Cap Against Race Affs—UMich 2013



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Cap Against Race Affs—UMich 2013

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Using race as an analytic category blurs real power structures and prevents change—Marxist analysis does not ignore it but explains it on a deeper and more effective level


Scatamburlo-D’Annibale and McLaren 04 (Valerie and Peter, associate professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Windsor and Professor in the Division of Urban Schooling, the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, “Class Dismissed? Historical materialism and the politics of ‘difference’”, Educational Philosophy and Theory 36:2, April 2004, Wiley)//AS

A radical political economy framework is crucial since various ‘culturalist’ perspectives seem to diminish the role of political economy and class forces in shaping the edifice of ‘the social’—including the shifting constellations and meanings of ‘difference.’ Furthermore, none of the ‘differences’ valorized in culturalist narratives alone, and certainly not ‘race’ by itself can explain the massive transformation of the structure of capitalism in recent years. We agree with Meyerson (2000) that ‘race’ is not an adequate explanatory category on its own and that the use of ‘race’ as a descriptive or analytical category has serious consequences for the way in which social life is presumed to be constituted and organized. The category of ‘race’—the conceptual framework that the oppressed often employ to interpret their experiences of inequality ‘often clouds the concrete reality of class, and blurs the actual structure of power and privilege.’ In this regard, ‘race’ is all too often a ‘barrier to understanding the central role of class in shaping personal and collective outcomes within a capitalist society’ (Marable, 1995, pp. 8, 226). In many ways, the use of ‘race’ has become an analytical trap precisely when it has been employed in antiseptic isolation from the messy terrain of historical and material relations. This, of course, does not imply that we ignore racism and racial oppression; rather, an analytical shift from ‘race’ to a plural conceptualization of ‘racisms’ and their historical articulations is necessary (cf. McLaren & Torres, 1999). However, it is important to note that ‘race’ doesn’t explain racism and forms of racial oppression. Those relations are best understood within the context of class rule, as Bannerji, Kovel, Marable and Meyerson imply—but that compels us to forge a conceptual shift in theorizing, which entails (among other things) moving beyond the ideology of ‘difference’ and ‘race’ as the dominant prisms for understanding exploitation and oppression. We are aware of some potential implications for white Marxist criticalists to unwittingly support racist practices in their criticisms of ‘race-first’ positions articulated in the social sciences. In those instances, white criticalists wrongly go on ‘high alert’ in placing theorists of color under special surveillance for downplaying an analysis of capitalism and class. These activities on the part of white criticalists must be condemned, as must be efforts to stress class analysis primarily as a means of creating a white vanguard position in the struggle against capitalism. Our position is one that attempts to link practices of racial oppression to the central, totalizing dynamics of capitalist society in order to resist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy more fully.7 We have argued that it is virtually impossible to conceptualize class without attending to the forms and contents of difference, but we insist that this does not imply that class struggle is now outdated by the politics of difference. As Jameson (1998, p. 136) notes, we are now in the midst of returning to the ‘most fundamental form of class struggle’ in light of current global conditions. Today's climate suggests that class struggle is ‘not yet a thing of the past’ and that those who seek to undermine its centrality are not only ‘morally callous’ and ‘seriously out of touch with reality’ but also largely blind to the ‘needs of the large mass of people who are barely surviving capital's newly-honed mechanisms of globalized greed’ (Harvey, 1998, pp. 7–9). In our view, a more comprehensive and politically useful understanding of the contemporary historical juncture necessitates foregrounding class analysis and the primacy of the working class as the fundamental agent of change.8 This does not render as ‘secondary’ the concerns of those marginalized by race, ethnicity, etc. as is routinely charged by post-Marxists. It is often assumed that foregrounding capitalist social relations necessarily undermines the importance of attending to ‘difference’ and/or trivializes struggles against racism, etc., in favor of an abstractly defined class-based politics typically identified as ‘white.’ Yet, such formulations rest on a bizarre but generally unspoken logic that assumes that racial and ethnic ‘minorities’ are only conjuncturally related to the working class. This stance is patently absurd since the concept of the ‘working class’ is undoubtedly comprised of men and women of different races, ethnicities, etc. (Mitter, 1997). A good deal of post-Marxist critique is subtly racist (not to mention essentialist) insofar as it implies that ‘people of color’ could not possibly be concerned with issues beyond those related to their ‘racial’ or ‘ethnic’‘difference.’ This posits ‘people of color’ as single-minded, one-dimensional caricatures and assumes that their working lives are less crucial to their self-understanding (and survival) than is the case with their ‘white male’ counterparts.9 It also ignores ‘the fact that class is an ineradicable dimension of everybody's lives’ (Gimenez, 2001, p. 2) and that social oppression is much more than tangentially linked to class background and the exploitative relations of production. On this topic, Meyerson (2000) is worth quoting at length: “Marxism properly interpreted emphasizes the primacy of class in a number of senses. One of course is the primacy of the working class as a revolutionary agent—a primacy which does not render women and people of color ‘secondary.’ This view assumes that ‘working class’ means white—this division between a white working class and all the others, whose identity (along with a corresponding social theory to explain that identity) is thereby viewed as either primarily one of gender and race or hybrid …[T]he primacy of class means … that building a multiracial, multi-gendered international working-class organization or organizations should be the goal of any revolutionary movement so that the primacy of class puts the fight against racism and sexism at the center. The intelligibility of this position is rooted in the explanatory primacy of class analysis for understanding the structural determinants of race, gender, and class oppression. Oppression is multiple and intersecting but its causes are not.” The cohesiveness of this position suggests that forms of exploitation and oppression are related internally to the extent that they are located in the same totality—one which is currently defined by capitalist class rule. Capitalism is an overarching totality that is, unfortunately, becoming increasingly invisible in post-Marxist ‘discursive’ narratives that valorize ‘difference’ as a primary explanatory construct.
Their aff legitimizes current social relations and is used by the elites to exacerbate commodification of the working class

