle, and obliterate hope. We
concur with Amin (1998), who claims that such chants must be defied and revealed as absurd and criminal, and who puts the
challenge we face in no uncertain terms: humanity may let itself be led by capitalism's logic to a fate of collective
suicide or it may pave the way for an alternative humanist project of global socialism. The grosteque
conditions that inspired Marx to pen his original critique of capitalism are present and flourishing. The inequalities of wealth
and the gross imbalances of power that exist today are leading to abuses that exceed those encountered in Marx's day
(Greider, 1998, p. 39). Global capitalism has paved the way for the obscene concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands and
created a world increasingly divided between those who enjoy opulent affluence and those who languish in
dehumanizing conditions and economic misery. In every corner of the globe, we are witnessing social disintegration as
revealed by a rise in abject poverty and inequality. At the current historical juncture, the combined assets of the 225 richest people
is roughly equal to the annual income of the poorest 47 percent of the world's population, while the combined assets of the three richest
people exceed the combined GDP of the 48 poorest nations (CCPA, 2002, p. 3). Approximately 2.8

billion peoplealmost half of the

world's populationstruggle in desperation to live on less than two dollars a day (McQuaig, 2001, p. 27). As many as
250 million children are wage slaves and there are over a billion workers who are either un- or underemployed. These are the concrete realities of our timerealities that require a vigorous class analysis , an
unrelenting critique of capitalism and an oppositional politics capable of confronting what Ahmad (1998, p. 2)
refers to as capitalist universality. They are realities that require something more than that which is offered by the prophets of
difference and post-Marxists who would have us relegate socialism to the scrapheap of history and mummify Marxism along with Lenin's
corpse. Never

before has a Marxian analysis of capitalism and class rule been so desperately needed. That is not to
say that everything Marx said or anticipated has come true, for that is clearly not the case. Many critiques of Marx focus on his
strategy for moving toward socialism, and with ample justification; nonetheless Marx did provide us
with fundamental insights into class society that have held true to this day. Marx's enduring relevance lies in his
indictment of capitalism which continues to wreak havoc in the lives of most. While capitalism's cheerleaders have attempted to hide its sordid
underbelly, Marx's description of capitalism as the sorcerer's dark power is even more apt in light of contemporary historical and economic
conditions. Rather

than jettisoning Marx, decentering the role of capitalism, and discrediting class analysis,
radical educators must continue to engage Marx's oeuvre and extrapolate from it that which is useful
pedagogically, theoretically, and , most importantly, politically in light of the challenges that confront us. The urgency
which animates Amin's call for a collective socialist vision necessitates, as we have argued, moving beyond the
particularism and liberal pluralism that informs the politics of difference. It also requires challenging the
questionable assumptions that have come to constitute the core of contemporary radical theory,
pedagogy and politics. In terms of effecting change, what is needed is a cogent understanding of the
systemic nature of exploitation and oppression based on the precepts of a radical political economy
approach (outlined above) and one that incorporates Marx's notion of unity in difference in which people share widely common material
interests. Such an understanding extends far beyond the realm of theory, for the manner in which we choose to
interpret and explore the social world, the concepts and frameworks we use to express our sociopolitical
understandings, are more than just abstract categories. They imply intentions, organizational practices,
and political agendas. Identifying class analysis as the basis for our understandings and class struggle as the basis for
political transformation implies something quite different than constructing a sense of political agency around
issues of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. Contrary to Shakespeare's assertion that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, it
should be clear that this is not the case in political matters. Rather, in politics the essence of the flower lies in the name by
which it is called (Bannerji, 2000, p. 41). The task for progressives today is to seize the moment and plant the
seeds for a political agenda that is grounded in historical possibilities and informed by a vision committed to
overcoming exploitative conditions. These seeds, we would argue, must be derived from the tree of radical political
economy. For the vast majority of people todaypeople of all racial classifications or identities, all genders and
sexual orientationsthe common frame of reference arcing across difference, the concerns and aspirations that are

most widely shared are those that are rooted

in the common experience of everyday life shaped and constrained by

political economy (Reed, 2000, p. xxvii). While post-Marxist advocates of the politics of difference suggest
that such a stance is outdated, we would argue that the categories which they have employed to analyze the
social are now losing their usefulness, particularly in light of actual contemporary social movements. All over the globe,
there are large anti-capitalist movements afoot. In February 2002, chants of Another World Is Possible became the theme of
protests in Porto Allegre. It seems that those people struggling in the streets havent read about T.I.N.A., the end of
grand narratives of emancipation, or the decentering of capitalism. It seems as though the struggle for basic survival
and some semblance of human dignity in the mean streets of the dystopian metropoles doesnt permit much time or opportunity to read the
heady proclamations emanating from seminar rooms. As E. P. Thompson (1978, p. 11) once remarked, sometimes experience walks in without
knocking at the door, and announces deaths, crises of subsistence, trench warfare, unemployment, inflation, genocide. This, of course, does

not mean that socialism will inevitably come about, yet a sense of its nascent promise animates current
social movements. Indeed, noted historian Howard Zinn (2000, p. 20) recently pointed out that after years of single-issue
organizing (i.e. the politics of difference), the WTO and other anti-corporate capitalist protests signaled a turning
point in the history of movements of recent decades, for it was the issue of class that more than anything bound
everyone together. History, to paraphrase Thompson (1978, p. 25) doesnt seem to be following Theory's script. Our vision is informed
by Marx's historical materialism and his revolutionary socialist humanism, which must not be conflated with liberal humanism. For left politics
and pedagogy, a

socialist humanist vision remains crucial, whose fundamental features include the creative
potential of people to challenge collectively the circumstances that they inherit. This variant of humanism seeks
to give expression to the pain, sorrow and degradation of the oppressed, those who labor under the ominous and ghastly cloak of globalized
capital. It calls for the transformation of those conditions that have prevented the bulk of humankind from fulfilling its potential. It

vests its
hope for change in the development of critical consciousness and social agents who make history, although
not always in conditions of their choosing. The political goal of socialist humanism is, however, not a resting in difference but rather the
emancipation of difference at the level of human mutuality and reciprocity. This would be a step forward for the discovery or creation of our
real differences which can only in the end be explored in reciprocal ways (Eagleton, 1996, p. 120). Above all else, the

relevance of a radical socialist pedagogy and politics is the centrality it accords to the interrogation of
capitalism. We can no longer afford to remain indifferent to the horror and savagery committed by capitalist's barbaric machinations. We
need to recognize that capitalist democracy is unrescuably contradictory in its own self-constitution.
Capitalism and democracy cannot be translated into one another without profound efforts at manufacturing empty idealism. Committed
Leftists must unrelentingly cultivate a democratic socialist vision that refuses to forget the wretched of the earth, the
children of the damned and the victims of the culture of silencea task which requires more than abstruse convolutions and striking ironic
poses in the agnostic arena of signifying practices. Leftists must illuminate the little shops of horror that lurk beneath globalizations shiny
faade; they must challenge

the true evils that are manifest in the tentacles of global capitalism's reach. And, more than
search for the cracks in the edifice of globalized capitalism and shine light on those
fissures that give birth to alternatives. Socialism today, undoubtedly, runs against the grain of received
wisdom, but its vision of a vastly improved and freer arrangement of social relations beckons on the
horizon. Its unwritten text is nascent in the present even as it exists among the fragments of history and the shards of
this, Leftists must

distant memories. Its potential remains untapped and its promise needs to be redeemed.

Capitalism led the material realities of slavery

Donegan 13, MA Geography U British Columbia, 13
(Connor McElwee, Incarceration and State Terror: Racial Capitalism in the American South, 1865-1945,
Masters Thesis, August, MM)
Chapter One explores this history in broad strokes in order to approximate the social relations that constituted plantation slavery. This chapter
cannot begin to synthesize the enormous amount of scholarship on plantation

slavery, but it does seek to address recurring theoretical

have erred by holding out an ideal-type definition of
capitalism and comparing it to the plantation in order to declare it to be capitalist or not. I strive to avoid any
such declaration for its own sake and, instead, attempt to construct an historical analysis that may enrich our
understanding of the social relations of power that constituted plantation slavery while establishing the
shortcomings found in Marxist scholarship. Too often such studies

necessary historical context for my subsequent analysis of postbellum racial capitalism. American plantation slavery
was an amalgamation of mutually constituting forms of domination-- slavery, capitalist production, patriarchy, and white supremacy in
particular. If the

Atlantic slave trade enabled the slave-relation to flourish to its fullest and most gruesome expression
this was in large part because the trade rendered enslaved Africans fully alienable commodities within a
rapidly expanding international market. While being held captive by traders and merchants, the condition of enslavement meant
above all human commodification. No other social ties, demands, or obligations--such as those of kinship or community--were powerful enough
to compete with the potential exchange-value embodied in the slave. The

experience of enslavement was thus one of

complete social death or, to distinguish Atlantic slavery from less extreme variants, "social annihilation."4 On the plantation,
slavery and the terroristic violence that served as its guarantor proved ideal for creating a highly regimented,
disciplined army of labourers. At the same time, enslavement and the commodification of labour enabled
planters to intervene in and even " capitalize " the most intimate elements of life , in particular sex and social
reproduction. Invested capital fused with patriarchal power (not to be confused with "paternalism") in order to express
the planter's full domination over slave life, to ensure the reproduction of the labour force, and
expand his capital.

While slavery proved incredibly useful and fruitful for capital in these ways, it also locked the plantation system into

labour-intensive production methods (with the notable exception of the capital-intensive, industrial sugar estates), a point that I return to in
the second chapter. It

was through this extended process of commodification and enslavement that the
complete devaluation of black life emerged as the legally and symbolically codified precondition for "the profit of
the Master, his security, and the public safety."5 With an eye for the continuity amongst historical change, we can say in summary that
plantation slaves were incarcerated proletarians in a state of social death.

Capitalism predates the middle passage and it fostered the ideologies that led to
Schmidt-Nowara, professor of history Fordham University, 2
(Christopher, Big Questions and Answers: Three Histories of Slavery, the Slave Trade and the Atlantic
World, Social History, Vol. 27, No. 2, p. 210-217, MM)
Bold, but not always convincing. This

reader found the volume's most controversial thesis, that the use of African
slavery was an uneconomic decision guided by European racial and gender ideologies, particularly weak in its demonstration.
Eltis wants to show that the social and institutional factors that would have permitted widespread European enslavement were in place in the early modern period
(57-84). In doing so, he marshals impressive evidence about the various forms of coercive labour existing in early modern western Europe, such as indenture and
convict labour. Given the prevalence of overt coercion in Europe, he asks, why did European elites not take the next step and enslave and transport Europeans in
vast numbers? In doing so, he also examines and finds wanting explanations for African slavery based on epidemiological and economic assumptions. Europeans
adapted as well as Africans to New World climates, while the shipping costs from Europe would have been cheaper than those from Africa. For Eltis, the explanation
for this uneconomic behaviour lies in the realm of cultural values that bound all Europeans regardless of their class position: What seems incontestable is that in
regard to slavery the sense of the appropriate was shared across social divisions and cannot easily be explained by ideological differences or power relationships
among classes. Outrage at the treatment of Africans was rarely expressed at any level of society before the late eighteenth century. . . . For elite and non-elite alike
enslavement remained a fate for which only non-Europeans were qualified. (83-4) Eltis's conclusion regarding a shared European racial identity and sense of racial
supremacy is evocative and cannot be dismissed easily, if at all. But what

this account lacks is sustained consideration of

alternative types of sources and historical approaches that might reinforce or modify it. Eltis makes an inelegant leap
from his counter-factual of mass European enslavement to his explanation of why it did not take place;
his claim of homogeneity of racial values reads more like an assertion than a proof. For instance, there is little
effort to flesh out the values he attributes to Europeans of the period, largely because his study is short on the
types of sources that historians employ to plumb the beliefs of human cultures, such as pamphlets, broadsheets,
autobiographies and memoirs, philosophical tracts or records of political and religious rituals. It would be foolish to demand of Eltis that he use these sources
himself after such meticulous research into economic history. But it is quite reasonable to expect a more sophisticated engagement with historians who have
reached alternative conclusions about early modern European culture through different sources and methods. Readers of E. P. Thompson, Natalie Zemon Davis or
Carlo Ginzburg will be surprised to learn that early modern European society was so cohesive and homogenous in its values. They will also be dismayed by the
indifference Eltis displays towards questions of resistance and agency and his glib dismissal of class conflict and consciousness as useful analytical categories (84).
Historians working in the broader field of Atlantic history have also tended to see Europe as a contentious society, most notably Seymour Drescher, who

sees class conflict in the industrialization process as a major factor in the rise of British anti-slavery. Peter
Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker have expanded the temporal and spatial dimensions of that conflict in their recent account of popular anti-slavery sentiment and

cross-racial alliances against slavery in the early modern Atlantic.5 This is not to say categorically that these scholars are correct and Eltis wrong. Rather, to make his
argument more robust and persuasive, Eltis needs to engage, not sidestep, the important scholarly literature that belies his conclusions. Any explanation of the
absence of European enslavement and the apparent indifference towards African slavery must take into account the balance of political and social forces that
produced some semblance of autonomy and liberty among the European working classes as well as cultural assumptions about race and gender. Eltis s instinct
about the cultural origins of African slavery in the Americas is plausible but, given the narrow perspective from which he addresses the issue, his conclusion is not.
Robin Blackburn's The Making of New World Slavery is more varied in its approach and interpretation. While insisting, unlike Eltis, upon the driving force of 'civil
society' in the construction of the plantation complex (6-12), Blackburn none the less handles questions of ideology and politics with great care and insight. This
multipronged explanatory method was also evident in his earlier volume, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848, which today reads as perhaps the most
cogent narrative of the forces at work in the Atlantic world's 'age of revolution'. One of the qualities that makes The Overthrow so attractive is the intermixture of a
trenchant analysis of the political economy of war, empire, decolonization, abolitionism and slave rebellion with the invocation of a 'usable past' with which
Blackburn introduces the volume: Despite the mixed results of anti-slavery in this period the sacrifices of slave rebels, of radical abolitionists and of revolutionary
democrats were not in vain. They show how it was possible to challenge, and sometimes defeat, the oppression which grew as the horrible obverse of the growth of
human social capacities and powers in the Atlantic world of the early modern period. More generally they are of interest in illuminating the ways in which, however
incompletely or imperfectly, emancipatory interests can prevail against ancient law and custom and the spirit of ruthless accumulation.6 The task of the present
volume is to explain the construction of the powerful political and economic complex that was undone in the nineteenth century. Like Eltis, Blackburn emphasizes
European actions and decision-making in the process. The book's first section is tided 'The Selection of New World Slavery' and ranges from medieval Europe to the
eighteenth-century Caribbean. It follows the tracks of the Iberian conquerors and their northern European imitators and inheritors, thus cutting effectively across
the different European empires (the same is true of the works of Eltis and Thornton), unlike many Atlantic histories which exclude Iberia and Latin America.7 The

selection of African slavery in the Americas was a tortuous process which involved experiments with
indentured European labour and Indian slavery. Numerous factors made these alternatives
unsatisfactory for the various European colonizers. Spain found a viable labour source in Indian waged labour and forms of
coercion associated with the mita, encomienda and repartimiento in its imperial core, the mining centres of Peru and Mexico. Given the emphasis on
bullion, rather than sugar, Spain found less use for African slave labour than did the other European colonizers (though
African slavery was important in virtually every branch of the Spanish colonial economy). Not until the Cuban plantation economy took
off in the later eighteenth century did the Spanish empire see the intensive use of slave labour for sugar cultivation
that was the magnet for the Atlantic slave trade.8 The Portuguese, Dutch, English and French American colonies, in contrast, came to be based on the sugar
plantation from north-eastern Brazil to the Caribbean. From the later sixteenth through the later seventeenth centuries these

powers tested
European and Indian labour before turning full-force to the African slave trade. Blackburn coincides with Eltis in
that he acknowledges important ideological motives in the selection of African slavery, finding precedents for European practices in Roman law and Europeans'
early association of Africans with slavery and servitude (31-93). Also, like Eltis, he notes the virtual absence of European criticism of African slavery, figures like the

places more explanatory power in

existing economic and political forces. Not only was slavery entrenched in West Africa (as Thornton carefully
discusses), but the development of class relations in late medieval and early modern western Europe
precluded the mass enslavement and especially the hereditary enslavement - of Europeans, an explanation that
Spanish clerics Bartolome de las Casas and Alonso de Sandoval being few and far between. However, he

Blackburn synchronizes with the arguments of Edmund Morgan, Richard Dunn and K. G. Davies.9 Blackburn sees ideas regarding race, or what Eltis calls 'cultural
values', in Weberian terms as '"switchmen", selecting different paths of historical development' (357). Racism

was a cause of the implantation of African

it was not the primary one. For
Blackburn, the explanations of the rise of slavery by historians like Morgan, Davies and Dunn, who emphasize economic,
political and institutional factors, are more convincing than Eltiss depiction of racism as the motive force
slavery in the Americas and, therefore, more than an epiphenomenon of the master-slave relationship. But

behind American slavery, a thesis Blackburn rebuts at length and counters with his own counter-factual construction of an Atlantic system built on free, instead of
bonded, labour (350-63).10 Blackburn's discussion of the selection of African slavery is wide-ranging and comprehensive. It is surely the single best place to read
about the early phase of African slavery in the Americas. Many of his conclusions in this section will be familiar to scholars of slavery and colonialism, something
Blackburn himself acknowledges through references to the works of Morgan and Dunn and his own reworking of the FreyreTannenbaum thesis regarding the
differences between Iberian and northern European, especially English, slave societies. The former Blackburn calls 'baroque','an alternative modernity to that
associated with the Puritan ethic' (20-1). This modernity was more inclusive (though hierarchical and exploitative) than the British and French plantation colonies,
where slaves were not treated as members of a stratified yet organic community beholden to Crown and Church, but as mere factors of production in a ruthlessly
capitalistic vision of modernity.11 The latter, however, won out, as Blackburn argues in the second half of the book, 'Slavery and Accumulation'. Barbados, Jamaica
and St Domingue were the pinnacle of the early modern Atlantic plantation complex, importing hundreds of thousands of slaves and exporting vast quantities of
sugar in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. England, in particular, emerged triumphant, in part because of the victorious slaves of St Domingue/Haiti who
overthrew their bondage at the end of the eighteenth century, but also because England settled on a more successful colonial policy that encouraged investment
and innovation both in the metropolis and the colonies. In Blackburn's characterization, English colonialism was 'orchestrated by an inverted mercantilism - that is
to say, not by financiers and merchants serving raison d'etat but by the state serving capitalist purposes. . . . The colonial and Adantic regime of extended primitive
accumulation allowed metropolitan accumulation to break out of its agrarian and national limits and discover an industrial and global destiny' (515). In the chapter
entided 'New World slavery, primitive accumulation and British industrialization', Blackburn takes the exact opposite position from Eltis, arguing that colonial
slavery was the foundation of England's industrial revolution, a labyrinthine account that takes him through the works of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Eric Hobsbawm,
Charles Kindelberger, Paul Bairoch and Stanley Engerman, among others (510-80). The length and care of that chapter indicates one of the major purposes of The
Making of New World Slavery. This work is not just about the rise of African slavery in the Americas; it is also about the rise of the 'West'. How and why did Europe
emerge as the world's dominant power? For Blackburn, Europe's ascendancy led directly through the early modern Atlantic world. Indeed, while his two volumes
have come to occupy centre stage in the historiography of the rise and fall of Atlantic slavery, his work must also be seen in relationship to the recent revisions in
British sociology of the ideas of Marx and Weber concerning the origins and nature of capitalist modernity and the nation-state. Michael Mann, Perry Anderson,
Ernest Gellner, John Hall and Anthony Giddens - as much as C. L. R. James and Fernando Ortiz - are his peers.12 The most comparable figure is Paul Gilroy. Like
Gilroy's The Black Atlantic, The Making of New World Slavery seeks to demonstrate that the Atlantic slave complex was the wheelhouse and slaughterhouse - of
modernity. Whereas Gilroy focuses on the Black experience of modernity forged in the Atlantic world and Black reflections on that experience, Blackburn
approaches the slave complex as the pivot of European industrialization and state formation. Though his work builds up to an evaluation of European modernity, it
would be a gross simplification to call the work of Blackburn, or Eltis, Eurocentric. However, it is correct to say that the two works do focus on European actions,

interests and decisions and conclude with incisive arguments about the impact of slavery on European economic, political and social development. Just such a focus
John Thornton seeks to displace by emphasizing the actions, interests and decisions of Africans in the making of the Atlantic world. How Africans influenced the
origins and management of the Atlantic slave trade and how Africans affected the culture of the New World colonies are his major concerns. A reader like myself
who works on Europe and the Americas will find this work indispensable both as a conceptual tool and as an introduction to various historiographies pertaining to
Africa and to Africans in the Americas. The book's most provocative and counter-intuitive section,' Africans in Africa', discusses the origins and development of the
slave trade and is most comparable to the other works discussed here. Thornton

makes a strong case that the decisive players in

the process were not Europeans but Africans. He constructs his argument through various considerations. Slavery was a
fundamental institution in most West African societies, though it differed greatly from the plantation slavery of the Americas.
Slaves in West Africa, usually captured in the endemic wars among the myriad polities of the region,
fulfilled a wide variety of roles, from menial labour to administrative and military leadership. Slavery was not necessarily associated with a society's
most debased tasks, as it was in the American plantation zone. It was not based on colour, nor was it hereditary, the most pernicious of
changes in slavery as it crossed the Atlantic (72-97). Moreover, Thornton takes great pains to show that the European presence on the west
coast of Africa, with the possible exception of the Portuguese in Angola, was weak and completely dependent on the
interests and goodwill of African states and merchants. These latter were the true masters of the slave trade. In making this
argument, Thornton is consciously inverting the terms of dependency theory explanations of the origins and impact of the slave trade. Pointing specifically to the
work of Walter Rodney (43), Thornton disputes the view that the origins of the slave trade lay in European military and commercial superiority, that the immediate
consequences of the European presence were an escalation of African warfare, and that the longer term consequences were a drain on African human capital and
the bending of the African economy to European interests (a description captured in the title of Rodney's influential work How Europe Underdeveloped Africa).,3
Thornton, in contrast, argues that Africans

held the upper hand. Different African states possessed sophisticated

naval technologies well adapted to the coastal environment that made effective penetration impossible
for the Europeans. European efforts to subdue African kingdoms through force of arms met with repeated failure. Confronted with a military and naval
foe of equal or greater strength, Europeans had no choice but to establish small trading forts on islands off the coast of Africa. Such a weak presence, Thornton
holds, had very little effect on the nature of African politics. The same was true of Europe's economic impact on the region. In the lengthy chapter 'The process of
enslavement and the slave trade', Thornton argues that it was not the temptation of European commodities such as guns that stoked the slave trade and African
warfare. Rather, war

among African states responded more frequently to internal political pressures, while
African slave traders had various markets open to them, so that selling to Europeans was only one
option among others. Economic decisions regarding the pace and volume of the slave trade were made
by Africans. Europeans, therefore, and not Africans, were in a dependent position: 'African participation in the slave trade was voluntary and under the
control of African decision makers. This was not just at the surface level of daily exchange but even at deeper levels. Europeans possessed no means, either
economic or military, to compel African leaders to sell slaves' (125). Thornton bases his arguments on an extensive scholarly literature and on close readings of
primary sources. Those sources were produced almost exclusively by Europeans in European languages. This situation thus opens an intriguing question that
Thornton does not directly address: what does it mean that an argument about African primacy in military and economic encounters with Europeans relies heavily
on the European perspective? Thornton's method of interpreting documents relevant to the slave trade and to African cultures in the Americas is familiar:
frequently he checks them against contemporary anthropological studies of African cultures and societies and reads those back into the historical sources. Such a
method is generally convincing, but it also implies a historical hierarchy. In the written record, Europeans are the active agents, Africans their objects of description
and contemplation. The prevalence of the European perspective in the writing of the history of the slave trade thus led this reader to puzzle over Thornton's virtual
effacement of colonialism from his explanation of Atlantic slavery's rise (and of the legacies of colonialism in the writing of history). His argument about African
autonomy and agency is forceful and persuasive, and he demonstrates spectacularly that the history of Atlantic slavery is not only the history of the rise of the
West. But by inverting the terms of the dependency theory approach of Rodney and others, Thornton eclipses Europe's role in the making of both the Atlantic slave
trade and the American plantation, without which the slave trade would never have existed. Should he have presented a more balanced account? Maybe not;
balance is not necessarily the only virtue of the Atlantic historian. To argue with rigour, imagination and over a broad canvas are the marks of the great histories of
Atlantic slavery. Thornton, Blackburn and Eltis are squarely in that tradition and, like C. L. R. James, Fernando Ortiz, David Brion Davis, Seymour Drescher and others
before them, they have produced works that incite the reader to ask big questions and reach for big answers about a history whose legacies continue to shape the
Atlantic world.

Capitalism and systemic racism are closely intertwined, capitalism contributes to
Joe 11/6/11 Racism Review Does Capitalism = Systemic Racism?
(contributor to Racism Review)
Over at the Village Voice website the provocative African American critical theorist and savvy analyst of U.S. society, Greg Tate, offers Top 10 Reasons Why So Few
Black Folk Appear Down To Occupy Wall Street, a humorous and sarcastic take on this issue. (See other comments on Tates piece here and here.) Most

the Occupy movements do appear to have been disproportionately white. One barbed reason Tate offers is that
African Americans want to see the OWS movement stay alive. If it got to be known as a Black Thing,
then white officials like Mike Bloomberg and Ray Kelly would feel compelled to set more upon the movement than
decrepit desk sergeants with pepper spray. Another point is that African Americans already have a radical heart, which has been shown
many times. They are certainly not afraid to participate: Protest history shows our folk couldnt be turned around by deputized terrorists armed with dynamite,
firebombs, C4, tanks, AKs, machine guns, fixed bayonets, billy clubs, K-9 corps, truncheons, or water hoses. Stop-and-frisk

has prepped most

brothers to anticipate a cell block visit just for being Slewfoot While Black. That is, African Americans have
never shown they were scared of fighting societal oppression. Two of his reasons get seriously at the core issue of the
relationships of contemporary capitalism and systemic racism. One more reason is that African Americans have long ago realized
something that the OWS folks seem to be late in coming to understandthat is, that American elites
never signed the social contract and will sell the people out for a fat cats dimehey, no news flash over here. Black
folk got wise to the game back in 1865 when we realized neither 40 acres nor a mule would be
forthcoming. Then Tates number one reason gets even deeper into this issue. Capitalism, as usually framed in OWS discussion,
is often of less immediate concern to black Americans than systemic racism: Experience shows that
racism can trump even greed in Amerikkkaespecially in the workplace. White dudes with prison
records get hired over more qualified bloods with not even jaywalking citations. You dont have to be as
high up the food chain as banker-scum to benefit from white supremacy or profit sideways from the
mass povertization of the Negro. Tates points about the need to consider the relationships of actual capitalism and racism brought to my mind
just how Western capitalism got its first huge surges of capital and wealth, in the process Karl Marx called
primitive accumulation. Recall this famous passage from Das Kapital: The discovery of gold and silver in America, the
extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the
conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of
black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the
chief moments of primitive accumulation. . . . [They all] depend in part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But, they all employ the
power of the State, the concentrated and organised force of society, to hasten, hot-house fashion, the process of transformation of the feudal mode of production
into the capitalist mode . . . . [C]apital

comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.
Western capitalistic wealth and production thus began with the violent looting of resources and forcible
enslavement of numerous populations. All these chief moments of early capitalistic wealth accumulation
involve non-Europeansindigenous peoples, Africans, Asians, and Latin Americansthose racialized as
not white in the dominant racial framing of white Americans ever since. Capitalism is so intertwined
with systemic racism in its distant historical origins and contemporary history that it has been a mistake
for analysts and activists to try to separate them. To the present day. Capital today still often comes dripping from head to foot, from
every pore, with blood and dirt.

Capitalism root cause commodification and abuse

Maller No date (post 2011)
(Katherine, William Macauly University,, Post 2011, acc. 7/4/14, arh)

The results of this system become clear in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah
Equiano, in which Equiano, among other hardships experienced as a slave, describes the Middle
Passage between African and America. The absolutely pestilential (Equiano, 424) conditions
in which the African slaves were kept were certainly inhumane, but the cruelty of the white
sailors exacerbated the misery. The slaves were not well fed, and when they sought their own
means of sustenance, they suffered some very severe floggings. (Equiano, 425) Given the
myth that slavery was always racialized , one would assume that this cruelty was the
product of the white sailors hatred of these black slaves. However, Equiano also describes an
incident in which the white sailors flogged [one of their own] unmercifully. (Equiano, 425)
This removes race as the motivation for cruelty. The inhumane treatment of slaves confirms that
slaves were viewed as commodities instead of people. The equally inhumane treatment of
a white sailor would then confirm that the sailors, too, were commodities in the
capitalist system that they served . They, along with the slaves they shipped, were the
laboring subjects of the Atlantic economy, (Linebaugh and Rediker, 111) the slaves that were
essential to the rise of capitalism. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 28)

Cap sustains the modern day systemic oppression of racism

Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong

Economic factors play a primary role in producing and sustaining racism. These factors include the
accumulation process, private property, and modes of production. the Accumulation Process Page 17 Racism
appeared after fundamental changes occurred in the economies of Western Europe. It emerged with a
postfeudal economy, undergirded by a drive to accumulate wealth. This drive developed in stages, characterized by
different ways of producing wealth or different modes of production. The most primitive stage involved brute force,
conquest, and plunder. This is the era when the Portuguese plundered the coastal cities of Africa for their
riches and the Spaniards destroyed civilizations in the Americas for their gold. This period of plunder was
primitive because those seeking wealth destroyed the source of wealth upon acquiring it. They destroyed
the cities, the civilizations, and the people that produced the wealth. Subsequent stages involved seizing land
and forcing people to continuously extract wealth from the land. This required more than brute force. It
required special ways of controlling the use of land and of organizing and sustaining labor. It required
the development of special economic arrangements. Thus the perpetuation of the accumulation process and the
maintenance of racial oppression required a particular economic structure. Force, Accumulation, and Economic Structure
Friedrich Engels ([1877] 1975) made this point in his critique of Herr Duhring in AntiDuhring. Duhring had argued that oppression was a function
of direct force, as slaves were coerced into servitude. He used the example of Robinson Crusoe enslaving Friday. In this example, Crusoe, with
sword in hand, enslaves Friday. Engels asked where did Crusoe get the sword? He argued that the presence of the sword presupposes a
particular level of production and technology. Why doesn't Friday run away when Crusoe looks the other way? Engels maintained that Friday's
state of servitude must be based on an arrangement in which Crusoe controls productive land, instruments of labor, and surplus resources.
Engels's point is that oppression is sustained by more than force it is perpetuated within the context of an oppressive economic structure.
Engels claimed that there are a number of economic prerequisites for the maintenance of slavery and other forms of oppression. He argued
that the subjugation of a man or group is perpetuated only within an economic context with specific characteristics. Engels (1975, p. 192)

order to be able to make use of a slave, one must possess two kinds of things: first, the
instruments and material for his slave's labor and second, the means of bare subsistence for him.
Therefore, before slavery becomes possible, certain levels of production must already have been reached and a certain
inequality of distribution must already have appeared. . . . The subjugation of a man to make him do servile work, in all
its forms, presupposes that the subjugator has at his disposal the instruments of labor with the help of
which alone he is able to employ the person placed in bondage, and in the case of slavery, in addition, the
means of subsistence which enables him to keep his slave alive. In all cases, therefore, it presupposes the possession of a certain
amount of property, in excess of the average. Private Property Engels ([1877] 1975) added that private property is also
required to sustain exploitative relations. He argued that in primitive societies based on common ownership of the land,

''slavery either did not exist at all or played only a very subordinate role" (p. 193). According to Engels, slavery
arose in the Greek and Roman societies when land ownership became concentrated in the hands of a
small class of rich proprietors. In some areas of the ancient world, the slave population outnumbered freemen by a ratio of 10 to 1,
Engels claimed. This oppressive system was not maintained by simple force, although force was involved. It
was sustained within the context of an economic structure in which land ownership was concentrated in
the hands of a few and in which society accepted the legitimacy of this arrangement. Not only are
oppression and accumulation sustained within an economic structure, this structure provides the
skeletal frame for the form of that oppression. In other words, as this structure changes, so does the form of
oppression. This structure consists of the dominant mode of production, the level of technology, and the
sum total of relations of production (Marx [1859] 1959b, p. 42). The dominant mode of production plays the
most important role in shaping the form of oppression. Mode of Production and Exploitation Gough (1985, p. 18) defined
mode of production as "the way production is organized and the means by which the production and
extraction of the surplus labor or surplus product takes place." We add that modes of production are
distinguishable by the way production is organized, the manner in which wealth is created and labor exploited,
and the dominant way in which goods are produced. Marx ([1859] 1959b) suggested that since ancient times, the
organization of production has involved a division between two groups: a dominant class that owns the means of production and a subordinate
class that does not. Exploitation occurs when the

dominant group appropriates surplus value from the

subordinate class. This appropriation occurs, according to Gough (1985, p. 18), when the subordinate class produces a social
product, part and only part of which is returned to or retained by that class in the form of consumption
goods (food, shelter, clothing, fuel, etc.). . . . The remainder is appropriated by the dominant class whose members
or agents may use it for a variety of purposes: enlarging the stock of means of production, building lavish
temples, churches, or mansions, engaging in luxury consumption, furnishing large armies, or whatever. Thus different modes
of production are distinguishable by different ways the dominant class exploits the subordinate classes and
accumulates wealth. Different modes of production are also identifiable by differences in the predominant type of productive activity.
These modes of production shape forms of oppression. This proposition can easily be demonstrated by examining the eras
of slavery and Jim Crow. The eras of industrial capitalism and late capitalism are more complicated and
require more elaboration. In the era of slavery, the predominant productive activity was agricultural
production. A dominant class not only owned the means of productionland it owned and controlled the bodies of the slave laborers
who worked on the land. This mode of production created the arrangement of direct domination that characterizes this form of oppression. In
the period of Jim Crow segregation, agricultural production continued as the major economic activity,
with industrial production emerging to overtake farming. Land ownership remained concentrated in a
dominant class, but this class exploited labor in a different manner. The dominant class used tenant farmers and
sharecroppers, who labored under threat of starvation, to produce for their own maintenance (necessary labor) and for rent (surplus labor).

Because rent and debt absorbed maintenance production, this process of exploitation perpetuated and
exacerbated the poverty and misery of the subordinate class. It also contributed to a hierarchy of poverty and
status, with black sharecroppers on the bottom and white landowners at the top. The lowest class, blacks, were
segregated from the other classes in a system of caste and class stratification. Thus this type of exploitation provided the
framework for the Jim Crow form of racial oppression. These examples demonstrate two points: 1. Racial oppression
is grounded in exploitative and oppressive economic structures, in which a dominant class privately owns
the means of production and in which wealth is concentrated in this class. 2. The form of racial oppression
varies with modes of production.

Modern racism was enabled by both capitalism and racism

Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
The Historical Origins of Racism Racism is a modern

historical phenomenon, grounded in alienating, exploitative, and

oppressive economic arrangements. It arose in a particular stage in history, after the dissolution of feudalism,
after the Protestant Reformation, and with the rise of a new economic order undergirded by an intense drive to

accumulate wealth. This drive was both a creative and a liberating force. At the same time,

it was destructive, dehumanizing, and

exploitative. On the one hand, it contributed to the growth of Western culture and civilization. On the other, it
fueled the genocide against Native Americans and propelled the Atlantic slave trade. Modern racism
emerged out of slavery and colonialism. These economic institutions created clear demarcation lines
between the oppressed and the oppressor, which overlapped with color lines. The oppressed were not only
separated from the oppressors, the oppressed were primarily people of color. The notion that people of color were of
a different species and were inferior to the oppressors functions to legitimize the

Cap is the root cause of gender and race
Zhang 12 Environment/Energy Reporter Content Marketing intern at PRE Brands, Intern reporter at Circle of Blue, Reporter

at Medill News Service Washington Bureau, Master of Science i... Education Northwestern University, Xi'an International Studies
University (LinYi, MeDill, LGBT activists link homophobia to capitalism, MAY 31, 2012, //SRSL)
Danelle Wylder is a college student in Chicago. She is an activist for queers. She was also among thousands of protesters during
last weeks NATO summit. When she wore her rainbow-colored wings and appeared in the crowds that

converged near Millennium Park, she defined it as a battle against capitalism. Look around
you, the majority of the world is suffering, Wylder said. LGBT community is as oppressed as other
communities. She said, like racism, homophobia was created by capitalism, adding that the
wealthy use the economic system to divide people and prevent them from forming alliances. And
she attributed LGBT issues such as homophobia to capitalism. Like racism,
homophobia was created by capitalism, Wylder said, because they [the rich] use
these tools [capitalism] to separate people from each other, from coming together
to actually fight against who is really oppressing them . Wylder said some and a small portion of
people who oppose gay marriages say they are concerned that it will affect heterosexual lifestyles. were trying to get support by
saying that queer people wanting to get married will affect their marriages, just like how they used racism to justify slavery. Using
the analogy of racism and slavery, she added that Because of the separation, transgender people are being killed, and the majority of
hate crime deaths is involve transgender women, she added. Even though With the LGBT community gaineding support from a
small portion of the one 1 percent a term that describes the rich -- on the gay marriage, social acceptance still remains an issue as
evidenced by. Homophobia-caused statistics showing that hate crimes rosedid not diminish but rise last year. The National
Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report showed reported that anti-LGBTQH hate violence increased 13 percent from 2009 to
2010. Anti-LGBTQ murders increased 23 percent from 22 murders in 2009 to 27 murders in 2010. Among the violence, transgender
women were disproportionately targeted, according to the report. We are not just LGBTQ people, Wylder said. We are also
workers, women and immigrants. We have all the same root cause, which is capitalism. Supporting Wylders position, Ryne
Poelker, 21, who studies at a University of Illinois at Chicago student, agrees with Wylder. He said that the sexual oppression is the
outcome of the norms that are set by a class society. Referring to the recent NATO summit in Chicago, Darrell Moore, associate
sociology professor at DePaul University expressed argued that homophobia is associated with capitalism. What I would argue is
that sexuality is absolutely crucial to the functioning of a nation because [in this case] NATO is about opposing a certain way of being
a citizen in a certain form of the nation states, Moore said. If we look at the larger picture, homophobia is connected to class.
Moore said that LGBT activists are using homophobia as a rallying cry against capitalists to Moore said another reason that LGBT
activists blame homophobia for capitalism is that they are trying to forge alliances with people who are concerned with other social
issues. and gain support from them. However, he added said that there are different ways of being forms of capitalism. Moore
added toTo those NATO protesters it was capitalism, but it was also militarism, which is also a side of homophobia. Capitalism
is just one side among many, Moore said. And it gets really complicated because its an irony.

Moore said some LGBT people are feel satisfied in workplace and at home, adding that in that case capitalism is working for some. .
In that case, capitalism is working out great for the version of being queers. I would argue against the idea that it is the side
because sometimes it is in the space of capitalism that one can find a way to be gay, he said. The solution is by no means simple,
Moore said, but he said he believes that progress can be made as the more people become informed and who are informed and
involved. in the discussion like the conversation with the government during NATO summit, the more just the outcome will be.
We are just fighting for a new world, for something that works for everyone, not just for the

few, Wylder said.

Capitalism is the reason other forms of exclusion exist the
alternative is a prerequisite to effectuating change
Kovel 2 (Joel, Professor of Social Studies at Bard College, The Enemy of Nature, p. 122-24, ,
2002, arh)

Unlike gender, class

is grounded not in physical difference or biological plan, but in the

formalization of the productive core of human being. Since the free exercise of transformative
power expresses human nature, class is a violation of human nature, and with it, of nature itself,
even if it is not grounded in the physical body. But class relationships never appear in pure, unadulterated form, however, as
the splits they impose would tear society apart. They occur, rather, embedded in a further institutional turn,
which emerges and takes the form of the state. It is the class/state nexus that comprises the decisive leap between
archaic society and what we call civilization. With this, history as such begins, and the cyclical, differentiated time of original society
is transformed according to the hierarchical ground plan of class. Now society has a controlling agency to tell its story to itself a
story, however, given over to conflict because of the institutionalization of class. States impose writing, through their cadres of
technicians; they impose universalizing religions such as Christianity through their cadres of priests; and they impose laws through
their judges and courts; they impose violence and conquest with their armies, and also the legitimation of violence and conquest.
Everything thereafter is marked with contradiction, stemming from the states original dilemma, that it stands over the whole of
society but is for societys ruling classes. States carry forth all those notions we call progress. They also,

however, implement the domination of nature, in all the forms taken by nature women certainly but
also the other peoples conquered by those states which achieve imperial status. As enslaved and dominated peoples
become incorporated into the domain, they acquire the status of Other barbarians, savages,
human animals, and eventually (with the growth of science), ethnicities and races all of which
categories cluster with the female at the nature end of the bifurcation within humanity This discussion may help clarify
a vexing issue on the left as to the priority of different categories of what might be called
dominative splitting chiefly, those of gender, class, race, ethnic and national exclusion, and,
with the ecological crisis, species. Here we must ask, priority in relation to what? If we intend
prior in time, then gender holds the laurel and, considering how history always adds to the past rather than

replacing it, would appear as at least a trace in all further dominations. If we intend prior in existential significance, then that would
apply to whichever of the categories was put forward by immediate historical forces as these are lived by masses of people: thus to a
Jew living in Germany in the 1930s, anti-Semitism would have been searingly prior, just as anti-Arab racism would be to a
Palestinian living under Israeli domination today, or a ruthless, aggravated sexism would be to women living in, say, Afghanistan. As
to which is politically prior, in the sense of being that which whose transformation is practically more urgent, that depends upon the
preceding, but also upon the deployment of all the forces active in a concrete situation; we shall address this in the last section of this
work, when we deal with the politics of overcoming the crisis. If, however we ask the question of efficacy, that is,

which split sets the others into motion, then priority would have to be given to class, for the
plain reason that class relations entail the state as an instrument of enforcement and control,
and it is the state that shapes and organizes the splits that appear in human ecosystems. Thus
class is both logically and historically distinct from other forms of exclusion (hence we should not talk of
classism to go along with sexism and racism, and species-ism). This is, first of all, because class is an essentially man-made
category, without root in even a mystified biology. We cannot imagine a human world without gender distinctions although we can
imagine a world without domination by gender. But

a world without class is eminently imaginable

indeed, such was the human world for the great majority of our species time on
earth, during all of which considerable fuss was made over gender. Historically,
the difference arises because class signifies one side of a larger figure that
includes a state apparatus whose conquests and regulations create races and
shape gender relations. Thus there will be no true resolution of racism so long as
class society stands, inasmuch as a racially oppressed society implies the activities
of a class-defending state.0 Nor can gender inequality be enacted away so long as
class society, with its state, demands the super-exploitation of womans labour.

Class society continually generates gender, racial, ethnic oppressions and the like, which take on a life of their own, as well as
profoundly affecting the concrete relations of class itself. It follows that class politics must be fought out in terms

all the active forms of social splitting. It is the management of these divisions that keeps state
society functional. Thus though each person in a class society is reduced from what s/he can become, the varied reductions
can be combined into the great stratified regimes of history this one becoming a fierce warrior, that one a routine-loving clerk,
another a submissive seamstress, and so on, until we reach todays personifications of capital and captains of industry. Yet no

matter how functional a class society, the profundity of its ecological violence ensures a basic
antagonism which drives history onward. History is the history of class society because no matter how modified, so

powerful a schism is bound to work itself through to the surface, provoke resistance (class struggle), and lead to the succession of
powers. The relation of class can be mystified without end only consider the extent to which religion exists for just this purpose, or
watch a show glorifying the police on television yet so long as we have any respect for human nature, we must recognize that so
fundamental an antagonism as would steal the vital force of one person for the enrichment of another cannot be conjured away.

Capitalism perpetuates racism through its unequal division of labor

and resources empirical examples
Brodkin 05 (Karen, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at UCLA, Xenophobia, the State, and Capitalism, American
Ethnologist Vol. 32, No. 4, Nov. 2005, pg. 519-520,

In the United States, and in the global economy, more broadly, racism's resonance rests on
institutionalized and persistent racial and ethnic segregation in the labor force, in
neighborhoods, and in public space (Brodkin 2000). This segregation of some into the worst
jobs, schools, and neighborhoods is the foundation for institutionalized racialization projects,
whereby new groups of immigrants become racial Others. White Americans have limited
interaction with new immigrants and experience them as a shadowy population of aliens. The
Bush administration has rivaled European governments in Islamophobic state policies and
discourse, yet Muslims are not the primary focus of popular xenophobia in the United States.
Certainly, a virulent niche market exists for Islamophobia in the United States among an
unsavory coalition of the political and religious Right, including a Jewish Right. Still, many
more Americans stereotype Mexican and Central American immigrants for taking U.S. jobs and
taking advantage of U.S. public services, in much the same way that Western Europeans blame
Turks and other Muslims. I suspect that popular resonance of state-promoted Islamophobia in
Western Europe rests on earlier decades of immigration of workers from the Middle East.
Much of the working class for Europe's post-World War II rebuilding and reindustrialization
came from Turkey and former North African colonies. These "guest workers," like
undocumented immigrants in the United States, were vulnerable to exploitation because of
state-imposed restrictions on work allowed and conditions of residence, more generally. To
better understand why Islamophobia strikes a popular chord in Europe today, one might ask
about the ethnic composition of the late 20th-century European working class, about the
patterns of occupational and residential segregation, about state policies toward immigrant
workers, and about whether unions and progressive political forces represented their interests
in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Was there a discourse of domestic antiracism on the
European left? Anti-guest worker sentiments may well have been antecedents and foundations
of today's discourses about "unassimilable" Muslims destroying European civilization. The
particular hostility toward Turkey and Islam extends outward to "the Balkans" and is part of a
longer pattern in prosperous northern and western Europe that views its southern and eastern
neighbors, who come as job seekers more than as investors, as unassimilable Others. In other
words, to Bunzl's argument about the role of the state-superstate, I would add that
anthropologists seeking to understand the bases of widespread embrace or not of racist policies
also look to the ways capitalism joins governments in organizing the daily life of work and social

Capitalism is the root cause of the degradation of people of color

based on the structural tendency built into the marketplace
Kurukshetra 14 (Kurukshetra,Environmental Racism as a Systemic Tendency of Capitalism March 20 2014, /SRSL)

The disproportionate impacts of pollution and other forms of environmental degradation on

people of color is not the result of scheming racists in power, so much as a structural tendency
built into the dynamics of the marketplace. Environmental justicethe movement that seeks to
fight against ecological problems that fall along lines of class and raceis a relatively new
movement in the realm of environmentalism. This appears to be mostly due to the persistent hegemony of
conservation-based movements, which mostly consist of old White liberals who see the idea of environmentalism as a
strict delineation between humans and nature. Environmental justice movements, on the other hand, seek to fight against ecological externalities that
directly and disproportionately affect working class and people of color communitiesand increasingly advocate for the complete overthrow of modern systems of power. The Structural
Drive to Exploit Whats fundamentally important to understand is that more often than not,
environmental racism is an objective function of capitalism. The term objective here does not
refer to some kind of absolute Truth, but rather to the fact that there is no subjective, individual
actor behind environmental racism and the impoverishing effects of capitalismon the other
hand, it is a consequence of the historical development of market structures, and the dynamics
that emerge from the structure of capitalism and the unequal distribution of wealth and the
means of production. The structural disadvantage that poor communities have with regards to
dealing with environmental externalities lies in capitals structural drive to maximize profits. The
companies that have the most profits in any given sector can use their economic advantage to place themselves in an even better position relative to other companies, by investing in new technologies, expanding
production and increasing market share, etc. They are then able to accumulate even more profits, which allows them to further solidify their place in the market, and so on. On the other hand, companies that do
not increase their rate of capital accumulation risk going bankrupt, seeing their stock prices fall (if they are publicly traded), or getting acquired by larger companies, more profitable companies. In the ecological
context, this pressure to maximize profits means that companies that can successfully externalize the damage they do to the environment (i.e. dumping waste products into a nearby river) are at an advantage in
the marketplace relative to firms that may seek to take the moral high ground and properly deal with waste streams. The extra profits polluting firms accumulate means that they can potentially out-maneuver
clean firms, and if the profit differential is large enough then clean firms might even be systematically bankrupted or bought out by dirty firms. This means that on the macroscopic scale, capitalism creates a
downward pressure on the ability of organizations to engage in ecologically sustainable practices. Parallels with the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis Another excellent example to illustrate the structural creation of
exploitation by capitalism is the situation that lead up to the global financial crisis of 2008. In this clip (4:55-7:34) from a talk by the communist philosopher Slavoj Zizek sponsored by the Dutch public
broadcasting company, a young woman explains how her small, family-owned bank was affected by the sub-prime mortgage crisis. During the run-up to 2008, while the bigger banks were giving out loans to lowincome people (and then selling off those loans to unwitting investors and institutions), her bank refused to deal with such unethical practices. However, the bank banks which were engaged in sub-prime lending
were making far larger profits than the family-owned bankprompting the majority share-holders to question the leadership of the young woman and her family, and eventually selling the bank off to people who
would engage in sub-prime lending. As the woman succinctly puts it at the end: Its incredibly difficult to operate ethically in the pressure thats been created over the past 10 years or so to make massive amounts
of money. Youre trying to do itand then you just get sold. Of course, it shouldnt be controversial to carry this observation further, and say that the drive to make massive amounts of money is not a recent
tendency, but has in fact been at the very core of capitalist logic for the past 500 years. But the young family banker does identify a key point: that while there may be individual actors who are guided by moral
instincts, the dynamics of the system means that these instincts are more or less irrelevant. There is an objective, structural drive for different firms and different industries to externalize as many costs as
possibleand put in the environmental context, there is a structural drive to pollute and not have to pay the costs of environmental degradation that results from a companys activities. Marginalized Populations:
Capitals Path of Least Resistance The question, then, is that if the company doesnt bear the costs of environmental degradation, who does? Just like there is a systemic tendency for firms to externalize costs, so
too is there a systemic tendency for poor, marginalized populations to be forced to bear these costs. From a firms point of view, externalizing costs isnt necessarily a frictionless processthey can easily get pushback from local populations, government regulators, and other entities that arent bound by the rules and dynamics of the marketplace. The profit-maximizing process must account for this potential friction, and
find ways or avenues by which this friction is reduced or eliminated entirely. Poor populations, by definition, lack economic resources; and this economic marginalization almost always translates into political
marginalization, since it requires a not insignificant amount of time, energy, and resources to engage with and have power with modern political institutions. Thus, from the firms point of view, such regions offer
the path of least resistance in terms of finding ways to externalize environmental externalities. A working-class community of color will (typically) be able to resist far, far less than a wealthy White community,

. This tendency can also be

seen in recent empirical studies. A recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report found
that in California, Blacks and Latin@s are disproportionately affected by pollution. And given
the analysis above, this shouldnt be surprisingas of 2010, Blacks and Latin@s have a median
income around 50% less than Whites, and are more than twice as likely to be under the poverty
line than Whites. Again, it should be emphasized that the racial disparities behind environmental externalities arent so much the result of some Rich White Man sitting in a skyscraper,
and thus the former will find themselves dealing with polluted water supplies and toxins in their neighborhood air far more often than the latter

cackling as he decides to invest in a coal plant in the middle of a predominantly Black community; rather, it is the result of historic economic marginalization, and the lack of resources that communities of color
have to organize and resist environmental exploitation. The need to focus on the class disparities, as well as racial disparities, is confirmed by looking at another good case study: that of China. This article from
The Guardian points out that protests by middle class urbanites in China are far more likely to have an effect on industrial projects than protests by poor rural folks: The middle class protest against PX in Dalian
this week was, in many ways, a re-run of a similarly successful demonstration against the same compound in Xiamen four years ago. In both cities, average annual incomes are now well above the $6,000 level at
which citizens in developed countries started demanding more political rights and cleaner environments. PX may not be a deadly poison, but it is now a proven irritant for these influential white collar workers.
Meanwhile in the countryside, chemical plants dealing with far deadlier toxins such as cyanide, mercury, cadmium, sodium dichromate and yellow phosporus will continue to stir up local unease, spark
violence and generate the occasional headline, but their cases are unlikely to gain anything like the same political traction. Even in communist countries like China, economic disparitieswhich themselves are
the result of uneven development by capitalist institutionsare an excellent indicator of which populations are likely to bear the brunt of ecological degradation. The Need for Revolutionary Redistribution of
Wealth and Power In response to all this, it may be tempting for liberal and progressive-minded folks to advocate for reforms, and call for stronger regulations and more environmentally-minded politicians. But
such a call would ignore the entirety of this analysis. If the reason why certain communities are disproportionately impacted by degradation is because they lack economic resources, then the only real solution is
to redistribute wealth, and the ownership of wealth-generating assets. This is because, as the analysis above implies, wealth is power, and disparities in wealth equates to disparities in powerand the ability of
powerful (wealthy) people to exploit weak (poor) people. This is most directly argued in the classical Marxist analysis of how capitalists exploit powerless workers, but it also has a clear application to the realm of
environmental justice. The implication, then, is that it is not enough to focus on trying to pass reforms and legislation; if the root cause of exploitation is economic disparity, then the only real solution is to attack
this problem head on. Rather than trying to emphasize all organizational efforts on making policy and campaigning for politicians, labor should be put into the building of strong, community-based organizations
and institutions that empower them independently of political organizations, political parties, and for-profit institutions. Groups like the Black Panthers recognized this, and (despite their eventual collapse) put
the bulk of their organizing efforts into the creation of free health clinics, transportation services, community schools, breakfast programs, and so onand all for the rationale of strengthening communities and

This isnt to say that reformist and legislative methods cannot be

usefuljust that they are insufficient for stable, long-term efforts to battle environmental racism and
other systems of exploitation. As Lucy Parsons, the revolutionary anarcho-communist and
feminist said: Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth.
building power for the revolutionary overthrow of class society.

State and economic power are means by which the dominant class enforces racism

Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
Economic Base and Political and Cultural Superstructures We have drawn from a broad literature in an attempt to build a model for explaining
the formation and perpetuation of racism in the United States. We construct our model in the

historical materialist framework.

That is, we reject the idealist notion that racism and racial differences are merely attitudes or images that
are voluntarily created by the mind. We eschew the materialist view that racism is caused by inexorable
economic forces. Our historical materialist framework is based on the assumption that racism emerged during a particular
stage in history, under particular material conditions, and in dynamic ways. We focus on the economic
base of racial Page 33 oppression, which contributes directly to political and cultural aspects of racism. We see the
relationship between base and superstructure as dynamic and interactive. Moreover, we see politics as an
indeterminate factor. In developing this eclectic model, we combine several different but complementary
perspectives. Each perspective focuses on different aspects of the relationship between base and superstructure. These perspectives include
the MarxistGramscian, the radical psychoanalytical, and the neoWeberian models. MarxistGramscian

Approach Economic base is a

relations of production, the
way in which people are treated in the process of producing goods and services, the manner in which wealth is
broad Marxist term that refers to the primary mode of production, instruments of production, social

generated and distributed, and other economic processes and arrangements. In a racially oppressive society the important elements of this
base include the following: 1. Wealth,

concentrated in the hands of a few 2. Private ownership of the primary

means of production 3. An exploitative accumulation process 4. Alienating and dehumanizing modes of
production 5. Hierarchical relations in production In this model, racial oppression is understood as arising out
of an exploitative accumulation process in which wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. Racial oppression is
grounded in this economic base, which in turn sustains racial oppression. This economic base, with its
concentrated wealth, produces a dominant class that maintains its hegemony and protects these
oppressive arrangements in several ways. It captures or pressures the state to use state power to protect these arrangements.
It creates a racial ideology to convince members of all classes that these arrangements are legitimate and natural and
that more equitable arrangements will be disastrous. Persuading members of other classes to accept inequitable and
oppressive arrangements is a more powerful way of sustaining oppression than the use of state power.
This persuasion occurs more readily with the construction of racist culture. Page 34 Although culture is constructed in many ways
and on both individual and social levels, the dominant class plays a major role in the initial construction of
racist culture. Members of this class generate racist discourse in their everyday conversations about the
oppressed. This process was most evident in the antebellum South, as planters talked about their slaves and the legitimacy of slavery. This
culture arises as members of this dominant class become active socially and politically. Members of the dominant class are
disproportionately represented among political leaders. They are in key positions to disseminate their ideas.
Their worldview becomes well known throughout society as they or their sympathizers articulate it in state legislatures, in
the U.S. Congress, in courtrooms, in administrative offices, on political campaign trailstrain stops, convention halls, and so onand in the
newspapers, magazines, theaters, and other media sources. Members of

this class often own local newspapers or are able to

Members of the
dominant class have the resources and the connections to make their views known to a wide audience.
They make substantial contributions to major universities. They often influence universities that train people for other
institutions, such as schools, churches, courts, businesses, and industries. Once racist culture is established and permeates
the major institutions of society, it functions to perpetuate racial oppression. It influences people of all classes,
including white workers, to accept racially oppressive arrangements as natural, rational, and legitimate.
Gramsci's (1980) model of the relationship between economic base and politics and culture is dynamic in the sense that it accounts for
influence the editorial boards, especially when newspapers depend on advertising revenues from this class.

political conflict. This model considers the possibility of social movements. In these movements, efficacious oppressed groups are able to
capture parts of the state for use in ameliorating oppressive conditions and challenging racist culture by underscoring its irrational and
oppressive features and by articulating an alternative worldview. The

possibility of social movements makes the outcome

of political struggles uncertain and indeterminate. It makes the construction and reconstruction of
culture dynamic.

Racialization exists in the political economy of capitalismwe control

the root cause
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 43-44, 2009//SRSL)

With respect to the United States, Manning Marable (2004) has used the concept of racialization to
connect to modes of production there. He has described the current era in the United States as 'The
New Racial Domain' (NRD). This New Racial Domain, he argues, is 'different from other earlier forms ofracial
domination, such as slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and ghet- toization, or strict residential segregation,
in several critical respects' (ibid.). These early forms of racialization, he goes on, were based primarily, if not
exclusively, in the political economy of U.S. capitalism. 'Meaningful social reforms such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights
Act of 1965 were debated almost entirely within the context of America's expand- ing, domestic economy, and a background ofKeynesian, welfare state public policies' (ibid.).

The political economy of the 'New Racial Domain', on the other hand, is driven and largely determined
by the forces of transnational capitalism, and the public policies of state neoliberalism, which rests on an
unholy trinity, or deadly triad, of structural barriers to a decent life (ibid.). 'These oppressive structures', he
argues, 'are mass unemployment, mass incarceration; and mass disfranchisement', with each factor
directly feed- ing and accelerating the others, 'creating an ever-widening circle of social disadvantage,
poverty, and civil death, touching the lives of tens of millions of U.S. people' (ibid.). For Marable, adopting a Marxist
perspective, '[t]he process begins at the point of production. For decades, U.S. corporations have been outsourcing millions of
better-paying jobs outside the country. The class warfare against unions has led to a steep decline in the
percentage of U.S. workers' (ibid.). As Marable concludes: Within whole U.S. urban neighborhoods losing virtually their entire eco- nomic manufacturing
and industrial employment, and with neoliberal social policies in place cutting job training programs, welfare, and public housing, millions of Americans now exist in conditions
that exceed the devastation of the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 2004, in New York's Central Harlem community, 50 percent of all black male adults were currently
unemployed. When one considers that this figure does not count those black males who are in the military, or inside prisons, its truly amazing and depressing (ibid.).Moreover,

the new jobs being generated for the most part lack the health benefits, pensions, and wages that
manufacturing and industrial employment once offered (ibid.). Connecting to capitalist modes of production, for Marxists, is not as Mills
(forthcoming, 2009) claims 'a manifestation ofdogma', but a serious attempt to understand racism's interconnections with capitalism historically and contemporaneously. In
making connections with modes of production, the Marxist concept of racialization, I must conclude,
provides a more convinc- ing account ofracism in capitalist societies than do CRT emphases on 'white
supremacy' on the one hand, and 'race' rather than class on the other.

AT: Cap cant address Racism

Racism is an issue of classthe K is able to best answer the questions
of racism
Red Critique 2 "Race is Class" The Red Critique, November/December 2002,, acc. 7/13/14, arh)
This is because, despite the desperate singularity of the media's focus on Trent Lott, the issue is
not whether or not certain politicians are racists; racism is not a matter of people's ideas. Even
Republican Governor George Ryan has recognized this fact when, in an attempt to repair the
public face of the party in the wake of the scandal caused by Lott's remarks, he commuted all
death penalty cases in Illinois on the basis of their racist determination stating that, "While we
are not in a civil war now, we are facing what is shaping up to be one of the great civil rights
struggles of our time". Trent Lott and the rest of Bush's racist cabal are symptoms of a deeper
truth that is at the core of both parties' (one overt, one silent) defense of a growing U.S.
segregationism. The issue, in short, is that despite whatever people think or say about racism in
the United States the ruling party is racist in practice. It is the political economy of racism that is
the issue not cultural differences. The politics of racist segregation are, in other words, the direct
product of U.S. capitalism. Recent statistics demonstrate the actual fact that while segregation
might have been made "illegal" before the courts (a point which the Bush administration is
trying to change), in practice segregationist policies are one of the main tools of capitalist bosses
to divide the working class along racial lines while driving down wages, by eliminating necessary
public services such as health care and education that affect all workers, for example. While the
capitalist bosses enjoy the full benefits of their workers' labor and live a life without fear of not
being able to afford basic necessities, 22% of African-American workers and 34% of Latino
workers do not have access to health care and 27% of both African-American and Latino workers
live below the poverty line. At the same time, the U.S. capitalist class is trying to extend the
policing tactics it has used against the African-American members of the working classfor
instance, while African-Americans constitute roughly 13% of the population in the United States,
they represent almost half (48%) of all prison inmates and half of all death-row convictions in
what has become a form of "legal lynching"by criminalizing all people of color as part of their
"war on terror". INS lock-ups, draconian immigration laws that are going to require all working
people to carry ID cards, and Ashcroft's on-going policy of detainment without trial are all
aimed at dividing the working class and ensuring that a segment of the population forever
remains available as a "cheaper" source of labor (and a "scapegoat" when crisis emerges). While
Lott's comments have made all of this (momentarily) "visible" in the mainstream press, the
unfolding cultural commentary has trivialized the issue by focusing on the personalities and
speculating about whether the American people are ready to accept a racist message from their
leaders. In other words, the corporate media does what it always does and turns what
should be an occasion for investigating the social effects created by the powers
that be, which should be the role of the press in a democracy, into a cultural
debate about people's "values" that silently normalizes the rule of the powerful
whose material interests in fact dictate what counts as public opinion because in
actuality they own and control the culture industry and government. The political
economy of race, in short, is systematically suppressed by the ruling ideology. The common
sense of "race" trivializes it as a cultural "stigma" that blocks the free play of market forces and
produces unfair "discrimination" in the job market that, if left to itself, gives all an "equal
opportunity". By turning racism from an economic to a cultural matter, the common-sense view

of race diffuses the issue into a private matter of individualsthat is, there is racial
discrimination because there are racist people; a circular logic that fails to explain what it claims
to. This privatized view of race as discriminatory ideas, however, reflects the rule of a society
that enshrines private property as the motor of economic life and normalizes the exploitation of
the majority who are therefore forced to produce profit for the few just in order to survive. In
other words, the common-sense of race in capitalism silently accepts and normalizes the
unequal class relations that systematically contradict the ideal of "equal opportunity" and
produce racism today: in an economy based on private control of the social means of
production, competition is the rule and racism is a tool for increasing profits because it justifies
unequal wages and undermines the unity of workers in the face of their exploiters. This classconsciousness of race is suppressed under the false consciousness that if left to itself the market
frees the people from discriminatory ideas and gives everyone a chance to benefit equally: i.e.,
that the market is "colorblind". The common-sense that race is a matter of ideas that contradict
the principles of the free market is a not so subtle ruse to deflect attention from the socioeconomic causes of racism in capitalism onto its cultural effects and serves the interests of the
few who alone actually benefit from racism in the world of wage-labor and capital. The cultural
debate over the racism of the Republicans, the speculation of whether such and such politician is
or is not racist, makes racism a matter of the ideas and beliefs of individuals so as to instill faith
in the underlying class relations that systematically breed racism today.

We access the root cause economic disparity has the greatest

explanatory power
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 25-28, 2009//SRSL)

While for Critical Race Theorists 'white supremacy' primarily describes the structural dimension of 'white
power', 'white privilege' mainly refers to the day-to-day practices that arise directly or indirectly from
'white supremacy'. However, both interact with each other (Delgado, personal correspondence, 2008), and both have structural
and day-to-daypractical implications. Thus immigration restrictions would be part of the structural
dimension of the 'white supremacist' state (ibid.), but with obvious day-to-day practical manifestations.
From a Marxist perspective, it is, ofcourse, the poor and dis- possessed rather than the rich and powerful,
whose entry into other (richer) countries is restricted (although this exclusion is dependent on capitalists'
relative need for cheap labor). Delgado (ibid.) gives an example of the practical nature of 'white privi- lege' when
'store clerks put change directly in the upraised palms of white customers but lay the coins down on the
counter for blacks or Latinos/ Latinas'. For Critical Race Theorists, such practices are also enshrined
struc- turally in 'white supremacist' societies. For Marxists, the class element is crucial. Rich people of
color are less likely to get their change thrust on the counter. Moreover, well-off people of color will tend to
shop in more 'up- market' stores, and will be more disposed to the use of plastic as a form of payment.
Critical Race Theorists believe that all white people are beneficiaries of 'white supremacy' and 'white
privilege'. Gillborn (2008, p. 34) states that while they are not all active in identical ways, and do not all draw similar advantages, '[a]ll White-identified people are implicated in ... [relations of shared
power and dominance]- ... they do all benefit, whether they like it or not'. Sabina E. Vaught and Angelina E. Castagno (2008, p. 99) would appear to hold similar views and refer to 'the ways in which power over
others ... benefits Whites individually and collectively' (p. 99), and specif- ically emphasize white privilege's 'structural nature' (p. 100). They argue (2008, p. 96) that 'Whiteness as property is a concept that
reflects the conflation ofWhiteness with the exclusive rights to freedom, to the enjoy- ment ofcertain privileges, and l:o the ability to draw advantage from these rights'. Following Cheryl Harris (1993, p. 1721) they

Whiteness was the characteristic, the attribute, the property of

free human beings'. 'In this way', Vaught and Castagno (2008, p. 96) continue, 'individual White persons
came to exercise, benefit from, and mutually create and recreate a larger structural system of collective,
institutional White priv- ilege' (ibid.). Again, following Harris (1993, p. 1762), they refer to 'the continued right to determine meaning' (Vaught and Castagno, 2008, p. 101), and make
reference to Peggy Mcintosh's (1988) notion of sys- temic 'arbitrarily-awarded' privilege (Vaught and Castagno, 2008, p. 99). They conclude that the societal systems
'that sustain the reign of White race privilege are peopled and the concurrent, interactive acts of
individu- als and systems inexorably reinforce and entrench pervasive racial power across institutions,
sites and events' (p. 96). 'White racial power', they claim, 'permeates every institution' (p. 101). When Gillborn makes reference to
state that 'to be identified as white' was 'to have the property of being white.

and describes them as 'privileges that accrue from being identified as

White', he has seriously misunderstood Mcintosh's list. In merely describing the privileges as accruing
from being identified as white, he decontextualizes and dehistoricizes her analysis. In actual fact, Mcintosh contextualizes white
Mcintosh's 'famously listed 50 privi- leges' (Gillborn, 2008, p. 35),

privilege with respect to her social class posi- tion as a white academic with respect to her 'Afro-American co-workers, friends, and acquaintances' with whom she comes into 'daily or frequent con tact in this
particular time, place, and line ofwork' (p. 293).4 Homogenizing the social relations of all white people ignores, of course, this crucial social class dimension of privilege and power. Mills (1997, p. 37)
acknowledges that not 'all whites are better off than all nonwhites, but [argues that] ... as a statistical generalization, the objec- tive life chances of whites are significantly better'. While this is, of course, true, we

To take poverty as one example, in the United States, while it is

the case that the number of black people living below the pov- erty line is some three times that of
whites, this still leaves over 16 million 'white but not Hispanic' people living in poverty in the United
States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). This is indicative ofa society predicated on racialized capitalism, rather than indicative of a white supremacist society. While the United States is witnessing the effects
should not lose sight of the life chances of millions of working class white people.

ofthe New Racial Domain (Marable, 2004-see below) with massively disproportionate effects on black people and other people of color, white people are also affected. In the United Kingdom, there are similar
indicators of a society underpinned by rampant racism, with black people currently twice as poor as whites, and those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin over three times as poor as whites (Platt, 2007).5 Once
again, however, this still leaves some 12 million poor white people in the United Kingdom, who are, like their American counterparts, on the receiving end of global neoliberal capitalism. The devastating effects
ofsocial class exploitation and oppression are masked by CRT blanket asser tions of 'white supremacy' and 'white privilege'. There are further problems with the homogenization of all whites. First it masks
essential power relations in capitalist societies. For Marxists, the ruling class are by definition those with power since it is they who own the means of production, and the working class, in having to sell their labor
power in order to survive, are (also by definition) the class largely without power. The manifestations of this major power imbalance in the capital/ labor relation massively affects relative degrees of privilege in
capitalist, the aforementioned rates of poverty being just one. Lack of power for the working class is particularly evident in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom where that class has been
successfully interpellated (Althusser's concept of interpellation, outlined in chapter 1 of this volume). Moreover, some of the very privileges that poor white people possess are in a very real sense compensatory
privileges. For example, Delgado (2008, personal correspondence) has introduced the concept of 'paltry privileges' to describe those 'privileges' that whites enjoy that compensate for the fact that they are living
ii). impoverished conditions with low paid jobs, unpaid bills and poor life chances. Alpesh Maisuria and I (Cole and Maisuria, 2008) made a similar point when referring to the suc- cess ofsoccer in keeping white
workers in line: Ruling class success in maintaining hegemony in the light of the disparity of wealth and the imperial quest was displayed in England during the 2006 World Cup by the number of St. George flags
signifying a solid patriotism in run-down (white) working class estates, on white vans, on dated cars exhibit- ing a 'proud to be British' display. In addition, as economically active migrant workers from Eastern
Europe enter the UK (a great benefit for capital, and for the middle strata who want their homes cleaned or renovated cheaply), the (white) working class, who spontaneously resist neo-liberalism by resisting
working for low wages that will increase their immiseration, need to be assured that they 'still count'. Hence the ruse ofcapital is to open the markets, and the role ofsections ofthe tabloid media is to racialize
migrant workers to keep the (white) working class happy with their lot with the mindset that 'at least we are not Polish or Asian or black, and we've got our flag and, despite everything, our brave boys in Iraq did us
proud. In Althusser's words, their response is: 'That's obvious! That's right! That's true!' (Althusser, 1971, p. 173). In this case the homogenization ofall whites obfuscates the ideological element of the
capital/labor relation. While it is undoubtedly true that racism and xeno-racism (see below) have penetrated large sections of the white working class, resulting in racist practices that contribute to the hegemony of
whites, and while it is clearly the case that members ofthe (predominantly though not exclusively) white ruling class are the beneficiaries of this, it is certainly not white people as a whole who hold such power
(Cole and Maisuria, 2008). For example, sections of the white working class in England have voted for the fascist British National Party (BNP) at recent elections precisely because they feel that they are treated

There are thus a number of problems with homogenizing all white peo- ple.
Attempts to do this ignore capitalist social relations, which are infused with the crucial dimensions
ofsocial class, power and ideology.
with less equality than others (Cruddas et al., 2005).

