The alternative is to embrace a radical strategy of revolution—only after the demise of capital can we solve racism
San Juan 05 (Epifanio, Filipino American literary academic, mentor, cultural reviewer, civic intellectual, activist, writer, essayist “From Race to Class Struggle: Marxism and Critical Race Theory”, Nature, Society and Thought 18:3, 2005, http://homepages.spa.umn.edu/~marquit/nst183a.pdf#page=5)//AS
Nevertheless, without framing all these within the total picture of the crisis of capital and its globalized restructuring from the late seventies up to the present, and without understanding the continued domination of labor by capital globally, we cannot effectively counteract the racism that underwrites the relation of domination and subordination among nationalities, ethnic communities, and gender groups. The critique of an emergent authoritarian state and questionable policies sanctioned by the USA Patriot Act is urgently necessary. In doing so, naming the system and understanding its operations would be useful in discovering precisely that element of self-activity, of agency, that has supposedly been erased in totalizing metanarratives such as the “New World Order,” the “New American Century” that will end ideology and history, and in revolutionary projects of achieving racial justice and equality. As the familiar quotation goes, we do make history—but not under circumstances of our choosing. So the question is, as always, “What alternatives do we have to carry out which goals at what time and place?” The goal of a classless communist society and strategies to attain it envisage the demise of racist ideology and practice in their current forms. But progressive forces around the world are not agreed about this. For example, the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance–NGO Forum held in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 7 September, 2001 publicized the global problem of racism but was unable to formulate a consensus on how to solve it. Its ﬁ nal declaration highlighted the historic origin of racism in the slave trade, colonialism, and genocide, and it raised the possibility of reparations for its victims, but did not offer a concrete program of action (see Mann 2002). Because of its composition and the pervasive climate of reaction, the Forum could not endorse a radical approach that would focus on the elimination of the exploitation of labor (labor power as commodity) as a necessary ﬁ rst step. Given its limits, it could not espouse a need for a thoroughgoing change of the material basis of social production and reproduction—the latter involving the hegemonic rule of the propertied bloc in each society proﬁ ting from the unequal division of labor and the unequal distribution of social wealth—on which the institutional practices of racism (apartheid, discrimination, genocide) thrive. “Race is the modality in which class is lived,” as Stuart Hall remarks concerning post- 1945 Britain (Solomos 1986, 103). Without political power in the hands of the democratic-popular masses under the leadership of the working class, the ideological machinery (laws, customs, religion, state bureaucracy) that legitimizes class domination, with its attendant racist practices, cannot be changed. What is required is a revolutionary process that mobilizes a broad constituency based on substantive equality and social justice as an essential part of the agenda to dissolve class structures. Any change in the ideas, beliefs, and norms would produce changes in the economic, political, and social institutions, which would in turn promote wideranging changes in social relations among all groups and sectors
The alternative reclaims revolutionary class politics to endorse a transformation of capitalism that solves racism
Young 06 (Robert, Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature. At New York University, “Putting Materialism back into Race Theory: Toward a Transformative Theory of Race”, The Red Critique 11, Winter/Spring 2006, http://www.redcritique.org/WinterSpring2006/puttingmaterialismbackintoracetheory.htm)//AS
This essay advances a materialist theory of race. In my view, race oppression dialectically intersects with the exploitative logic of advanced capitalism, a regime which deploys race in the interest of surplus accumulation. Thus, race operates at the (economic) base and therefore produces cultural and ideological effects at the superstructure; in turn, these effects—in very historically specific way—interact with and ideologically justify the operations at the economic base . In a sense then, race encodes the totality of contemporary capitalist social relations, which is why race cuts across a range of seemingly disparate social sites in contemporary US society. For instance, one can mark race difference and its discriminatory effects in such diverse sites as health care, housing/real estate, education, law, job market, and many other social sites. However, unlike many commentators who engage race matters, I do not isolate these social sites and view race as a local problem, which would lead to reformist measures along the lines of either legal reform or a cultural-ideological battle to win the hearts and minds of people and thus keep the existing socio-economic arrangements intact; instead, I foreground the relationality of these sites within the exchange mechanism of multinational capitalism. Consequently, I believe, the eradication of race oppression also requires a totalizing political project: the transformation of existing capitalism—a system which produces difference (the racial/gender division of labor) and accompanying ideological