CB - Tribal Traditionalism:

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 24 07:23:58 MDT 2002

>Dear CB:
>Define race and racism. I have definitively defined white chauvinism as it
>evolved from white supremacy, its ideological evolution and its impact after
>the Civil War. What we are speaking about is an ideological category with a
>specific impact.  Please define race and racism from the "Marxist
>standpoint." You state there is a Marxist conception of race. Fine. Defend
>it. I have defended the conception of white chauvinism
>Melvin P

As I understand it, there is no such thing as race in the scientific sense.
A while back I posted an article, whose origin I can't recall, that
reinforced this argument with new scientific evidence. There is a tendency
to view blacks, Chinese, caucasians, etc. as distinct species in the same
sense that a German Shepherd is distinct from a Chihuaha. The new findings
utterly demolish this foolishness.

However, we have to deal with a society that has structural oppression
built in on the basis of a person's skin color, no matter how backward and
ignorant this is. We can't fight it by simply uttering that black people
(or American Indians) deserve equal treatment because race is an
unscientific category. Politics does not operate this way. It has to
proceed from the objective conditions of mass consciousness.

There are two campaigns that have been launched on a specifically
anti-racist basis in recent years. One is affirmative action. The other is
reparations. Both deserve the support of revolutionaries. Although I
understand the point that Melvin is making in the broader sense, the only
important thing for revolutionaries is how to conduct oneself in the class
struggle. I have heard countless arguments from the sectarian left and
their friends in the academy against affirmative action and reparations
because it will alienate white workers. I hope that Melvin is not going in
that direction.

Louis Proyect
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