Tumino 1[Stephen, Prof English at Pitt, ““What is Orthodox Marxism and Why it Matters Now More than Ever”, Red Critique, p. online, http://redcritique.org/spring2001/printversions/whatisorthodoxmarxismprint.htm SGarg]

Two"Orthodox" Marxism has become the latest cover by which the bourgeois left authenticates its credentials and proceeds to legitimate the economics of the ruling class and its anti-proletarian politics.Take Paul Smith, for example. In Orthodox Marxism class is the central issue. (I put aside here that in his writings, on subjectivity for example, Smith has already gotten rid of the "central" by a deconstructive logic). What Smith does with class is a rather interesting test of how OrthodoxMarxism is being used to legitimate the class interests of the owners. Smith reworks class and turns it into a useless Habermasian communicative act. He writes that "classes are what are formed in struggle, not something that exists prior to struggle" (Millennial Dreams 60). To say it again: the old ideological textualization of the "new left" is not working any more (just look at the resistance against globalization), so the ruling class is now reworking the "old left" to defend itself. Against the Orthodox Marxist theory of class, Smith evacuates class of an objective basis in the extraction of surplus labor in production, and makes it the effect of local conflicts.In short, Smith reverses the Orthodox Marxist position that, "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness" (Marx, Contribution, 21), and turns it into a neomarxist view that what matters is their consciousness. In this he in fact shares a great deal with conservative theories that make "values" (the subjective) as what matters in social life and not economic access.Zizek provides another example of the flexodox parody of Marxism today. Capitalism in Orthodox Marxism is explained as an historical mode of production based on the privatization of the means of subsistence in the hands of a few, i.e., the systemic exploitation of labor by capital.Capitalism is the world-historic regime of unpaid surplus-labor. In Zizek's writings, capitalism is not based on exploitation in production (surplus-labor), but on struggles over consumption ("surplus-enjoyment"). The Orthodox Marxist concepts that lay bare the exploitative production relations in order to change them are thus replaced with a "psycho-marxist" pastiche of consumption in his writings, a revisionist move that has proven immensely successful in the bourgeois cultural criticism.Zizek, however, has taken to representing this displacement of labor (production) with desire (consumption) as "strictly correlative" to the concept of "revolutionary praxis" found in the texts of Orthodox Marxism(e.g., "Repeating Lenin"). Revolutionary practice is always informed by class consciousness and transformative cultural critique has always aimed at producing class consciousness by laying bare the false consciousness that ruling ideology institutes in the everyday. Transformativecultural critique,in other words, is always a linking of consciousness to production practices from which a knowledge of social totality emerges. Zizek, however, long ago abandoned Orthodox Marxist ideology critique as an epistemologically naïve theory of "ideology" because it could not account for the persistence of "desire" beyond critique (the "enlightened false-consciousness" of The Sublime Object of Ideology, Mapping Ideology,. . . ).His more recent "return to the centrality of the Marxist critique" is, as a result, a purely tropic voluntarism of the kind he endlessly celebrates in his diffusionist readings of culture as desire-al moments when social norms are violated and personal emotions spontaneously experienced as absolutely compulsory (as "drive"). His concept of revolutionary Marxist praxis consists of re-describing it as an "excessive" lifestyle choice (analogous to pedophilia and other culturally marginalized practices, The Ticklish Subject 381-8). On this reading,Marxism is the only metaphorical displacement of "desire" into "surplus-pleasure" that makes imperative the "direct socialization of the productive process" (Ticklish Subject 350)and that thus causes the subjects committed to it to experience a Symbolic death at the hands of the neoliberal culture industry. It is this "affirmative" reversal of the right-wing anti-Marxist narrative that makes Zizek's writings so highly praised in the bourgeois "high-theory" market—where it is read as "subtle" and an example of "deep thinking" because it confirms a transcendental position considered above politics by making all politics ideological.If everything is ideology then there can be no fundamental social change only formal repetition and reversal of values(Nietzsche). Zizek's pastiche of psycho-marxism thus consists in presenting what is only