Racism is complex and changingthe only way to understand it is

through relating it to the development of capitalism
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 38-39, 2009//SRSL)

It should be clear from the above analysis that I favor a wide-ranging defi- nition of racism and
racialization in order to account for changes in racism which accompany changes in the capitalist
mode of production. Shortly, I would like to offer my preferred definition of racism. I should
point out at this stage that this definition is different to that favored by a number ofother
Marxists who prefer the analysis of Robert Miles. Miles and his associates are totally against
inflation of the concept of racism. Miles (1989) argues against inflating the concept of racism to include
actions and processes as well as discourses. Indeed, he argues that 'racism' should be used to refer
exclusively to an ideological phenomenon, and not to exclusionary practices. He gives three reasons
for this. First, exclusionary practice can result from both intentional and unintentional actions (Miles,
1989, p. 78). I would argue, however, that the fact that racist discourse is unintentional does not
detract from its capacity to embody racism. For its recipients, effect is more important than intention
(see my definition of racism later in this chapter). Second, such practices do not presuppose the
nature of the determination, for example, the disadvantaged position of black people is not necessarily
the result of racism (ibid.). However, the fact that the 'disadvantaged position of black people is not
necessarily the result of racism' is addressed by Miles' own theoretical approach, a class-based analysis
which also recognizes other bases of unequal treatment. Therefore, I would argue, this recognition
does not need the singling out that Miles affords it. Miles' third reason for mak- ing racism exclusively
ideological is that there is a dialectical relationship between exclusion and inclusion: to exclude is
simultaneously to include and vice versa, for example the overrepresentation ofAfrican-Caribbean
children in 'special schools' for the 'educationally subnormal' (ESN) in the 1960s involves both
exclusion from 'normal schools' and inclusion in ESN schools (ibid.). I do not see the purpose of
this attempt to privilege inclusion. The simultaneous inclusion of black people entailed by exclusion is,
by and large, a negative inclusion, as in the case of Miles' own example of ESN schools. There are,

ofcourse, situations where exclusion on account ofthe application of positive labels leads to positive
consequences for those thus labeled. The way monarchies and aristocracies are perceived is an
obvious example. They are excluded from everyday life but included in very elite settings with
multi- ple positive benefits. I fail to see how Miles' observation about the dialectical relationship
between exclusion and inclusion informs an analysis of While I understand Miles' desire to retain a
Marxist analysis, and not to reify racism (since describing actions and processes as 'racist' may
forestall an analysis of various practices in different historical periods of capitalist development), it is my view, as I attempted to demonstrate in this book, that it is precisely the Marxist
concept of racialization (and xeno-racialization) that enables, and indeed requires, a persistent and
constant analysis of the multi- ple manifestations ofracism in different phases ofthe capitalist mode
ofpro- duction in different historical periods. Indeed, I try to show in this chapter racism. hat,
contrary to Miles, not only should racism be inflated to incorporate actions, processes and practices,
but that it should, in fact, be inflated con- siderably to include a wide range of actions, processes and
practices. Miles' position on not inflating the concept of racism retains a fervent following in the
Department of Sociology at the University of Glasgow where Miles first expounded his views on
racism and racialization. I attended a work- shop there in 2006, entitled What can Marxism
teach Critical Race Theory about Racism (Centre for Research on Racism, Ethnicity and
Nationalism (CRREN) Department of Sociology, University of Glasgow). Some Marxist
sociologists who attended were quite insistent on defending Miles' position, and stressed the
need to use Marxist terminology rather than the concept of racism (though no such terminology
was generally forthcoming).17 One contributor went as far as to express the view that 'there is
not a lot ofracism out there'. Another, also following Miles, stated that racism should be narrowed down, and confined to the level of ideas, and that actions should not be described as
racist. The same delegate found the concept of racialization problematic, adding that people
'magically becoming racialized' is mean- ingless. Another delegate argued that, whereas once
people were sure what racism was; now both in the United Kingdom and globally, it is difficult
to understand what racism is. Miles and the Marxist defenders of his position are right to be
wary of any tendency to call everything 'racist' and thereby to foreclose discussion. However, in
my view, there are grounds for believ- ing that if an action or process is perceived to be racist then it
probably is. Indeed this is enshrined in the excellent UK Race Relations (Amendment) Act
(2000). What I think should distinguish a Marxist analysis of racism is the attempt to relate
various instances of racism and (xeno-) racialization to different stages in capitalist development
(some examples are given later in this chapter), but also to relate them to political and other
ideological fac- tors. This is not to say that all individual or institutional instances ofracism and
racialization are reducible to the economy (Miles acknowledges this as a functionalist position),
but that racism and racialization in capitalist coun- tries needs to be understood in terms of
stages in capitalist development. I take the position that there are striking similarities in actions
and processes of racism and (xeno-) racialization directed against different people in dif- fering
economic, political and ideological circumstances. This is notto claim that racism is primary and that
all else flows from it, which is the position of Critical Race Theorists and was the fear of one delegate at
the workshop, but to stress the need for retaining the concept of racism, widening it and relating it to
developments in capitalism.

Racialization is in relation to capitalism and the appropriation of

labor power
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 41-42, 2009//SRSL)

racialization as an ideological21 process that accompanies the appropriation oflabor

power (the capacity to labor), where people are categorized falsely into the scientifically defunct notion
Miles (1987) has defined

of dis- tinct 'races'. As Miles puts it, the processes are not explained by the fact of capitalist development (a
functionalist position). Racialization, like racism, is socially constructed. In Miles' (1989, p. 75) words, racialization
refers to 'those instances where social relations between people have been structured. by the signification of human
biological characteristics [elsewhere in the same book, Miles (1989, p. 79) has added cultural characteristics] in such a way as to define and construct
differentiated social collectivities' (my emphasis). Consistent with my own definition of racism I would want to
add, in addition to 'the biological' and 'the cultural', the other dimen- sions outlined above. '[T]he process of
racialization', Miles states, 'cannot be adequately understood without a conception of, and explanation for the complex interplay of different modes of production and, in
particular, of the social relations necessarily established in the course of material produc- tion' (Miles, 1987, p. 7). It is this articulation with modes of production which makes
the concepts ofracialization and xeno-racialization inherently Marxist. 22

AT: Race Rt/C Slavery

The capitalist mindset enabled slavery
Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong

The dissolution of feudalism and the rise of mercantilism and capitalism did two things related to the
rise of racism. First, these conditions generated a heightened sense of human alienation from
community, labor, production, and self. That is, the new, postfeudal people became alienated from
community, as they became dislocated from the land and as people became more transient. They
became alienated from their own labor, as labor became a commodity to be sold on the market. Labor
alienation became more complete with industrial production as workers lost control over the
production process. That is, unlike artisans of the feudal period, industrial workers neither designed nor
produced the entire product. They functioned as cogs in the larger machinery of production. They no
longer realized their human potential in the process of production. They became alienated from their
own potential, and thus, from themselves. This alienation made possible deeper levels of
dehumanization, a detachment from self and from others that made it easier to eliminate other selves in
wars of extermination. The move from feudalism to mercantilism and capitalism also released new
passions and new drives: the passion for profit and the drive to dominate the world market. The desire
for profit is an insatiable form of greed. Kovel (1984) maintained that greed, which has been around as
long as man, is the desire to have the most or to take from others. However, he added, "The desire for
profit . . . is an extended form of greed, a rationalized abstract pursuit which aims at the progressive
accumulation of the medium of exchange" (p. 114). Under feudalism, greed was constrained by a sense
of mutual obligation, by notions of community, by the social virtues of charity and cooperation. With the
fall of feudalism, Kovel (p. 114) observed, "Giving was no longer proof of virtue taking became its
replacement." What emerged with the new order was an unrestrained desire for wealth. In greed, the
desire was for the object to be obtained and enjoyed. In the drive for profit, the passion was not for the
object but for the process itselfthe process of accumulating more and more wealth.

Arguing between the important of cap vs race is redundant and

unproductivethe struggle is against racialized capitalism
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 35-37, 2009//SRSL)

Social class, I would argue, albeit massively racialized (and gendered) is the system upon which the
maintenance of capitalism depends (Kelsh and Hill, 2006, Hill, 2007b, Hill, 2008b, 2009c). It is possible, though
extremely difficult because of the multiple benefits accruing to capital of racializing workers (not least
forcing down labor costs), and the unpaid and underpaid labor ofwomen as a whole, to imagine a
capitalist world of 'racial' (and gender) equality. It is not logically possible for capitalism to exhibit social
class equality (see Kelsh and Hill, 2006; see also Hill, 2007b; Hill et al., 2008; Kelsh et al., 2009). Without the extraction
ofsurplus value from the labor ofworkers, capi- talism cannot exist (Marx, 1887; see the appendix to chapter 8
ofthis volume). There are four caveats I need to add to this fore-fronting ofsocial class. of 'will:-= m a n ifes:.3 the con:::'. ism beccc
(and ge:: First, I fully

agree with Critical Race Theorists (e.g., Gotanda, 1995; Delgado and Stefancic, 2001, pp. 21-23)
that we should reject 'color blindness',14 the belief that 'one should treat all persons equally, without
regard to their race' (Delgado and Stefancic, 2001, p. 144). As Delgado and Stefancic explain: Critical race theorists ...
hold that color blindness will allow us to redress only extremely egregious racial harms, ones that
everyone would notice and con- demn. But if racism is embedded in our thought processes and social
struc- tures as deeply as many crits believe, then the 'ordinary business' ofsociety-the routines,
practices, and institutions that we rely on to effect the world's work- will keep minorities in subordinate

positions. Only aggressive, color-conscious efforts to change the way things are will do much to
ameliorate misery (Delgado and Stefancic, 2001, p. 22). Second, I agree with David Roediger (2006, p. 3) that Left
commentators are wrong to announce the end of Du Bois's 'century of the color line' (e.g., Gilroy, 2000;
Patterson, 2000, cited in Roediger, 2006, p. 4). Paul Gilroy (e.g., 2004) has more recently expressed a somewhat over-optimistic
in my view belief in multicultural 'conviviality'. As I will argue in chapter 3 of this volume, one of CRT's
strengths is its insistence of the all-pervasive existence of racism in the world. Third, while I totally reject
the views ofthose contemporary Left theorists (e.g., Apple, 2005, 2006) which promote the idea that 'race'
and class are equivalent (for a Marxist critique, see, for example, Kelsh and Hill, 2006), I would insist that arguments made
that, because of the centrality of class, the Left should not concern itselfwith issues ofracism are
fundamentally flawed. Thus, I believe that Adolph Reed's arguments that '[a]s a political strategy,
exposing racism is wrongheaded, and at best an utter waste of time', and that '[racism] is the political
equivalent ofan appendix' to social class (Reed, 2005a; see also Reed, 2005b) are extremely dangerous and not
conducive to progressive struggle. Fourth, my critique ofCRT accords with that ofDarder and Torres (2004) (misleadingly
lumped together with Reed by Roediger, 2006, p. 4) in two major respects. The first is that, as I indicated earlier in this chapter, it
is my view that 'race' is a social construct and has no scientific validity. The sec- ond, as I will argue later in
this chapter, is that the Marxist concept ofracial- ization provides a more convincing explanation of racism
than CRT notions of 'white supremacy', and is necessary in order to understand the multiple
manifestations of racism and their relat.ionship to modes of production. In the context of these multiple
manifestations, the debate between class or rac- ism becomes redundant, in that for Marxists the struggle
is against racialized (and gendered) capitalism.


The economic drive in exploration is a pre-requisite to racial subjugation, which leads
to massacres, terrorism, and torture
Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
By the end of the 15th century, the Western

character was more alienated and more driven to accumulate

wealth. Both this alienation and this drive have been behind the tendency of Western culture to reduce the
entire world, including human beings, into lifeless things to be used to create wealth, to be exchanged
for wealth, or to be disposed of if they stood in the way of acquiring wealth. This drive and this alienation
were behind the African slave trade, the rise of the plantation system, and the extermination of Native
Americans. Columbus expressed this drive for wealth and contempt for man in his description of the
Native Americans he encountered. He said, They [Native Americans] are the best people in the world and above all the gentlest
without knowledge of what is evilnor do they murder or steal. They are very simple and honest . . . none of them refusing anything he may
possess when he is asked for it. They

exhibit great love toward all others in preference to themselves. They

would make fine servants. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we
want. (quoted in Phillips and Phillips 1992, p. 166) In pursuit of wealth, Columbus and his men enslaved, tortured,
mutilated, and massacred Native Americans. In 1495, he and his forces captured 1,500 Native Americans,
packing 500 of them on his ships to send to Spain for sale. Two hundred died en route (Zinn 1990, p. 4). On Haiti,
Columbus and his men forced natives to collect gold. Those who refused had their hands cut off, and
they bled to death. In 2 years, as a result of murder, massacre, mutilation, or suicide, half the native population
of Haiti was dead (Zinn, p. 4). Commenting on the depopulation of Haiti, Cuba, San Juan, and Jamaica, Father Bartholome De las Casas, an
eyewitness to the carnage, said, And Spaniards have behaved in no other way during the past forty
years, down to the present time, for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing,
afflicting, torturing and destroying the native peoples, doing all this with the strangest and most varied
new methods of cruelty, never seen or heard of before, and to such a degree that this Island of Hispaniola, once so
populous (Having a population that I estimated to be more than three million), has now a population of barely two hundred persons. The
island of Cuba is nearly as long as the distance between Valladolid and Rome it is now almost
completely depopulated. San Juan and Jamaica are two of the largest, most productive, and attractive
islands both are now deserted and devastated. (quoted in Bradley 1991, p. xvii) Spanish explorers and
conquerors, in their passion for seizing wealth, decimated Native American populations and destroyed
whole civilizations. Most notable among the Spanish conquistadores were Cortez, who massacred the
Aztec in Mexico, destroying their civilization for their gold, and Pizarro, who slaughtered natives in Peru for the same
purposegold. After seizing land in the Americas, Spanish conquerors and colonists needed labor to extract
wealth from the land. When they failed to attract sufficient numbers of European laborersand after they
decimated the Native American population with disease, overwork, and violencethey turned to the
African slave trade, which had already begun on a small scale several years before Columbus sailed to the Americas.

Capitalism is a system that allows for exploitation and a soulless institution

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapyer 6, pgs 95-96, 2009//SRSL)

Capitalism is, from a Marxist perspective by definition, a system in which a minority (the capitalist class) exploits the majority (the working
class) by extract- ing surplus value from their labor power (this is developed in the next chapter). It is a system without
morality and without shame. It is a system ofintense and relentless exploitation. As Michael Parenti (1998, pp. 84-85) has put
it: Capitalism is a system without a soul, without humanity. It tries to reduce every human activity to
market profitability. It has no loyalty to democracy, family values, culture, Judeo-Christian ethics,
ordinary folks, or any ofthe other shib- boleths mouthed by its public relations representatives on

special occasions. It has no loyalty to any nation; its only loyalty is to its own system ofcapital accumulation. It is not dedicated to 'serving the community'; it serves only itself, extracting all it can from the
many so that it might give all it can to the few Capitalism has an inbuilt tendency to constantly expand.
Marx and Engels recognized its preeminent global character over one hundred and fifty years ago. As they put
it in The Communist Manifesto, when describing capital- ism's development: The markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising...The place of man- ufacture was taken by the giant,
Modern Industry, the place of the industrial middle class, by industrial millionaires ... Modern industry has established the world-market. The need ofa constantly expanding market for its
products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere . .. In one word, it creates a world after its

, a process which takes three

main forms: first, spatial (globalization), as cap- ital occupies all known sociophysical space (including
outside the planet)- this is extension; second, capital expands as the differentiated form of the
commodity, creating new commodities-this is differentiation; third, it expands through intensification
ofits own production processes (Rikowski, 2001, p. 21). Capitalism is thus a thoroughly dynamic system. In its
inherent need to extract more and more surplus value, capital is also out of control. As Rikowski has
argued: Capital moves, but not of its own accord: the mental and physical capabilities of workers
(labour-power) enable these movements through their expression in labour. The social universe
ofcapital then is a universe ofconstant movement; it incorporates and generates a restlessness
unparalleled in human history ... It is set on a trajectory, the 'trajectory of production' . .. powered not
simply by value but by the 'constant expansion of surplus value' (Postone, 1996, p. 308 [Rikowski's emphasis]) ... It is a movement out of
own image. (Marx and Engels (1847) [1977a], pp. 37-39) Glenn Rikowski (2001, p. 21) has clarified what is entailed in this expansion

control. (Rikowski, 2001, p. 11) Chris Harman (2008, p. 11) has described twenty-first century global cap- italism, which rests on the unplanned interaction of thousands of multina- tionals
and twenty or so nation states, as resembling 'a traffic system without lane markings, road signs, traffic lights, speed restrictions or even a clear code that everyone has to drive on the same
side of the road'.

The global economy forces an imperialism that justifies invasion and leads to
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for
Education for Social Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race
Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapyer 6, pgs 103-104, 2009//SRSL)
In Cole, 2008d, pp. 98-100, I also discussed the 'postmodern fantasy' of Robert Cooper (2002, p. 5).3
Briefly, Cooper argues that postmodern impe- rialism takes two forms. The first is the voluntary
imperialism of the global economy, where institutions like the IMF and the World Bank provide help to
states 'wishing to find their way back into the global economy and into the virtuous circle of investment
and prosperity' (ibid.). If states wish to benefit, he goes on 'they must open themselves up to the
interference of international organizations and foreign states' (ibid.) (my emphasis). Cooper (ibid.) refers
to this as a new kind of imperialism, one which is needed and is acceptable to what he refers to as 'a
world of human rights and cosmopol- itan values': an imperialism 'which, like all imperialism, aims to
bring order and organisation' [he does not mention exploitation and oppression] 'but which rests today
on the voluntary principle'. While '[w]ithin the postmod- ern world, there are no security threats' ... 'that
is to say, its members do not consider invading each other' (p. 3), that world, according to Cooper has a
right to invade others. The 'postmodern world' has a right to pre-emptive attack, deception and
whatever else is necessary. The second form ofpostmodern imperialism Cooper calls 'the imperial- ism
ofneighbours' (Cooper has in mind the European Union), where insta- bility 'in your neighbourhood
poses threats which no state can ignore'. It is not merely soldiers that come from the international
community; he argues, 'it is police, judges, prison officers, central bankers and others' (my empha- sis).
Between 1999 and 2001, Cooper was Tony Blair's head of the Defence and Overseas Secretariat, in the
British Cabinet Office.

The drive to accumulate wealth resulted in the genocides and enslavement of Africans
Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and
Race and Public Policy. 1996. Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage
Publications.] l.gong
The passion to accumulate wealth and a deep sense of human alienation were behind the genocide of
Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans. These passions emerged out of changes that occurred in Western
Europe's economic structure, social organizations, culture, and patterns of human interaction. As feudalism gave way to
mercantilism and capitalism, the social chains of feudalismwith their social and community
obligationswere broken, thus creating a greater sense of alienation and releasing new social classes with an unrestrained passion to
accumulate wealth. These changes in Western Europe did not cause racism. Rather, they provided the fertile
ground out of which racism grew. These were the seeds of racism: slavery and colonialism, drawn along
a color line, with an uncommonly high level of brutality and exploitation. The passion for wealth drove
particular European nations to subjugate and enslave people of other worlds. Racism emerged with the
brutal and dehumanizing treatment of people of color. This racism was not present at the beginning of
the age of exploration. It emerged with the African slave trade, with colonialism, and with the
oppression and dehumanization of people who appeared different from their oppressors. Two cases
best illustrate this relationship between oppressive and dehumanizing treatment of a people and the
production of dehumanizing images of and attitudes toward them: Spain and England. We examine the first
case in this chapter and the second in the next. The case of Spain illustrates the relationship between the African slave
trade and racism. Spain had a long history of interaction with Africa dating back to the time of Hannibal
and the second Punic War, 218 to 201 B.C. (Du Bois 1969b, p. 141). Like most occupying armies, Carthaginian soldiers commonly
intermarried with European women, especially in Spain and Italy. Hannibal married a Spanish woman (Du Bois 1969b, p. 142). Africans invaded
Spain again in the 11th century A.D. The Almoravids, black Africans from west Africa who were also known as Moors, conquered Morocco.
From Morocco, they invaded and conquered Spain, dominating this country until 1492. The point is that Africans

were in Europe
before the African slave trade. They were with Columbus when he journeyed across the Atlantic.
Apparently, an African was the captain of one of his ships (Bennett 1970, p. 35). African Spanish explorers, most notably
Estanvanico, led a number of expeditions in the Americas. African Spanish were with Cortez in Mexico and Pizarro in Peru. Before the

establishment of slavery in the Americas, darkskinned Africans freely intermingled and intermarried with
light skinned Europeans. There was little evidence of the type of race and color prejudice that plagues
the modern and postmodern eras. Even during the early period of the African slave trade, the Portuguese pillaging of the coastal
cities of Africa, and the Spanish ravaging of the civilizations of the Americas, there was little evidence of the type of racism found in the 18th,
19th, and 20th centuries. This racism emerged as more Africans were imported to the Americas to work the mines and plantations of the
Caribbean and South and Central America. Color

prejudice emerged with a new world order. This order involved a new
division of the world between dominant European nations and people of color in other parts of the
globe. Among the dominant class in Europe, it entailed a passionate drive to accumulate wealth. This drive propelled
dominant European nations on a path of savage destruction and brutal subjugation of other people. This accumulation drive was
the force behind the Atlantic slave trade, the destruction of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, the reduction
of the Native American population, and the establishment of the plantation system. In other words, it was not racism that produced
the enslavement of people of color. It was the accumulation drive that led to the enslavement that
produced the racismthe notion that people of color constitute a subspecies of humanity or a species
below humankind.

Capitalism causes people to be one minded
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pgs 114-115, 2009//MG)
Outside of these political and economic crises, everything

under capitalism has a certain, at times hidden, at times

transparent, class-based, racialized and gendered logic of inevitability and insurmountability, prompted
in part by the success of the state apparatuses in interpellating subjects-this is how things are or even
should be, and there's nothing we can or even should do (see chapter 2 of this volume). 2 The ruling class's success at
keeping Marxism off the agenda, most notably in the United States, and significantly in the United Kingdom since Thatcherism and its aftermath
(see Cole, 2008g) is not logical (indeed, given that Marxism is in the interests of the working class, it is, in fact, illogical). However, as Stuart Hall
(1978) once remarked, ideologies don't

work by logic-they have logics of their own. Thus: we act and respond to
ideology as if we were the originators of the ideas and values within it. In other words, when The Sun or The Daily
Mail 3 speaks of what 'the public' 'wants', 'needs', 'is fed up with', 'has had enough of' this strikes a chord with all the other organs of rulingclass ideology-the rest of the media, the various apparatuses of the state. Because we

are largely trapped with one view of the

world ... -it all makes sense to us. (Cole, 1986b, p. 131) It is the role of Marxism and Marxists to transcend these
ruling class interpellations, to provide an alternative vision, an insistence that another world is possible. I
will now address some of the common objections to Marxism, themselves by and large the result of successful interpellation, and attempt to
respond to them.

Humans are selfish (LINK TO ANTHRO)

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pg 116, 2009//MG)

For Marxists, there is no such thing as 'human nature'. Marxists believe that our individual natures are
not ahistorical givens, but products of the circumstances into which we are socialized, and of the society
or societies in which we live or have lived (including crucially the social class position we occupy therein). While it is true that
babies and infants, for example, may act selfishly in order to survive, as human beings grow up they are strongly influenced
by the norms and values that are predominant in the society in which they live. Thus in societies which encourage
selfishness, greed and competitiveness (Thatcherism is a perfect example) people will tend to act in self-centered ways,
whereas in societies which discourage these values and promote communal values (Cuba is a good example)
people will tend to act in ways that consider the collective as well as their own selves, the international,
as well as the national and local.6 As Marx (1845) put it, '[l]ife is not determined by consciousness, but
consciousness by life'. Unlike animals, we have the ability to choose our actions, and change the way we live,
and the way we respond to others. Hence, in capitalist society, the working class is capable of
transcending false consciousness and becoming, 'class for itself' (Marx, 1847 [1995]), as well as 'a class in itself'
(Bukharin, 1922 cited in Mandel, 1970 [2008]), that is to say, pursuing interests which can ultimately lead to a just
society. Socialism does not require as a precondition that we are all altruistic and selfless; rather, as Bowles and Gintis (1976, p. 267) argue,
the social and economic conditions of socialism will facilitate the development of such human


Alt solves

Alt solves - In a socialistic state, jobs could be done way more efficiently than under a
capitalistic one
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pg 119, 2009//MG)

Someone Has to Do the Drudge Jobs, and How Could that Be Sorted Out in a Socialist World. Technology already has
the potential to eliminate most of the most boring and/or unpleasant jobs. Some of those that remain could be
done on a voluntary rota basis, so that no one would have to do drudge jobs for longer than a very brief period (utopian socialist Charles
Fourier had a similar idea-see Cole, 2008d, pp. 17-20). Voluntary work

under capitalism in the public sector abounds,

and there is every reason to assume that such work would flourish much more under socialism.

Alt solves Socialism creates equality

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pg 119, 2009//MG)

World socialism will only lower the standard of life for the Ruling Classes. There will not, for sure, be the
massive disparities of wealth apparent in our present capitalist world. There will, of course, be no
billionaires and no need for a (parasitic) monarchy. If the wealth of the world is shared, then there will
be a good standard of life for all, since all reasonable needs will be met, including enough food (as noted
above by Molyneux (2008, p. 13) enough already exists). To paraphrase Marx, 1875, the principle will be from each according
to his or her ability, to each according to his or her needs.

Not having a social revolution will involve violence and death on a massive scale
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pg 120, 2009//MG)
It is, in fact, capitalism that has created and continues to promote death and violence and terror on a global scale. Inequalities

in wealth
and quality of life cause death and disease in capitalist countries themselves, and the capitalist west's
underdevelopment of most of the rest of the world and the aforementioned massive disparity in wealth
and health has dire consequences (Hill and Kumar, 2009; Hill and Rosskam, 2009). In addition, imperialist conquest
historically and contemporaneously unleashes death, terror and destruction on a colossal scale.
Stalinism, and other atrocities, committed in the name of, but not in the spirit of socialism, also shares
this guilt, but as argued above, there is no inherent reason why the historical perversities of Stalinism need to
be repeated. As for the violence entailed in future social revolution is concerned, this is, of course, an
unknown. However, as argued in Cole, 2008d, pp. 78-79, socialism is a majoritarian process not an imposed event
which is not dependent on violence. It is, of course, inconceivable that a world social revolution would
involve no violence, not least because of the resistance of the dominant capitalist class . However, there
are no reasons for violence to be a strategic weapon. Anyone who has ever attended a mass socialist
gathering, e.g., Marxism 2008 in Britain (, can attest to the fact that violence is not, in
any way, an organizing tool of the socialist movement. Mass violence is the province of world capitalism.
Moreover, Marxists oppose terrorism unreservedly. Terrorism is reactionary, in that it diverts attention
away from the class struggle. It militates against what Leon Trotsky has described as self-organization and self-education. Trotsky
favored a different resolution to the revenge desired by many who subscribe to terrorism. As he put it: The more 'effective' the
terrorist acts, the greater their impact, the more they reduce the interest of the masses in selforganisation and self-education ... To learn to see all the crimes against humanity, all the indignities to
which the human body and spirit are subjected, as the twisted outgrowths and expressions of the
existing social system, in order to direct all our energies into a collective struggle against this system-

that is the direction in which the burning desire for revenge can find its highest moral satisfaction. (Trotsky,

Capitalism causes the efficiency of the state

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pg 119, 2009//MG)

It Is Impossible to Plan Centrally in Such a Hugely Diverse and Complex World. In a socialist world, local,
national and international needs will need to be coordinated fairly and efficiently. Given modern
technology, this is easier now than ever before, and will become more and more so, as technology
continues to develop. Under capitalism, technology is harnessed to the creation of greater and greater
surplus value and profit. In a socialist world, technology would be under the control of the people for
the benefit of the people as a whole; for universal human need rather than global corporate profit. Cuba
is a good example.

Elimination of Racism
Movements against capitalism have resulted in the elimination of racism, Venezuela
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
MARXISM AND WAYS FORWARD Marxists would agree with Mills (1997: 127) that the aim is . . .
ultimately to eliminate race (not as innocent human variety but as ontological superiority and inferiority,
as differential entitlement and privilege) altogether. However, Marxists, as I have indicated, would most
definitely not go down the path advocated by John Preston. Elsewhere, I have argued, at length, that I
see the 21st-century socialism advocated by President Hugo Chvez in Venezuela as an excellent
example of a way forward. In the context of Mills concerns about white Marxists, it is worth noting
that Chvez was the first Venezuelan president ever to claim and honour his indigenous and African
ancestry. Anti-racist/anti-imperialist 21st-century socialism Like the rest of Latin America, Venezuelas
history is scarred by colonialism and imperialisms racist legacies. Only now, with the gains being made
by the socialist government and the growing mass revolutionary movement, is Venezuela beginning to
grapple in earnest with how to confront this racist legacy. The rights of Venezuelas indigenous people
were first entrenched in the 1999 Bolivarian constitution (Chvez came to power in 1998), which was
ratified by 71 percent of voters. For the first time, indigenous land rights DEBATE Downloaded from at UNIV OF MICHIGAN on July 13, 2014 were identified as being collective, inalienable
and non-transferable, recognizing the: . . . rights of the indigenous peoples over the land they
traditionally and ancestrally occupied. They must demarcate that land and guarantee the right to its
collective ownership. (cited in Harris, 2007) As Harris points out: Article 9 stipulates that while Spanish is
Venezuelas primary language, indigenous languages are also for official use for indigenous peoples and
must be respected throughout the Republics territory for being part of the nations and humanitys
patrimonial culture. The 1999 constitution also affirms that exploitation by the state of natural
resources will be subject to prior consultation with the native communities, that indigenous peoples
have the right to an education system of an intercultural and bilingual nature, that indigenous people
have the right to control ancestral knowledge over native genetic resources and biodiversity, and that
three indigenous representatives are ensured seats in the countrys National Assembly (these were
elected by delegates of the National Council of Venezuelan Indians in July 1999). Since 1999, the
confidence of the indigenous rights movement has exploded. The multitude of social problems that
persist as a hangover of previous, capitalist policies has led to a culture of Chvista activists who support
the revolution and lobby the Chvez government to demand attention to their particular issues (Harris,
2007). At the forefront of the anti-racist movement is the Afro-Venezuelan Network, headed by Jesus
Chucho Garcia, which is lobbying for recognition of Afro-Venezuelans in the next round of amendments
to the Bolivarian constitution. The Network successfully campaigned for the creation of a presidential
commission against racism in 2005, the inclusion of Afro- Venezuelan history in the school curriculum,
the establishment of a number of cocoa-processing plants and farming cooperatives run by black
Venezuelans and for Afro-Venezuelan Day on 10 May each year (Harris, 2007). As Harris (2007) explains,
the ambitious land and agrarian reforms embedded in the 1999 constitution have been especially
beneficial to indigenous and Afro-Venezuelan communities. The constitution declares that idle,
uncultivated private land over a certain size can be transformed into productive units of land for

common social benefit. By prioritising socially productive land use over monopolistic private land
ownership and re distributing idle land to the landless, Chvez has promoted independence, food
sovereignty and local agricultural development (Harris, 2007). Such developments are not confined to
Venezuela. Chvez has also been building alliances with other marginalized communities in the
Americas, including providing food, water and medical care to 45,000 Hurricane Katrina victims in areas
surrounding New Orleans, and supplying discounted heating and diesel oil to schools, nursing homes
and hospitals in poor communities in the US (Harris, 2007). Harris (2007) concludes: . . . in Venezuela the
space for frank discussion about how to move forward in the context of a mass movement has been
opened up by the ongoing revolutionary process, and genuine gains have been made by indigenous and
Afro-Venezuelan movements to eliminate the systemic nature of racism from Venezuelan life.

Socialism creates equality between races

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pgs 130-, 2009//MG
In the light of CRT concerns about 'white Marxism' (see, for example the critique of Mills' and Gillborn's views on this in chapter 5 of this
volume), it is worth pointing out that Chavez was

the first Venezuelan President ever to claim and honor his

indigenous and African ancestry.18 It is also important to emphasize the antiracist developments
currently occurring in Venezuela. Chavez articulated this when he stated: We've raised the flag of
socialism, the flag of anti-imperialism, the flag of the black, the white and the Indian ... I love Africa. I've
said to the Venezuelans that until we recognise ourselves in Africa, we will not find our way ... We have started a hard battle to
bring equality to the African descendents, the whites and the indigenous people. In our constitution it
shows that we're a multicultural, multiracial nation. (Chavez, 2008, cited in Campbell, 2008, p. 58) Like the rest of Latin
America, Venezuela's history is scarred by colonialism's and imperialism's racist legacies. Only now, with the gains being made by the
Chavez Government and the growing mass revolutionary movement, is Venezuela beginning to grapple
in earnest with how to confront this racist legacy. The rights of Venezuela's indigenous people were first
entrenched in the 1999 Bolivarian constitution (as noted earlier in this chapter, Chavez came to power in 1998), which was
ratified by 71% of voters. For the first time, indigenous land rights were identified as being collective,
inalienable, and nontransferable, recognizing the rights of the indigenous peoples over the land they
traditionally and ancestrally occupied. They must demarcate that land and guarantee the right to its
collective ownership. (cited in Harris, 2007)
Material base of discourse inverts the historical relationship between the Other
and imperialists
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the
Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK
(Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapyer 6, pgs 104-107,
While Smith's arguments on enfraudening and enantiomorphism are con- vincing, and in
centering on the role of ideology, in essence Marxist, I have problems with the vague
transmodern notions of 'narcissism>4 in explain- ing the source of Western violence directed
against the Other. As Paul Warmington (2006, personal correspondence) has pointed out, the trans- modern
notion of 'narcissism' is problematic for Marxists. First, it represents essentialist notions of
'kinship'; a natural tendency to align oneselfwith one's 'own kind'. Second, because its
psychosocial gloss does not take account of Marxist understandings of the material base of
discourse, it inverts the his- torical relationship between imperialism and Otherness. Far from
deriving from a narcissistic alignmentwith one's own kind and antipathy to the Other, I would argue,
following Warmington (ibid.), that the western violence that enforced capitalist imperialism (from the sixteenth century
onward) entailed a conscious and strategic (and traumatic) alienation from other nations (as well as from the west's own
emergent liberal-democratic values). This histor- ically specific alienation was achieved through contrived 'racial',

cultural and spatial distinctions that served to mask the key contradictions of imperialist
production. 'Race' and racialization were key factors here. As I agued in chapter 5 ofthis volume, the rhetoric
ofthe purveyors ofdom- inant discourses aims to shape 'common sense discourse' into formats
which serve their interests. Underlining the fragmentary and incoherent role of'com- mon sense'
in connecting racialization to popular consciousness, Peter Fryer (1988), outlines the following argument. Modern racist
ideology emerged with and from the Atlantic slave trade (which predated the 'mature' colonialism of the Indian sub-continent by 150 years) and was anomalous in that: at the point when
western European production was shifting towards free labor and was shifted by technological
advances, it made itselfincreasingly reliant on a backward form of production, that is, chattel
slavery at the point at which the emergent Enlightenment began to posit notions ofindividual freedom, the west embarked on conquest and enslavement, in order to
secure servile labor systems (first in America, later in colonial Asia and Africa). As Warmington (2006, personal correspondence) argues, racialization can be seen, therefore, as
a project to rhetorically 'resolve' these contradictions, not merely to justify them in the sense Ofpapering over their cracks but to construct a racialized 'justice' upon which to
build brutal, servile produc- tion systems. In short, if liberty and the Enlightenment were morally and ideologically correct then they must necessarily be extended to all human-

this extension was clearly impossible (both at home and

abroad-but espe- cially abroad in those continents that were, as Du Bois pointed out, being
subjected to conquests that made them bear the largest burden of global pauperization,
conquests involving unprecedented levels ofviolence and dis- placement). Thus an ideology was
required that placed the slave labor force outside the bounds of humanity and therefore outside
the 'human rights' being tentatively proclaimed in Europe (clearly this ideology also infused racial folklore). Fryer (1988, p. 63)
ity (and this was the view of some dissident voices in the west). However,

quotes Genovese and Genovese: '[The rising capitalist] class required a violent racism not merely as an ideological rationale but as a psychological imperative.' In Cole, 2006a I
addressed the origins of the New Imperialism, how 'the eclipse of the non-European' following the European invasion of 1492, con- solidated by subsequent invasions and
conquests, unleashed racialized capi talism, often gendered, on a grand scale. The expansion ofcapital entailed not only the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade, but also
the attempted enslavement, the massacre, and the seizing ofthe land ofindigenous peoples, both local and adjacent. Its legacy today includes a very high and dispropor- tionate
suicide rate for Native Americans in general, and continuing attacks on the reproductive rights of Native American women; the 'prison industrial complex'-a legacy of slaverywhere 'people of color' are disproportion- ately represented; human rights abuse at U.S. borders; and continuing seg- regation in U.S. cities. Racialized notions of 'like' and
'Other' ('black' and 'white', 'civilized', and 'savage') are ends (or mediators), the starting point being shifts in production (slavery and colonialism's forms of sixteenth- to earlytwentieth-century globalization). 'Otherness' was a strategic, violent creation. Once groups have become racialized via 'common sense', for example, as 'savages' in the case of
indigenous peoples, or sub-human and genetically inferior, as in the case of African slaves, genocide becomes less problematic (Cole, 2006a; see also McLaren, 1997). In a
similar fashion, once Muslims are racialized as the Other (and the 'war on terror' knows no bounds) tor- ture, humiliation and other human rights abuses, to which Guantanamo
Bay and Abu Ghraib bear witness, becomes routine practice. Such practice is not confined to these locations. Former detainee, Moazzam Begg (Begg and Brittain, 2006) for one,
recalls abuse in U.S. and British military prisons in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt, as well as in Guantanamo Bay (see also Campbell and Goldenberg, 2004). Such
treatment is sustained by racialization. Indeed, the historic a priori racialization ofNative Americans and African Americans as sub-human, and Muslims as sub-human and
terrorists serves to legitimate and facilitate their massacre, enslavement, torture, rape, humiliation and degradation. In the current era, global imperialist abuse involves
psychological as well as physi- cal abuse, with detainees denied halal meat, for example. In addition, sexual torture has been revealed as having occurred on a massive scale, and
as hav- ing apparently been developed by intelligence services over many years. In particular the humiliation ofthe body stands in stark contrast to the Muslim importance
ofcovering, and not exposing flesh. Such abuse has also involved sexual humiliation. In 2003, U.S. soldier, Lynndie England serving at the Abu Ghraib camp in Iraq was charged
with abusing detainees and prison- ers by forcing them to lay in a naked pyramid with an aim to humiliate. Photographs taken by U.S. military also showed Lynndie England
holding a leash attached to the neck ofa naked man on the floor (Sands, 2008, p. 23), while another showed a prisoner with wires attached to his fingers, stand- ing on a box with
his head covered (ibid.) BBC News (2004) reported that there 'were numerous incidents of sadistic and wanton abuse.... Much of the abuse was sexual, with prisoners often kept
naked and forced to perform simulated and real sex acts'. Torture techniques, approved by Donald Rumsfeld, and endorsed by George Bush were in three categories: Category 1
comprised yelling and deception; Category II included 'humiliation and sensory deprivation, including stress positions, such as standing for a maximum of four hours; isolation;
deprivation of light and sound; hooding; removal of religious and all other comfort items; removal of clothing; forced grooming, such as shaving of facial hair; and the use of
individual phobias, such as fear of dogs, to induce stress' (Sands, 2008, p. 21). Category III techniques were to be used for a very small percentage of detainees, 'the most
uncoopera- tive (said to be fewer than 3%) and exceptionally resistant individuals-and required approval by the commanding general at Guantanamo' (ibid.). There were four
techniques in the last category: 'the use of "mild, non-injurious physical contact", such as grabbing, poking and light pushing; the use of scenarios designed to convince the
detainee that death or severely painful consequences were imminent for him or his family; exposure to cold weather or water; and, finally, the use ofa wet towel and dripping
water to induce the misperception of suffocation' (ibid.). According to Sands (ibid.) the pattern at Guantanamo was always the same, and consisted of: 20-hour interrogation
sessions, followed by four hours of sleep. Sleep dep- rivation appears as a central theme, along with stress positions and constant humiliation, including sexual humiliation.
These techniques were supple- mented by the use ofwater, regular bouts ofdehydration, the use ofIV tubes, loud noise (the music of Christina Aguilera was blasted out in the first
days of the new regime), nudity, female contact, pin-ups. An interrogator even tied a leash to [one detainee], led him around the room and forced him to perform a series of dog
tricks. He was forced to wear a woman's bra and a thong was placed on his head. What seemed to unite torture at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib was 'humiliation, stress,
hooding, nudity, female interrogators, shackles, dogs' (Sands, 2008, p. 23). Such sexualized abuse is part and parcel of the racial- ization ofthe Other in the pursuit ofhegemony
and oil (see the appendix to this chapter). Global rule and the New Imperialism are, of course, first and foremost, about global profits. This connection to capital, national and
international is outside the remits ofboth transmodernism and CRT, thereby rendering their use as a tool for analysis significantly lacking. Racialization, under conditions of
imperialism is fired by what Dallmayr (2004, p. 11), has described above as 'the intoxicating effects of global rule' that anticipates 'corresponding levels of total depravity and
corruption among the rulers'. The racialization of the Other provides a more convincing explanation of the justification of conquest and enslavement by the West and of 'The
New Imperialism' than the transmodern exaltation of basic narcissism as a causal factor. The concept of 'narcissism' is unconvincing because it starts from the opposition of 'like'

Critical Race
Theorists like Ladson-Billings and Tate (1995, p. 55) note the plunder of native Americans land
through military conquest of the Mexicans to the construction of Africans as property, they are
unable within their own frames of reference, without resorting to Marxist analysis, to relate all
this to capitalism. As Darder and Torres (2004, p. 99) put it, the efforts of Critical Race Theorists: to explore the
ways in which socioeconomic interests are expressed in the law or education are generally vague
and undertheorized. Because of this lack of a theoretically informed account ofracism and
capitalist social relations, critical race theory has done little to further our understanding of the
political econ- omy of racism and racialization. For Marxists, the historical and contemporaneous racialization of the Other via 'common
and 'Other', and because it conflates ahistorical notions of 'Otherness' with historically specific forms of racialization. While, as noted in chapter 1,

sense' must be connected historically and contemporaneously to changes and developments in the mode ofproduction. Indeed, as I have tried to demonstrate in this book, for
Marxists, an analysis of racism begins with the capitalist mode of production, with social class and with class struggle (Darder and Torres, 2004, p. 99). In the current era,
capital is preeminently under U.S. control. We live in a world, much of which is increasingly at the beck and call ofthe White House, and ofthe diktats ofthe New Imperialism,
where globalization is portrayed as inevitable, and imperialistic designs are masked as 'the war against terror' and the promotion ofdemocracy.

Capitalism makes racism prevalentwith a capitalism overthrow skin

color would become irrelevant
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 8, pgs 137, 2009//SRSL)

I would argue that it is capitalism not white supremacy that is a structural sys- tem ofoppression. With
capitalism's overthrow, there is every possibility that the color of one's skin will be irrelevant and racism
(which, as I have argued, is not necessarily based on skin color) abolished. While it may be the inten- tion of Critical Race
Theorists to make skin color irrelevant, it is my view that encouraging young people in schools to think
on these lines is also not con- ducive to effective socialist practice. In chapter 5 of this volume, I referred
to current developments in Venezuela (see also Cole, 2008g, 2008h) which point to a revolutionary process
where whiteness is neither redeemed, nor reformed nor abolished but, in the context ofmajor
ameliorative projects, seen as a con- stituent form of identity in an antiracist struggle for twenty-first
century socialism. For Chavez, as I noted in that chapter, 'the flag of the black, the white and the Indian' has been raised (cited in Campbell,
2008, p. 58).

Using a Marxist approach to education by introducing imperialism and colonization
allows us to solve for the tenets of Critical Race Theory
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
are in many ways being globally miseducated. The Bush and Blair administrations propaganda war
about weapons of mass destruction, aimed at masking new imperialist designs and capitals global
quest for imperial hegemony and oil, was a key example. Conditioning the discourse is only half the
story. Education has become a key component in the profit-making process itself. Tied to the needs of
global, corporate capital, education worldwide has been reduced to the creation of a flexible
workforce, the openly acknowledged, indeed lauded (by both capitalists and politicians) requirement of
todays global markets. Corporate global capital is in schools, in the sense of both determining the
curriculum and exercising burgeoning control of schools as businesses. An alternative vision of
education is provided by Peter McLaren. Education should, McLaren argues, following Paulo Freire, put
social and political analysis of everyday life at the centre of the curriculum (McLaren, 2003: xxix).
Racism should be a key component in such an analysis. Following through the thrust of this article, I
would argue that, in order for racism to be understood, and, in order for strategies to be developed to
undermine it, there is a need first to reintroduce the topic of imperialism in schools; second to initiate in
schools a thorough analysis of the manifestations of xeno-racism and xeno-racialization. I deal with each
in turn. The reintroduction of the teaching of imperialism in schools Anti-imperialism is one of Chvezs
main platforms. As he remarked in 2003: In Venezuela, we are developing a model of struggle against
neoliberalism and imperialism. For this reason, we find we have millions of friends in this world,
although we also have many enemies. (cited in Contreras Baspineiro, 2003)13 DEBATE Downloaded
from at UNIV OF MICHIGAN on July 13, 2014 I have dealt with the teaching of
imperialism in schools at length elsewhere (e.g. Cole, 2004c, 2008a). Here I make a few general points.
Reintroducing the teaching of imperialism in schools, I believe, would be far more effective than CRT in
increasing awareness of racism, and crucially linking racism to capitalist modes of production. Students
will need skills to evaluate the New Imperialism and the permanent war being waged by the US with
the acquiescence of Britain. Boulang (2004) has argued that it is essential, with the Bush and Blair war
on terror, and Islamophobia worldwide reaching new heights, for teachers to show solidarity with
Muslims, for this will strengthen the unity of all workers, whatever their religion (Boulang, (2004: 24),
and this will have a powerful impact on the struggle against racism in all spheres of society, and
education in particular. In turn, this will strengthen the confidence of workers and students to fight on
other issues. According to the neoconservative, Niall Ferguson (2003): Empire is as cutting edge as you
could wish . . . [It] has got everything: economic history, social history, cultural history, political history,
military history and international history not to mention contemporary politics (just turn on the latest
news from Kabul). Yet it knits all these things together with . . . a metanarrative. For Marxists, an
understanding of the metanarrative of imperialism, past and present, does much more than this.
Indeed, it encompasses but goes beyond the centrality of racial liberation in CRT theory. It takes us to
the crux of the trajectory of capitalism from its inception right up to the 21st century; and this is why
Marxists should endorse the teaching of imperialism old and new. Of course, the role of education in

general, and teaching about imperialism in schools in particular, has its limitations and young people are
deeply affected by other influences and socialized by the media, parents/carers and by peer culture
(hence the need for media awareness). Unlike Marxism, CRT does not explain why Islamophobia, the
war on terror and other forms of racism are necessary to keep the populace on task for permanent
war and the accumulation of global profits. Teaching against xeno-racism and xeno-racialization
Marxism most clearly connects old and new imperialisms with capitalism. It also provides an explanation
for xeno-racism and xeno-racialization. While CRT certainly reminds us that racism is central in
sustaining the current world order, and that we must listen to the voices of people oppressed on
grounds of racism, it does not and cannot make the necessary connections to understand and challenge
this racism. Indeed, as I have argued, its advocacy of white supremacy as an explanatory factor is
counterproductive, particularly, as I have argued, in the school and university context, in the struggle
against racism. 262 ETHNICITIES 9(2) Downloaded from at UNIV OF MICHIGAN on July
13, 2014 263 Xeno-racism and xeno-racialization in the UK and the rest of Europe need to be
understood in the context of the origins of the EU, and globalization generally. With respect to the EUs
current enlargement, connections need to be made between the respective roles of (ex-)imperial
citizens in the immediate post-Second World War period, and migrant workers from Eastern Europe
today (both sources of cheap labour). An analysis of the way in which the media portrays asylum seekers
and refugees, on the one hand, and migrant workers, on the other, would also foster an awareness of
the processes of xeno-racism and xeno-racialization. Alternatives to neoliberal global capitalism Chvez
devoted a call-in television programme on 15 May 2005 to education. In direct contrast to the US and
the UK view that we should teach the entrepreneurial culture in schools, for Chvez there is a new
educational model: competition and individualism in schools must give way to unity and solidarity: We
are all a team, going along eliminating little by little the values or the anti-values that capitalism has
planted in us from childhood (Chvez, cited in Whitney, 2005). No space in the education systems of the
US or the UK is provided for a discussion of alternatives to neoliberal global capitalism, such as world
democratic socialism. Marxists should agitate for the (totally democratic) suggestion that such
discussions should take place in schools, colleges and universities.

Discourse is a product of reality- capitalism shapes how we view conflicts

Cole 09 (Mike, professor in Education, Emeritus Research Professor in Education and Equality at Bishop
Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and publications, PhD supervision and
occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching, 3/31, Critical Race Theory and Education: A Marxist
Response (Marxism and Education)
For Marxists, any discourse is a product of the society in which it is formu- lated. In other words, 'our
thoughts are the reflection of political, social and economic conflicts and racist discourses are no
exception' (Camara, 2002, p. 88). While such reflections can, of course, be refracted and disarticulated,
dominant discourses (e.g., those of the Government, of Big Business, of large sections of the media, of
the hierarchy of some trade unions) tend to directly reflect the interests of the ruling class, rather than
'the general pub- lic'. The way in which racialization connects with popular consciousness, however, is
via 'common sense'. 'Common sense' is generally used to denote a down-to-earth 'good sense' and is
thought to represent the distilled truths of centuries of practical experience, so that to say that an idea
or practice is 'only common sense' is to claim precedence over the arguments ofLeft intel- lectuals and,
in effect, to foreclose discussion (Lawrence, 1982, p. 48). As Diana Coben (2002, p. 285) has noted,
Gramsci's distinction between good sense and common sense 'has been revealed as multifaceted and
complex' For Common Sense is not a single unique conception, identical in time and space. It is the 'folklore' of philosophy, and, like folklore, it takes countless different forms. Its most fundamental
characteristic is that it is...fragmentary, incoherent and inconsequential. (Gramsci, 1978, p. 419)

Marxism is key to understanding the racial implications of production and
development systems
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
Directing attention away from modes of production While, for Marxists, it is certainly the case that there
has been a continuity of racism for hundreds of years, the concept of white supremacy does not in
itself explain this continuity, since it does not need to connect to modes of production and
developments in capitalism. It is true that Mills (1997) provides a wide-ranging discussion of the history
of economic exploitation, and that Preston (2007) argues that CRT needs to be considered alongside
Marxism. However, unlike Marxism, there is no a priori need to connect with capitalist modes of
production. Thus Gillborn (e.g. 2005, 2006a) is able to make the case for CRT and white supremacy
without providing a discussion of the relationship of racism to capitalism. For me, the Marxist concept of
racialization5 is most useful in articulating racism to modes of production, and I have developed these
links at length elsewhere (e.g. Cole, 2004a, 2004b). Manning Marable (2004) has used the concept of
racialization to connect to modes of production in the US. He has described the current era in the US as
The New Racial Domain (NRD). This New Racial Domain, he argues, is different from other earlier
forms of racial domination, such as slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and ghettoization, or strict residential
segregation, in several critical respects. These early forms of racialization, he goes on, were based
primarily, if not exclusively, in the political economy of US capitalism. Meaningful social reforms such as
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were debated almost entirely within the
context of Americas expanding, domestic economy, and a background of Keynesian, welfare state
public policies. The political economy of the New Racial Domain, on the other hand, is driven and
largely determined by the forces of transnational capitalism, and the public policies of state
neoliberalism, which rests on an unholy trinity, or deadly triad, of structural barriers to a decent life.
These oppressive structures are mass unemployment, mass incarceration and mass disfranchisement,
with each factor directly feeding and accelerating the others, creating an ever-widening circle of social
disadvantage, poverty, and civil death, touching the lives of tens of millions of US people. For Marable,
adopting a Marxist perspective, The process begins at the point of production. For decades, US
corporations have been outsourcing millions of better-paying jobs outside the country.The class warfare
against unions has led to a steep decline in the percentage of US workers. As Marable concludes: Within
whole US urban neighborhoods losing virtually their entire economic manufacturing and industrial
employment, and with neoliberal social policies in place cutting job training programs, welfare, and
public housing, millions of Americans now exist in conditions that exceed the devastation of the Great
Depression of the 1930s. In 2004, in New Yorks Central Harlem community, 50 percent of all black male
adults were currently unemployed. When one considers that this figure does not count those black
males who are in the military, or inside prisons, its truly amazing and depressing. Moreover, the new
jobs being generated for the most part lack the health benefits, pensions, and wages that manufacturing
and industrial employment once offered.

Marxist analysis is key to understanding the systems of production, and is needed to

contextualize the relations of race in society
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
TENET II: RACE NOT CLASS AS THE PRIMARY CONTRADICTION Mills (2003: 156) rejects both what he
refers to as the original white radical orthodoxy (Marxist) for arguing that social class is the primary
contradiction in capitalist society, and the present white radical orthodoxy (postMarxist/postmodernist) for its rejection of any primary contradiction. Instead, for Mills (2003), there is
a primary contradiction, and . . . its race. Mills (2003: 157) states that Race *is+ the central identity
around which people close ranks and there is no transracial class bloc. Given the way in which
neoliberal global capitalism unites capitalists throughout the world on lines that are not necessarily
colour-coded, this statement seems quite extraordinary. Race, Mills argues, is the stable reference
point for identifying the them and us which override all other thems and uss (identities are
multiple, but some are more central than others). Race, he concludes is what ties the system
together, and blocks progressive change. For Marxists, it is self-evident that it is capitalism that does
this. Mills (2003: 1578) goes on to suggest that European models of radicalism, predicated on a system
where race is much less domestically/internally important (race as the external relation to the colonial
world), operate with a basically raceless (at least nominally) conceptual apparatus. Race, he states,
then has to be added on (Mills, 2003: 158). There is in fact a longstanding and wide range of US- and
UK-based Marxist analyses of race and racialization (e.g. Marable, 2004; Miles, 1987, 1989, 1993;
Zarembka, 2002). Mills (2003: 158) invites readers to: Imagine youre a white male Marxist in the happy
prefeminist, pre-postmodernist world of a quarter-century ago. You read Marcuse, Miliband,
Poulantzas, Althusser. You believe in a theory of group domination involving something like the
following: The United States is a class society in which class, defined by relationship to the means of
production, is the fundamental division, the bourgeoisie being the ruling class, the workers being
exploited and alienated, with the state and the juridical system not being neutral but part of a
superstructure to maintain the existing order, while the dominant ideology naturalizes, and renders
invisible and unobjectionable, class domination. This all seems a pretty accurate description of the US in
the 21st century, but for Mills (2003: 158) it is a set of highly controversial propositions. He justifies this
assertion by stating that all of the above would be disputed by mainstream political philosophy
(liberalism), political science (pluralism), economics (neo-classical marginal utility theory), and sociology
(Parsonian structural-functionalism and its heirs) (Mills, 2003: 158). My response to this would be, well,
of course it would be disputed by mainstream philos - ophers, pluralist political scientists, neoclassical
economists and functionalist sociologists, all of which, unlike Marxists, are apologists for capitalism.
Social class, I would argue, albeit massively racialized (and gendered) is the system upon which the
maintenance of capitalism depends. It is possible, though extremely difficult because of the multiple
benefits accruing to capital of racializing workers, and the unpaid and underpaid labour of women as a
whole, to imagine a capitalist world of racial (and gender) equality. It is not logically possible for
capitalism to exhibit social class equality. Without the extraction of surplus value from the labour of
workers, capitalism cannot exist. I am not arguing that CRT cannot provide insights into racism in
capitalist societies; for example, its emphasis that people of colour need to be heard to provide
meaningful analyses of racism is useful and particularly illuminating for those whose life experiences are
restricted to monocultural settings in multicultural societies (Delgado, 1995). (Xeno-) racism and the
process of (xeno-)racialization can best be understood, however, by a combination of listening to and

learning about the life histories and experiences of those at the receiving end of racism, and by objective
Marxist analysis. There is a richness to be gained from this theoretical technique, which facilitates a
synthesis of lived experience through the lens of Marxist theory and traces the how of life experience
back to the why of capitalist class practices. This is always rooted in shifts in the relations of production
aimed at more and more profit for the few, and which results in more and more immiseration for the
many. There is thus considerable purchase in Zeus Leonardos (2004) attempt to integrate Marxist
objectivism and race theorys focus on subjectivity, a move that works to ensure that the CRT concept
of voice does not drift into postmodern multivocality (multiple voices) where everyones opinion has
equal worth and therefore voice becomes thoroughly depoliticized (Maisuria, 2006). In summary, I
must reject the insistence of CRT to valorize race over class. Marxism has the crucial benefit of
contextualizing practices in capitalist relations of production. It gives priority to the abolition of class
society because without its demise, racism (as well as other forms of discrimination) is likely to continue
it in its various guises.

Social class and capitalism must be central to the analysis to avoid

partial and ambiguous explanations
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 44-45, 2009//SRSL)
I have described the process by which refugees, asylum-seekers23 and migrants to the United Kingdom from the newly joined
countries of the European Union become falsely categorized as belonging to distinct 'races' as xeno- racialization (for an analysis, see
Cole, 2004b, 2008c, 2008d, Chapter 9).24 With respect to the EU's current enlargement, connections can be made between the
respective roles of (ex-)imperial citizens in the immediate post World War II period, and migrant workers from Eastern Europe
today (both sources ofcheap labor). In addition, there are, as I have indicated, similarities in perceptions and treatment, something
that is promoted by sections of the racist capitalist media. The existence of xeno-racialization, although he did not use that term,
along with other forms of racism, was recognized by the Chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights in 2005, Trevor
Phillips, when he noted: The nature of racism is changing subtly, but critically. We cannot respond by recycling the slogans of the
'70s and '80s when race was regarded as a black and white affair. Today,

we know that the reality of multi-ethnic, multi-

faith Britain is more complex. Now, when we talk 'racial equality' and 'disadvan- tage', we are not necessarily referring to the
needs ofyoung black men. Rather we are speaking ofthe stigmatised [E]astern European asylum seeker; the Iraqi woman trapped in
her own home by stone-throwing jobs; the Gypsies and Travellers who will live for 12 years less than the rest of us; and the Muslims
unjustly victimised for atrocities committed by a tiny minority offollowers of their faith ... A

recent . .. survey . .. shows that

blatant discrimination or gross harassment is not found as frequently as in the past. But increasingly we
are seeing the emergence of some other forms of racial bias which demand differ ent tools
(, 2005) While CRT analysis serves as a constant reminder that racism is central in sustaining the current world
order, the

CRT concept of'race-ing' (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. xxvi), unlike the Marxist concepts of racialization and xenonot need to make the interconnections with modes ofpro- duction since 'race' is itself

racialization, does

material. In other words, oppression on grounds of 'race' can be explained merely as the modus operandi of 'white suprem- acy', a
power structure in its own right. To reiterate, I would argue that, in articulating with modes of produc- tion, these Marxist concepts
of racialization and xeno-racialization have more purchase in explaining and understanding contemporary racism than 'white

would maintain that if social class and capital- ism are not central to the analysis,
explanations are ambiguous and partial. Capitalism and social class are addressed in chapter 6 ofthis
volume. In this chapter I began by critiquing two ofCRT's central tenets, the con- cepts of'white
supremacy' and the beliefin 'race' as primary. I then outlined the definition ofracism preferred by Marxist
theorist, Robert Miles and his colleagues (a narrow one) before developing my own definition, which I
argued, contra Miles, should be wide-ranging, finding this more useful than 'white supremacy' in
understanding the multiple manifestations of racism in the contemporary neoliberal capitalist world. I
then went on to make the case that the Marxist concepts of racialization and xeno-racialization have
most purchase in explaining the processes by which certain groups become racialized at different phases
in the capitalist mode of production. I will revisit the concept of racialization with respect to U.S.
imperialism in chapter 6 of this volume. Having identified what I perceive to be CRT's two major
weaknesses, in the next chapter I turn to what I perceive to be some of its strengths, strengths that
nevertheless can be enhanced by Marxist analysis.
supremacy'. Indeed, I

Critical race theorists dont use specificity and without engaging the
discussion of cap is incomplete
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
intro, pgs 2-3, 2009//SRSL)
I first read Marx, starting with Capital Volume 1, nearly thirty years ago. At the same time, I became familiar with the work ofthe
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. Headed at the time by Stuart Hall, the CCCS was
publishing neo-Marxist analyses ofpopular cul- ture at a breathtaking pace. Along with a number of Occasional Stenciled Papers, the
Centre and its associates produced some major books (e.g., Hall and Jefferson, 1976; Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
[CCCS], 1977, 1978; Hall et al., 1978; Clarke et al., 1979; Hall et al., 1980; CCCS, 1981). One of the Centre's books, The Empire Strikes
Back (CCCS, 1982) dealt specifically with racism. This book, along with other Marxist analyses of

racism both emanating

from the CCCS and elsewhere, made me think that perhaps Marxism had most purchase in
understanding the multifaceted nature ofracism, both historically and contemporaneously. A few years after
becoming acquainted with such analyses, I published my first Marxist critiques ofracism (Cole, 1986a, 1986b) and have been using
Marxist theory to try to understand racism ever since. I am not sure when I first became aware of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
However, I do remember the first critical Marxist analysis of CRT (Darder and Torres, 2004, Chapter 5) that I came across. After

CRT as the latest in a long line of academic challenges to Marx and Marxism.4 This is
how Antonia Darder and Rodolfo Torres (2004, p. 117) conclude the chapter: any account of contemporary racism(s)
and related exclusionary practices divorced from an explicit engagement with racialization and its
articulation with the reproduction of capitalist relations of production is incomplete. The continued
neglect by critical race theorists to treat with theoretical specificity the political economy of racialized
class inequalities is a major limitation in an otherwise significant and important body of literature. Since I
reading it, I began to see

had read and respected previous work by Darder and by Torres, I decided that I needed to read CRT in order to ascertain whether I
agreed with the conclusion reached by Darder and Torres. Having

read CRT, my purpose became clear: to interrogate

CRT from a Marxist perspective, but also to respect some of CRT's strengths. Accordingly, Darder and
Torres' critique will resonate throughout its pages. While, as will become clear in chapter 1, CRT had its
origins in law, the specific focus in this volume is CRT and Education.

AT: Doesnt explain slavery

Even if capitalism doesnt explain slavery, Marxism is still the best starting point for
redress and forward-looking politics
Johnson, Associate Professor of History and American Studies NYU, 4
(Walter, The Pedestal and the Veil: Rethinking the Capitalism/Slavery Question, Journal of the Early
Republic Vol. 24, No. 2, p. 299-308, MM)
In trying to reframe the capitalism/slavery discussion as a set of questions about eighteenth and nineteenthcentury Atlantic political economy, it might be worth just for a second (because that is all it will take) to see what Marx
did say about the history of slavery in Capital. Right before the business about the veil and the pedestal he wrote this: "Whilst the
cotton industry introduced child-slavery in England, it gave in the United States a stimulus to the transformation of the
earlier, more or less patriarchal slavery, into a system of commercial exploitation."14 What is striking about this
sentence is the first word: "whilst." It frames the relation of what we have been calling "capitalism" and what we have been calling
"slavery" in terms of dynamic simultaneity rather than simple super-cession, though it does so with careful
attention to the historically different relations of production-slavery and wage labor-which characterized
the two poles of this single Atlantic economy. In so doing, it frames the pedestal metaphor that directly follows it as a structural
(or spatial) metaphor rather than a temporal one. Rather than focusing on the specifics of capitalist development in
Europe, this sentence treats the Atlantic economy as its ground of analysis, a spatial unit over which economic practice
had differential but nevertheless related forms and effects. And the name that Marx gives this trans-Atlantic political economy at this moment
very close to the end of Capital is not "capitalism" but "slavery"-"child-slavery," "veiled slavery," "slavery pure and simple." It would strain
credibility to argue that the hundreds upon hundreds of pages of Capital in which Marx ignored the question of slavery should be re-read in the
light of the several moments at the end where he seemed to suggest that "slavery" was the essential form of exploitation in the nineteenthcentury economy and that the forms it took in Manchester or in Mississippi were simply variant manifestations of a shared essence. Safer to
understand the invocation of "slavery" as a rhetorical effect, designed to pierce the illusion that wage-workers were in any sense "free."
"Slavery" was, after all, an often-invoked metaphor in the nineteenth-century. The term served as a sort of universal comparison for disparate
injustices, and in the process it lost some of its meaning and most of its liistorical specificity. But the very metaphorical promiscuity of the term
"slavery" as Marx used it, calls us to pay close attention to both the pattern of its deployment and the maneuvers by which its seemingly
universal applicability was contested and controlled. To pay attention, that is, to historical process by which the boundaries between slavery
and "freedom" were drawn, and to the character of the "veil" that separated them. The

"veil" to which Marx refers is most

simply imagined as "contract freedom": the idea that wage-labor contracts (by which "free" workers sold control
over the capacities of their bodies by the hour) reflected freely given "consent" to the bargain (and thus elided the deeper
histories of expropriation and coercion that, according to Marx, actually structured the bargain).15 It refers, that is, to the historical
process by which the commodification of laborers and the commodification of labor power came to be
understood as two entirely separate and, indeed, opposite things-slavery and freedom, black and white,
household and market, here and there-rather than as two concretely intertwined and ideologically symbiotic
elements of a larger unified though internally diversified structure of exploitation. This formulation of
functional unity veiled by ideological separation entails several interesting avenues of inquiry taken up by
these essays. They commend us, first, to try to think about the economies of Europe, America, Africa-so long
divided by historiographies framed around national boundaries and hard-and-fast distinctions between modes of production-in all of their
concrete interconnection.16 This emphasis on the concrete and practical seems to me to have the virtue of
allowing for the use of some of the most powerful categories produced by western political economy-the idea of
commodification, the labor theory of value, the notion of variability (across space and race) of the socially necessary cost of the
reproduction of the laboring class, and the calculation of surplus value-without having first to engage a
long doctrinal dispute about the capitalism question. Once the teleology of the "slavery-to-capitalism"
question has been set aside, that is, we still have an enormous amount to learn from what Marx had to tell
us about the work of capitalists as we try to diagram the historical interconnections and daily practices of the global economy of

the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These essays likewise suggest a second set of topics as we try to think of the
enormous work involved in categorizing and containing all of those interconnections in notions of process and history structured by the
oppositions of slavery and freedom, black and white, and coercion and consent. As

they argued about where to draw the line

between proper and improper forms of political economy-about whether wage work was wage slavery, whether
slaveholding was slave trading, and whether marriage was prostitution-capitalists and anti-capitalists, employers and
employees, masters and slaves, husbands and wives argued over the character of freedom, right, and personhood, over where
they began and where they ended, where these things could be said to be salable and where they must be held to be sacred. These violent
arguments were eventually settled on a frontier where we live today: "slavery" was defined by the condition
of blacks in the South before 1865 and "freedom" was defined as the ability to choose to work for a wage or a
share of the crop (though not to choose not to work for a wage or a share of the crop or, indeed, to choose not to be "free"), and "the
household" was defined as "in but not of the market."17 "So

massive was the effort" wrote Marx, "to establish 'the eternal
laws of Nature' of the capitalist mode of production."18 And so began the history of "freedom," which is
apparently hurtling toward such a fearful conclusion all over the world today.

AT: Perm
Perm fails- only a complete rejection of capitalism can solve- capitalism alienates one
from the very essence of humanity and prevents self-realization
Cole 09 (Mike, professor in Education, Emeritus Research Professor in Education and Equality at Bishop
Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and publications, PhD supervision and
occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching, 3/31, Critical Race Theory and Education: A Marxist
Response (Marxism and Education)
On page 41 of chapter 3, Gillborn (2008) states that CRT argues 'strongly against any comforting belief in
the essential goodness of the human spirit'. In chapter 3 of this volume, I expressed agreement with
Gillborn, in his con- clusion that The Lawrence Inquiry was not agreed to by a benign state that wanted
to put right an injustice, but was rather in the wake of protests and demonstrations. However, given
that the context on Gillborn's page 41 is a discussion about whether racism is permanent, and given that
for Gillborn (2008, p. 41) this is 'a moot point', more seems to be being said here. Gillborn seems to be
making a more general, more ahistorical point about humankind. Marx would not agree, since he
related our humanity to the capitalist mode of production, which he believed stifles the worker's
'species essence'. In order to understand what Marx meant, it is necessary to briefly consider Marx's
theory of alienation. Marx attributes four types of alien- ation, a fundamental condition oflabor under
capitalism, which prevented humankind from realizing its species-being and establishing an objectively
better socialist society. These are described by Gordon Marshall (1998) as follows: alienation of the
worker from his or her 'species essence' as a human being rather than an animal; alienation between
workers, since capitalism reduces labour to a commodity to be traded on the market, rather than a
social rela- tionship; alienation of the worker from the product, since this is appropriated by the
capitalist class, and so escapes the worker's control; and, finally, alien- ation from the act of production
itself, such that work comes to be a meaning- less activity, offering little or no intrinsic satisfactions.
Marshall (ibid.) goes on to argue that the last of these 'generates ... feelings of powerlessness, isolation,
and discontent at work-especially when this takes place within the context oflarge, impersonal,
bureaucratic social orga- nizations'. In Marx's own words, this is how the alienation of labor affects the
worker: It] mortifies his flesh and ruins his mind. Hence, the worker feels himself better socialist society.
These are described by Gordon Marshall (1998) as follows: alienation of the worker from his or her
'species essence' as a human being rather than an animal; alienation between workers, since capitalism
reduces labour to a commodity to be traded on the market, rather than a social rela- tionship; alienation
of the worker from the product, since this is appropriated by the capitalist class, and so escapes the
worker's control; and, finally, alien- ation from the act ofproduction itself, such that work comes to be a
meaning- less activity, offering little or no intrinsic satisfactions. only when he is not working; when he is
working, he does not feel himself. He "..' is at home when he is not working, and not at home when he is
working. His labour is, therefore, not voluntary but forced, it is forced labour. It is, there- fore, not the
satisfaction of a need but a mere means to satisfy needs outside itself. Its alien character is clearly
demonstrated by the fact that as soon as no physical or other compulsion exists, it is shunned like the
plague. Thus, workers under capitalism cannot come to full self-realization. To be alienated is to be
separated from one's essential humanity. We can only fulfill our species essence through freely chosen
labor, in a collective and coop- erative society. Only in such a society can our 'essential goodness', to use
Gillborn's terminology, come to fruition.

Alt Fails
The working class cannot overthrow the capitalism system
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapter 7, pg 121, 2009//MG)

The Working Class Wont Create the Revolution Because They Are Reactionary. It is a fundamental tenet
of Marxism that the working class are the agents of social revolution, and that the working class, as noted
above, needs to become a class for itself in addition to being a class in itself (Marx, 1847 [1995]). It is unfortunately
the case that major parts of the world are a long way off such a scenario at the present conjuncture. It is also the case that
successful interpellation and related false consciousness hampers the development of class
consciousness and the move towards the overthrow of capitalism. Britain is one example where the
Ruling Class has been particularly successful in interpellating the working class (see Cole, 2008g, 2008h for
discussion). Elsewhere, however, there are examples of burgeoning class consciousness, witnessed for example by the growth of Left parties
(see below) in Europe and by developments across South America, notably the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (see below) and in Bolivia. It is
to be hoped that, as

neoliberal global imperial capitalism continues to reveal and expose its essential
ruthlessness and contempt for those who make its profits, class consciousness will increase and that the
working class will one day be in a position to overthrow (world) capitalism and to replace it with (world)
democratic socialism. Perhaps it should be pointed out here that Marxists do not idolize or deify the working class; it
is rather that the structural location in capitalist societies of the working class, so that, once it has
become 'a class in itself' makes it the agent for change. Moreover the very act of social revolution and
the creation of socialism mean the end of the very existence of the working class as a social class. As Marx
and Engels (1845) [1975] put it: When socialist writers ascribe this world-historic role to the proletariat, it is not at all ... because they regard
the proletarians as gods. Rather the contrary ... [The

proletariat] cannot emancipate itself without abolishing the

conditions of its own life. It cannot abolish the conditions of its own life without abolishing all the
inhuman conditions of society today which are summed up in its own situation.

