Alabama and Tibet

Doyle Saylor djsaylor at
Tue Jul 7 10:11:51 PDT 1998

Hello everyone, Yes Chuck, as Jessica Squires writes; "...but what is a natural antipathy?"

Doyle I sense you having a little problem with the same thing I did, getting confused about Racism. Isn't racism an arbitrary human construct with nothing about it that in and of itself determines anything? Capitalism needs a working class, but it doesn't need racism. As you wrote capitalism uses divisions (Chuck Miller: "Yet, a racist ideology can be used to further capitalist aims") that have sprung up contingently in history, to exploit and create divisions amongst people, but all that points at is creating workers to labor in the business interests. That is a dynamical system not dependent upon a fixed structure such as a race. Hence South Africa was unstable. Hence Nazi Germany was unstable.

Mathew Forstater writes: "The most dangerous kind of nationalism is the nationalism that disguises itself as universalism."

Doyle More dangerous than Hitler's Germany? How do you figure that one? Sounds to me like you have a hard time with the concept of "universalism". Is there something called a universal in your opinion? Could you be a little more specific about good universalism, and bad universalism? Is Marxism Eurocentric? Or is it universal? Center/ perifery?

Mathew Forstater 2. Theoretically, while the exact historical racism that was inseparable from capitalism may not have been required (although that is a maybe, we cannot know that capitalism would have thrived without it) *hierarchy* certainly is necessary to capitalism, hierarchy between and among classes. Arbitrary physiognomical traits assigned social significance have played an absolutely crucial (from the standpoint of capitalist reproduction) role in mediating intra-class competition. Capitalism requires that the abstract hierarchy in actual practice be mediated somehow--race, gender, nationality, etc.

Doyle What is the difference between class and racism? That is where I sense some ambiguous thoughts here. Class is necessary to capitalism. A race is just an historical accident, or fact (as Wojtek likes to say). Like Wojtek says (or something more civil anyway), we get our underwear in a knot over our feelings of injustice toward someone, but Capitalism doesn't care about how we feel. It just wants the profits to keep on rolling. At any rate in the above you say 'historical racism which is inseparable from capitalism may not be required'. I believe that is an odd phrasing indeed. I see in your statement either racism is required, or racism is not required. Which is it? After I mulled that point over in my mind in my remarks to Wojtek, I finally got what Wojtek was saying as in AHA! regards Doyle Saylor

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