Category Archives: Race

ABCs (HUM415)

Jacobin Magazine and Verso Books are producing a series of weekly podcasts over the course of March that address chapters from one of our required texts, The ABCs of Socialism. Nivedita Majumdar’s remarks are significant for a number of reasons, though in a US context one insight here might be that capitalist identity politics is a core element of the defense of socioeconomic inequality (see also Touré F. Reed’s Why Liberals Separate Race from Class or Nancy Fraser’s article “The End of Progressive Neoliberalism” on the course information page).

 

A logical argument

from Gary Younge:

Racism’s role should not be underplayed, but its impact can arguably be overstated. While Trump evidently emboldened existing racists, it’s not obvious that he created new ones. He received the same proportion of the white vote as Mitt Romney in 2012 and George W Bush in 2004. It does not follow that because Trump’s racism was central to his meaning for liberals, it was necessarily central to his appeal for Republicans.

There is a deeper connection, however, between Trump’s rise and what Obama did – or rather didn’t do – economically. He entered the White House at a moment of economic crisis, with Democratic majorities in both Houses and bankers on the back foot. Faced with the choice of preserving the financial industry as it was or embracing far-reaching reforms that would have served the interests of those who voted for him, he chose the former.

Traversal

Socialists must support all emancipatory struggles which can be won within the boundaries of capitalism, but we also have to look beyond those boundaries. And our view will be obstructed if we accept the mystifications of capitalism, its illusions about the richness and autonomy of the extra-economic sphere, its false appearance of relegating class relations to a marginal and insulated economic realm, its attempt to pass a devalued political currency as the coinage of human emancipation.

Ellen Meiksins Wood, “Capitalism and Human Emancipation”