Critiques of a Marxist perspective on race are flawed- 5 reasons

Cole 09 (Mike, professor in Education, Emeritus Research Professor in Education and Equality at Bishop
Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and publications, PhD supervision and
occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching, 3/31, Critical Race Theory and Education: A Marxist
Response (Marxism and Education)
In true postmodern style the Chronicle also allows the Professor (partly Gillborn, but not totally-p. 5)4 to
introduce CRT, and outline the chapters of Gillborn's book. It is in the section entitled Critical Race
Theory, which is the Professor's/Gillborn's introduction to CRT, that I find my first major disagreement
with the Professor/Gillborn (p. 13). The Professor states 'I don't think there's anything in CRT that a
serious antiracist would have a problem with' (p. 13). My disagreement stems from the fact that I very
much consider myself a serious antiracist, and from a number of conversations and correspondences
over the years with Dave Gillborn, I know that he would concur with this. He would also acknowledge
that I have been engaged in writing Marxist critiques of CRT, of which this present volume forms part,
and therefore that there most definitely isa lot in CRT that certain antiracists would have a number of
problems with. Indeed in the second chapter of his book, Gillborn (p. 20) makes reference to such a
critique, a paper by Alpesh Maisuria and myself (Cole and Maisuria, 2007). Unfortunately in stating that
in this paper, our position is that CRT 'gives undue attention to racism rather than class divisions', he
greatly oversimplifies our argument. What we actually set out to do, in similar fashion to my arguments
in chapter 2 of this volume, is to make the case, in order to facilitate a serious and in-depth
understanding of racism, that CRT, in its advocacy of 'white supremacy', and in its pre-eminence of 'race'

over class (Cole and Maisuria, 2007), is not able to attain such an understanding. As in chapter 2 ofthis
volume, in Cole and Maisuria (2007) we commend the Marxist concepts of racialization and xenoracialization as having the best purchase in explaining manifestations ofracism, Islamophobia and xenoracism in contemporary Britain Gillborn (p. 37) further misrepresents our position, when, in referring to
Cole and Maisuria (2007) he states that 'a conceptual debate with Marxist orthodoxy may simply be
redundant because by definition Marxists place class in a position that supersedes all other forms of
exclusion'. There are two responses I would like to make to this assertion.The first is that Gillborn knows
that Maisuria and I are keen to debate racism with critical race theo- rists.5 I believe that a conceptual
debate between Marxism and critical race theory is very important. Indeed, I have engaged in such a
debate with Gillborn and other Critical Race Theorists, both face-to-face, and in writ- ten form (e.g.,
Cole, 2008e, 2009a, 2009d; Mills, forthcoming, 2009) for several years. Moreover, as should be clear by
now, this is one of the major purposes of this volume: to engage in a conceptual debate with Critical
Race Theorists. My second response is that Gillborn is also fully aware that an analysis of racism from a
Marxist perspective, rather than an analysis of class, has been one of the central features of my writing
over a period of over two decades (I recently (Cole, 2007c, p. 14) described racism as 'one of the key
issues facing the world in the twenty-first century'), and thus there are ample opportunities for him to
debate with me my Marxist analyses of 'race' and racism, and, of course, the analyses of other writers.
As ifto further alienate Marxists, Gillborn (pp. 37- 38) goes on to approv- ingly quote Ricky Lee Allen
(2006) who, according to Gillborn (2008, p. 37), 'views contemporary academic Marxism as an exercise
of White power'. Arguing stridently against any alliance with Marxists, Allen describes the ascendancy of
CRT as a historic rift and a 'much needed shift' (2006, p. 9, cited in Gillborn, 2008, p. 37).6 It is
disappointing that Gillborn seems to want to foreclose discussion with Marxists. Gillborn's hostility to
Marx is underlined when he refers to some of Mills' work on the relationship between 'White Marxism
and Black Radicalism'. He cites Mills (2003, p. xvii) as claiming: critical race theory is far from being an
adjunct to, or outgrowth of, critical class theory; in fact, it long predates it, at least in its modern Marxist
form. Long before Marx was born, Africans forcibly transported as slaves to the New World were
struggling desperately to understand their situation; they were raising the issues of social critique and
transformation as radically as-indeed even more radically than-the white European working class, who
were after all beneficiaries of and accessories to the same system oppressing blacks. (cited in Gillborn,
2008 , p. 38) Gillborn's (2008, p. 38) comment is that 'Mills' point is extremely powerful'. Gillborn goes
on point out that Marx moved to London in 1849, more than a decade before slavery was abolished in
U.S. territories (ibid.). 'These simple facts', Gillborn states, 'make the minimal presence of race in Marx's
analyses all the more damning' (ibid.). It is difficult to understand what both Mills and Gillborn are
implying. I will deal with Mills' quote and Gillborn's comments on the quote in turn. With respect to the
quote, Mills seems to be suggesting five things: (1) that the struggle against racism predates the modern
European class struggle; (2) that slaves' analyses and struggles were an early form of critical race theory;
(3) that slaves were more radical that the white European working class; (4) that the white working class
were beneficiaries of slavery; and (5) that they were accessories to it. With respect to (1), this seems to
be truism. As far as (2) is concerned, given that critical race theory grew out of critical legal studies in the
1980s, a fact heralded by those central to the movement (see chapter 2 ofthis volume), it is difficult to
make sense ofMills' assertion. That slaves were more radical than the white working class (3) is difficult
to quantify. It really depends what Mills means by 'radical'. With respect to (4), that the white working
class were beneficiaries to slavery, this is true in the sense that they accrued some benefits from
capitalist plunder. Finally, whether the white working class were accessories (5) needs to be seen in the
context of the success of the interpellation process (interpellation is discussed in chapter 1 of this
volume). To merely list the class as 'accessories' implies conscious rational choice outside the confines of
ideological processes. If my response to these five points makes any sense, it is difficult to understand
why Gillborn finds them 'extremely powerful'. As to his devel- opment of Mills' assertions, while I accept

Gillborn's point that there is a minimal presence of'race' in Marx's writing, Gillborn seems to be implying
that, given that slavery existed in the U.S. territories when Marx arrived in London, that Marx should
have written about it, but did not, and should therefore be 'damned' for it. In actual fact, Marx, a leading
European abo- litionist, was London Correspondent for the radical anti-slavery 'New York Daily Tribune'
(Laskey, 2003, p. 1). During the U.S. Civil War, Marx urged and organized English textile workers to
support the blockade against the Confederacy, even though it was not in their immediate economic
interests and also led to massive layoffs as a result of the cut off of imported cotton (Marx, 1862, p.
153). Writing about the importance ofworking class extra- parliamentary activity, Marx described
working class disgust and action against the Confederacy as 'admirable', 'incredible', and as 'more
striking' than other demonstrations (e.g., against the Corn Laws and the Ten Hours Bill) because of its
unambiguous spontaneity and persistence (ibid.). Marx saw the action as 'new, brilliant proof of the
indestructible staunchness of the English popular masses' (ibid.), and reported with great enthusi- asm
on 'a great workers) meeting in Marylebone, the most populous dis- trict of London' (ibid.) which served
'to characterise the "policy" of the working class' (ibid.). At that meeting, the following motion was
passed unanimously:

Capitalism is not the only problem--tradesoff with talking about race, sexism, etc.
Dominick 11 (Brian, FuturEconomy, Down with (Occupy) Materialism, Up with Diversity and Holism, December 20 2011, //SRSL)

local Occupy groups have encountered allegations of internal racism and sexism.
When people who are marginalized or sidelined in the outside world feel that happening inside
movement groups, they tend to get upset. I dont really have trouble seeing why that makes sense, but a lot of people do, so Id like to explain as briefly as possible one main reason for it.
Activists hopefully understand that racism, sexism/heterosexism, and ageism in movement
circles are rooted in their institutionalized counterparts in the rest of society. But what keeps them from effectively
preventing or even addressing these problems reemergence in and between activist groups? I believe the problem is that many leftist intellectuals
insist oppressions such as sexism and racism are secondary to classism: the exploitation,
alienation, and subjugation of labor. The Occupy movement is fertile ground for this ignorance,
and Im glad that its being challenged in many quarters. Slavoj ieks recent column really brought this home for me. In his commentary, popleft darling iek falsely identifies the Occupy phenomenon as a monist movement about
economics alone. But hes not that far off, actually; he may be more right than wrong. iek is positively giddy that, in his perception, the Left seems to be
abandoning its attachment to struggles against racism and sexism, finally getting back to the
real work of fighting capitalism. In a kind of Hegelian triad*, the western left has come full
circle: after abandoning the so-called class struggle essentialism for the plurality of anti-racist,
feminist, and other struggles, capitalism is now clearly re-emerging as the name of the problem.
Its barely secret that numerous

Yes, the was italicized in the original. I think he really believes all other problems are not just subordinate to and exacerbated by exploitative economic relations, but that racism, sexism, and other struggles are

politics, that murky expanse in which the special interests of people of color, women, queers,
and sometimes even young folks are taken into account, or even raised to the same level of
concern as workers grievances against capital. Those who believe economics is the central (or only) battlefield of struggle usually admit some or all of these
groups are oppressed, but they add caveats. They say (1) people of color, women, queers, etc. are primarily oppressed as
workers; and (2) capitalism is the root cause of all oppression, so surmounting it will naturally
lead to universal liberation. Whats really going on here? How is it that someone with a supposedly sophisticated mind like ieks can believe
that capitalism is really the only problem (the problem)? Heres the deal: capitalism is reemerging as the name of the problem
because the OWS phenomenon started with a massive influx of people who are new to
radicalism and radical ideas. These folks first came together mainly around economic concerns, i.e., Wall Street vs Main Street, 1% vs. 99%, etc. Then shifty
Marxian ideologues swooped in to coopt Occupy Wall Street, along with its various
manifestations and energy. The truth is, they did a pretty poor job of this, I gather largely
because OWS and its offshoots were steadfastly anti-authoritarian. Still, as a social phenomenon that lacks the sophistication
strictly rooted in capitalism. Hes not alone. Many hardcore Marxists, and even reformed Marxists as most style themselves these days, have long lamented the Lefts foray into

developed through generations of struggle and learned analysis, Occupy is highly susceptible to oversimplified ideologies and sectarianism. Craven Marxist hacks apparently cannot help but try to take advantage
of this, even through the pages of mainstream newspapers. Make no mistake: materialist fixation (also known as economism or class struggle reductionism, as iek noted) in North American movements
means in practice writing off or at least subordinating major concerns of pretty much everyone outside the white, male so-called middle class (not to mention groups like young people, among whom
consciousness raising of oppression is barely active). This doesnt seem to matter to folks like iek, because they can draw the privileged into their camp with promises that the resulting vanguard will take care of
women and people of color (who are technically welcome, after all) after the revolution (guided by the remaining white men who stay in board). Theres nothing like an immature movement to make people with
immature analysis feel righteous. And theres nothing like a lack of real organizing experience to let someone believe exclusive ideologies wont have exclusive effects on participation. At last, theres nothing like

Even if you buy into a theory that poses a primacy

of economics over cultural, interpersonal, and other social dynamics, consider the implications
of organizing around class issues to the general exclusion of anti-racism, anti-sexism, antiageism, and so forth. This is what some incarnations of the Occupy phenomenon have tended
toward; women and people of color (too many links to list) especially are taking notice. And theyre not just
being a straight white male to enable one to decide that racism and sexism are secondary to classism.

charging that the Wall Street-oriented focus doesnt include their particular interests; theyre noting that traditional race, sex, and age-based hierarchies are appearing within Occupy groups. To truly transform
society, a social movement will need to be radical (seek out and strike at the roots of problems), and its approach to the array of oppressions will need to be holistic. To attract the kind of diverse participation that
makes a movement worth really standing behind, it will need to be at least pluralistic in this crucial regard. Sidelining or subordinating the major, legitimate concerns of people from marginalized communities and
identities all but guarantees a movement dominated by people with backgrounds and privileges in tune with the top 20% that really owns and runs society, if not the 1%. And even though Occupy might be under
the impression that the 99% are one big happy monolith, reality begs to differ. Failing to acknowledge this reality is essentially terminal for any radical social movement in the US, Canada, or Western Europe. The
good news is, there are elements inside most Occupy manifestations that Ive heard of including straight white males who are willing to challenge failures of inclusiveness. There are folks effectively making

Occupy may well be headed in the right direction, not least because its
failure to empower an official leadership has not allowed the narrowly, materially focused
among them to heed typical calls of lets just move on from matters of race, gender, and so
forth. That said, the failure to have accountable leadership has enabled unofficial hierarchies to
develop, and this militates in the wrong direction, almost no matter their character. If youre participating in an
the case for holistic or at least pluralistic approaches.

Occupy general assembly or working group and feel like calls for inclusiveness and diverse objectives are bogging down the process, I urge you to rethink. There is power in movement and organizational diversity,
and there is something to the idea that addressing oppressions other than hierarchy and classism is critical to the endeavor of radical social transformation. * (I wouldnt worry too much if the meaning of

Hegelian triad doesnt jump out at you; its pretty clear with references of this nature that you arent ieks intended audience. Theres no use for that phrase except as a wink to those steeped in the teachings of
the pre-Marxian philosopher Hegel. Hes just talking to the academics and bookworms; he doesnt mind if the rest miss his message. If you havent read Hegel, maybe you dont really matter to iek.)

A focus on economic justice ridiculously precludes important racial and gender

identitiesits an identity that a cisgender white male can partake in without
reflexive thought
Ross 2k [Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Professor of English Language and Literature & African and African American Studies, New
Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics? (Autumn, 2000), pp. 827-850, Published by: The Johns Hopkins University
Press,] l.gong
Although in his contribution Eric Lott targets Professor Michaels's comments and his own recent feud with Timothy Brennan (who
unfortunately is not included in this volume) rather than Ken's argument, what Eric says about "left and liberal fundamentalists" who "simply
and somewhat penitently" urge us to "'go back to class'" could also be directed at Ken's conclusion. Ken writes, "Crafting

a political left
that does not merely reflect existing racial divisions starts with the relatively mundane proposition that it is
possible to make a persuasive appeal to the given interests of working and unemployed women and
men, regardless of race, in support of a program for economic justice." On this one, I side with Eric, rather than Tim
and Ken. Standing on the left depends on whose left side we're talking about. My left might be your right and vice versa, because it depends on
what direction we're facing, and what direction depends on which identities we're assuming and affirming. Eric adds, "Even

in less dismissive
of new social movements based not on class but on identities formed by histories of
injustice, there is a striking a priori sense of voluntarism about the investment in this cause or that
movement or the other issue--as though determining the most fundamental issue were a matter of the
writer's strength of feeling rather than a studied or analytical sense of the ever-unstable balance of
forces in a hegemonic bloc at a given moment." I agree, but I'll risk mangling what Eric says by putting it more crassly.
Touting class or "economic justice" as the fundamental stance for left identity is just another way of
telling everybody else to shut up so I can be heard above the fray. Because of the force of "identity politics,"
a leftist white person would be leery of claiming to lead Blacks toward the promised land, a leftist straight man
leery of claiming to lead women or queers, but, for a number of complex rationalizations, we in the middle
class (where all of us writing here currently reside) still have few qualms about volunteering to lead2, at least theoretically,
the working class toward "economic justice." What Eric calls here "left fundamental ism," I'd call, at the risk of sounding harsh,
left paternalism. Of the big identity groups articulated through "identity politics," economic class remains the
only identity where a straight white middle-class man can still feel comfortable claiming himself a
leading political voice, and thus he may sometimes overcompensate by screaming that this is the only
identity that really matters--which is the same as claiming that class is beyond identity. Partly this is
because Marxist theory and Marx himself (a bourgeois intellectual creating the theoretical practice for the work ers' revolution)
stage the model for working-class identity as a sort of trans-identification, a magical identity that is
transferable to those outside the group who commit themselves to it wholeheartedly enough. If we look
back, we realize even this magical quality is not special to a history of class struggle, as whites during the New Negro
[than Tim's] accounts

movements of the early twentieth century felt that they were vanguard race leaders because they had putatively imbibed some essential
qualities of Negroness by cross-identifying with the folk and their culture.

The 1ac tries to globalize, even in new forms it still perpetuates the terror of
capitalismthey can threaten to defeat minorities through critical race theory
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social Justice at Bishop
Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response, chapyer 6, pgs 96-97, 2009//SRSL)

Globalization always has been and is a central feature in the maintenance and parasitic growth of
capitalism. However, it became one of the orthodoxies of the 1990s and continues to hold sway into the
twenty-first century, as a new phenomenon. Its premises are that in the face of global competition, capitalist organizations are
increasingly constrained to compete on the world market. Its argument is that, in this new epoch, these organizations can
only do this in so far as they become multinational corporations and operate on a world scale, outside
the confines ofnation states (Harman, 1996). The argu- ment continues: this diminishes the role of the nationstate, the implication being that there is little, if anything, that can be done about it. Capitalists and their
allies, particularly pro-capitalist politicians, insist that, since glob- alization is a fact of life, it is incumbent
on workers, given this globalized market, to be flexible in their approach to what they do and for how
long they do it; to accept lower wages; and to concur with the restructuring and diminution of welfare
states (Cole, 2008d). It is important to stress the ideological nature of this scenario, and to note that, while
globalization is taking new forms, essentially it is as old as capitalism itself. Marxists are not only
interested in processes of modern globalization, but are also interested in this ideological element which
furthers the interests ofcapitalists and their political supporters (for an analysis, see Hill, 2003; Hill, 2009a, 2009b; Hill and Kumar, 2009;
Hill and Rosskam, 2009; see also Cole, 1998a, 2005), of the way in which it is used to mystify the populace as a whole and to
stifle action by the Left in particular (e.g., Murphy, 1995; Gibson-Graham, 1996; Harman, 1996; Meiksins Wood, 1998). ritical Race Theorists, Delgado and
Stefancic (2001, p. lll) argue that globalization 'is very much in the forefront ofcritical race theory'. They then proceed
with a fundamentally Marxist analysis of the direction globaliza- tion is taking in the twenty-first century:
a globalizing economy removes manufacturing jobs from the inner city; it creates jobs in the knowledge
economy, for which minorities have little training; the sweatshops and other exploitative conditions it
creates afflict poor people of color, many of them women in developing countries, which were formally
colonized; globaliza- tion concentrates capital in the hands of an elite class who refuse to share it. The Marxistinspired explanation continues: globalization creates alliances of United States and 'third world' workers against
American corporations; it facilitates mobilization oflabor unions; and protests against the WTO ensue.
The reason wages are low and the new jobs are attractive, they continue (pp. lll-120) is because United States
and European colonialism has robbed the former colonies of their natural wealth, stifled the
development of local leaders and conspired with right-wing dictators to keep the people poor and
unorganized. 'If the materialist wing (see chapter 1 pp. 21-22 of this volume for a discussion) of critical race theory is right', they
state, 'domestic minori- ties have suffered at the hands ofvery similar forces' [I would add white work- ers have suffered too]. In
classic Marxist fashion they conclude, '[domestic minorities]' fates are linked with those of their
overseas counterparts, since capitalists can always use the threat that investments will relocate
overseas to defeat unions, workplace regulations, welfare, and other programs ofinterest to U.S.
minorities' [again I would want to add, 'and white workers'].

Alt fails - Capitalism causes xeno-racism, which CRT doesnt account for
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
Xeno-racism With respect to racism that is not necessarily colour-coded, it is not only Muslims and
people perceived to be Muslims who have been racialized. Britain, for example, is also witnessing, in the
current period, a new form of racism. This racism has all the hallmarks of traditional racism, but impacts
on recently arrived groups of people. It is a non-colour-coded racism that has been described by
Sivanandan (2001: 2) as xeno-racism: . . . a racism that is not just directed at those with darker skins,
from the former colonial countries, but at the newer categories of the displaced and dispossessed
whites, who are beating at western Europes doors, the Europe that displaced them in the first place. It
is racism in substance but xeno in form a racism that is meted out to impoverished strangers even if
they are white. It is xeno-racism. In the UK in the 21st century, the enlarged European Union provides an
abundance of cheap Eastern European labour, and there is substantial evidence of xeno-racism here
(Cole, 2004b; Cole and Maisuria, 2007, 2009). I have described the process by which refugees, asylum
seekers8 and certain migrants from the newly joined countries of the EU become falsely categorized as
belonging to distinct races as xeno-racialization (for an analysis, see Cole, 2004b). In addition to cheap
Eastern European labour, capitalism also benefits from illegal labour power, from outside the EU,
which is even cheaper. As Alex Callinicos (2006) puts it, the interests of capital are best served by
controls that are weak enough to allow immigrants in, but strong enough to keep illegal workers
vulnerable and therefore easy to exploit. As David Renton (2006: 12) argues, business welcomes
migration, but on its own terms, with migrant workers insecure, unpopular: a class of people who will
remain as long as possible marginal and poor. As he puts it (Renton, 2006: 123): Economically, they
will not feel confident to demand the same rights as the settled population, while the media
encourages the non-migrant majority to see migrant workers as a threat.9 Given the widespread
existence of xeno-racism and accompanying xenoracialization (Cole, 2004b), it is important that in the
current era, as well as through history, that racism directed at people with white skins remains firmly
on the agenda. The limits to the CRT argument with respect to Britain are that it restricts racism (white
supremacy in CRT terms) to a set of practices directly related to skin colour. Islamophobia and xenoracism are not necessarily colourcoded. In claiming that with the exception of Nazi Germany . . .
borderline Europeans . . . were not subpersons in the full technical sense and would all have been
ranked ontologically above genuine nonwhites (Mills, 1997: 80), Mills is seriously underestimating the
actual and potential virulence of noncolour- coded racism. In focusing on issues of colour and being
divorced from matters related to capitalist requirements with respect to the labour market, CRT is illequipped to analyse the discourses of Islamophobia, xeno-racism and processes of xeno- racialization.

Freedom of class struggle is not freedom from anti-blackness the alternative leaves
the foundation for racist structures in place
Wilderson 10 (Frank B. Wilderson III, Associate Professor at UC Irvines Department of Drama and African American
Studies, BA in government and philosophy from Dartmouth College, MA in Fine Arts from Columbia University PhD in Rhetoric
and Film Studies from UC Berkeley Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms, 2010, Pg. 19-23, arh)

Again, what is important for us to glean from these historians is that the pre-Columbian period, the Late
Middle Ages, reveals no archive of debate on these three questions as they might be related to that
massive group of Black-skinned people south of the Sahara. Eltis suggests that there was indeed massive
debate which ultimately led to Britain taking the lead in the abolition of slavery, but he reminds us that
that debate did not have its roots in the late Middle Ages, the post-Columbian period of the 1500s or
the Virginia Colony period of the 1600s. It was, he asserts, an outgrowth of the mid- to late-18th century
emancipatory thrustintra-Human disputes such as the French and American Revolutionsthat swept
through Europe. But Eltis does not take his analysis further than this. Therefore, it is important that we
not be swayed by his optimism about the Enlightenment and its subsequent abolitionist discourses. It is
highly conceivable that the discourse that elaborates the justification for freeing the slave is not the
product of the Human being having suddenly and miraculously recognized the slave. Rather, as Saidiya
Hartman argues, emancipatory discourses present themselves to us as further evidence of the Slaves
fungibility: [T]he figurative capacities of blackness enable white flights of fancy while increasing the
likelihood of the captives disappearance (Scenes22). First, the questions of Humanism were
elaborated in contradistinction to the human void, to the African-qua-chattel (the 1200s to the end of
the 17th century). Then, as the presence of Black chattel in the midst of exploited and un-exploited
Humans (workers and bosses, respectively) became a fact of the world, exploited Humans (in the throes
of class conflict with un-exploited Humans) seized the image of the slave as an enabling vehicle that
animated the evolving discourses of their emancipation, just as un-exploited Humans had seized the
flesh of the Slave to increase their profits. Without this gratuitous violence, a violence that marks
everyone experientially until the late Middle Ages when it starts to mark the Black ontologically, the socalled great emancipatory discourses of modernitymarxism, feminism, postcolonialism, sexual
liberation, and the ecology movementpolitical discourses predicated on grammars of suffering and
whose constituent elements are exploitation and alienation, might not have developed.xi Chattel slavery
did not simply reterritorialize the ontology of the African. It also created the Human out of culturally
disparate entities from Europe to the East. I am not suggesting that across the globe Humanism
developed in the same way regardless of region or culture; what I am saying is that the late Middle Ages
gave rise to an ontological categoryan ensemble of common existential concernswhich made and
continues to make possible both war and peace, conflict and resolution, between the disparate
members of the human race, east and west. Senator Thomas Hart Benton intuited this notion of the
existential commons when he wrote that though the Yellow race and its culture had been torpid and
stationary for thousands of years *Whites and Asians] must talk together, and trade together, and
marry together. Commerce is a great civilizersocial intercourse as greatand marriage greater (The
Congressional Globe. May 28, 1846). David Eltis points out that as late as the 17th century, *p+risoners
taken in the course of European military actioncould expect death if they were leaders, or banishment
if they were deemed followers, but never enslavementDetention followed by prisoner exchanges or
ransoming was common (1413). By the seventeenth century, enslavement of fellow Europeans was
beyond the limits (1423) of Humanisms existential commons, even in times of war. Slave status was
reserved for non-Christians. Even the latter group howeverhad some prospect of release in exchange
for Christians held by rulers of Algiers, Tunis, and other Mediterranean Muslim powers (emphasis mine

1413). But though the practice of enslaving the vanquished was beyond the limit of intra-West wars and
only practiced provisionally in East-West conflicts, the baseness of the option was not debated when it
came to the African. The race of Humanism (White, Asian, South Asian, and Arab) could not have
produced itself without the simultaneous production of that walking destruction which became
known as the Black . Put another way, through chattel slavery the world gave birth and coherence to
both its joys of domesticity and to its struggles of political discontent; and with these joys and struggles,
the Human was born, but not before it murdered the Black, forging a symbiosis between the political
ontology of Humanity and the social death of Blacks. In his essay To Corroborate Our Claims: Public
Positioning and the Slavery Metaphor in Revolutionary America, Peter Dorsey (in his concurrence with
cultural historians F. Nwabueze Okoye and Patricia Bradley) suggests that, in mid- to late-18th century
America, Blackness was such a fungible commodity that it was traded as freely between the exploited
(workers who did not own slaves) as it was between the unexploited (planters who did). This was due
to the effective uses to which Whites could put the Slave as both flesh and metaphor. For the
Revolutionaries, slavery represented a nightmare that white Americans were trying to avoid (359).
Dorseys claim is provocative, but not unsupported: he maintains that had Blacks-as-Slaves not been in
the White field of vision on a daily basis that it would have been virtually impossible for Whites to
transform themselves from colonial subjects into Revolutionaries: Especially prominent in the rhetoric
and reality of the [Revolutionary] era, the concepts of freedom and slavery were applied to a wide
variety of events and values and were constantly being defined and redefined*E+arly understandings of
American freedom were in many ways dependent on the existence of chattel slavery*We should] see
slavery in revolutionary discourse, not merely as a hyperbolic rhetorical device but as a crucial and fluid
[fungible] concept that had a major impact on the way early Americans thought about their political
future The slavery metaphor destabilized previously accepted categories of thought about politics,
race, and the early republic. (355) Though the idea of taxation without representation may have
spoken concretely to the idiom of power that marked the British/American relation as being structurally
unethical, it did not provide metaphors powerful and fungible enough for Whites to meditate and move
on when resisting the structure of their own subordination at the hands of unchecked political power
(354). The most salient feature of Dorseys findings is not his understanding of the way Blackness, as a
crucial and fungible conceptual possession of civil society, impacts and destabilizes previously accepted
categories of intra-White thought, but rather his contribution to the evidence that, even when Blackness
is deployed to stretch the elasticity of civil society to the point of civil war, that expansion is never elastic
enough to embrace the very Black who catalyzed the expansion. In fact, Dorsey, building on Patricia
Bradleys historical research, asserts that just the opposite is true. The more the political imagination of
civil society is enabled by the fungibility of the slave metaphor, the less legible the condition of the slave
becomes: Focusing primarily on colonial newspapersBradley finds that the slavery metaphor served
to distance the patriot agenda from the antislavery movement. If anything, Bradley states, widespread
use of the metaphor gave first evidence that the issue of real slavery was not to have a part in the
revolutionary messages (359). And David Eltis believes that this philosophical incongruity between the
image of the Slave and freedom for the Slave begins in Europe and pre-dates the American Revolution
by at least one hundred years: The [European] countries least likely to enslave their own had the
harshest and most sophisticated system of exploiting enslaved non-Europeans. Overall, the English and
Dutch conception of the role of the individual in metropolitan society ensured the accelerated
development of African chattel slavery in the Americasbecause their own subjects could not become
chattel slaves or even convicts for life(1423) Furthermore, the circulation of Blackness as metaphor
and image at the most politically volatile and progressive moments in history (e.g. the French, English,
and American Revolutions), produces dreams of liberation which are more inessential to and more
parasitic on the Black, and more emphatic in their guarantee of Black suffering, than any dream of

human liberation in any era heretofore. Black slavery is foundational to modern Humanisms ontics
because freedom is the hub of Humanisms infinite conceptual trajectories. But these trajectories only
appear to be infinite. They are finite in the sense that they are predicated on the idea of freedom from
some contingency that can be named, or at least conceptualized. The contingent rider could be freedom
from patriarchy, freedom from economic exploitation, freedom from political tyranny (for example,
taxation without representation), freedom from heteronormativity, and so on. What I am suggesting is
that first, political discourse recognizes freedom as a structuring ontologic and then it works to disavow
this recognition by imagining freedom not through political ontologywhere it rightfully beganbut
through political experience (and practice); whereupon it immediately loses its ontological foundations.
Why would anyone do this? Why would anyone start off with, quite literally, an earth-shattering
ontologic and, in the process of meditating on it and acting through it, reduce it to an earth reforming
experience? Why do Humans take such pride in self-adjustment, in diminishing, rather than intensifying,
the project of liberation (how did we get from 68 to the present)? Because, I contend, in allowing the
notion of freedom to attain the ethical purity of its ontological status, one would have to lose ones
Human coordinates and become Black. Which is to say one would have to die. For the Black, freedom is
an ontological, rather than experiential, question. There is no philosophically credible way to attach an
experiential, a contingent, rider onto the notion of freedom when one considers the Blacksuch as
freedom from gender or economic oppression, the kind of contingent riders rightfully placed on the
non-Black when thinking freedom. Rather, the riders that one could place on Black freedom would be
hyperbolicthough no less trueand ultimately untenable: i.e., freedom from the world, freedom from
humanity, freedom from everyone (including ones Black self). Given the reigning episteme, what are
the chances of elaborating a comprehensive, much less translatable and communicable, political project
out of the necessity of freedom as an absolute? Gratuitous freedom has never been a trajectory of
Humanist thought, which is why the infinite trajectories of freedom that emanate from Humanisms hub
are anything but infinitefor they have no line of flight leading to the Slave.

Class struggle doesnt reveal the foundations of violence against the black body,
identities of race will always permit violence to maintain their humanity
Pak 12 PhD in literature from UC-San Diego
[Yumi, PhD in literature from UC-San Diego, Outside Relationality: Autobiographical Deformations and
the Literary Lineage of Afro-pessimism in 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, 2012, acc.
7/15/14, arh]
Because the four authors I examine focus intensively on untangling and retangling the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality in
autobiographical narratives, this project originally relied most heavily on the frameworks provided by queer theory and
performance studies, as the structural organization and methodology behind both disciplines offered the characteristic of being
inter in between... intergenric [sic], interdisciplinary, intercultural and therefore inherently unstable (What is
Performance Studies Anyway? 360). My abstract ideation of the dissertation was one which conceptualized the unloosening of
the authors respective texts from the ways in which they have been read in particular genres. Yet the investigative progression
of my research redirected me to question the despondency I found within Toomer, Himes, Baldwin and Jones novels, a
despondency and sorrow that seemed to reach beyond the individual and collective purportedly represented in these works.

What does it mean, they seem to speculate, to suffer beyond the individual, beyond the collective, and
into the far reaches of paradigmatic structure? What does it mean to exist beyond social oppression and veer
instead into what Frank B. Wilderson, III calls structural suffering (Red, White & Black 36)? Briefly, Wilderson utilizes what he
calls Frantz Fanons splitting of the hair*s+ between social oppression and structural suffering; in other words, Wilderson

refutes the possibility of analogizing blackness with any other positionality in the world. Others may be
oppressed, indeed, may suffer experientially, but only the black, the paradigmatic slave, suffers
structurally. Afro-pessimism, the theoretical means by which I attempt to answer this query, provides the integral

term and parameters with which I bind together queer theory, performance studies, and autobiography studies in order
to propose a re-examination of these authors and their texts. The structural suffering of blackness seeps into all
elements of American history, culture, and life, and thus I begin my discussion with an analysis of Hortense Spillers
concept of an American grammar in Mamas Baby, Papas Maybe: An American Grammar Book. To theorize blackness is
to begin with the slave ship, in a space that is in actuality no place.7 In discussing the transportation of
human cargo across the Middle Passage, Spillers writes that this physical theft of bodies was a willful
and violent (and unimaginable from this distance) severing of the captive body from its motive will, its active
desire (Spillers 67). She contends here that in this mass gathering and transportation, what becomes illuminated is not
only the complete and total deracination of native from soil, but rather the evisceration of subjectivity
from blackness, the evacuation of will and desire from the body; in other words, we see that even before
the black body there is flesh, that zero degree of social conceptualization that does not escape concealment under the
brush of discourse, or the reflexes of iconography (67). Black flesh, which arrives in the United States to be
manipulated and utilized as slave bodies, is a primary narrative with its seared, divided, rippedapartness, riveted to the ships hole, fallen, or escaped overboard (67). These markings lacerations,
woundings, fissures, tears, scars, openings, ruptures, lesions, rendings, punctures of the flesh are indicative of the sheer
scale of the structural violence amassed against blackness, and from this beginning Spillers culls an American grammar that
grounds itself in the rupture and a radically different kind of cultural continuation, a grammar that is the fabric of blackness in
the United States (67, 68). As Wilderson observes, Africans went into the ships and came out as Blacks (Red,
White & Black 38). In other words, in the same moment they are (re)born as blacks, they are doomed to death
as slaves. This rupture, I argue, is evident in the definitions of slavery set forth by Orlando Patterson in his seminal volume,
Slavery and Social Death: natal alienation, general dishonor and openness to gratuitous violence. The captive body, which is
constructed with torn flesh, is laid bare to any and all, and it is critical to note here that Patterson, in line with Afro-pessimists,
does not align slavery with labor. The slave can and did work, but what defines him/her as such is that as a dishonored and
violated object, the masters whims for him/her to work, or not work, can be carried out without ramifications. Rather, the
slaves powerlessness is heightened to the greatest possible capacity, wherein s/he is marked by social death and the
permanent, violent domination of their selves (Patterson 13). Spillers radically different kind of cultural continuation finds
an articulation of the object status of blackness in the United States, one which impugns the separation of slave and black.
As Jared Sexton and Huey Copeland inquire, *h+ow might it feel to be... a scandal to ontology, an outrage to every marker of
the human? What, in the final analysis, does it mean to suffer? (Sexton and Copeland 53). Blackness functions as a scandal to
ontology because, as Wilderson states, black suffering forms the ethical backbone of civil society. He writes,

[c]hattel slavery did not simply reterritorialize the ontology of the African. It also created the Human out
of cultural disparate identities from Europe to the East... Put another way, through chattel slavery the
world gave birth and coherence to both its joys of domesticity and to its struggles of political discontent,
and with these joys and struggles, the Human was born, but not before it murdered the Black, forging a
symbiosis between the political ontology of Humanity and the social death of Blacks. (Red, White &
Black 20 21) Again, the African is made black, and in this murder both ontological and physical, humanity gains its
coherence. It is not my intention (nor of other Afro-pessimists) to argue that violence has only ever been committed against
black individuals and communities in the United States, or in the world, but rather that the structural suffering that defines
blackness, the violence enacted against blackness to maintain its positioning outside of civil society, that demarcates the black
as slave, has no horizontal equivalent and, indeed, provides the logical ethos of existence for all othered subjectivities; by this I
mean that all other subjects (and I use this word quite intentionally) retain a body and not the zero degree of flesh. As Sexton
writes, we might say of the colonized: you may lose your motherland, but you will not lose your mother (Hartman 2007)
(The Curtain of the Sky 14). This is precisely why Sexton offers the succinct definition of Afro-pessimism as a political
ontology dividing the Slave from the world of the Human in a constitutive way (The Social Life of Social Death 23).
Furthermore, Afro-pessimists contest the idea that the modern world is one wherein the price of labor determines the price of
being equally for all people. In this capitalistic reading of the world, we summon blacks back into civil society by utilizing
Marxism to assume a subaltern structured by capital, not by white supremacy (Gramscis Black Marx 1). While it is

undeniable, of course, that black bodies and labor were used to aid in the economic growth of the
United States, we return again to the point that what defines enslavement is accumulation and
fungibility, alongside natal alienation, general dishonor, and openness to gratuitous violence; the slave,
then, is not constituted as part of the class struggle.8 While it is true that labor power is exploited and that the
worker is alienated in it, it is also true that workers labor on the commodity, they are not the commodity itself is, their labor

power is (Red, White & Black 50). The slave is, then, invisible within this matrix, and, to a more detrimental effect, invisible
within the ontology of lived subjects entirely. The slave cannot be defined as loss as can the postcolonial subject, the woman,
or the immigrant but can only be configured as lack, as there is no potential for synthesis within a rubric of antagonism.
Wilderson sets up the phrase rubric of antagonism in opposition to rubric of conflict to clarify the positionality of blacks
outside relationality. The former is an irreconcilable struggle between entities, or positions,

the resolution

of which is not dialectical but entails the obliteration of one of the positions , whereas the latter is a rubric
of problems that can be posed and conceptually solved (Red, White & Black 5). He continues, *i+f a Black is the very
antithesis of a Human subject... then his or her paradigmatic exile is not simply a function of repressive
practices on the part of institutions (9). Integrating Hegel and Marx, and returning to Spillers, Wilderson argues that
within this grammar of suffering, the slave is not a laborer but what he calls anti- Human, against which
Humanity establishes, maintains, and renews its coherence, its corporeal integrity (11). In contrast to
imagining the black other in opposition to whiteness, Wilderson and other Afro-pessimists theorize
blackness as being absent in the dialectic, as anti-Human.

Pre-req to Identity Politics

Identity politics forecloses potential for radical change by creating insurmountable
rifts based on difference. Only Marxism solves.
International Socialist Review 2008 (The ISR is dedicated to advancing socialist theory and practice in the
United States The Politics of Identity February 2008 ISR Issue 57 accessed 7.11.14 .nt)
LaClau and Mouffe describe society as made up of a whole range of autonomous, free-floating
antagonisms and oppressions, none more important than any othereach is a separate sphere of
struggle.14 But this concept falls apart once it is removed from the world of abstraction and applied to
the real world. Separate struggles do not neatly correspond to separate forms of oppression. Forms
of oppressions overlap, so that many people are both Black and female, or both lesbian and Latino. If
every struggle must be fought separately, this can only lead to greater and greater fragmentation
and eventually to disintegration, even within groups organized around a single form of oppression. A
Black lesbian, for example, faces an obvious dilemma: If all men are enemies of women, all whites are
enemies of Blacks, and all straights are enemies of gays, then allies must be precious few. In the real
world, choices have to be made. If LaClau and Mouffe are correct, and the main divisions in society
exist between those who face a particular form of oppression and those who dont, then the
likelihood of ever actually ending oppression is just about nil . At its heart, the politics of identity is
extremely pessimistic, implying not just a rejection of the potential to build a broad united
movement against all forms of exploitation and oppression, but also a very deep pessimism about
the possibility for building solidarity even among people who face different forms of oppression.
The only organizational strategy identity politics offers is for different groups of oppressed people to
each fight their own separate battles against their own separate enemies. The second key problem
with LaClau and Mouffe flows from the concept of autonomy that is so central to their theory. Most
importantly from a theoretical standpoint, Laclau and Mouffe go to great lengths to refute the Marxist
analysis of the state, or the government. Marxist theory is based upon an understanding that the
government is not a neutral body, but serves to represent the interests of the class in powerwhich
in the case of capitalism is the capitalist class . This should not be too hard to imagine in the era of
George W. Bush, when the capitalist class has brazenly flaunted its wealth and power. But Laclau and
Mouffe insist that the state is neutral and autonomous. Even the different branches of government are
autonomous from each other. Apparently, the Senate and the House of Representatives have no real
relationship, and the White House is similarly autonomous. If that is the case, then the stranglehold of
neoconservatives and the Christian Right over U.S. politics since 9/11 must have been a figment of
liberals imaginations. Thus, there is a serious flaw in this logic. Oppression is built into the capitalist
system itself, and the state is one of the key ways in which oppression is enforcedthrough laws
that discriminate and the police who serve and protect some people while harassing and brutalizing
other groups of people. But the theory of autonomy leads to another theoretical problem as well:
every separate struggle warrants equal importance, no matter how many people are involved on

either side, and whether or not demands are being made against the state or other institutions .
Indeed, LaClau and Mouffe carry this logic a critical step further, noting that struggle need not involve
more than one person. It can simply denote a matter of achieving increasingly affirmed
individualism.15 The personal struggle in this process substitutes for political struggle, leaving the
system that maintains and enforces oppression intact. Like LaClau and Mouffe, theorists who
advocate the most extreme forms of identity politics do not actually aim to build a movement, large or
small. They prefer small groups of the enlightened few, who remain content in their superiority to the
ignorant masses. Marxism offers a way forward for those interested in ending oppression in the
real world. As Marx remarked of his generation of smug academics, The philosophers have hitherto
only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. 16

Class is a better starting point - Marxism is key to historically contextualize and

examine all forms of oppression.
Taylor 11 (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review and a
doctoral student in African American Studies at Northwestern University; Race, class and Marxism,, .nt)
What do Marxists actually say? Marxists argue that capitalism is a system that is based on the
exploitation of the many by the few. Because it is a system based on gross inequality, it requires various
tools to divide the majority--racism and all oppressions under capitalism serve this purpose. Moreover,
oppression is used to justify and "explain" unequal relationships in society that enrich the minority that
live off the majority's labor. Thus, racism developed initially to explain and justify the enslavement of
Africans--because they were less than human and undeserving of liberty and freedom. Everyone accepts
the idea that the oppression of slaves was rooted in the class relations of exploitation under that
system. Fewer recognize that under capitalism, wage slavery is the pivot around which all other
inequalities and oppressions turn. Capitalism used racism to justify plunder, conquest and slavery, but as
Karl Marx pointed out, it also used racism to divide and rule--to pit one section of the working class
against another and thereby blunt class consciousness. To claim, as Marxists do, that racism is a product
of capitalism is not to deny or diminish its importance or impact in American society. It is simply to
explain its origins and the reasons for its perpetuation. Many on the left today talk about class as if it is
one of many oppressions, often describing it as "classism." What people are really referring to as
"classism" is elitism or snobbery, and not the fundamental organization of society under capitalism.
Moreover, it is popular today to talk about various oppressions, including class, as intersecting. While it
is true that oppressions can reinforce and compound each other, they are born out of the material
relations shaped by capitalism and the economic exploitation that is at the heart of capitalist society. In
other words, it is the material and economic structure of society that gave rise to a range of ideas and
ideologies to justify, explain and help perpetuate that order. In the United States, racism is the most
important of those ideologies. Despite the widespread beliefs to the contrary of his critics, Karl Marx
himself was well aware of the centrality of race under capitalism. While Marx did not write extensively
on the question of slavery and its racial impact in societies specifically, he did write about the way in
which European capitalism emerged because of its pilfering, rape and destruction, famously writing: The
discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the
aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa
into a warren for the commercial hunting of Black skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist
production. He also recognized the extent to which slavery was central to the world economy. He wrote:
Direct slavery is just as much the pivot of bourgeois industry as machinery, credits, etc. Without slavery
you have no cotton; without cotton you have no modern industry. It is slavery that has given the

colonies their value; it is the colonies that have created world trade, and it is world trade that is the precondition of large-scale industry. Thus slavery is an economic category of the greatest importance.
Without slavery North America, the most progressive of countries, would be transformed into a
patriarchal country. Wipe out North America from the map of the world, and you will have anarchy--the
complete decay of modern commerce and civilization. Cause slavery to disappear and you will have
wiped America off the map of nations. Thus slavery, because it is an economic category, has always
existed among the institutions of the peoples. Modern nations have been able only to disguise slavery in
their own countries, but they have imposed it without disguise upon the New World. Thus, there is a
fundamental understanding of the centrality of slave labor in the national and international economy.
But what about race? Despite the dearth of Marx's own writing on race in particular, one might look at
Marx's correspondence and deliberations on the American Civil War to draw conclusions as to whether
Marx was as dogmatically focused on purely economic issues as his critics make him out be. One must
raise the question: If Marx was reductionist, how is his unabashed support and involvement in
abolitionist struggles in England explained? If Marx was truly an economic reductionist, he might have
surmised that slavery and capitalism were incompatible, and simply waited for slavery to whither away.
W.E.B. Du Bois in his Marxist tome Black Reconstruction, quotes at length a letter penned by Marx as
the head of the International Workingmen's Association, written to Abraham Lincoln in 1864 in the
midst of the Civil War:

Identity politics ignores the material realities of class-based oppression. Only

Marxism, through an analysis of the systemic benefits of oppression, can equip us
with the tools to holistically examine oppression and generate the cohesive political
will to create real change.
International Socialist Review 2008 (The ISR is dedicated to advancing socialist theory and practice in the
United States The Politics of Identity February 2008 ISR Issue 57 accessed 7.11.14 .nt)
The entire element of social class is missing from the theory of identity politics. The same analysis
that assumes Barack Obama shares a fundamental interest with all African Americans in ending
racism also places all straight white men in the enemy camp, whatever their social class. Yet, the class
divide has rarely been more obvious than in the United States today, where income and class inequality
is higher than at any time since 1929, immediately before the onset of the Great Depression.10 It is plain
to see that the rich obtain their enormous wealth at the expense of those who work for them to
produce their profits, a process known as exploitation in Marxist parlance. Class inequality is not a side
issue, but rather the main byproduct of exploitation, the driving force of the capitalist system. Class
inequality is currently worsening by the minute , as the economy edges its way toward a deep
recession. Yet the theory of identity politics barely acknowledges the importance of class inequality,
which is usually reduced to a label known as classisma problem of snobbery, or personal
attitude. This, again, should be confronted when it occurs, but such confrontations do not change the
system that relies upon class exploitation. In contrast to the inconsistencies and contradictions of
identity politics, a class analysis bases itself on materialisma concrete and objective measure of
systemic benefits derived from racism, sexism, and homophobia. In short, the ruling class has an
objective interest in upholding the capitalist system, which is based upon both oppression and
exploitation, while the working class has an objective interest in overthrowing it . For the special

oppression of women, Blacks, Latinos, other racially oppressed populations, and the LGBT community
actually serves to increase the level of exploitation and oppression of the working class as a whole. The
ruling class has always relied upon a divide and conquer strategy to maintain its rule, aimed at
keeping all the exploited and oppressed fighting against each other instead of uniting and fighting
against their real enemy. At the most basic material level, no one group of workers ever benefits from
particular forms of oppression. The historic role of racism in the U.S. provides perhaps the clearest
example. The prevailing view is that if Black workers get a smaller piece of the pie, then white workers
get a bigger piece of it. In fact, the opposite is true. In the South, where racism and segregation have
traditionally been the strongest, white workers have historically earned lower wages than Black workers
in the North.11 The same dynamic holds true for men and women workers. When lower paid women
workers enter an occupation, such as clerical work, in large numbers the wages in that occupation tend
to fall. The dynamic is straightforward: Whenever capitalists can force a higher paid group of workers
to compete with a lower paid group, wages tend to drop. The same dynamic also holds for the global
capitalist system. When U.S. capitalists force their workers into competition with workers in the
poorest countries, U.S. workers wages do not rise; they fall . And that is precisely why U.S. workers
wages have been falling in recent years. The only beneficiaries are capitalists, who earn bigger profits,
while ensuring the survival of the rule of the profit system. It is also important to recognize that all
working-class people suffer from some forms of oppression. Workers pay much higher proportions of
their incomes in taxes than rich people and have far less leisure time; working-class schools are
underfunded and overcrowded, poorer neighborhoods are more run-down, and the streets have more
potholes. Perhaps most significantly, prevailing ideology regards workers as generally too stupid to run
societyassuming this is better left to the experts, dooming the vast majority of workers to a lifetime
of alienated labor. So oppression is something that even most white male workers suffer to some
degree. If one were to compare the self-confidence of the vast majority of white male workers to
that of the arrogant Hillary Clinton or Condoleezza Rice, it would be clear that something more than
personal politics is a determining factor in oppression. The problem is systemic. The point here is not
at all to trivialize racism, sexism, or homophobiabut to understand that the entire working class faces
oppression and has an objective interest in ending it. To be sure, workers dont always realize this .
Male workers can behave in an utterly sexist manner ; white workersmale and femalecan
embrace racism; and straight workersBlack, white, and Latinocan be completely homophobic. But
such behaviors are subjective they vary from individual to individual and, unlike objective interests
that remain the same, subjective factors change according to changing circumstances. Most important
among these is the Marxist concept of false consciousness. The definition of false consciousness is
straightforward: whenever workers accept ruling-class ideologies, including racism, sexism, and
homophobia, they are acting against their own class interestsprecisely because these ideas keep
workers fighting against each other . False consciousness is not unique to white, male workers.

Identity as both the means and ends for politics prevents communal discussion and
further forecloses possibility for individual development. Capital formulates all
identity and must be our starting point for liberation.
Rectenwald 13 (Michael, Editor at the North Star Magazine a magazine dedicated to examining
radical politics, from social democracy to anarchy Whats Wrong With Identity Politics (and
Intersectionality Theory)? A Response to Mark Fishers Exiting the Vampire Castle (And Its Critics) December 2, 2013 accessed 7/13/14 .nt)
Much better in this regard is a longer article by the feminist Marxist blogging at Unity and Struggle: I
Am a Woman and a Human: A Marxist-Feminist Critique of Intersectionality Theory. Here, while some
unfortunate lapses into a humanist essentialism are apparent, the author otherwise argues rather
convincingly that identity groups , such as straight white man, gay black man, lesbian black
woman, trans* person, etc., are not natural categories into which people are born and sorted.
Rather, they are relatively recent formations possible only under capitalism, equivalent to
occupations with their own forms of alienation attendant upon the division of labor. As Marx wrote
in The German Ideology, as soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a
particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape.
Similarly, identity, like an occupation, is a trap, because it curtails human potential and bars workers
from participation in the social totality as fully developing individuals. Identities are reified social
categories from which we should emerge, not within which we should be compelled to remain. The
problem with identity politics, then, is that it is one-sided and undialectical . It treats identities as
static entities, and its methods only serve to further reify those categories. It aims to liberate identity
groups (or members thereof) qua identity groups (or individuals), rather than aiming to liberate them
from identity itself. Identity politics fails not because it begins with various subaltern groups and
aims at their liberation, but because it ends with them and thus cannot deliver their liberation. It
makes identities and their equality with other privileged groups the basis of political activity,
rather than making the overcoming of the alienated identity, for themselves and all identity groups,
the goal. The abolition of the one-sidedness of identity as worker, woman, man, or what have you
represents real human emancipation. Always failing this, identity politics settles for mere linguistic
emancipation, which is offered (and policed so assiduously, as Fisher notes) by the defenders of the
sanctuary of identity. As I suggested above, the most common response to Fishers article has been that
his position is explicable strictly in terms of his identity . No sooner does one make a critique of identity
politics, than is ones identity deemed the cause of said critique . It is as if identity explains the
argument itself, and causes it. Once identity is deemed the actual causal factor of a statement,
nothing that is said means what it says. Everything is explicable only in terms of identity, and the
content of the statement becomes identity itself. Once set, identity is a trap from which no one
escapes . Of course, such defenses are circular, reverting to that which is being critiqued to explain
those doing the critiquing.

But theory like this , or any other, as the author of I am a Woman suggests, does not appear out of
thin air. Rather, it is produced in relation to the social relations of production and the overall social
relations themselves: There was no revolution in the US in 1968. The advances of Black Power,
womens liberation, gay liberation, and the movements themselves, have been absorbed into capital.
Since the 1970s, academia has had a stronghold on theory. A nonexistent class struggle leaves a
vacuum of theoretical production and academic intellectuals have had nothing to draw on except for
the identity politics of the past. But , identity politics has not since been absorbed into capital, as
suggested in the quote above . As forms of alienated labor, capitalist relations have always
determined them. They have been the products of capitalism from the outset. By treating such
categories as ends in themselves, therefore, a politics based on identities necessarily leads down the
blind alley of reification. That is, such politics, even when successful, necessarily ends at the limits
of identity itself. The problem is , while theoretically , we might all wake up tomorrow to changed
identities, or to changed conditions for our identities, we would still be exploited under capitalism.
Running the circuits of capital from production through consumption, identity can only lead us back to
the office, the factory, or the streets, allowing at best our coalescence around particular consumer
cultures. Finally, as I mentioned above, Fisher claimed that while promising a politics of collectivities ,
identity politics is actually individualistic. One might wonder how he arrives at such a statement,
especially since he merely asserts it rather than arguing it. He could have argued that because identity
politics and intersectionality focus on difference and its articulations, the divisions are potentially
endless, but necessarily extend to differences not only between groups, but also between
individuals. Ones display of the characteristics becomes a requirement for the politics of identity.
Identity politics requires identification, which requires signaling of individual membership by virtue
of particular characteristics. The understanding and appreciation of individual difference is surely not a
liability in itself, by any stretch. Nor does understanding and appreciation necessarily entail an
individualistic ideological and political agenda. But because identity is the object rather than merely the
starting point, the ends rather than only the means of collectivity, identity politics continually devolves
into the articulation of the requirements for group membership, and thus, to the individual. This
individualism extends to those whose privilege differentiates them from the identity groups in
question. That is, each encounter with the group involves the articulation of the characteristics of the
group, and the evaluation of all comers on the basis of such characteristics. Whether or not this involves
the imputation of guilt to non-members is a question of particular circumstances, and likewise, cannot
be generalized without qualification. But identity politics does involve a linguistic policing around
various identity formations, not only to determine eligibility for membership, but as importantly, to
guard against the ill treatment of said group and its members as representatives thereof. Of course, any
political movement on the left worthy of support will defend those subject to various forms of
discrimination and abuse. But in the case of identity politics, the defense is of the group and its
individual members as such, as particular identities , for the maintenance and continuation of said
identities, and not for their liberation from the liabilities that all identities necessarily entail. Thus,

identity politics is exclusionary and divisive, continually falling back on difference in order to
establish group identity and cohesion.





Blacks face a different type of historical experiencewhereas other groups faced
discrimination, blacks faced exclusion
Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
Assimilationist and Pluralist

Theories Assimilationist and pluralist theories focus on patterns of interaction

among racial and ethnic groups. Assimilationists see racial and ethnic differences disappearing and racial
conflicts evolving into patterns of racial integration. As pluralists see it, racial and ethnic differences persist, but
conflicts are resolved in the political arena. Assimilationists identify stages or cycles of interracial conflict, ending in
assimilation. Park (1974), for example, identified the following stages: Initial contact between racial or ethnic groups Competition between
these groups Accommodation Assimilation He saw racial or ethnic conflict as only one stage of historical development, a stage that inevitably
progresses toward accommodation and assimilation. Contentious

racial groups become more tolerant and adjust to

their differences in the accommodation stage. Finally, separate racial interests disappear, and a common
identity arises in the assimilation stage. The cycle repeats itself with the introduction of new racial or
ethnic groups. Gordon (1964) divided assimilation into finer stages, which include the following: Cultural assimilation the acceptance of
the dominant culture Marital assimilation interracial marriages occurring in large numbers Prejudicefree
assimilation the disappearance of belief in racial or ethnic superiority The final stage of assimilation, according to
Gordon, is civic assimilation, which occurs when special racial or ethnic demands or interests disappear. Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick
Moynihan (1970) rejected the assimilationist thesis and set forth a theory of immigration, ascension, and group politics in its place. In their
book, Beyond the Melting Pot, they examined racial and ethnic groups in New York City: Italians, Irish, Jews, Puerto Ricans, and African
Americans. They

suggested that African Americans will overcome prejudices against them and rise in social
status just as the Italians, Irish, and Jews did in earlier periods. According to Glazer and Moynihan, blacks will not
assimilate, but they will become more involved in pluralist politics. The assimilationist and pluralist paradigms are
fundamentally different from our model. These paradigms anticipate conflict and accommodation among groups and
presuppose a natural process of ethnic ascension. That is, these paradigms assume that ethnic and racial groups that
start at the bottom of the social ladder will naturally climb to the top over time. We reject this
assumption because the social and historical experiences of blacks are fundamentally different from
those of European ethnic groups. Whereas European immigrants faced discrimination, blacks have
suffered exclusion. Whereas European immigrants struggled to move up the social ladder in the North,
blacks remained trapped in slavery and debt peonage in the South. In the North, black city dwellers whose
forefathers had lived in this country for centuries were excluded from the same skilled trade jobs open
to firstgeneration immigrants (Pinderhughes 1987 Steinberg 1989). We do not assume that ethnic and racial
groups naturally rise up the social ladder. The social and historical experiences of African Americans
suggest this is not the case. Our model attempts to explain why blacks were subjugated so long in this country. It focuses on
social, economic, and political processes that explain the persistence of racial oppression.

Anthropocentrism is the root causewhen the slavemasters needed to justify slavery,
they made the slave inhuman
Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
Radical Psychoanalytical Approach The radical psychoanalytical approach associates oppressive modes of production and relations of
production with psychological

processes that explain the formation of oppressive social character types and
cultural forms. For example, this framework sees a strong association between the slave mode of Page 35 production
and the formation of the sadistic character type. This mode of production required the master to exercise
intense, direct, and incessant control over the slave. The sadistic character type was most successful in
operating a slave plantation. Hence, it emerged as the dominant social character associated with the slave mode
of production. The psychoanalytical approach also connects the formation of racial images to particular
psychological needs and processes. For example, the image of blacks as sexually promiscuous is connected to
the process of repression/projection the white racist mind represses its own sexual impulses and projects
them onto blacks. The image of the black cannibal is connected to whites' intense fear of those blacks who are
unrestrained by white society. The image of the childlike Black Sambo is related to the white racist mind's need
to see the controlled black slave as innocuous. The psychoanalytical approach associates the formation of racist discourse and
images with the fulfillment of ego needs. For example, in order for the slave master to live with himself and to see himself as
a good, decent Christian after brutalizing the slave, the master had to dehumanize the slave. The master's ego, his image of
himself as a decent human being, required that he see the slave as less than human, as a subspecies, like an ape or a
monkey. His ego needed ideas and discourse that justify slavery as a natural, rational, and legitimate

Root Cause

Racism is a modern phenomenonno prior incidents
Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong
Racism and Ancient Civilization A number of scholars who have examined the

history of the concept of race and race

prejudice suggest that there are few examples of race prejudice in ancient civilizations. Du Bois presents
evidence of race prejudice emerging in India about 5,000 years ago, after the lightskinned Aryans
conquered the darkerskinned inhabitants. The lighterskinned people despised the darker in caste skinned
ones. However, Du Bois (1969a, p. 177) concluded, "The whites long held the conquered blacks servitude, but
eventually the color line disappeared before commerce and industry, intermarriage, and defense against
enemies from without.'' Underscoring Du Bois's view, Gossett (1971, p. 7) said, "If race ever was the original basis of
caste in India it did not remain so." Although the Greeks were aware of differences in skin color, these
differences did not have the same connotation they have in modern society. The Greeks, for example,
referred to Africa as the land of the burnt faces, but they never attached a stigma to darker skin color (Du Bois
1969b). The Greeks were suspicious of foreigners, and they were chauvinistic, but they treated foreigners who
became part of their society, including Africans, much as they treated their own people. Although the Greeks divided
people into Greeks and barbarians, this division was nonracial. It was based on membership in society rather than
racial or ethnic origin. Arguing this point more succinctly, Cox (1970, p. 323) said, The Greeks knew that they had a superior culture to those of
the barbarians, but they included Europeans, Africans, and Asiatics in the concept Hellas as these peoples acquired a working knowledge of the
Greek culture. . . . The experience of the later Hellenistic empire of Alexander tended to be the direct contrary of modern racial antagonism.
The Greek myth of Phathon, the son of the god Helios, illustrates the point that Greek culture explains differences in skin color as a function of
different levels of exposure to the sun. According to this legend, Phathon convinced his father to allow him to pilot the sun chariot across the
sky. Phathon lost control of the chariot and drove it "too close to the earth in some regions, burning the people there black, and drove it too

In Greek culture, darker skin

meant closer exposure to the sun and little else. The Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote about slavery and race.
Although his writings were used to justify black slavery in 19thcentury United States, his views are profoundly
different from those of modern racists. In the early 1800s, supporters of slavery in the United States interpreted Aristotle as
saying that some races are naturally suited for slavery. Indeed, in his Politics, Aristotle (1969, p. 11) said, "For there is one rule
exercised over subjects who are by nature free, another over subjects who are by nature slaves." He added,
"The master is not called a master because he has science, but because he is of a certain character, and the
same remark applies to the slave and the freeman" (p. 12). Page 39 Although Aristotle justified slavery, he offered some criticisms. He
conceded that it is possible for powerful nations to engage in unjust wars and make slaves of the nobility of the
conquered nations. He intimated that slavery should not be a permanent state and that slaves should be rewarded
with liberty (Aristotle 1969, p. 191). Moreover, he suggested that constitutional governments, which rule by law rather than by
nature, are inconsistent with slavery (pp. 1112). Aristotle maintained that racial differences are products of
climatic and environmental differences and that slaves taken in war are often more intelligent than their captors. Specifically he
far from the earth in other regions, whose inhabitants turned pale from the cold" (Gossett 1971, p. 6).

said, Those who live in a cold climate and in Europe are full of spirit, but wanting in intelligence and skill and there they retain comparative
freedom, but have no political organization, and are incapable of ruling over others. Whereas the natives of Asia are intelligent and inventive,
but they are wanting in spirit, and therefore they are always in a state of subjection and slavery. But the Hellenic race, which is situated
between them, is likewise intermediate in character, being highspirited and also intelligent. Hence it continues free, and is the bestgoverned of
any nation, and if it could be formed into one state, would be able to rule the world. (Aristotle's Politics, quoted in Gossett 1971, p. 6)

Aristotle did not see slaves as less intelligent, less virtuous, or less human than others. In contrast, modern racism
stigmatizes oppressed racial groups as less intelligent, less virtuous, and less human than the dominant racial groups. Like the Greeks, the
Romans were chauvinistic but not racist. Commenting on the Romans, Cox (1970, p. 324) said, In

this civilization also we do not

find racial antagonism, for the norm of superiority in the Roman system remained a culturalclass attribute. . . . Sometimes the
slaves, especially the Greeks, were the teachers of their masters indeed, very much of the cultural enlightenment of
the Romans came through slaves from the East. Because slavery did not carry a racial stigma, educated freedmen, who were granted citizenship
upon emancipation, might rise to high positions in government or industry. There were no interracial laws governing the relationship of the
great mass of obscure common people of different origin. A number of historians corroborate Cox's contention that the type of color prejudice
found in modern America and in Western society simply did not exist in the ancient world. For example, Snowden (1983, p. 63) said, Yet

nothing comparable to the virulent color prejudice found in modern times existed in the ancient world.
This is the view of most scholars who have examined the evidence and who have come to conclusions much as these: the ancients did not fall
into the error of biological racism black

skin color was not a sign of inferiority, Greeks and Romans did not establish color as an
society was one that, for all its faults and failures, never made color
the basis for judging a man. Snowden concluded that Greek and Roman culture portrayed a favorable image of
blacks. This favorable image is evident in the works of Greek and Roman artists, historians, philosophers, poets, and writers, including Ovid
obstacle to integration in society and ancient

and Homer. Commenting on the integration of African characters into Greek and Roman mythology, Snowden (1983, p. 94) said that Zeus,
"called the Ethiopian by the inhabitants of Chios, may have been the black or dark faced stranger in the Inachus of Sophocles (c. 496406 B.C.)

Other black figures include Delphos, the founder of the

Delphi, whose name means the Black Woman, and Andromeda, wife of Perseus, who was the daughter
of an Ethiopian king. Although these figures were depicted as black, their images have been positive and
wellintegrated in Greek culture. Color for the Greeks and Romans did not have the same connotation that it had for the Western
and may have appeared as a Negro in the dramatist's satyrplay."

world after the 17th century. For example, Africans intermarried with Greeks and Romans and held prominent positions in these societies. In
contrast, during the 19th and 20th centuries, U.S. laws prohibited interracial marriages, black skin was a stigma of inferiority, and slavery or
sharecropping were fixed social stations. For the most part, incorporation

and accommodation followed conquest in

ancient societies. When the Greeks conquered the Egyptians, they incorporated Egyptian culturescience, mathematics, philosophy, and
technology and advanced Greek culture well beyond its preconquest state. The Romans advanced their culture after conquering,
incorporating, and accommodating the Greeks. Both Romans and Greeks struggled to maintain cultural unity in the midst of color diversity. This
pattern began to break down in late feudalism, especially during the Crusades.

Capitalism Generic
Race pre-figures the issue of capitalism
Mills 97 (Charles, author and advocate of blackness, The Racial Contract, pp. 31-40, acc.
7/13/14, arh)
The classic social contract, as I have detailed, is primarily moral/political in nature. But it is also economic in the background sense
that the point of leaving the state of nature is in part to secure a stable environment for the
industrious appropriation of the world. (After all, one famous definition of politics is that it is about who gets what and why.) Thus even in Locke's moralized state of
nature, where people generally do obey natural law, he is concerned about the safety of private property, indeed proclaiming that "the great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and
putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property."42 And in Hobbes's famously amoral and unsafe state of nature, we are told that "there is no place for Industry; because the fruit

So part of the point of bringing society into existence, with its

laws and enforcers of the law, is to protect what you have accumulated. / What, then, is the nature of the economic system of
thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth."43

the new society? The general contract does not itself prescribe a particular model or particular schedule of property rights, requiring only that the "equality" in the prepolitical state be somehow preserved. This
provision may be variously interpreted as a self-interested surrender to an absolutist Hobbesian government that itself determines property rights, or a Lockean insistence that private property accumulated in the
moralized state of nature be respected by the constitutionalist government. Or more radical political theorists, such as socialists and feminists, might argue that state-of-nature equality actually mandates class or

different political interpretations of the initial moral egalitarianism can be

advanced, but the general background idea is that the equality of human beings in the state of
nature is somehow (whether as equality of opportunity or as equality of outcome) supposed to carry over into the economy of the
created sociopolitical order, leading to a system of voluntary human intercourse and exchange in
which exploitation is precluded. / By contrast, the economic dimension of the Racial Contract is
the most salient, foreground rather than background, since the Racial Contract is calculatedly
aimed at economic exploitation. The whole point of establishing a moral hierarchy and
juridically partitioning the polity according to race is to secure and legitimate the privileging of
those individuals designated as white/persons and the exploitation of those individuals
designated as nonwhite/subpersons. There are other benefits accruing from the Racial Contractfar greater political influence, cultural hegemony, the psychic payoff
that comes from knowing one is a member of the Herrenvolk (what W. E. B. Du Bois once called "the wages of whiteness")44but the bottom line is material advantage. Globally, the Racial
Contract creates Europe as the continent that dominates the world; locally, within Europe and
the other continents, it designates Europeans as the privileged race. / The challenge of explaining
what has been called "the European miracle"the rise of Europe to global domination has long exercised both academic
and lay opinion.45 How is it that a formerly peripheral region on the outskirts of the Asian land
mass, at the far edge of the trade routes, remote from the great civilizations of Islam and the
East, was able in a century or two to achieve global political and economic dominance? The
explanations historically given by Europeans themselves have varied tremendously, from the straightforwardly
racist and geographically determinist to the more subtly environmentalist and culturalist. But
what they have all had in common, even those influenced by Marxism, is their tendency to
depict this development as essentially autochthonous, their tendency to privilege some set of
internal variables and correspondingly-downplay or ignore altogether the role of colonial
conquest and African slavery. Europe made it on its own, it is said, because of the peculiar characteristics of Europe and Europeans. / Thus whereas no reputable historian today
gender economic egalitarianism in society. So,

would espouse the frankly biologistic theories of the past, which made Europeans (in both pre- and post-Darwinian accounts) inherently the most advanced race, as contrasted with the backward/less-evolved
races elsewhere, the thesis of European specialness and exceptionalism is still presupposed. It is still assumed that rationalism and science, innovativeness and inventiveness found their special home here, as
against the intellectual stagnation and traditionalism of the rest of the world, so that Europe was therefore destined in advance to occupy the special position in global history it has. James Blaut calls this the
theory, or "super-theory" (an umbrella covering many different versions: theological, cultural, biologistic, geographical, technological, etc.), of "Eurocentric diffusionism," according to which European progress is
seen as "natural" and asymmetrically determinant of the fate of non-Europe." Similarly, Sandra Harding, in her anthology on the "racial" economy of science, cites "the assumption that Europe functions
autonomously from other parts of the world; that Europe is its own origin, final end, and agent; and that Europe and people of European descent in the Americas and elsewhere owe nothing to the rest of the

Third World theorists have traditionally dissented from this notion of happy
European dispensation. They have claimed, quite to the contrary, that there is a crucial causal
connection between European advance and the unhappy fate of the rest of the world. One classic
example of such scholarship from a half century ago was the Caribbean historian Eric Williams's Capitalism and Slavery,
which argued that the profits from African slavery helped to make the industrial revolution
possible, so that internalist accounts were fundamentally mistaken.48 And in recent years, with decolonization, the rise of the New
world."47 / Unsurprisingly, black and
divine or natural

Left in the United States, and the entry of more alternative voices into the academy, this challenge has deepened and broadened. There are variations in the authors' positionsfor example, Walter Rodney, Samir

the exploitation of the empire (the bullion from the great

gold and silver mines in Mexico and Peru, the profits from plantation slavery, the fortunes made
by the colonial companies, the general social and economic stimulus provided by the opening up
of the "New World") was to a greater or lesser extent crucial in enabling and then consolidating the takeoff of
what had previously been an economic backwater. It was far from the case that Europe was
Amin, Andre Guilder Frank, Immanuel Wallerstein9but the basic theme is that

specially destined to assume economic hegemony; there were a number of centers in Asia and
Africa of a comparable level of development which could potentially have evolved in the same
way. But the European ascent closed off this development path for others because it forcibly
inserted them into a colonial network whose exploitative relations and extractive mechanisms
prevented autonomous growth. / Overall, then, colonialism "lies at the heart" of the rise of Europe. 50

The economic unit of analysis needs to be Europe as a whole, since it is not always the case that the colonizing nations directly involved always benefited in the long term. Imperial Spain, for example, still feudal in
character, suffered massive inflation from its bullion imports. But through trade and financial exchange, others launched on the capitalist path, such as Holland, profited. Internal national rivalries continued, of
course, but this common identity based on the transcontinental exploitation of the non-European world would in many cases be politically crucial, generating a sense of Europe as a cosmopolitan entity engaged in
a common enterprise, underwritten by race. As Victor Kiernan puts it, "All countries within the European orbit benefited however, as Adam Smith pointed out, from colonial contributions to a common stock of
wealth, bitterly as they might wrangle over ownership of one territory or another... [T]here was a sense in which all Europeans shared in a heightened sense of power engendered by the successes of any of them, as
well as in the pool of material wealth... that the colonies produced."51 / Today, correspondingly, though formal decolonization has taken place and in Africa and Asia black, brown, and yellow natives are in office,
ruling independent nations, the global economy is essentially dominated by the former colonial powers, their offshoots (Euro-United States, Euro-Canada), and their international financial institutions, lending
agencies, and corporations. (As previously observed, the notable exception, whose history confirms rather than challenges the rule, is Japan, which escaped colonization and, after the Meiji Restoration,
successfully embarked on its own industrialization.)


one could say that

the world is essentially dominated by white capital.