theoretically possible for the capitalist—those few who have already met, in excess, their material needs through the exploitation of the labor of the other and who can therefore afford to elaborate fantasies of desire—as a universal form of agency freely available to everyone.Psycho-marxism does what bourgeois ideology has always done—maintain the bourgeois hegemony over social production by commodifying, through an aesthetic relay, the contradictions of the wages system. What bourgeois ideology does above all is deny that the mode of social production has an historic agency of its own independent of the subject. Zizek's "return" to "orthodox" Marxism erases its materialist theory of desire—that "our wants and their satisfaction have their origin in society" (Marx, Wage-Labour and Capital, 33) and do not stand in "excess" of it. In fact, he says exactly the opposite andturns the need for Orthodox Marxist theory now into a phantom desire of individuals: he makes "class struggle" an effect of a "totalitarian" desire to polarize the social between "us" and "them"(using the "friend/enemy" binary found in the writings of the Nazi Carl Schmitt, Ticklish Subject 226).What is basic only to Orthodox Marxist theory, however, which is what enables it to produce class consciousness through a critique of ideology, is its materialist prioritization of "need" over "desire." Only Orthodox Marxism recognizes that although capitalism is compelled to continually expand the needs of workers because of the profit motive it at the same time cannot satisfy these needs because of its logic of profit. "Desire" is always an effect of class relations, of the gap between the material level and historical potential of the forces of production and the social actuality of un-met needs.In spite of their formal "criticality," the writings of Zizek, Spivak, Smith, Hennessy and other theorists of designer socialisms produce concepts that legitimate the existing social relations. The notion of class in their work, for example, is the one that now is commonly deployed in the bourgeois newspapers. In their reporting on what has become known as the "Battle of Seattle," and in the coverage of the rising tide of protest against the financial institutions of U.S. monopoly capital which are pillaging the nations of the South, the bourgeois media represents the emergent class struggles as a matter of an alternative "lifestyle choice" (e.g., the Los Angeles Times, "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Catch Our Anti-Corporate Puppet Show!"). On this diffusional narrative,"class" is nothing more than an opportunity for surplus-pleasure "outside" the market for those who have voluntarily "discarded" the normal pleasures of U.S. culture. It is the same "lifestyle" politics that in the flexodox marxism of AntonioNegri is made an autonomous zone of "immaterial labor" which he locates as the "real communism" that makes existing society post-capitalist already so that revolution is not necessary (Empire).What is at the core of both the flexodox marxism and the popular culture of class as "lifestyle" is a de-politicization of the concepts of OrthodoxMarxism which neutralizes them as indexes of social inequality and reduces them to merely descriptive categories which take what is for what ought to be.Take the writings of Pierre Bourdieu for example. Bourdieu turns Marx's dialectical concepts of "class" and "capital" which lay bare the social totality, into floating "categories" and reflexive "classifications" that can be formally applied to any social practice because they have been cut off from their connection to the objective global relations of production. Bourdieu, in short, legitimates the pattern of class as "lifestyle" in the bourgeois media by his view that "class" is an outcome of struggles over "symbolic capital" in any "field."I leave aside here that his diffusion of the logic of capital into "cultural capital," "educational capital" and the like is itself part of a depoliticization of the relation between capital and labor and thus a blurring of class antagonism. What Bourdieu's "field" theory of class struggle does is segregate the struggles into so many autonomous zones lacking in systemic determination by the historic structure of property so that everyone is considered to be equally in possession of "capital" (ownership is rhetorically democratized) making socialist revolution unnecessary. What the reduction of "class" and "capital" to the self-evidency of local cultural differences cannot explain is the systemic primacy of the production of surplus-value in unpaid-labor, the basic condition of the global majority which determines that their needs are not being met and compels them into collective class struggles.
The aff fails and gets co-opted – only a collective revolutionary social theory will solve exploitation

