RACE Part II: European Racism in the Colonial Era

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This article will address issue of European racism in the colonial era, specifically Anglo-Saxon racist ideology. I will be looking at the evolution of racism by Europeans, and how they were developed and implemented across their colonies in order to secure the economic and geopolitical bounty of “empire”. I will also focus on the Anglo-Saxon influence and race ideology in the foundation and running of the United States of America, and how racism was institutionalized in the country. Finally, I will touch upon how racial theories and practices abruptly changed after the wake of the Holocaust, which, for all its evil, was not unlike much of the colonial power’s practices abroad. Ultimately, the goal of this article is to really show how race, similar to religion, is an institution based on fiction, solely created to exacerbate exploitation and inequality.

 

RACIAL THEORIES

The racial theories made up by European nations served to show white people as superior to people of other races. This was “supported” by many assumptions. “The fact that Britain… now rules the globe appeared to confirm a sense of inherent superiority” (Malik 1996: 115). In addition, since the main colonizers of the time were white nations, “imperialist expansion seemed to confirm the belief that history was a racial struggle and that the white race would eventually eliminate the black and yellow races” (Malik 1996: 117). These theories and assumptions were exactly what allowed the Nazis to commit the atrocities they did, clearly making them not very different from the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and American colonies of the time: “when the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933, they proceeded to execute in practice many of the theories of scientific racism” (Malik 1996: 123).

 

DEMOCRACY AND RACIAL THEORIES

The racialization of nation, nationalism and identity affected the progress towards democracy in all over the world, because placing humans on a hierarchical scale diverges from the equality inherent in democracy, where everyone is given the same amount of rights or freedom: “democracy regards class distinctions as evil; we perceive them to be essential (Malik 1996: 108). Thereby, democracy is also not compatible with capitalism, which needs class distinctions to grow and prosper. This shows the improbability of the American Dream – not everyone can make it “big”. It all depends almost wholly on where a person starts out. As T.S. Elliot points out, the class system is designed to stick for generations. It is all a big sham. The white elite were fearful of Enlightenment ideas” (Malik 1996: 138) that promoted equality. The question then becomes why democracy was allowed to continue, since it obviously gets in the way of the elite who maintain their power through capitalism. This is because a little bit of democracy, in controlled amounts enabled “ruling classes to be continually replenished through the admission of new elements who have inborn talents for leadership and a will to lead… prevents that exhaustion of aristocracies of birth” (Malik 1996: 108).

 

CULTURE VS. RACE

With Enlightenment, came the more politically correct term, ‘culture’, which “replaced physical race with linguistic, historical or psychological race” (Malik 1996: 143). With culture, unlike race, there is only one type of humanity, “but it inhabits different worlds” (Malik 1996: 146). In this way, racism was still being practiced domestically and internationally: “national belonging is given not by citizenship, nor even by birth, but by an undefinable quality of possessing the essence of ‘Englishness’ or ‘Asianness’” (Malik 1996: 143).

 

Malik explores this idea of an inherent “cultural identity” amongst people of different ethnicities or “races”. He first studies Franz Boas, a German-American anthropologist, who played a prominent part in replacement of racial theories with cultural ones. Yet, “the concept of culture that he helped develop to a large extent rearticulated the themes of racial theory in a different guise” (Malik 1996: 151). Equality for him “meant the acceptance of the actual inequalities of society but the regarding of these inequalities as different manifestations of a common humanity” (Malik 1996: 151).  Races had to be defined culturally and linguistically, rather than biologically. Boas finally suggests that cultural habits and forms help integrate them within their societies and with other ones, and that “social change and progress could be harmful bother to the individual and to the society” (Malik 1996: 154). Despite all this, he did believe in some popular racial concepts of his time, such as the negroid race having smaller brains.