Global figures on income and property

if a transnational racial disaggregation were to be done, it

would reveal that whites control a percentage of the world's wealth grossly disproportionate to
their numbers. Since there is no reason to think that the chasm between First and Third Worlds
(which largely coincides with this racial division) is going to be bridgedvide the abject failure of various United Nations plans
from the "development decade" of the 1960s onwardit seems undeniable that for years to come, the planet will be white
dominated. With the collapse of communism and the defeat of Third World attempts to seek
alternative paths, the West reigns supreme, as celebrated in a London Financial Times headline: "The fall of the Soviet bloc has left the IMF and G7 to rule the
world and create a new imperial age."52 Economic structures have been set in place, causal processes established,
whose outcome is to pump wealth from one side of the globe to another, and which will continue
to work largely independently of the ill will/good will, racist/antiracist feelings of particular
individuals. This globally color-coded distribution of wealth and poverty has been produced by
the Racial Contract and in turn reinforces adherence to it in its signatories and beneficiaries. /
Moreover, it is not merely that Europe and the former white settler states are globally dominant but
that within them, where there is a significant nonwhite presence (indigenous peoples, descendants of imported slaves, voluntary
nonwhite immigration), whites continue to be privileged vis-a-vis non-whites. The old structures of formal, de jure exclusion have largely been
dismantled, the old explicitly biologistic ideologies largely abandoned53the Racial Contract, as will be discussed later, is continually being rewrittenbut opportunities for
nonwhites, though they have expanded, remain below those for whites. The claim is not, of course, that
all whites are better off than all nonwhites, but that, as a statistical generalization, the objective
life chances of whites are significantly better. / As an example, consider the United States. A series of books has recently documented the decline of the
integrationist hopes raised by the 1960s and the growing intransigence and hostility of whites who think they have "done enough," despite the fact
that the country continues to be massively segregated, median black family incomes have begun
falling by comparison to white family incomes after some earlier closing of the gap, the so-called "black underclass"
has basically been written off, and reparations for slavery and post-Emancipation discrimination have
never been paid, or, indeed, even seriously considered.54 Recent work on racial inequality by Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro suggests that wealth
is more important than income in determining the likelihood of future racial equalization, since
it has a cumulative effect that is passed down through intergenerational transfer, affecting life
chances and opportunities for one's children. Whereas in 1988 black households earned sixty two cents for every dollar earned by white households, the
comparative differential with regard to wealth is much greater and, arguably, provides a more realistically negative picture of the prospects for closing the racial gap: "Whites possess
nearly twelve times as much median net worth as blacks, or $43,800 versus $3,700. In an even starker contrast, perhaps, the average white
household controls $6,999 in net financial assets while the average black household retains no NFA nest egg whatsoever." Moreover, the analytic focus on wealth rather than
income exposes how illusory the much-trumpeted rise of a "black middle class" is: "Middle class
blacks, for example, earn seventy cents for every dollar earned by middle-class whites but they
possess only fifteen cents for every dollar of wealth held by middle-class whites." This huge
disparity in white and black wealth is not remotely contingent, accidental, fortuitous; it is the
direct outcome of American state policy and the collusion with it of the white citizenry. In effect,
"materially, whites and blacks constitute two nations,"55 the white nation being constituted by
the American Racial Contract in a relationship of structured racial exploitation with the black
(and, of course, historically also the red ) nation. / A collection of papers from panels organized in the 1980s by the National Economic Association, the
ownership are, of course, broken down nationally rather than racially, but

professional organization of black economists, provides some insight into the mechanics and the magnitude of such exploitative transfers and denials of opportunity to accumulate material and human capital. It
takes as its title The Wealth of Racesan ironic tribute to Adam Smith's famous book The Wealth of Nationsand analyzes the different varieties of discrimination to which blacks have been subjected: slavery,
employment discrimination, wage discrimination, promotion discrimination, white monopoly power discrimination against black capital, racial price discrimination in consumer goods, housing, services,
insurance, etc.56 Many of these, by their very nature, are difficult to quantify; moreover, there are costs in anguish and suffering that can never really be compensated. Nonetheless, those that do lend themselves
to calculation offer some remarkable figures. (The figures are unfortunately dated; readers should multiply by a factor that takes fifteen years of inflation into account.) If one were to do a calculation of the
cumulative benefits (through compound interest) from labor market discrimination over the forty-year period from 1929 to 1969 and adjust for inflation, then in 1983 dollars, the figure would be over $1.6
trillion.57 An estimate for the total of "diverted income" from slavery, 1790 to 1860, compounded and translated into 1983 dollars, would yield the sum of $2.1 trillion to $4.7 trillion.58 And

if one

were to try to work out the cumulative value, with compound interest, of unpaid slave labor
before 1863, underpayment since 1863, and denial of opportunity to acquire land and natural
resources available to white settlers, then the total amount required to compensate blacks "could
take more than the entire wealth of the U nited S tates"59 / So this gives an idea of the centrality of racial
exploitation to the U.S. economy and the dimensions of the payoff for its white beneficiaries from one
nation's Racial Contract. But this very centrality, these very dimensions render the topic taboo, virtually
undiscussed in the debates on justice of most white political theory. If there is such a backlash against affirmative action, what
would the response be to the demand for the interest on the unpaid forty acres and a mule? These issues cannot be raised because they go to the
heart of the real nature of the polity and its structuring by the Racial Contract. White moral
theory's debates on justice in the state must therefore inevitably have a somewhat farcical air,
since they ignore the central injustice on which the state rests. (No wonder a hypothetical contractarianism that evades the actual
circumstances of the polity's founding is preferred!) / Both globally and within particular nations, then, white people, Europeans and their descendants, continue to benefit from the Racial Contract, which creates
a world in their cultural image, political states differentially favoring their interests, an economy structured around the racial exploitation of others, and a moral psychology (not just in whites but sometimes in
nonwhites also) skewed consciously or unconsciously toward privileging them, taking the status quo of differential racial entitlement as normatively legitimate, and not to be investigated further.

Capitalism needs racism to work

Manuela Bojadijev 11/29/06 Translate Does Contemporary Capitalism Need Racism? (MG)
Integration, Integration, Integration. Wherever you look at you can find Anti-discrimination programmes, new initiatives for migration
legislation, language course programmes, citizenship tests etc. These services represent a mixture of incentives and coercions to deal with the
constant recomposition of migration within and to Europe. Integration seems to provide the magic formula, a new chorus line that bans all
dissonance and creates a deep-rooted consensus between those who are supposed to belong to and those, who want to give admittance to
their participation. How are we to understand racism in a situation where consensus dictates that racism has been eliminated from modern
societies? How do we make sense of racism at a moment when integration promises to deal with the residual frictions and contradictions in our
immigration societies? There are voices that do not accept this consensus and that question the paradigm of integration. They doubt that a
respective form of society can be conceptualised according to its ability to balance governmental, economic, and social means for managing
and regulating processes of immigration on the one hand and, on the other hand, facilitating the step by step integration of migrants. Rightly,
these critics point to the asymmetry reproduced time and again by integration as a governmental imperative. What if we bear this critic in mind
but switch the perspective for a moment? What if we understand the current debates around integration as inadequate to speak of
exploitation and racism? Let me take that inadequacy as a starting point for discussing the given question on the relation between Capitalism
and Racism today. Let me begin by recalling a couple of crucial objections to and presumptions within the integration question. I will argue that
these flaws

in the integration debate make problematic a functional relation between Capitalism and
Racism even if I am running the risk of stating the obvious. a) There is no consistent subject of Capitalism that needs
Racism; b) there is not even a consistent subject as 'the State' that needs Racism; c) we cannot speak of
Racism as one ideology (but rather of ideological race constructions). I've always found the book 'The Invention of the
White Race' by Theodor W. Allen particularly useful in illuminating the shortcomings of a functionalist explanation of the relation between
capitalism and racism. Allen

defines two schemas of explanation in the historiography of slavery and racism:

the psycho-cultural schema and the socio-economic schema. Following the explanation of the psycho-cultural schema,
the enslavement of blacks was a result of a given psycho-cultural stance of the colonisers. Allen objects that at
the beginning of slavery there existed no racist segregation of the work force. Both blacks and Whites had been subordinated by temporary
bondage. The

psycho-cultural approach presupposes racism prior to slavery. Or more accurately, this schema
presupposes an ideological race construction before racism and its historical mode of existence (in this
case: slavery). Rather than explaining the conditions for the constitution of racism, the psycho-cultural approach induces and historically
deduces its object of analysis. Therewith perpetual race struggles are postulated. Conversely, the socio-economic approach
attempts to explain racism through slavery. Thus, Racism is a result of slavery. But this approach, on the other
hand, cannot take into account specific forms of exploitation and racist oppression. According to this explanation, the exploitation of
bondslaves gave way to slavery because an African work force was cheaper. But this argumentation
implies a tautology: An African work force was cheaper because it was enslaved, and before it was
enslaved it was cheaper. The socio-economic approach leaves the relation between economy and outer-economic forces, that is
racism, unsolved and often falls back into psycho-cultural modes of explanation. Additionally, slaves become fixed capital and are
no longer perceived as the rebellious work force, that they were. The aspect of social control remains neglected. If
these schemas of explanation remain unsatisfactory then how are we to explain historical conjunctures of racism Before I attempt to approach
this question, let me take a random sample of what we can observe in current capitalism. If it is not possible to say that

needs racism, perhaps we can at least state that

capitalism does not now nor has it ever existed without labour

force mobility . Wherein contemporary global capitalism in its new contours allows us to really grasp the sheer scale of migratory
movements, we do need new metaphors and concepts. The traditional distinctions between economy, politics and culture have become
obsolete. It is simply no longer possible to speak of exploitation, or the realisation of capital, without raising the question of the transformation
of borders and concepts of citizenship. Similarly, it

is no longer possible to speak of the working class without at the

same time understanding the process of dissolution that has affected the whole 'milieu', transforming
subjectivity in the very process. It seems that in the context of contemporary capitalism, migration allows us to spot lots of these
aspects that intersect here. The regime over migration movements (that is, the mobility of the work force) plays
a key role in reconstructing the oppression of living labour under capital as a whole. We cannot begin to
understand the transformations in class composition without considering the management and
regulation of migration. As we research migration we detect a subjective figure for whom the highest degree of labour flexibility, as
expressed by the social attitude of migrant workers, encounters the effects arising from the brutal control of that flexibility. This is not to say
that migrants form a potential vanguard in class composition. Rather, - from the perspective of a specific subject position - we

understand the current composition of living labour as a whole articulated within a new interplay of
flexibility, mobility and control on different levels. The common sense category of the labour market as characterised by
specific segmentations, then shows its perfect fragility, its mere metaphorical value. If we perceive migration as a social
movement, we can start to think about the nature of the "encounter" between labour and capital.
Speaking of the attempts to control migration as well as its constitutional force/violence, brings into play
the relations of domination and exploitation characterizing that "encounter." It is true, were I to reduce
racism by definition I would be tempted to relate it to the capitalist form of socialisation. But even if we
presume the permanency of racism, in the same way that we take for granted the permanency of
exploitation, we cannot assume continuities. Rather we would have to acquire an understanding of the concurrency and
ubiquitousness of different ideological race formations. The current conjuncture before all sociological descriptions and even before all
descriptions of discrete forms of existence of racisms would then have to be defined as a form (in the materialist sense), or rather as a new
dominating form that defines ideological race constructions on the whole.

Turn: America is only what it is today because of the capitalism that slavery caused in
the north
Beckert and Rockman 7/4/11 HSozUKult Slaverys Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development (Sven Beckert, Harvard University; Seth Rockman, Brown University) (MG)
For generations, historians have struggled to excavate the roots of what Kenneth Pomeranz has called the Great Divergence: namely, how
and why did the nineteenth century see northwestern Europeand later, the United Statesso abruptly burst forth in an unprecedented
explosion of industrial growth while so much of the world lagged behind in a preindustrial past. Pomeranz himself pointed to two key
dissimilarities: access to coal, and access to the vast resources of the American continent cultivated largely through coerced and slave labor. Yet
despite Pomeranzs provocative insight, historians

have been ultimately reticent to chart a common history of

these two institutions that so indelibly marked the global history of the nineteenth century: capitalism
and slavery. Moreover, since the end of the American Civil War, American historians have been only too eager to make
slavery out to be merely a southern problem, thereby conveniently exculpating the north from its role
in the development and promulgation of this abhorrent institution. Indeed, the northern United States, it is so often
claimed, represented the modernizing impulse of industrialization itself: the infinite productive capacity of free laborers and
yeoman farmers in an open market. The south, on the other hand, was locked in hopeless stagnation
inextricably wedded to its endless wealth of homegrown cotton founded upon the sweltering sin of its
peculiar institution: slavery. Only the cataclysm of Civil War could have possibly brought the simmering conflict between these two
oppositional systems to a head, and thus pave the way towards the ascendance of liberal capitalism. Yet in the last two decades, popular
consciousness has increasingly diverged from the discourse of many American historians. Indeed, just as
many Americans before the Civil War candidly acknowledged the ways in which slave-grown cotton was
at the foundation of Americas growing industrial ascendanceit was, after all, the United States most
valuable export, as well as the essential resource bringing specie into the nations fledgling banks
popular discourse has once more returned to seeing the reverberations of slaverys past all around us.
Activists from the reparations movement have exposed the ways in which Northern companies directly benefited from it;
American universities have dug into their archives, consciously striving to disentangle their own links to

it; and economists have produced a veritable corpus of econometric research compellingly
demonstrating how slave labor undergirded Americas industrial revolution. American historians,
however, have remained strangely aloof from these developments. Curiously, the connections between
modern institutions and slaverys past had become so patently self-evident that it seemed to warrant
little further research. Yet nothing could be less true. Indeed, highly charged statements of northern complicity
in southern slavingwhether true or notmask a far more complicated, contradictory, and often
disconcerting historical reality. And although much is already known about the abstract linkages between
northern industry and southern slavery, there still exists little scholarly research on the precise
connections between these two key enterprises once central to American economic development. With
these questions in mind, Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University, and Seth Rockman, Professor of History at Brown
University, brought together seventeen scholars for a conference aimed at painting a very different picture of American economic
development. Indeed, how

might American history look different once we invite the possibility that perhaps
the industrialization of the north and the proliferation of slavery in the south were not rival
developments, but rather, transformations deeply embedded within one another? What were the precise
connections between the burgeoning economic institutions of the northbanks, merchant establishments, trading firms, commercial shippers,
and industrial manufacturersand the slave plantations of the south? And ultimately, how might an understanding of slaverys capitalism alter
our understandings of the development of the American economy and its particular place in world history? The conference opened at Brown
University in Providence, Rhode Island on April 7 to a wonderfully provocative keynote address by Brown University President RUTH SIMMONS
(Providence) on how the university itself can play a key role in fostering open, public dialogueeven on contentious issues like the history of
slavery. After three days and six panels, the conference ended at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 9, 2011. The first
panel, Finance, explored the intricacies of how slavery was capitalized and funded. First, JOSHUA D. ROTHMAN (Tuscaloosa) traced the ways
in which speculation in slave labor further inflated the financial bubble of the 1830s that culminated in the Panic of 1837. Indeed, Rothman
detailed the ways in which northern financial markets supplied the loans (based on the potential return, in labor, of plantation slaves) which
effectively made this speculative economic boomand subsequent bustpossible. BONNIE MARTIN (University Park) then interrogated the
ways in which the mortgaging

(often repeated mortgaging) of slaves brought in much-needed cash and

capital to the south. Yet Martin ultimately emphasized that northern banks and merchants were actually much less involved in this
process than the complex neighbor-to-neighbor networks which permeated local southern communities. Finally, KATHRYN BOODRY
(Cambridge) compellingly detailed the ways in which slavery

was just one part of a larger, integrated Atlantic economy

of cotton, capital, and textile manufacturing. The second panel, Development, explored the institutional force and coherence
of slavery. First, JOHN MAJEWSKI (Santa Barbara) presented a paper that sought, if not for just a moment, to take Abraham Lincoln
seriously in his fears that slavery might have spread north. Indeed, Majewski showed how in the so-called limestone
southnorthern Virginia, the Kentucky Bluegrass region, and the Tennessee Nashville Basinthe natural, built, and cultural environment did
not look all too different from the north. Thus, he concluded that slavery perhaps

did have the potential to be a national

institution, arguing that the defining factor that inhibited its growth in any given area was not climate or
economics, but conscious political decision-making. STANLEY ENGERMAN (Rochester) then presented, arguing that although
it was undoubtedly true that northern merchants were involved in the financing of slavery, whether or
not the slave trade was necessary to northern economic development is a very different and far more
complicated question. Indeed, Engerman pointed out that many other national economies thrived in this period without slavery. Thus,
he ultimately asked whether slavery undergirded New Englands industrial ascendance, or whether it was the very success of New Englands
economy that made slavery such a thriving institution. Before the next panel started, conference co-convener Seth Rockman reminded the

what exactly is capitalism? and

to what degree it is merely synonymous with economic development. He argued that although, historically,
there may have been other nations exhibiting capitalism without slavery, this does not preclude the
simple fact that nineteenth-century America did indeed witness the institutional development of both
slavery and capitalism. Thus, Rockman argued that we should continue to keep our sights set on telling a better American economic
audience that we should be hesitant to rush into abstruse theoretical debates about questions of

history, not on redefining the very theoretical foundations of capitalism itself. In the last panel of the day, Commerce, ERIC KIMBALL
(Greensburg) asked how we might then quantify complicity: which is to say, how might we quantify the level of involvement most
northerners had with the slave trade? By

exploring the connections between West-Indian sugar plantations and

northern industries like lumber and whaling, Kimball made a compelling argument that northern
manufacturing and resource extraction was indelibly linked to slaverys profitability. Next, CALVIN
SCHERMERHORN (Phoenix) showed how the coastwise slave trade was itself an integral part of United States developing commercial shipping
network. Finally, DANIEL

ROOD (Worcester) detailed the ways in which the wheat-flour economy of the

antebellum era was instrumental in pioneering new methods of business integration, foreign trade, and
technological change.

Capitalism White Supremacy

White supremacy is the root cause of Capitalism and colonialism
Rabaka 7 (Reiland Rabaka, Professor of African, African American, and Caribbean Studies in the
Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ph.D., Temple University, 8/4/7,
The Souls of White Folk: W.E.B. Du Boiss Critique of White Supremacy and Contributions to Critical
White Studies,
Traditionally white supremacy has been treated in race and racism discourse as white domination of
and white discrimination against non-whites, and especially blacks. It is a term that often carries a
primarily legal and political connotation, which has been claimed time and time again to be best
exemplified by the historic events and contemporary effects of: African holocaust, enslavement and
colonization; the failure of reconstruction, the ritual of lynching and the rise of Jim Crow segregation
in the United States; and, white colonial and racial rule throughout Africa, and especially apartheid in
South Africa (Cell 1982; Fredrickson 1981; Marx 1998; Shapiro 1988). Considering the fact that statesanctioned segregation and black political disenfranchisement have seemed to come to an end, white
supremacy is now seen as classical nomenclature which no longer refers to contemporary racial and
social conditions. However, instead of being a relic of the past that refers to an odd or embarrassing
moment in the United States and South Africas (among many other racist nations and empires) march
toward multicultural democracy, it remains one of the most appropriate ways to characterize current
racial national and international conditions. Which, in other words, is to say that white supremacy has
been and remains central to modernity (and postmodernity) because modernity (especially in the
sense that this term is being used in European and American academic and aesthetic discourse) reeks of
racial domination and discrimination (Goldberg 1993; Gordon 1997, 2000a; Outlaw 1996). It is an epoch
(or aggregate of eras) which symbolizes not simply the invention of race, but the perfection of a
particular species of global racism: white supremacy. Hence, modernity is not merely the moment of the
invention of race, but more, as Theodore Allen argues in The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997),
it served as an incubator for the invention of the white race and a peculiar pan-Europeanism predicated
on the racial ruling, cultural degradation and, at times, physical decimation of the life-worlds of people
of color. In The Souls of White Folk, which was initially published in the Independent in 1910, then
substantially revised and published in Darkwater (1920), Du Bois stated, Everything considered, the title
to the universe claimed by White Folk is faulty (1995a, p. 454). Long before the recent discourse on
racism and critical white studies, Du Bois called into question white superiority and white privilege, and
the possibility of white racelessness and/or white racial neutrality and universality. He was one of the
first theorists to chart the changes in race relations from de jure to de facto forms of white supremacy,
referring to it, as early as 1910, as the new religion of whiteness (454). White supremacy would or will
not end unless and until the values and views endemic to it and associated with it were or are rejected
and replaced by radical and, I am wont to say, following Peter McLaren, revolutionary
multicultural and uncompromising ethical views and values (McLaren 1994, 1997, 1999a, b; see also
Goldberg 1994; May 1999). The rejection of white supremacy and the replacement of white supremacist
views and values involves not only blacks and other people of color, but whites as well. As the examples
of the Emancipation Proclamation, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights movement indicate, changes in
the law and its interpretation and application do not always translate into racial justice and social
transformation (Berry 1994; Higginbotham 1978, 1996; D. King 1995). White supremacist social views
and values linger long after amendments have been made 2 J Afr Am St (2007) 11:115 and laws
changed. Therefore, law-focused critical white studies and critical race theory provide at best only part

of the picture (Bonilla-Silva 2001; Delgado 1995; Delgado and Stefancic 1997). The conception and
critique of white supremacy that I develop here does not seek to sidestep socio-legal race discourse as
much as it intends to supplement it with the work of Du Bois and others in radical politics and critical
social theory (Rabaka 2002, 2003a,b,c,d, 2005a,b,c). One of the main reasons this supplemental
approach to critical white studies (and critical race theory) is important is because typically legal studies
of race confine theorists to particular national social and political arenas, which is problematic
considering the fact that white supremacy is an international or global racist system (Mills 1999; Rabaka
2006a,b,c). Du Bois declared, whiteness is the ownership of the earth forever and ever, Amen! (1995a,
p. 454). Here he is sardonically hinting at the cardinal difference between white supremacy and most
other forms of racism: its worldwide historical, cultural, social, political, legal, and economic influence
and impact. White supremacy serves as the glue that connects and combines racism to colonialism, and
racism to capitalism. It has also been illustrated that it exacerbates sexism by sexing racism and racing
sexism, to put it unpretentiously. Thus, white supremacy as a global racism intersects and interconnects
with sexism, and particularly patriarchy as a global system that oppresses and denies womens human
dignity and right to be humanly different from men, the ruling gender (Davis 1981, 1989; hooks 1981,
1984, 1991, 1995; J.A. James 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; Lorde 1984, 1988; Rabaka 2003e, 2004).

White supremacy is the symbol of economic exploitation and establishes racism in

capitalist greed, resulting in the looting of colored culture and knowledge
Rabaka 7 (Reiland Rabaka, Professor of African, African American, and Caribbean Studies in the
Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ph.D., Temple University, 8/4/7,
The Souls of White Folk: W.E.B. Du Boiss Critique of White Supremacy and Contributions to Critical
White Studies,
From Du Boiss optic, blacks had been unable to give civilization the full spiritual message which they
are capable of giving primarily because of white supremacy and its enormous and unfathomable effects
on Africana life-worlds and lived-experiences. His early uncertainty regarding the African origins of
ancient Egyptian civilization was laid to rest as a result of the research of Franz Boas, Leo Frobenius, and
Harry Johnston, among others. If Egypt, undoubtedly one of the greatest classical civilizations, was
African or, at the least, initiated by Africansas Du Bois documented in The Negro, Black Folk Then and
Now, and The World and Africathen, it would be a great disservice to modern Africana people to
argue that they have given no message to the world. As he studied and learned more of Africas
ancient and pre-colonial past, Du Boiss gift theory shifted its emphasis from Africana people giving the
full, complete Negro the world, to accenting and highlighting classical African
contributions to culture and civilization with an eye toward: first, confronting and combating the white
supremacist theses of, of course, white superiority and black inferiority and, also, blacks purported lack
of history and culture; second, providing contemporary Africana people with classical Africana cultural
paradigms and traditional motifs; and, finally, offering a caveat to continental and diasporan Africans
that their task is not so much to give the definitive Africana message to the world (something, on second
thought, that may never really be possible), but to contribute to and continue the Africana struggle for
freedom and justice in their age and leave a legacy for succeeding generations. Generic racism, if there
is such a thing, essentially entails racial domination and discrimination. White supremacy does not
simply racially oppress, as Du Bois asserts above. Being the fraternal twin (or, at the least, a sibling of
some sort) of capitalism it racially oppresses in the interest of nonpareil racialized economic
exploitation. It symbolizes the intensification of economic exploitation by adding a racist dimension to
capitalist greed and colonial gain. Hinging on a diabolical dialectic that sees whites as superior and nonwhites as inferior, white supremacy consumes the world of color and claims non-whites contributions

to human culture and civilization as European or white contributions to culture and civilization. This is so
because from the white supremacist point of view, non-whites do not now and have never possessed
culture and civilization and, therefore, could not possibly contribute to the (re) construction of
something they do not now and have never possessed. Further, white supremacy enables and utterly
encourages whites to theoretically and culturally loot the knowledge banks and cultural treasure troves
of the colored world, similar to the way whites did when they established racial colonialism and colonial
capitalism, because it is a global system that rewards based on the embrace of white hegemonic views
and values, white conquest and racialized colonization.

Class Struggle
Capitalist society is dependent on racism
Pamela Brown No Date Alter Net Can We Have Capitalism Without Racism? The Invisible Chains of Debt and the Catastrophic Loss
of African American Wealth (MG)

Years after Thomas Jeffersons famous words all men are created equal began to ring as a call to
conscience, he himself must have felt every bit of their hollowness. Polish Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus
Kosciuszko bequeathed Jefferson enough money to free his slaves, as well as to set them off with land and farming equipment of their own, but
Jefferson refused this gift. Instead, he died with a debt hanging over Monticello a kind of debt that he was the first to incur through
monetizing his slaves for use as collateral for the loan to build his estate (Weincek 2012: 96). The slave

families, who resided on

Jeffersons estate as intact families, were separated and sold to pay the outstanding debt such that the
estate could be passed down to its rightful heir. In spite of words we have no reason not to believe
were heartfelt, and in spite of fathering six black children, Jefferson was not able to rise to the call of his
words in the end, leaving as mixed a legacy as the American history that has followed. And in spite of
generations of black descendants, no reparation has ever been paid to them; they remain a forgotten
part of this legacy. As the story is most commonly told, there is only mention made to a legitimate debt paid with the bodies, blood and
breath of Jefferson slaves, but no mention of any owing to them. Unfortunately, this telling of Jeffersons story not only exposes the power
dynamics of the past, but also discloses a fundamental understanding of the world that continues to rear its ugly head today. During Jeffersons
life, Wall Street was already expanding on and experimenting with the monetization of human life through debt. In 1804, well before the battle
for abolition was won here in America, but only after a bloody 13-year struggle, Haitian slaves liberated themselves by successfully defeating
Napoleon. President Jefferson was the first to refuse to recognize their independence from France. As a result, over twenty years later, the
French reminded the Haitians that they, themselves, constituted a debt. The Haitians did the only thing they could to retain their physical
freedom and borrowed the equivalent of $150 million (almost double the cost of Louisiana) from Wall Street to pay reparations to the
French. Of course, this

original predatory debt reaped enormous rewards and in the end they paid the
equivalent of $20 billion dollars for their freedom something that never should have been for sale. And
all the way up until 1947, 80% of Haitis economy went to pay off this debt to National City Bank
known today as Citibank. Of course, the price of freedom was unrelenting poverty, the permanent loss of
opportunity to develop infrastructure, and the seemingly never-ending suffering in enslavement of
another form. Yet, when we talk about debt, mostly we talk about it as a thing as the kind of thing that
hangs from the body like a ball and chain or from our necks like an albatross. We talk a lot about how
debt makes us feel: atomized, isolated, alone. But, we dont often talk about how the neoliberal
construct of perpetual indebtedness to non-human financial entities has created a populace so focused
on debts owed to Wall Street that we have no collective memory of any other kinds of debts. But, once
we open Pandoras box to take a look at the intersections of debt and race, we are forced to ask
ourselves how it is that we have forgotten so much. Could it be that alongside the rise of the neoliberal social
order characterized by the isolation of the invisible chains of debt, a parallel practice of colorblindness
arose that produces the invisibility of race? And if Malcolm X was correct that we cannot have capitalism without
racism, we have to ask ourselves whether racism has really declined with colorblindness, or whether
colorblindness might be neoliberalisms corollary. It has been under a gray monotone cloud that a predatory debt system has
been advanced, one that stripped African Americans of all economic gains subsequent to Civil Rights, and that spread throughout the rest of
the economy, impacting generations to come. Theres

plenty of evidence of racism in spite of all the talk about postracial America. Still, it comes as a big surprise that while we have been declaring race dead, structural
racism has clearly increased. In fact 50 years after Civil Rights, 150 years after the Emancipation
Proclamation, and during the first black presidency, white Americans currently hold at least 19 times the
wealth of African-Americans (Kochhar 2010: 3). Put into perspective, in 1984 the ratio was 12 to 1, dipping to 7 to 1
in 1995, jumping to an astonishing 19 to 1 in 2009, and is probably even greater now. In practical terms this
means that the average middle income black family has less wealth than the average white family with
earnings below the poverty line (Shapiro 2004: 7). According to a 2010 Brandeis University study, in the last 23 years, the racial
wealth gap increased by 75K from 20K to 95K (Shapiro 2010: 2). Even within the highest income African

Americans, wealth has fallen from 25K to 18K, whereas the wealth of whites in a similar class surged to
240K (Shapiro 2010: 2). White families saw a dramatic growth of financial assets excluding home value from
22K to 100K, while African Americans saw very little increase at all (Shapiro 2010: 1). Because family wealth is the
biggest predictor of personal wealth, and wealth is used to pay for education, this gap assures racial inequality for at least the next generation.

Already 81% of African American students are graduating from college an average of 29K in the hole
(Johnson, 2012: 21). And already the average middle income African American worker would have to spend
an additional twelve weeks per year working to earn the same amount as a white worker (Shapiro 2004: 7). As
a result, between 1984 and 2007 African Americans actually doubled their debt burden as measured by
assets against liabilities. At the rate blacks have been falling behind since the mid 90s, black and white median wealth will
never ever reach parity, and unless something is done, these paths will continue to diverge.

Racism was a result of the political economy, where it was essential to European
dominance and globalization
Rabaka 7 (Reiland Rabaka, Professor of African, African American, and Caribbean Studies in the
Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ph.D., Temple University, 8/4/7,
The Souls of White Folk: W.E.B. Du Boiss Critique of White Supremacy and Contributions to Critical
White Studies,
Materialist accounts of race, which are primarily inspired by Marxist theory, maintain that racism does
not have to do with culture as much as it does with political economy. Europeans needed a cheap labor
force to extra-exploit and work their newly and imperially acquired continents, countries, colonial
settlements and plantations. For the racial materialists it was not about religion or civilization or science,
but an economics and politics reduced to its lowest and most racist level (Cox 1959, 1987; Genovese
1965, 1969, 1974, 1979; C.L.R. James 1963, 1995, 1996; E. Williams 1966). Finally, racial constructionists
contend that race is an outgrowth of human beings inherent ethnocentrism, but that racism is a result
of Europes push for global dominance. In this view, no matter who invented race, its reasons for J Afr
Am St (2007) 11:115 3 origination, and whether it is scientifically sound, it is an artifact that most
modern (and postmodern) human beings use, either consciously or unconsciously, to make
interpersonal, socio-cultural and politico-economic decisions. Whites and nonwhites do not exist
prior to the imperial expansion that helped to birth, raise and rear European modernity. But, this is all
beside the point to the constructionists. What is relevant is the invention of whiteness and its classical
and contemporary uses and abuses, and the ways it has evolved over several centuries, transitioning
from de jure to de facto form, and transforming the racial rules and ethnic ethics of who counts as
white and non-white (Allen 1994, 1997; Goldberg 1997; Harris 1999; Lopez 1995, 1996; Omi and
Winant 1994; Roediger 1994, 1999).

Racism fuels neoliberalism
Pamela Brown No Date Alter Net Can We Have Capitalism Without Racism? The Invisible Chains of Debt and the Catastrophic Loss
of African American Wealth (MG)

Because the predominant underlying colorblind assumptions have been that a culture of financial
illiteracy or class based lower credit rating, these products were allowed to take hold in ways they would
not have been allowed to had racism been considered a possibility. A study conducted by Ethan Cohen-Cole of the
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston demonstrates that racial bias is a factor in the amount of credit offered even when other possible factors are
eliminated. The

study shows that the same individual in an 80% white area would receive about $7000
more dollars in credit than an individual living in an 80% black area (Cohen-Cole 2009: 14). And a 1% increase
in the percentage of blacks in an area corresponds to a $117 dollar reduction in credit (Cohen-Cole 2009: 14).
Further, even high quality credit individuals receive less credit if they simply live near a payday lender.
Because available credit corresponds to credit score, the reduction of available credit automatically
means that credit scores are stratified racially. Therefore, its typical for African-American borrowers with
equal credentials to have a lower credit scores simple by virtue of where they live. This impacts both the
available credit products, insurance rates and also may impact employment, as 60% of employers now
use credit score in hiring decisions. Of course, this also means that predatory credit products like payday
and auto title loans are frequently the only available products for even higher quality borrowers. In
essence, this is a combination strategy of first redlining to offer less credit and then reverse redlining to
offer subprime and high-risk products. Because colorblindness normalizes racial disparity as related to class
or culture, and minimizes the possibility of racism, a cloak of invisibility hides the reality of the economic
hate crime being committed. Rather than being polite and innocuous, colorblindness is really a
dangerous new form of racism that grants neoliberalisms wealth moving tactics momentum and power.

Capitalism began through the destruction of the black body racism was the
precondition that made capitalism profitable
Wilderson, 2003 (Frank B., Professor UCI, The Prison Slave as Hegemonys (Silent)
Scandal, Soc Justice 30 no2 2003, arh)
The theoretical importance of emphasizing this in the early 21st century is twofold. First, capital
was kick-started by approaching a particular body (a black body) with direct relations of force,
not by approaching a white body with variable capital. Thus, one could say that slavery is closer
to capital's primal desire than is exploitation. It is a relation of terror as opposed to a relation of
hegemony. Second, today, late capital is imposing a renaissance of this original desire, the direct
relation of force, the despotism of the unwaged relation. This renaissance of slavery, i.e., the
reconfiguration of the prison-industrial complex has, once again, as its structuring metaphor
and primary target the Black body. The value of reintroducing the unthought category of the
slave, by way of noting the absence of the Black subject, lies in the Black subject's potential for
extending the demand placed on state/capital formations because its reintroduction into the
discourse expands the intensity of the antagonism. In other words, the positionality of the slave
makes a demand that is in excess of the demand made by the positionality of the worker. The
worker demands that productivity be fair and democratic (Gramsci's new hegemony, Lenin's
dictatorship of the proletariat, in a word, socialism). In contrast, the slave demands that
production stop, without recourse to its ultimate democratization. Work is not an organic
principle for the slave. The absence of Black subjectivity from the crux of radical discourse is
symptomatic of the text's inability to cope with the possibility that the generative subject of
capitalism, the Black body of the 15th and 16th centuries, and the generative subject that
resolves late capital's over-accumulation crisis, the Black (incarcerated) body of the 20th and 21
st centuries, do not reify the basic categories that structure conflict within civil society: the
categories of work and exploitation.

Racism is the root cause of slavery
West 13, az lyrics (Kanye, victim of anti-blackness and worldwide ranked rap
artists, verse 1, slightly edited for racist language) MG

My momma was raised in an era when, Clean water was only served to the fairer skin Doing clothes you
would have thought I had help But they wasn't satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself. You see it's
broke nigga [black people] racism That's that "Don't touch anything in the store" And there's rich nigga [black
people] racism That's that "Come here, please buy more" What you want a Bentley, fur coat and diamond chain? All you blacks want all the
same things Used to only be niggas [black peoples] now everybody play me Spending everything on Alexander Wang New


Slavery led to modern capitalism Slave owners realized that they could sell the work
of their slaves for money
Steven Beckert and Seth Rockman 2/24/14 Huffington Post How Slavery Led to Modern Capitalism (Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, historians at Harvard University and
Brown University respectively, are co-editing "Slavery's Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development," to be published by
University of Pennsylvania Press in 2013. The opinions expressed are their own.) MG
Bloomberg View: When the New York City banker James Brown tallied his wealth in 1842, he had to look far below Wall Street to trace its
origins. His investments in the American South exceeded $1.5 million, a quarter of which was directly bound up in the ownership of slave
plantations. Brown

was among the world's most powerful dealers in raw cotton, and his familys firm,
Brown Brothers & Co., served as one of the most important sources of capital and foreign exchange to
the U.S. economy. Still, no small amount of his time was devoted to managing slaves from the study of his Leonard Street brownstone in
Lower Manhattan. Brown was hardly unusual among the capitalists of the North. Nicholas Biddle's United States Bank of
Philadelphia funded banks in Mississippi to promote the expansion of plantation lands. Biddle recognized that slave-grown
cotton was the only thing made in the U.S. that had the capacity to bring gold and silver into the vaults
of the nation's banks. Likewise, the architects of New England's industrial revolution watched the price
of cotton with rapt attention, for their textile mills would have been silent without the labor of slaves on
distant plantations. The story we tell about slavery is almost always regional, rather than national. We remember it as a cruel institution
of the southern states that would later secede from the Union. Slavery, in this telling, appears limited in scope, an unfortunate detour on the
nation's march to modernity, and certainly not the engine of American economic prosperity. Yet to

understand slavery's centrality

to the rise of American capitalism, just consider the history of an antebellum Alabama dry-goods outfit
called Lehman Brothers or a Rhode Island textile manufacturer that would become the antecedent firm
of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Reparations lawsuits (since dismissed) generated evidence of slave insurance
policies by Aetna and put Brown University and other elite educational institutions on notice that the
slave-trade enterprises of their early benefactors were potential legal liabilities. Recent state and municipal
disclosure ordinances have forced firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wachovia Corp. to confront unsettling ancestors on their corporate
family trees. Such

revelations are hardly surprising in light of slaverys role in spurring the nations economic
development. America's "take-off" in the 19th century wasn't in spite of slavery; it was largely thanks to
it. And recent research in economic history goes further: It highlights the role that commodified human beings played in
the emergence of modern capitalism itself. The U.S. won its independence from Britain just as it was becoming possible to
imagine a liberal alternative to the mercantilist policies of the colonial era. Those best situated to take advantage of these
new opportunities -- those who would soon be called "capitalists" -- rarely started from scratch, but
instead drew on wealth generated earlier in the robust Atlantic economy of slaves, sugar and tobacco.
Fathers who made their fortunes outfitting ships for distant voyages begat sons who built factories, chartered banks, incorporated canal and
railroad enterprises, invested in government securities, and speculated in new financial instruments. This

recognizably modern
capitalist economy was no less reliant on slavery than the mercantilist economy of the preceding
century. Rather, it offered a wider range of opportunities to profit from the remote labor of slaves, especially as cotton emerged as the
indispensable commodity of the age of industry. In the North, where slavery had been abolished and cotton failed to
grow, the enterprising might transform slave-grown cotton into clothing; market other manufactured

goods, such as hoes and hats, to plantation owners; or invest in securities tied to next year's crop prices
in places such as Liverpool and Le Havre. This network linked Mississippi planters and Massachusetts manufacturers to the era's
great financial firms: the Barings, Browns and Rothschilds. A major financial crisis in 1837 revealed the interdependence
of cotton planters, manufacturers and investors, and their collective dependence on the labor of slaves.
Leveraged cotton -- pledged but not yet picked -- led overseers to whip their slaves to pick more, and
prodded auctioneers to liquidate slave families to cover the debts of the overextended. The plantation
didn't just produce the commodities that fueled the broader economy, it also generated innovative
business practices that would come to typify modern management . As some of the most heavily capitalized
enterprises in antebellum America, plantations offered early examples of time-motion studies and regimentation through clocks and bells.
Seeking ever-greater efficiencies in cotton picking, slaveholders reorganized their fields, regimented the workday, and implemented a system of
vertical reporting that made overseers into managers answerable to those above for the labor of those below. The

perverse reality of
a capitalized labor force led to new accounting methods that incorporated (human) property
depreciation in the bottom line as slaves aged, as well as new actuarial techniques to indemnify
slaveholders from loss or damage to the men and women they owned. Property rights in human beings
also created a lengthy set of judicial opinions that would influence the broader sanctity of private
property in U.S. law. So important was slavery to the American economy that on the eve of the Civil War,
many commentators predicted that the North would kill "its golden goose." That prediction didn't come
to pass, and as a result, slavery's importance to American economic development has been obscured.
But as scholars delve deeper into corporate archives and think more critically about coerced labor and
capitalism -- perhaps informed by the current scale of human trafficking -- the importance of slavery to
American economic history will become inescapable.

Race was the precondition that enabled capitalism slaves were the capital that made
capitalism possible and the relationship is reverse causal
Ott 4/9 (Julia, Assistant professor in the history of capitalism and the co-director of the Robert
L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at the New School for Social Research and the
Eugene Lang College at the New School, Slaves: the capital that made capitalism,, 4/9/14, acc. 7/6/14, arh)
Racialized chattel slaves were the capital that made capitalism. While most theories of
capitalism set slavery apart, as something utterly distinct, because under slavery, workers do not
labor for a wage, new historical research reveals that for centuries, a single economic system
encompassed both the plantation and the factory. At the dawn of the industrial age
commentators like Rev. Thomas Malthus could not envision that capital an asset that is used
but not consumed in the production of goods and services could compound and diversify its
forms, increasing productivity and engendering economic growth. Yet, ironically, when Malthus
penned his Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798, the economies of Western Europe
already had crawled their way out of the so-called Malthusian trap. The New World yielded
vast quantities of drug foods like tobacco, tea, coffee, chocolate, and sugar for world markets.
Europeans worked a little bit harder to satiate their hunger for these drug foods. The luxurycommodities of the seventeenth century became integrated into the new middle-class rituals like
tea-drinking in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, these commodities became a
caloric and stimulative necessity for the denizens of the dark satanic mills. The New World
yielded food for proletarians and fiber for factories at reasonable (even falling) prices. The
industrious revolution that began in the sixteenth century set the stage for the Industrial
Revolution of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But the demand-side tells only part
of the story. A new form of capital, racialized chattel slaves, proved essential for the industrious
revolution and for the industrial one that followed. The systematic application of African
slaves in staple export crop production began in the sixteenth century, with sugar in Brazil. The

African slave trade populated the plantations of the Caribbean, landing on the shores of the
Chesapeake at the end of the seventeenth century. African slaves held the legal status of chattel:
moveable, alienable property. When owners hold living creatures as chattel, they gain additional
property rights: the ownership of the offspring of any chattel, and the ownership of their
offspring, and so on and so forth. Chattel becomes self-augmenting capital. While slavery
existed in human societies since prehistoric times, chattel status had never been applied so
thoroughly to human beings as it would be to Africans and African-Americans beginning in the
sixteenth century. But this was not done easily, especially in those New World regions where
African slaves survived, worked alongside European indentured servants and landless free
men and women, and bore offspring as they did in Britains mainland colonies in North
America. In the seventeenth century, African slaves and European indentured servants worked
together to build what Ira Berlin characterizes as a society with slaves along the Chesapeake
Bay. These Africans were slaves, but before the end of the seventeenth century, these Africans
were not chattel, not fully. Planters and overseers didnt use them that differently than their
indentured servants. Slaves and servants alike were subject to routine corporeal punishment.
Slaves occupied the furthest point along a continuum of unequal and coercive labor relations.
(Also, see here and here.) Even so, 20% of the Africans brought into the Chesapeake before 1675
became free, and some of those freed even received the head-right a plot of land promised
to European indentures. Some of those free Africans would command white indentures and own
African slaves. To the British inhabitants of the Chesapeake, Africans looked different. They
sounded different. They acted different. But that was true of the Irish, as well. Africans were
pagans, but the kind of people who wound up indentured in the Chesapeake werent exactly
model Christians. European and African laborers worked, fornicated, fought, wept, birthed, ate,
died, drank, danced, traded with one another, and with the indigenous population. Neither laws
nor customs set them apart. And this would become a problem. By the 1670s, large landowners
some local planters, some absentees began to consolidate plantations. This pushed the
head-rights out to the least-productive lands on the frontier. In 1676, poor whites joined forces
with those of African descent under the leadership of Nathaniel Bacon. They torched
Jamestown, the colonys capital. It took British troops several years to bring the Chesapeake
under control. Ultimately, planter elites thwarted class conflict by writing laws and by modeling
and encouraging social practices that persuaded those with white skin to imagine that
tremendous social significance inherent difference and inferiority lay underneath black
skin. (Also, see here and here.) New laws regulated social relations sex, marriage, sociability,
trade, assembly, religion between the races that those very laws, in fact, helped to create.
The law of chattel applied to African and African-descended slaves to the fullest extent on
eighteenth century plantations. Under racialized chattel slavery, master-enslavers possessed the
right to torture and maim, the right to kill, the right to rape, the right to alienate, and the right to
own offspring specifically, the offspring of the female slave. The exploitation of enslaved
womens reproductive labor became a prerogative that masters shared with other white men.
Any offspring resulting from rape increased the masters stock of capital.

Racial inferiority led to slavery

Greene 3 independent writer, researcher, and historian. With degrees in history and historic preservation, she also works as an
architectural historian who documents and writes about historic buildings and landscapes. (Meg, Did slavery cause racism?, 2003,
g%2Fuploaded%2Ffaculty%2Fjjordan%2Fviewpoint_essays%2Fdid_slavery_cause_racism_viewpoint_essay.doc&ei=LPe3UCpAorP0AXnwoD4Dg&usg=AFQjCNFtuyaqtMDgz_dDGhy00TUfFc7wvA&sig2=s7Av7kATnB4j1SUkV7isNg //SRSL)

No. Slavery followed from racism and reinforced existing perceptions of blacks' racial
inferiority. Racism both preexisted and survived slavery. Slavery bred racism. No people can systematically
enslave another people of a different "race" for several hundred years without developing some
form of racial animosity and prejudice. Yet, racism also preceded slavery and survived it. Various and

subtle influences had already conditioned Europeans to take a negative view of blacks long before they thought of enslaving them. In his classic study of racial stereotypes, White Over Black: American Attitudes
Toward the Negro, 1550-1812 (1968),

Winthrop D. Jordan identified three distinct but related prejudices that

conditioned English perceptions of Africans. First, the English noticed that Africans were black.
Jordan, however, shows that this judgment was mistaken inasmuch as it simplified a more complex reality. Not all Africans had black skin. For the English, though,
"blackness became so generally associated with Africa," Jordan wrote, "that every African seemed a black
man." The English were quick to attach an unwarranted pejorative significance to black skin. Blackness signified filth, immorality, sin, and evil. Whiteness, by contrast, represented cleanliness, goodness,
virtue, and purity. As Jordan pointed out, before the sixteenth century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "black" meant "deeply stained with dirt; soiled, dirty, foul. . . . Having dark and deadly purposes,
malignant; pertaining to or involving death, deadly; baneful, disastrous, sinister. . . . Foul, iniquitous, atrocious, horrible, wicked. . . . Indicating disgrace, censure, liability to punishment, etc." Despite some

Second, the English thought the

Africans were "uncivilized." Africans dressed, lived, fought, spoke, and even ate differently from the English. In any comparison with English ways, Africans were found wanting.
Difference constituted inferiority. The second "fact" worthy of note about Africans after the color of their skin was that they were not English. Deviation
from English norms and standards implied barbarism. Although they knew better, the English depicted
Africans as savages, beasts, and cannibals. In making such comparisons, Jordan declared, "Englishmen unwittingly
demonstrated how powerfully the African's different culture--for Englishmen, his 'savagery'-operated to make Negroes seem to Englishmen a radically different kind of men." Few writers
applied this racial ideology as thoroughly as did Edward Long, or less hesitantly drew out its
implications. In The History of Jamaica; or, General Survey of the Ancient and Modern State of the Island. . . . (1774) Long popularized the notion that
blacks were a separate species fit only for slavery. Instead of degrading human nature, Long
maintained that the theory of black racial inferiority confirmed belief in a rational, creative,
fecund, and perfect God. What better testimony to the omnipotence of God, Long asked, than a beautifully complete and coherent chain of being, a "series and progression from a
marked inconsistencies, medieval Christian thinkers also linked blackness to the same general set of associations and characteristics.

lump of dirt to a perfect man?" Long failed to explain why one link in this continuum ought to be so loathsome, but he made no effort to conceal his disgust for the "bestial fleece," the "tumid nostrils," and the
"fetid smell" that he thought characterized all blacks to a greater or lesser degree. Long also concluded that blacks possessed no rational faculty or moral sense. Incapable of thought and virtue, they thus desired
no more than food, drink, sex, and leisure and would pursue these amusements without restraint unless disciplined and coerced. Africans had made no progress for two thousand years, he asserted. They
remained, in Long's estimation, "a brutish, ignorant, idle, crafty, treacherous, bloody, thievish, mistrustful, and superstitious people." Apes, Long conjectured, could be trained to "perform a variety of menial
domestic services" and the "mechanic arts" as well as any black. African bestiality was nowhere more transparent, in Long's view, than in the possibility of sexual relations between apes and black women. Apes
coveted black women, Long wrote, "from a natural impulse of desire, such as inclines one animal towards another of the same species, or which had a conformity in the organs of generation." With blacks, Long
observed, sex was "libidinous and shameless." Since both blacks and apes shared the "lasciviousness of disposition," Long did not think that "an orang-outang husband would be any dishonour to an Hottentot
female." There was, indeed, Long asserted, every reason to believe that black women regularly admitted such animals to their embraces. Such a union, he reported, had occurred in England itself. Thus, he wrote,
"how freely may it not operate in the more genial soil of Afric [sic], that parent of every thing that is monstrous in nature, where . . . the passions rage without controul; and the retired wilderness presents
opportunity to gratify them without fear of detection!" Third, the English condemned the Africans as unchristian. This "defective religious condition" was part of a much larger problem once the English
discovered that the world was abounding with "heathen" peoples. The Africans' "primitive" religions offered one more indication of their failure to approximate English norms; it was another symptom of their
blackness and their barbarism. For an Englishman of the sixteenth century, Jordan asserted, Christianity was interwoven into his conception of his own nationality, and he was therefore inclined to regard the
Negroes' lack of true religion as part of theirs. Being a Christian was not merely a matter of subscribing to certain doctrines; it was a quality inherent in oneself and in one's society. It was interconnected with all
the other attributes of normal and proper men: as one of the earliest English accounts distinguished Negroes from Englishmen, they were 'a people of beastly living, without a God, lawe, religion, or common
wealth. . . .' In an important sense, then, heathenism was for Englishmen one inherent characteristic of savage men. To be Christian, according to the English, was to be civilized. Yet, the English did not attribute
such deficiencies to blacks alone. They also regarded the Irish as wild, subhuman, uncivilized, dangerous brutes. In English eyes, the Irish were "more uncivill, more uncleanly, more barbarous and more brutish in
their customs and demeanures [demeanor], then in any other part of the world that is known." As Nicholas P. Canny has demonstrated in "The Ideology of English Colonization: From Ireland to America" (1983),
the Indians were the New World equivalent of the "wilde Irish." Poor whites fared little better, for the "giddy multitude" seemed to pose an additional threat to social order. The English fit Africans into these
established stereotypes in a way that enabled them to make sense of peoples so apparently different that one might expect to find them on another planet. Africans and Europeans were "bound to one another
without mingling," wrote French writer Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America (1835). It "is equally difficult for them to separate completely or to unite. . . . The Negro transmits to his descendants at birth
the external mark of his ignominy. The law can abolish servitude, but only God can obliterate its traces. . . . You can make the Negro free, but you cannot prevent him facing the European as a stranger." For
Tocqueville, the unavoidable and irrevocable certainty of black skin remained, forever intruding itself upon the European consciousness. Most Englishmen and Europeans, and later the majority of white

The reality
upon which race purports to rest, the natural and permanent inequality of human beings, is
utterly false. Biologically, there is only one race: the human race. The most striking attributes of racial appearance--color of skin, texture of hair, shape of nose, eyes, lips, and ears--can all be
Americans, assumed that race is a fixed and observable physical reality. It is not. Race, instead, is an idea, an ideological construct, a historical phenomenon, not a biological fact.

gradually transformed or radically altered by repeated instances of miscegenation (race mixing). Although not a biological fact, race is nonetheless real, for it embodies in thought actual social relations.
Paradoxically, the reality of race lies in appearances and the meanings that human beings attach to them. What Europeans once defined as racial differences between themselves and Africans reveals less about

This racial ideology existed prior to the

enslavement of Africans and did not emerge as a consequence of slavery. Yet, it was not without
consequences. As Tocqueville reflected: From the moment when Europeans took their slaves from a race
different from their own, which many of them considered inferior to the other human races, and
assimilation with whom they all regarded with horror, they assumed that slavery would be
eternal, for there is no intermediate state that can be durable between the excessive inequality
created by slavery and the complete equality which is the natural result of independence. The Europeans
who Africans were than it does about who Europeans thought that they were at a particular moment in history.

have vaguely sensed this truth but have not admitted it. In everything concerning the Negroes, either interest or pride or pity has dictated their behavior. Tocqueville accurately predicted that racial animosity
would intensify with the abolition of slavery. Perhaps more remarkable, the modification or removal of the racial characteristics that had so absorbed the European imagination did nothing to eradicate slavery or
even to alter the status of individual slaves. The variations in skin color that emerged as the result of miscegenation, blacks' acquisition of learning and culture, and the conversion of slaves to Christianity did not
effect emancipation. Race was an important element in New World slavery, but it proved not to be essential.

Civil society is built on a grammar of anti-black violence class struggle is formed
between the antagonisms of race
Wilderson 10 (Frank B. Wilderson III, Associate Professor at UC Irvines Department of Drama and African American
Studies, BA in government and philosophy from Dartmouth College, MA in Fine Arts from Columbia University, PhD in Rhetoric
and Film Studies from UC Berkeley
, Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms, 2010, Pg. 1-7, **WE DO NOT ENDORSE ABLEIST
Leaving aside for the moment their state of mind, it would seem that the structure, that is to say the rebar, or better still the
grammar of their demandsand, by extension, the grammar of their sufferingwas indeed an ethical grammar.

Perhaps their grammars are the only ethical grammars available to modern politics and modernity writ
large, for they draw our attention not to the way in which space and time are used and abused by
enfranchised and violently powerful interests, but to the violence that underwrites the modern worlds capacity to
think, act, and exist spatially and temporally. The violence that robbed her of her body and him of his land provided the stage
upon which other violent and consensual dramas could be enacted. Thus, they would have to be crazy, crazy enough to call not
merely the actions of the world to account but to call the world itself to account, and to account for them no less! The woman
at Columbia was not demanding to be a participant in an unethical network of distribution: she was not demanding a place
within capital, a piece of the pie (the demand for her sofa notwithstanding). Rather, she was articulating a triangulation
between, on the one hand, the loss of her body, the very dereliction of her corporeal integrity, what Hortense Spillers charts as
the transition from being a being to becoming a being for the captor (206), the drama of value (the stage upon which surplus
value is extracted from labor power through commodity production and sale); and on the other, the corporeal integrity that,
once ripped from her body, fortified and extended the corporeal integrity of everyone else on the street. She gave birth to the
commodity and to the Human, yet she had neither subjectivity nor a sofa to show for it. In her eyes, the worldand not its
myriad discriminatory practices, but the world itselfwas unethical. And yet, the world passes by her without the slightest
inclination to stop and disabuse her of her claim. Instead, it calls her crazy. And to what does the world attribute the Native
American mans insanity? Hes crazy if he thinks hes getting any money out of us? Surely, that doesnt make him crazy.
Rather it is simply an indication that he does not have a big enough gun.
What are we to make of a world that responds to the most lucid enunciation of ethics with violence? What are the

foundational questions of the ethico-political? Why are these questions so scandalous that they are
rarely posed politically, intellectually, and cinematicallyunless they are posed obliquely and unconsciously, as if
by accident? Return Turtle Island to the Savage. Repair the demolished subjectivity of the Slave. Two simple sentences,
thirteen simple words, and the structure of U.S. (and perhaps global) antagonisms would be dismantled. An ethical modernity
would no longer sound like an oxymoron. From there we could busy ourselves with important conflicts that have been
promoted to the level of antagonisms: class struggle, gender conflict, immigrants rights.

When pared down to thirteen words and two sentences, one cannot but wonder why questions that go
to the heart of the ethico-political, questions of political ontology, are so unspeakable in intellectual
meditations, political broadsides, and even socially and politically engaged feature films. Clearly they can be
spoken, even a child could speak those lines, so they would pose no problem for a scholar, an activist, or a filmmaker. And yet,
what is also clearif the filmographies of socially and politically engaged directors, the archive of progressive scholars, and the
plethora of Left-wing broadsides are anything to go byis that what can so easily be spoken is now (five hundred years and two
hundred fifty million Settlers/Masters on) so ubiquitously unspoken that these two simple sentences, these thirteen words not
only render their speaker crazy but become themselves impossible to imagine. Soon it will be forty years since radical

politics, Left-leaning scholarship, and socially engaged feature films began to speak the unspeakable.ii In
the 1960s and early 1970s the questions asked by radical politics and scholarship were not Should the
U.S. be overthrown? or even Would it be overthrown? but rather when and howand, for some,
whatwould come in its wake. Those steadfast in their conviction that there remained a discernable
quantum of ethics in the U.S. writ large (and here I am speaking of everyone from Martin Luther King, Jr., prior to his
1968 shift, to the Tom Hayden wing of SDS, to the Julian Bond and Marion Barry faction of SNCC, to Bobbie Kennedy
Democrats) were accountable, in their rhetorical machinations, to the paradigmatic zeitgeist of the Black Panthers, the

American Indian Movement, and the Weather Underground. Radicals and progressives could deride,
reject, or chastise armed struggle mercilessly and cavalierly with respect to tactics and the possibility of

success, but they could not dismiss revolution-as-ethic because they could not make a convincing
caseby way of a paradigmatic analysisthat the U.S. was an ethical formation and still hope to
maintain credibility as radicals and progressives. Even Bobby Kennedy (a U.S. attorney general and presidential
candidate) mused that the law and its enforcers had no ethical standing in the presence of Blacks.iii One could (and many did)
acknowledge Americas strength and power. This seldom, however, rose to the level of an ethical assessment, but rather
remained an assessment of the so-called balance of forces. The political discourse of Blacks, and to a lesser extent
Indians, circulated too widely to credibly wed the U.S. and ethics. The raw force of COINTELPRO put an end to this
trajectory toward a possible hegemony of ethical accountability. Consequently, the power of Blackness and Redness to pose the
questionand the power to pose the question is the greatest power of allretreated as did White radicals and progressives
who retired from struggle. The questions echo lies buried in the graves of young Black Panthers, AIM Warriors, and Black
Liberation Army soldiers, or in prison cells where so many of them have been rotting (some in solitary confinement) for ten,
twenty, thirty years, and at the gates of the academy where the crazies shout at passers-by. Gone are not only the young and
vibrant voices that affected a seismic shift on the political landscape, but also the intellectual protocols of inquiry, and with
them a spate of feature films that became authorized, if not by an unabashed revolutionary polemic, then certainly by a
revolutionary zeitgeist. Is it still possible for a dream of unfettered ethics, a dream of the Settlement and the Slave estatesiv
destruction, to manifest itself at the ethical core of cinematic discourse, when this dream is no longer a constituent element of
political discourse in the streets nor of intellectual discourse in the academy? The answer is no in the sense that, as history
has shown, what cannot be articulated as political discourse in the streets is doubly foreclosed upon in screenplays and in
scholarly prose; but yes in the sense that in even the most taciturn historical moments such as ours, the grammar of Black
and Red suffering breaks in on this foreclosure, albeit like the somatic compliance of hysterical symptomsit registers in both
cinema and scholarship as symptoms of awareness of the structural antagonisms. Between 1967 and 1980, we could think
cinematically and intellectually of Blackness and Redness as having the coherence of full-blown discourses. But from 1980 to
the present, Blackness and Redness manifests only in the rebar of cinematic and intellectual (political) discourse, that is, as
unspoken grammars. This grammar can be discerned in the cinematic strategies (lighting, camera angles, image composition,
and acoustic strategies/design), even when the script labors for the spectator to imagine social turmoil through the rubric of
conflict (that is, a rubric of problems that can be posed and conceptually solved) as opposed to the rubric of antagonism (an
irreconcilable struggle between entities, or positionalities, the resolution of which is not dialectical but entails the

obliteration of one of the positions). In other words, even when films narrate a story in which Blacks or
Indians are beleaguered with problems that the script insists are conceptually coherent (usually having
to do with poverty or the absence of family values), the non-narrative, or cinematic, strategies of the film often
disrupt this coherence by posing the irreconcilable questions of Red and Black political ontologyor non-ontology. The
grammar of antagonism breaks in on the mendacity of conflict. Semiotics and linguistics teach us that when we speak, our
grammar goes unspoken. Our grammar is assumed. It is the structure through which the labor of speech is possible.v Likewise,
the grammar of political ethicsthe grammar of assumptions regarding the ontology of sufferingwhich
underwrite Film Theory and political discourse (in this book, discourse elaborated in direct relation to radical action), and which
underwrite cinematic speech (in this book, Red, White, and Black films from the mid-1960s to the present) is also unspoken.
This notwithstanding, film theory, political discourse, and cinema assume an ontological grammar, a structure of suffering. And

the structure of suffering which film theory, political discourse, and cinema assume crowds out other
structures of suffering, regardless of the sentiment of the film or the spirit of unity mobilized by the
political discourse in question. To put a finer point on it, structures of ontological suffering stand in
antagonistic, rather then conflictual, relation to one another (despite the fact that antagonists
themselves may not be aware of the ontological positionality from which they speak). Though this is perhaps
the most controversial and out-of-step claim of this book, it is, nonetheless, the foundation of the close reading of feature films
and political theory that follows. The difficulty of a writing a book which seeks to uncover Red, Back, and White socially engaged
feature films as aesthetic accompaniments to grammars of suffering, predicated on the subject positions of the Savage and
the Slave is that todays intellectual protocols are not informed by Fanons insistence that ontologyonce it is finally

admitted as leaving existence by the waysidedoes not permit us to understand the being of the black
man *sic+ (Black Skin, White Masks 110). In sharp contrast to the late 60s and early 70s, we now live in a political, academic,
and cinematic milieu which stresses diversity, unity, civic participation, hybridity, access, and contribution. The
radical fringe of political discourse amounts to little more than a passionate dream of civic reform and social stability. The
distance between the protester and the police has narrowed considerably. The effect of this upon the academy is that

intellectual protocols tend to privilege two of the three domains of subjectivity, namely preconscious
interests (as evidenced in the work of social science around political unity, social attitudes, civic

participation, and diversity,) and unconscious identification (as evidenced in the humanities
postmodern regimes of diversity, hybridity, and relative *rather than master+ narratives). Since
the 1980s, intellectual protocols aligned with structural positionality (except in the work of die-hard
Marxists) have been kicked to the curb. That is to say, it is hardly fashionable anymore to think the vagaries of power
through the generic positions within a structure of power relationssuch as man/woman, worker/boss. Instead, the academys
ensembles of questions are fixated on specific and unique experience of the myriad identities that make up those structural
positions. This would fine if the work led us back to a critique of the paradigm; but most of it does not.

Again, the upshot of this is that the intellectual protocols now in play, and the composite effect of
cinematic and political discourse since the 1980s, tend to hide rather than make explicit the grammar of
suffering which underwrites the US and its foundational antagonisms. This state of affairs exacerbatesor,
more precisely, mystifies and veilsthe ontological death of the Slave and the Savage because (as in the 1950s) cinematic,
political, and intellectual discourse of the current milieu resists being sanctioned and authorized by the irreconcilable demands
of Indigenism and Blacknessacademic enquiry is thus no more effective in pursuing a revolutionary critique

than the legislative antics of the loyal opposition. This is how Left-leaning scholars help civil society
recuperate and maintain stability. But this stability is a state of emergency for Indians and Blacks.

Racism is the root cause of slavery ideological hierarchies and

Social Darwinism
(United Nations Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization, Slavery and Racism,, acc. 7/4/14, arh)
Durban (South Africa), September 4 (No.2001-91) - The transatlantic slave trade saw the greatest
deportation in history. From the mid 15th century to the closing decades of the 19th century tens of
millions of Africans were brutally wrenched from their villages and transported to the plantations and
mines of the Americas and West Indies. The impact of this unprecedented movement is still burdening
the descendants of these stolen people, and the continent that was their home. UNESCO is organizing a
panel debate on The Slave Route: Slavery and Racism at the World Conference against Racism and
Xenophobia in Durban (South Africa). The debate will examine the causes and consequences of the
African slave trade along with its ideological and legal foundations. It will also explore the links between
racism and slavery. Slavery is a universal phenomenon. The ancient Greeks first institutionalised it, and
countries and civilisations everywhere and throughout history have practised it. Nonetheless, the
transatlantic trade is unique in history. Over four centuries it developed into a major industry that, in
the 18th century, fuelled the world economy. No-one really knows how many men, women and children
left Africa in the holds of slave ships, but historians agree that it changed the continents demography. In
the boom decade from 1783, with record prices being fetched for black gold, French ports alone
despatched more than 1,100 slave ships to the coasts of Africa. According to French historian JeanMichel Deveau, between 10 and 15 million Africans were deported in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Before that we dont know. And for every slave who made it to the New World, several others died on
the way. The death rate on the ships was 15 to 18%, says Deveau, but many were killed during
attacks on their villages or while they were being marched to the coast. In some places, women about to
be captured killed their own children. The racial nature of this triangular trade between Africa,
Europe and the Americas also sets it apart. The trade was supported by a racist ideology that saw
white people as being the most perfectly developed and blacks as being at the bottom of the ladder.
This was reinforced by the French Code Noir (Black Code). Published as an edict by Louis XIV in March
1685, its 60-odd articles regulated the way black slaves lived and died in French possessions in the West
Indies and Indian Ocean. In 1724, the same legislation was extended to cover the American territory of

Louisiana. The code clearly defines slaves a moveable property, people unfit to possess or contract in
their own right. Although racism against blacks was not born with the transatlantic trade, it was
legitimized by it and remains one of its most tragic legacies.

