Tuesday, 22 November 2016

RACISM IN THE WESTERN LEFT

From "Divided World, Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism” book by Zak Cope

“A great deal of political and economic capital is invested in rac­ist discourses. Racism is not simply the epiphenomenal accretion of market mechanisms but, rather, a means of organising market forces politically. In Western Europe and the USA, the working class has no tradition of anti-capitalism that has not been derailed by economic and political embourgeoisement relying upon (national and interna­tional) racial discrimination for its substance. The alliances and al­legiances formed by the metropolitan working class with states, par­ties and labour organisations that have consistently and vociferously promoted and upheld imperialism has ensured that the rights and interests of its victims have always appeared at best nugatory and at worst injurious politically. The political consciousness of the metropolitan working class is attuned to its historical interest in defending the status quo against any and all anti-imperialist rebellion. While the scapegoating of immigrants and ethnic minorities for social problems is exacerbated by capitalist governments’ refusal to supply adequate social needs (jobs, housing and equal rights) equally for all citizens, rivalry between the First World’s long-term white residents and non-white communities over resources and life opportunities is based on the former having decisive material, political and cultural advantages which they endeavour to preserve at the latters expense. Thus the organised labour movement in the core countries has not only neglected to struggle against the special oppression of the op­ pressed working class, it has actively involved itself in supporting imperialism.

White supremacy is sustained in and through imperialist capi­talism. The established organs of imperialist democracy collude in and promote the racial-hierarchical management of class conflict. As such, the racism of the working class at the centres of the world capitalist system is not the result of a kind of sweeping backward consciousness as many socialists and liberals would have it. Rather, it is the end result of a process of political struggle wherein the eco­nomic and political privileges of living in an imperialist nation have come to seem natural and acceptable to the majority therein. The growth of racism occurs through the reproduction of the established mode of production of the contemporary era; that is, the practices of capitalism and its concomitant neocolonialism, imperialist division of labour, border controls and wars. Only in understanding these phenomena, their political supports and their dehumanising effects, can we begin to effectively challenge racist discourses and practices.”