• Whiteness: not what it used to be | Historical Materialism

    The history of American capitalism, in this telling, is the history of white-supremacy. Class and race, in such a society, are instantiated in the same set of social relations. [...]

    One can dispute this analysis, and I do, while seeing its coherence. For example, I think the hypothesis that race is part of the “logic of capital” is, not wrong, but not yet proven. I think that Harvey was not so much imposing an “iron distinction” between anti-racism and anti-capitalism as, less controversially, a distinction. I think that class demands are not necessarily anti-capitalist demands. Nothing entitles us to claim every strike, occupation, protest, or challenge to an instituted expression of class power as a priori anti-capitalist. However, the point is to take the premise as a speculative wager, rather than a certainty. We don’t know everything about the “logic of capital”, so any position we take on it is a bit of a gamble. And asserting the ’anti-capitalist’ propensity of Black Lives Matter is, in a way, an attempt to realise that potential in practice, rather than dismissing it, and to impart the political clarification that it needs.

    #whiteness #roediger #dubois @thibnton @mdiplo