AT: Cap Root Cause

Capitalism may have been the initial reason why slaves were
captured, but racism serves as the grounds for how they were
Maller No date (post 2011) (Katherine, William Macauly University,, Post 2011, acc. 7/6/14, arh)
The results of this system become clear in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah
Equiano, in which Equiano, among other hardships experienced as a slave, describes the Middle
Passage between African and America. The absolutely pestilential (Equiano, 424) conditions
in which the African slaves were kept were certainly inhumane, but the cruelty of the white
sailors exacerbated the misery. The slaves were not well fed, and when they sought their own
means of sustenance, they suffered some very severe floggings. (Equiano, 425) Given the
myth that slavery was always racialized , one would assume that this cruelty was the
product of the white sailors hatred of these black slaves. However, Equiano also describes an
incident in which the white sailors flogged [one of their own] unmercifully. (Equiano, 425)
This removes race as the motivation for cruelty. The inhumane treatment of slaves confirms
that slaves were viewed as commodities instead of people. The equally inhumane
treatment of a white sailor would then confirm that the sailors, too, were
commodities in the capitalist system that they served . They, along with the slaves they
shipped, were the laboring subjects of the Atlantic economy, (Linebaugh and Rediker, 111) the
slaves that were essential to the rise of capitalism. (Linebaugh and Rediker, 28)

False History
Their approach to antebellum slavery is reliant upon a false history slavery was not
founded upon racial antagonism but rather economic exploitation
Alexander 10 (Michelle, associate professor of law, Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute for
the Study of Race and Ethnicity, former director of ACLUs Racial Justice Project, J.D., Stanford
Law School, The new Jim Crow: Mass Incaceration in the Age of Colorblindness, The New
Press 2010, pg 23-25, wcp)
The concept of race is a relatively recent development. Only in the past few centuries,
owing largely to European imperialism, have the world's people been classified
along racial lines.4 Here, in America, the idea of race emerged as a means of reconciling
chattel slaveryas well as the extermination of American Indianswith the ideals of freedom
preached by whites in the new colonies. In the early colonial period, when settlements
remained relatively small, indentured servitude was the dominant means of securing cheap
labor. Under this system, whites and blacks struggled to survive against a common
enemy, what historian Lerone Bennett Jr. describes as "the big planter apparatus and a social
system that legalized terror against black and white bondsmen."5 Initially, blacks brought to
this country were not all enslaved; many were treated as indentured servants. As plantation
farming expanded, particularly tobacco and cotton farming, demand increased greatly for both
labor and land. 124he demand for land was met by invading and conquering larger and larger
swaths of territory. American Indians became a growing impediment to white European
"progress," and during this period, the images of American Indians promoted in books,
newspapers, and magazines became increasingly negative. As sociologists Keith Kilty and Eric
Swank have observed, eliminating "savages" is less of a moral problem than eliminating human
beings, and therefore American Indians came to be understood as a lesser raceuncivilized
savages thus providing a justification for the extermination of the native peoples.6 The
growing demand for labor on plantations was met through slavery. American Indians were
considered unsuitable as slaves, largely because native tribes were clearly in a position to fight
back. The fear of raids by Indian tribes led plantation owners to grasp for an alternative source
of free labor. European immigrants were also deemed poor candidates for slavery, not because
of their race, but rather because they were in short supply and enslavement would,
quite naturally, interfere with voluntary immigration to the new colonies.
Plantation owners thus viewed Africans, who were relatively powerless, as the ideal slaves. The
systematic enslavement of Africans, and the rearing of their children under bondage, emerged
with all deliberate speedquickened by events such as Bacon's Rebellion. Nathaniel
Bacon was a white property owner in Jamestown, Virginia, who managed to unite slaves,
indentured servants, and poor whites in a revolutionary effort to overthrow the planter elite.
Although slaves clearly occupied the lowest position in the social hierarchy and suffered the
most under the plantation system, the condition of indentured whites was barely better, and the
majority of free whites lived in extreme poverty. As explained by historian Edmund Morgan, in
colonies like Virginia, the planter elite, with huge land grants, occupied a vastly superior
position to workers of all colors.7 Southern colonies did not hesitate to invent ways to extend
the terms of servitude, and the planter class accumulated uncultivated lands to restrict the
options of free workers. The simmering resentment against the planter class created conditions
that were ripe for revolt. Varying accounts of Bacon's rebellion abound, but the basic facts are
these: Bacon developed plans in 1675 to seize Native American lands in order to acquire more
property for himself and others and nullify the threat of Indian raids. When the planter elite in
Virginia refused to provide militia support for his scheme, Bacon retaliated, leading an attack
on the elite, their homes, and their property. He openly condemned the rich for their

oppression of the poor and inspired an alliance of white and black bond laborers,
as well as slaves, who demanded an end to their servitude. The attempted revolution
was ended by force and false promises of amnesty. A number of the people who participated in
the revolt were hanged. The events in Jamestown were alarming to the planter elite, who were
deeply fearful of the multiracial alliance of bond workers and slaves. Word of Bacon's Rebellion
spread far and wide, and several more uprisings of a similar type followed. In an effort to
protect their superior status and economic position, the planters shifted their
strategy for maintaining dominance. They abandoned their heavy reliance on
indentured servants in favor of the importation of more black slaves. Instead of
importing English-speaking slaves from the West Indies, who were more likely to be familiar
with European language and culture, many more1 slaves were shipped directly from Africa.
These slaves would be far easier to control and far less likely to form alliances with poor whites.
Fearful that such measures might not be sufficient to protect their interests, the planter class
took an additional precautionary step, a step that would later come to be known as a "racial
bribe." Deliberately and strategically, the planter class extended special privileges to poor whites
in an effort to drive a wedge between them and black slaves. White settlers were allowed
greater access to Native American lands, white servants were allowed to police slaves through
slave patrols and militias, and barriers were created so that free labor would not be placed in
competition with slave labor. These measures effectively eliminated the risk of future alliances
between black slaves and poor whites. Poor whites suddenly had a direct, personal stake in the
125xistence of a race-based system of slavery. Their own plight had not improved by much, but
at least they were not slaves. Once the planter elite split the labor force, poor whites
responded to the logic of their situation and sought ways to expand their racially
privileged position.8

Anti-blackness is an incorrect understanding of slavery sole focus on racial violence

crowds out focus on the material conditions that created the brutality prevents
collective organization
Reed 13 (Adolph, Django Unchained, or, The Help: How Cultural Politics Is Worse Than No
Politics at All, and Why, Nonsite Issue #9, February 25th,, thx
Gtown AM, wcp)
On reflection, its possible to see that Django Unchained and The Help are basically different
versions of the same movie. Both dissolve political economy and social relations into
individual quests and interpersonal transactions and thus effectively sanitize, respectively,
slavery and Jim Crow by dehistoricizing them. The problem is not so much that each film
invents cartoonish fictions; its that the point of the cartoons is to take the place of the actual
relations of exploitation that anchored the regime it depicts. In The Help the buffoonishly
bigoted housewife, Hilly, obsessively pushes a pet bill that would require employers of black
domestic servants to provide separate, Jim Crow toilets for them; in Django Unchained the
sensibility of 1970s blaxploitation imagines comfort girls and Mandingo fighters as
representative slave job descriptions. Its as if Jim Crow had nothing to do with cheap labor and
slavery had nothing to do with making slave owners rich. And the point here is not just that they
get the past wrongits that the particular way they get it wrong enables them to get the present
just as wrong and so their politics are as misbegotten as their history. Thus, for example, its
only the dehistoricization that makes each films entirely neoliberal (they could have been
scripted by Oprah) happy ending possible. The Help ends with Skeeter and the black lead, the
maid Aibileen, embarking joyfully on the new, excitingly uncharted paths their bookan
account of the master-servant relationship told from the perspective of the servantshas
opened for them. But dehistoricization makes it possible not to notice the great distance

between those paths and their likely trajectories. For Skeeter the book from which the film takes
its name opens a career in the fast track of the journalism and publishing industry. Aibileens
new path was forced upon her because the book got her fired from her intrinsically precarious
job, more at-whim than at-will, in one of the few areas of employment available to working-class
black women in the segregationist Souththe precise likelihood that had made her and other
maids initially reluctant to warm to Skeeters project. Yet Aibileen smiles and strides ever more
confidently as she walks home because she has found and articulated her voice. The implication
is that having been fired, rather than portending deeper poverty and economic insecurity, was a
moment of liberation; Aibileen, armed with the confidence and self-knowledge conferred by
knowing her voice, was now free to venture out into a world of unlimited opportunity and
promise. This, of course, is pure neoliberal bullshit, of the same variety that permits the odious
Michelle Rhee to assert with a straight face that teachers defined-benefit pensions deny them
choice and thereby undermine the quality of public education. But who knows? Perhaps
Skeeter brought with her from the 2000s an NGO to arrange microcredit that would enable
Aibileen to start up a culturally authentic pie-making venture or a day spa for harried and
stressed domestic servants. In the Jackson, Mississippi of 1963, no such options would exist for
Aibileen. Instead, she most likely would be blackballed and unable to find a comparable menial
job and forced to toil under even more undesirable conditions. Django Unchained ends with the
hero and his lady fair riding happily off into the sunset after he has vanquished evil slave owners
and their henchmen and henchwomen. Django and Broomhildawhose name is spelled like
that of the 1970s comic strip character, not the figure in Norse mythology, presumably a
pointless Tarantino inside jokeare free. However, their freedom was not won by his prodigious
bloodletting; it was obtained within the legal framework that accepted and regulated property
rights in slaves. Each had been purchased and manumitted by the German bounty hunter who,
as others have noted, is the only character in the film to condemn slavery as an institution.
Django is no insurrectionist. His singular focus from beginning to end is on reclaiming his wife
from her slave master. Presumably, we are to understand this solipsism as indicative of the
depth and intensity of his love, probably also as homage to the borderline sociopathic style of
the spaghetti western/blaxploitation hero. Regardless, Djangos quest is entirely individualist;
he never intends to challenge slavery and never does. Indeed, for the purpose of buttressing the
credibility of their ruse, he even countermands his bounty hunter partners attempt to save
through purchase, of coursea recalcitrant Mandingo fighter from being ripped apart by dogs.
He is essentially indifferent to the handful of slaves who are freed as incidental byproducts of his
actions. The happy ending is that he and Broomhilda ride off together and free in a slavocracy
that is not a whit less secure at the moment of celebratory resolution than it was when Django
set out on his mission of retrieval and revenge. In both films the bogus happy endings are
possible only because they characterize their respective regimes of racial hierarchy in the
superficial terms of interpersonal transactions. In The Help segregationisms evil was smallminded bigotry and lack of sensitivity; it was more like bad manners than oppression. In
Tarantinos vision, slaverys definitive injustice was its gratuitous and sadistic
brutalization and sexualized degradation. Malevolent, ludicrously arrogant whites owned
slaves most conspicuously to degrade and torture them. Apart from serving a formal dinner in a
plantation houseand Tarantino, the Chance the Gardener of American filmmakers (and Best
Original Screenplay? Really?) seems to draw his images of plantation life from Birth of a Nation
and Gone With the Wind, as well as old Warner Brothers cartoonsand the Mandingo fighters
and comfort girls, Tarantinos slaves do no actual work at all; theyre present only to be
brutalized. In fact, the cavalier sadism with which owners and traders treat them belies the fact
that slaves were, first and foremost, capital investments. Its not for nothing that New Orleans
has a monument to the estimated 20,000-30,000 antebellum Irish immigrants who died
constructing the New Basin Canal; slave labor was too valuable for such lethal work. The Help
trivializes Jim Crow by reducing it to its most superficial features and irrational extremes. The

master-servant nexus was, and is, a labor relation. And the problem of labor relations particular
to the segregationist regime wasnt employers bigoted lack of respect or failure to hear the
voices of the domestic servants, or even benighted refusal to recognize their equal humanity. It
was that the labor relation was structured within and sustained by a political and institutional
order that severely impinged on, when it didnt altogether deny, black citizens avenues for
pursuit of grievances and standing before the law. The crucial lynchpin of that order was neither
myopia nor malevolence; it was suppression of black citizens capacities for direct participation
in civic and political life, with racial disfranchisement and the constant threat of terror intrinsic
to substantive denial of equal protection and due process before the law as its principal
mechanisms. And the point of the regime wasnt racial hatred or enforced disregard; its roots lay
in the much more prosaic concern of dominant elites to maintain their political and economic
hegemony by suppressing potential opposition and in the linked ideal of maintaining access to a
labor force with no options but to accept employment on whatever terms employers offered.
(Those who liked The Help or found it moving should watch The Long Walk Home, a 1990 film
set in Montgomery, Alabama, around the bus boycott. I suspect thats the film you thought you
were watching when you saw The Help.) Django Unchained trivializes slavery by reducing it to
its most barbaric and lurid excesses. Slavery also was fundamentally a labor relation. It was a
form of forced labor regulatedsystematized, enforced and sustainedthrough a political and
institutional order that specified it as a civil relationship granting owners absolute control over
the life, liberty, and fortunes of others defined as eligible for enslavement, including most of all
control of the conditions of their labor and appropriation of its product. Historian Kenneth M.
Stampp quotes a slaveholders succinct explanation: For what purpose does the master
hold the servant? asked an ante-bellum Southerner. Is it not that by his labor, he,
the master, may accumulate wealth?1 That absolute control permitted horrible,
unthinkable brutality, to be sure, but perpetrating such brutality was neither the
point of slavery nor its essential injustice. The master-slave relationship could, and did,
exist without brutality, and certainly without sadism and sexual degradation. In Tarantinos
depiction, however, it is not clear that slavery shorn of its extremes of brutality would be
objectionable. It does not diminish the historical injustice and horror of slavery to note that it
was not the product of sui generis, transcendent Evil but a terminus on a continuum of bound
labor that was more norm than exception in the Anglo-American world until well into the
eighteenth century, if not later. As legal historian Robert Steinfeld points out, it is not so much
slavery, but the emergence of the notion of free laboras the absolute control of a worker over
her personthat is the historical anomaly that needs to be explained.2 Django Unchained
sanitizes the essential injustice of slavery by not problematizing it and by focusing instead on the
extremes of brutality and degradation it permitted, to the extent of making some of them up,
just as does The Help regarding Jim Crow. The Help could not imagine a more honest and
complex view of segregationist Mississippi partly because it uses the period ultimately as a prop
for human interest clich, and Django Unchaineds absurdly ahistorical view of plantation
slavery is only backdrop for the merger of spaghetti western and blaxploitation hero movie.
Neither film is really about the period in which it is set. Film critic Manohla Dargis, reflecting a
decade ago on what she saw as a growing Hollywood penchant for period films, observed that
such films are typically stripped of politics and historical factand instead will find meaning in
appealing to seemingly timeless ideals and stirring scenes of love, valor and compassion and
that the Hollywood professionals who embrace accuracy most enthusiastically nowadays are
costume designers.3 That observation applies to both these films, although in Django concern
with historically accurate representation of material culture applies only to the costumes and
props of the 1970s film genres Tarantino wants to recall. To make sense of how Django
Unchained has received so much warmer a reception among black and leftoid commentators
than did The Help, it is useful to recall Margaret Thatchers 1981 dictum that economics are the
method: the object is to change the soul.4 Simply put, she and her element have won. Few

observersamong opponents and boosters alikehave noted how deeply and thoroughly both
films are embedded in the practical ontology of neoliberalism, the complex of unarticulated
assumptions and unexamined first premises that provide its common sense, its lifeworld.
Objection to The Help has been largely of the shooting fish in a barrel variety: complaints about
the films paternalistic treatment of the maids, which generally have boiled down to an objection
that the master-servant relation is thematized at all, as well as the standard, predictable litany of
anti-racist charges about whites speaking for blacks, the films inattentiveness to the fact that at
that time in Mississippi black people were busily engaged in liberating themselves, etc. An
illustration of this tendency that conveniently refers to several other variants of it is Akiba
Solomon, Why Im Just Saying No to The Help and Its Historical Whitewash in Color Lines,
August 10, 2011, available at:
Defenses of Django Unchained pivot on claims about the social significance of the narrative of a
black hero. One node of this argument emphasizes the need to validate a history of autonomous
black agency and resistance as a politico-existential desideratum. It accommodates a view that
stresses the importance of recognition of rebellious or militant individuals and revolts in black
American history. Another centers on a notion that exposure to fictional black heroes can
inculcate the sense of personal efficacy necessary to overcome the psychological effects of
inequality and to facilitate upward mobility and may undermine some whites negative
stereotypes about black people. In either register assignment of social or political importance to
depictions of black heroes rests on presumptions about the nexus of mass cultural
representation, social commentary, and racial justice that are more significant politically than
the controversy about the film itself. In both versions, this argument casts political and
economic problems in psychological terms. Injustice appears as a matter of disrespect and
denial of due recognition, and the remedies proposedwhich are all about images projected and
the distribution of jobs associated with their projectionlook a lot like self-esteem engineering.
Moreover, nothing could indicate more strikingly the extent of neoliberal ideological hegemony
than the idea that the mass culture industry and its representational practices constitute a
meaningful terrain for struggle to advance egalitarian interests. It is possible to entertain that
view seriously only by ignoring the fact that the production and consumption of mass culture is
thoroughly embedded in capitalist material and ideological imperatives. That, incidentally, is
why I prefer the usage mass culture to describe this industry and its products and processes,
although I recognize that it may seem archaic to some readers. The mass culture v. popular
culture debate dates at least from the 1950s and has continued with occasional crescendos ever
since.5 For two decades or more, instructively in line with the retreat of possibilities for
concerted left political action outside the academy, the popular culture side of that debate has
been dominant, along with its view that the products of this precinct of mass consumption
capitalism are somehow capable of transcending or subverting their material identity as
commodities, if not avoiding that identity altogether. Despite the dogged commitment of several
generations of American Studies and cultural studies graduate students who want to valorize
watching television and immersion in hip-hop or other specialty market niches centered on
youth recreation and the most ephemeral fads as both intellectually avant-garde and politically
resistive, it should be time to admit that that earnest disposition is intellectually shallow and
an ersatz politics. The idea of popular culture posits a spurious autonomy and organicism that
actually affirm mass industrial processes by effacing them, especially in the putatively rebel,
fringe, or underground market niches that depend on the fiction of the authentic to announce
the birth of new product cycles. The power of the hero is a cathartic trope that connects mainly
with the sensibility of adolescent boysof whatever nominal age. Tarantino has allowed as
much, responding to black critics complaints about the violence and copious use of nigger by
proclaiming Even for the films biggest detractors, I think their children will grow up and love
this movie. I think it could become a rite of passage for young black males.6 This response

stems no doubt from Tarantinos arrogance and opportunism, and some critics have denounced
it as no better than racially presumptuous. But he is hardly alone in defending the film with an
assertion that it gives black youth heroes, is generically inspirational or both. Similarly, in a
January 9, 2012 interview on the Daily Show, George Lucas adduced this line to promote his
even more execrable race-oriented live-action cartoon, Red Tails, which, incidentally, trivializes
segregation in the military by reducing it to a matter of bad or outmoded attitudes. The ironic
effect is significant understatement of both the obstacles the Tuskegee airmen faced and their
actual accomplishments by rendering them as backdrop for a blackface, slapped-together
remake of Top Gun. (Norman Jewisons 1984 film, A Soldiers Story, adapted from Charles
Fullers A Soldiers Play, is a much more sensitive and thought-provoking rumination on the
complexities of race and racism in the Jim Crow U.S. Armyan army mobilized, as my father, a
veteran of the Normandy invasion, never tired of remarking sardonically, to fight the racist
Nazis.) Lucas characterized his film as patriotic, even jingoistic and was explicit that he
wanted to create a film that would feature real heroes and would be inspirational for teenage
boys. Much as Django Unchaineds defenders compare it on those terms favorably to Lincoln,
Lucas hyped Red Tails as being a genuine hero story unlike Glory, where you have a lot of white
officers running those guys into cannon fodder. Of course, the film industry is sharply tilted
toward the youth market, as Lucas and Tarantino are acutely aware. But Lucas, unlike
Tarantino, was not being defensive in asserting his desire to inspire the young; he offered it
more as a boast. As he has said often, hed wanted for years to make a film about the Tuskegee
airmen, and he reports that he always intended telling their story as a feel-good, crossover
inspirational tale. Telling it that way also fits in principle (though in this instance not in practice,
as Red Tails bombed at the box office) with the commercial imperatives of increasingly degraded
mass entertainment. Dargis observed that the ahistoricism of the recent period films is
influenced by market imperatives in a global film industry. The more a film is tied to historically
specific contexts, the more difficult it is to sell elsewhere. That logic selects for special effectsdriven products as well as standardized, decontextualized and simplisticuniversalstory
lines, preferably set in fantasy worlds of the filmmakers design. As Dargis notes, these films find
their meaning in shopworn clichs puffed up as timeless verities, including uplifting and
inspirational messages for youth. But something else underlies the stress on inspiration in the
black-interest films, which shows up in critical discussion of them as well. All these filmsThe
Help, Red Tails, Django Unchained, even Lincoln and Glorymake a claim to public attention
based partly on their social significance beyond entertainment or art, and they do so because
they engage with significant moments in the history of the nexus of race and politics in the
United States. There would not be so much discussion and debate and no Golden Globe, NAACP
Image, or Academy Award nominations for The Help, Red Tails, or Django Unchained if those
films werent defined partly by thematizing that nexus of race and politics in some way. The
pretensions to social significance that fit these films into their particular market niche dont
conflict with the mass-market film industrys imperative of infantilization because those
pretensions are only part of the show; they are little more than empty bromides, product
differentiation in the patter of seemingly timeless ideals which the mass entertainment
industry constantly recycles. (Andrew OHehir observes as much about Django Unchained,
which he describes as a three-hour trailer for a movie that never happens.7) That comes
through in the defense of these films, in the face of evidence of their failings, that, after all, they
are just entertainment. Their substantive content is ideological; it is their contribution to the
naturalization of neoliberalisms ontology as they propagandize its universalization across
spatial, temporal, and social contexts. Purportedly in the interest of popular education cum
entertainment, Django Unchained and The Help, and Red Tails for that matter, read the
sensibilities of the present into the past by divesting the latter of its specific historicity. They
reinforce the sense of the past as generic old-timey times distinguishable from the present by
superficial inadequaciesoutmoded fashion, technology, commodities and ideassince

overcome. In The Help Hillys obsession with her pet project marks segregations petty
apartheid as irrational in part because of the expense rigorously enforcing it would require; the
breadwinning husbands express their frustration with it as financially impractical. Hilly is a
mean-spirited, narrow-minded person whose rigid and tone-deaf commitment to segregationist
consistency not only reflects her limitations of character but also is economically unsound, a fact
that further defines her, and the cartoon version of Jim Crow she represents, as irrational. The
deeper message of these films, insofar as they deny the integrity of the past, is that there is no
thinkable alternative to the ideological order under which we live. This message is reproduced
throughout the mass entertainment industry; it shapes the normative reality even of the fantasy
worlds that masquerade as escapism. Even among those who laud the supposedly cathartic
effects of Djangos insurgent violence as reflecting a greater truth of abolition than passage of
the Thirteenth Amendment, few commentators notice that he and Broomhilda attained their
freedom through a market transaction.8 This reflects an ideological hegemony in which students
all too commonly wonder why planters would deny slaves or sharecroppers education because
education would have made them more productive as workers. And, tellingly, in a glowing
rumination in the Daily Kos, Ryan Brooke inadvertently thrusts mass cultures destruction of
historicity into bold relief by declaiming on the segregated society presented in Django
Unchained and babbling onwith the absurdly ill-informed and pontifical self-righteousness
that the blogosphere enablesabout our need to take responsibility for preserving racial
divides if we are to put segregation in the past and fully fulfill Dr. Kings dream.9 Its all an
indistinguishable mush of bad stuff about racial injustice in the old-timey days. Decoupled from
its moorings in a historically specific political economy, slavery becomes at bottom a problem of
race relations, and, as historian Michael R. West argues forcefully, race relations emerged
as and has remained a discourse that substitutes etiquette for equality.10 This is the
context in which we should take account of what inspiring the young means as a justification
for those films. In part, the claim to inspire is a simple platitude, more filler than substance. It
is, as Ive already noted, both an excuse for films that are cartoons made for an infantilized,
generic market and an assertion of a claim to a particular niche within that market. More
insidiously, though, the ease with which inspiration of youth rolls out in this context resonates
with three related and disturbing themes: 1) underclass ideologys narrativesnow all
Americans common sensethat link poverty and inequality most crucially to (racialized)
cultural inadequacy and psychological damage; 2) the belief that racial inequality stems from
prejudice, bad ideas and ignorance, and 3) the cognate of both: the neoliberal rendering of social
justice as equality of opportunity, with an aspiration of creating competitive individual
minority agents who might stand a better fighting chance in the neoliberal rat race rather than a
positive alternative vision of a society that eliminates the need to fight constantly against
disruptive market whims in the first place.11 This politics seeps through in the chatter about
Django Unchained in particular. Erin Aubry Kaplan, in the Los Angeles Times article in which
Tarantino asserts his appeal to youth, remarks that the most disturbing detail [about slavery] is
the emotional violence and degradation directed at blacks that effectively keeps them at the
bottom of the social order, a place they still occupy today. Writing on the Institute of the Black
World blog, one Dr. Kwa David Whitaker, a 1960s-style cultural nationalist, declaims on
Djangos testament to the sources of degradation and unending servitude [that] has rendered
[black Americans] almost incapable of making sound evaluations of our current situations or the
kind of steps we must take to improve our condition.12 In its blindness to political economy,
this notion of black cultural or psychological damage as either a legacy of slavery or of more
indirect recent origine.g., urban migration, crack epidemic, matriarchy, babies making
babiescomports well with the reduction of slavery and Jim Crow to interpersonal dynamics
and bad attitudes. It substitutes a politics of recognition and a patter of racial uplift for politics
and underwrites a conflation of political action and therapy. With respect to the nexus of race
and inequality, this discourse supports victim-blaming programs of personal rehabilitation and

self-esteem engineeringinspirationas easily as it does multiculturalist respect for difference,

which, by the way, also feeds back to self-esteem engineering and inspiration as nodes within a
larger political economy of race relations. Either way, this is a discourse that displaces a politics
challenging social structures that reproduce inequality with concern for the feelings and
characteristics of individuals and of categories of population statistics reified as singular groups
that are equivalent to individuals. This discourse has made it possible (again, but more
sanctimoniously this time) to characterize destruction of low-income housing as an uplift
strategy for poor people; curtailment of access to public education as choice; being cut adrift
from essential social wage protections as empowerment; and individual material success as
socially important role modeling. Neoliberalisms triumph is affirmed with unselfconscious
clarity in the ostensibly leftist defenses of Django Unchained that center on the theme of slaves
having liberated themselves. Trotskyists, would-be anarchists, and psychobabbling identitarians
have their respective sectarian garnishes: Trotskyists see everywhere the bugbear of
bureaucratism and mystify self-activity; anarchists similarly fetishize direct action and
voluntarism and oppose large-scale public institutions on principle, and identitarians
romanticize essentialist notions of organic, folkish authenticity under constant threat from
institutions. However, all are indistinguishable from the nominally libertarian right in their
disdain for government and institutionally based political action, which their common
reflex is to disparage as inauthentic or corrupt.

Their use of a false history prevents the development of accurate accounts of

oppression renders their strategy useless
Wilki 12 (Assistant Professor of Cultural and Digital Studies U Wisconsin-La Crosse,
Capitalisms Posthuman Empire, The Red Critique Vol. 14, Fall/Winter, thx Gtown AM, wcp)
Despite their differences, what each film relies on in re-writing the contradictions of race and
class as an epistemological confrontation between human and animal is what Derrida theorizes
as "the gaze of the absolute other" (11); that is, the "gaze of the animal" which "offers to my sight
the abyssal limit of the human: the inhuman or the ahuman" (12). For example, during his time
on the farm Lurie begins to work at the local rescue shelter/veterinary hospital and, as part of
his transition to an "ethical" posthumanist, helps to euthanize the dogs and take them to the
incinerator. Most significantly in this context, since it ultimately reflects the "realization" that
Lurie undergoes over the course of the film, the attack on Lucy and him occurs after he has just
told a story about the "ignobility" of a male dog that was beaten until he hated his own desire. As
part of the attack the young men shoot Lucy's dogs, which is meant to signal a sharp contrast to
Lurie's adopting of an "ethical" approach at the veterinary clinic. What he ultimately comes to
see is that recasting his identity in the new post-Apartheid landscape will mean, in his words,
being "humiliated like a dog." This, however, is meant to indicate not simply a personal
humiliation, but, by the end of the film, an inversion of his previous egoist "self" and, through
identification with animals perspective, the full recognition of the epistemological conditions
which produce otherness. When, at the conclusion of the film, Lurie leaves his car at the top of
the mountain and walks down to Lucy's farm for tea, giving up on his silent protest at the "deal"
that Lucy has made with Petrus to become her "wife" in exchange for protection from future
attacks, the viewer has been positioned to see him as no longer able to act on his desires and
thus having been reduced to being "a dog." In this way, we are meant to see the deep connection
that Lurie makes between humans and animals. He sees that to be other, whether human or
animal, means being "humiliated" by those in power. Of course, the image of the white professor
who is powerless in the face of the black farmers completely inverts the reality of social relations
in South Africa, in which unemployment is listed as anywhere from 31% to 42%, falling largely
on the black population (Zeiling and Ceruti). But this, I argue, is the point. Posthumanism is an
ideology which separates culture from reality and, instead, posits that regardless of the
economic, social reality is always driven by divisions which violently classify those whose desires

place them outside the "normal" bounds of society. In District 9 the relationship between race
and class is represented through the relay of science fiction. In the film, we learn that the
extraterrestrials literally emerge from nowhere, as their ship suddenly appeared without
warning in the sky over Johannesburg. It is only when the humans cut into the ship and find the
aliens living in deplorable conditions with no seeming purpose that "first contact" is made.
While later in the film we learn that MNU is one of the world's leading arms manufacturers and
their interest in managing the situation is obtaining the alien's weapon technology, there is no
reason given for the initial segregation of the aliens into townships except their "animal-like"
difference. In other words, like the post-historical conclusion of Disgrace, District 9 turns the
modern history of exploitation and oppression into an ahistorical fear of the other driven by the
instrumental desire to "capture" all life in reductive classifications. Similar to Lurie's taking up
of the dog's perspective, it is through Wikus' adopting of the "prawns'" perspective that we learn
that it is "bad" to "capture" or "impose" upon life conditions which are alien to its existencejust
as Derrida and Agamben suggestbutalso like Agamben and Derridanot where these terms
come from. Wikus' decision at the film's conclusion to sacrifice his own life to make sure that
Christopher Johnson and his son escape is thus meant to signify the posthumanist realization
that social change hinges on the individual decision of how one approaches the other. There is
no broad social movement, no social collectivity, only the ethical acts of one for the other, one in
debt to the other. Thus, Wikus (and the viewer) end the film with the hope that the future will be
different, simply through the act of individual ethics. This is the limit of the posthumanist theory
of "difference." Insofar as it defines otherness, oppression, and exploitation as the effect of an
instrumental logic of classification which is endemic to all social relations, it denies that there is
any history to the ways in which people live. Instead, transformative theory becomes an "ethical"
praxis that, in the words of Agamben, "must face a problem and a particular situation each and
every time" (What is An Apparatus? 9). In this way, it becomes impossible to suggest that
exploitation and oppression are inherent to capitalism or would be any different under any
alternative mode of production. In fact, Hardt and Negri argue precisely this when they declare
that "Socialism and capitalismare both regimes of property that exclude the common" (ix).
The consequence is that posthumanism effectively naturalizes capitalism by denying what Marx
calls "species-being"the basis of human freedom in the collectivity of laborand replacing it
instead with what Agamben calls "special being" or that which "without resembling any
otherrepresents all others" (Profanations 59). When Agamben proclaims that, "To be special
[far specie] can mean to surprise and astonish (in a negative sense) by not fitting into
established rules, but the notion that individuals constitute a species and belong together in a
homogeneous class tends to be reassuring" (59) he replicates the bourgeois theory of difference
which, as Marx writes, is based upon "an individual separated from the community, withdrawn
into himself, wholly preoccupied with his private interest and acting in accordance with his
private caprice" such that "far from being considered, in the rights of man, as a species-being; on
the contrary, species-life itselfsocietyappears as a system which is external to the individual
and as a limitation of his original independence" (On the Jewish Question 43). In other words,
the very nature of the division of labor under capitalism causes workers to blame ahistorical
notions of "society" and "government" for the contradictions which reside in the economic and,
in turn, seek refuge in the "freedom" of individuality which bourgeois society promises. In this
way, when Agamben writes that "The transformation of the species into a principle of identity
and classification is the original sin of our culture, its most implacable apparatus [dispositivo]"
(60), he reproduces the sense with which people respond to capitalist exploitation by blaming
the very idea of "society," rather than the society of exploitation. By taking the question of
identity and difference out of the social, Agamben turns exploitation into an existential crisis
which can only be resolved by the ethical recognition of difference on its own terms, leaving the
contradictions of society intact. This is how the posthumanist theories of identity return to the
same structures of representation they claim to oppose because their opposition does not move

beyond the economic structures of capitalism. Both the Hegelian theory of "recognition" and the
posthuman theory of "singularity" are ultimately theories of the isolated individual, which is an
ideological fiction arising alongside capitalism (a la "Robinson Crusoe") as a result of the
economic shift toward wage-labor. They consequently substitute for more radical theories of
freedom from the market the freedom of the individual in the market, as if rigid structures of
social interpretations and not the system of wage-labor were holding the individual back. If we
are to truly see the world differently, not just as isolated individuals, but as a
united community which uses new technologies for freeing people from the
drudgery of wage labor and its corresponding ideologies of racism, sexism,
homophobia, and other forms of oppression, what is necessary is a social
transformation that ends the exploitation of labor upon which capitalism is based.
Pluralizing identities doesnt challenge the logic of exploitation, but actually expands it since
private property establishes individual responsibility as the very basis of one's "natural"
existence by stripping people of any means of survival outside of wage-labor. Thus, retreating
into individualism is merely the ideological mask which is placed over the subsumption of all life
under the profit motive. However, as Marx writes, regardless of appearances, "the individual is
the social being. His life, even if it may not appear in the direct form of a communal life carried
out together with others is an expression and confirmation of social life" (86). Although
posthumanism turns the alienation of the worker under capitalism into the very pre-condition of
all culture, I argue that it is only by freeing labor from the restrictions of capitalist exploitation
that, we can, as Marx writes, end racial oppression and find a "genuine resolution of the conflict
between man and nature and between man and manthe true resolution of the strife between
existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and
necessity, between the individual and the species" (84).

Framing racism in terms of economic structures is inadequateignores oppression
outside of the workplace

West 93 [Abanes Cornel West, University Professor at Princeton University, M.A. and Ph.D in Philosophy, Princeton University, graduated
Magna Cum Laude in philosophy from Harvard, Prophetic Fragments, Towards a Socialist Theory of Racism p. 97-?, Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing, 1993,]

basic conceptions of racism in the Marxist tradition. The first subsumes racism under the general
rubric of working-class exploitation. This viewpoint tends to ignore forms of racism not determined by the
workplace. At the turn of the century, this position was put forward by many leading figures in the Socialist party, particularly Eugene Debs. Debs believed that white racism against
There are four

peoples of color was solely a "divide-and-conquer strategy" of the ruling class and that any attention to its operations "apart from the general labor problem" would constitute racism in
reverse. My aim is not to castigate the Socialist party or insinuate that Debs was a racist. The Socialist party had some distinguished black members, and Debs had a long history of fighting

any analysis that confines itself to oppression in the workplace overlooks racism's operation in
other spheres of life. For the Socialist party, this yielded a "color-blind" strategy for resisting racism in which all workers were viewed simply as workers with no specific
identity or problems. Complex racist practices within and outside the workplace were reduced to mere strategies
of the ruling class. The second conception of racism in the Marxist tradition acknowledges the specific operation of
racism within the workplace (for example, job discrimination and structural inequality of wages) but remains
silent about these operations outside the workplace. This viewpoint holds that peoples of color are subjected both to general
working-class exploitation and to a specific "super-exploitation" resulting from less access to jobs and lower wages. On the practical plane, this
perspective accented a more intense struggle against racism than did Debs' viewpoint, and yet it still limited this struggle to the workplace. The
third conception of racism in the Marxist tradition, the so-called "Black Nation thesis", has been the most influential among black Marxists. It
claims that the operation of racism is best understood as a result of general and specific working-class exploitation and
national oppression. This viewpoint holds that Afro-Americans constitute, or once constituted, an oppressed nation in the Black Belt South and an oppressed national minority
racism. But

in the rest of American society. There are numerous versions of the Black Nation Thesis. Its classical form was put forth by the American Communist party in 1928, was then modified in the
1930 resolution and codified in Harry Haywood's Negro Liberation (1948). Some small Leninist organizations still subscribe to the thesis, and its most recent reformulation appeared in James
Forman's Self-Determination and the African-American People (1981). All of these variants adhere to Stalin's definition of a nation set forth in his Marxism and the National Question (1913)
which states that "a nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life and psychological make-up manifested
in a common culture." Despite its brevity and crudity, this formulation incorporates a crucial cultural dimension overlooked by the other two Marxist accounts of racism. Furthermore, linking
racist practices to struggles between dominating and dominated nations (or peoples) has been seen as relevant to the plight of Native Americans, Chicanos, and Puerto Ricans who were
disinherited and decimated by white colonial settlers. Such models of "internal colonialism" have important implications for organizing strategies because they give particular attention to
critical linguistic and cultural forms of oppression. They remind us that much of the American West consists of lands taken from Native Americans and from Mexico. Since the Garveyite
movement of the 1920s, which was the first mass movement among Afro-Americans, the black left has been forced to take seriously the cultural dimension of the black freedom struggle.

black nationalism rendered most black Marxists "proto-Gramscians" in at least the limited sense that they took cultural concerns more seriously than many
other Marxists. But this concern with cultural life was limited by the Black Nation Thesis itself. Although the theory did inspire many impressive struggles
against racism by the predominantly white left, particularly in the 1930s, its ahistorical racial definition of a nation,
its purely statistical determination of national boundaries (the South was a black nation because of its then black majority population), and
its illusory conception of a distinct black national economy ultimately rendered it an inadequate analysis.
The fourth conception of racism in the Marxist tradition claims that racist practices result not only from general and
specific working-class exploitation but also from xenophobic attitudes that are not strictly reducible to
class exploitation. From this perspective, racist attitudes have a life and logic of their own, dependent
upon psychological factors and cultural practices. This viewpoint was motivated primarily by opposition to the predominant role of the Black Nation
Marcus Garvey's

Thesis on the American and Afro-American left. Its most prominent exponents were W. E. B. DuBois and Oliver Cox. This brief examination of past Marxist views leads to one conclusion.

Marxist theory is indispensable yet ultimately inadequate for grasping the complexity of racism as a
historical phenomenon. Marxism is indispensable because it highlights the relation of racist practices to
the capitalist mode of production and recognizes the crucial role racism plays within the capitalist
economy. Yet Marxism is inadequate because it fails to probe other spheres of American society where
racism plays an integral role especially the psychological and cultural spheres. Furthermore, Marxist views tend
to assume that racism has its roots in the rise of modern capitalism. Yet, it can easily be shown that
although racist practices were shaped and appropriated by modern capitalism, racism itself predates
capitalism. Its roots lie in the earlier encounters between the civilizations of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, encounters that occurred long before the rise of modern

Racism intensifies the effects of capitalismcontrols the root cause
Andersen and Collins 92 M.A., Ph. D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.A., Georgia
State University, Atlanta AND MA Harvard, Graduate school of education and phD brandeis
university, sociology (Margaret L. and Patricia Hill, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology,
6th edition, chapter 15// SRSL)

I met Frank and Suzanne Conway during the late-afternoon rush hour at a restaurant in Los Angeles. Recently laid off from a
communications marketing firm and now taking courses to become certified to teach elementary school, Frank arrived after picking
up their daughter, Logan, from day care. Suzanne arrived from her job as an operations supervisor for a money management
company. The Conways loved their home in the diverse urban neighborhood ofJefferson Park, near the University of Southern
California, but were gravely concerned about sending Logan to weak public schools. They talked to me at length over coffee about
this community-school dilemma, their high educa- tional hopes, and their future plans. The Conways' story and their solution to
their dilemma turned out to be more common than anticipated. Because they receive generous help from their families, they are
considering moving to a suburban community with highly regarded schools. Home prices there start at four times those where they
live now, and Logan would grow up and go to school in a far more homogenous community-family wealth makes these decisions
logical and desirable for some families. Of course, as with the nearly one in three American families without financial assets, many of
the family interviews did not brim over with opti- mistic choices and options but rather turned on how lack of family wealth severely
restricts community, housing, and schooling opportunities. Like the Conways, Alice and Bob Bryant work at professional jobs and
earn a middle- class income, but they do not have access to family wealth-they are asset- poor. Living in the working-class
Dorchester section of Boston, they are frustrated about their inability to afford to move to a neighborhood with better schools. Doing
the best they can, they are highly aware that their son. Mathew, attends only "halfway decent schools" and is not getting the "besteducation." The Bryants' hopes for Mathew are no different from the Conways for Logan. What is different is their capacity to follow
through on their hope and deliver opportunities. The Conways are white and the Bryants are black. Because their incomes,
professional status, and educations are nearly identical. conventional wisdom suggests that race should be at most a minor factor in
op- portunities available to these two families, but we will see tangible connections between family assets and

race. Differing family asset capacity, which has more to do with race than with merits or
accomplishments, most likely will translate into different worlds for Mathew and Logan.
Demonstrating the unique and diverse social circumstances that blacks and whites face is the
best way to understand racial differences in wealth hold- ing. The ideas I develop ... also push the sociology of
wealth in another im- portant direction, namely, an exploration of how the uses of wealth perpetu- ate
inequality. Together, wealth accumulation and utilization highlight the ways in which the
opportunity structure contributes to massive racial wealth inequality that worsens racial
inequality. My argument is grounded in three big ideas. First, I argue that family inheritance and continuing
racial discrimination in crucial areas like home- ownership are reversing gains earned in schools
and on jobs and making racial inequality worse. Family inheritance is more encompassing than money passed at

death, because for young adults it often includes paying for college, substantial down-payment assistance in buying a first home, and
other continuing parental financial assistance. Consequently, it is virtually impossible for people of color to earn

their way to equal wealth through wages. No matter how much blacks earn, they cannot preserve
their occupa- tional status for their children; 'they cannot outearn the wealth gap. Many believe that

African Americans do not do as well as whites, other minorities, or immigrants because they spend too much money rather than save
and in- vest in the future. They are unable to defer gratification, do not sacrifice for the future, and consume excessively. We will see
how the facts speak other- wise. Second, these inheritances frequently amount to what I call transfor- mative

assets. This involves the capacity of unearned, inherited wealth to lift a family economically and
socially beyond where their own achievements, jobs, and earnings would place them. These
head-start assets set up different starting lines, establish different rules for success, fix different
rewards for accomplishments, and ultimately perpetuate inequality. Third, the way fam- ilies use
head-start assets to transform their own lives-within current struc- tures that reward them for
doing so- has racial and class consequences for the homes they buy, the communities they live
in, and the quality of schools their children attend. The same set of processes typically advantages whites while

disadvantaging African Americans. My family interviews point to crit- ical mechanisms of denial that insulate whites from privilege.
Homeownership is one of the bedrocks of the American Dream, and I explore homeownership as a prime way of delving into these
big ideas. We are a nation of homeowners. In 2002 the homeownership rate was 68 percent, a historic high. Homeownership

is by far the single most important way families accumulate wealth. Homeownership also is the way

families gain access to the nicest communities, the best public services, and, most important for my argument, quality education.

Homeownership is the most critical pathway for transformative assets; hence examining
homeownership also keeps our eyes on contemporary discrimination in mortgage markets, the

cost of home loans, residential segregation, and the way families accumulate wealth through
home appreciation, all of which systematically disadvantage blacks. Homeownership appears critical to

success in other areas of life as well, from how well a child does in school to better marital stability to positive civic participation to
de- creased domestic violence.1 How young families acquire homes is one of the most tangible ways that

the historical legacy of race plays out in the present generation and projects well into future.
Understanding how young families can afford to buy homes and how this contributes greatly to
the racial wealth gap brings us back full circle to the importance of family legacies. These big ideas

help us understand one of the most important issues facing America as we start the twenty-first century. African Americans were
frozen out of the mainstream of American life over the first half of the last century, but since 1954 the civil rights movement has won
many battles against racial injustice, and America has reached a broad national consensus in favor of a more tolerant, more inclusive
society. Yet we live with a great para- dox: Why is racial inequality increasing in this new era? To fully
appreciate the decisions American families like the Conways and Bryants face, we need to understand the extent, causes, and
consequences ofthe vast increase in inequality that has taken place since the early 1970s. Inequality has increased

during both Democratic and Republican administrations. Those at the top of the income
distribution have increased their share the most. In fact, the slice of the income pie received by the top 1 percent of

families is nearly twice as large as it was 30 years ago, and their share now is about as large as the share of the bottom 40 percent.
This is not news. In Nickel and Dimed, liberal critic Barbara Ehrenreich tells her story of working at low-skill jobs in America's
booming service sector, jobs like waitressing, cleaning houses, and retail sales. These are the fastest-growing jobs in America, and
they highlighc our current work-to-welfare reform strategy. Ehrenreich's experiences illus- trate how hard it is to get by in America
on poverty wages. More than anything else, perhaps, Ehrenreich's personal experiences demonstrate that in toda} America more
than hard work is necessary for economic success. I talked to many families who live these lives for real, and we will see how rising
inequal- ity makes assets even more critical for success. In Wealth and Democracy, conservative strategist Kevin Phillips argues that
current laissez-faire policies are pretenses to further enrich wealthy an powerful families. Rather than philosophical principles,
conservative polici of tax cuts for the wealthy, gutting the inheritance tax, and less business reg- ulation favor wealth and property at
the expense of middle-class success. T he Bush administration's gradual phase-out of the estate tax privileges unearned. inherited
wealth over opportunity, hard work, and accomplishment. Presi- dent Bush's 2003 tax stimulus package carved 39 percent of the
benefits for the wealthiest 1 percent. I will broaden the discussion of rising inequality by bringing family wealth back into the picture.
Phillips concludes his book with a dire warning: "Either democracy must be renewed, with politics brough back to life, or wealth is
likely to cement a new and less democratic regime- plutocracy by some other name. An ideology that equated personal gain with
benefits to society accompa- nied the great economic boom of the last part of the twentieth century. Even though inequality

increased in the past 20 years, despite loud words and littl action, policies such as affordable
housing and equitable school funding tha challenged that mindset simply had no chance of
getting off the ground. Iron- ically, historically low unemployment rates went hand-in-hand with
rising inequality in an America where hard work no longer means economic success. Success includes
harder work, less family time, and probably more stress. T he average middle-income, two-parent family now works the equivalent
of 1 more weeks than it did in 1979 due to longer hours, second jobs, and workin::- spouses.2 The years of economic stagnation
subsequent to the boom pro- duced a dramatic increase in the number of working poor, and working homeless families are a
growing concern.3 Since late 2001, in a period marke by a declining stock market and rising unemployment, an abundance of da has
provided strong evidence that lpwer-income households are under severe economic stress: Personal bankruptcies, automobile
repossessions, mortgage foreclosures, and other indicators of bad debt all reached records in 2002.~ What is the role ofwealth and
inheritance in rising inequality? The batJ:- boom generation, which grew up during a long period of economic prosper- ity right after
World War II, is in the midst of benefiting from the greates inheritance of wealth in history. One reliable source estimates that paren
will bequeath $9 trillion to their adult children between 1990 and 2030.: Given this fact, it is no wonder that an already ineffective
estate tax (due to tax planning, family trusts, and loopholes), which takes 50 percent of estates worth more than $1 million, came
under such ferocious political attack during the second Clinton administration and has been effectively repealed by the Bush
administration. This wealth inheritance will exacerbate already rising inequality. Economists Robert Avery and Michael Rendall
presented a benchmark statistical study in 1993 showing that most inherited wealth will be pocketed by only a few. 6 According to
the study, one-third of the money will go to 1 percent of the baby boomers, who will receive about $1.6 million apiece. Another third,
rep- resenting an average bequest of $336,000, will go to the next 9 percent. The final slice, divided by the remaining 90 percent of
the generation, will run about $40,000 apiece. We will see how this baby boomer inheritance not only fuels inequality but also
intensifies racial inequality. Few people now talk about the profound effects-economic, social, and political-of that widening gap. We
can argue for the privilege of passing along more unearned inequality, or we can take a stand for fairness and equality. THE
CONTEXT OF RACIAL INEQUALITY Writing at the beginning of the twentieth century, historian W.E.B. Du Bois

emphatically declared that the problem of the century was the problem of the color line. Writing
again at midcentury, Du Bois reviewed what African Americans had accomplished in education, civil
rights, voting rights, occupa- tion, income, housing, literature and arts, and science. African
Americans had made progress, he noted, although it was unequal, incomplete, and accompanied by wide gaps and temporary retreats. At about the same time that Du Bois was penning his assessment in a
black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Nobel economist Gunnar Myrdal published the widely read An American Dilemma.

This influential and lengthy study documented the living conditions for African Americans
during the first half of the century, reveal- ing to many for the first time the impact of systematic
discrimination in the United States. These two giants helped to define racial inequality in terms

of equal opportunity and discrimination and to place these issues at the heart of a nation's
concern. The twisted, politically narrow, and bureaucratically un- fortunate notion of "affirmative action" substituted for equal

opportunity by century's end, and affirmative action continues to frame our hopes and dis- trust regarding race. Even though the
struggle for equal opportunity is far from completed, the single-minded and narrow focus on affirmative action forces compromises
with our past, obscures our present understanding of racial inequality, and restricts policy in the future. Du Bois and Myrdal
correctly identified a color line of opportunity and discrimination at the core of the twentieth-century racial equality agenda in the
United States. The agenda in the twenty-first century must go further to include the challenge of

closing the wealth gap, which currently is 10 cents on the dollar, if we are to make real progress
toward racial equality and democ- racy. Understanding the racial wealth gap is the key to
understanding how racial inequality is passed along from generation to generation. The enigma of

racial inequality is still a festering public and private con- versation in American society. After the country's dismantling of the most
oppressive racist policies and practices of its past, many have come to believe that the United States has moved beyond race and that
our most pressing racial concerns should center now on race-neutrality and color-blindness. Proclaim- ing the success of the civil
rights agenda and the dawning of a postracial age in America, books by Shelby Steele, Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, and oth- ers
influenced not only the academic debates but elite and popular opinion as well.7 Indeed, a review of the record shows impressive
gains, most particularly in the areas oflaw, education, jobs, and earnings. Even though progress is real, this new political sensibility
about racial progress and equality incorporates illusions that mask an enduring and robust racial hierarchy and continue to hinder
efforts to achieve our ideals of democracy and justice. . In fact, we can consider seriously the declining economic significance of
race because the measures we have traditionally used to gauge racial inequal- ity focus almost exclusively on salaries. The blackwhite earnings gap nar- rowed considerably throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The earnings gap has remained relatively stable since
then, with inequality rising again in the 1980s and closing once more during tight labor markets in the 1990s.8 The average black
family earned 55 cents for every dollar earned by the average white family in 1989; by 2000 it reached an all-time high of 64 cents
on the dollar.9 For black men working full-time, the gains are more impressive, as their wages reached 67 percent of those of fully
employed white men, up from 62 percent in 1980 and only 50 percent in 1960.10 How much the racial wage gap has closed, why it
has closed, and what it means are the subjects of aca- demic and political debate. One study, for example, argues that the racial
wage gap is really 23 percent higher than the official figures because incarcer- ation rates hide low wages and joblessness among
blacks.11 At comparable in- comes, more African American family members work to earn the same money as white families.
Working longer hours and more weeks per year means that middle-income black families worked the equivalent of 12 more weeks
than white families to earn the same money in 2000. The tremendous growth of the black middle class often is cited as a triumphant sign of progress toward racial equality. Indeed, the raw numbers appear to justify celebration: In 1960 a little more than
three-quarters of a million black men and women were employed in middle-class occupations; by 1980 the number increased to
nearly three and a third million; and nearly seven million African Americans worked in middle-class jobs in 1995.13 T his impressive
growth in achieving upward mobility, however, does not tell the whole story, as some argue that stagnating economic conditions and
blacks' lower-middle-class occupational profile have stalled the march into the mid- dle class since the mid-1970s. The real story of
the meaning of race in modern America, however, must include a serious consideration of how one generation passes advantage and
disadvantage to the next-how individuals' starting points are determined. While ending the old ways of outright exclusion,
subjugation, segregation, custom, discrimination, racist ideology, and violence, our nation continues to reproduce racial inequality,
racial hierarchy, and social injustice that is very real and formidable for those who experience it. In law, in public policy, in custom,
in education, in jobs, in health, indeed, in achievements, one could argue that America is more equal today than at any time in our
past. Analysts and advocates scour the annual release of official government statistics on income

to detect the latest trends in racial inequality. Traditional measures of economic well-being and inequality, such as
income, education, and jobs, show authentic and impressive progress toward racial equality from the mid-1960s through the early
1980s and stagnation since.15 This is not to suggest by any stretch of the imagination that we have seen

the dawning of the age of racial parity in the United States, because, indeed, wide racial gaps and
discrimination persist in all of these domains. Employment dis- crimination, educational discrimination,
environmental discrimination, and discriminatory immigration, taxation, health, welfare, and transportation poli- cies continue.16

Despite the passage of major civil rights reforms, most whites and blacks continue to live in
highly segregated communities. To achieve per- fectly integrated communities, two-thirds of
either all black or all white resi- dents would have to move across racial boundaries. The same
indicators show too that progress toward racial equality has halted since the early 1980s. Vast wealth differences and
hence enormous disparities in opportunities remain be- tween equally achieving and
meritorious white and black families. Progress made since the early 1960s has stalled short of equality. Familiar for Du
Bois and Myrdal is the dilemma that, despite narrowed gaps in so many important areas, new generations of whites and blacks still
start with vastly different sets of options and opportunities. An asset perspective examines a modern element of

the American dilemma: Similar achievements by people of similar abilities do not yield
comparable results.

Capitalism is just a magnifier for the effects of racismracism is the root cause of the
Andersen and Collins 92 M.A., Ph. D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.A., Georgia
State University, Atlanta AND MA Harvard, Graduate school of education and phD brandeis

university, sociology (Margaret L. and Patricia Hill, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology,
6th edition, chapter 15// SRSL)
Much of the research and media attention on African Americans is on the black poor. Welfare
debates, discussions of crime and safety, urban policy initiatives, and even the cultural uproar
over things like rap music are fo- cused on the situation of poor African Americans. With more than
one in four African Americans living below the official poverty line (versus approx- imately one in nine whites), this
is a reasonable and warranted bias. But rarely do we hear the stories of the other three-fourths, or the
majority of African Americans, who may be the office secretary, the company's com- puter technician, a project manager down the hall, or the person who .teaches our children.
The growth of the black middle class has been hailed as one of the major triumphs of the civil
rights movement, but if we have so little information on who makes up this group and what their
lives are like, how can we be so sure that triumphant progress is the full story? The opti- mistic assumption of
the 1970s and 1980s was that upwardly mobile African Americans were quietly integrating formerly all-white occupations, busi- nesses, neighborhoods, and social clubs. Black
middle- and working-class families were moving out of all-black urban neighborhoods and into the sub- urbs. With these suppositions, the black middle class dropped from
under the scientific lens and off the policy agenda, even though basic evidence suggests that the public celebration of black middle-class ascendance has perhaps been too hasty.

, that a more appropriate socioeconomic label for members of the black middle class
is "lower middle class." The one black doc- tor who lives in an exclusive white suburb and the few African American lawyers who work at a large firm are not
We know, for example

representative of the black middle class overall (but neither are their experiences identical to those of their white colleagues). And although most white Americans are also not
doctors or lawyers, the lopsided distribution of occupations for whites does favor such professional and managerial jobs, whereas the black middle class is clustered in the sales

African Americans have lower earnings. Yet the inequalities

run even deeper than just income. Compound and exponentiate the current differences over a history of slavery and Jim Crow, and the nearly
fourteenfold wealth advan- tage that whites enjoy over African Americans-regardless ofincome, educa- tion, or occupation-needs little explanation. We also know
that the black middle class faces housing segregation to the same extent as the black poor.
African Americans are more segregated from whites than any other racial or ethnic group. In fact,
the black middle class likely faces the most blatant racial discrimination, in that many in its
ranks can actually afford to pay for housing in predominantly white areas. Real estate agents and apartment
and clerical fields. Because one's occupation affects one's income,

managers can easily turn away poor African Americans by simply quoting prohibitive home costs or high rents. It takes more purpo- sive creativity, however, to consistently
steer middle-class blacks into already established African American neighborhoods by such tactics as disingenu- ously asserting that an apartment has just been rented when the
prospective renters who show up at the property manager's door are, to his or her sur- prise, black. Racial segregation means that racial inequalities in employment, education,

. Predominantly white neighborhoods benefit from the historically

determined and contemporarily sustained edge that whites enjoy. Finally, we know that middle-class African Americans do
income, and wealth are inscribed in space

not perform as well as whites on standardized tests (in school or in employment); are more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses; are less likely to marry, and more likely to
have a child without being married; and are less likely to be work- ing. Liberals bumble when addressing these realities because, unlike housing segregation or job
discrimination, of which middle-class African Americans are the clear victims, earning low grades in school or getting pregnant with- out a husband can easily be attributed to
the bad behaviors of blacks them- selves. For middle-class blacks, who ostensibly do not face the daily disad- vantages of poverty, it is even more difficult to explain why they do
not measure up to whites. To resolve this quandary it is essential to continuously refer back to the ways in which the black middle class is not equal to the white middle class....
The lives of the families in Groveland* provide some answers to these questions. Groveland's approximately ninety square blocks contain a popula- tion of just under twelve
thousand residents, over 95 percent of whom are African American. The 1990 median annual family income in the neighbor- hood is nearly $40,000, while the comparable
figure for Chicago as a whole is just over $30,000. More than 70 percent of Groveland families own their own homes. By income and occupational criteria, as well as the
American dream of homeownership, Groveland qualifies as a "middle-class neighborhood." Yet this sterile description does not at all capture the neighborhood's di- versity,
which is critical to correctly portraying the neighborhood context of the black middle class. Groveland's unemployment rate is 12 percent, which is higher than the citywide rate,
but lower than the percentage of unemployed residents in the neighborhoods that border Groveland. Twelve percent of Groveland's families are poor, which again makes it a bit
more advantaged than the surrounding areas, but worse off than most of Chicago's predomi- nantly white neighborhoods. The geography of Groveland is typical of black middleclass areas, which often sit as a kind of buffer between core black poverty areas and whites. Contrary to popular discussion, the black middle class has not out-migrated to
unnamed neighborhoods outside of the black community. Instead, they are an overlooked population still rooted in the contemporary "Black Belts" of cities across the country.
Some of the ques- tions about why middle-class blacks are not at parity with middle-class whites can be answered once this fact is recognized. ... By the end of my research
tenure in Groveland, I had seen three groups .of eighrh-graders graduate to high school, high school kids go on to college and college graduates start their careers. I also heard
too many stories and read too many obituaries of the teenagers who were jailed or killed along the way. The son of a police detective in jail for murder. The grandson of a teacher
shot while visiting his girlfriend's house. The daughter of a park supervisor living with a drug dealer who would later be killed at a fast-food restaurant. These events were
jarring, and all-too-frequent, discontinuities in the daily routine of Groveland residents. Why were some Groveland youth following a path to success, while others had concocted
a recipe for certain failure? After all, these are not the stories of poor youth caught in a trap of absent opportunities, low aspirations, and harsh environments. Instead Groveland
is a neighborhood of single-family homes, old stately churches tree-lined streets, active political and civic organizations, and concerned par- ents trying to maintain a middleclass way of life. These black middle-class families are a hidden population in this country's urban fabric. The evening news hour in every major American city is filled with reports of urban crime and violence. Newspapers fill in the_gaps of the more sensational tragedies about which the television could provide only a few sound bites. Rounding out
the flow ofurban Armageddon stories are the gos- sip and hearsay passed informally between neighbors, church friends, and drinking buddies. For many middle-class white
Americans, the incidents they hear about in distant and troubled inner cities provide a constant symbolic threat, but an infrequent reality. For the families who live on the corner
of the crime scene-overwhelmingly black or Latino, and poor-daily life is organized to avoid victimization. In the middle of these two geographically and socially distant groups
lives the black middle class. African American social workers and teachers, secretaries and nurses, en- trepreneurs and government bureaucrats are in many ways the buffer
between the black poor and the white middle class. When neighborhoods are chang- ing, white middle-class families may find themselves living near low-income black families,

More than thirty years after the civil

rights movement, racial segregation remains a reality in most American cities. Middle-income
black families fill the residential gap between the neigh- borhoods that house middle-class
whites and the neighborhoods where poor African Americans live. Unlike most whites, middle-class black families must
but one group is inevitably displaced. The neighborhood be- comes, once again, racially homogeneous.

contend with the crime, dilapidated housing, and social disorder in the dete- riorating poor neighborhoods that continue to grow in their direction. Resi- dents attempt to fortify
their neighborhoods against this encroachment, and limit their travel and associations to other middle-class neighborhoods in the city and suburbs. Yet even with these efforts,
residents of black middle-class neighborhoods share schools, grocery stores, hospitals, nightclubs, and parks with their poorer neighbors, ensuring frequent interaction within
and outside the neighborhood. The in-between position of the black middle class sets up certain cross- roads for its youth. This peculiar limbo begins to explain the disparate
out- comes of otherwise similar young people in Groveland. The right and wrong paths are in easy reach of neighborhood youth. Working adults are models of success. Some
parents even work two jobs; while still others combine work and school to increase their chances of on-the-job promotions. All of the pos- itive knowledge, networking, and rolemodel benefits that accrue to working parents are operative for many families in Groveland. But at the same time the rebellious nature of adolescence inevitably makes the
wrong path a strong temptation, and there is no shortage of showy drug dealers and cocky gang members who make dabbling in deviance look fun. Youth walk a fine line between preparing for success and youthful delinquent experimentation, the consequences ofwhich can be especially serious for blackyouth.... ...

The black middle

class is connected to the black poor through friend- ship and kinship ties, as well as
geographically. Policies that hurt the black poor will ultimately negatively affect the black
middle class. At the same time, the black middle class sits at the doorstep of middle-class privilege. Contin- ued affirmative action, access to higher education, a plan

to create real family- wage jobs, and the alleviation of residential segregation should be at the fore- front of policy initiatives to support the gains already made by the black
middle class.... "Middle class" is a notoriously elusive category based on a combination of socioeconomic factors (mostly income, occupation, and education) and normative
judgments (ranging from where people live, to what churches or clubs they belong to, to whether they plant flowers in their gardens). Among African Americans, where there has
historically been less income and occupa- tional diversity, the question of middle-class position becomes even more murky.... Conversations with Groveland residents ...
underscore the fluid and complex nature of class categories among African Americans. Although most Groveland residents settle on a label somewhere between "lower middle
class" and "middle class" to describe their own class position, the intermedi- ate descriptors are plentiful. Some classification schemes focus on inequality. One resident resolved
that there are the "rich," and everyone else falls into the categories of "poor, poorer, and poorest." Other words, like ghetto, bourgie (the, shortened version of bourgeois), and
uppity are normative terms that Grovelandites use to describe the intersection of standard socioeconomic measures and normative judgments of lifestyles and attitudes. Still
other peo- ple talk about class in geographic terms, delineating a hierarchy of places rather than of incomes or occupations.... . . . Despite continuing social and political ties, the
reality of class schisms cannot be ignored. In The Declining Significance ofRace (1978), William Julius Wilson argued that the African American community was splitting in two,
with middle-class blacks improving their position relative to whites, and poor blacks becoming ever more marginalized. Civil rights legislation, especially affirmative action,
worked well for African Americans poised to take advan- tage of educational and employment opportunities. The unsolved problem was what to do about African Americans in
poverty. They were doing poorly not primarily because they were black, Wilson argued, but because they were unskilled and because the structure of the labor market had
changed around them. Grounded in the conviction that social structure influences the nature of race relations, Wilson saw the growth in high-wage employment and the rise of
political liberalism as fueling the diminution of race as a factor in the stratification process. The life chances of blacks were becoming more dependent on their class position.
African Americans with a college education were positioned to take advantage of jobs in a service-producing economy- jobs in trade and finance, public management, and social
services. And be- cause of affirmative action legislation, firms were motivated to hire these qualified blacks. At the same time, the situation for the black poor was stagnating, if
no- deteriorating. Black unemployment began to rise in the 1950s. There was no much difference in the unemployment rate for blacks and whites in 1930, bu- by the mid-1950s
the ratio of black to white unemployment reached 2 to~ (Farley 1985). These changes, Wilson and others argued, were the result o- shifts in the mode of production. The number
of well-paying manufactur- ing jobs in the central city had declined as a result of both technologica.; changes and relocation. These changes permanently relegated unskilled
bla~ to low-wage, nienial, and dead-end jobs, or pushed theni out of the workforce altogether. Wilson's contribution was to direct attention to changes in the nature of
production that disadvantaged unskilled blacks. His prognosis for the black niiddle class was relatively optiniistic, a position for which he was criticized by other African
American scholars. Wilson's critics rushed to prove hini wrong and show that members of the new black middle class con- tinued to face obstacles because of their race (Pinkney
1984; Willie 1979; Washington 1979, 1980; see Morris 1996 for a review). .. . To be sure, the obstacles faced by poor blacks in a changing economy and the persistence of black
poverty more generally are intolerable facts that merit considerable research and government resources. However, the re- search pendulum swung to the extreme, virtually

The declining interest in the status of nonpoor blacks was

premature. The African American community was in a short time transformed from a
population almost uniform in its poverty to one with a nascent niiddle class- this as recently as
the 1950s. But racial disparities in occupation, income, and intergenerational mobility were not eradicated by the few years of progress. The brief period of growth
ignoring the majority of African Americans who are not poor. ... ..

spawned a kind of dismissive optimism, but the economic and social purse strings were once again pulled tight, stalling the advances made by some African Americans. The
continuing inequalities be- tween middle-class whites and African Americans attest to the persistence of racism and discrimination, albeit in quite different forms than in the
Jim Crow era (Bobo, Kluegel, and Smith 1997).. .. The same stages that characterize the socioeconomic past and present of African Americans-overwhelming disadvantage,
followed by progress and optimism, followed by stagnation and retrenchment-are mirrored in the spatial history (the where) of the black niiddle class.... While some black
families have integrated white neighborhoods as many commentators had predicted, the black middle class overall remains as segregated from whites as the black poor (Farley
1991). This means that the search for better neighborhoods has taken place within a segregated housing market. As a result, black middle-class neighborhoods are often located
next to predominantly black areas with much higher poverty rates. Blacks of all socioeconomic statuses tend to be confined to a limited geographic space, which is formally
designated by the discriminatory practices of banks, insur- ance companies, and urban planners, and synibolically identified by the for- mation of cultural and social
institutions.... .. . Historic and contemporary black residential patterns suggest the fol- lowing. African Americans have long attempted to translate socioeconomic success into
residential mobility, making them similar to other ethnic groups (Massey and Denton 1985). They desire to purchase better homes, safer neighborhoods, higher quality schools,

Out-migration has been a constant process. The black middle class

has always attempted to leave poor neighborhoods, but has never been able to get very far. However,
when the relative size of the black middle class grew, the size of its residential enclaves grew as
well. The increase in the number ofblack middle-classpersons has led to growth in the size ofblack middle-class enclaves, which in turn increases the spatial distance
and more amenities with their in- creased earnings.

between poor and middle-class African Americans. This greater physical separation within a segregated black com- munity accounts for the popular belief that black middleclass out-migration is a recent and alarming trend. . . . The problems confronting middle-class African Americans are not solved by simply moving away from a low-income
black family and next door to a middle-class white family. The fact that a neighborhood's racial makeup is frequently a proxy for the things that really count-quality of schools,
se- curity, appreciation of property values, political clout, and availability of de- sirable amenities-attests to the ways in which larger processes of discrimi- nation penalize blacks

Racial inequalities perpetuate the higher poverty rate among blacks and ensure
that segregated black communities will bear nearly the full burden of such inequality. The ar- gument for
at the neighborhood level.

residential integration is not to allow the black middle class to eas- ily abandon black neighborhoods. Instead, more strict desegregation laws would also open the door for lowincome blacks to move to predominantly white neighborhoods, where jobs and resources are unfairly clustered. Yet we need not wait for whites to accept blacks into their

Aggressive measures must be taken to improve the

socioeconomic conditions of African Americans where they are, by highlighting where the black middle class lives, it becomes apparent
neighborhoods, and think ofintegration as the panacea for current problems.

that concentrated urban poverty has repercussions not only for poor African Americans, but for middle-class blacks as well, while a majority of middle-class whites move farther

. A comprehensive an- tipoverty agenda would have positive benefits for African
Americans as a group, and therefore for the residential environs of the black middle classalthough it leaves unchallenged the desire of many blacks and even more whites to live with
others of the same race.
into the hinterlands

No correlation
Cap does not rely on racism they have nothing to do with each other. Capitalists and
African Americans can and do live peacefully together
Capitalism No Date Does capitalism cause racism? (MG)
A common complaint about capitalism is that all the capitalist sees is money. Given that this is true,
observe that anyone who only cares about money, doesnt care about the color of the person where
their money comes from. Capitalism is a system of individual rights it is a necessary political condition
to the banishment of racism, where it results in the violation of individual rights. The only protection a
man needs from racism is the protection of his rights specifically protection from the initiation of
force, whether it be a knife held at ones throat by a Black Panther, or the noose held by a member of the KKK. Observe the great
American melting pot where the warring tribes of Europe who were busy killing each other in their
homeland, were able to live relatively peacefully together. What principle was the cause of this?
Politically, the principle of individual rights the foundation of capitalism. This principle of individualism
is gradually being eroded as the racists of today are advocating that people be rewarded political
privileges, based on ones race, i.e., so called affirmative action the affirmation of racist policies.
Under capitalism, such evil racist policies carried out by the power of government would be
outlawed. Under capitalism, the only form of judgment is the method of individualism judging each
man as an individual, i.e., by the content of ones character, and not the color of his skin (ancestry) as
racists like Jesse Jackson clamor for.

AT: Prejudice + Power

Their understanding of racism is based on a simplistic understanding of power
violence occurs regardless of power structures
Townhead 13 (Daniel Townhead interdisciplinary Human Studies at Bradford, The Hidden Struggle, Dysophia: Anarchist Debates on
Privilege, vol. 4 (November 2013), pp. 43 // JJ)
Regarding the second point, there

are several different arguments used to justify this kind of assertion. One you
racism is impossible without 'power' supporting it, and as 'people of colour' have no
power due to the structure of society and the institutions that compose it a). holding all the power and
b). systematically privileging white people and un-privileging 'people of colour', it is impossible for them
to exercise racism. The problem with this is that power is not just held by the institutions of society; every
human being holds potential power, which can be exercised towards other human beings in various
ways including love, aid, direct violence, manipulation, creativity, etc. To take the negative example, one human being can kill another
may come across is that

independently of a power structure, because they possess physical power either in the form of weaponry or being bigger, stronger or more
skilled than the other. If you think this example is too individualised,

a group of humans can also exercise said physical

power over other humans for various reasons and motivations that again are not directly tied to any
white-privileging power structure or discourse, including practical competitive reasons, cultural conflict, or ideological
motivations that they have developed themselves.

Identity Politics


Even if imperfect, identity politics is the only and most effective means for minority
groups to gain a voice
Ross 2k [Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Professor of English Language and Literature & African and African American Studies, New
Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics? (Autumn, 2000), pp. 827-850, Published by: The Johns Hopkins University
Press,] l.gong
On the one hand, individuals sometimes identify

as a group in order to struggle for a share of power against

others with whom they disagree and to whom they are subordinated. Black women, for instance, vote in a
higher percentage and more consistently than any other identity group for the Democratic Party. They do
not do so in order merely to assert a different perspective as an identity group; they do so instead because they understand how
their interests, as a collective group, place them in peril if they do otherwise. Their group identity is

the most effective means for them to take sides in an ongoing argument in which
others constantly attempt to distort and diminish their share of political,
economic, and social resources. If they do not see how their collective interests pivot on asserting
their collective identity, then they shall not be able to see the argument before them, much less the
ideology operating to buttress that argument. Their collective identity clarifies which side of the argument they
have to be on in order to have a political voice. On the other hand, sometimes groups exploit a rational disagreement, creating
oversimplified bilateral sides in order to em power themselves as a group by subordinating others as a group. Every time politicians attack
"welfare mothers," they manufacture a bilateral argument of us against them, sometimes a very rationalist one, just to enhance their own
political power within the status quo. The interplay between opinion and identity is neither either/or nor both/and but all at once.

arguments can be used to mask ideology, and contrarily they can be used to bring it to light, just as the
appeal to identity can be exploited to reveal a true difference of opinion or exploited to fabricate a rational disagreement in order
to win the upper hand in a competition among groups. Finally, limiting ideology to a rational disagreement of opinion
seems to cover over the naked reality of what it means to take sides in any argument not purely defined
by rationality, which no argument can be. Such words as "side" and "stance," exploited by Professor Michaels because they
are inescapable in our deliberative discourses, again remind us that "left" and "right" are oblique references to the human
body, and I would suggest, as such, they are also references not to just individual stray bodies, but to collectivities of bodies comprising the
body politic. People

take stancesthey take sidesbecause they stand somewhere, and where they always stand in taking a side
is in some identity-formation, assumed or affirmed, normalized or marginalized, politic or politicized,
covered or exposed by the supposed reasonableness of the side they choose to take. If politics were a forum among
equals, like the relative equality of colleagues at some academic conference, the attractiveness of Professor Michaels's argument would be
undeniable. Politics, however, is a struggle exactly because inequality exists among individuals constituted as groups.7 Ideology

is not
just the content or substance that thought takes in politics, defined as the struggle for power; it is
moreover the form (including point of view) and direction (including point of view) that thought takes as it structures
and is structured by politics. Contrary to Professor Michaels's assertions, therefore, point of view is not extrinsic to an
argument; instead it is an intrinsic facet of an argument as it helps to shape that argument's form, direction, and content. Although
it is much more than this, "identity politics" is, to some extent, about what point of view is available to (and is
occupied by) those engaged in a struggle for power, and about how that power will be exercised. It is a matter not
just of what is being said, but also who is saying it about whom, and directed toward whose individual and collective benefit and/or detriment.

We must act within identity politics as the only effective method to coalesce against oppression

Ross 2k [Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Professor of English Language and Literature & African and African American Studies, New
Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics? (Autumn, 2000), pp. 827-850, Published by: The Johns Hopkins University
Press,] l.gong

Another reason we may be restless inside identity theory is because, according to the institutional expectations of
academe, we hunger for a new, attention-grabbing paradigm to market at the moment that the sexiness of a new method seems
to wear off. Anti-identity advocates can smell that moment approaching and are eager to capitalize on it to demote race,
gender, and sexuality and the identity groups that these categories supposedly represent. This sort of academic restlessness is a bit
underhanded, given that we have been studying solely the intellectual identity of Aristotle for nigh 2400 years, and yet there is no movement to clamp down
on those who take pleasure in the study of Aristotelian physics, metaphysics, posterior analytics, ethics, and poetics, even though these have ceased to provide a
living paradigm for modernity. This

kind of academic restlessness can also take place within such an identity
discipline like feminism or queer studies. As Wiegman suggests, certain feminists are anxious to return to a universal woman because they
have grown tired of others' "identity politics." Otherwise instructive queer theorists like Freeman in her contribution here or Lauren Berlant10
strive to make family or church automatic signifiers of unqueer conservatism blocking the progress of
queer theory and politics. This has the effect of dismissing a strong tendency among Black lesbians, gays,
and bisexuals to identify with church and family as sites of transformation, actual and potential, central to their
sexual identity as Blacks and to their racial identity as men-loving men and women-loving women. Such
restlessness within an identity discipline frequently tends also to assume that stigma, marginality, and typingmobilized as
key terms in Palumbo-Liu's contributionmust dominate the study of the representation of intersecting identities , such
that it becomes impossible to understand, for instance, the pleasures of identification that enable Black sexual minorities to find in the Black church and the Black
family, not only in particular cases but also as institutions, magnets for progressive "identity politics," rather than a common enemy that can unite queers across

Instead of assuming that something is astray with anyone who

identifies with these "reproductive" institutions, we need to investigate and
theorize the economies of pleasure operating in such familial and familiar identity
attractions. If we abandon the study of identity "inside" academe in the clamor for a new paradigm, "out there" identity
race, class, and gender.

politics and pleasures will continue and probably intensify. The more self-consciously pleased and
disturbed that we become in our affirmed and enforced identities, the more restless we become
"inside" them. Even intensified self-consciousness, however, does not seem to get us closer to the dance of identification as we experience it pleasurably
and disturbingly "inside" and "across" our bodies' persons, individually and collectively considered. Our recourse to more externalized structureslike the sides of
an argument or the solidity of economic classespromises some reprieve, but we grow no less restless "outside" our personal and collective selves, as though
individuals and their dis/affectionate affiliations are emptied of their identity, mere meanings and patterns bereft of that inner motivating vitality. As " identity

politics" is not dead, is in fact thriving, so I'd suggest we get on with making its theory and practice thrive in our intellectual institutions, accompanied by
less nervousness and as much pleasure as possible . Nealon's examination of "affect" as queer reception history is a good
instance of this.11 By insisting on pleasure as a face/t of identification, I realize that I risk others'
diminishing the political struggle at stake in the disciplining of identity forms. I would not sacrifice one to
the other. If identity is always political, the economies of pleasure at work in identification also cannot
escape the play for power, in shared or monopolistic versions. In fact, it is the activity of pleasure on and across subjects
of identity that makes identity such a forceful vehicle for oppressive politics, and likewise this pleasure
functions in collective assaults against oppression. The pleasures of thinking that one belongs to a superior white race must be
reckoned as interfused with the obligations, confusions, fears, and privileges afforded by such a sweep ing, compelling identity. Fortunately for us,


pleasure in identifying against dominance cannot be delimited by acts of

domination. Belonging to a group formed through others' domination and one's own subordination
paradoxically affords its own peculiar pleasures aimed at upsetting the norms of power. These are the
potentially liberating pleasures of identification that the domineering cannot rescind, however much they may
practice to outlaw or outpace them. Of identity's politics and pleasures there is no end, and as for the "identity

politics" besetting us at the present time, we are only now beginning to learn the rudimentary steps of
the dance.

