[Marxism] Is white male privilege an "illusion"? (Was:Re:Troubledtime)

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Tue Nov 28 05:30:02 MST 2006

Mark Lause: 

I find that any thread with this subject line makes me want to bash my head
against the nearest brick wall.  Is that really an issue that needs

The problem with white male privilege is that, real as it is, the nature of
that difference varies wildly.  It makes it not a jot more real to appeal to
statistics...that sociological voodoo.  What does it mean to say that people
with my skin color has X-percent advantage over people with a different skin
color?  Any more than to take some other description...eye color, eyebrow
size, etc.  Does this abstract association do anything for me...or against
me...or to me?

Most importantly, the prescriptive dimension of this emphasis is entirely
depoliticized.  There needs to be more of a focus on how we can address this
issue in a political sense.

What is to be done?


CB: I can see why you would want to bash your head against the wall, as
division of the U.S. working class against itself by race has been an
intracable problem for proletarian internationalist "forever". And it is
still here. It's looking incurable for hundreds of years. Yet, Joaquin is
not to blame for telling the truth, even if it is a stubborn, annoying, old
truth. He's just the messenger, (like Muhammed).

As to what is to be done, marching up the hill like Sisyphus once again,
what else but some version of "Black and White , unite and fight !" That
ought be a good one for Mark to bash his head on the wall one more time.
Yes, indeed, white ( and Black and Brown) Marxists have to foreground and
feature Black, Brown , white unity once again. You've got to somehow get
together with people of color. And don't they always give you such a hard
time ? Makes you want to bash your head against the wall. Actually, maybe
not quite that. The recommendation from "sixties" Black radicals was for
white radicals to work among white workers against racism. But there's
another thankless task, innit ? Geez, I'd rather discuss the use of the
N-word.  Well, Lenin never promised us a rose garden in what is to be done.

Joaquin's analysis also indicates that overall, the median and average
standard of living of _all_ U.S. workers has not dropped significantly,
including Black workers and Latino workers. Here's another head basher.
Certainly we don't want to count on economic depression to trigger working
class consciousness. We must advocate for better living standards for the
U.S. working class ! 

On this plus ca change, plus le meme chose ;everything old is "new" again ;
we can even dust off some of that old dogma and apply it. "Workers of the
all countries and Oppressed nations...

More information about the Marxism mailing list