narratives that justify the resulting social inequality. Hence, my project articulates a transformative theory of race—a theory that reclaims revolutionary class politics in the interests of contributing toward a post-racist society. In other words, the transformation from actually existing capitalism into socialism constitutes the condition of possibility for a post-racist society—a society free from racial and all other forms of oppression. By freedom, I do not simply mean a legal or cultural articulation of individual rights as proposed by bourgeois race theorists. Instead, I theorize freedom as a material effect of emancipated economic forms. I foreground my (materialist) understanding of race as a way to contest contemporary accounts of race, which erase any determinate connection to economics. For instance, humanism and poststructuralism represent two dominant views on race in the contemporary academy. Even though they articulate very different theoretical positions, they produce similar ideological effects: the suppression of economics. They collude in redirecting attention away from the logic of capitalist exploitation and point us to the cultural questions of sameness (humanism) or difference (poststructuralism). In developing my project, I critique the ideological assumptions of some exemplary instances of humanist and poststructuralist accounts of race, especially those accounts that also attempt to displace Marxism, and, in doing so, I foreground the historically determinate link between race and exploitation. It is this link that forms the core of what I am calling a transformative theory of race. The transformation of race from a sign of exploitation to one of democratic multiculturalism, ultimately, requires the transformation of capitalism.
Postmodernist critiques of Marxism are false—a revolution against capital is necessary now more than ever
McLaren and Farahmandpur 03 (Peter and Ramin, Professor in the Division of Urban Schooling, the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles and Professor of Education at Portland State University, “Breaking Signifying Chains: A Marxist Position on Postmodernism”, Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory, Lexington Books, March 2003, http://books.google.com/books/about/Marxism_Against_Postmodernism_in_Educati.html?id=nK_UST5ng6gC)//AS
Regardless of where we position ourselves at the crossroads of history, our location is always precarious and risky. Though we are tempted always to look beyond the agony of the present moment into the sublime abyss of the unknown, we cannot avoid encountering the violent clash between labor and capital. We are at a peculiar juncture in human history that tantalizes us with the promise of redemption and liberation while delivering on its threat of corruption and despair. We are suspended precariously between the revolution and counter revolution, which Rosa Luxemburg so forcefully referred to as a choice between socialism and barbarism. We face the future much like the observers of The Ambassadors, a masterpiece painted by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1533 that now hangs in London's British Museum. Below the figures of two ambassadors is a large skull that appears drastically out of proportion when viewed head-on. The distortion corrects itself, however, when viewed at a sharp angle from below the bottom right hand side of the painting. The painting was meant to be viewed from below, possibly as one walked up the stairs to one's bedroom to pray before sleeping. Presumably, the observer would be reminded of one's mortality. The lesson for us voyagers in the new millennium is that we need to position ourselves from below, from the perspective of the suffering masses, in order to see what is happening in the capitalist world system, and how mortality is something the masses confront on a daily basis, and not because they can aftbrd to commission a painting, much less own a house in which to hang it. Marx's description of capitalism as the sorcerer's dark power that has become uncontrollable is even more apt today than it was in Marx's time, despite the fact that Marxism has been relegated by the postmodemists to the Icarian Status of failed aspiration. No other individual has been able to analyze the Frankensteinian dimensions of capital accumulation with the same intensity and foresight as Marx, who wrote, "If money _ . . "˜comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,' capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."2 Never before has a Marxian analysis of capitalism been so desperately needed than at this particular juncture in history, especially in view of the global push toward finance and speculative capital. It is becoming increasingly clearer that the quality of life in capitalist nations such as the United States is implicated in the absence of freedom in less developed countries. Global carpetbaggers and "˜bankerist Overworlders' profiteering from human suffering, and bargain basement capitalists with a vision of transforming the environment into Planet Mall, are bent upon reaping short-term profits at the expense of ecological health and human dignity and drawing ever more of existence within their expanding domain, cannibalizing life as a whole. On the soil of our former Cold War opponent, a clique of wealthy Russian oligarchs now follow the Westem path to redemption, pillaging existing state property- the refmeries, steel mills, smelters, pipelines, mineral deposits and factories' The state picks up the bill, while the former proletariats surf the black market for rent money. The World Bank calls it "tough love."