Pre-Req to Cap
Direct confrontation with issues of race is a precondition to movements against
Taylor 11 (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review and a
doctoral student in African American Studies at Northwestern University; Race, class and Marxism,, .nt)
Marxists believe that the potential for that kind of unity is dependent on battles and struggles against
racism today. Without a commitment by revolutionary organizations in the here and now to the fight
against racism, working-class unity will never be achieved and the revolutionary potential of the working
class will never be realized. Yet despite all the evidence of this commitment to fighting racism over many
decades, Marxism has been maligned as, at best, "blind" to combating racism and, at worst, "incapable"
of it. For example, in an article published last summer, popular commentator and self-described "antiracist" Tim Wise summarized the critique of "left activists" that he later defines as Marxists. He writes:
[L]eft activists often marginalize people of color by operating from a framework of extreme class
reductionism, which holds that the "real" issue is class, not race, that "the only color that matters is
green," and that issues like racism are mere "identity politics," which should take a backseat to
promoting class-based universalism and programs to help working people. This reductionism, by
ignoring the way that even middle class and affluent people of color face racism and color-based
discrimination (and by presuming that low-income folks of color and low-income whites are equally
oppressed, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary) reinforces white denial, privileges white
perspectivism and dismisses the lived reality of people of color. Even more, as we'll see, it ignores
perhaps the most important political lesson regarding the interplay of race and class: namely, that the
biggest reason why there is so little working-class consciousness and unity in the Untied States (and
thus, why class-based programs to uplift all in need are so much weaker here than in the rest of the
industrialized world), is precisely because of racism and the way that white racism has been deliberately
inculcated among white working folks. Only by confronting that directly (rather than sidestepping it as
class reductionists seek to do) can we ever hope to build cross-racial, class based coalitions. In other
words, for the policies favored by the class reductionist to work--be they social democrats or Marxists-or even to come into being, racism and white supremacy must be challenged directly.

Identity Politics Bad

Turn their politics furthers antagonism by elevating group identity to the level of the
Gergen 99 (Kenneth J. Gergen American psychologist and professor at Swarthmore College, Social Construction and the
Transformation of Identity Politics, End of knowing: A new developmental way of learning (1999) // JJ)
In important degree, identity

politics is a descendent of western, individualist ideology. No, it is not the single

individual who commands our interest. Rather, as we have seen, individual identity is conflated with group
identity: individual and group interests (and rights) are one. In this way, the group replaces the individual
as the center of concern, but the discourse of individuality is not thereby disrupted. Rather , the group is
treated in much the same way discursively as the individual : imbued with good and evil intent, held
blameworthy, deemed worthy of rights, and so on. In spite of the shift toward the social, we thus inherit the problems of
individualism yet once again - simply one step removed. Rather than a society of isolated and alienated individuals - a
potential war of all against all in the individualist sense - we have a battlefield of antagonistic groups. As
James Hunter's (1991) puts it, we are now engaged in "culture wars." Advocates of identity politics are now
becoming keenly aware of the problematics of separation. As they point out, the dominant culture is already
prone toward objectification of the Other. In du Preez' (1980) terms, the other is forced into identity traps that
confirm the dominant culture's sense of superiority and self-righteousness. It is in this light that we can understand
the attempt by black intellectuals to blur the distinction between self and other. For example, in his volume, Race Matters, Cornel West warns
against the delineation of a distinct black culture, and seeks a "frank acknowledgment of the basic humanness and Americanness of each of
us." Similarly, Stanley Crouch in Notes of a Hanging Judge, argues that politics must involve African-Americans "not as outsiders" - a distinct
group unto itself - but as participants in broad-ranging enclaves of society, for example as "voters, taxpayers, and sober thinkers." In a similar
vein, Todd Gitlin (1993) speaks of commonality politics, oriented around understanding differences "against the background of what is not
different, what is shared among groups."(p.173)

Self-writing and identity politics contribute to the regulation and objectification of
Chow 98 (Rey Chow Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature, Duke University, Ethics After Idealism: Theory, Culture, Ethnicity,
Reading, Theories of Contemporary Culture, Indiana University Press (1999), pp. 30-32 // JJ)

The machines of surveillance here are not war airplanes but the media the networks of
communication, which, in the academic world, include the classroom, conferences, publications, funding
agencies, and even letters of recommendation. With the large number of students (rightly) eager for alternative histories, of
academic conferences (rightly) devoted to the constructions of differences, and of publishers (rightly) seeking to publish new, unexplored
materials, fascism has reasserted itself in our era. And, as even my brief discussion shows, fascisms new mode is very much
complicated by postcoloniality. The question facing intellectuals in the contemporary West is how to deal with peoples who were once
colonized and who are now living and working in the first world as others. In

the early days of colonialism, when actual

territorial conquests were made and relocation from the mother country to the colonies was a fact of
life for those from what eventually came to be called the first world, the questions for white people
finding themselves removed from home were questions of what Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse call the imaginary
puritan: how to preserve whiteness while in the brown and black colonies? How to stay English in
America? How to fabricate a respectable national origin against the onslaught of barbaric nativesthat
is, how to posture as the invaded and colonized while invading and colonizing others? All in all, these questions
amount to: how not to go native? As Armstrong and Tennenhouse argue, the English novel, which was conceptually based not so much on
previous cultural developments in Europe but rather on the captivity narratives that found their way back to Europe from the New World,
bears symptoms of this white anxiety about cultural purity. In this sense, the English novel is perhaps the earliest exampleto use Fredric
Jamesons classic pronouncement on third world literatureof a national allegory. Toward

the end of the twentieth

century, as the aftermath of the grand imperialism eras brings about major physical migrations of
populations around the globe, it is no longer a question of white people going to the colonies, but rather
of formerly colonized peoples settling permanently in their former colonizers territories. The visible
presence of these formerly colonized peoples in the first world leads to violent upheavals in Western
thought. The overriding preoccupation among first world intellectuals has now become: how to
become other? How to claim to be a minorityto claim to be black, Native American, Hispanic, or
Asian, even if one has only 1/64th share of these other origins? In other words, how to go native?
Instead of imagining themselves to be a Pamela or Clarissa being held captive, resisting rape, and writing volumes in order to preserve the
purity of their souls (and thus their origins),

Make me other!

first world intellectuals are now overtaken by a new kind of desire:

And so, with expediency, we witness the publication of essays which are studded with names of nations and

territories in order to convey a profile of cosmopolitanism; journals which amass the most superficial matierials about lesser known cultures
and ethnicities in the name of being public, global, or trans-national; and book series which (en)list indigenous histories and narratives
in the manner of a world fairall this, while

so-called postcolonial criticisms of former European imperialist

strategies of representing, objectifying, and exhibiting the other are going on.

Liberal identity politics reinforce alterity by producing identity as contrary to the

hegemonic we
Brown 93 (Wendy First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Wounded Attachments, Political Theory,
Vol. 21, No. 3 (August 1993), pp. 390-410 // JJ)
The tension between particularistic "I's" and a universal "we" in liberal- ism is sustainable as long as the constituent terms of the "I" remain unpoliticized indeed, as long as the "I" itself remains unpoliticized on one hand, and the state (as the expression of the ideal of political
universality) remains unpoliticized on the other. That is, the

latent conflict within liberalism between universal

representation and individualism remains latent, remains unpoliticized, as long as differential powers in
civil society remain natural- ized and as long as the "I" is subordinated to the abstract "we" encoded in

the state's guarantee of universal freedom and equality. This subordination is achieved either by the "I"
abstracting from itself in its political represen- tation, thus trivializing its "difference" so as to remain
part of the "we" (as in homosexuals who are "just like everyone else except for whom we sleep with") or by the "I" accepting
its construction as a supplement, complement, or partial outsider to the "we" (as in homosexuals who are just "a
little different," a bit "queer"). The history of liberalism's management of its inherited and constructed "others" could be read as a history of
variations on and vacillations between these two strategies. The abstract character of liberal political membership and the ideologi- cally
naturalized character of liberal individualism together work against politicized identity formation in liberal regimes. A formulation of the
political state and of citizenship that, as Marx put it in the "Jewish Question," abstracts from the substantive conditions of our lives, works to
prevent recognition or articulation of differences as political-as effects of power-in their very construction ad organization; they are at most
the stuff of divergent political or economic interests.2 Equally important, to the extenthat political mem- bership in the liberal state involves
abstracting from one's social being, it involves abstracting not only from the contingent productions of one's life circumstances but from the
identificatory processes constitutive of one's social construction and position. Whether read from the frontispiece of Hobbes' Leviathan, in
which the many are made one through the unity of the sovereign, or from the formulations of tolerance codified by John Locke, John Stuart
Mill, and, more contemporaneously, George Kateb, in which the minimalist liberal state is cast as precisely what enables our politically
unfettered individuality, we are invited to seek equal deference-equal blindness from-but not equalizing recognition from the state,
liberalism's universal moment.3 As Marx discerned in his critique of Hegel, the univer- sality of the state is ideologically achieved by turning
away from and thus depoliticizing, yet at the same time presupposing our collective particulars, not by embracing them, let alone
emancipating us from them.4 In short, "the

political" in liberalism is precisely not a domain for social

identification: expected to recognize our political selves in the state, we are not led to expect deep
recognition there. Indeed, in a smooth and legitimate liberal order, the particularistic "I's" must remain
unpoliticized, and the universalistic "we" must remain without specific content or aim, without a
common good other than abstract universal representation or pluralism. The abstractness of the "we"
is precisely what insists upon, reiterates, and even enforces the depoliticized nature of the "I." In
Ernesto Laclau's formulation, "if democracy is possible, it is because the universal does not have any necessary
body, any necessary content.'"5 Although this detente between universal and particular within liberalism is potted with volatile
conceits, it is rather thoroughly unraveled by two features of late modernity, spurred by developments in what Marx and Foucault,
respectively, reveal as liberalism's companion powers: capitalism and disciplinarity. On one side, the state loses even its guise of universality
as it becomes ever more transparently invested in particular economic interests, political ends, and social formations. This occurs as it shifts
from a relatively minimalist "night watchman" state to a heavily bureaucratized, managerial, fiscally complex, and highly interventionist
welfare-warfare state, a transmogrification occasioned by the combined imperatives of capital and the autoproliferating characteristics of

a range of economic and political forces increasingly disinter the liberal subject
from substantive nation-state identification: deterritorializing demo- graphic flows; disintegration from
within and invasion from without of family and community as (relatively) autonomous sites of social
production and identification; consumer capitalism's marketing discourse in which individual (and
subindividual) desires are produced, commodified, and mo- bilized as identities; and disciplinary
productions of a fantastic array of behavior-based identities ranging from recovering alcoholic professionals to
unrepentant crack mothers. These disciplinary productions work to conjure and regulate subjects through
bureaucracy.6 On the other side,

classificatory schemes, naming and normalizing social behaviors as social positions. Operating through what
Foucault calls "an anatomy of detail," "disciplinary power" produces social identities (available for politicization because
they are deployed for purposes of political regulation) that crosscut juridical identities based on abstract right. Thus, for example, the
welfare state's production of welfare subjects-themselves subdi- vided through the socially regulated
categories of motherhood, disability, race, age, and so forth-potentially produce political identity
through these categories, produce identities as these categories.

Identity politics only has the potential to advance the self within a system of values
created by capitalism, and thus guarantees class-based oppression.
Libcom 12 (Blogging site that focuses on political/social issues. Identity, politics, and anti-politics: a
critical perspective May 17, 2012 .nt)
Introduction I am a _______________ who seeks the destruction of class society. That blank can be
filled with a variety of words, from worker to queer to individual to mixed-race person to anarchist.
What each of these terms has in common is that they each signify a certain identity. While identity
politics have gained traction in both anarchist/radical scenes and society more generally, the very idea
of identity politics is a problem. Identity politics , as a political force, seeks inclusion into the ruling
classes, rather than act-ing as a revolutionary force for the destruction of class society. How-ever, this
does not mean we should dismiss identity or identity-based organizing and action. The institu-tions
that create and enforce class society (capital, work, the state, police) rely on identities in their
strategy of control, by attacking some identities and not others, or by pitting various identities at
odds to compete for access to the privi-lege of acceptance by the dominant classes. In their use of
repression based on identities, those in pow-er also create affinity among the dominated. Let this be
made clear: I do not contend that every person who identifies with or is identified by a particular social
identity has a common experience. Similarly, I do not argue that these identities are anything other than
socially constructed. However, I do argue that people who share an identity can find stronger affinity
with oth-ers who share that identity. This is due to the ways that capitalism and the state enforce
identities. While these identities are socially con-structed, this does not lessen their importance or
their reality. Indeed, it is critical in the struggle for total liberation to understand the ways identities
are constructed to subju-gate people. The academics have been speaking for years of the Other as
the most abstract identity, defined in opposition to the dominant forces. While this abstraction works in
the most general comparisons of vari-ous identities, it is in the specifici-ties of distinct identities that
affini-ties are built. A discussion of every socially-enforced identity would be impossible; instead, I will
focus on an analysis of queer identity. Spe-cifically, I will attempt to articulate an anti-assimilationist and
anar-chist/communist perspective on queer identity, with implications for other identities as well. This is
a perspective critical of identity poli-tics as well as a false unity under any one identity (citizen, human
race, proletariat). It is critical of as-similationist politics and practice, and perhaps most importantly, it is
explicitly anti-state and anti-capi-talist. 1: Social construction and social facts To understand identity in
the con-text of the present social order, one must understand the concept of social construction . This
concept, in short, refers to the ways in which social institutions establish, regu-late, and enforce various
identities. One especially telling example is the way in which those labeled insane are then forced
into institu-tions which serve only to reaffirm a supposed insanity. Homosexuality was once
considered a mental dis-order, after all. The term socially constructed car-ries an unfortunate
connotation, however. It is assumed that if an identity is socially constructed, then it differs in some way
from a more authentic, natural identity. This assumption resembles religious dogma in that we are
asked to accept an unchanging human nature as defined by someone else. In real-ity, to say identity is

a social construction means that identities are defined and en-forced by social insti-tutions such as
govern-ments and businesses . Thus, identity becomes social fact in the sense that it materially
affects people . From queer-bashing to abortion bans, certain identities carry with them material
disad-vantages. From property rights to Jim Crow, certain identities carry with them material
advantages. These identities are socially con-structed, and thus become social facts. These inequalities
are not expressions of some pre-existing natural order. Instead, the cause of these material inequalities
can be traced to the socio-economic context in which they existed. This context is determined by the
dominant social order, which continues to be that of capitalism and state power. Not every act of
discrimination or oppression, however, can be con-sidered a direct act of the state or capital. This is
particularly true when one considers specific man-ifestations of patriarchy. Sexual assault and domestic
violence are often considered interpersonal disputes, rather than having a larger meaning in the context
of a deeply patriarchal social order. However, even if there is not an agent of the state or an agent of
capital directly involved, one can-not ignore the social framework which normalizes such behavior. One
must only consider the fact that the institution of marriage was originally a property relation-ship, and
even until recent de-cades rape was acceptable, as long as it was in the context of mar-riage. This is not
to say that per-petrators have any excuse. They still enforce the social system of patriarchy, despite
(usually) not acting in an official capacity on behalf of the state or capital. We can thus trace identitybased oppression to either the official business of state power and capitalism , or else to the power of
the stat-ist, capitalist social order. The distinc-tion, however, be-comes academic. The problem clearly
lies in this society, in the so-cial order and the in-stitutions that create, maintain, and enforce it. Much as
identity is social, so is the op-pression around it: it is a result of human interactions, not any sort of
higher power. The term social con-struction means also that identity is not fixed, but rather changes
according to a variety of factors. Particularly, there exists a ten-sion between those who benefit from
inequality, and those who are oppressed by inequality. In the United States, this tension is
demonstrated by the range of identity-liberation movements that have been active in the Unit-ed
States. With a few notable exceptions (womens suffrage being one), identity-movements rose to
prominence in the 1960s, as chants of black power, gay is good, and sisterhood is powerful became
fixtures at demonstra-tions and protests. These demon-strations and conflicts were sites of struggle
over what was meant when the terms black, gay, or woman were used. To be assigned any of these
terms meant that one was not fully human, that there was a defect that nobody could correct . The
Black Power, Queer Liberation, and Womens Liberation movements contested the idea that people
were to be defined by these identities and thus undeserving of equality. These contesta-tions (as each
movement was, to a large degree, fo-cused only on one specific identity) meant that not only could
political inequality be challenged, but also the very definitions of identity. In other words, people began
to actively and consciously construct their identities and explore identity in relationship to the larger
social structure. The initial exploration of identity proved useful, providing a greater understanding of
the ways in which domination and its specific manifestations (racism, sexism, homophobia) are
connected to the state and capitalism. The 1960s were also years of re-sistance and uprising more
generally. These events did not happen separately; instead, they were a part of a larger discontent with
society as a whole. How-ever, much as the energy of the 1960s was dissipat-ed into the traditional, rigid
forms of activism and managed dissent, so was the revolutionary potential of exploring identity. Over
time, these movements have left us with or-ganizations such as the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Hu-man Rights Campaign (HRC), and National Orga-nization
for Women (NOW) as the self-proclaimed leaders in the struggle for equality under the law. However,

what is interesting to note is that these organizations serve as explicitly political organiza-tions, seeking
political equality through political processes. These groups can thus be understood to engage in identity
politics. 2: Identity Politics and Anti-Identity Politics Given the political effectiveness of these
organi-zations, their model has been emulated by oth-ers seeking to reform the current socioeconomic order . This has led to identity politics becoming a central part of the contemporary United
States political order . This is especially true in the liberal reformist movement, where organizations
such as the NAACP, HRC, and NOW are prominent. With their successes in political reform, they (and
many other identity-politics organizations ) have become embedded in the dominant political
discourse. It is here that we encounter one of the main problems of identity politics: the groups
which sought to challenge identity-based oppression have instead merely entered into a partnership
with those who benefit from oppression . This partnership concerns the ability to define the political
agenda for a certain identity. This is clearly demonstrated in the queer community by the HRC, with
their push for hate crime laws, marriage, and military service. These demands show that the HRC has
accepted the logic of and requested partnership in the government and the marketplace. Essentially,
the HRC is fight-ing for assimilation into, rather than the destruc-tion of, a system that creates and
enforces the very oppression they are allegedly struggling against. However, even identity politics
does not have unfet-tered power in the political mainstream. Even the appearance of altering power
relations in this soci-ety is, to some, a threat. These reactionaries claim that identity politics seeks
special rights for certain groups. This flawed logic rests on the idea that, since people are guaranteed
equality under the Constitu-tion, then the problem of legal inequality is non-existent. Even if one
accepts the logic of the state, the discrepancy between legal/political equality and social equality is
telling. Another reaction to the Lefts adoption of identity politics is the rise of hard-Right identity
politics. This leads to absurdities such as mens rights movements, white rights movements, and
groups dedi-cated to preserving Christian culture and identity. One can see a connection between
these two reac-tionary positions, despite their apparent contradic-tions. Each position represents a
different tactic towards the same goal: maintaining a class-based society along with the homophobic,
white-suprem-acist, and patriarchal structures that uphold it. This stands in contrast to identity
politics, which seeks to mildly reform class society and its institutions.

Identity politics inherently creates antagonism within the greater structure of those
oppressed by capitalism - this allows the oppressive upper class to continue ruling unopposed.
International Socialist Review 2008 (The ISR is dedicated to advancing socialist theory and practice in the
United States The Politics of Identity February 2008 ISR Issue 57 accessed 7.11.14 .nt)
As the experience of the 1960s shows, it is not necessary to personally experience a form of
oppression to become committed to opposing it . Yet the central premise of the theory of identity
politics is based on precisely the opposite conclusion: Only those who actually experience a
particular form of oppression are capable of fighting against it. Everyone else is considered to be
part of the problem and cannot become part of the solution by joining the fight against oppression .

The underlying assumption is that all men benefit from womens oppression, all straight people
benefit from the oppression of the LGBT6 community, and all whites benefit from racism. The flip
side of this assumption, of course, is the idea that each group that faces a particular form of
oppressionracism, sexism, or homophobiais united in its interest in ending it. The theory of
identity politics locates the root of oppression not with a capitalist power structure but with a white
male power structure. The existence of a white male power structure seems like basic common
sense since , with rare exceptions, white men hold the reigns of the biggest corporations and the
highest government posts. That is true, but it only tells half the story . It would be highly inaccurate to
assume that all oppressed people are powerless in U.S. society today . Since the movements of the
1960s and 1970s, a significant number of women, gays, Blacks, and other racially oppressed minorities
have managed to climb up the corporate and political ladder and become absorbed into various power
structures. These individuals have achieved a fair amount of power in their own right. In the upcoming
2008 presidential election, the two Democratic Party frontrunners are a woman (Hillary Rodham
Clinton) and an African American (Barack Obama). The speaker of the House of Representatives is a
woman, Nancy Pelosi. The U.S. secretary of state is a Black woman, Condoleezza Rice. One of the most
powerful politicians in Washington is openly gay Congressman Barney Frank. Whose interests have
these women, gays, and African Americans represented once they have achieved some power within
the system ? The answer is fairly plain to seenot necessarily by believing their rhetoric, but by judging
their actions. Rather than fighting against the racist, sexist, and homophobic policies of the system,
they become part of enforcing them . For example, when the city of San Francisco began handing out
same-sex marriage licenses in 2005, did openly gay Barney Frank embrace it as a step forward for civil
rights? On the contrary, Frank called a press conference to attack gay marriage as divisive.7 Has
Senator Barack Obama rushed forward to defend the six Black youths victimized by racists in Jena,
Louisiana? The candidate did not make an appearance at the historic civil rights protest in Jena on
September 20, 2007.8 Yet Obama has devoted ample time on his recent speaking circuit to exhort Black
men to become better fathers, as he did in June 2005 addressing Black worshippers at Chicagos Christ
Universal Temple: There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking around, and they look like
men...they might even have sired a child.... But its not clear to me that theyre full-grown men.9 If a
white politician had delivered a similar lecture, it would have immediatelyand accuratelybeen
denounced as utterly racist. Nor does Condoleezza Rice hesitate to perform her duty as she wanders the
globe in her role as U.S. imperialisms key international enforcertraveling to the Middle East, for
example, to enforce Israels racist apartheid policies against its occupied Palestinian population. Iranian
people will be no better off if and when the U.S. decides to bomb them if Clinton or Obama occupy the
White House than Iraqi people were when the Bush administration decided to invade their country.
What all of these examples show is that there is no such thing as a common, fundamental interest
shared by all people who face the same form of oppression . Oppression isnt caused by the race,
gender, or sexuality of particular individuals who run the system, but is generated by the very system
itselfno matter whos running it. It goes without saying that we must confront incidents of sexism,
racism, and homophobia whenever they occur. But that alone is not going to change the racist, sexist,
and homophobic character that dominates the entire system.

Their plea for solidarity in the face of victimization coopts the struggle of those who
lack the privilege to even speak
Chow 93 (Rey Chow Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature, Duke University, Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in
Contemporary Cultural Studies, Indiana University Press (1993) // JJ)

While the struggle for hegemony remains necessary for many reasonsespecially in cases where
underprivileged groups seek equality of privilegeI remain skeptical of the validity of hegemony over
time, especially if it is a hegemony formed through intellectual power. The question for me is not how
intellectuals can obtain hegemony (a question that positions them in an oppositional light against
dominant power and neglects their share of that power through literacy, through the culture of words),
but how they can resist, as Michel Foucault said, "the forms of power that transform [them] into its object and
instrument in the sphere of 'knowledge,' 'truth,' 'consciousness,' and 'discourse.'" 26 Putting it another way,
how do intellectuals struggle against a hegemony which already includes them and which can no longer be divided
into the state and civil society in Gramsci's terms, nor be clearly demarcated into national and transnational spaces? Because "borders" have
so clearly meandered into so many intellectual issues that the more stable and conventional relation between borders and the "field" no longer
holds, intervention cannot simply be thought of in terms of the creation of new ''fields." 27 Instead, it is necessary to think primarily in terms of
bordersof borders, that is, as para-sites that never take over a field in its entirety but erode it slowly and tactically. The work of Michel de
Certeau is helpful for a formulation of this para-sitical intervention. De Certeau distinguishes between "strategy" and another practice
"tactic"in the following terms. A strategy has the ability to "transform the uncertainties of history into readable spaces" (de Certeau, p. 36).
The type of knowledge derived from strategy is "one sustained and determined by the power to provide oneself with one's own place" (de
Certeau, p. 36). Strategy therefore belongs to "an economy of the proper place" (de Certeau, p. 55) and to those who are committed to the
building, growth, and fortification of a "field." A text, for instance, would become in this economy "a cultural weapon, a private hunting
preserve," or "a means of social stratification" in the order of the Great Wall of China (de Certeau, p. 171). A tactic, by contrast, is "a calculated
action determined by the absence of a proper locus" (de Certeau, p. 37). Betting on time instead of space, a tactic "concerns an operational
logic whose models may go as far back as the age-old ruses of fishes and insects that disguise or transform themselves in order to survive, and

Why are
"tactics" useful at this moment? As discussions about "multiculturalism," "interdisciplinarity," "the third
world intellectual," and other companion issues develop in the American academy and society today, and
as rhetorical claims to political change and difference are being put forth, many deep-rooted, politically
reactionary forces return to haunt us. Essentialist notions of culture and history conservative notions of
territorial and linguistic propriety, and the "otherness" ensuing from them unattested claims of
which has in any case been concealed by the form of rationality currently dominant in Western culture" (de Certeau, p. xi).

oppression and victimization that are used merely to guilt-trip and to control sexist and racist
reaffirmations of sexual and racial diversities that are made merely in the name of righteousnessall these
forces create new "solidarities" whose ideological premises remain unquestioned. These new solidarities are often informed by a strategic

need to remember as intellectuals that the battles we fight are battles of words. Those who argue the
oppositional standpoint are not doing anything different from their enemies and are most certainly not
directly changing the downtrodden lives of those who seek their survival in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan
spaces alike. What academic intellectuals must confront is thus not their "victimization" by society at large
(or their victimization-in-solidarity-with-the-oppressed), but the power, wealth, and privilege that
ironically accumulate from their "oppositional" viewpoint, and the widening gap between the professed contents of their
attitude which repeats what they seek to overthrow. The weight of old ideologies being reinforced over and over again is immense.

words and the upward mobility they gain from such words. (When Foucault said intellectuals need to struggle against becoming the object and
instrument of power, he spoke precisely to this kind of situation.) The predicament we face in the West, where intellectual freedom shares a
history with economic enterprise, is that "if a professor wishes to denounce aspects of big business, he will be wise to locate in a school
whose trustees are big businessmen." 28 Why

should we believe in those who continue to speak a language of

alterity-as-lack while their salaries and honoraria keep rising? How do we resist the
turning-into-propriety of oppositional discourses , when the intention of such discourses has been that
of displacing and disowning the proper? How do we prevent what begin as tacticsthat which is ''without any base where it
could stockpile its winnings" (de Certeau, p. 37)from turning into a solidly fenced-off field, in the military no less than in the academic sense?

Turn the affirmatives attempt to define and politicize identity will inevitably be
coopted by the dominant discourse
Brown 93 (Wendy First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Wounded Attachments, Political Theory,
Vol. 21, No. 3 (August 1993), pp. 390-410 // JJ)

The story of the emergence of contemporary identity politics could be told in many other ways-as the
development of "new social antago- nisms" rooted in consumer capitalism's commodification of all
spheres of social life, as the relentless denaturalization of all social relations occa- sioned by the
fabrications and border violations of postmodern technolo- gies and cultural productions, as a form of
political consciousness precipitated by the black Civil Rights movement in the United States. 12 I have told the
story this way in order to emphasize the discursive political comext of its emergence, its disciplinary, capitalist. and liberal parentage, and this

in order to comprehend politicized identity's genealogical struc- ture as comprising and not only
opposing these very modalities of politi- cal power. Indeed, if the ostensibly oppositional character of
identity politics also render them something of the "illegitimate offspring" of liberal, capitalist,
disciplinary discourses, their absent fathers are not, as Donna Haraway suggests. "inessential" but are installed in
the very structure of desire fueling identity-based political claims: the psyche of the bastard child is hardly
independent ofits family of origin. 13 And if we are interested in developing the politically subversive or
transformative cle- ments of idenritv-based claims, we need to know the implications of the particular
genealogy and production conditions of identity's desire for recognition. We need to be able to ask:
Given what produced it, given what shapes and suffuses it, what does politicized identity want? We might
profitably begin these investigations with a reflection on their curious elision by the philosopher who also frames them, Michel Foucault. For
Foucault, the constraints of emancipatory politics in late modern democracy pertain to the ubiquity and
pervasiveness of power- the impossibility of eschewing power in human affairs-as well as to the ways in
which subjects and practices are always at risk of being resubordinated through the discourses
naming and politicizing them.

Best known for his formulation of this dual problem in the domain of sexual liberation, Foucault

offers a more generic theoretical account in his dis- cussion of the disinterment of the "insurrectionary knowledges" of mar- ginalized
populations and practices: Is the relation of forces today still such as to allow these disinterred knowledges some kind of autonomous life? Can
they be isolated by these means from every subjugating relationship' What force do they have taken in themselves? ... Is

it not perhaps
the case that these fragments of genealogies are no sooner brought to light, that the particular clements
of the knowledge that one seeks to disinter are no sooner accredited and put into circulation, than they
run the risk of re-codification, re-colonisation' In fact, those unitary discourses which first disqualified and
then ignored them when they made their appearance are, it seems, quite ready now to annex them, to
take them back within the fold of their own discourse and to invest them with everything this implies in
terms of their effects of knowledge and power. And if we want to protect these only lately liberated
fragments, are we not in danger of ourselves constructing, with our own hands, that unitary discourse?l
4 Foucault's caution about the annexing, colonizing effects of invariably unifying discourses is an
important one. But the question of the emanci- patory orientation of historically subordinated discourse is not
limited to the risk of cooptation or resubordination by extant or newly formed uni- tary discourseswhether those of humanism on one side, or of cultural studies, multiculturalism, subaltern studies, and minority discourse on the other. Nor is
it reducible to that unexamined Frankfurt School strain in Foucault, the extent to which the Fouc:mltian subject originally de- sirous of freedom
comes to will its own domination, or (in Foucault's rubric) becomes a good disciplinary subject. Rather, I think that for Foucault, insofar as
power always produces resistance, even the disciplin- ary subject is perversely capable of resistance, and in practicing it, prac- tices freedom.
Discernible here is the basis of a curious optimism, even volunteerism in Foucault, namely his oddly physicalist and insistently non psychic
account of power, practices, and subject formation. His re- moval of the "will to power" ti-om Nietzsche's complex psychology of need,
frustration, impotence, and compensatory deeds is what permits Foucault to feature resistance as always possible and as equivalent to practicing freedom.

Turn the idealization of endangered experiences furthers their exploitation

Chow 93 (Rey Chow Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature, Duke University, Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in
Contemporary Cultural Studies, Indiana University Press (1993) // JJ)

As an issue of postcoloniality, the

problem of the native is also the problem of modernity and modernity's

relation to "endangered authenticities." 28 The question to ask is not whether we can return the native to her authentic origin,
but what our fascination with the native means in terms of the irreversibility of modernity. There are many commendable accounts of how the
native in the non-Western world has been used by the West as a means to promote and develop its own intellectual contours. 29 According to
these accounts, modernism, especially the modernism that we associate with the art of Modigliani, Picasso, Gauguin, the novels of Gustave
Flaubert, Marcel Proust, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Henry Miller, and so forth, was possible only because these "first world" artists with
famous names incorporated into their "creativity" the culture and artwork of the peoples of the non-West. But while

Western artists
continue to receive attention specifically categorized in time, place, and name, the treatment of the
works of non-Western peoples continues to partake of systemic patterns of exploitation and distortion.
Apart from the general attribution of "anonymity" to native artists, "native works" have been bifurcated either as
timeless (in which case they would go into art museums) or as historical (in which case they would go into ethnographic museums).
While most cultural critics today are alert to the pitfalls of the ''timeless art" argument, many are still mired in efforts to invoke
"history," "contexts," and "specificities" as ways to resurrect the native. In doing so, are they restoring to
the native what has been stolen from her? Or are they in fact avoiding the genuine problem of the
native's status as object by providing something that is more manageable and comforting namely,
a phantom history in which natives appear as our equals and our images, in our shapes and our
forms? Nancy Armstrong summarizes our predicament this way: The new wave of culture criticism still assumes that we
must either be a subject who partakes in the power of gazing or else be an object that is by implication
the object of a pornographic gaze. The strategy of identifying people according to "subject positions" in a vast and intricate
differential system of interests and needs is perhaps the most effective way we now have of avoiding the problem incurred whenever we
classify political interests by means of bodies inscribed with signs of race, class, and gender. But even the "subject" of the critical term "subject
position" tends to dissolve too readily back into a popular and sentimental version of the bourgeois self. By definition, this self grants priority to
an embodied subject over the body as an object. To insist on being "subjects" as opposed to "objects" is to assume that we must have certain
powers of observation, classification, and definition in order to exist these powers make "us" human. According to the logic governing such
thinking as it was formulated in the nineteenth century, only certain kinds of subjects are really subjects to be human, anyone must be one of
"us." 30 As we challenge a dominant discourse by "resurrecting" the victimized voice/self of the native with our readingsand such is the
impulse behind many "new historical" accountswe step, far too quickly, into the otherwise silent and invisible place of the native and turn
ourselves into living agents/witnesses for her. This process, in which we become visible, also neutralizes the untranslatability of the native's
experience and the history of that untranslatability. The hasty supply of original "contexts" and "specificities" easily becomes complicitous with
the dominant discourse, which achieves hegemony precisely by its capacity to convert, recode, make transparent, and thus represent even
those experiences that resist it with a stubborn opacity. The danger of historical contextualization turning into cultural corporations is what
leads Clifford to say: I do not argue, as some critics have, that non-Western objects are properly understood only with reference to their
original milieux.

Ethnographic contextualizations are as problematic as aesthetic ones, as susceptible to

purified, ahistorical treatment . 31 The problem of modernity, then, is not simply an "amalgamating" of "disparate experience" 32
but rather the confrontation between what are now called the "first" and "third" worlds in the form of the diffrend, that is, the
untranslatability of "third world" experiences into the "first world." This is because, in

order for her experience to become

translatable, the "native" cannot simply "speak" but must also provide the justice/justification for her
speech, a justice/justification that has been destroyed in the encounter with the imperialist. 33 The native's
victimization consists in the fact that the active evidencethe original witnessof her victimization may no longer exist in any intelligible,
coherent shape. Rather

than saying that the native has already spoken because the dominant hegemonic
discourse is split/hybrid/different from itself, and rather than restoring her to her "authentic" context,
we should argue that it is the native's silence which is the most important clue to her displacement.
That silence is at once the evidence of imperialist oppression (the naked body, the defiled image)
and what, in the absence of the original witness to that oppression, must act in its place by
performing or feigning as the pre-imperialist gaze.

Identity politics desire to subjectify means embracing the conditions of ones own
subordination that only furthers exploitation
Butler 97 (Judith Butler Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of
California, Berkeley, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection, Stanford University Press, pp. 9-10 // JJ)

If the subject is produced through foreclosure, then the subject is produced by a condition from which it
is, by definition, separated and differentiated. Desire will aim at unraveling the subject, but be thwarted by precisely the
subject in whose name it operates. A vexation of desire, one that proves crucial to subjection, implies that for the
subject to persist, the subject must thwart its own desire. And for desire to triumph, the subject must
be threatened with dissolution. A subject turned against itself (its desire) appears, on this model, to be a condition of the
persistence of the subject. To desire the conditions of ones subordination is thus required to persist as
oneself. What does it mean to embrace the very form of powerregulation, prohibition,
suppressionthat threatens one with dissolution in an effort, precisely, to persist in ones own
existence. It is not simply that one requires the recognition of the other and that a form of recognition is conferred through subordination,
but rather that one is dependent on power for ones very formation, that that formation is impossible
without dependency, and that the posture of the adult subject consists precisely in the denial and
reenactment of this dependency. The I emerges upon the condition that it deny its formation in dependency, the conditions of its
own possibility. The I, however, is threatened with disruption precisely by this denial, by its unconscious pursuit of its own dissolution
through neurotic repetitions that restage the primary scenarios it not only refuses to see but cannot see, if it wishes to remain itself. This
means, of course, that, predicated

become or remain itself.

on what it refuses to know, it is separated from itself and can never quite

The idealizing, submissive tendencies inherent in identity politics recreate fascism
turns case
Chow 98 (Rey Chow Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature, Duke University, Ethics After Idealism: Theory, Culture, Ethnicity,
Reading, Theories of Contemporary Culture, Indiana University Press (1999), pp. 30-32 // JJ)

If there is one thing that unites the early territorial colonialism and the contemporary white liberalist
intellectual trends that I am describing, it is the notion of a clear demarcation between self and other,
between us and thema demarcation that is mediated through the relations between
consciousness and captivity. The myth, in the days of territorial colonialism, was that (white) consciousness had to be
established in resistance to captivityeven while whites were holding other people and lands captiveso that (white)
cultural origins could be kept pure. In the postcolonial era, by contrast, the myth is that (white)
consciousness must itself surrender to or be held captive by the otherthat (white) consciousness
is nothing without this captivity called otherness. In both cases, however, what remains constant is the belief
that we are not them, and that white is not other. This belief, which can be further
encapsulated as we are not other, is fascism par excellence. Emerging in postcoloniality, the new desire for
our others displays the same positive, projectional symptoms of fascism that I discussed in the preceding pagesa
rebelliousness and a monstrous aesthetics, but most of all a longing for a transparent, idealized image and an
identifying submission to such an image. Like the masses embrace of a Hitler or a Mussolini, this
fascism seeks empowerment through a surrender to the other as filmas the film that overcomes me in the spell
of an unmediated experience. The indiscriminate embrace of the peoples of color as correct
regardless of their differences and histories is ultimately the desire for a pure-otherness-in-pristineluminosity that is as dangerous as the fascism of hateful discrimination from which we all suppose we
are safely distanced. The genealogical affinity of these two fascisms is perhaps best exemplified by the art of a Leni Riefenstahl, who
progressed from embracing Nazi racism to embracing the beautiful Nuba men of the southern Sudan. If the controversial label
fascism is indeed useful, as I think it is, for a radical critique of the contemporary intellectual culture in the West, it is because it helps
us identify and problematize the good conscience and noble obligations of the new liberal fascism with
its multiculturalist modes and its sophisticated enterprises of visibility. Some will no doubt want to disavow such
ongoing fascist longings in our midst; others, hopefully, will not.

Attempts to increase the visibility of the other only reify exploitation visual
representations are, by nature, laid bare and on display
Chow 93 (Rey Chow Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature, Duke University, Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in
Contemporary Cultural Studies, Indiana University Press (1993) // JJ)

In the politics of identifying "authentic" natives, several strands of the word "identification" are at stake:
How do we identify the native? How do we identify with her? How do we construct the native's
"identity"? What processes of identification are involved? We cannot approach this politics without
being critical of a particular relation to images that is in question. In his volume of essays exploring film culture, Fredric
Jameson writes that "The visual is essentially pornographic. Pornographic films are only the potentiation of
films in general, which ask us to stare at the world as though it were a naked body." 4 This straightforward
definition of the visual image sums up many of the problems we encounter in cultural criticism today, whether or not the topic in question is
film. The

activity of watching is linked by projection to physical nakedness. Watching is theoretically

defined as the primary agency of violence, an act that pierces the other, who inhabits the place of the
passive victim on display . The image, then, is an aggressive sight that reveals itself in the other it is the

site of the aggressed. Moreover, the image is what has been devastated, left bare, and left behind by
aggression hence Jameson's view that it is naked and pornographic. For many, the image is also the site of possible change. In many
critical discourses, the image is implicitly the place where battles are fought and strategies of resistance
negotiated. Such discourses try to inhabit this image-site by providing alternative sights, alternative ways of watching that would change
the image. Thus one of the most important enterprises nowadays is that of investigating the "subjectivity"
of the other-as-oppressed-victim. "Subjectivity" becomes a way to change the defiled image, the
stripped image, the image-reduced-to-nakedness, by showing the truth behind/beneath/around it. The
problem with the reinvention of subjectivity as such is that it tries to combat the politics of the image, a
politics that is conducted on surfaces, by a politics of depths, hidden truths, and inner voices . The
most important aspect of the imageits power precisely as image and nothing elseis thus bypassed
and left untouched. 5 It is in this problematic of the image as the bad thing to be replaced that I lodge the following arguments about
the "native.'' The question in which I am primarily interested is: Is there a way of "finding" the native without simply ignoring the image, or
substituting a "correct" image of the ethnic specimen for an "incorrect" one, or giving the native a "true" voice "behind" her "false" image?
How could we deal with the native in an age when there is no possibility of avoiding the reduction/abstraction of the native as image? How can
we write about the native by not ignoring the defiled, degraded image that is an inerasable part of her statusi.e., by not resorting to the
idealist belief that everything would be all right if the inner truth of the native is restored because the inner truth would lead to the "correct"
image? I want

to highlight the nativenowadays often a synonym for the oppressed, the marginalized,
the wrongedbecause I think that the space occupied by the native in postcolonial discourses is also
the space of error, illusion, deception, and filth. How would we write this space in such a way as to
refuse the facile turn of sanctifying the defiled image with pieties and thus enriching ourselves
precisely with what can be called the surplus value of the oppressed, a surplus value that results from
exchanging the defiled image for something more noble?

Their act of breaking silence turns individual experiences into regulatory discourses
that homogenize resistance
Brown 96 (Wendy Brown First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Constitutions and 'Survivor
Stories': In the 'folds of our own discourse' The Pleasures and Freedoms of Silence, The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable (1996),
lexis // JJ)
Again, let me emphasize that the

problem I am seeking to delineate is not specific to MacKinnon or even

feminist legal reform. Rather, MacKinnon's and kindred efforts at bringing subjugated discourses into the law
merely constitute examples of what Foucault identified as the risk of re-codification and recolonisation of "disinterred knowledges" by those "unitary discourses, which first disqualified and
then ignored them when they made their appearance ." n23 They exemplify how the work of breaking silence
can metamorphose into new techniques of domination, how our truths can become our rulers rather
than our emancipators, how our confessions become the norms by which we are regulated. If, taken
together, the two passages from Foucault we have been consider- ing call feminists to account in our compulsion to put everything about
women into discourse, they do not yet exhaust the phenomenon of being ensnared 'in the folds of our own discourses.' For if the

I have been discussing is easy enough to see--indeed, largely familiar to those who track techniques of
co-optation--at the level of legal and bureaucratic discourse, it is altogether more disquieting when it
takes the form of regulatory discourse in our own sub- and counter-cultures of resistance . . . when
confessing injury becomes that which attaches us to the injury, paralyzes us within it, and prevents us
from seeking or even desiring a status other than injured. In an age of social identification through attributes marked as
culturally significant--gender, race, sexuality, and so forth--confessional discourse, with its truth-bearing status in a postepistemological universe, not only regulates the confessor in the name of freeing her as Foucault
described that logic, but extends beyond the confessing individual to constitute a regulatory truth
about the identity group. Confessed truths are assembled and deployed as "knowledge"

about the group.

This phenomenon would seem to undergird a range of recurring troubles in feminism, from the "real woman" rejoinder to post-structuralist
deconstructions of her, to totalizing descriptions of women's experience that are the inadvertent effects of various kinds of survivor stories.
Thus, for example, the porn star who feels miserably exploited, violated and humiliated in her work invariably monopolizes the truth about sex
work; as the girl with math anxieties constitutes the truth about women and math; as eating disor- ders have become the truth about women
and food; as sexual abuse and viola- tion occupy the knowledge terrain of women and sexuality. In other words, even

as feminism aims
to affirm diversity among women and women's ex- periences, confession as the site of production of
truth and its convergence with feminist suspicion and deauthorization of truth from other sources tends
to reinstate a unified discourse in which the story of greatest suffering becomes the true story of
woman. (I think this constitutes part of the rhetorical power of MacKinnon's work; analytically, the epistemological superiority of confession substitutes for the older, largely discredited charge of false consciousness). Thus, the adult who does not suffer from her or his childhood
sexual experi- ence, the lesbian who does not feel shame, the woman of color who does not primarily or "correctly" identify with her marking
as such--these figures

are excluded as bonafide members of the categories which also claim them. Their
status within these discourses is that of being "in denial," "passing" or being a "race traitor." This is the
norm-making process in feminist traditions of "breaking silence" which, ironically, silence and exclude the very
women these traditions mean to empower. (Is it surprising, when we think in this vein, that there is so little feminist writing on
heterosexual pleasure?) But if these practices tacitly silence those whose experiences do not parallel those whose suffering is most
marked (or whom the discourse produces as suffering markedly), they also condemn those whose sufferings they record to
a permanent identification with that suffering. Here, we experience a temporal ensnaring in 'the folds of
our own discourses' insofar as we identify ourselves in speech in a manner that condemns us to live in a
present dominated by the past. But what if speech and silence aren't really opposites? Indeed, what if to speak incessantly of one's
suffering is to silence the possibilities of overcoming it, of living beyond it, of identifying as something other than it? What if this
incessant speech not only overwhelms the experiences of others, but alternative (unutterable? traumatized?

fragmentary? inassimilable?) zones

of one's own experience? Conversely, what if a certain modality of silence

about one's suffering--and I am suggesting that we must consider modalities of silence as varied as modalities of speech and discourse-is to articulate a variety of possibilities not otherwise available to the sufferer?

Self-identification inevitably reinforces homogenized conceptions of culture

Butler 90 (Judith Butler Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of
California, Berkeley, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Routledge, pp. 84-86 // JJ)
iv. Gender Complexity and the Limits of Identification The foregoing analyses of Lacan,Riviere,and Freuds The Ego and the Id offer competing
versions of how gender identifications workindeed, of whether they can be said to work at all. Can gender complexity and dissonance be
accounted for by the multiplication and conver- gence of a variety of culturally dissonant identifications? Or is

all identification
constructed through the exclusion of a sexuality that puts those identifications into question? In the first
instance, multiple iden- tifications can constitute a nonhierarchical configuration of shifting and overlapping identifications that call into
question the primacy of any univocal gender attribution.In the Lacanian framework,identifica- tion is understood to be fixed within the binary
disjunction of having or beingthe Phallus,with the consequence that the excluded term of the binary continually haunts and disrupts the
coherent posturing of any one.The excluded term is an excluded sexuality that contests the self-grounding pretensions of the subject as well as
its claims to know the source and object of its desire. For the most part, feminist critics concerned with

the psychoana- lytic

problematic of identification have often focused on the question of a maternal identification and sought
to elaborate a feminist episte- mological position from that maternal identification and/or a mater- nal
discourse evolved from the point of view of that identification and its difficulties. Although much of that work
is extremely significant and clearly influential, it has come to occupy a hegemonic position within the
emerging canon of feminist theory. Further, it tends to reinforce precisely the binary, heterosexist
framework that carves up genders into masculine and feminine and forecloses an adequate
description of the kinds of subversive and parodic convergences that characterize gay and lesbian
cultures. As a very partial effort to come to terms with that maternalist discourse, however, Julia Kristevas description of the semiotic as a
maternal subversion of the Symbolic will be examined in the following chapter. What critical strategies and sources of subversion appear as
the consequence of the psychoanalytic accounts considered so far? The recourse to the unconscious as a source of subversion makes sense, it
seems, only if the paternal law is understood as a rigid and universal determinism which makes of identity a fixed and phantasmatic affair.
Even if we accept the phantasmatic content of identity,there is no rea- son to assume that the law which fixes the terms of that fantasy is

As opposed to the founding Law of the Symbolic that fixes identity

in advance, we might reconsider the history of constitutive identifica- tions without the presupposition
of a fixed and founding Law.Although the universalityof the paternal law may be contested within anthropo- logical circles, it
impervious to historical variability and possibility.

seems important to consider that the meaning that the law sustains in any given historical context is less univocal and less deterministically
efficacious than the Lacanian account appears to acknowledge. It should be possible to offer a schematic of the ways in which a constellation
of identifications conforms or fails to conform to culturally imposed standards of gender integrity. The

constitutive identifications

of an autobiographical narrative are always partially fabricated in the telling . Lacan claims that we can
never tell the story of our origins, precisely because language bars the speaking subject from the
repressed libidinal origins of its speech ; however, the foundational moment in which the paternal law institutes the subject
seems to func- tion as a metahistory which we not only can but ought to tell, even though the founding moments of the subject, the institution

The alternative perspective on identification

that emerges from psychoanalytic theory suggests that multiple and coexisting identifications produce
conflicts, convergences, and innovative dissonances within gender configurations which contest the
fixity of masculine and feminine placements with respect to the paternal law. In effect, the possibility of multiple
of the law, is as equally prior to the speaking subject as the unconscious itself.

identifications (which are not finally reducible to primary or founding identifications that are fixed within masculine and feminine positions)
suggests that the Law is not deterministic and that thelaw may not even be singular.

Lack of culture leads to identity crisis

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 8, pgs 136-137, 2009//SRSL)

While I agree that there is no such thing as 'white culture' per se, there are white cultures. It is
particularly important, given the scenario of continuing UK white working class racism (exacerbated, as I have

argued throughout this volume by sections of the tabloid press), that educators

do not deny the existence ofwhite

working class cultures. Indeed, as I have argued elsewhere with respect to such cultures (Cole, 2007c,
2008c), educational institutions should be centrally involved in helping to identify and develop strategies
to promote good inclusive practice for all pupils/students, including the white working class, nonracialized as well as racialized (see below). Sections of the white working class in England have voted for
the fascist British National Party (BNP) at recent elections precisely because they feel that they are treated
with less equality than others. Ifwe were to teach white working class young people that they have no culture, or indeed if we
were to treat them as if they had no culture, that would be racist, would alienate white working class children even more, and would
not be conducive to effective socialist practice. The

notion of such a lack of culture, which would surely lead to

identity crises (a point that fellow 'white abolitionist' Ricky Lee Allen (2007, p. 65) seems to revel in when he states
that critical educators need to create an environment which creates this) would also rightly be massively
contested, including by most ofthe Left in the United Kingdom.

The affirmatives call for recognition reinscribes the traumatized subject by politicizing
Brown 93 (Wendy First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Wounded Attachments, Political Theory,
Vol. 21, No. 3 (August 1993), pp. 390-410 // JJ)

Revenge as a "reaction," a substitute for the capacity to act, produces identity as both bound to the history that
produced it and as a reproach to the present that embodies that history. The will that "took to hurting" in its own
impotence against its past becomes (in the form of an identity whose very existence is due to heightened
consciousness of the immovability of its "it was," its history of subordination) a will that makes not only a psychological but a
political practice of revenge, a practice that reiterates the existence of an identity whose present past is one of
insistently unredeemable injury. This past cannot be redeemed unless the identity ceases to be invested
in it, and it cannot cease to be invested in it without giving up its identity as such, thus giving up its
economy of avenging and at the same time perpetuating its hurt-"when he then stills the pain of the wound, he at the
same time reinfects the wound."32 In its emergence as a protest against marginalization or subordination,
politicized identity thus becomes attached to its own exclusion both because it is premised on this
exclusion for its very existence as identity and because the formation of identity at the site of exclusion,
as exclusion, augments or "alters the direction of the suffering" entailed in subordination or marginalization by finding a site of blame for it.

it installs its pain over its unredeemed history in the very foundation of its political claim ,
in its demand for recognition as identity. In locating a site of blame for its powerlessness over its past,
as a past of injury, a past as a hurt will, and locating a "reason" for the "unendurable pain" of social powerlessness in the present, it
converts this reasoning into an ethicizing politics, a politics of recrimination that seeks to avenge the
hurt even while it reaffirms it, discursively codifies it. Politicized identity thus enunciates itself, makes
claims for itself, only by entrenching, dramatizing, and inscribing its pain in politics and can hold out no
future-for itself or others-that triumphs over this pain. The loss of historical direction, and with it the loss of futurity
But in so doing,

characteristic of the late modern age, is thus homologically refigured in the structure of desire of the dominant political expression of the ageidentity politics. In the same way, the generalized political impotence produced by the ubiquitous yet discontinuous networks of late modern
political and economic power is reiterated in the investments of late modern democracy's primary oppositional political formation.

Intersectionaltiy reduces identity to a mere social role
Ross 2k [Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Professor of English Language and Literature & African and African American Studies, New
Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics? (Autumn, 2000), pp. 827-850, Published by: The Johns Hopkins University
Press,] l.gong
Perhaps Palumbo-Liu, understandably, feels restless hemmed in by externalizing

theories of the body, spectatorship,

performativity, hybridity, resistance, and intersectionality. Such theories tend to reduce identities to social
roles that can be put on and taken off, mixed and matched, almost at will. Or they overdetermine exceptional cases of
passing to explain the rules of racial identification, or they credential closeting, crossdressing, and transsexuality to explain all the rules of sexual identification. As others have pointed out, such theories silently rely on
the solidity of the sexual anatomy beneath the poses and custom (e) s and on the substratum of racial
embodiment against which passing identity can seem playfully deconstructive. Although such theories, to
their credit, occasionally highlight the delights of cross identification, they do so at the expense of understanding
the intractability of identity norms, many of which remain untouched by crossdressers, passers, and the like. Identities may
not be fixed and static, but they are ingrained and iterative. Even cross-dressers repeat the same maneuvers, styles,
attitudes over generationsironically forging normative expectations for putatively abnormal gender-bending. If
these theories do not take us far enough "behind" the social roles that they critique, Palumbo Liu's attempt to siphon off social roles
from identity, the collective form from the individual "inside," does not go far enough inside the institutionality of
the individual.

Identity politics bad their approach is premised on realism, essentialism, and ethical
Gergen 99 (Kenneth J. Gergen American psychologist and professor at Swarthmore College, Social Construction and the
Transformation of Identity Politics, End of knowing: A new developmental way of learning (1999) // JJ)
If identity

politics were not sufficiently embattled by the vicissitudes of cultural history, it has also begun to feel a certain
suffocating presence from its constructionist paramour. For, while social constructionism supplies vibrant
discursive resources for building internal strength and undermining the opposition, it also plays havoc
with central tenets of identity politics. In particular, constructionism offers strong arguments against the realism, essentialism,
and ethical foundationalism endemic to much of the discourse of identity politics. In the first instance, the social critiques
developed within identity politics are typically lodged within a realist discourse, a discourse which
privileges its critique with the capacity for truth beyond perspective. In characterizing the barriers of
class, the glass ceiling, homo-phobia, the effects of pornography on rape, and the embryonic fetus as a
human being, for example, claims are being about the state of nature independent of our interpretive
proclivities. For the constructionist, of course, the such claims are not so much reflections of nature as the
outcome of social process . The descriptions are inherently positioned both historically and culturally,

and myriad alternatives are

both possible and creditable from other societal locations. The realist posture is all the more ironic, the constructionist reasons, because such
critiques are often coupled with a deconstruction of the opposition's objectivity. The

constructed character of the dominant

discourse is used by the identity politician to pave the way for the marginalized alternative, with the
latter position then treated as if transparent. Closely related to a problematic realism is the essentialist
presumption implicit in much identity politics. To make claims for the rights of women, children, the
aged, the poor, the insane, and so on typically implies the existence of an essential entity a group
unified by its distinctive features . The group name is treated as referential - derived from
characteristics existing in nature, independent of the name itself. For the constructionist, of course, reference is
preeminently a social achievement and thus inherently defeasible. The reality of history, ethnicity, class, and so on is generated within
contemporary cultural life, and could be otherwise. As Henry Louis Gates (1994) proposes, blackness is "not a material object, an absolute, or

an event," but only "a trope." And lodging the argument in social process, he goes on, "Race

is only a sociopolitical category,

nothing more." As this sociopolitical category is applied to individuals it also acts as a reductive agent,
circumscribing one's identity, and reducing one's potential to be otherwise . In his Reflections of an Affirmative
labels operate as problematic stereotypes, covering over
complexities and generating misleading social policies.(See also Calhoun, 1994) Finally, constructionist thought
also militates against the claims to ethical foundations implicit in much identity politics - that higher ground
from which others can so confidently be condemned as inhumane, self-serving, prejudiced, and unjust. Constructionist thought
painfully reminds us that we have no transcendent rationale upon which to rest such accusations, and that
our sense of moral indignation is itself a product of historically and culturally situated traditions. And the
Action Baby, Stephen Carter proposes that such

constructionist intones, is it not possible that those we excoriate are but living also within traditions that are, for them, suffused with a sense
of ethical primacy? As we find, then, social constructionism is a two edged sword in the political arena, potentially as damaging to the
wielding hand as to the opposition.

Turn their confessional discourse fails to liberate instead, it regulates identity by
universalizing specific experiences
Brown 96 (Wendy Brown First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Constitutions and 'Survivor
Stories': In the 'folds of our own discourse' The Pleasures and Freedoms of Silence, The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable (1996),
lexis // JJ)
Here, Foucault's

concern is less with disrupting the conventional modernist equation of power with speech on one side, and oppression
the ways in which insurrectionary discourse borne of exclusion and
marginalization can be colonized by that which produced it much as counter-cultural fashion is routinely
commodified by the corporate textile industry. While "disqualified" discourses are an effect of
domination, they nevertheless potentially function as oppositional when they are deployed by those
who inhabit them. However, when "annexed" by those "unitary" discourses which they ostensibly oppose, they
with silence on the other, than with

become a particularly potent source of regulation, carrying as they do intimate and detailed
knowledge of their subjects . Thus, Foucault's worry would appear to adhere not simply to the study of but to the overt political
mobilization of oppositional discourses. Consider the way in which the discourse of multiculturalism has been
annexed by mainstream institutions to generate new modalities of essentialized racial discourse; how
"pre-menstrual syndrome" has been rendered a debilitating disease in medical and legal discourses; n17
how "battered women's syndrome" has been deployed in the courtroom to defend women who strike
back at their assailants by casting them as sub-rational, egoless victims of male violence; n18 or how some
women's response to some pornography was generalized by the Meese Commission on pornography as
the violence done to all women by all pornography. n19 Consider, more generally, attempts at codifying feminist discourses
of women's experience in the unitary and universal discourse of the law. What happens when legal universalism's silence about women, when
its failure to recognize or remedy the material of women's subordination, is remedied with discourses specifying women's experience and
codifying the category of women through this specification? In pursuing this question, I will focus briefly on Catharine MacKinnon's work, but

MacKinnon expressly aims to

write "women's experience into law," but as so many other feminists have remarked, this begs the
the questions I am raising about this kind of feminist legal reform are not limited to her work. n20

question of which women's experience(s) , drawn from which historical moments, culture, race, and
class strata . n21 Indeed, what does it mean to write historically and culturally circumscribed experience into an ahistorical discourse, the
universalist discourse of law? Is it possible to do this without rendering "experience" as ontology, "perspective" as Truth, and without encoding
this ontology and this Truth in law as the basis of women's rights? What if, for example, the identity of women as keyed to sexual violation is an
expressly late twentieth century and white middle-class construction of femininity, consequent to a radical deprivatization of sexuality on the
one side, and the erosion of other elements of compulsory heterosexuality n22 --such as a severely gendered division of social labor--on the
other? Moreover,

does a definition of women as sexual subordination, and the encoding of this definition
in law, work to liberate women from sexual subordination, or does it, paradoxically, legally reinscribe
femaleness as sexual violability? If the law produces the subjects it claims to protect or emancipate, how
might installation of women's experience as "sexual violation" in the law reiterate rather than repeal
this identity? And might this installation be particularly unemancipatory for women whose lived
experience is not that of sexual subordination to men but, for example, that of sexual outlaw? These
questions suggest that in legally codifying a fragment of an insurrectionary discourse as a timeless truth,
interpellating women as unified in their victimization, and casting the "free speech" of men as that which "silences" and
thus subordinates women, MacKinnon not only opposes bourgeois liberty to substantive equality, but potentially intensifies the
regulation of gender and sexuality in the law, abetting rather than contesting the production of gender
identity as sexual. In short, as a regulatory fiction of a particular identity is deployed to displace the
hegemonic fiction of universal personhood, the discourse of rights converges insidiously with the
discourse of disciplinarity to produce a spectacularly potent mode of juridical-regulatory domination .

By seeking subjectivity through external recognition, their politics regulate and govern
Butler 97 (Judith Butler Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of
California, Berkeley, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection, Stanford University Press, pp. 21-22 // JJ)
How is it that the subject is the kind of being who can be exploited, who is, by virtue of its own formation, vulnerable to subjugation?

Bound to seek recognition of its own existence in categories, terms, and names that are not of its
own making , the subject seeks the sign of its own existence outside itself, in a discourse that is at once
dominant and indifferent. Social categories signify subordination and existence at once. In other words, within
subjection the price of existence is subordination. Precisely at the moment in which choice is impossible, the subject pursues subordination as
the promise of existence. This pursuit is not choice, but neither is it necessity. Subjection exploits the desire for existence, where existence is
always conferred from elsewhere; it marks a primary vulnerability to the Other in order to be. Assuming

terms of power that one

never made but to which one is vulnerable on which one depends in order to be, appears to be a mundane subjection at the
basis of subject formation. Assuming power is no simple process, however, for power is not mechanically reproduced when it is assumed.

Instead, on being assumed, power runs the risk of assuming another form and direction. If conditions of power
do not unilaterally produce subjects, then what is the temporal and logical form that the assumption of power takes? A redescription of the
domain of psychic subjection is needed to make clear how social power produces modes of reflexivity oat the same time as it limits forms of
sociality. In other words, to

the extent that norms operate as psychic phenomena, restricting and producing

desire, they also govern the formation of the subject and circumscribe the domain of a livable
sociality. The psychic operation of the norm offers a more insidious route for regulatory power than
explicit coercion, one whose success allows its tacit operation within the social. And yet, being psychic, the
norm does not merely reinstate social power, it becomes formative and vulnerable in highly specific
ways. The social categorizations that establish the vulnerability of the subject to language are
themselves vulnerable to both psychic and historical change. This view counters an understanding of a
psychic or linguistic normativity (as in some versions of the Symbolic) that is prior to the social or sets constraint on
the social. Just as the subject is derived from conditions of power that precede it, so the psychic operation of the norm is derived, though
not mechanically or predictably, from prior social operations.

The confessional nature of standpoint identity discourse obscures the way in which
identities are constructed, assigned, and regulated
DCruz 8 (Carolyn DCruz Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Identity Politics in
Deconstruction; Calculating with the Incalculable, Ashgate Publishing Ltd (2008) // JJ)

Despite the practical, political and philosophical impossibility of articulating a unified identity from
which to base its emancipatory projects, identity movements continue to situate the problem of
essences and foundations as something that they can overcome. One of the more enduring debates around this
problem has its roots in how particular historians have responded to what has been described as the linguistic turn in the humanities and
social sciences, and finds its focal point of contention emerging from Joan Scotts widely cited and commented upon essay, The Evidence of
Experience. Joan Scott delivered and published her paper on experience in an environment in which marginalised identities seeking to
resurrect their lost voices in the dominant narratives of history had become prevalent. Scott identifies such corrective writing in Samuel
Delaneys autobiography, The Motion of Light in Water, where the latter reveals a cognitive dissonance between the prevailing representation
of homosexuals in the 1950s as isolated perverts and his experience of entering a bathhouse in 1963, which suggested a much more pervasive
population of (well adjusted) gay men. Scott describes Delaneys revelation in terms that readily fit identity based movements aim to bring to
visibility previously suppressed perspectives in the construction of reality in this case, the construction of homosexuality. It also fits well with
narratives of consciousness-raising, recently revived for critical analysis among post-positivist realists. But

while such corrective

accounts of history open the door to alternative perspectives that enlarge and challenge normative
narratives in the history of sexuality, Scott argues that such evidence still accepts a referential account
of history. For Scott, the concept of experience, as what one has lived through, becomes the origin of
knowledge, which fails to account for the constructed nature of experience. Scott claims that Delaneys
approach renders experience as transparent and does not challenge the ideological systems that
presume a natural opposition between heterosexuality and homosexuality, sexual practices and sexual

conventions. In order to challenge rather than reproduce the repressive mechanisms of ideology, Scott
calls for attending to how historical processes are bound to discourses that position and produce a
subjects experiences. While Scott does not explicitly define discourse, it appears that she is employing the term in the Foucauldian
sense as described in the previous chapter. This alliance to Foucault is evident in Scotts conclusion, where she advocates the formers
genealogical approach to history as the most productive way for the historian to relate the past not by
presuming the capacity to re-enact somebodys past experience, but through analysing changing
concepts that make possible the evidence by which experience can be grasped. 11 Scott settles on this
discursive approach after surveying various other historians approaches to experience. What Scott finds problematic in the approaches of
Raymond Williams, E. P Thompson and C. G. Collingwood is that they assume that experience is something that one has rather than asking
how the experiences of subjects themselves are produced. It might have been useful at this point to distinguish between personal lived
experiences Erlebnis, on the one hand and Erfahrung, the traditions to which this subjugated identity have been inserted, on the other. For
even if one concedes that experiences are produced which might a collective identity it is hard to remove the grammar of experience, to
borrow Peggy Kamufs phrase from a different context, which occur*s+ most readily in clauses with the verb to have. 12 This

is perhaps
why Scotts criticisms of previous accounts of experience were read as if the production of experience
discounted the ability to talk about ones own lived experience. This interpretation is captured in the bizarre title of
Laura Downss article, If Woman is Just an Empty Category, Then Why Am I Afraid to Walk Alone at Night? Identity Politics Meets the
Postmodern Subject. 13 Focusing on the title alone, we might wonder how Scotts call to analyse the substitution of one interpretation for
another in the history of the interplay between identity and experience could suggest that (any) identity is an empty category. On the contrary,
it seems that Scott is indicating that interpretations of

identity and experience are in fact rife with multiple and

contradictory meanings. Moreover, to make any sense of Downss title at all, we would have to presume a totally reducible
relationship between the level of conceptuality (such as with the concept of woman) and the order of actuality (lived experience). As we will
see, this

chapter comes up against the impossibility of reducing the relationship between the ideality of a
concept and the materiality of bodies to an essentialised and generalised form that can name a point of
origin that privileges one order either the material or the ideal over the other. Scott does not appear to pursue
this question, so I will leave it for now and return to her article. Scott further argues that the aforementioned historians fail to put into question
the foundational status of experience as a means for social transformation. Whether the

historian is concerned with women

or African-American or lesbian or homosexual *or+ working class, the problem is the same. 14 This is to say,
corrective history often equates personal experience with an automatic position from which to direct
a politics of resistance.

To give this criticism a wider context, I will outline its applicability to proponents of feminist standpoint

theory, which despite undergoing several revisions over the last three decades, maintains the same basic premise that the lived experiences
of the subjugated are the best sources for constructing a socially transformative knowledge. 15 With

its Marxist roots, standpoint

theory began by extending the category of industrial labour which invests the interests of oppressed
workers with a privileged perspective from which to transform the world to include the category of domestic
labour, predominantly comprised of women. Revisions of standpoint theory attempted to rectify previous feminist
blindness to issues of race, and sexuality by attempting to add these perspectives of devalued and
neglected lives into a stronger concept of objectivity from that associated with the master position
(identified as white, capitalist and male). 17 Despite protests to the contrary, standpoint theory
unwittingly implies that the subject with the most markers of oppression would occupy the most
privileged perspective to construct objective knowledge (a black, third world lesbian with a disability, for instance). For
Scott, such investments in privileging perspectives from the lived experiences of the subjugated
obscures the contradictory and contested process by which [such categories were themselves]
conceptualised and by which diverse kinds of subject positions were assigned, felt, contested, or

Identity politics reify hegemonic structures by defining and regulating identities as

distinct from an idealized majority
Brown 93 (Wendy First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Wounded Attachments, Political Theory,
Vol. 21, No. 3 (August 1993), pp. 390-410 // JJ)

Contemporary politicized identity contests the terms of liberal discourse insofar as it challenges
liberalism's universal "we" as a strategic fiction of historically hegemonic groups and asserts liberalism's
"I" as social-both relational and constructed by power-rather than contingent, private, or autarkic. Yet it reiterates the terms of
liberal discourse insofar as it posits a sovereign and unified "I" that is disenfranchised by an exclusive
"we." Indeed, I have suggested that politicized identity emerges and obtains its unifying coherence through the
politicization of exclusion from an ostensible universal, as a protest against exclusion, a protest premised on the
fiction of an inclusive/universal community, a protest that reinstalls the humanist ideal- and a specific
white, middle-class, masculinist expression of this ideal-insofar as it premises itself on exclusion from
it. Put the other way around, politicized identities generated out of liberal, disciplinary societies, insofar as
they are premised on exclusion from a universal ideal, require that ideal, as well as their exclusion from
it, for their own perpetuity as identities. 3 Politicized identity is also potentially reiterative of regulatory,
disciplin- ary society in its configuration of a disciplinary subject. It is both produced by and potentially
accelerates the production of that aspect of disciplinary society that "ceaselessly characterizes,
classifies, and specializes," that works through "surveillance, continuous registration, perpetual
assessment, and classification," through a social machinery "that is both immense and min- ute." 14 A
recent example from the world of local politics makes clear politicized identity's imbrication in disciplinary power, as well as the way in which,
as Foucault reminds us, disciplinary power "infiltrates" rather than replaces liberal juridical modalities.'5 Last
year, the city council of my town reviewed an ordinance, devised and promulgated by a broad coalition of identity-based political groups,
which aimed to ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of "sexual orientation, transsexual- ity,
age, height, weight, personal appearance, physical characteristics, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital
status, sex or gender."'6 Here is a

perfect instance of the universal juridical idea of liberalism and the

normalizing principle of disciplinary regimes conjoined and taken up within the discourse of politicized
identity. This ordinance- variously called the "purple hair ordinance" or the "ugly ordinance" by national news media-aims to count every
difference as no difference, as part of a seamless whole, but also to count every potentially subversive rejection of culturally enforced norms
as themselves normal, as normaliz- able, and as normativizable through law. Indeed, through

the definitional, procedural, and

remedies section of this ordinance (e.g., "sexual orientation shall mean known or assumed homosexuality, heterosexuality, or
bisexual- ity"), persons are reduced to observable social attributes and practices; these are defined
empirically, positivistically, as if their existence were intrinsic and factual, rather than effects of
discursive and institutional power ; and these positivist definitions of persons as their attributes and
practices are written into law, ensuring that persons describable according to them will now become
regulated through them. Bentham couldn't have done it better. Indeed, here is a perfect instance of how the
language of unfreedom, how articulation in language, in the context of liberal and disciplinary
discourse, becomes a vehicle of subordination through individualization, normaliza- tion, and
regulation, even as it strives to produce visibility and acceptance. Here, also, is a perfect instance of the way in which
differences that are the effects of social power are neutralized through their articulation as attributes and their circulation through liberal
administrative discourse: what do we make of a document that renders as juridical equivalents the denial of employment to an African
American, an obese man, and a white middle-class youth festooned with tattoos and fuschia hair?