Tumino 1[Stephen, Prof English at Pitt, ““What is Orthodox Marxism and Why it Matters Now More than Ever”, Red Critique, p. online, http://redcritique.org/spring2001/printversions/whatisorthodoxmarxismprint.htm SGarg]

Without totalizing knowledge of exploitation—which is why such dialectical concepts as "capital" form the basis of Orthodox Marxist class theory—exploitation cannot be abolished. The cultural idealism of the de-politicized voiding of Marxist concepts fits right in with the "volunteer-ism" of the neoliberals and "compassionate" conservatives that they use to justify their massive privatization programs.Considering class struggle politics as a matter of cultural struggles over symbolic status is identical to the strategy of considering the dismantling of social welfare as an opportunity for "local" agency freed from coercive state power, i.e., the bedrock of the "non-governmental" activism and "community" building of the bourgeois reformists.When President select Bush seeks to mobilize what he calls the "armies of compassion" against the "Washington insiders" and return "power" to the "people" it is the old cultural studies logic that all politics is "people vs. power bloc," a warmed over popular frontism that makes politics a matter of building de-politicized cross-class coalitions for bourgeois right, utopic models of a post-political social order without class struggle possessing equality of representation that excludes the revolutionary vanguard.As Marx and Engels said of the "bourgeois socialists" of their day, such utopian measures "at. . . best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government" (Manifesto of the Communist Party, Selected Works, 59). Zizek's "affirmation" of revolutionary Marxism as a "totalitarian" desire that polarizes the cultural "lifeworld" between "friends" and "enemies" is another relay of "class-as-an-after-effect of 'struggle'" of the networked left. What the parody does is make class struggle a rhetorical "invention" of Marx(ists) analogous to the bourgeois "rights" politics of the transnational coalitional regime of exploitation ruling today, and erases the need for a global theory of social change. Orthodox Marxism cuts through the closed atmosphere of the "friends" of the networked left and their embrace of a voluntarist "compassionate" millenarianism with acritique from outside so to expose the global collective need for a revolutionary social theory and red cultural studies to end exploitation for all.


Capitalism has appropriated the term “racist” and used it to justify its own ends—their use only aids expansion of capital


Mitchell 93 (Katharyne, Professor of Geography at the University of Washington, “MULTICULTURALISM, OR THE UNITED COLORS OF CAPITALISM?”, Antipode 25:4, 1993, JSTOR)//AS

This is an old story. But there is a twist that introduces a new dimensionto this pervasive development conflict. When Goldberg accusedRankin of inhibiting international capitalism, he accused him of beinga racist at the same time.This new strategy, involving the politicalmanipulation of the meanings of race and racism, has had profoundrepercussions for political and economic alliances, consciousness formation,and urbanization in Vancouver. Although the dislocating effectsof rapid capitalist development present a familiar theme, the importanceof contemporary international relations with wealthy Pacific Rim players,particularly those operating out of Hong Kong, introduces a crucialsubtext; identification of major international capitalists such as Li Kashingand Victor Li brings ”race” into the equation, and control overrace construction and the meanings of race and racism has thus becomean extremely desirable and highly contested prize. Capitalists and politiciansseeking to attract Hong Kong Chinese investment target “localists” as racist, and endeavor to present themselves and the city as nonracist.Their willingness to attract foreign capital, to advertise the cityas “open for business” is deliberately conflated with a willingness toengage with Chinese immigrants and businesspeople in the spirit ofracial harmony.



