Race

rakesh bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Aug 27 02:20:37 MDT 1996


Many, many thanks to Louis Godena for the citations; I especially look
forward to reading about the relation between Cartesian reductionism and
the birth of racist ideology.

Now back to MIM

>It's beyond
>comprehension for them,
>because they've been taught that only race matters and
>that only integration is the solution for justice.
>Most of the opposition to us on this list is of this
>nation chauvinist variety which seeks to impose racial
>integration on the oppressed nationalities. Rakesh, your
>reducing  this question to class contributes to this
>integrationist discourse of the oppressor.

National chauvinists are attempting to impose integration? I suppose that
is why minorities have been confined to barrios, ghettos and China towns?!
As for the integrationist discourse of the oppressor-- did you know that
Norman Podhoretz has recommended that we miscegenate the Negro Problem out
of existence?!  While this accession to anti-black racist intolerance is
truly frightful, I cannot join arms  against the dilution of Aryan blood.

>
>MIM replies: This just shows your scientific dishonesty if you
>think there is no difference between Blacks and whites objectively
>speaking. You are likely to be the one saying there is no difference
>between $1 an hour and $15 an hour too.

Well, as I have been suggesting, the first act of racism is the breaking up
of the biological continuum into the construction of races. That is, racism
*is* race construction; it *is* the classifications of white, black,
Mongoloid, other.  It is also my claim that MIM *is* racist.

We have the complicated questions of how these constructions have been and
are generated and validated  and of how they are reproduced  at many levels
.  Once the categories are reified and people not only act and organize
social life and identify as well in terms of them,  the seemingly
objective, obvious categories of race can and have life-and-death
consequences.

But even this is not as simple as it seems. For example the  death rate by
heart disease is of course higher for blacks than whites or Euro_Amerikans,
as MIM puts it,  but it is higher still for blue collar workers than it is
for white collar workers (see Vincente Navarro's latest book in which he
points out that the government tends to keep such statistics by race, not
by class!).

It is the same reason after all why we have come to be so interested in the
percentage of the total national income claimed by the bottom 20% or 40%
and not  in the value and surplus produced by Labor and appropriated by
Capital. I have not yet read Shaikh and Tonak's book on national accounts
yet or Marc Linder's study of labor statistics (Labor Statistics and Class
Struggle. International Press, 1994).  Suffice to say,  race and
income-based statistics have the great advantage of mystifying class
processes and focusing attention on the question of distribution among
either income brackets or "races".

There are also the important psychological dynamics of the authoritarian
personality and its tendency towards racism--something, suffice to say,
which strikes me as correct.  All this needs to be taken up, and there is a
fine introduction to Adorno, et al. classic study on the authoritarian
personality in Wiggershaus' book on the Frankfurt School.

>
>You should stop reviewing books with thumbs up and thumbs down

Damn good point.

>and sit down

Not the problem; I have no move left to the basket and can't even sink a
lay-up. But this will change, I swear it.

>and spell out concretely the flow of surplus-value
>internationally. You say others have done it better than MIM, but
>we believe that others who have attempted are actually very
>few, and we have yet to see you concretely lay down a
>better analysis of the flow of surplus-value.

Quoting from someone else, I did indicate why the injection of surplus
value through unequal exchange or plunder would not prove sufficient to
overcome economic crisis in the US,  which will provide the objective
conditions  in which a *mass* subjective readiness could indeed develop.
If people continue to be divided by race--whites pursue their interests and
minorities follow MIM into the nationalism trap--we are indeed dead.  I am
certain however that MIM  will have little influence; the newly bankrolled
NOI is another story of course. Interestingly MIM was quiet about the
Million Man March.

I will have to really curtail my posts after this. This weekend was the end
of my vacation.
Good night,
Rakesh




     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---




More information about the Marxism mailing list