Turn their performance of identity reinforces regulatory, universalized notions of

Butler 90 (Judith Butler Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of
California, Berkeley, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Routledge, pp. 172-174 // JJ)
The redescription of intrapsychic processes in terms of the surface politics of the body implies a corollary redescription of gender as the
disciplinary production of the figures of fantasy through the play of presence and absence on the bodys surface, the construction of the
gendered body through a series of exclusions and denials, signifying absences.But

what determines the manifest and latent

text of the body politic? What is the prohibitive law that generates the corporeal styliza- tion of gender,
the fantasied and fantastic figuration of the body? We have already considered the incest taboo and the prior taboo against

homosexuality as the generative moments of gender identity, the

prohibitions that produce identity along the culturally

intelligible grids of an idealized and compulsory heterosexuality.That disciplinary production of gender
effects a false stabilization of gender in the interests of the heterosexual construction and regulation of
sexuality within the reproductive domain. The construction of coherence conceals the gender discontinuities that
run rampant within heterosexual, bisexual, and gay and lesbian contexts in which gender does not
necessarily fol- low from sex, and desire, or sexuality generally, does not seem to fol- low from gender
indeed, where none of these dimensions of significant corporeality express or reflect one another.When the disorganization and
disaggregation of the field of bodies disrupt the regulatory fiction of heterosexual coherence, it seems
that the expressive model loses its descriptive force. That regulatory ideal is then exposed as a norm
and a fiction that disguises itself as a developmental law regulating the sexual field that it purports to
describe . According to the understanding of identification as an enacted fantasy or incorporation,
however, it is clear that coherence is desired, wished for,idealized,and that this idealization is an effect
of a corpore- al signification. In other words, acts, gestures, and desire produce the effect of an internal core or substance,but
produce this on the surface of the body, through the play of signifying absences that suggest, but never reveal, the
organizing principle of identity as a cause. Such acts, gestures,enactments,generally construed,are
performative in the sense that the essence or identity that they otherwise purport to express are
fabrications manufactured and sustained through corporeal signs and other discursive means.That the
gendered body is performative sug- gests that it has no ontological status apart from the various acts which constitute its reality.This also
suggests that if that reality is fabricated as an interior essence, that very interiority is an effect and function of a decidedly public and social
discourse, the public regulation of fan- tasy through the surface politics of the body,the gender border control that differentiates inner from
outer, and so institutes the integrity of the subject.In other

words, acts and gestures, articulated and enacted desires

create the illusion of an interior and organizing gender core, an illusion discursively maintained for
the purposes of the regulation of sexuality within the obligatory frame of reproductive
heterosexuality . If the cause of desire, gesture, and act can be localized within

the self of the actor, then the political regulations

and disciplinary practices which produce that ostensibly coherent gender are effective- ly displaced from view.The

displacement of a
political and discursive origin of gender identity onto a psychological core precludes an analysis of the
political constitution of the gendered subject and its fabricated notions about the ineffable interiority of
its sex or of its true identity.

The privileging of embodied pain narratives replicates colonialist ideologies that

regulate authenticity
Tuck and Yang 14 (Eve Tuck Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations and Coordinator of Native American Studies at the
State University of New York at New Paltz, K. Wayne Yang Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Affiliated Professor of Urban Studies and
Planning at the University of California, San Diego, R-Words: Refusing Research, Humanizing Research, pp. 223-247 // JJ)
An initial and partial answer is because settler colonial

ideology believes that, in fiction author Sherril Jaffes words, scars

make your body more interesting, (1996, p. 58). Jaffes work of short, short of fiction bearing that sentiment as title captures
the exquisite crossing of wounds and curiosity and pleasure. Settler colonial ideology, constituted by its
conscription of others, holds the wounded body as more engrossing than the body that is not wounded
(though the person with a wounded body does not politically or materially benefit for being more
engrossing). In settler colonial logic, pain is more compelling than privilege, scars more enthralling than the
body unmarked by experience. In settler colonial ideology, pain is evidence of authenticity, of the verifiability
of a lived life . Academe, formed and informed by settler colonial ideology, has developed the same
palate for pain. Emerging and established social science researchers set out to document the problems faced by communities, and often
in doing so, recircu- late common tropes of dysfunction, abuse, and neglect. Scholars of qualitative research Alecia Youngblood Jackson and
Lisa Mazzei (2009) have critically excavated the

privileging of voice in qualitative research, because voice is

championed as true and real, and almost a mirror of the soul, the essence of self, (p. 1). The authors

interpret the drive to make voices heard and understood, bringing meaning and self to
consciousness and creating tran- scendental, universal truths as gestures that reveal the primacy of
voice in con- ventional qualitative research (p. 1). We contend that much of what counts as voice and makes voice count is
pain. In an example drawn from outside of social science research, in Waynes work as a writing instructor with Southeast Asian refugee
students, he learned from them that much of the writing they were encouraged to do followed a rarefied narrative pattern of refugee-asvictim. As it were, youth and young adults learn these narratives in schools, in which time and again refugee-victim

stories are
solicited by well-intentioned ESL teachers who argue that such narratives are poetic, powerful, and
represent the authentic voice of the student. Similarly, Robin Kelley (1997), speaking about the Black experience in
Harlem in the 1960s, describes White liberal teachers as foot sol- diers in the new ethnographic army (p. 20), soliciting stories from
their students about pain in their lives and unwittingly reducing their students to cardboard typologies
who fit neatly into their own definition of the underclass (p. 17). Such examples of teachers solicitations of youth
narratives of pain confirm the deep relationship between writing or talking about wounds, and perceptions of authenticity of voice.

Their representations idealize trauma and thus reify the traumatized subject turns
Brown 96 (Wendy Brown First Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Constitutions and 'Survivor
Stories': In the 'folds of our own discourse' The Pleasures and Freedoms of Silence, The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable (1996),
lexis // JJ)
In The Drowned and the Saved, n24 Primo Levi offers

drowning as a metaphor for the initial experience of entering

concentration camps, particularly for those who did not speak German or Polish: " . . . filled with a dreadful sound and
fury signifying nothing: a hubbub of people without names or faces drowned in a continuous, deafening
background noise from which, however, the human word did not surface." n25 This is a drowning in a world of unfa- miliar as well as
terrifying words and noise, a world of no civil structure but so much humanity that one's own becomes a question. Primo Levi thus makes
drowning function as a symbol for a lost linguistic order and as a sign of a lost civil order, for being at sea
in words which do not communicate and by which one cannot communicate. n26 In a radically different context,
Adrienne Rich also relates drowning to speech: "your silence today is a pond where drowned things live." n27 Allowing, perhaps perversely, the
Rich to rest on the Levi, I wonder if Rich's line need only be read in its most obvious meaning-- as an injunction to speak or die, a mandate to
speak in order to recover the drowned things, recover life. What if the accent marks were placed differently so that silence becomes a place
where drowned things live, a place where Levi's drowning inmates survive despite being overwhelmed by the words which fill and consume the
air necessary for life? What if the drowned things live in the pond, where it is silent, as they could not survive if brought back into the exposure
of light and air, the cacophony of the Camp? What if silence is a reprieve from drowning in words which do not communicate or confer
recognition, which only bombard or drown? n28 Of course, this possibility is heavy with paradox insofar as drowning already signals death and
a pond where drowned things live therefore harbors death rather than life. But this paradox may also serve the other point I am after here:

perhaps there are dead or deadening (anti-life) things which must be allowed residence in that pond of
silence rather than surfaced into discourse if life is to be lived without being claimed by their weight.
Certain experiencesconcentration camp existence or childhood abusemay conservatively claim their
subjects when those experiences are incessantly remembered in speech, when survivors can only and
always speak of what they almost did not survive and thus cannot break with that threat to live in a
present not dominated by it . And what if this endless speaking about one's past of suffering is a means
of attempting to excoriate guilt about what one did not do to prevent the suffering, an attempt which is
doomed insofar as the speaking actually perpetuates by disavowing the guilt? n29 If to speak repeatedly
of a trauma is a mode of encoding it as identity, it may be the case that drowned things must be consigned to live in a pond of
silence in order to make a world--a future--that is other than them. Put slightly differently by Primo Levi, "a memory evoked too
often, and in the form of a story, tends to become fixed in a stereotype . . . crystallized, perfected,
adorned, installing itself in the place of the raw memory and growing at its expense ." n30 Many feminist
narratives of suffering would seem to bear precisely this character; rather than working through the "raw memory" to a
place of an emancipation, our discourses of survivorship become stories by which we live, or refuse to
live, in the present. There is a fine but critical distinction here between on the one hand, re-entering a trauma,
speaking its unspeakable elements, even politicizing it, in order to reconfigure the trauma and the
traumatized subject, and on the other, retelling the trauma in such a way as to preserve by resisting the
pain of it, and thus to preserve the traumatized subject. While such a distinction is probably not always sustainable, it may
be all that secures the possibility that we dwell in neither a politics of pain nor of pain's disavowal.

Cant Solve
Identity politics cedes potential for radical change to decentralized, horizontal forms
of action.
Marcus 12 (David editor of Dissent Magazine. The Horizontalists Fall 2012 Dissent Magazine accessed 7/13/14 .nt)
The seemingly spontaneous movement that emerged after the first general assemblies in Zuccotti Park
was not, then, sui generis but an elaboration of a much larger turn by the Left. As occupations spread
across the country and as activists begin to exchange organizational tactics, it was easy to forget that
what was happening was, in fact, a part of a much larger shift in the scale and plane of Western politics:
a turn toward more local and horizontal patterns of life, a growing skepticism toward the institutions of
the state, and an increasing desire to seek out greater realms of personal freedom. And although its
hibernation over the summer has, perhaps, marked the end of the Occupy movement, OWS has also
come to represent an importantand perhaps more lastingbreak. In both its ideas and tactics, it has
given us a new set of desires autonomy, radical democracy, direct action that look well beyond the
ideological and tactical tropes of socialism. Its occupations and general assemblies, its flash mobs and
street performances, its loose network of activists all suggest a bold new set of possibilities for the
Left: a horizontalist ethos that believes that revolution will begin by transforming our everyday lives.
It can be argued that horizontalism is , in many ways, a product of the growing disaggregation and
individuation of Western society; that it is a kind of free-market leftism: a politics jury-rigged out of
the very culture it hopes to resist. For not only does it emphasize the agency of the individual, but it
draws one of its central inspirations from a neoclassical image: that of the self-managing society
the polity that functions best when the state is absent from everyday decisions. But one can also find
in its anti-institutionalism an attempt to speak in todays language for yesterdays goals. If we must live
in a society that neither trusts nor feels compelled by collectivist visions, then horizontalism offers us
a leftism that attempts to be , at once, both individualist and egalitarian , anti-institutional and
democratic, open to the possibilities of self-management and yet also concerned with the casualties
born out of an age that has let capital manage itself for far too long. Horizontalism has absorbed the
crisis of knowledgewhat we often call postmodernismand the crisis of collectivismwhat we
often call neoliberalism. But instead of seeking to return to some golden age before our current
moment of fracture , it seeks for better and worse to find a way to make leftist politics conform to
our current age of anti-foundationalism and institutionalism. As Graeber argued in the prescriptive
last pages of his anthropological epic, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, Capitalism has transformed the
world in many ways that are clearly irreversible and we therefore need to give up the false choice
between state and market that [has] so monopolized political ideology for the last centuries that it
made it difficult to argue about anything else. We need , in other words, to stop thinking like leftists.
But herein lies the problem. Not all possible forms of human existence and social interaction, no
matter how removed they are from the institutions of power and capital, are good forms of social
organization. Although it is easy to look enthusiastically to those societiesancient or modern,
Western or non-Westernthat exist beyond the structures of the state, they, too, have their own

patterns of hierarchy , their own embittered lines of inequality and injustice. More important, to
select one form of social organization over the other is always an act of exclusion. Instituting and
then protecting a particular way of life will always require a normative commitment in which not every
value system is respectedin which, in other words, there is a moral hierarchy. More problematically,
by working outside structures of power one may circumvent coercive systems but one does not
necessarily subvert them. Localizing politics stripping it of its larger institutional ambitionshas, to
be sure, its advantages. But without a larger structural vision, it does not go far enough . Bubbles of
freedom , as Graeber calls them, may create a larger variety of non-institutional life. But they will
always neglect other crucial avenues of freedom: in particular, those social and economic rights that
can only be protected from the top down . In this way, the anti-institutionalism of horizontalism
comes dangerously close to that of the libertarian Right. The turn to previous eras of social
organization, the desire to locate and confine politics to a particular regional space, the deep
skepticism toward all forms of institutional life not only mirror the aspirations of libertarianism but
help cloak those hierarchies spawned from non-institutional forms of power and capital. This is a
particularly pointed irony for a political ideology that claims to be opposed to the many injustices of a
non-institutional marketin particular, its unregulated financial schemes. Perhaps this is an irony
deeply woven into the theoretical quilt of autonomy: a vision that, as a result of its anti-institutionalism,
is drawn to all sites of individual liberationeven those that are to be found in the marketplace. As
Graeber concludes in Debt, Markets, when allowed to drift entirely free from their violent origins,
invariably begin to grow into something different, into networks of honor, trust, and mutual
connectedness, whereas the maintenance of systems of coercion constantly do the opposite: turn the
products of human cooperation, creativity, devotion, love and trust back into numbers once again. In
many ways, this is the result of a set of political ideas that have lost touch with their origins . The
desire for autonomy was born out of the socialistif not also often the Marxisttradition and there
was always a guarded sympathy for the structures needed to oppose organized systems of capital and
power. Large-scale institutions were, for thinkers such as Castoriadis, Negri, and C.L.R. James, still
essential if every cook was truly to govern. To only try to create spaces of freedom alongside of the
State meant , as Castoriadis was to argue later in his life , to back down from the problem of
politics. In fact, this was, he believed, the failure of 1968: the inability to set up new, different
institutions and recognize that there is no such thing as a society without institutions. This is and
will be a problem for the horizontalist Left as it moves forward. As a leftism ready-made for an age in
which all sides of the political spectrum are arrayed against the regulatory state, it is always in danger
of becoming absorbed into the very ideological apparatus it seeks to dismantle . For it aspires to a
decentralized and organic politics that, in both principle and practice, shares a lot in common with its
central target. Both it and the free market are anti-institutional. And the latter will remain so without
larger vertical measures. Structures, not only everyday practices, need to be reformed. The revolution
cannot happen only on the ground; it must also happen from above. A direct democracy still needs
its indirect structures, individual freedoms still need to be measured by their collective
consequences, and notions of social and economic equality still need to stand next to the desire for

greater political participation. Deregulation is another regulatory regime, and to replace it requires
new regulations: institutions that will limit the excesses of the market. As Castoriadis insisted in the
years after 1968, the Lefts task is not only to abolish old institutions but to discover new kinds of
relationship between society and its institutions . Horizontalism has come to serve as an important
break from the static strategies and categories of analysis that have slowed an aging and vertically
inclined Left. OWS was to represent its fullest expression yet, though it has a much longer back story
and stillone hopesa promising future. But horizontalists such as Graeber and Sitrin will struggle
to establish spaces of freedom if they cannot formulate a larger vision for a society. Their vision is
notas several on the vertical left have suggestedtoo utopian but not utopian enough: in seeking
out local spaces of freedom, they have confined their ambitions; they have, in fact, come, at times, to
mirror the very ideology they hope to resist. In his famous retelling of the turtle parable, Clifford
Geertz warned that in the search of all-too-deep-lying turtles, we have to be careful to not lose
touch with the hard surfaces of lifewith the political, economic, stratificatory realities within which
men are everywhere contained. This is an ever-present temptation, and one that, in our age of ever
more stratification, we must resist.

A politics of pain forecloses any chance of resistance if victimhood becomes the

prerequisite for change, then inversely, agency represents a threat
Tuck and Yang 14 (Eve Tuck Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations and Coordinator of Native American Studies at the
State University of New York at New Paltz, K. Wayne Yang Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Affiliated Professor of Urban Studies and
Planning at the University of California, San Diego, R-Words: Refusing Research, Humanizing Research, pp. 223-247 // JJ)
Elsewhere, Eve (Tuck, 2009, 2010) has argued that educational research and much of social science research has been concerned with
documenting damage, or empirically substantiating the oppression and pain of Native communities, urban communities, and other
disenfranchised communities. Damage-centered researchers

may operate, even benevolently, within a theory

of change in which harm must be recorded or proven in order to convince an outside adjudicator that
reparations are deserved. These reparations presumably take the form of addi- tional resources, settlements, affirmative actions,
and other material, political, and sovereign adjustments. Eve has described this theory of change 1 as both colonial
and flawed, because it relies upon Western notions of power as scarce and concentrated , and because
it requires disenfranchised communities to position themselves as both singularly defective and
powerless to make change (2010). Finally, Eve has observed that won reparations rarely become reality, and
that in many cases, communities are left with a narrative that tells them that they are broken. Similarly, at the
center of the analysis in this chapter is a concern with the fixation social science research has exhibited in eliciting pain stories from com-
munities that are not White, not wealthy, and not straight. Academes demon- strated

fascination with telling and

retelling narratives of pain is troubling, both for its voyeurism and for its consumptive implacability.
Imagining itself to be a voice, and in some disciplinary iterations, the voice of the colonised (Simpson,
2007, p. 67, emphasis in the original) is not just a rare historical occurrence in anthropology and related fields. We
observe that much of the work of the academy is to reproduce stories of oppression in its own voice. At first,
this may read as an intolerant condemnation of the academy, one that refuses to forgive past blunders and see how things have changed in
recent decades. However, it is our view that while many individual scholars have cho- sen to pursue other lines of inquiry than the pain
narratives typical of their disciplines, novice researchers emerge from doctoral programs eager to launch pain-based inquiry projects because
they believe that such approaches embody what it means to do social science. The

collection of pain narratives and the

theories of change that champion the value of such narratives are so prevalent in the social sciences
that one might surmise that they are indeed what the academy is about. In her examination of the symbolic
violence of the academy, bell hooks (1990) portrays the core message from the academy to those on the

margins as thus: No need to hear your voice when I can talk about you better than you can speak
about yourself. No need to hear your voice. Only tell me about your pain. I want to know your story.
And then I will tell it back to you in a new way. Tell it back to you in such a way that it has become mine,
my own. Re-writing you I write myself anew. I am still author, authority. I am still colonizer the speaking
subject and you are now at the center of my talk. (p. 343) Hookss words resonate with our observation of how much of
social science research is concerned with providing recognition to the presumed voiceless, a recognition that is enamored with knowing
through pain. Further, this passage describes the ways in which the

researchers voice is constituted by, legitimated by,

animated by the voices on the margins. The researcher-self is made anew by telling back the story of
the marginalized/subaltern subject. Hooks works to untangle the almost imperceptible differences between
forces that silence and forces that seemingly liberate by inviting those on the margins to speak, to tell
their stories. Yet the forces that invite those on the margins to speak also say, Do not speak in a voice
of resistance. Only speak from that space in the margin that is a sign of deprivation, a wound, an
unfulfilled longing. Only speak your pain (hooks, 1990, p. 343). The costs of a politics of recognition that is
rooted in naming pain have been critiqued by recent decolonizing and feminist scholars (Hartman, 1997,
2007; Tuck, 2009). In Scenes of Subjection, Sadiya Hartman (1997) discusses how rec- ognizing the personhood of slaves
enhanced the power of the Southern slave- owning class. Supplicating narratives of former slaves were
deployed effectively by abolitionists, mainly White, well-to-do, Northern women, to generate portraits
of abuse that ergo recognize slaves as human (Hartman, 2007). In response, new laws afforded minimal standards of
existence, making personhood coterminous with injury (Hartman, 1997, p. 93), while simultaneously authorizing necessary violence to
suppress slave agency. The slave emerges as a legal person only when seen as criminal or a violated body in need of limited forms of
protection (p. 55). Recognition humanizes

the slave, but is predicated upon her or his abjection. You are
in pain, therefore you are. *T+he recognition of humanity require[s] the event of excessive violence, cruelty beyond the limits of
the socially tolerable, in order to acknowledge and protect the slaves person (p. 55). Furthermore, Hartman describes how slave-asvictim as human accordingly establishes slave-as-agent as criminal . Applying Hartmans analysis, we note how the
society must reject while
simultaneously upholding the legitimated violence of the state to punish such outsider violence. Hartman
asks, Is it possible that such recognition effectively forecloses agency as the object of punishment . . . Or is this limited conferral of
humanity merely a reinscription of subjugation and pained existence? (p. 55).
agency of Margaret Garner or Nat Turner can only be viewed as outsider violence that humane

Identity politics are inevitablewe necessarily impute some form of an identity on
every person we meet
Ross 2k [Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Professor of English Language and Literature & African and African American Studies, New
Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics? (Autumn, 2000), pp. 827-850, Published by: The Johns Hopkins University
Press,] l.gong
And why shouldn't they be? I

am told that I'm the "spittin' image" (a colloquial corruption of "spit and image") of my father. I
the spittin' image of my "blood relatives" in Blacks whom I encounter far from home. I see the spittin'
image of movie stars in ordinary people on the street. Walking around London, I see the spittin' image of
members of the royal family everywhere. Whether resulting from a trick of the mind's eye or from actual
meta/physical resonances forced upon the mind by the eye, I cannot deny the constant recurrence of such facial
echoes as a commonplace deja vu. And upon such facial echoes rest the mountains of racial and other
identity ideologies, the weight of which "identity politics" seeks to lift. Our fate is not that presence is
always already beyond our metaphysical grasp, as Jacques Derrida would have it, but instead that we can handle
only the physics of presences, even when caught within that gap between the personal encounter and the person's absence? the
gap that we variously call touching, seeing, knowing, imaging, or reading. Those contributors I have not
met in person, therefore, must necessarily possess face/ts of identitymetonymic facesmore or less see
able, knowable, imaginable, readable to me. This is because, given the lack of such "evidence" supposedly
offered by the actual person's face, in the effort to reckon what they are saying and why, I necessarily must impute
some kind of identity to who they are and why they say what they're saying. All of these contributors I have met in
often see

print, as we like to say, and the more print that I've read by them, the more cohesivethe less inchoateis my sense of an identity for them.3

My identification of them is not merely a projection, although we cannot disallow a degree of this, but more aptly, it is a
matter of a dialectic between what they project to me and what I take from that projection. All of this is
to assert that the most basic act of "seeing" or "knowing" or "imaging" or "reading" is itself a kind of
face-off that we now call "identity politics," but that was no doubt called by other names before. And this is so not
merely because we live in a moment in which what we call "identity politics" is rife, or is anticipated as waning
because too fluent. When we cannot deal with persons face to face, we always deal with face/ts, the
disembodied parts that connect them to larger abstract, but no less material and actual, categories
readily available to us. When we do meet someone face to face, we still deal only with face/ts, with
bodied parts that we can classify according to what makes sense to us from our own limited identity
experiences. Identities are not like the faces in facets; they are face/ts. When we therefore talk about
the politics of identityno matter how much more sophisticated we try to make it soundwe are really
talking about the politics of our face/ts.

Where there is identity, there is the struggle for power

Ross 2k [Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan, Professor of English Language and Literature & African and African American Studies, New
Literary History, Vol. 31, No. 4, Is There Life after Identity Politics? (Autumn, 2000), pp. 827-850, Published by: The Johns Hopkins University
Press,] l.gong

On the surface, where we like to think that faces exist (note the "face" lurking in "surface"), this equation of
"identity politics" with face/ts may sound pretty innocuous. And in a sense it is. It certainly does not sound scandalous enough to
compel the question, "Is there life after identity politics?" My point is that before "identity politics," however we date the
emergence of that, there was identity, and wherever there is identity, there is a struggle over power of
some sort. In our farfetched prehistory, this may have meant my clan against yours, your tribe against someone else's, or their kinfolk
against one another. It may have meant a seemingly simple division of social roles between menfolk and women folk, whereby the pressure of
utilitythe need for divisions of laborinexplicably enables one group to assume priority over the other.4 The

face/t nature of
identityour tendency to observe real (in other words, essential) categories in the surfaces of uniquely
materialized facesconstantly reminds us that we judge others' facets by their sur/faces, even when we've

never encountered them in person. This fact (of history, not "science") understandably creates a great deal of frustration and anxiety,
intellectual and otherwise, in the essays of this volume. After

all, centuries of chattel slavery, sexual bondage, ethnic

exclusion, colonial theft, warfare, economic exploitation, internment, apartheid, lynching, rape, and
downright genocide have revolved around fixing faces into categories based on face/ts of identity. Given
thatthanks to "identity politics"we now, most of us, acknowledge these horrific practices as
historical facts, it is easy to forget that the feat of making them horrible facts of history is a hard-won
and fragile victory based as much in the face/ts of identity as in these genocidal practices themselves.
Given these horrifying facts of history, it is also too easy to forget to what extent we can and do find pleasure in our
group identifications, even in, or perhaps especially in, those identities historically burdened by the divisive
politics of identity. In other words, it makes a difference that there was a politics of identity before the
"identity politics" that we supposedly are about to lose forever. At the risk of splitting hairs, I want to suggest that it is absolutely
necessary to distinguish between this longer human history of the politics of identity and the current
episode of "identity politics" at issue among these contributors. If, for a moment, we accept the notion that "identity politics" is a
brief episode, a particular object quickly fading from the sight-lines of amorphous faces, even if we accept this particular narrative of identity,
then we are still faced with (yes that metonymy face again) a politics for identity before this particular episode of "identity politics." It

is a
monstrous mistake to think that the politics of identity is something that happened only recently and is
on the decline just because we have a name, "identity politics," for a local, putatively short lived phenomenona
phenomenon that in actuality arises out of a long, uncharted human history in which "identity" has always been the heart of
"politics," if not self-consciously politicized in now familiar ways. If the politics of identity has been with
us since at least the beginnings of recorded human history, then I must ask again, why the urge to
prophesy the death of "identity politics"?

Black-White Binary

Black white binary impoverishes racial discourse and prevents coalitions among POC
Darren Lenard Hutchinson, Critical Race Histories: In and Out Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University. B.A.,
University of Pennsylvania; J.D., Yale Law School. American University Law Review Volume 53 | Issue 6 2004, MM

A third area of critical race innovation involves multiracial politics. Internal critics have argued that
racial discourse in the United States fixates upon black/white racial issues, thereby marginalizing
Latino, Native American, and Asian American experiences.95 Empirically, this observation is
indisputable. Race theorists lack a full understanding of the breadth of racial injustice. The inclusion of
the experiences of Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans in racial discourse can improve CRT
in several ways. First, a multiracial discourse permits a full accounting of the problem of racial
inequality and allows for the construction of adequate remedies for racial subordination. 96 Although
all people of color suffer racism, often in similar ways, racial hierarchies impact communities of color in
diverse ways. A narrow focus on black/white subjugation severely limits the reach of antiracist
remedies. The black/white paradigm also prevents persons of color from engaging in coalition politics.97
By treating racism as a problem that affects blacks primarily (or exclusively), racial discourse in the
United States divides persons of color who could align to create formidable political forces in the battle
for racial justice. Binary racial discourse also causes persons of color to compete for the attention of
whites, as marginalized racial groups treat racial justice as a zero-sum game.98 Instead of recognizing
the pervasiveness and complexity of racial injuries, binary racial discourse leads to the tyranny of
oppression ranking and to competing demands for centrality in a marginalized space of racial

Binary shatters alliances and fuels backlash

Darren Lenard Hutchinson, Critical Race Histories: In and Out Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University. B.A.,
University of Pennsylvania; J.D., Yale Law School. American University Law Review Volume 53 | Issue 6 2004, MM

Ultimately, however, the exclusive deployment of a binary black/white paradigm artificially narrows
racial discourse and harms racial justice efforts. In order to construct adequate antiracist theories and to
develop effective remedies for racial injustice, Critical Race Theorists must excavate the
multidimensional harms that racial injustice causes, including harms that are racial but not endured by
blacks. Furthermore, progressive racial politics can only survive with broad political support. The most
likely support for progressive racial change comes from persons of color. Yet, the deep divisions that
result from binary racial politics hinders the formation of helpful antiracist alliances. Finally, a multiracial
discourse may help blacks demonstrate the pervasiveness of racial inequality. Whites tend to view
racism as a relic of prior generations, and they often respond to blacks claims of ongoing racial injustice
with suspicion.108 Moreover, in a white-supremacist culture, binary racial discourse obscures the
experiences of discrimination experienced by Latinos and Asian Americans.109 As a result, whites argue
that blacks should emulate model minorities, usually Asian Americans, who either do not suffer from
racism or do not believe that racism injures them enough to oppose it on a political level.110 Binary
racial discourse therefore allows whites to discredit blacks claims of racism by offering Asian Americans
as proof that the United States has eradicated racial injustice, or that blacks can easily overcome what
little racism still exists. Multiracial discourse, however, offers a powerful rebuttal to this negative and
deceitful discourse. By portraying the complexity of racial inequality, Critical Race Theorists can counter

a white-supremacist narrative that disparages blacks assertions of racial injustice by deploying model
minority constructs.111

The aff reduces the world into black or whitebut the borderline
European exists and doesnt have a place in the world of the aff
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 28-29, 2009//SRSL)

there were/are what he refers to as '"borderline Europeans"-"the Irish, Slavs,

Mediterraneans, and above all, of course, Jews"' (Mills, 1997, pp. 78-79), and, elsewhere (Mills, 2007, p. 249) that the Irish may
have been 'the first systematically racialized group in history'. He also notes there also existed 'intraEuropean varieties of"racism"' (p. 79; see also Perea et al.). However, he argues that, while there remain 'some recognition of
such distinctions 'in popular culture'-he gives examples of an '"Italian" waitress' in the TV series Cheers,
calling a WASP character 'Whitey' and a discussion in a 1992 movie about whether Italians are really
white (p. 79)-he relegates such distinctions primarily to history. While he is prepared to 'fuzzify' racial
categories (p. 79) with respect to 'shifting criteria prescribed' by the evolving Racial Contract' (p. 81) and to
acknowledge the existence of 'off-white' people at certain historical periods (p. 80), he main- tains that his
categorization-'white/nonwhite, person/subperson' 'seems to me to map the essential features of the
racial polity accurately, to carve the social reality at its ontological joints' (p. 78), whereby white = person;
non-white = non-person. It is my view that this does not address current reality. The exclusive fore- fronting of people of color militates against an
Mills acknowledges that

understanding of non-color- coded-racism. Marxist 'race' theorist Robert Miles (1987, p. 75) argues that racialization is not limited to skin color: The characteristics signified

I would
like to make a couple of amendments to Miles' position. First, I would want to add 'and culturaF after,
'biological'. Second, the common dictionary definition of 'somatic' is 'pertaining to the body', and, given
the fact that people can be racialized on grounds of symbols (e.g., the hijab), I would also want this to be recognized in any discussion
vary historically and, although they have usually been visible somatic features, other non-visible (alleged and real) biological features have also been signified.

of social collectivi- ties and the construction of racialization. Miles' Marxist analysis of racism is discussed at length later in this chapter. Racism directed at white people is not
new and has a long history. To take the case of Britain, for example, there has been a long history of non-color- coded racism directed at the Irish (e.g., Mac an Ghaill, 2000)6, at
the Gypsy Roma Traveler (GRT) communities (e.g., Puxon, 2005)-the fastest grow- ing minority ethnic constituency in Europe (Doughty, 2008), and increas- ingly at the
Muslim communities or those perceived to be Muslim.

White Supremacy
White supremacy is the manifestation of the relationship between
capitalism and racism
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pg 25, 2009//SRSL)

While, for Marxists, it is certainly the case that there has been a continuity of racism for
hundreds of years, the concept of 'white supremacy' does not in itself explain this continuity,
since it does not need to connect to modes of production and developments in capitalism. It is
true that Mills (1997) provides a wide-ranging discussion of the history of economic
exploitation, and that Preston (2007) argues that CRT needs to be considered alongside
Marxism. However, unlike Marxism, there is no a priori need in CRT for- mulations to connect
with capitalist modes of production. In Marxist par- lance, the mode of production refers to the
combination of forces (human labor power and the means of production) and the relations of
production (primarily the relationship between the social classes). This combination means that
the way people relate to the physical world and the way people relate to each other are bound
together in historically specific, structural and necessary ways. As Marx (1859) put it: The
totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic struc- ture of society, the real
foundation, on which arises a legal and political super- structure and to which correspond
definite forms ofsocial consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the
general process of social, political and intellectual life. Critical Race Theorists do not analyze
these crucial relationships. Thus Gillborn (e.g., 2005, 2006a) is able to make the case for
CRT and 'white supremacy' without providing a discussion of the relationship of
racism to capitalism. The Marxist concept of racialization, however, does articulate with
modes of production. Examples of the ways in which it does this are discussed later in this


Criticla Race Theory


Alt Solves

Criticizing the Black-white framework allows us to find an effective strategy for
vanquishing the evil of racism
Andersen and Collins 92 M.A., Ph. D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst; B.A., Georgia
State University, Atlanta AND MA Harvard, Graduate school of education and phD brandeis
university, sociology (Margaret L. and Patricia Hill, Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology,
6th edition, chapter 15// SRSL)
The racial and ethnic landscape has changed too much in recent years to view it with the same eyes as before. We are looking at a multi-dimensional reality in which race,
ethnicity, nationality, culture and immigrant status come to- gether with breathtakingly new
results. W e are also seeing global changes that have a massive impact on our domestic situation,
especially the economy and labor force. For a group of Korean restaurant entrepreneurs to hire Mexican cooks to prepare Chinese dishes for mainly African-American
customers, as happened in Houston, Texas, has ceased to be unusual. The ever-changing demographic landscape compels those
struggling against racism and for a transformed, non-capitalist society to resolve several
strategic questions. Among them: doesn't the exclusively Black-white frame- work discourage the
perception of common interests among people of color and thus sustain White Supremacy ? Doesn't the
view that only African Americans face serious institutionalized racism isolate them from potential allies? Doesn't the Black-white model encourage
people of color to spend toop much energy understanding our lives in relation to whiteness,
obsessing about what white society will think and do? That tendency is inevitable in some ways:
the locus of power over our lives has long been white (although big shifts have recently taken place in the color of capital, as we see in Japan,
Singapore and elsewhere). The oppressed have always survived by becoming experts on the oppressor's ways.
But that can become a prison of sorts, a trap of compulsive vigilance. Let us liberate ourselves, then,
from the tunnel vision of whiteness and behold the many colors around us! Let us summon the courage to
reject outdated ideas and stretch our imaginations into the next century. For a Latina to urge recognizing a variety of racist
models is not, and should not be, yet another round in the Oppression Olympics. We don't need more competition among different social
groups for the gold medal of "Most Oppressed." We don't need more comparisons of suffering
between women and Blacks, the disabled and the gay, Latino teenagers and white seniors, or
whatever. Pursuing some hierarchy of oppression leads us down dead-end streets
where we will never find the linkage between different oppressions and how to
overcome them. To criticize the exclusively Black-white framework , then, is not some
resentful demand by other people of color for equal sympa- thy, equal funding,
equal clout, equal .patronage or other questionable crumbs . Above all, it is not a devious
way of minimizing the centrality of the African-American experience in any analysis of racism.
The goal in re-examining the Black-white framework is to find an effec- tive strategy for
vanquishing an evil that has expanded rather than dimin- ished. Racism has expanded partly as
a result of the worldwide economic recession that followed the end of the post-war boom in the
early 1970s, with the resulting capitalist restructuring and changes in the international divi- sion
of labor. Those developments generated feelings of insecurity and a search for scapegoats. In the United States racism has also escalated
as whites increasingly fear becoming a weakened, minority population in the next cen- tury. The stage is set for decades of ever more vicious divide-and-conquer tactics. What has been the
response from people of color to this ugly White Supremacist agenda? Instead of uniting, based
on common experience and needs, we have often closed our doors in a defensive, isolationist
mode, each community on its own. A fire of fear and distrust begins to crackle, threaten- ing to
consume us all. Building solidarity among people of color is more necessary than ever -but the
exclusively Black-white definition of racism makes such solidarity more difficult
than ever . We urgently need twenty-first-century thinking that will move us be- yond the Black-white framework without negating its historical role in the construction of U.S. racism. We
need a better understanding of how racism developed both similarly and differently for various

peoples, according to whether they experienced genocide, enslavement, colonization or some

other Structure of oppression. At stake is the building of a united anti-racist force strong enough to resist
White Supremacist strategies of divide-and-conquer and move forward toward social justice for
all. ... ... African Americans have reason to be uneasy about where they, as a people, will find themselves politically, economically and socially with the rapid numerical growth of other folk of color. The issue is
not just possible job loss, a real question that does need to be faced honestly. There is also a feeling that after centuries of fighting for
simple recognition as human beings, Blacks will be shoved to the back of history again (like the back of the
bus). Whether these fears are real or not, uneasiness exists and can lead to resentment when there's
talk about a new model of race relations. So let me repeat: in speaking here of the need to move beyond
the bipolar concept, the goal is to clear the way for stronger unity against White Supremacy.
The goal is to identify our commonalities of experience and needs so we can build
alliances . The commonalities begin with history, which reveals that again and again peoples of
color have had one experience in common: European colo- nization and/or neo-colonialism with its accompanying exploitation. This is true for
all indigenous peoples, including Hawaiians. It is true for all Latino peoples, who were invaded and ruled by Spain or Portugal. It is true for peo- ple in Africa, Asia and the Pacific
Islands, where European powers became the colonizers. People of color were victimized by colonialism not only externally but
also through internalized racism-the "colonized mentality." Flowing from this shared history are our contemporary commonalities. On the

poverty scale, African Americans and Native Americans have always been at the bottom, with Latinos nearby. In 1995 the U.S. Census found that Latinos have the highest poverty rate, 24 percent. Segregation may
have been legally abolished in the 1960s, but now the United States is rapidly moving toward resegregation as a result of whites moving to the suburbs. This leaves people of color-especially Blacks and Latinoswith inner cities that lack an adequate tax base and thus have inadequate schools. Not surprisingly, Blacks and Latinos finish college at a far lower rate than whites. In other words, the victims of U.S. social ills

greater solidarity, justice for people of color could be won. And an even bigger prize would be
possible: a U.S. society that advances beyond "equality," beyond granting people of color a
respect equal to that given to Euro-Americans. Too often "equality" leaves whites still at the
center, still embodying the Americanness by which others are judged, still defining the national
character.... ... Innumerable statistics, reports and daily incidents should make it impossible to exclude Latinos and other non-Black populations of color when racism is discussed, but they don't. Police
come in more than one color. Doesn't that indicate the need for new, inclusive models for fighting racism? Doesn't that speak to the absolutely urgent need for alliances among peoples of color?

killings, hate crimes oy ra individuals and murders with impunity by border officials should mak impossible, but they don't. With chilling regularity, ranch owners com migrant workers, usually Mexican, to repay
the cost of smuggling them i;:; the United States by laboring the rest of their lives for free. The 45 La..:- and Thai garment workers locked up in an El Monte, California, facto . working 18 hours a day seven days a
week for $299 a month, can also be co::::- sidered slaves (and one must ask why it took three years for the Immigra and Naturalization Service to act on its own reports about this horror) Francisco Examiner,
August 8, 1995). Abusive treatment of migrant work~- can be found all over the United States. In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for e:i- ample, police and federal agents rounded up 150 Latino workers in 19W, inked

These experiences cannot be

attributed to xenophobia, cultural prejudi-- or some other, less repellent term than racism. Take the
numbers on their arms and hauled them off to jail in patrol cars and horse trailer full of manure (Los Angeles Times, September 6, 1997).

case of two sm Latino children in San Francisco who were found in 1997 covered from heac to toe with flour. They explained they had hoped to make their skin white enough for school. There is no way to
understand their action except as the result of fear in the racist climate that accompanied passage of Proposition 187, which denies schooling to the children of undocumented immigrants. Another example:
Mexican and Chicana women working at a Nabisco plant in Oxnard, California, were not allowed to take bathroom breaks from the . assembly line and were told to wear diapers instead. Can we really imagine
white workers being treated that way? (The Nabisco women did file a suit and won, in 1997.) No "model minority" myth protects Asians and Asian Americans from hate crimes, police brutality, immigrant-bashing,
stereotyping and everyday racist prejudice. Scapegoating can even take their lives, as happened with the murder ofVincent Chin in Detroit some years ago.... WHY THE BLACK-WHITE MODEL? A bipolar model
of racism has never been really accurate for the United States. Early in this nation's history. Benjamin Franklin perceived a tri-racial society based on skin color-"the lovely white" (Franklin's words), the Black, and
the "tawny," as Ron Takaki tells us in Ir~n Cages. But this concept changed as cap- ital's need for labor intensified in the new nation and came to focus on African slave labor. The "tawny" were decimated or
forcibly exiled to distant areas; Mexicans were not yet available to be the main labor force. As enslaved Africans became the crucial labor force for the primitive accumulation of capital, they also served as the
foundation for the very idea of whiteness-based on the concept of blackness as inferior. Three other reasons for the Black-white framework seem obvious: num- bers, geography and history. African Americans
have long been the largest population of color in the United States; only recently has this begun to change. Also, African Americans have long been found in sizable numbers in most parts of the United States,
including major cities, which has not been true of Latinos until recent times. Historically, the Black-white relationship has been entrenched in the nation's collective memory for some 300 years- whereas it is only
150 years since the United States seized half of Mexico and incorporated those lands and their peoples. Slavery and the struggle to end it formed a central theme in this country's only civil war-a prolonged,
momentous conflict. Above all, enslaved Africans in the United States and African Americans have created an unmatched heritage ofmassive, persistent, dramatic and infinitely courageous resistance, with
individual leaders of worldwide note. We also find sociological and psychological explanations ofthe Black-white model's persistence. From the days ofJefferson onward, Native Americans, Mexicans and later the
Asian/Pacific Islanders did not seem as much a threat to racial purity or as capable of arousing white sexual anxieties as did Blacks. A major reason for this must have been Anglo ambiguity about who could be
called white. Most of the Mexican ranchero elite in California had welcomed the U.S. takeover, and Mexicans were partly European-therefore "semi-civilized"; this allowed Anglos to see them as white, unlike
lower-class Mexicans. For years Mexicans were legally white, and even today we hear the ambiguous U.S. Census term "Non-Hispanic Whites." Like Latinos, Asian Americans have also been officially counted as
white in some historical periods. They have been defined as "colored" in others, with "Chinese" being yet another category. Like Mexicans, they were often seen as not really white but not quite Black either. Such
ambiguity tended to put Asian Americans along with Latinos outside the prevailing framework of racism. Blacks, on the other hand, were not defined as white, could rarely become upper-class and maintained an
almost constant rebelliousness. Contemporary Black rebellion has been urban: right in the Man's face, scary. Mexicans, by contrast, have lived primarily in rural areas until a few decades ago and "have no MauMau image,'' as one Black friend said, even when protesting injustice energetically. Only the nineteenth-century resistance heroes labeled "bandits" stirred white fear, and that was along the border, a limited area.
Latino stereotypes are mostly silly: snoozing next to a cactus, eating greasy food, always being late and disorganized, rolling big Carmen Miranda eyes, shrug- ging with self-deprecation "me no speek good
eengleesh." In other words, not serious. This view may be altered today by stereotypes of the gangbanger, criminal or dirty immigrant, but the prevailing image of Latinos remains that of a debased white, at best. ...
Among other important reasons for the exclusively Black-white model, sheer ignorance leaps to mind. The oppression and exploitation of Latinos (like Asians) have historical roots unknown to most Americans.
People who learn at least a little about Black slavery remain totally ignorant about how the United States seized half ofMexico or how it has colonized Puerto Rico... One other important reason for the bipolar
model of racism is the sm born self-centeredness of U.S. political culture. It has meant that the nati~- lacks any global vision other than relations of domination. In particular. me United States refuses to see itself
as one among some 20 countries in a hem:- sphere whose dominant languages are Spanish and Portuguese, not Engli-:~ It has only a big yawn of contempt or at best indifference for the people languages and
issues of Latin America. It arrogantly took for itself alone the name of half the western hemisphere, America, as was its "Manifest Destiny." of course. So Mexico may be nice for a vacation and lots of Yankees like
tacos, b- the political image of Latin America combines incompetence with absurdir: fat corrupt dictators with endless siestas. Similar attitudes extend to Latinos within the United States. My parents, both
Spanish teachers, endure decades ofbeing told that students were better offlearning French or German. The mass media complain that "people can't relate to Hispanics (or Asians .- It takes mysterious masked
rebels, a beautiful young murdered singer or sal outselling ketchup for the Anglo world to take notice of Latinos. If there weren't a mushrooming, billion-dollar "Hispanic" market to be wooed, the Anglo world
might still not know we exist. No wonder that racial paradigm sees orily two poles. The exclusively Black-white framework is also sustained by the "mode minority" myth, because it distances Asian Americans
from other victims o; racism. Portraying Asian Americans as people who work hard, study hard. obey the established order and therefore prosper, the myth in effect admon- ishes Blacks and Latinos: "See, anyone
can make it in this society if you try hard enough. The poverty and prejudice you face are all your fault." The "model" label has been a wedge separating Asian Americans from others of color by denying their
commonalities. It creates a sort of racia! bourgeoisie, which White Supremacy uses to keep Asian Americans from joining forces with the poor, the homeless and criminalized youth. People then see Asian
Americans as a special class of yuppie: young, single, college- educated, on the white-collar track-and they like to shop for fun. Here is a dandy minority group, ready to be used against others. The stereotype of
Asian Americans as whiz kids is also enraging because it hides so many harsh truths about the impoverishment, oppression and racist treatment they experience. Some do come from middle- or upper-class
families in Asia, some do attain middle-class or higher status in the U.S., and their community must deal with the reality of class privilege where it exists. But the hidden truths include the poverty of many
Asian/Pacific Islander groups, especially women, who often work under intolerable conditions, as in the sweatshops.... Yet another cause of the persistent Black-white conception of racism is dual- ism, the
philosophy that sees all life as consisting of two irreducible elements. Those elements are usually oppositional, like good and evil, mind and body, civilized and savage. Dualism allowed the invaders, colonizers and
enslavers of today's United States to rationalize their actions by stratifying supposed opposites along race, color or gender lines. So mind is European, male and ra- tional; body is colored, female and emotional.
Dozens of other such pairs can be found, with their clear implications of superior-inferior. In the arena of race, this society's dualism has long maintained that if a person is not totally white (whatever that can
mean biologically), he or she must be considered Black.... Racism evolves; our models must also evolve. Today's challenge is to move beyond the Black-white dualism that has served as the foundation of White

. In taking up this challenge, we have to proceed with both boldness and infinite care.
Talking race in these United States is an intellectual minefield; for every observation, one can
find three contradic- tions and four necessary qualifications from five different racial groups.
Making your way through that complexity, you have to think: keep your eyes on the prize.

Racism exists in different forms, from day to day lives

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
intro, pgs 1-2, 2009//SRSL)
Growing up in Bristol, a key pivot of the slave trade in the and early nineteenth centuries, my first recollection of the
manifestations ofrac- ,. ism was encapsulated in a childhood saying. The saying, obviously directed at girls, was that 'ifyou step on
the lines between the stones-on the pave- ment, when you grow up you'll marry a black man'. I also recall going for a walk with my

A little later in my childhood, I think it

the late 1950s, as immigration was increasing, I remember being told (although I do not know whether
it was true) that a well-known chain store had a policy of not employing black labor. As a young child, the
racist norms of the society must already have affected me. Having seen black women working in Woolworths, I
remember thinking that this other popular chain store must be in some way superior because ofits
operation ofthis 'color bar'. About the same time I remember my cousin remarking to me disapprovingly
that 'Jamaicans' spent more money on their cars than on their homes. At the time it was commonly
accepted that black people ate Kit E Kat (a popular cat food) because they knew no different. At school, in
the early 1960s if I recall correctly, I found myself being driven home from school by a medical doctor, who
happened to be the father of a friend. As we passed near St. Pauls, an area with a long-standing black population, he told
me that that was where the 'jungle bunnies' live. One of my best friends at college in London in the late 1960s
(where I studied for and failed a sociology degree) was a Trinidadian of Asian2 heri- tage. Our friendship
continued as I embarked on a teacher education course at another college. We used to meet up regularly to
grandmother, and her pointing out with surprise, 'look there's a black man!'.1

drink beer and eat curry in a couple of rooms in which I lived in Kew Gardens, in the southwest of London. I remember vividly the
reaction of the landlady, on discovering his presence: 'it's not right having a black man in a white house'. When

chal- lenged,
she responded by stating, 'it's not so bad him being in your kitchen, but I do object to cleaning the toilet
after him' (we had our own kitchen, but shared the toilet with the landlady). By the 1970s, I was teaching in a
primary school in Ladbroke Grove in west London, determined that I would use my role as a teacher to challenge racism, and all the
other inequalities that, as a Marxist educator, I had decided was one of my main goals. The opening

remarks about my final

year primary class (ten- to eleven-year-olds) from the Deputy Head before my first meeting with the
class was 'you won't get anything out of them'. Determined to prove her wrong, I decided to change the order of things
somewhat. During morning assembly, the (overwhelmingly) African- Caribbean children were forced by the Head to sit cross-legged
on the floor and to listen to western classical music, while the Deputy Head moved around the hall and coerced them into order and
silence. I

insisted that on the first day at the school (I was employed by the Inner London Education
Authority on an enhanced salary to work temporarily in schools that were having difficulty retaining
staff) that I would not teach the whole class, but would meet all the children, either individually or in
pairs. At these meet- ings, several were surprised that we had a mutual interest in reggae music. I suggested to some ofthem that
they bring in some records the following day. One of the first deals I negotiated with my class on that day was that, if we worked
through the day, we could play some reggae in our classroom at the end of the afternoon.3 Some months after I started teaching, six
of the chil- dren's poems were published in the popular and highly respected commu- nity newspaper, West Indian World. Some
poems were about nostalgia for Dominica, the country of origin of most of the children; others were angry tirades against the racism
and class exploitation in their lives. One of the many things that sticks in my mind is a girl of Dominican origin in my class telling me
that there were too many rats in her flat, and about the white man who drove round every Friday in his Rolls Royce to collect the

CTR centralizes on the question of racethat is key for any successful

program of emancipation
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 33 -35, 2009//SRSL)

, the key formative event in the establishment of CRT was the CRT workshop in 1989
which made clear CRT's location in critical theory, and crucially 'race', racism and the law. Ladson-Billings and Tate
(1995, p. 62) underline the CRT belief in 'race' as primary by aligning their scholarship and activism with the
philosophy of Marcus Garvey, who believed that any program of emancipation would need to be built
around the question of 'race' first. As they observe, Garvey is clear and unequivocal: In a world of wolves one should go armed,
and one of the most powerful defensive weapons within reach of Negroes is the practice of race first in
all parts of the world. (cited in ibid.) Similarly, Mills (2003, p. 156) rejects both what he refers to as the 'original white radical
As noted in chapter 1 of this volume

orthodoxy (Marxist)' for arguing that social class is the primary contradiction in capitalist society, and
the 'present white radical orthodoxy (post-Marxist/postmodernist)' for its rejection ofany primary
contradiction. Instead, for Mills (ibid.) 'there is a primary contradiction, and ... it's race'. For Crenshaw et al. (1995b, p.
xxvi) 'subsuming race under class' is 'the typ- ical Marxist error'. Mills (2003, p. 157) states that '[r]ace [is] the central identity around which people close ranks' and that there is 'no transracial class bloc'. Given
the way in which neoliberal global capitalism unites capitalists throughout the world on lines that are not necessarily color-coded, this statement seems quite extraordinary. 'Race', Mills goes on, is 'the stable
reference point for identifying the 'them' and 'us' which override all other 'thems' and 'us's' (identities are multiple, but some are more central than others)', (Mills, 2003, p.157) while for Crenshaw et al. (1995b, p.
xxvi), although they acknowledge that 'race' is socially constructed, something with which Marxists would fully concur,12 'race' is 'real' since 'there is a material dimension and weight to being "raced" in American

For Marxists, it is capitalism that does this .

Mills (1997, p. 111) argues that '[w]hite Marxism [is] predicated on colorless classes in struggle', and
suggests that 'European models ofradical- ism, predicated on a system where race is much less
domestically/internally important (race as the external relation to the colonial world), operate with a
basically raceless (at least nominally) conceptual apparatus'(Mills, 2003, pp. 157-158). 'Race', he states,
'then has to be "added on"' (p. 158). Claiming that Marxism is 'largely seen as dead' (Mills, forthcoming,
2009),13 Mills states that he would like to think that 'a modified historical materialism that takes race
seriously instead of seeing it as merely epiphenomena! to class' can explain 'white supremacy' (ibid.). Ifso,
society'. 'Race', Mills concludes is 'what ties the system together, and blocks progressive change' (Mills, 2003, p.157).

such a Marxism, he concludes, 'does have to be a theoretically revised one' (ibid.), not 'the class-reductionist Marxism' that he designates as '"white Marxism", a Marxism that fails to recognize the import and
social reality of race' (ibid.). My response to Mills' desire for Marxism to explain 'white supremacy', for which in the closing paragraph of Mills, 2003 (p. 247) Mills states that he has 'left open the door' but is
unsure if it can (Mills, forthcoming, 2009), is that I do not believe there will be a Marxist explanation of 'white supremacy', since, as outlined in the previous section of this chapter, the concept is incompatible with
Marxism. With respect to Mills' call for a non 'class-reductionist Marxism', and his proclaimed sympathy with the idea that Marxism 'ultimately provides the most promising theoretical tool for understanding the
genesis and persistence of racism' (forthcoming, 2009), I would answer in the following way. Mills use of the adverb 'ultimately' and his statement that 'this seems more of a project in progress that a suc- cessfully
completed one' (Mills, forthcoming, 2009) does not do justice to long-standing and wide ranging US-based (e.g., Torres and Ngin, 1995; Zarembka, 2002; Darder and Torres, 2004; Marable, 2004; ScatamburloD'Annibale and McLaren, 2004, 2008, 2009), and UK-based Marxist anal- yses of 'race' and racialization (e.g., Miles, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1993; Sivanandan, 1982, 1990; Callinicos, 1993; Cole, 2004a, 2004d,
2006a, 2006b, 2008c, 2008d, 2009a, 2009d; Cole and Virdee, 2006; Virdee, 2009a, 2009b). (The Marxist concepts of racialiazation and xeno-racializa- tion are discussed in more depth later in this chapter; see
also chapter 4 of this volume for a discussion ofMarxism and antiracism, and chapter 5 for a discussion of Marx and 'race'.) Mills (2003, p. 158) invites readers to Imagine you're a white male Marxist in the
happy prefeminist, pre-postmodernist world of a quarter-century ago. You read Marcuse, Miliband, Poulantzas, Althusser. You believe in a theory of group domination involving something like the following: The
United States is a class society in which class, defined by relationship to the means ofproduction, is the fundamental division, the bourgeoisie being the ruling class, the workers being exploited and alienated, with
the state and the juridical system not being neutral but part of a super- structure to maintain the existing order, while the dominant ideology natural- izes, and renders invisible and unobjectionable, class
domination. This all seems a pretty accurate description ofthe United States in the twenty- first century, but for Mills (ibid.) it is 'a set of highly controversial
propositions'.Hejustifiesthisassertionbystatingthatalloftheabove'wouldbe disputed by mainstream political philosophy (liberalism), political science (pluralism), economics (neoclassical marginal utility theory),

While this is true, my response to this would be, well, ofcourse it

would be disputed by main- stream philosophers, pluralist political scientists, neoclassical economists
and functionalist sociologists, all ofwhich, unlike Marxists, are, at one level or another, apologists for
and sociology (Parsonian structural-functionalism and its heirs)' (ibid.).

Critical race theorists are also committed to social justice on a larger

scalerace, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability and other
forms of oppression
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 8, pgs 133-135, 2009//SRSL)

While Marxists would disagree with certain assertions, for example racism is permanent and central, I
have broad agreement with the suggestions for classroom practice of Daniel and Tara Yosso (2005, pp. 70-72).
Their brief is higher education, but it is my view that these suggestions apply equally to
elementary/primary/junior and secondary/high schools. Solorzano and Yasso (p. 70) argue that 'race' and racism should
be discussed in the class- room, that racism intersects with other forms of oppression, and that racism is
not a black/white binary (p. 70). They go on to stress that CRT in the classroom must challenge the dominant ideology of 'objectivity, meritocracy, color-blindness, race neutral- ity, and equal opportunity' (ibid.).
Critical Race Theorists, they argue, are committed to social justice and liberation with respect to
'race', gender and class

(p. 71). To this, I would wish to

add sexual orientation and disability and other forms of

oppression . I am, ofcourse, in full agreement with their wish to eliminate poverty and empower underrepresented groups (ibid.), and with their acknowledgment that
educational institutions 'operate in contradictory ways, with their poten- tial to oppress and marginalize coexisting with their potential to emancipate and empower' (ibid.). To
their argument that the experiential knowledge of people of color is 'legitimate, appropriate, and critical
to understanding, analyzing, and teaching about racial subordination' (ibid.), I would want to incorporate, as argued in chapter 3
ofthis volume, Leonardo's (2004) call to integrate this focus on subjectivity with Marxist objectivism. I would further
wish to insist that the voice and experiential knowledge of those racialized on non-color-coded grounds
(see chapter 2 ofthis volume) is also legitimate, appropriate and critical, as is indeed the experience and voice ofthe
exploited and oppressed non-racialized white working class pupils/students (and I use 'working class' in its sociological sense
here). Finally, Solorzano and Yosso (2007, p. 70) claim that CRT 'challenges ahistoricism' and is transdisciplinary With respect to 'ahistoricism', I have suggested in chapter 5

not all CRT analyses incorporate this challenge. As far as a transdiciplinary knowledge base is
concerned, I would fully endorse the need to utilize various curriculum subject areas to understand and
undermine racism and other inequalities. Indeed, I have attempted just this in Cole (2009b) (see chapter 4, note 14 of this volume). I would also
agree with Marvin Lynn (2007, p. 131), in his discussion of 'Critical Race Theory and its Links to Education' that there is a need
'to look analytically at the failure of the educational system ... to properly edu- cate the majority of
culturally and racially subordinated students', and to examine 'racial sorting' where schools put
pupils/students of color in lower tracks (streams), are over-represented in 'special' schools and pushed out
of certain schools (ibid.). But again, I would want to stress that certain pupils/ students who are racialized in non-color-coded ways may be on the receiv- ing end of
ofthis volume that

similar processes, and that non-racialized white working class (again in the sociological sense) pupils/students also get 'sorted' in ways that are to their detriment (Lynn also
refers to this, but only in passing (ibid.)). I would further agree with Lawn (ibid.) when he refers to 'the systematic annihilation ofBlack and Brown students' through the whole
education sys- tem (ibid.), although I would use the phrase 'structural and systematic' and would include the other constituencies I refer to immediately above. Lynn concludes

claim that CRT in education 'seeks to identify, analyze,

and transform those structural, cultural, and interpersonal aspects of education that maintain the
subordination of Students of Color', and, in addition, that it 'asks such questions as: what roles do
schools themselves, school processes, and school structures play in helping to maintain racial, ethnic
and gender subordination' (Solorzano and Yosso, 2000, p. 40, cited in Lynn, 2007, p. 131). Finally Lynn suggests, also following Solorzano an Yosso, 2000
that 'CRT can be utilized as a point from which to begin the dialogue about the possibilities for schools
to engage in the transformation of society' (Lynn, 2007, p. 131). The transformation of society is of course the guiding principle of Marxism, but
his discussion of'CRT and Education' by citing Solorzano and Yosso's (2000, p. 42)

whereas, for Marxists, transforma- tion entails a social revolution and transition to socialism, Critical Race Theorists in general, like poststructuralists and postmodernists in
toto (see Cole, 2008d, Chapter 5), lack a clear vision of a transformed society or, indeed, a transformed world. Marx was suspicious ofphilosophers (and I am sure would be
equally suspicious of Critical Race Theorists) who had 'inter- preted the world in many ways', whereas for him, the point was 'to change it' ([1845] [1976], p. 123). I return to a
discussion ofthis limitation ofCRT in the Conclusion to this volume. For a discussion of Marxist ideas about socialist transformation, and a consideration of twenty-first century
social- ism, see chapter 7 of this volume. Lynn (2007, pp. 137) concludes his analysis in typical CRT fashion by stressing the existence ofwhite supremacy 'in the United States
and in the world'. With respect to the notion of 'white supremacy' per se as a useful descriptor ofeveryday racism I have critiqued this in chapter 2 and elsewhere in this volume.

As far as claims for its ubiquitous presence are concerned, I have also argued that 'white supremacy' is a
most valid historical descriptor for certain societies but not an informative current one, and also that
world racism takes a number offorms which are not related to skin color.

Racial liberation is the the most significant objective for CRT
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 149-150, 2009//SRSL)

the CRT view of education: "'racial" liberation [is] embraced as not only the
primary but as the most significant objective of any emancipatory vision of education in the larger
society' (ibid.). According to Krenshaw et al. (1995b, p. xiii) Critical Race Theorists also share 'an ethical commitment to
human liberation' but 'often disagree among [themselves], over its specific direction' (ibid.). Thus often
in CRT the solution is vague. To take an example, introducing their edited col- lection, Critical Race Theory in Education, Dixson and Rousseau (2006b) talk
Darder and Torres (2004, p. 98) observe, in

about 'the struggle' (pp. 2-3); 'a vision of hope for the future' (p. 3); 'social action toward liberation and the end ofoppression' (p. 3); 'the broader goal of ending all forms of

To take another example, Dixson and Rousseau (2006,

pp. 2-3) argue that 'CRT scholars acknowledge the permanence of racism' but that this should lead to
'greater resolve in the struggle'. They also refer to a CRT focus on 'praxis', which incorporates 'a
commitment not only to scholarship but also to social action toward liberation and the end of
oppression' (p. 3). They talk of 'eliminating racial oppression as part of the broader goal of ending all forms of oppression' (p. 4), and state that the 'ultimate goal of CRT
oppression' (p. 4); and 'the ultimate goal of C R T - social transformation' (p. 7).

[is] social transformation'. However, no indication is given ofwhat they are struggling towards, what liberation means to them, or what is envisioned by social transformation

Mills is somewhat clearer. As we saw in chapter 2 of this volume, for him (1997,
p. lll) '[w]hite Marxism [is] predicated on colorless classes in struggle'. He argues that if socialism is to
come then 'white supremacy/ majoritarian domination' must be overthrown first in 'the struggle for
social democracy'. Only after 'white supremacy' has been overthrown, and 'social democracy' established is the next stage-socialism-possible. This seems to
be in line with Mills' argument that 'a non-white-supremacist capitalism is morally and politically
preferable to ... white-supremacist capitalism' (reiter- ated in Pateman and Mills, 2007, p. 31 and Mills, 2007, p. 243), something with
which I would totally concur. However, given the massive advantages to capitalism of racialized
capitalism, capitalism without racism (or sexism) is almost inconceivable. Whether, in the light of the current 'credit crunch' (a
and the end of all forms of oppression.

euphemism for the inherent contradictions in capitalism) capitalist politicians globally will adopt long-term a more 'social democratic' as opposed to 'neoliberal' form (they have
already adopted interventionist measures in the short-term) remains to be seen. Certainly a number of commentators are urging this (e.g., Elliott, 2008; Irvin, 2008). Whatever
happens, it is Marxism, I believe, that provides the possibility of a viable equitable future. In chapter 7, I pos- ited developments in South America, specifically Venezuela, as

Though currently a capitalist state, with a government

enacting social democratic measures, Chavez is promoting socialist values and forms of organization. In
providing one possible future direction for twenty-first-century socialism.

the barrios of Caracas, and everywhere else where the poor live, and the spark of socialism has been lit, people are not celebrating Max Weber or post-structuralism; they are not

Instead they are engaging with the

possibility of a practical democratic socialism, a socialism that is truly inclusive, with respect to 'race',
but also with respect to gender, sexual orientation, disability, age and other forms of exploitation and
embracing postmodernism, transmodern- ism or Critical Race Theory (for these are largely academic pursuits).

Breaking from CRT is a way to give people of color a voice rather than
just analyzing race
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 153-154, 2009//SRSL)

In chapter 1, I outlined the central tenets of Critical Legal Studies, pointing out its location in
economic and social class analyses, and indicated its essen- tially socialist credentials. I also
recounted the break from CLS of CRT, pri- marily because ofthis emphasis, but also because a number
ofpeople ofcolor needed a voice, hitherto not available, to bring 'race' firmly to the center of analysis. In
the twenty-first century, CRT is now firmly established, while CLS has essentially disbanded. In chapter
2, I pointed out that Richard Delgado had argued for the importance of social class some five years ago.
Perhaps a re-alignment of CLS and CRT might be worth considering as a fruitful partnership in the
important, indeed crucial, tasks that lie ahead for all progressive people, a partnership which, as I
stressed in chapter 2, would need to centralize capitalism and capitalist social relations. I would like to

appeal to Critical Race Theorists and Critical Legal Studies scholars to join me in productive antiracist
dialogue in order to see ifwe can agree how to move theory and action (praxis) forward. On a more
societal level, can we return to Duncan Kennedy's strategy, outlined in chapter 1, of building an
inclusive mass movement for the radical transformation ofAmerican Society? And indeed the

Understanding white privelage comes through teacher training
cause causes the abolition of whiteness into classroom pedagogy
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 8, pgs 135-136, 2009//SRSL)

'the abolition of whiteness', 'white supremacy' (and attendant 'white privilege').

While Vaught and Castagno (2008, p. 102) argue that understanding white privilege must be an element
of 'teacher training', John Preston makes the case for the 'abolition ofwhiteness' to part of classroom
pedagogy. 'Abolition of whiteness' needs to be anchored theoretically within the broader 'Whiteness
Studies' movement. Preston (2007, p. 6), following Byrne (2006) and Hill (1997), describes two phases ofwork on Whiteness Studies The first
is the 'pre-political' phase, where whiteness is seen to be just another form ofidentity, from which
certain social advantages arise. Writers in the first phase were mainly scholars of color. Preston lists Franz Fanon, Du
Bois, and Sojourner Truth among others (p. 7). In the second phase, discussed in chapter 2 of this volume , 'whiteness becomes a political category
in that a structural apparatus of oppression is posited' (ibid.), entailing white privilege within an
overarching system of 'white supremacy' (ibid.). In this second phase, not only is whiteness interrogated as an identity, but the consequences of'acting white' are made visible' (ibid.). In this second phase, white
supremacy is considered critically only in the sense of white identity and white privilege (ibid.). Preston cites
In chapter 2 of this volume, I discussed

the work of Peggy Mcintosh (Mcintosh, 1988) (discussed earlier in this volume) as being part of this phase, as well as Cheryl Harris (1998) (also discussed earlier in this volume).

Whiteness Studies became more 'critical' in that whiteness is considered not

just an 'identity', but an identity where certain practices lead to 'white privilege'. Preston then identifies a third phase (p.
8). In this phase, there is both a critique questioning the basis and direction of the second phase, and 'wish to
radicalize it towards the abolition ofwhiteness or white supremacy' (pp. 8-9). It is this phase which is most associated with CRT,
In this second phase, Preston concludes,

and this phase on which Preston's classroom pedagogies are based. With respect to Preston's choice of the word, 'pedagogy', Terry Wrigley and Peter Hick (forthcoming, 2009)
have argued that the word pedagogy is relatively new in English-speaking countries, and that it is often used with limited under- standing. In most European languages and
education systems, they argue the concept means more than just teaching methods. It requires 'an articulation of educational aims and processes in social, ethical and affective
as well as cogni- tive terms, and involves reflection about the changing nature ofsociety or the value ofhuman existence' (Wrigley and Hick, forthcoming, 2009). It is the
European sense that Preston (2007) seems to be adopting since, he attempts to provide a way in which such 'critical theory' might be intro- duced into schools. Preston (2007, p.
198) concludes his book by advocating neo-abolitionist (the word is prefixed with 'neo' to differentiate the aboli- tion of whiteness from the earlier abolition of slavery)

Given that the undoubtedly good intentions of the 'abolition of

whiteness' arguments are regularly misunder- stood by academics (Preston, 2007, passim), its introduction in the school
pedagogies ('abolition of whiteness' teaching) in the classroom.

curriculum is a most worrying and counter-productive suggestion. That whiteness (not 'white people') should be abolished is advocated by Preston for the following reasons,
based on the work ofNoel Ignatiev and John Garvey: 1. 'whiteness is a false form ofidentity and ... there is no such thing as white culture'; 2. 'whiteness, in terms of a structural
system of white supremacy, is oppressive ... [and] whiteness is only false and oppressive and ... there is no possibility of 'redemption' or reformation of whiteness'; 3.

'whiteness divides humanity against itself and therefore is not in the gen- uine interests even of white
people'; 4. 'class, gender and sexuality are important in understanding oppression but race is central to
understanding why other forms of political activity are not possible, particularly in the US' (Preston, 2007, p. 10) I
am not sure what Preston means by proposition 4, but will consider each of these other propositions in turn.

We must talk about CRT pedagogy as a prerequisite to abolishing

whiteness pedagogy
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
intro, pgs 3-5, 2009//SRSL)

Before dealing with issues of educational theory, I need to set the scene. In chapter 1, therefore, I begin by briefly
tracing the relationship between post- modernism, transmodernism and CRT with respect to the voices
of the Other. I then examine CRT's historical origins in Critical Legal Studies (CLS) in the United States, noting how CRT was in part
a response to the perception that the analyses ofCLS were too class-based and underestimated the
centrality of 'race' as the major form of oppression in society. I conclude with a consideration of CRT's various ethnic identity-specific
varieties. In the second chapter, I go on to critique from a Marxist perspective two ofCRT's central tenets, namely the
favoring ofthe concept of'white suprem- acy' over racism, and the prioritizing of 'race' over class as the
primary form of oppression in society. During the course of the chapter, I offer my own wide-ranging definitions of racism and the Marxist
concept of racialization, arguing that these formulations are better suited in general to understanding

and combating racism in the modern world, than is the CRT concept of 'white supremacy'. In this chapter, I also
address the contemporaneous man- ifestations of non-color-coded racism. In chapter 3, I examine what I perceive to be some ofthe strengths ofCRT, namely the use of the
concept of property to explain historically segregation in the United States; the all-pervasive existence of racism in the world; the importance of voice; the concept of chronicle;
interest convergence theory; transposition and CRT and the law in the United States. These strengths, however, are not without limitations, and I suggest ways in which some of
these strengths could be enhanced by Marxist analysis. Chapter 3 includes an appendix which features a chronicle that attempts to subvert and question the validity of the CRT
concept of 'white supremacy'. In chapter 4, I look at multicultural education in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and at the respective antiracist responses (based
on Marxism) in each country. I begin by discussing three forms of reactionary multicultural education in the United States identified by Peter McLaren. I go on to analyze
McLaren's advocacy, in his postmodern phase, of 'critical resistant multiculturalism', a form of multiculturalism favored by Critical Race Theorist Gloria Ladson-Billings. I
conclude the section of the chapter on the United States by appraising McLaren's promotion, since he returned to the Marxist problematic, of 'revolutionary multiculturalism'.
Turning to the United Kingdom, I begin by discussing the ongoing, but now protracted, debate over the relative merits ofmulticultural and antiracist education. In chapter 2, I
identified a threat to antiracism and in chapter 3 a threat to the acknowledgement of the existence of institutional racism, in both cases from state and other official rhetoric and
policy. I conclude chapter 4 by suggesting that gains made by antiracists are further under threat from a 'hard' version of the concept of 'community cohesion', cur- rently
advocated by the UK Government. In chapter 5, I address the relatively recent arrival of CRT in educational theorizing in the United Kingdom. In so doing, I focus on the latest
book by influential United Kingdom 'race' and education theorist David Gillborn in the beliefthat the growing body ofwork by Gillborn in the field ofCRT is highly likely to
consolidate its presence in the United Kingdom. Specifically, I critically discuss Gillborn's views on Marxists; on Marx and slavery; on Marx and cspecies essence'; on cWhite
powerholders'; on racist inequalities in the UK education system; on education policy; on ability; on institutional rac- ism; on cmodel minorities'; on whiteness; on conspiracy;
and on cstruggling where we are' against cthe powers that be'. Globalization from both CRT and Marxist perspectives is examined in chapter 6, where I also look at
globalization and its relationship to the new U.S. imperialism, arguing that, as well as Marxism, some transmodern con- cepts but not others can aid our understanding ofthese
processes and move- ments. I conclude chapter 6 with some comments on the U.S. imperialist occupation of Iraq, five years on. I then in chapter 7 begin by addressing myself
to some common objec- tions to Marxism, followed by a Marxist response. Next I examine the alter- native to capitalism oftwenty-first century democratic socialism, referring to
ongoing developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. I focus on the impressive social democratic changes happening there and the possibili- ties ofa transition to
socialism. To counter CRT claims ofan incompatibility between Marxism and antiracism, I conclude this chapter with a discussion of antiracism in practice in that country. In

areas of agreement between Marxistsand certain U.S.-based Critical Race

Theorists on suggestions for classroom practice, before critiquing the 'abolition ofwhiteness' pedagogy
of a leading UK Critical Race Theorist. I then make some suggestions for practice based on Marxist theory, namely anti-imperialist antiracist educa- tion.
chapter 8, I begin by looking at some

I conclude with a call for implementing 'the last taboo', namely, to include discussions about capitalism and socialism in the school curriculum. Chapter 8 has an appendix that
describes Marx's Labour Theory of Value (LTV), a theory that Marxists believe explains precisely the way in which workers are exploited under capitalism. Finally, in the
Conclusion, I begin by suggesting that CRT, while making calls for liberation and the end of oppression, in fact offers no concrete solu- tions for this. I reiterate that Marxism
does provide a solution. Having recon- firmed that the purpose of this book is not to divide, but to unite, I look back to the struggles of Martin Luther King, in particular his

Critical Race Theorists might

reconsider a realignment with Critical Legal Studies, thus forming a potentially fruitful partnership in the
tasks that lie ahead for all progressive people. None of the criticisms of the work of others in this book should be read as personal. Indeed, I
attraction to socialist principles in the later part of his life. I conclude by suggesting that, now that CRT is firmly established,

have great respect for the various people I critique. My purpose in this book is unequivocal: namely to attempt to align us all around the project ofdemocratic socialism for the

While the concerns of this book are with 'race',

twenty-first century socialism must, of course, address all forms of exploitation and oppression and be
fully cognizant with and address all forms of inequality.
twenty-first century, an objective socialist struggle that is fully attuned to the needs ofus all.