 

Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist in the latter half of the 19th century, believed that culture was an innate phenomenon, specific to each different society. He thought that “a particular culture could be comprehensible only to those who were an organic part of it” (Malik 1996: 155). Similar to Boas, Durkheim thought that cultural change could bring about chaos or “social breakdown” (Malik 1996: 155). So both, him and Boas did not give much credit to social and cultural development, even though, culture is a social construct (which Durkheim also contradicts) that keeps evolving over time.

 

Claude Levi-Strauss, called the father of modern anthropology, believed, similar to Boas, that “human unity is expressed purely at a biological level, while culture expresses purely its differences” (Malik 1996: 164). He goes one step further and claims that cultural barriers are practically equivalent to biological ones. Culture, according to Levi-Strauss, is what governs race, and not the other way around. He gives a fascinating example about Eskimos – “Inuit culture has somehow selected for individuals who are biologically better adapted to polar conditions… human beings (are the) passive prisoners of their culture” (Malik 1996: 166). However, the main problem with this argument is that it is not culture than picked the Inuits to live in the region, but rather natural selection. Certain cultural traits can allow people to adapt to certain environments, even if they don’t have the “right” racial features, or possible genes. Finally, Levi-Strauss thought that the “essence of being human lies in our inequality” (Malik 1996: 168) and that “different cultures and peoples should only communicate if there was no danger of one contaminating the other. Peoples and cultures should… remain where they belong” (Malik 1996: 169).

 

STATES

The process of states being antihuman is ironic. It was thought that smaller, heterogeneous nations would be better equipped to contribute to “the wider project of humanity” (Malik 1996: 135). Nations were originally seen as “necessary to overcome the parochialism of feudal life and to establish a mechanism through which to exercise the rights of Man. It was a stepping stone towards more universal forms of social organization” (Malik 1996: 134). However, it just turned out that “the universality of (man) was constrained by the nationality of the (citizen)” (Malik 1996: 136). Indeed, by the second half of the century, “the nation began to be seen predominantly in ‘closed’ terms and that the distinction between citizen and foreigner became crystallized both in popular and in official language” (Malik 1996: 137). Industrialization, growth of the working class, class conflicts, state support of national economy, and international rivalries all called for the establishment of new institutions, such as law and order, civil service and welfare. Now “borders were delineated, border posts and customs established, passports and immigration laws instituted” (Malik 1996: 137).

 

Brian Schmidt, in his book “The Political Discourse of Anarchy: a Disciplinary History of International Relations” highlights how the assumption amongst most political scientists post-WW1 was that “the colonized regions – the ‘dark’ places, the ‘uncivilized,’ the ‘backward’ or ‘barbaric’ areas of the world – did not belong to the society of states” (Schmidt 1998: 125). Membership in this so called society of nations was limited to a few states of European descent. The colonized nations were not seen as sovereign and could not have been included in the traditional discourse. There was thus a debate as to how relations with the barbarians could be formed. One way was, through colonization, followed by exploitation of resources and labor and oppression against the indigenous barbarians. American Political Science justified this oppression and denigration of colonized people by claiming that “it was a moral duty of the ‘civilized’ states to intervene and uplift those who inhabited the ‘inferior’ regions of the world” (Schmidt 1998: 131). Paul Reinsch, an American political scientist, argued that colonization was an “evolutionary process” (Schmidt 1998: 132) that made less developed nations orbit around “more perfect forms of civilization” (Schmidt 1998: 132). He also mentioned the search for new markets as the primary incentive behind colonization. In short, according to a lot of the popular (white) thinkers post-WW1, it was the disorganization and chaos internally in states that led them to be uncivilized and lured and forced the imperialists to subject them to colonization, out of their need for resources and a higher, moral need to help the backward countries civilize.