Antiracism is a justification coopted by global capital to facilitate its expansion


Mitchell 93 (Katharyne, Professor of Geography at the University of Washington, “MULTICULTURALISM, OR THE UNITED COLORS OF CAPITALISM?”, Antipode 25:4, 1993, JSTOR)//AS

One of the stakes in this strategy of ideological production and control has been the liberal doctrine of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, which was heralded as Canada’s answer to the flawed and tired American melting pot metaphor, appeared to many as the only possible solution for a diverse society with an indigenous population, two European colonizers, and a burgeoning community of non-European immigrants. Upholding citizens’ equal rights under law, yet respecting individuals’ fundamental differences stemming from diverse cultural and “racial” backgrounds, the tenet of multiculturalism seemed to be the perfect solution for Canada’s disparate and often ornery population. In this paper I examine how this hopeful, shining concept has been politically appropriated by individuals and institutions to facilitate international investment and capitalist development in Vancouver. The city’s increasing integration into the global economy in the 1980s intensified many of the experiences of capitalism for urban residents and led to new forms of capitalist ventures and to new types of resistance to these ventures. Incipient relationships between Canadian and Chinese capitalists have thus required a reworking of social as well as economic understandings for the ventures to succeed. As economic activities are socially embedded practices influenced and gradually transformed by local social contacts and contexts, the personal interactions between people can have major repercussions for business activity and capital flow. Gereffi and Hamilton (1990:37) have noted, “regulatory institutions, such as those created by the state, provide a prescriptive environment in which people fashion their involvement in economic activities. People, however, respond not only to an institutional environment, but also to each other.” Racism, particularly against the Chinese, has been a long-standing problem in British Columbia, which has only been addressed in a vociferous manner in Vancouver in the past decade. As racism hinders the social networks necessary for the integration of international capitalisms, it has been targeted for eradication.Multiculturalism has become linked with the attempt to smooth racial friction and reduce resistance to the recent changes in the urban environment and experiences of daily life in Vancouver. In this sense, the attempt to shape multiculturalism can be seen as an attempt to gain hegemonic control over concepts of race and nation in order to further expedite Vancouver’s integration into the international networks of global capitalism.
The aff fails to solve the root cause of racism – modern racism is a construct of capitalism which creates a new “American dream” constructed around color blindness – this simply seeks to attract others and facilitate the expansion of capitalism

Koshy, Ph.D. @ UCLA Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, English @ University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1

[Susan, “Morphing Race into Ethnicity: Asian Americans and Critical Transformations of Whiteness”, Boundary 2 , Vol. 28.1, pg 193-94, Duke University Press, Project Muse]//SGarg

How do these factors reflect and shape the new politics of race in the post–civil rights era? At the turn of the century, conflicts between white labor and capital were temporarily resolved through the disenfranchisement and exclusion of Asian labor.79 Thus the emergence of class consciousness was preempted by fostering a race-based nationalism.80 In the present, the emergence of class consciousness is preempted by fostering an ethnicitybased nationalism. In the updated version of the American Dream, underwritten by corporate and popular multiculturalism, ethnically diverse subjects aspire to success in a system that purports to reward the capitalist virtues of hard work, striving, and self-sufficiency in all alike. Whiteness dissembles race privilege as fitness-within-capitalism and recruits highly skilled middle-class and wealthy new immigrants to endorse this narrative of American color-blind equality. Within the new multiculturalism, ‘‘white’’ serves only as a modifier of ethnicity, and, simultaneously, nonwhite capitalcompatible ethnicities are promised incorporation into the American Dream. Populist, anti-immigration discourses of the costs of immigrants notwithstanding, skill-preference and investor immigration categories provide access to a global pool of talent whose training and education are subsidized by other governments but whose success can showcase U.S. multiculturalism and equal opportunity. Asian immigrants serve a pivotal role in this narrative, both as representatives of Pacific Rim economic success and as symbols of Asian political underdevelopment (authoritarianism, ethnic con- flict, repression). The continuing demand for American citizenship shows that the United States is still ‘‘the happiest place on earth’’ and that new Asian immigrants can be represented as value-added Americans. Thus global narratives of development have begun to rearticulate racial hierarchies in the United States. Identity politics, once a powerful ground for oppositional formations, will now have to reckon with the ways in which the new discourse of ethnicity in a transnational context obscures the operations of race and class.

