[Marxism] Fwd: Race and the Logic of Capital | Solidarity

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Mon Jan 1 13:31:57 MST 2018

"Whiteness Studies emerged not — as is sometimes claimed — from cultural
studies or postmodernism but from the Marxist tradition in the United
States, one to which African-American intellectuals made decisive

I would modify Alan's assertion here . . . .

The centrality of race, the roots of race, etc. were endemic to some strong
currents in American radicalism.  Modern readers can't help but find some
of the discussions informative, even those taking place before settling the
slavery question among groups like the Radical Abolitionists.  A mixed
current, its understanding rested heavily on the thinking of its African
American participants--though I wouldn't describe any of them primarily as
"intellectuals."  These themes became of particular importance to a
strictly Marxist tradition, where they were taken up with particular
intellectual rigor.

Anything David Roediger writes on this subject is always worth reading, but
"Whiteness Studies" in general is subject to all the foibles of academe.
Universities, foundations, NGOs, etc. function to render harmless impulses
that might be dangerous if left to their own logic.  If socialism had
blossomed into a mass movement in the 1970s, we'd have seen Socialist
Studies cropping up, the primary function of which would be to redefine
socialism as an academic problem--involving issues that can be solved in
the academy.  As anyone resident in higher education has to acknowledge,
lip service about race has become endemic to university life, even in the
most fundamentally racist institutions.

Mark L.

More information about the Marxism mailing list