 

ANGLO-SAXON IDEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Reginald Horseman focuses on the importance of white supremacy in the building of contemporary USA in his book “Race and Manifest Destiny”. The Founding Fathers and important political leaders of the United States were deeply invested in the white supremacist doctrine of racial Anglo-Saxonism. Senator James D. Westcott of Florida stated during the acquiring of Mexican territories that “our governments were governments of the white race… the political inferiority of blacks and Indians was a fundamental principle of the Government” (Horsman 1981: 276). Indeed, Horsman rightly states that the American mission “was all too clearly restricted to Pure Caucasians, preferably Angle-Saxon” (Horsman 1981: 277). There was a great problem in the US regarding voting rights, since it did not suit the tastes of the white Anglo Saxons to allow the wild Indians and barbaric “Negroes” to vote. The US aspired to stay linked to its “ancestors” the British, while maintaining their independence. This is : “the two grand branches of the Anglo-Saxon stock, the one pressing from the bay of Bengal, and the other from the golden gulf of California, would meet in some beautiful group of sunny isles in the Pacific ocean, and together clasp their united hands in love and peace around the globe” (Horsman 1981: 292).

 

CHRISTIANITY

Horsman connects the role of Christianity in defending white supremacy in the name of freedom and natural right of the US to colonize “non-civilized” countries. Senator John Pettit of Indiana suggested during the Declaration of Independence, that “god elected some to everlasting life some to eternal damnation. This applied to nations and races as well as to individuals” (Horsman 1981: 275). Similarly, the Secretary of the Treasury Robert J. Walker stated that “commerce was the precursor of Christianity teaching peace and intercourse among all nations and fostering the mutual interests of mankind” (Horsman 1981: 275).

 

It is clear that Christianity is used significantly to support and sustain racial ideologies of white elite Europeans. The natural right of the US to colonize other countries is highlighted in the “manifest destiny” theory: Anglo-Saxons “were (seen as) the men whose enterprise explores every land, and whose commerce whitens every sea” (Horsman 1981: 289). It was thought that the American or Anglo-Saxon “race” would multiply greatly and take over the world: “achieve world dominance through replacing other peoples” (Horsman 1981: 291). Indeed, it was wishfully thought that “ultimately, as the Anglo-Saxons multiplied, many inferior races would disappear” (Horsman 1981: 291). Eventually, it was also believed that a black woman and a white man could “erase all traces of the black race not capable of advantageous admixture with the white” (Horsman 1981: 296).

 

Similar to Horsman, Eric Love finds that religion was used to defend white racial domination: “many did feel a strong and perhaps overwhelming sense of Christian duty and charity toward the races that had come into the American fold in 1898” (Love 2004: 7). This was in the hope of “civilizing” the indigenous barbarians. Americans were fascinated by Anglo-Saxon studies; they took Rudyard Kipling’s notion of the “white man’s burden” literally since they mistakenly cited it as an exhortation to empire. However, “most… ignore the poem’s churning irony and cynicism; its references to the contradictions of this crusade” (Love 2004: 7). It can be seen through this that they were eager to find links between racial supremacy and imperialism.

 

RACE IN THE UNITED STATES

The Jim Crow laws mandated racial segregation in all public facilities, with a “separate but equal” status for blacks. It was commonly understood that whites and “coloreds” were separated, but provided far from equal facilities and services. The Jim Crow laws being upheld at home made it easier to justify the domination and oppression of the millions of black people abroad who they dominated. Love argues against relying on the use of racial ideology as an organizing concept to explain the role race played in American expansion in the 19th century: “the solution to overproduction and the attendant social chaos… was to find and open new markets abroad where the excess production could be sold off, profitably” (Love 2004: 2). Race was not a true biological fact, but rather an excuse for maintaining power. “The dominant racial ideas of the period provided no clear direction in foreign affairs, nor did they propose a program of action toward empire” (Love 2004: 5) and unlike what Fredrick Merk believed, race did not act as a deterrent to territorial acquisition. Love correctly cites the examples of Alaska, the Dominican Republic, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Guam as predominantly non-white places that the US did control.

 

It is popularly believed that racism was abolished in the north when slavery was abolished there first. However, “the North knew racism intimately. It knew slavery… even while abolishing it gradually in its own states in the late 1700s and early 1800s, profited handsomely from its expansion in the South and the West” (Love 2004: 8). Love highlights that even though slavery was abolished in the North, they were still systematically denied citizenship rights and protection under the law. Indeed, African Americans, Asians and certain European immigrants in the US variously suffered at the hand of northern and southern whites: “the North had taken up the White Man’s Burden and was looking to southern racial policy for national guidance in the new problems of imperialism resulting from the Spanish war” (Love 2004: 3).