Their analysis of racial oppression doesn’t take capitalist views into account – this furthers oppression and produces new models that serve to exacerbate oppression in the capitalist society

Koshy, Ph.D. @ UCLA Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, English @ University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1

[Susan, “Morphing Race into Ethnicity: Asian Americans and Critical Transformations of Whiteness”, Boundary 2 , Vol. 28.1, pg 163-64, Duke University Press, Project Muse]//SGarg



A materialist analysis that occludes class stratification within racial formation not only leaves unchallenged the power of class-inflected invocations of ethnic and racial solidarity but impedes the development of strategies that can address the cross-hatching of class, race, and ethnicity in the post–civil rights era.16 In her discussion of the contemporary context, Lowe focuses primarily on the exploitation of immigrant Asian women laborers in the United States, while leaving untheorized the ways in which the dramatic growth of some Asian economies, the increase and mobility of Asian capital across national boundaries, and the entry of Asians into the technicalmanagerial class has created a situation where Asian America is a site of both resistance and exploitation. This is particularly problematic because the exploitation of Asian sweatshop workers, restaurant workers, and migrant workers by small and large Asian capital often deploys the discourse of ethnic and family loyalty to enforce discipline and extract compliance. In addition, the postindustrial forms of historic abuses such as slavery have assumed gigantic dimensions in the transnational era and flourish within closed national and diasporic networks that are difficult to penetrate. Pino Arlacchi, the director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, pointed to human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor, human smuggling) as the largest criminal market in the world, involving approximately two hundred million people worldwide, of whom some thirty million women and children have been trafficked within and from Southeast Asia alone for sex and sweatshop labor. According to Arlacchi, Chinese migrants destined for Britain and North America ‘‘disappear into neighborhoods and businesses run by other Asians,’’ and the Chinese networks, in particular, are nearly impenetrable because ‘‘the Chinese work very much inside closed communities.’’ 17The scale of the new forms of human exploitation and the movement of peoples within networks like these require models of ethnic and racial identity formation that can extend beyond the equation of minoritization with resistance. Aihwa Ong characterizes as ‘‘flexible citizenship’’ the practices of some overseas Chinese who have been adroit at acquiring citizenship in England and North America as investors in order to avoid political instability and optimize capital accumulation, and she points out that these strategies have, in turn, reconfigured the forms of patriarchal power within ethnic formations.18 Thus the ‘‘outsideness’’ of some minorities to the nation has come to acquire very different connotations from the earlier era of exclusion and labor exploitation, and the challenge of post– civil rights politics is to produce models of minoritization and agency that do not obscure the operations of race and class in the new global economy.

Concepts of race are used by capital to divide the working class


Retman 08 (Sonnet H. Associate Professor of African American Studies and Adjunct Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and English at the University of Washington, “Black No More: George Schuyler and Racial Capitalism”, PMLA [ Journal of the Modern Language Association] 123:5, http://www.mlajournals.org.proxy.lib.umich.edu/doi/pdf/10.1632/pmla.2008.123.5.1448)//AS

By way of conclusion, I return to Max’s cynical strategy for subduing the exploited working class:these people have been raised on the Negro problem, they’re used to it, they’re trained to react to it. Why should I rack my brain to hunt up something else when I can use a dodge that’s always delivered the goods?” (106). This provocation might be brought to bear on the scholarship of the Harlem Renaissance that situates race outside capital instead of understanding it as constitutive of capital. Critics consistently suggest that “Schuyler prefers to base his political and social theories on economic class rather than on race, so that even when the two are virtually inseparable, he generally chooses to ignore the connection” (Rayson 103). As I have argued, we see in Schuyler’s work not a precedence of class over race or vice versa but a dialectical logic akin to Stuart Hall’s contention that “race is . . . the modality in which class is ‘lived’” (341). Even when workers all share the same complexion, thereby eliminating a construction of racial difference according to phenotype, Max is able to divide his working-class employees along racial lines by reproducing blackness as an invisible threat. Schuyler may adopt a fantasy of racial standardization as his central plot device, but in the end his novel underscores our inability to exclude race from a capitalist matrix. Instead of supplanting race as a category, Black No More shows that technology augments its commercial viability, its fungible quality in the marketplace. In other words, if new technologies enable new forms of black agency in the market, they are inexorably tied to processes of commodification and hegemony. Indeed, in the fiction of Schuyler and other writers of the Harlem Renaissance we see an engaged exploration of the interplay of race and the marketplace.15 This literature emerges at a particular juncture of racial capitalism, when jim crow segregation encourages the growth of niche and crossover markets that capitalize on racial difference, just as Fordist technologies of mass production usher in the promise of a democracy of consumers. Limning the depths of these seemingly incongruous conditions, Schuyler takes up the violent manufacture of race in its more hyperbolic forms—passing and blackface— to subvert basic epistemological assumptions about race. He also demonstrates the ease with which race is transformed into a commodity—a transaction dependent, in part, on its visual, performative, and discursive constructions. In so doing, Schuyler participates in a central conversation about the African American encounter with the shifting racial coordinates of consumer culture in the interwar period. His work illuminates an alternative genealogy of the Harlem Renaissance, one that centers literature that explicitly examines class and the vagaries of race as commodity, one that sheds light on our contemporary negotiations with mass-mediated identity. With “the globalization of capital” and the “entrenchment of consumerism,” Schuyler’s nuanced attention to the circulation of race in commodity form is prescient (Gilroy, Against Race 7). Dr. Crookman’s first successful experiment on the Senegalese man in Germany forecasts the global channels through which such racial procedures and products are bought and sold today. The purchasable whiteness of Black-No-More portends, for example, the ever-popular dramatic spectacle of identity prosthesis on display in FX’s 2006 reality television show Black. White. about two “families trading races” (Ryan), a narrative of passing facilitated by blackface and whiteface. The ironic turn in the novel toward “dusky skin” and the sale of “skin stains” (178) predicts what the cultural theorist Ralina Joseph describes as the particular “post-race” marketability of the racially ambiguous models featured on the CW’s America’s Next Top Model, the competitive reality television show hosted and created by the African American supermodel Tyra Banks.16 Though both shows are conveyed globally through the newest digital technologies, these entertainments are clearly of a piece with theatrical forms of popular culture dating back to the nineteenth century. Perhaps it is not altogether surprising, then, that Schuyler’s satire foretells the power of these narratives even as we enter the twenty-first century

