CLR JAMES, SOCIAL BEING, TOTALITY, RACE

Kenny Mostern kennym at uclink2.berkeley.edu
Thu Mar 16 10:43:42 MST 1995


Ralph Dumain:

I'm not sure what you mean by the "concrete whole".  I mean, I think
"white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" is the "concrete whole", but
writing it that way sure makes it look awfully abstract.  I don't think
one can defend the "concrete" philosophically.  (Philosophy is just not
concrete.)  That's why I use Sartrean terminology (learned primarily from
reading Jameson) regarding totalization as an abstracting process, and
totality as the unreachable, but scientifically necessary, systematization.

As for CLR JAmes:  I don't want to act like I know more about him than I
do.  I think a reading of *Black Jacobins* which discussed the notion
that consciousness determines social being is feasible, but perhaps it
would be inappropriate.  I do know that, as someone whose been pretty
deep into pan-Africanism, I have found Du Bois and Fanon of much greater
ongoing use than James.  But I'm willing to be convinced that I'm wrong.

Kenny Mostern
UC-Berkeley Ethnic Studies Graduate Group

Against:  racism, sexism, homophobia, capitalism, militarism
For:  the truth--and the funk!



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