 

RACISM IN LATIN AMERICA

There were systematic processes of racial change or preservation implemented largely by European colonists in Latin America, at the heart of which was the ideology that the white man is supreme, intellectually; economically; socially; and culturally. With this is mind, all racial practices in Latin America by European colonists greatly benefitted a small minority by repressing and degrading the majorities. Similar to Europe, “social and residential segregations were largely informal, reproduced through subtle elisions in the alchemical transitions to nationhood alongside socio-economic standing and choices thus enabled or disabled” (Goldberg 2009: 199).

 

Goldberg highlights the process of diluting Indian blood in relation to the production of white racial hegemony in Latin America: “European immigration was to be dramatically expanded… to dilute the local ethnoracial impact of such mixing” (Goldberg 2009: 200). Many counties in the continent that were first to abolish slavery acted “forcefully to establish white majority settler societies” (Goldberg 2009: 204). One of these countries was Argentina, where “Argentinean rulers made a deliberate decision to decimate blacks in the population, largely by having them serve on the front lines of devastating mid-century wars with its neighbors” (Goldberg 2009: 203). Freshly freed black slaves were self-consciously wiped out” (Goldberg 2009: 203). The indigenous populations were dealt with by working them to death or introducing foreign illnesses carried by Europeans.

 

Mixed marriage was seen as a way of moving up socially. Marriage between a white woman and an Indian or African man is looked down upon. But the woman of color who marries a white man is seen as moving up the ladder. However, the white man in a mixed marriage “signals that he married outside (really beneath) his standing, producing offspring… categorically outside the social norm if not social acceptability” (Goldberg 2009: 223). This man is called a “mestizaje or mesticagem”, “gone native, driven by passion alone… and so irrational” (Goldberg 2009: 223). Related to this is the idea of blanquiamiento or branqueamento, or whitening. This was accomplished through miscegenation. Indeed, “those not European were to be lifted up – elevated – through racial mixing with Europeans” (Goldberg 2009: 200).

 

So the “Latinizing” of the Americas included creating a new “Latin race” – a new national character that was distinctly “racial metis” (Goldberg 2009: 200), a synonym for half-breed. However, while this seems like a nationalist move, it had white supremacy undertones. Whiteness was seen as the way to be more successful, so the only way to make Latin America progress and move forward would be to become whiter: “Blanqueamiento, the process of whitening… reinscribes and extends euro-mimesis (replication)… in novel form” (Goldberg 2009: 219). Indeed, this was to “submerge blackness and indianness” (Goldberg 2009: 220).

 

The sensitivity of the white people to racial purity and fear of “degeneracy” showed their vulnerability and paranoia: “a drop of black… is so potentially powerful, what does it say about the presumed racial powerlessness of whiteness?” (Goldberg 2009: 209). Goldberg rightly states that whiteness is fragile: “its insecurities speak to its unsurety about its sources and extensions of its power(s), about the easiness of its pollution… about its potential implosiveness” (Goldberg 2009: 211). It requires “self-proclaimed and –promoting privilege to sustain its privilege, self-declaration to convince itself and others of its elevation, self-assertion in the face of threats to its being and wellbeing, of pushing back from below” (Goldberg 2009: 211).

 

In the Americas, Indians and Africans were not treated equally by the whites. “The fact that Indians were less readily enslavable from the earliest moments of Iberian colonization reveals their slightly heightened status in the great chain of being in contrast with Africans” (Goldberg 2009: 206). Blacks, whereas, were seen as animals or sub human. Even mixing Indians and blacks results in “symbolic animalization” (Goldberg 2009: 209) – everything from wolves, coyotes, chino and cambujo. When Indians mix with white people, it is called assimilation, but when Africans do the same thing, they are called as being invisible. Indeed, where African-descended populations survived, they “tended to be highly concentrated in more remote parts of the country” (Goldberg 2009: 203). “Once out of sight they are close to being out of the national mind” (Goldberg 2009: 219).