The idea of racism weakens workers ability fight capitalism


Reich 81 (Michael Reich is Professor of Political Economy at U. C. Berkeley “The Economics of Racism” 1981 http://tomweston.net/ReichRacism.pdf researched: 7-21)

How is the historical persistence of racism in the United States to be explained? The most prominent analysis of discrimination among economists was formulated in 1957 by Gary Becker in his book, The Economics of Discrimination. 6 Racism, according to Becker, is fundamentally a problem of tastes and attitudes. Whites are defined to have a "taste for discrimination" if they are willing to forfeit income in order to be associated with other whites instead of blacks. Since white employers and employees prefer not to associate with blacks, they require a monetary compensation for the psychic cost of such association. In Becker's principal model, white employers have a taste for discrimination; marginal productivity analysis is invoked to show that white employers lose while white workers gain (in monetary terms) from discrimination against blacks. Becker does not try to explain the source of white tastes for discrimination. For him, these attitudes are determined outside of the economic system. (Racism could presumably be ended simply by changing these attitudes, perhaps by appeal to whites on moral grounds.) According to Becker's analysis, employers would find the ending of racism to be in their economic self-interest, but white workers would not. The persistence of racism is thus implicitly laid at the door of white workers. Becker suggests that long-run market forces will lead to the end of discrimination anyway: less discriminatory employers, with no "psychic costs" to enter in their accounts, will be able to operate at lower costs by hiring equivalent black workers at lower wages, thus bidding up the black wage rate and/or driving the more discriminatory employers out of business.The approach to racism argued here is entirely different. Racism is viewed as rooted in the economic system and not in "exogenously determined" attitudes. Historically, the American Empire was founded on the racist extermination of American Indians, was financed in large part by profits from slavery, and was extended by a string of interventions, beginning with the Mexican War of the 1840s, which have been at least partly justified by white supremacist ideology. Today, by transferring white resentment toward blacks and away from capitalism, racism continues to serve the needs of the capitalist system. Although individual employers might gain by refusing to dis criminate and hiring more blacks, thus raising the black wage rate, it is not true that the capitalist class as a whole would benefit if racism were eliminated and labor were more efficiently allocated without regard to skin color. We will show below that the divisiveness of racism weakens workers' strength when bargaining with employers; the economic consequences of racism are not only lower incomes for blacks but also higher incomes for the capitalist class and lower incomes for white workers. Although capitalists may not have conspired consciously to create racism, and although capitalists may not be its principal perpetuators, never-the-less racism docs support the continued viability of the American capitalist system. We have, then, two alternative approaches to the analysis of racism. The first suggests that capitalists lose and white workers gain from racism. The second predicts the opposite—capitalists gain while workers lose. The first says that racist "tastes for discrimination" are formed independently of the economic system; the second argues that racism interacts symbiotically with capitalistic economic institutions.

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