Fwd: [PEN-L:1867] Re: Black Radical Congress (fwd)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Dec 29 11:21:48 PST 1998

Rakesh, this is just intelllectualizing hot-air. I wouldn't even attempt to rebut it, since it rebuts itself.

> I feel the greatest danger
>is a resurgence of the myth of primordial ethnic identity implicitly based
>on behavior maximizing inclusive fitness. This myth has been resurrected
>by Moynihan and Huntingon, invoked to make sense of the Balkans and
>Rwanda, and treated as common sense by reactionary black leaders from
>Farrakhan to Asante. A nice discussion of this is in a book by Yawya
>Sadowski, The Myth of Global Chaos just out from Brookings Institute
>Press. This kind of psuedo Darwinism ironically resonates with social
>scientists whose egos are damaged by natural scientists; due to physics
>envy, they want their objects of study, as Carchedi has noted, to be as
>free from social determination as the natural scientists, so the idea of
>society composed of natural kinds exhibiting Darwinian behavior allows
>them to imagine that they can proceed "objectively". Moreover, this belief
>in the hardwiring of group behavior expunges history from society (or
>this pseudo evoltionist history is reduced to the driving to dominance of
>certain genotypes and the extended phenotypes they code *within* races,
>though that means finality of racial groups is assumed and we are
>returned to the world of Platonic ideal types) and plays into the
>diminishment of conscious historical action that is the signature of our
>time, as Frank Furedi has eloquently argued. For these reasons, I remain
>skeptical of a radical congress organized around blackness; I think it
>cannot avoid the myth of primordial ethnic or racial identity.At the same
>time, there may be good sociobiological reasons we are susceptible to
>organizations based on appeals to pseudo ethnicity or mythical races or
>imagined national communities.
> Comradely, Rakesh

Louis Proyect (http://www.panix.com/~lnp3/marxism.html)

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