[Marxism] White supremacy and Scots, Jews, San Patricios

mlause at cinci.rr.com mlause at cinci.rr.com
Wed Oct 12 10:33:01 MDT 2005


Calvin wrote, "I don't think that there is much evidence that white 
people, as a 'race' in America, were leagues ahead of governments and 
institutions when it came to  the issue of white supremacy."

I don't know about "as a 'race'" (?), but there's no real question but 
individuals or as groups of individuals who happened to be Caucasian 
did not necessarily accept, as you say, "what their masters offered 
them by way of racial ascendancy."  

The trouble is that we've learned to look at the past--at the world in 
general--through the disproportionately more documented and "noisy" 
perspective of the people with the institutional power....  The other 
day, I was sitting in a seminar in which a very learned colleague was 
talking about how, at a certain point "women first went out to eat on 
their own."  Now, the fact is that working and workingclass women had 
gone out to eat on their own for many years and decades...but these 
weren't the "respectable" women who counted into the speaker's 
reckoning and they were going to cheap places, saloons, streetcarts, 
etc.  and not plush restaurants.    

We have to avoid looking through those same goggles on the question of 
race....

I've given the example before, but it's telling enough to 
repeat....The first uniquely American capital crime was running away 
to live with the Indians.  This was an issue that caused the first 
real Indian Wars in colonial Virginia.  The Indians refused to return 
white runaways to the white authorities.  Those whites were voting 
with their feet on the value of the western Christian English system.  
Did they count?  Or were they like the working and workingclass women 
eating in saloons?

In contrast, no government or institution would have ever countenanced 
such a self-critical stance, much less taken one.

Why did governments need to pass special legislation, starting in the 
1670s to discourage interracial fraternization?  Because it was 
happening and would continue to happen without the active intervention 
of the state.  You don't need laws to force the races to remain 
segregated unless there was a natural, human tendency not to be.

People are smarter, saner, more decent than bourgois institutions...no 
less so on race than anything else....

Btw, there's a very good book on how this question of Southern white 
resistance to the Confederate government related to race.....  As soon 
as I return home, I'll pass it on....

Solidarity!
Mark L.












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