 

Economically, there were rigid hierarchies: “race and class mirror as they constrain each other” (Goldberg 2009: 211). However the whitening process “draw the uncivilized into civilization, the uneducated into the virtues… of capitalist accumulations, the unsettled in the potential labor force” (Goldberg 2009: 219). Under neoliberalism and a supposed assurance of fair markets which would bring about profits fairly and equally, Latin America was silenced. Indeed, with the advents of globalization, Latin America was turned into a site of low-cost production; most of this work is obviously done by blacks and Indians, who are at the bottom of the economical hierarchy. This ensures they stay down, where they are meant to be.

 

Gender relations in Latin America are clear cut. Native and African women are seen as sexually promiscuous: “given the limited availability of European women as potential partners, (European men) ‘freely’ availed themselves of slave concubines… belying Freyre’s once-celebrated thesis of generous treatment by Portuguese men in Brazil of sexually promiscuous slave women” (Goldberg 2009: 205). “Mixed offspring were freed in Latin America, even as their mothers remained enslaved” (Goldberg 2009: 205). In addition, if this mixed offspring “were written into paternal property inheritance, while their slave mothers were excluded” (Goldberg 2009: 205). This highlights how women of color were a double minority, and treated twice as bad. Even a female Spaniard did not carry much weight: “A male Spaniard… was presumed more ethnoracially fertile than a female one” (Goldberg 2009: 208).

 

UNESCO statements in the 1940’s that theorized that mixed marriages would be a fitting response to biological racism created a stir in Latin America. In countries like Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, where the pull of the mestizaje was not strong, it led to the eradication of black people and repression of Indian ones. In these countries there is a deep denial about ethnic origins. Argentina, for example, registers itself as “97 percent white and 3 percent mestizo, Amerindian, or other… undercounting mestizos and Afro-Argentines” (Goldberg 2009: 224). Discrimination against non-whites is commonplace and when questioned about this, Argentina asks “how can one discriminate if there are anti-discrimination laws and policies in place” (Goldberg 2009: 224). Most Venezuelans, on the other hand, claim to be so racially mixed up, that “the implication is that there could not possible be… a place for… racism” (Goldberg 2009: 225). However, most of their elite strata, according to Goldberg, is white or light skinned and “poorer classes have tended to be darker” (Goldberg 2009: 226). To be clear, Goldberg is not suggesting that being darker automatically means that a person will be poor and destitute, but rather that “being white disposes one to privilege, that there are fewer barriers to social advancement and decent health than for those not white” (Goldberg 2009: 224), as is the case in the USA also today. Indeed, countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru have adopted a commitment to racial democracy, thinking this will lead to equality. And they believe they have achieved success. “Today, school textbooks continue to talk of (African and indigenous Venezuelans) in the past tense… naturalizing their condition as fixed in some irretrievable and regressive past” (Goldberg 2009: 226). The Brazilians aspire to be “moreno” or raceless. Indeed, its popularity is due to the fact that it “obscures discriminations against darker-skinned Brazilians, diluting the possibility of their identification in the alchemical mix” (Goldberg 2009: 230).

 

Indigenous and black strategies of “flight, resistance, rebellion, liberation and self-determination” affected their efforts to survive in the face of white hegemonic projects in the region poorly. The main problem is the denial, and fanciful thinking such as that of being so mixed up, that the issue of race no longer exists (comparable to being “colorblind” in the US): “denial of blackness and indigeneity, as categories, character(s), or culture, undermines the possibility of launching a recognizable counter-movement” (Goldberg 2009: 232). Indeed, the failure of cultural organizations such as the Frente Negra Brasileira or the Movimento Negro Unificado in Brazil or Ecuador’s Asociacion de Negros del Ecuador has secured the link between mixed races and blanqueamiento, “presided over by euro-mimesis and consummated by racial democracy as national commitment” (Goldberg 2009: 233). This has increased the power of whiteness in all spheres in Latin America. Nevertheless, there has been an embracement of African culture in the past decade in the region. However, blacks have “seldom achieved the status of coherent political force in Brazil or any other Latin American state” (Goldberg 2009: 233). Indians have started to have more effective voting blocs in countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia or Peru; having it somewhat easier since they have historical claims to the land.

