[Marxism] Slavery and Race [was: Notes on David Brion Davis'review]

gregory meyerson gmeyerson at triad.rr.com
Sat Nov 4 10:19:22 MST 2006


I don't think I disagree with anything you say (it seems you think so). 
  when I spoke of "white identity, " I didn't have lots of time to 
indicate the difference between a class analysis of "white identity" 
and "social construction" and the liberal analysis of the same idea.

they are very different.  that multiracial working coalitions of the 
sort you mention are a perennial threat was one reason, in fact the 
main reason, for the invention of the white race.

whether "whiteness" can continue to do the ideological work it has done 
in the past is now a key question.  I tend to think that bourgeois 
multiculturalism will have to do the work that "whiteness" did so well 
for so long for the ruling class.  for example, if there is to be some 
kind of hegemonic project around anti immigration (while access to 
cheap labor is preserved thru organizations like EWIC--essential worker 
immigrant coalition), it better be multicultural or else it won't work 
for our rulers.

> I could continue, but basic arguments are there.  History has to be 
> read
> from the inside out, taking meaning from the sources...rather than to 
> get
> caught up in theoretical generalizations that can then be superimposed 
> on
> the past, regardless of what's really there.  This is, I think, 
> especially
> important on matters of race, where radical scholars should be wary of
> finding their basic assumptions so indistinguishable from those of 
> liberals,
> conservatives, and the academic establishment.
> Regards,
> Mark L.
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