[Marxism] markedivity [was: Slavery and Race]

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Tue Nov 7 12:38:45 MST 2006


I too am trying to find out the meaning of this. The argument, as I
understood it, was whether there was any such thing as a "white
identity." Some of us deny this. Specifically here, Kipling's poem
supporting the u.s. invasion of the Philippines has nothing to do with
the larger argument, so I can't understand why you introduced it.
Whiteness only comes up in contexts in which there is an explicit and
visible relationship between someone of European descent and someone (or
ones) not of European descent. This was the case in the murderous u.s.
aggression against the Philippines. Hence Kipling chose as convenient
synecdoche for "European Power" (which would not have made as neat a
title nor  would it have fit the meter or the ideology).

A discussion of the history and nature of racism and of the concept of
"white identity" can only be utterly confused by dragging in Kipling
here.

Carrol

Sayan Bhattacharyya wrote:
> 
> 
> So I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of this.  What importance are
> > you attaching to this????
> 
> That  there is  a history to this markedness/unmarkedness  -- which made it
> ok to speak of "white man's burden" in the 19th century instead of just
> "man's burden".  "Whiteness" used to be marked, but became unmarked down the
> line. That's certainly quite interesting and worth trying to understand why.
> (I don't have any theories about this, however).
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