 

RACISM IN SOUTH AFRICA

Nation building was pursued very differently in Southern Africa, first by the Dutch (later called ‘Afrikaners’) and secondly by the British. They “pursued nation-building quite explicitly by racial elevation and restriction, through the insistence on and against the resistances, local and global, to white self-elevation and enduring supremacy” (Goldberg 2009: 200). There was no denial about racial differences or socially accepted or encouraged race mixing. Goldberg’s focus on ‘racial southafricanization’ highlights clearly that organized racism such as that in the Apartheid is a neoliberal concept. The British abolished slavery once they took over previously Dutch areas of southern Africa. However, they ultimately retained a white supremacist ideology, which provided them with cheap labor, industrialization, and ultimately great amount of profits: “inscribing an arm’s length segregationist polity joined to securing a cheap and guaranteed labor economy and proscribed intercourse” (Goldberg 2009: 274).

 

It was very hard for a native South African to rise to the ranks of the white colonizers:  “pretty much only Europeans or those of recognizably European descent could become members of the citizen class (burgher) or rise to hold office” (Goldberg 2009: 256). Black people, like in Latin America, were restricted to certain locations, for tourism or to be invisible. The jobs they were allocated or allowed to have were purely labor intensive, cutting costs for the white elite. The Cape administration also reduced black landholdings, which did not allow them to have houses and so on. Their schools, spaces and institutions were poor. Not very surprisingly, “90 percent of the landholding of the country was reserved by a 1913 law to whites, making up 10 percent of the population” (Goldberg 2009: 286).

 

Gender inequality was openly practiced in southern Africa: “the slave house… became a brother for a brief period each night… Rest time was disrupted for women and men slaves alike, women forced into a second bondage of the body, the men reduced to helplessness in the face of these visits” (Goldberg 2009: 249). Black women were seen as “less inhibited by stultifying European manner, dress, and morals” (Goldberg 2009: 250), and thus more satisfying. They were often openly sexually abused by white men. This, like Latin America, was another double minority problem.

 

The political theology of race used in the region between the state, church and capital led to the making of modern South Africa. The Dutch were very religious and into baptizing, and calling African blood as the “‘the blood of Ham’” (Goldberg 2009: 255). The British, while not as religiously inclined, started racial-thro-politics to unify white coherence. Race is a “perfect exemplification of… sacred violence” (Goldberg 2009: 254). “It licenses violence against those who violate, who fail to inherently or even contingently to belong to the sacred community, to the Heavenly City, the City of God” (Goldberg 2009: 255). The British were economically motivated, and did not trust the black people with all the resources they had.

 

Racial rule was formalized using law and policies; the Apartheid. It was “a repressive regime of guaranteed cheap labor supply to sustain staggering profitability, and a logic of irrepressible modernizing urbanization” (Goldberg 2009: 275). The political theology of race “was far more conductive to delivering labor, securing power, and controlling land… producing the wealth of power through governing heterogeneity” (Goldberg 2009: 276). “Religious conversion could serve as supplement… but it was ultimately racial rule and repression that produced and sustained the hierarchical regularities of the labor supply” (Goldberg 2009: 277). The vulnerability of pollution that the white people, specifically the Afrikaners had was exploited: “(the) apartheid was nurtured out of these senses of threat, survival, and security” (Goldberg 2009: 289). Mixed marriage was outlawed, and ultimately, so was mixed intercourse. Prime locations were reserved for white people only, and colored and African spaces were purged. Any resistance was brutally suppressed.