Awareness affects how group politics are constructed

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 152-153, 2009//SRSL)
David Gillborn (2008, p. 13) may be right when he asserts that 'the best crit- ical race theorists are passionate about
... classism'. But while challenging the oppression of people that is based on their social class (classism) is
extremely important, and is championed by Marxists, the fundamental point is to also challenge the
exploitation of workers at the point of production, for therein lies the economic relationship that
sustains and nurtures the capitalist sys- tem. While I am critical of CRT, I would like to reiterate that the purpose of this
book is to not to divide, but to unite. My intention has not been to question the ideological or political integrity
of Critical Race Theorists, but to open up comradely discussion in the light ofthe entry ofCRT into British
Academia. In chapter 5 of this volume, I discussed David Gillborn's reluc- tance to engage in debate with Marxists. However, there

seem to be some contradictions in his position, because he has also argued that 'the best way ahead may simply be to make use of
analytical tools as and when they seem most revealing' (Gillborn, 2008, p. 38). This

is followed up by the assertion that

Marxists (presumably) will not be amenable to this. He states: 'this will not satisfy people who seek to
fetishize a single concept or theory above all else' (ibid.) He then goes on to emphasize what he sees as central tenets of
CRT. He quotes Kimberle Crenshaw (1995, p. 377) as follows: Through an awareness of intersectionality, we can
better acknowledge and ground the differences among us and negotiate the means by which these differences will find expression in constructing group politics (cited in Gillborn, 2008, p. 38) To make matters even
more confusing, Gillborn (ibid.) then cites David Stovall (2006, p. 257) as stating that '[a]rguing across conference tables is useless',
that our work must be done 'on the frontline with communi- ties committed to change' and that 'neither race nor class exists as static
phenomena'. For Marxists, there is a need for both arguing across conference tables and working on the frontline with communities
committed to change. Dare I urge Gillborn, in a comradely way, to reconsider this reluctance to talk with Yiarxists, and, in so
doing, perhaps address himself to some of the strengths of Marxism? As noted in the Introduction to this volume, it was Max Weber
who is credited as being the first prominent sociologist to dispute Marx's arguments in a serious way. Since

then, there have

been many other academics who have sought ways to challenge Marx and Marxism, Critical Race
Theorists, being among the most recent. There will no doubt be many others. Marxists will continue to
meet these challenges. Marxism is not, as some would have it, a moribund set of beliefs and practice. On the contrary, as
noted in chapter 5 of this volume, Jean-Paul Sartre (1960) has described Marxism as a 'living philosophy'. To Sartre's observation,
Crystal Bartolovich (2002, p. 20) has added, Marxism is not 'simply a discourse nor a body of (academic) knowl- edge' but a living
project. As I have stressed, the Bolivarian Misiones are classic examples ofsocial democracy rather than socialism. It is important to
recognize that no one can foresee what direction the Bolivarian Revolution will take. Like other revolutions, it may be defeated or it
could be hijacked. However, the Bolivarian Revolution is firmly placed in the dialectics of socialist struggle, and its full effect on
Cuba, and the emerging struggles in other parts of South America and possibly the rest of the world are yet to be seen. Whether or
not the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela remains a capital- ist country, or proves to be a concrete example of an attempt to nurture
the living project of Marxism remains to be seen. It will certainly not be the last such attempt. The struggle

against capital
and empire was important historically, continues unabated in the present, and will be mounted against
any empire of the future. As Hugo Chavez put it in a speech to the United Nations (cited in Ali, 2008, p. 293): We reaffirm
our infinite faith in humankind. We are thirsty for peace and justice in order to survive as a species. Simon Bolivar, founding father
of our country and guide to our revolution swore to never allow his hands to be idle or his soul rest until he had broken the shackles
which bound us to the empire. Now

save humanity.

is the time not to allow our hands to be idle or our souls to rest until we

The only choice is the new social movementits try or die
*is there any way to rephrase try or die as efficiently? try or die feels as if its inherently operating
under a utilitarian/consequentialist framing

Wilson 96 [Wilson, Carter A. Ph.D., M.A., B.A., Wayne State University in Public Policy, Civil Rights and Race and Public Policy. 1996.
Racism: from slavery to advanced capitalism. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.] l.gong

In every era, from slavery to advanced capitalism, racism arose out of oppressive and exploitative economic
arrangements in which wealth was concentrated in a dominant class. This class played a leading role in
generating discourse and ideology to legitimize these oppressive arrangements and to convince other classes to
support the established order. This class also used the state to protect these arrangements. This discourse, ideology, and state
action sustained oppressive arrangements and contributed to the formation of racist culture. Changes in modes of
production generated changes in forms of oppression and types of racism. Also, shifts in political power
precipitated changes in the role of the state and in the formation of racist culture. The old racism died with the
disintegration of the sharecropping system and the relative success of the civil rights movement. Nevertheless, a new form of racism emerged
out of new exploitative and oppressive arrangementsmetaracism. The

old exploitative mechanism of industrial capitalism

and the Fordist period gave way to new postFordist, exploitative processes. The corporate sector found new
ways to extract more surplus value from labor, new ways to reduce the costs of labor, and new ways to diminish the
power of labor unions. In their drive to accumulate wealth, corporations engaged in more flexible capital
investment strategies. They closed down many production facilities where labor costs were high and unions
strong. They relocated in areas of cheap labor and nonexistent unions. They subcontracted with peripheral firms and
eliminated core sector jobs. They used mergers and bankruptcy to undermine unions and reduce labor costs. They attacked
unions directly at the negotiating table. These economic changes contributed to the rise of the new racism in several
ways. First, economic changes influenced shifts in political power. These changes contributed to greater concentrations of wealth in the upper
stratum and the decline of organized labor. These changes meant a weakening of civil rights forces and a strengthening of conservative forces.
The corporate sector is now more politically active than ever before. It contributes more resources to conservative

think tanks
committed to generating studies and ideas supporting the established order. Some of the works from these
research institutes contributed to the formation and dissemination of racist ideology. The corporate sector also supports
political leaders who have used racist imagery and discourse in ways that encouraged the rise of racism.
Second, these economic changes, combined with institutional practices, produced new racially oppressive arrangements characterized by black
poverty substantially concentrated in inner cities. This concentrated black poverty is not simply a function of impersonal market forces nor the
unintended effects of a global economy. This

poverty is associated with the uneven economic development of

advanced capitalism. It is the result of the impact of the shift from the Fordist to the postFordist period. It is related to
deliberate decisions of corporate leadersdecisions calculated to depress wages and weaken labor
power. These decisions affected black workers most severely. Also, Squires (1990, p. 202) contended that the corporate sector
deliberately avoided locating new industrial development in areas with large black populations: Industrial
development specialists in several state governments have reported that managers of corporations seeking locations for new sites often
request that areas with substantial minority populations be eliminated from consideration. The

stated concerns are that blacks

are more susceptible to union organizing drives and that if there are fewer minorities there will be fewer
equal opportunity obligations with which to contend. PostFordist changes, uneven development, and an
aversion to locating industrial development in central cities have contributed to the marginalization of
black workers. These factors, in conjunction with housing segregation and labor market discrimination,
produced black poverty, substantially concentrated in inner cities. This visible aspect of racial oppression contributed
directly to the formation of the new racism, especially when political leaders justified this poverty in ways that further denigrated African Page
242 Americans. Third, conservative

forces contributed to racist discourse in the process of justifying the growth

of concentrated black poverty. This discourse alienated poor blacks from the larger community and desensitized its members to the
plight of the poor. This discourse involved images of black welfare queens, dangerous black males addicted to drugs and
driven by uncontrollable rage, incompetent blacks given undeserved jobs through affirmative action, lazy black males who prefer
to hang out on street corners, and other denigrating figures. This discourse contributed to the formation of the new racist culture, as

it was popularized in the media. It

influenced most sectors of societyclasses, groups, and institutionswhich in

turn operate to maintain existing racially oppressive arrangements. The culture encourages the maintenance of racial
segregation in metropolitan areas and of racial discrimination in urban labor markets. Fourth, postFordist changes generated a
pervasive sense of anxiety and insecurity, especially among middleclass workers. This anxiety and insecurity made
people more susceptible to new forms of racism. It contributed to scapegoatingpure hostility against blacks. It has
fueled the assault on affirmative action. In the final analysis, exploitative and oppressive economic arrangements contributed to

This racism will continue into the 21st century

unless there is another major social movement or unless shifts in political
power occur that counterbalance the dominant position of the corporate
sectorthe sector today most resistant to fairer ways of distributing societal
the formation of racial politics and racist culture.

Racism is a pre-requisite, it is better to have non-white supremacist capitalism than
white supremacist capitalism
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
As we have seen, for Mills (2003: 160), White Marxism *is+ predicated on colorless classes in struggle.
Mills argues that if socialism is to come then white supremacy/majoritarian domination must be
overthrown first in the struggle for social democracy. Only after white supremacy has been
overthrown and social democracy established is the next stage socialism possible. This seems to be
in line with Mills argument that a non-whitesupremacist capitalism is morally and politically preferable
to . . . whitesupremacist capitalism (Mills, cited in Pateman and Mills, 2007: 31), something with which I
would totally concur. However, given the massive advantages to capitalism of racialized capitalism,
capitalism without racism (or sexism), as I have suggested earlier, is almost inconceivable. Mills argues
that part of the process of achieving the necessary consciousness to move forward is to place side by
side with the existing political structures familiar to all of us . . . an unnamed global political structure
global white supremacy (Mills, 1997: 125). Until the system is named and seen as such, no serious
theoretical appreciation of *its+ significance . . . is possible (Mills, 1997: 125). The Racial Contract sees
that race and white supremacy are . . . critical theoretical terms that must be incorporated into the
vocabulary of an adequate sociopolitical theory (Mills, 1997: 126).

At: Stop talking

Openness to criticism is critical to progressive social movements
Hutchinson 4 (Darren, Critical Race Histories: In and Out, University of Florida Levin
College of Law,, pp. 118788, acc. 7/8/14, arh)
Cultural critic bell hooks has observed that progressive social movements mature in response to
critical inquiry from within their ranks. Hooks notes that "any progressive political movement
grows and matures only to the degree that it passionately welcomes and encourages, in both
theory and practice, diversity of opinion, new ideas, critical exchange, and dissent., 72 This
assertion certainly holds true in the context of CRT, as its evolution has depended largely upon
very vigorous internal criticism. Although Critical Race Theorists have not always passionately
welcomed such critiques,73 the relative openness of CRT has allowed for substantial innovation
of its intellectual agenda. Internal critics have also challenged Critical Race Theorists, and their
arguments have shaped the direction of critical race analysis as well-if only by generating
rebuttals to these very critiques. This Part discusses the influence of internal and external
critiques upon critical race analysis and then responds directly to some important critiques with
which Critical Race Theorists have not yet exhaustively engaged.

At: Privilege
Privilege theory undermines revolutionary action- empirical track record shows its
ineffective, makes future generations of activists ineffective
Sabcat 13 (Writer for dysphoria, an anarchist publication, Privilege Theory. The Politics of
Defeat,, 1/1/13, acc. 7/9/14, arh)
Ive been blissfully ignorant of these ideas of privilege and the concept of checking it until very
recently. It came across my radar after the fall out of a twitter row. A set of ideas were put
forward, and argument was made. The response to this argument boiled down to the person was
writing it from a perspective of white male privilege. The issues were side stepped. I assumed
that this was an abuse of a theory that I didnt understand, that privilege theory wasnt simply a
handy tool to dismiss an argument because you dont like the person making it. I asked on
twitter for some links so I could find out what this theory was really about. The most interesting
and by interesting I mean the most infuriating was A Class Struggle Anarchist Analysis of
Privilege Theory from the Womens Caucus. Before I explain my problems with the theory and
its uses Ill first briefly explain where Im coming from. Im a socialist. I believe in and strive for
a universally applied set of values that can be simply described as equality and freedom. For a
more complete explanation of these values AFEDs own aims and principles is as good place to
look. These aims and principles provide a lense to view the world through and a yard stick to
measure the validity or otherwise of ideas against. People Act in Their Material Interest The
AFED Aims and principles criticism of unions touches on this, the interests of union leadership
are often at odds with the interests of their members. The overthrow of the wage system, of
capitalism while in the interests of the members is not in the interests of the leadership .
Privilege theory takes no account of shifting material interests and instead is
concerned with fixed categories of identity. Once analysis moves away from the
material and into identity its almost impossible to reconcile it with class struggle
in all but the most crude terms. In their analysis of privilege theory AFED abandon class
struggle almost completely: The term privilege has a complex relationship with class struggle,
and to understand why, we need to look at some of the differences and confusions between
economic and social class. Social class describes the cultural identities of working class, middle
class and upper class. These identities, much like those built on gender or race, are socially
constructed, created by a society based on its prejudices and expectations of people in those
categories. Economic class is different. It describes the economic working and ruling classes, as
defined by Marx. It functions through capitalism, and is based on the ownership of material
resources, regardless of your personal identity or social status. This is why a wealthy, knighted
capitalist like Alan Sugar can describe himself as a working class boy made good. He is clearly
not working class if we look at it economically, but he clings to that social identity in the belief
that it in some way justifies or excuses the exploitation within his business empire. He confuses
social and economic class in order to identify himself with an oppressed group (the social
working class) and so deny his own significant privilege (as part of the economic ruling class).
Being part of the ruling class of capitalism makes it impossible to support struggles against that
system. This is because, unlike any other privileged group, the ruling class are directly
responsible for the very exploitation they would be claiming to oppose. This idea that the middle
class and working class are nothing more than socially constructed cultural identities is
convenient for privilege theory. Its reduced the class struggle in the material sense to Alan
Sugar and other owners of material resources oppressing everyone else. The middle class are
part of the oppressed group, its an identity no more or less significant than another. Its
complete none sense. The middle class and working class as well as cultural difference

experience different material conditions. The material and the cultural feed into each other in
the form of connections and opportunities for the middle class that the working class dont
enjoy. The interests of the working class and middle class are very different. People act on the
basis of their material interests. Just as the union leaderships dont share the same interests as
their membership, depending on the existing order for their material advantage and power so
the middle class exist and enjoy material advantage in the same way. Item 3 from Afeds aims
and principles: We believe that fighting systems of oppression that divide the working class,
such as racism and sexism, is essential to class struggle. Anarchist-Communism cannot be
achieved while these inequalities still exist. In order to be effective in our various struggles
against oppression, both within society and within the working class, we at times need to
organise independently as people who are oppressed according to gender, sexuality, ethnicity or
ability. We do this as working class people, as cross-class movements hide real class differences
and achieve little for us. Full emancipation cannot be achieved without the abolition of
capitalism. The twin issues of division and oppression are very real and need to be tackled. The
important part of that is We do this as working class people, as cross-class movements hide real
class differences and achieve little for us. The reason is that class is unique, other identity
categories can feed into the material conditions and interests of a person but on a shifting basis.
Thats not to say that patriarchy or racism are not real or that they can be dismissed but its not
possible except on single, narrowly framed issues to equate the interests of any group across
class lines. AFED claim this can achieve little for us. I go further and say that it ensures that
struggles rooted in identity and not class can never feed into a wider struggle against capitalism
because they are made up of people who dont share the same interests, class interests. The
overthrow of capitalism is not in the interests of the middle class whether theyre a cisgendered
white male or not. In their analysis of Privilege Theory AFED touch on racism: At other times
the benefits are more subtle and invisible, and involve certain pressures being taken off a
privileged group and focused on others, for example black and Asian youths being 28% more
likely to be stopped and searched by the police than white youths. The point here is not that
police harassment doesnt happen to white youths, or that being working class or a white
European immigrant doesnt also mean youre more likely to face harassment; the point is that a
disproportionate number of black and Asian people are targeted in comparison to white people,
and the result of this is that, if you are carrying drugs, and you are white, then all other things
being equal you are much more likely to get away with it than if you were black. In the UK, white
people are also less likely to be arrested or jailed, or to be the victim of a personal crime. Black
people currently face even greater unemployment in the UK than they do in the USA. The point
of quoting this is not to suggest we want a society in which people of all races and ethnicities face
equal disadvantage we want to create a society in which nobody faces these disadvantages. But
part of getting there is acknowledging how systems of oppression work, which means
recognising that, if black and ethnic minority groups are more likely to face these disadvantages,
then by simple maths white people are less likely to face them, and that means they have an
advantage, a privilege, including the privilege of not needing to be aware of the extent of the
problem. As they say, black and Asian youths are more likely to face police oppression, their
example that a white person is more likely to be able to carry drugs and not get
caught is odd and isnt privilege unless the police are harassing someone at all
times and if they stop doing so on grounds of race white people are at higher risk.
The unemployment statistics make more sense, black people are oppressed in this way. Thinking
of this in terms of privilege for white people isnt useful in terms of understanding it and is
positively counter productive in tackling it. What is described is a material reason for solidarity.
Theres a pile and some people are at the bottom of it, they belong to a variety of identity
categories. The only way out of this is recognition that the injustice is the existence

of the pile itself. Describing this in terms of white people being privileged fails to
recognise the material conditions at the root of the issue , that the real issue is a class
issue. Viewing it in terms of race only perpetuates the problem, the problem being the pile itself.
Capitalism. The last race riots in the UK were in 2005 in the Lozells area of Birmingham. The
fight between black and Asian people was caused by the multicultural policy of allocating
resources based on ethnicity. This is explored by Kenan Malik in his essay How to Make a Riot:
Once political power and financial resources became allocated by ethnicity, then people began to
identify themselves in terms of their ethnicity, and only their ethnicity. People are forced into a
very one-dimensional view of themselves by the way that equality policies work, says Joy
Warmington of the Birmingham Race Action Partnership, a council-funded but independent
equalities organization. People mobilize on the basis of how they feel they will get the resources
to tackle the issues important to them. And in Birmingham it helps to say youre campaigning
for the needs of your ethnic or faith community, because policies have tended to emphasize
ethnicity as a key to entitlement. If somebody in Handsworth or Lozells wants a community
centre or a health centre it is often easier to get funding if they say We want an Asian
community centre or We want an African-Caribbean health centre. They are forced to see
themselves in terms of their ethnicity, their race, their culture and so on rather than in broader
terms that might bring people together. The racism, the division of working class people had at
its roots material resources. The real grievances of those people who saw themselves as missing
out were not racial they were class issues. Privilege Theory does nothing to help us
understand let alone tackle this because there is no one with any actual privilege.
Privilege Theory is a tool for middle class people to tell people with no discernible privilege to
check their privilege. It provides nothing of any use to a working class movement and
undermines solidarity. It formalises an ad hominem argument when the issues arent
convenient to discuss. We dont need it, we have a set of ideas and values by which to measure
arguments against. What we dont have, as working class people is much in the way of privilege
unlike our middle class friends playing at being radical. Its not a game.

Privilege checking reinforces capitalist divisions and stigmatizes activism

Bast and McClure 12 (Tabitha and Hannah, writers for Dsyphoria periodical,, September 2012, acc. 7/8/14, arh)
Privilege. Now theres a word we are hearing a lot. The concept and finger-pointing of privilege
is coming to increasingly concern us as a problem and a poor semblance within the alternative
left. We feel not only embarrassed by the simplicity of this undisclosed and undefined
overarching theory but concerned that it further leads a stagnant movement down more dire
dead ends. And yet our disquiet is not because we believe interpersonal politics are less worthy
of our attention, nor because we are without awareness and rage about the oppressive power
structures within our lives and political milieus. We do not believe that these are minor details
that can wait til after the revolution. Whilst we are currently organising what is suspiciously like
a womens consciousness raising group, we dismiss those laughable and cringeworthy lists that
have gone viral in the social networking world. These might appear as conflicting positions, but
as we hope to explain, we do not find them so. As mentioned , we are confronted with
endless lists asking us to Check our Privilege . We have encountered the heterosexual
privilege checklist the cis privilege checklist and the able bodied checklist. (examples of
these checklists are included at the end of the article- the Eds.) We think you get the picture?
Soon we will be carrying around score cards wishing to be the most victimised person in the
world. This sort of privilege scorekeeping is tallied in our everyday encounters but most often
called out in a certain political context, such as a political meeting, discussion or lecture. We

now are presented with the manarchist who uses his male privilege taking up space in
meetings. Taking up space is not seen as only about the amount a person of privilege speaks but
often the language used. We see a growth in these subcultural movements in the UK of an
adherence to a new political language and analysis with a centrality of privilege as an
overarching ideology. We find an anti-intellectualism where both theorising and militancy are
seen as a privilege in and of themselves, as if acting on the front line as WELL as analysis are
only weapons of the oppressive rather than weapons of the oppressed. We find this dangerous
because it evokes that the most oppressed are helpless and weak, encourages a lack of activity
and analysis away from make do and mend circles, and further rarefies the notion of resistance.
Another vagary is the self-flagellating groups emerging that prop up a culture of shame. For
example, recent workshops have emerged under the theme of Men dealing with their
patriarchal shit. Whilst we want individuals to examine, analyse and challenge their own
behaviour in political terms these punkier than thou equal ops sessions reinforce the holier than
thou attitude of the attendees.and the ones who could do with it rammed down their hairy
throats wouldnt dream of attending. These examples of new emerging themes demonstrate that
on one side of the coin you have a points based oppression outlook (weve made the complexities
of power into a handy ticklist for you!) and on the other you have individualised guilt and selfvictimisation (which is another way of re-focusing on the more privileged ironically). This focus
on the individual and self as the problem is a product of privilege leading us nowhere. Its a dead
end. We feel a political lens of privilege is divisive and unhelpful when we are part and parcel of
a system that already thrives on the division of the working classes, through gender, class and
sexual oppression.

Privilege checks focus on who speaks rather than what they say- annihilates resistance
Bast and McClure 12 (Tabitha and Hannah, writers for Dsyphoria periodical,, September 2012, acc. 7/8/14, arh)
We recognise the well meaningness of checking your privilege. We too understand that people
are silenced not just as individuals but due to identities. However, we perceive wrong footed
attempts to right this balance. In meetings we witness call outs where someone will announce
that six men have spoken and no women. This is an attempt to expose the hidden subtleties of
patriarchy and male dominance, and to empower women. We have never seen this work
to readdress power relations . This call of male privilege may serve to quieten the six men
who have spoken, but it does not give more voice to the silenced. More awkwardly, it is often
uncomfortable for the women in the group who may feel, as we do in this scenario, an obligation
to speak, but with it comes an unnatural sense of representation. The opposite usually
takes place; a silencing of people rather than the growth of new conversations .
One that is forced, fake and full of disdain. Whilst the next person, woman, is to speak but feels
an artificial pressure of representation that we are supposed to be speaking on behalf of all
women, from an identity as woman, and only as woman. And when we, or she, speaks, it is of
course as a woman within patriarchy and to a room where she is being observed and judged by
the six men who have spoken, under a political male gaze. Because of these things, and more, we
do not see these clumsy attempts moving any steps toward challenging sexist oppression. To do
that we need first to acknowledge intersectionality of power, history and privilege. With a
singular identification of privilege we reduce the myriad of power relations within the group to a
straightforward visible one. We dont want a politics that reduces and simplifies
power into an ideology of privilege. Intersectionalities of power, oppression and
privilege need to be examined mixed with relations of capital . Analysing and
pinpointing privilege to an obsessive extent in political circles can be demobilising as well as

futile. But most damaging of all, these performances of privilege call out, mislead us
into believing that challenging patriarchy within our interpersonal relations
occurs within the formalities of a meeting and it is who speaks rather than what
they say.

Privilege creates new restrictive identity binaries - reinforces oppression and greases
the wheels for capitalist exploitation
Bast and McClure 12 (Tabitha and Hannah, writers for Dsyphoria periodical,, September 2012, acc. 7/8/14, arh)
Because ultimately, it is not womans voice we should be seeking but feminist voice. A feminist
voice is not one based on identity but rather on a shared transformative politics. A feminist voice
is a stance rather than a given. As bell hooks reminds us; feminism is the struggle to end sexist
oppression. We suggest this will often be best realised through those most facing sexist
oppression but also we are vigilant to note that not all oppressed are resisting, subverting or
fighting this oppression, nor are those who seem to benefit in ways from it always or
automatically in alignment with the oppressive forces. So where does that leave identity and
privilege in the struggle for freedoms? Understanding politics through the lens of privilege is
intrinsically entangled with identity politics. And, for reasons stated, we find identity politics a
monolithic and restrictive way to understand the world. We are our identities but we are never
just one identity, we are a complexity of them. And identities do not line up in a straightforward
ABC of oppression, no matter how much the privilegists want them to. This just falls into
binaries that we are attempting to escape from, or creates more. The queer movement
challenges the notions of men and women yet seems to be opting instead for cis or trans
giving new permanence and boundaries to our gender. This is not to downplay the struggles but
we believe that these fixed linear positions are not just unhelpful but often false. Cis gender may
not seem intrinsically a privilege to the women killed by domestic violence or childbirth. Nor
male privilege to a gay Ugandan. The relationality of power has to be optimistically understood
if we are to move beyond an idle determinism and singular identity code. But, also, to resist we
must understand our power; the strength in our collective power rather than this frugal analysis
of power where privilege divides us into mundane categories of oppression. We need to
galvanise on our power as a class, as this class being fucked over by capital within all its facets of
everyday life. Rather than creating new prisons and new boxes to further tear ourselves to pieces
within, we need to analyse and act with fluidity and creativity in terms of our intersectional
identities in the kitchens, the bedrooms, the meeting spaces, the pubs and in the streets we
demand to occupy.

AT: Afropes
Racism isnt permanent an effective resistance requires the commitment of all
Camp 13 (Jordan, Johns Hopkins University, Black Radicalism, Marxism, and Collective
Memory: An Interview with Robin D. G. Kelley, pp. 216-218, acc. 7/7/14, arh)
Second, that even the most ardent racists are not fixed in their ideology . People can
be transformed in the struggle. Racism is definitely a fetter to mul- tiracial organizing, but
Hammer and Hoe shows how people built a movement across the color line in the most racist
place of all. Anyone watching footage of Bull Connor in Ingram Park in 1963 could not believe
that thirty years before that there had been an interracial group of five thousand people in
Birmingham standing on the street demanding relief, jobs, and an end to police brutality. Third,
that class politics are alive and well. But any class politics that pre- tend that race and also
gender get in the way of class organizing miss the point altogether. You can actually build
white support for antiracism, male support for antisexism, and black support for
white working-class justice.

People can and do cross the boundaries that historians and scholars impose on people. The levels of empathy that

many of the people in Hammer and Hoe showedthe fact that people were willing to be beaten or die for othersis an extremely important lesson. We spend so much time
theorizing race, class, and gender and wondering whether or not you can get people of a particular identity to move, but we dont even ask the question Can you get Steve to risk
his life for Hosea Hudson? It is not that Steve is supporting Hosea Hudson because he is black and male; Steve is supporting Hosea Hudson because he is part of a movement

. Collective struggle is the only answer to solving all of our problems, and
your problem is mine. Camp: Hammer and Hoes excavation of interracial class militancy has been less well noted. A story that stood out for me was about
that says, solidarity is the only answer

Clyde Johnson, a white Communist whom you describe as an able and militant labor leader sensitive to the needs of black workers and someone who was a key figure in the
Share Croppers Union (SCU). Can you talk about these race and class dynamics? Kelley: This is a huge question. To be a white Communist in Alabama was an incredible act of

what it meant to be a white comrade depended on

where you were and what choices you made. Clyde was unique in that he chose to work primarily, almost exclusively with African
bravery, but in all honesty not quite as brave as being a black Communist. Still,

Americans. He took over the Share Croppers Union and worked in the Piedmont and black belt counties with large black majorities. On the other hand, there were white
Communists in the upcountry counties who really only organized white farmers, many of whom came out of the Klan. Many of these folks did not deal directly with black
comrades, but those who did faced culture shock. They not only had to listen to working-class black folks, they also had to take criticism and even direction from them. Of
course, in the long history of the United States, this isnt unprecedented. During Reconstruction there were similar circumstances. In the 1880s and 1890s when interracial

Of course, the race and class dynamics mean

nothing outside the sexual and gender dynamics. This is why the state made much more of white
womens involvement in a movement full of assertive black men. Women like Jane Speed and Mary Leonard and other
movements were still alive in the South, there were a few black leaders in mixed company.

white women were either treated as potential victims of rape or dismissed as prostitutes for their mere proximity to black men. Recall that the largest civil rights struggles
involving the Party at the time had to do with the defense of black men falsely accused of raping white women. Even the rural areas had their own racial-sexual dynamics
notably, sharecropper wives often negotiated the end-of-the-year settlements. Landlords would send their wives presumably to negotiate with black male sharecroppers, who in
turn could not contradict them without calling a white woman a liar! Camp: How did Antonio Gramscis work inform your methodological approach to analyzing politics and
culture in Hammer and Hoe? Kelley: My sister, Makani Themba, and I had been reading Gramsci since about 19811982. Specifically, the Prison Notebooks distinguishes
between organic intellectuals and traditional intellectuals, and elaborates the idea of cultural hegemony, which is that the state cant rule by force alone, but has to generate an

This common sense defined what was considered natural: of course black
people earn less money, of course the depression means you are going to be out of work,
there is nothing you can do, this is the way life is, and quit complaining. This common sense of the
ideology of common sense.1

dominant culture was challenged by the counterhegemonic culture that the Communist Party created through the Young Pioneers, the Young Communist League, and

They provided information about struggles that were outside Alabama and
across the Atlantic and Pacific world, which opened up a sense of possibility. That possibility is
precisely what put a crack in cultural hegemony.
newspapers like the Southern Worker.

AT: Body
Fixation on bodily aesthetics as the basis for identity politics replicates visualist
Champagne 95 (John Champagne Associate Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. in Critical and Cultural Studies, The
Ethics of Marginality: A New Approach to Gay Studies, University of Minnesota Press (1995), pp. 115-116 // JJ)
When recounting how the film text might have engaged more fully with the problematic of presenting a representation of Black culture to a
largely white audience, hooks

suggests that Livingstons physical presence in the film might have allowed
viewers to recognize that they are watching a work shaped and formed from a perspective and
standpoint specific to Livingston (62). hooks suggests that because we hear Livingston ask questions of her
subjects but never see her, the film assumes an imperial overseeing position that is in no way
progressive or counterhegemonic. The implication here is that the bodily presence of Livingston in the
film would have disrupted its colonizing impulses, as if the problems of representation of the Other
could be overcome with recourse to a spectatorial experience of Livingston the historical person. A
certain faith in the visible is operating here, a realist ontology of the photographic image that is at odds with
hookss own state intellectual project, which is the attempt to call into crisis the truth of Livingstons documentary representation. Although
hookss analysis wants to marshal here the suggestion form a feminist- and Brechtian-inflected film theory that the

voyeuristic pleasure of the spectator must be disrupted if theoretical reflection is to occur, the analysis
concurrently relies on a faith in the ontological power of the image , a faith interrupted by this same
film theory. Here we see another instance of the limits of what I have discussed earlier as an identitypolitics-inflected deconstruction of the real. My critique of hookss project should not obscure her important insistence that
Livingstons project is necessarily implicated in the project of imperialism, nor her contention that the current trend in producing
colorful ethnicity for the white consumer appetite makes it possible for blackness to be commodified
in unprecedented ways, and for whites to appropriate black culture without interrogating whiteness or
showing concern for the displeasure of blacks (63). One of the major differences between hookss perspective and my own is
that although she faults Livingston for approaching her subject matter as an outsider looking in (62), I
would insist that no other vantage point is available to her from which to view drag-ball culture. hookss faith in the category of
originating experience makes possible the suggestion that Livingston could somehow have gotten sufficiently inside the world of the drag
balls to overcome certain problems of racism and classism. I would instead critique the film by proposing that its highly complicated discursive
circumstances perhaps require a greater attentiveness to the (discursive) constraints operating in the genre of the testimonial than the film
seems willing to allow. Nonetheless, hookss queries regarding questions of the location of the filmmaker, as well as the films intended
audience, remain.

Alt Fails

CTR will only be tolerated as long as it doesnt challenge the US
seriouslyif the aff is serious it will fail
Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 151-152, 2009//SRSL)

of CRT was that tireless and irrepressible cam- paigner against racism, Martin Luther King Jr. At the time
of writing (Summer 2008), it is the fortieth anniversary of King's assassination. King, a reformer, pacifist and Baptist
It is worth recalling that, at the beginning of this volume, I recounted that one ofthe people cited by Delgado and Stefancic (2001, p. 4) as being influential in the

minister rather than a revolutionary social- ist (Martin, 2008a), is quite accurately known for his gradualism and his reformism. However, it is significant that in the year
preceding his death King became notably radicalized. Charles Steele, 2008 president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) (King was the first president) has
emphasized that, towards the end ofhis life, King had moved on from purely 'racial' issues, and that his final campaigns were focused on fighting poverty and on labor disputes
(cited in Harris, 2008).1 Steele believes that King, who came to Memphis in 1968 in support of striking workers (Harris, 2008), 'was killed [there] because he had started to

[i]fyou thought hav- ing a talk about race was difficult

in America, then having one about class is even harder' (cited in ibid.). Paul Harris (2008) concludes that '40 years ago King tried to start
that debate as well. A bullet cut short his ambitions' (Harris, 2008).2 The implications for the subject matter of this
book are clear. As long as CRT centralizes 'race' rather than class, and as long as it voices no seri- ous
challenge to United States and world capitalism, it will be tolerated. As Roland Sheppard (2006, p. 7) notes, Martin
Luther King had a different perspective at the time of his death to the 1963 'I have a dream' speech: 'he
had begun to view the struggle for equality as an economic struggle and the capitalist economic system
as the problem'. As King, who by 1967 believed that the total elimination of poverty was now a practical
respon- sibility (Sheppard, 2006, p. 8), put it in a speech to the SCLC in August, 1967: We've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon
focus on poor folks, regardless oftheir colour' (cited in ibid.). As Jerald Podair puts it, '

to help the discouraged beggars in life's marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must
be raised. 'Who owns this oil? ...Who owns the iron ore? ... Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two- thirds water?' (cited in Sheppard, 2006, p. 8)
However, perhaps Martin Luther King's most unequivocal declaration of a firm change of direction came earlier, in remarks to his staff at the SCLC on November 14, 1966. King
proclaimed that the civil rights reforms ofthe early 1960s 'were at best surface changes' that were 'limited mainly to the Negro middle class'. He went on to add that demands
must now be raised to abolish poverty (cited in Martin, 2008a): You can't talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talk- ing about billions of dollars. You
can't talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You're really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with

... Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it
really means that we are saying that something is wrong...with capitalism.... There must be a better
distribution ofwealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism. (cited in The Democratic
folk then. You are messing with captains of industry .

Socialists of Central Ohio, 2008)3

CTR is lacking in a direction for moving humankind forward

Cole 9 Research Professor in Education and Equality, Head of Research and Director of the Centre for Education for Social

Justice at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK (Mike, Critical Race Theory and Education A Marxist Response,
chapter 2, pgs 149, 2009//SRSL)

I began this book by discussing the origins of CRT in Critical Legal Studies (CLS). I went on to juxtapose
the CRT concepts of 'white supremacy and "race" as primary' with Marxist analyses of social class and
racialization. While recognizing that CRT has a number of strengths, I argued that Marxist analysis
enhanced these strengths. I then addressed multicultural education in the United States and United
Kingdom respectively, and discussed antiracist responses (based on Marxism) in each country. Having made a
number of references to neoliberal global capitalism and imperialism, I went to examine these issues conceptually and materially. I then did the same for Marxism and twenty-first-century social- ism. Finally,

looked at some areas of agreement between Critical Race Theorists and Marxist's regarding classroom
practice, before critiquing one specific Critical Race theorist's classroom pedagogies. I contrasted these
with some suggestions based on Marxism. Like Weberianism, post-structuralism, postmodernism, and
transmod- ernism, CRT appears to me to be ultimately lacking in a direction for moving humankind
forward progressively. As far as Weber is concerned, he believed that socialism would be even more rationalized, and bureau- cratic than capitalism and thus more alienating. A
common criticism of post-structuralism and postmodernism is that, in focusing on deconstruc- tion, they
have no solutions, while for transmodernist, Enrique Dussel, as noted in the Introduction to this volume,
the solution is an 'ex nihilo utopia'.

Color-coded Racism
CRT fails, racialization is not only based on skin color
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
Non-colour-coded racism Colour-coded racism in the UK is indicative of a capitalist society, with a
continuity of racism from its imperialist past, rather than a white supremacist society. In the 21st
century, such racism continues unabated with respect to the descendants of the people of the former
colonies, both black people and Asian people. Elsewhere, I have documented colour-coded racism and
its relationship with developments in capitalism and imperialism from the days of Empire, through the
postwar period, up to the present, both in general terms (e.g. Cole and Virdee, 2008), and with respect
to education (e.g. Cole, 2004a; Cole and Blair, 2008). However, there is also the highly significant
dimension of non-colour-coded racism. Mills acknowledges that there were/are what he refers to as
borderline Europeans the Irish, Slavs, Mediterraneans, and above all, of course, Jews (Mills, 1997:
789), and that there also existed intra-European varieties of racism (Mills, 1997: 79; see also Perea
et al., 2007). However, he argues that, while there remains some recognition of such distinctions in
popular culture he gives examples of an Italian waitress in the TV series Cheers, calling a WASP
character Whitey and a discussion in a 1992 movie about whether Italians are really white (Mills, 1997:
79) he relegates such distinctions primarily to history.6 While Mills is prepared to fuzzify racial
categories with respect to shifting criteria prescribed by the evolving Racial Contract, and to
acknowledge the existence of off-white people at certain historical periods, he maintains that his
categorization white/nonwhite, person/subperson seems to me to map the essential features of
the racial polity accurately, to carve the social reality at its ontological joints (Mills, 1997: 7881). It is
my view that this does not address current reality. Robert Miles (1987: 75) argues that racialization is
not limited to skin colour: The characteristics signified vary historically and, although they have usually
been visible somatic features, other non-visible (alleged and real) biological features have also been
signified. I would like to make a couple of amendments to Miles position.7 First, I would want to add
and cultural after, biological. Second, the common dictionary definition of somatic is pertaining to
the body, and, given the fact that people can be racialized on grounds of symbols (e.g. the hijab), I
would also want this to be recognized in any discussion of social collectivities and the construction of
racialization (Cole, 2008b). In contemporary Britain, there continues to be non-colour-coded racism
directed at the Irish (e.g. Mac an Ghaill, 2000) and at Roma Gypsy Traveller communities (e.g. Puxon,
2005). There is also Islamophobia and xeno-racism.

Critical Race Theorys color coded philosophy fails to account for Islamophobia, which
dehumanizes prisoners to the point where they are worse than the animal
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
Islamophobia Since the suicide bombings of 7 July 2005 (7/7) when a coordinated attack was made on
Londons public transport system during the morning rush hour, there has been an upsurge in

Islamophobia in the UK (Cole and Maisuria, 2007, 2009). People who appear to be of Islamic faith are
immediately identified as potential terrorists and are five times more likely to be stopped and searched
than a white person (Dodd, 2005). It is important to underline the fact that Islamophobia is not
necessarily triggered by skin colour, and is often sparked off by one or more (perceived) symbols of the
Muslim faith. Much of the world in the 21st century is imbued with the vestiges of the old (British) and
the new (US) imperialism. Thus there coexists the longstanding denigration of Asian cultures and the
more recent intensification of Islamophobia, which is directly related to US foreign policy. As living
testimony to the two imperialisms, Benjamin Zephaniah states: . . . when I come through the airport
nowadays, in Britain and the US especially, they always question me on the Muslim part of my name.
They are always on the verge of taking me away because they think converts are the dangerous ones.
(Zephaniah, 2004: 19) Zephaniahs experience was by no means an isolated one, with thousands of
Asian people being given special attention at security checkpoints. The actors in the highly acclaimed
film The Road to Guantanamo were stopped at an airport after returning to England from Germany
where the movie had been awarded the Silver Bear Award. They were treated with intimidation about
making further political movies, refused access to legal aid, had personal belongings, including a mobile
phone, confiscated, and were verbally abused (BBC, 2006). Islamophobia, like other forms of racism, can
be colour-coded: it can be biological (normally associated with skin colour). But it can also be cultural
DEBATE Downloaded from at UNIV OF MICHIGAN on July 13, 2014 (not necessarily
associated with skin colour), or it can be a mixture of both. Echoing the quote from old UK school
textbooks, where Asia was denigrated as a continent of dying nations rapidly falling back in civilisation
(MacKenzie, 1988: 184), and where reference was made to the barbaric peoples of Asia (Chancellor,
1970: 122), the former head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, defended a
controversial speech in which he criticized Islam as a faith associated with violence throughout the
world (Reynolds, 2004). At the Gregorian University in Rome, he said that Islam was resistant to
modernity, and that Islamic societies had contributed little to world culture for hundreds of years. A
more biological Islamophobic racism is revealed by Jamal al-Harith, a British captive freed from
Guantanamo Bay, who was perceived as subhuman inferior to a dog. He informed the British tabloid
paper, the Daily Mirror, that his guards told him: You have no rights here. al-Harith went on: After a
while, we stopped asking for human rights we wanted animal rights. In Camp X-Ray my cage was right
next to a kennel housing an Alsatian dog. He had a wooden house with air conditioning and green grass
to exercise on. I said to the guards, I want his rights and they replied, That dog is *a+ member of the US
army. (Prince and Jones, 2004) Such treatment is sustained by racialization. Indeed, the a priori
racialization of Muslims as subhumans and terrorists serves to facilitate and legitimize torture, rape,
humiliation and degradation. US imperialism exacerbates such abuse. In the pursuit of global hegemony,
the killing and torture of the enemy has to be normalized. Moreover, soldiers on the ground become
brutalized by the whole experience and the enemy, in being racialized, becomes dehumanized. US
soldier Lynndie England, serving at the Abu Ghraib camp in Iraq, was charged with seriously abusing
detainees by forcing them to stack naked in a human pyramid. The BBC (2004) reported that there were
numerous incidents of sadistic and wanton abuse. . . . Much of the abuse was sexual, with prisoners
often kept naked and forced to perform simulated and real sex acts. This is particularly humiliating for
Muslims who place importance on covering and not exposing flesh. Racialization, under conditions of
imperialism, is fired by what Dallmayr (2004: 11) has described as the intoxicating effects of global rule
that anticipates corresponding levels of total depravity and corruption among the rulers. Global rule, of
course, is first and foremost, about global profits, and serves to relate old and new imperialisms. In
being colour-coded, CRT is ill-equipped to analyse multifaceted Islamophobia, and its connection to
capital, national and international.

Destroys Marxism
The abolition of whiteness fails to be a political unifier and would undermine the
Marxist Project
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
White supremacy as a unifier and political rallying point Here is the platform of Race Traitor (2005), a
journal that takes the dangers of white supremacy to their limits and that calls for the abolition of
whiteness: What We Believe The white race is a historically constructed social formation. It consists of
all those who partake of the privileges of the white skin in this society. Its most wretched members
share a status higher, in certain respects, than that of the most exalted persons excluded from it, in
return for which they give their support to a system that degrades them. The key to solving the social
problems of our age is to abolish the white race, which means no more and no less than abolishing the
privileges of the white skin. Until that task is accomplished, even partial reform will prove elusive,
because white influence permeates every issue, domestic and foreign, in US society. The existence of
the white race depends on the willingness of those assigned to it to place their racial interests above
class, gender, or any other interests they hold. The defection of enough of its members to make it
unreliable as a predictor of behavior will lead to its collapse. RACE TRAITOR aims to serve as an
intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race. It will encourage dissent from the
conformity that maintains it and popularize examples of defection from its ranks, analyze the forces that
hold it together and those that promise to tear it apart. Part of its task will be to promote debate among
abolitionists. When possible, it will support practical measures, guided by the principle, Treason to
whiteness is loyalty to humanity. I have argued elsewhere (Cole, 2008c) that the style in which Race
Traitors ideological position is written is worryingly reminiscent of Nazi propaganda, and seriously open
to misinterpretation; that it could be interpreted as meaning the abolition of white people. In fact, it is
made clear in the book of the same name (Ignatiev and Garvey, 1996) that this is not the case.10
However, when one taps in Race Traitor on a Google search, it is the above statement written by the
proprietors of Race Traitor, which comes up first. I am not questioning the sincerity of the protagonists
of the abolition of whiteness, nor suggesting in any way that they are anti-white people merely
questioning its extreme vulnerability to misunderstanding. Anti-racists have made some progress, in the
UK at least, after years of establishment opposition, in making anti-racism a mainstream rallying point,
and this is reflected, in part, in legislation (e.g. the 2000 Race Relations Amendment Act).11 Even if it
were a good idea, the chances of making the abolition of whiteness a successful political unifier and
rallying point against racism are virtually non-existent. And yet, for John Preston (2007: 13), The
abolition of whiteness is . . . not just an optional extra in terms of defeating capitalism (nor something
which will be necessarily abolished 254 ETHNICITIES 9(2) Downloaded from at UNIV OF
MICHIGAN on July 13, 2014 255 post-capitalism) but fundamental to the Marxist educational project as
praxis. Indeed, for Preston (2007: 196) The abolition of capitalism and whiteness seem to be
fundamentally connected in the current historical circumstances of Western capitalist development.
From a Marxist perspective, coupling the abolition of whiteness to the abolition of capitalism is a
worrying development that, if it gained ground in Marxist theory in any substantial way, would most
certainly undermine the Marxist project, even more than it has been undermined already (for an

analysis of the success of the Ruling Class in forging consensus to capitalism in the UK, see Cole, 2008c).
Implications of bringing the abolition of whiteness into schools are discussed later.

Critical Race Theory Pedagogy fails It needs to recognize white culture and realize
that capitalism is the cause of division and oppression
Cole 9 (Mike Cole, Mike Cole is a Professor in Education, and is also an Emeritus Research Professor in
Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University. His duties at UEL include research and
publications, PhD supervision and occasional doctoral and undergraduate teaching. He also has a PhD in
Philosophy. June 9, 2009, Critical Race Theory comes to the UK: A Marxist response,
Prestons classroom pedagogies John Preston (2007) provides a way in which such critical theory might
be introduced into schools. Preston (2007: 198) concludes his book by advocating neo-abolitionist (the
word is prefixed with neo to differentiate the abolition of whiteness from the earlier abolition of
slavery) pedagogies (abolition of whiteness teaching) in the classroom. Given that the undoubtedly
good intentions of the abolition of whiteness arguments are regularly misunderstood by academics
(Preston, 2007), its introduction in the school curriculum is a most worrying and counterproductive
suggestion. That whiteness (not white people) should be abolished is advocated for the following
reasons: 1. Whiteness is a false form of identity and . . . there is no such thing as white culture; 2.
Whiteness, in terms of a structural system of white supremacy, is oppressive . . . *and+ whiteness is only
false and oppressive and . . . there is no possibility of redemption or reformation of whiteness; 3.
Whiteness divides humanity against itself and therefore is not in the genuine interests even of white
people; 4. Class, gender and sexuality are important in understanding oppression but race is central to
understanding why other forms of political activity are not possible, particularly in the US (Preston,
2007: 10). I consider each of these propositions in turn. Whiteness is a false form of identity and . . .
there is no such thing as white culture While I agree that there is no such thing as white culture per se,
there are white cultures. It is particularly important, given the scenario of continuing white workingclass racism, that educators do not deny the existence of white working-class cultures. Indeed, as I have
argued elsewhere with respect to such cultures, educational institutions should be centrally involved in
helping to identify and develop strategies to promote good inclusive practice for all pupils/students,
including the white working class. Sections of the white working class in England have voted for the
fascist British National Party (BNP) at recent elections precisely because they feel that they are treated
with less equality than others. If we were to teach white working-class young people that they have no
culture, that would be racist, would alienate white working-class children even more, and would not be
conducive to effective socialist practice. The notion would also rightly be massively contested, including
by most of the Left in the UK. Whiteness is a structural system of oppression and there is no possibility
of redemption or reformation of whiteness I would argue that it is capitalism, not white supremacy, that
is a structural system of oppression. With capitalisms overthrow, there is every possibility that the
colour of ones skin will be irrelevant and racism (which, as I have argued, is not necessarily based on
skin colour) abolished. While it may well be the intention of Critical Race Theorists to make skin colour
irrelevant, it is my view that encouraging young people in schools to think along these lines is also not
conducive to effective socialist practice. I refer later to current developments in Venezuela (see also
Cole, 2009), which point to a revolutionary process where whiteness is not redeemed, or reformed or
abolished but, in the context of major ameliorative projects, rendered irrelevant in an anti-racist
struggle for 21st-century socialism. Whiteness divides humanity against itself and therefore is not in the
genuine interests even of white people A belief that a division of whiteness divides humanity is not
surprising, given Prestons claims that whiteness is an objective power structure. For Chakrabarty and
Preston (2006: 1), likewise, white supremacy, along with capitalism itself, has the status of an

objective inhuman *system+ of exploitation and oppression. From a Marxist perspective, it is capitalism
that is the objective system that divides humanity against itself, and is against the interests of all
workers. For Marxists, it is this message that should be considered in the school curriculum (see later for
a discussion; see also Cole, 2009). Class, gender and sexuality are important in understanding oppression
but race is central to understanding why other forms of political activity are not possible, particularly in
the US While it is true that Marxism has a history of not taking on board issues of equality other than
social class, 21st-century Marxism most definitely does relate to other equality issues. I have argued
earlier against making race rather than class central to analysis. I am not totally sure what Preston
means by other forms of political activity are not possible, particularly in the US.

CRT K/2 Education

CRT is critical for an educational system that supports multiple backgrounds and is key
to taking down the standards of evaluation set by the white, middle-class society
Yosso & Solrzano 5 (Tara J. Yosso & Daniel G. Solrzano, Ph.D., University of California, Education,
Ph.D., is the director of UC/ACCORD and a professor of social science and comparative education in the
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, 2005,
Conceptualizing a Critical Race Theory in Sociology,
Challenging Racism, Revealing Cultural Wealth Because we have described CRT as an analytical
framework with at least five main tenets, it is helpful to think about these tenets as a guiding lens that
can inform our research in communities of color. Specifically, CRT can be utilized as a primary lens to
address research questions, teaching approaches, and our policy recommendations regarding social
inequality. Indeed, CRT is grounded in the experiences and knowledge of communities of color. Such a
theory unapologetically centers the research lens on race and racisms intersections with other forms of
subordination. As we look through a CRT lens, we critique deficit theorizing and data that may be limited
by its omission of the voices of people of color. We assert that CRT helps researchers, teachers, and
policy makers see the cultural wealth (as opposed to deficits) in marginalized communities. Yet CRT
also insists that we take the responsibility to build reciprocity in to our research, teaching, and policy so
that we do not attempt to disrespectfully mine these culturally wealthy communities. Deficitinformed
research often sees deprivation in communities of color. Utilizing CRT as an analytical lens helps us
approach research with a critical eye to identify, analyze, and challenge distorted notions of people of
color as we build on the cultural wealth already present in these communities. Culture influences how
society is organized, how the curriculum is developed, and how pedagogy and policy are implemented.
In sociology, the concept of culture for students of color has taken on many divergent meanings. Some
research has equated culture with race and ethnicity, while other work clearly has viewed culture
through a much broader lens of characteristics and forms of social histories and identities. We view the
culture of students of color as a set of characteristics that are neither fixed nor static. Culture refers to
behaviors and values that are learned, shared, and exhibited by a group of people. Culture is also
evidenced in material and nonmaterial productions of a people. For example, with students of color,
culture is frequently represented symbolically through language and can encompass conceptualizing a
critical race theory in sociology 127 identities around immigration status, gender, phenotype, sexuality,
and region, as well as race and ethnicity. The cultures of students of color can nurture and empower
them (Delgado Bernal 2002). Focusing on research with Latina/o families, Luis C. Moll, Cathy Amanti,
Deborah Neff, and Norma Gonzalez (1992), Carlos Vlez-Ibez and James Greenberg (1992), and Irma
Olmedo (1997) assert that culture can form and draw from communal funds of knowledge (Gonzalez et
al. 1995; Gonzalez and Moll 2002). Likewise, Douglas Foley notes research revealing the virtues and
solidarity in African American community and family traditions as well as the deeply spiritual values
passed from generation to generation in most African American communities (1997: 123). Our
description of cultural wealth begins with a critique of the ways sociologists Bourdieu and Passerons
work (1977) has been used to discuss social and racial inequity. In education, Bourdieus work has often

been called upon to explain why students of color do not succeed at the same rate as Whites. According
to Bourdieu, cultural capital refers to an accumulation of cultural knowledge, skills, and abilities
possessed and inherited by privileged groups in society. Bourdieu asserts that cultural capital (i.e.,
education, language), social capital (i.e., social networks, connections), and economic capital (i.e.,
money and other material possessions) can be acquired two ways, from ones family and/or through
formal schooling. The dominant groups within society are able to maintain power because access is
limited to acquiring and learning strategies to use these forms of capital for social mobility (Bourdieu
and Passeron 1977). Therefore, while Bourdieus work sought to provide a structural critique of social
and cultural reproduction, his theory of cultural capital has been used to assert that some communities
are culturally wealthy while others are culturally poor. This interpretation of Bourdieu exposes White,
middle-class culture as the standard by which all others are judged. We argue that cultural capital is not
just inherited or possessed by the middle class, but rather it refers to an accumulation of specific forms
of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are valued by privileged groups in society. For example, middle- or
upper-class students may have access to a computer at home and, therefore, can learn numerous
computer-related vocabulary and technological skills before arriving at school. These students have
acquired cultural capital because computer-related vocabulary and technological skills are valued in the
school setting. On the other hand, a working-class Chicana/o student whose mother works in the
garment industry may bring a different vocabulary, perhaps in two languages (English and Spanish) to
school, along with techniques of conducting errands on the city bus and translating gas and electric bills
for her/his mother (see Faulstich Orellana 2003). This cultural knowledge is very valuable to the student
and her/his family, but not necessarily considered to carry any capital in the school context. This leads
us to ask: Are there forms of cultural capital that marginalized groups bring to the table that traditional
cultural capital theory does not recognize or value? CRT shifts the center of our focus from White,
middle-class culture to the cultures of communities of color. In doing so, we also draw on the work of
sociologists Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro (1995) to better understand how cultural capital is
actually only one form of many different aspects that might be considered valuable. They proposed a
model to explain how the narrowing of the income or 128 tara j. yosso and daniel g. solrzano earnings
gap between people of color and Whites is a misleading way to examine inequality. They argue that
ones income over a typical fiscal year focuses on a single form of capital and that the income gap
between Blacks and Whites is narrowing over time. On the other hand, they examine separately the
concept of wealth and define it as the total extent of an individuals accumulated assets and resources
(i.e., ownership of stocks, money in bank, real estate, business ownership, and so on). They then argue
that while the income of Blacks may indeed be climbing and the Black/White income gap narrowing,
their overall wealth, compared to Whites, is declining and the gap is diverging. Thus, traditional
Bourdieuian cultural capital theory has parallel comparisons to Oliver and Shapiros (1995) description of
income in that it places value on a very narrow range of assets and characteristics. This narrow view of
cultural capital, as defined by White, middle-class values, is more limited than wealth ones
accumulated assets and resources. We propose that cultural wealth encompasses accumulated assets
and resources found in communities of color (see Villalpando and Solrzano in press). Cultural wealth
includes various forms of capital such as aspirational, navigational, social, linguistic, familial, and
resistance capital (see Auerbach 2001; Delgado Bernal 2001; Solrzano and Delgado Bernal 2001;
Stanton-Salazar 2001; Faulstich Orellana 2003; Villalpando and Solrzano in press). Deficit scholars such
as E. D. Hirsch (1988, 1996) bemoan the lack of cultural capital, or what he terms cultural literacy, in
low-income communities of color. As previously discussed, research utilizing a deficit analytical lens
places value judgments on communities that often do not have access to White, middle- or upperclass
resources. In contrast, a CRT lens allows us to focus on and learn from the cultural wealth of
communities of color. CRT identifies individual indicators of capital that have rarely been acknowledged
and used as assets in examining the cultural and social characteristics of communities of color. Cultural

wealth is found in the histories and lives of communities of color and has gone unrecognized and/or
unacknowledged. CRT centers the research, pedagogy, and policy lens on communities of color and calls
into question White middle-class communities as the standard by which all others are judged. CRT
therefore can begin to recognize multiple forms of cultural wealth within communities of color. Figure
6.2 demonstrates that community cultural wealth is an array of cultural knowledge, skills, abilities, and
contacts possessed by socially marginalized groups that often go unrecognized. Communities of color
nurture cultural wealth through at least six forms of capital: (1) Aspirational (i.e., dreams for the future,
see Auerbach 2001); (2) Familial (i.e., pedagogies of the home, see Delgado Bernal 2001); (3) Social (i.e.,
networks, see Stanton-Salazar 2001); (4) Navigational (i.e., maneuverability, see Auerbach 2001); (5)
Resistant (i.e., oppositional behaviors, see Solrzano and Delgado Bernal 2001); and (6) Linguistic (i.e.,
language style and content, see Faulstich Orellana 2003).8 Aspirational capital draws on the work of
Patricia Gndara (1982, 1995) and others who have shown that Chicanas/os experience the lowest
educational outcomes compared to every other group in the USA, but maintain consistently high
aspirations for their childrens future (Delgado-Gaitan 1992, 1994; Solrzano 1992; Auerbach 2001).
These stories nurture a culture of possibility as they represent the creation of a history that would
break the links between parents current occupaconceptualizing a critical race theory in sociology 129
tional status and their childrens future academic attainment (Gndara 1995: 55). Aspirational capital is
evidenced in those who allow themselves, and their children, to dream of possibilities beyond their
present circumstances despite the presence of real and perceived barriers and, often, without the
resources or other objective means to attain those goals. Social capital is directly connected to
navigational capital because it addresses the peer and other social networks developed to assist in the
movement through social institutions, such as schools (Stanton-Salazar 2001). Scholars note that,
historically, people of color have utilized their social capital to maneuver through the system, but they
often turned around and gave the information and resources gained through the navigation process
back to their social networks. Mutualistas or mutual aid societies are an example of how, historically,
immigrants to the USA and, indeed, African Americans, even while enslaved, created and maintained
social networks (Gmez-Quiones 1973, 1994; Gutman 1976; Snchez 1993; Stevenson 1996). In her
book Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks notes that this tradition was the motto of the National Colored
Womens Association, lifting as we climb (1994). Social capital can be understood as networks of
people and community resources that help one navigate through societys institutions. Familial capital
connects with a commitment to community well-being and expands the concept of family to include a
broader understanding of kinship. Acknowledging the racialized, classed, and heterosexualized
inferences that comprise traditional understandings of family, familial capital is nurtured by our
extended family. It may include immediate family (living or long passed on) as well as aunts, uncles,
grandparents, and friends we might consider part of our family. From these kinship ties, we learn the
importance of emotional, moral, educational, and occupational consciousness in maintaining a healthy
connection to ones community and its resources. Familial capital includes funds of knowledge (Moll et
al. 1992; Vlez-Ibez and Greenberg 1992) and pedagogies of the home (Delgado Bernal 2002), as well
as the emotional, moral, educational, and occupational consciousness learned from our kin (Elenes et al.
2001; Lopez 2003). Navigational capital refers to the ability to maneuver through social institutions not
created with communities of color in mind. Strategies to navigate through racially hostile university
campuses draw on the concept of academic invulnerability, or students ability to sustain high levels of
achievement, despite the presence of stressful events and conditions that place them at risk of doing
poorly at school and, ultimately, dropping out of school (Alva 1991: 19). Scholars have examined
individual, family, and community factors that support Mexican American students academic
invulnerability their successful navigation through the educational system (Alva 1995; Arrellano and
Padilla 1996). In addition, resilience has been recognized as a set of inner resources, social
competencies, and cultural strategies that permit individuals to not only survive, recover, or even thrive

after stressful events, but also to draw from the experience to enhance subsequent functioning
(Stanton- Salazar and Spina 2000: 229; see also Yosso 2003). This reflects the process of developing
critical navigational skills (Solrzano and Villalpando 1998). We assert that academic invulnerability
and resilience do not take place in a social vacuum, but are influenced by ones social location (Zavella
1991). Navigational capital, then, refers to a set of social-psychological skills that assist individuals and
groups to maneuver through structures of inequality. This acknowledges individual agency within
institutional constraints, but it also connects to social networks that facilitate community navigation
through places and spaces including schools, the job market, and the health care and judicial systems (P.
Williams 1997). Resistant capital acknowledges the work of Tracy Robinson and Janie Ward (1991) in
examining a group of African American mothers who were consciously raising their daughters as
resisters. Through verbal and nonverbal lessons, these Black mothers taught their daughters to assert
themselves as intelligent, beautiful, strong, and worthy of respect to resist the barrage of societal
messages devaluing Blackness and belittling Black women (Ward 1996). Similarly, Sofia Villenas and
Melissa Moreno (2001) discuss the contradictions Latina mothers face as they try to teach their
daughters to valerse por si misma (value themselves and be self-reliant) within structures of inequality
such as racism, capitalism, and patriarchy. In analyzing students efforts to transform unequal conditions
in urban schools, Daniel Solrzano and Dolores Delgado Bernal (2001) reveal various forms of Chicana/o
student resistance and the continuity of this resistance as demonstrated by the 1968 East Los Angeles
high school blowouts and the 1993 UCLA hunger strike for Chicana/o Studies. Solrzano and Delgado
Bernal (2001) show that resistance may include different forms of oppositional behavior, such as selfdefeating or conformist strategies that feed back into the system of subordination. However, when
informed by a Freirean critical consciousness (1970), or recognition of the strucconceptualizing a critical
race theory in sociology 131 tural nature of oppression, and the motivation to work toward social and
racial justice, resistance takes on a transformative form (see Solrzano and Yosso 2002c). Therefore,
resistant capital refers to the willingness to challenge inequalities (Giroux 1983). Transformative
resistant capital can be evidenced in those who recognize structures of racism and are motivated to
transform such oppressive structures (Pizarro 1998; Villenas and Deyhle 1999). Linguistic capital learns
from over 35 years of research on bilingual education that emphasizes the value of supporting fluency in
more than one language and the connections between racialized cultural history and language
(Cummins 1986; Anzalda 1987; Garca and Baker 1995; Macedo and Bartolom 1999). Linguistic capital
reflects the idea that students of color arrive at school with multiple strengths, including language and
communication skills. In addition, just as there are different vocal registers we each draw on to whisper,
whistle, or sing, linguistic capital acknowledges that youth of color must often develop and draw on
various language registers, or styles, to communicate with different audiences. For example, Marjorie
Faulstich Orellana examines bilingual children who are often called upon to translate for their parents or
other adults and finds that these youth gain multiple social tools of vocabulary, audience awareness,
cross-cultural awareness, realworld literacy skills, math skills, metalinguistic awareness, teaching and
tutoring skills, civic and familial responsibility, *and+ social maturity (2003: 6). Linguistic capital refers to
these intellectual and social tools attained through communication experiences in more than one
language and/or style. As demonstrated by this discussion of cultural wealth, CRT listens to and observes
people of color from the perspective that these individuals, families, and communities are places with
multiple strengths. Recognizing the knowledge students of color bring with them from their homes and
communities into the classroom can also be facilitated through the tools of multiple disciplines. In
addition, CRT challenges scholars to strategically utilize interdisciplinary methods to present research
findings in unconventional and creative ways. Such research would listen to and learn from those whose
knowledges traditionally are excluded from and silenced by academic research. A CRT approach to
sociology, then, involves a commitment to conduct research, teach, and develop social policy with a
larger purpose of working toward social and racial justice.

By engaging in counter narratives, we can begin to see the roots of racism in education and allow the
people of color to produce pedagogical case studies, which empower them to shatter white, male, and
class privilege
Yosso & Solrzano 5 (Tara J. Yosso & Daniel G. Solrzano, Ph.D., University of California, Education,
Ph.D., is the director of UC/ACCORD and a professor of social science and comparative education in the
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, 2005,
Conceptualizing a Critical Race Theory in Sociology,
One of the methods of CRT that help analyze the role of race and racism through the experiences of
people of color is a technique with a long tradition in the social sciences, humanities, ethnic studies,
womens studies, and the law storytelling. Richard Delgado (1989) uses a practice called counterstorytelling. Delgado argues that counter-storytelling is both a method of telling the story of those
experiences that have not been told (i.e., those on the margins of society) and a tool for analyzing and
challenging the stories of those in power and whose story is a natural part of the dominant discourse
the majoritarian story.4 CRT can challenge deficit majoritarian approaches to sociology through
counter-storytelling, oral traditions, historiographies, corridos, poetry, films, actos, and humor. CRT
asks: Whose stories are privileged in academic discourse, mass media, and social policy contexts and
whose stories are distorted and silenced? US history reveals that White upper/middle-class stories are
privileged and treated as normative while the stories of people of color are marginalized (GutirrezJones 2001). We further ask: What are the experiences and responses of those whose stories are often
distorted, silenced, and marginalized? In documenting the voices of people of color, CRT in sociology
works to tell their stories. Although CRT scholarship arguably serves counter-narrative functions in
general, some scholars seek to be more explicit in presenting their research through the genre of
storytelling. There are at least three types of such counter-stories evidenced in the CRT literature:
autobiographical stories (Espinoza 1990; Williams 1991; Montoya 1994), biographical stories (Lawrence
and Matsuda 1997; Fernndez 2002), and multimethod/composite stories (Bell 1987, 1992, 1996;
Delgado 1995a,b, 1996, 1999, 2003; Solrzano and Yosso 2000, 2001, 2002a,b; Solrzano and Delgado
Bernal 2001; Delgado Bernal and Villalpando 2002). Critical race counter-stories can serve several
pedagogical functions: (1) they can build community among those at the margins of society; (2) they can
challenge the perceived wisdom of those at societys center; (3) they can open new windows into the
reality of those at the margins by showing the possibilities beyond the ones they live and by showing
that they are not alone in their position; (4) they can teach others that by combining elements from
both the story and the current reality, one can construct another world that is richer than either the
story or the reality alone; and (5) they can provide a context to understand and transform established
belief systems (Delgado 1989; Lawson 1995). Storytelling has a rich and continuing tradition in the
African American (Berkeley Art Center 1982; Bell 1987, 1992, 1996; Lawrence 1992), Chicana/o (Paredes
1977; Delgado 1989, 1995b, 1996; Olivas 1990), Native American (Deloria 1969; Williams, R. 1997), and
Asian American (Wakatsuki Houston and Houston 1973; Hong Kingston 1976) communities. For our
purposes here, we focus on multimethod/composite stories. Composite counter-narratives draw on
multiple forms of data to recount the racialized, sexualized, classed experiences of people of color.
Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss assert, The generation of theory requires that the analyst take apart
the story within his */her+ data (1967: 108). Our counter-stories add to the storytelling tradition and
address racism in higher education through composite characters that embody 124 tara j. yosso and

daniel g. solrzano the patterns and themes evidenced in social science data. Our approach to the
critical race counter-story method borrows from the works of Anselm Strauss and Juliet Corbin and
Dolores Delgado Bernal. Strauss and Corbin utilize a concept called theoretical sensitivity and refer to it
as a personal quality of the researcher . . . the attribute of having insight, the ability to give meaning to
data, the capacity to understand, and capability to separate the pertinent from that which isnt (1990:
412). Delgado Bernals (1998) notion of cultural intuition adds to Strauss and Corbins notion of
theoretical sensitivity in that it extends ones personal experience to include collective experience and
community memory, and points to the importance of participants engaging in the analysis of data
(1990: 5634). Using Strauss and Corbins theoretical sensitivity and Delgado Bernals cultural intuition,
we create counter-stories from: (1) the data gathered from the research process itself, (2) the existing
literature on the topic(s), (3) our own professional experiences, (4) our own personal experiences, and
(5) our collective experiences and community memory. For example, in the following counter-story
excerpt, our first form of data came from primary sources, namely focus-group interviews conducted
with undergraduate and law students of color at three major universities, in conjunction with the
University of Michigan Affirmative Action case (see Solrzano et al. 2000; Allen and Solrzano 2001;
Solrzano and Yosso 2002b). We searched and sifted through these data for examples of the concepts
we were seeking to illuminate, such as experiences with and responses to racism and sexism (Glaser and
Strauss 1967). Drawing on the experiences of undergraduate and graduate African American, Native
American, and Latina/o, Chicana/o students, we sought to examine race, racism, White privilege, and
the racial tipping-point phenomenon. We also wanted to demonstrate how affirmative action had been
weakened from its original intent. The policy was initially developed to serve as a means to remedy
racial discrimination and, thereby, integrate true racial diversity (pluralism) into higher education. Next,
we looked to other sources for secondary data analysis related to these concepts in the social sciences,
humanities, and legal literature. For this particular counter-story, we used the social science data to
analyze the legal documents leading up to and including the law school case at the University of
Michigan (e.g., opinions and dissents in the 1978 Bakke vs. University of California, the 1954 Brown vs.
Board of Education, and the 1947 Mendez vs. Westminster cases). In sifting through this literature, we
began to draw connections between our previous readings on desegregation and racial tracking and the
relevant focus-group interview data (Oakes 1985; Valencia 2003). Finally, we added our own
professional and personal experiences related to the concepts and ideas. Here, we not only shared our
own stories and reflections, but we also drew upon the multiple voices of family, friends, colleagues,
and acquaintances. Once these various sources of data had been compiled, examined, and analyzed, we
created composite characters to help tell the counter-story. We attempted to get the characters to
engage in a real and critical dialogue about our findings from the interviews, literature, and experiences.
In the tradition of Freire (1973), this dialogue emerged between the characters much like our own
discussions emerged through sharing, listening, challenging, and reflecting. We share below an excerpt
of this counter-story that engages Claudia,5 a Chicana civil rights attorney and professor at a California
university, in a dialogue with the conceptualizing a critical race theory in sociology 125 late Justice
Thurgood Marshall and a community activist from the spirit-world, Ms. Ruby Puentes.6 These three
characters are attending a session of the University of Michigan Law School affirmative action trial in
January 2001.7 We ask the reader to approach the counter-story as a pedagogical case study, listen for
the storys points and reflect on how these points compare with her/his own version of reality (however
conceived). We bring the reader into this story already underway in a federal courthouse in Detroit,
Michigan as our three characters engage in dialogue about the continuities of racism in US history:
Justice Marshall interjected, History repeats itself, Claudia. Remember Michael Olivas (1990)
comments on Derrick Bells (1995) Space Traders chronicle? He talks about how the USA has welcomed
and rejected Mexicans and Asians according to socio-political convenience. And this is like Bells (1987)
interest-convergence theory, because civil rights legislation has only been implemented to the extent

that Whites have benefited. Again I am reminded that affirmative action as a social policy of limited
goals and timetables only lasted for 10 years, from 1968 to 1978. In the 1954 Brown case, individual
states took the courts mandate to desegregate with all deliberate speed and focused on the word
deliberate rather than speed, to slow down and hinder racial integration of the public schools. In
contrast, as soon as Bakke (1978) was ruled on, many colleges and universities couldnt move fast
enough in their rush to dismantle the limited set aside affirmative action programs they had in place.
Whites had become nervous. They felt threatened. Bakke ended that 10-year stint of set-aside
affirmative action programs, even though we had barely begun to see some results from those goals and
timetables. Despite the fact that in California limited racebased affirmative action ended in 1997 (with
passage of Proposition 209), Whites still perceive students of color enrolling at