 

The black people, during the Apartheid, were constrained by many laws that were solely created to keep non-white people repressed, in order to maintain power and wealth in a few hands. Goldberg gives great examples when he talks about black people taking care of white people’s households, children and secrets, yet being seen as untrustworthy and barbaric, cleaning pools and beaches, but being prohibited to use them, mining for gold, but not being able to own it, and so on. They were not allowed to have proper education, were brutally suppressed for standing up for equality, and this put together with hours and hours of physical toil every day meant they had no choice but to indefinitely be slaves of this sort for the white people, in order to survive.

 

Now, post-apartheid, “class apartheid racial neoliberalism has unleashed in cases like racial Americanization and latinamericanization” (Goldberg 2009: 314). However, race has not completely disappeared: “class maps race, hardly unhinged from its older anchors of reference” (Goldberg 2009: 315). Nevertheless, heightened African optimism about the future has led the rainbow nation to embrace non-racialism, making every one supposedly equal, which, unfortunately, works out perfectly for the already rich, white, elite.

 

NEOLIBERALISM AND RACISM

Marx speaks about the exploitation of the majority in the hands of the few that own capital: “(people who own capital)… usurp and monopolize all the advantages of (the) process of transformation, the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation and exploitation grows” (Marx 1976: 929). Indeed, his iconic statement in the Communist Manifesto that capitalism came into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt” strongly disagrees with the neoliberal view that capitalism is fair and brings equality and success to those who try hard. Rightly, capitalism is a system that preserves the wealth in a few hands – the hands that are already full of it. It is really a “expropriation of the mass of the people by a few usurpers” (Marx 1976: 930). Marx’s observations on the imposition of ‘bloody legislation’ against the expropriated European populations links to the previously discussed “racial southafricanization” and “racial latinamericanization” in that it treats the long and arduous struggle of capital to drive the “freed” population into the factories; a struggle the difficulty of which is attested to by the centuries of “bloody legislation” necessary to overcome resistance – “the expropriation of the mass of the people from the soil forms the basis of the capitalist mode of production” (Marx 1976: 934).

 

HOW WAS THE HOLOCAUST ANY DIFFERENT?

Sven Lindquist discusses the evolution of European racism, and how it culminated in the Holocaust, which is often liked to be thought of as the only act of racial discrimination and brutality committed by Europeans. Indeed, the Western European powers were very noble and angelic in being horrified at the cruelty committed by the Nazis, but have conveniently forgotten about their past dealings with race. Ultimately, Lindqvist suggests that Europe has had an instinct for genocide. Hitler and the Nazis were not a deviation from European ethno-racial policies, but rather a logical extension of it. They only problem was that Hitler committed these atrocities at home, in Europe, at his border, whereas the other white colonists committed them largely abroad: “(genocide) was a conviction which had already cost millions of human lives before Hitler provided his highly personal application” (Lindquist 2007: 141). European scholars of race in the past have had fictional characters in their work, according to Lindquist: “the story of how they made their discoveries is nothing but a story, as it says nothing about themselves.” (Lindquist 2007: 104). Tying back to Marx and inequality in capitalism and expansion abroad, Linquist’s argument on Agadez, Argentina, and Tasmania all highlight the great inequality capitalism imposes.  It also shows how capital has no boundaries or limits, since it is constantly looking for new markets. Lastly, it highlights Darwinist racism that Robert Knox later followed; many colonists genuinely believed in the racism theories, thought of black people and other people of color as animals or sub-human, and treated them in that manner.

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, it is clear that white supremacy theory, as well as female degradation, have the purpose of keeping large numbers of human beings in the world in poor and beneath a small number of people. Poverty is the natural result of capitalism, since it truly serves to keep the power and money in the hands of a few people. The horrors committed upon non-white colonies all over the world have been proof of this occurrence. Superficially, religious and cultural ideologies can be used to create an image of the superiority of one group or another, but these are just farces, which humans are institutionalized into believing.

 

Bibliography

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