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K's for Next Year

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I think that Pan's criticism is more attuned towards the justification and symbolic construction that underlies economic engagement with China - Even if China wants it, the narrative of United States exceptionalism is bolstered because the West frames them as a people who need our help. I don't think it's so much about a question regarding whether China wants it or not but rather the discursive justifications utilized by the West to engage in that economic engagement with China. I mean, it's gonna happen either way, what Pan want's to interrogate is the justifications we use to produce that economic engagement (i.e. Oriental constructions of China that frame them as a savage people in need of our help - rather than the very advanced society that they really are).  

 

This is literally what happened in the Latin American topic - a bunch of teams read that X country wants it, but that doesn't remove the fact that we (as in the West) unconsciously foster a narrative that replicates the same type of logic that was used for United States imperialism in the late 1800's (i.e. the notion that the "backyard" of the United States was full of savage, uneducated, monkeys that needed to be educated and "assimilated" to Western society).

 

Except China isn't some backwater country that can't defend itself. You could make a similar argument from the other side of the table, IE your portrayal of China is one of passivity and a lack of agency and self determination that ties back into the sexualjzation of Asian women or something, something, something

 

The US can't force China to make trade deals, we can't force them to accept economic or diplomatic support. In fact, in most cases it runs the other direction, where China is trying to gain access to more facets of our economy. The narrative you've described is only 1 sided, and frequently incorrect on a macro-political scale. For example, the TPP (although it excludes China) wasn't justified as a benevolent US lifting up all of the indigenous Asian economies -- every publication, negotiation, and argument the government has presented about why it's

1) Good for us

2) Or, good for everyone involved (along with, note, similar arguments and statements by these countries)

 

Your line of reasoning might apply to things like the aff's that use diplomatic pressure to stop China from oppressing it's Western Muslim population (I forget how to spelll it, it starts with a U). The problem is that you'd be hard pressed to find fault with those motives. Sure, they can be justified by the same rhetoric as colonial times, but contrary to what Decoloniality authors would choose to belive, sometimes non western powers do bad things to people. In this case you have to weigh the differential of material harms versus some diplomatic pressure that literally only CCP leadership cares about, so I fail to see how that results in (insert ridiculous impact about metaphysics here).

 

 

Ignore the typos, I'm on my phone and autocorrect is imperialist.

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Except China isn't some backwater country that can't defend itself. You could make a similar argument from the other side of the table, IE your portrayal of China is one of passivity and a lack of agency and self determination that ties back into the sexualjzation of Asian women or something, something, something

 

The US can't force China to make trade deals, we can't force them to accept economic or diplomatic support. In fact, in most cases it runs the other direction, where China is trying to gain access to more facets of our economy. The narrative you've described is only 1 sided, and frequently incorrect on a macro-political scale. For example, the TPP (although it excludes China) wasn't justified as a benevolent US lifting up all of the indigenous Asian economies -- every publication, negotiation, and argument the government has presented about why it's

1) Good for us

2) Or, good for everyone involved (along with, note, similar arguments and statements by these countries)

 

Your line of reasoning might apply to things like the aff's that use diplomatic pressure to stop China from oppressing it's Western Muslim population (I forget how to spelll it, it starts with a U). The problem is that you'd be hard pressed to find fault with those motives. Sure, they can be justified by the same rhetoric as colonial times, but contrary to what Decoloniality authors would choose to belive, sometimes non western powers do bad things to people. In this case you have to weigh the differential of material harms versus some diplomatic pressure that literally only CCP leadership cares about, so I fail to see how that results in (insert ridiculous impact about metaphysics here).

 

 

Ignore the typos, I'm on my phone and autocorrect is imperialist.

 

Ehhhh I haven't read the book itself (the book by Pan that is) so I'll admit that I don't really understand the nuances of the argument but I do believe that Pan goes the more high theory route, meaning that he means to interrogate the underlying narrative that develops subconsciously within our minds.

 

For instance - to go back to your example - when the TPP was being negotiated, although the rhetoric mirrored a mutual agreement; subconsciously, the West replicated the same narrative of white-as-savior in relation to China, framing the West as a benevolent group of people whom's actions are framed as a necessity for their well-being. I know that statistically this isn't the case; but I feel like what Pan's getting at is more of a Baudrillard-esque argument meaning that although reality gives us a different framework for understanding China, the image of China constructed within our minds (via a multitude of interacting symbolic economies and systems of power) serves as a structuring facet within the greater, much more IR approach to engagement with China. 

 

Of course, I haven't read the book so I may be, and probably are, talking out of my ass so take this with a grain of salt lmao 

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I'm pretty sure Pan would be pro-aff. Increasing economic and diplomatic ties sounds like the opposite of containment to me.

 

Funny enough, I think there might be a more realism oriented argument on the neg, about how increasing talks actually increases tensions between the two countries because of miscommunication and distrust.

 

I agree. Realism will be a common neg strat on right wing impacts with heg or nuke war

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In all seriousness, I would like to know the link. 

I mean, the ground is there for links of silence, the idea of the war back home, globalization is an antiblack function, foreign policy neglects harms against the black body etc. To be honest  links aren't difficult at all for such a generic K.

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In all seriousness, I would like to know the link. 

 

if you think that 1) anti-blackness isn't potent in China or 2) that US engagement w/ Asian countries isn't rooted in anit-blackness then you're wrong.

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if you think that 1) anti-blackness isn't potent in China or 2) that US engagement w/ Asian countries isn't rooted in anit-blackness then you're wrong.

2) is going to be the Kritik position more than likely

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anti-blackness in china looks REALLY different than anti-blackness in the US too. an aff that reads wilderson cards should always lose to the orientalism PIC that says "understand the contextual uniqueness of asian anti-blackness and generalizing Wilderson is american exceptionalist".

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There are more links on the China topic for Antiblackness than there were for surveillance in my opinion. I think that the link of omission will be a formative option every year but I can think of a few others. Economic growth is one, that America's drive for money leave blacks in the dust and only privileges the white upper class. The economic system in America was established through the exploitation of the black body meaning all growth within the system furthers Antiblackness. For International relations, you could get a link I the fact that sharing American ideals with China means sharing racism and Antiblackness with China. IR is literally the racial ideals of America gone global, an attempt to spread whiteness throughout the world. And focusing on growing relationship with allies completely ignored the daily struggled of being black in America.

 

 

I don't know these are just some basics thoughts I had but I think Antiblackness will win lots of rounds next year if run correctly.

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The economic system in America was established through the exploitation of the black body meaning all growth within the system furthers Antiblackness.

 

That really doesn't follow at all.

 

Actually, the antecedent isn't even true ("the" economic system?  There were multiple, and not all relied on slave labor.  And that's not the only problem with that claim).  But even if it was, the consequent does not follow logically.  (Compare: The Coca Cola corporation was founded on the exploitation of cocaine, so all growth of the Coca Cola corporation furthers cocaine use.  The consequent manifestly doesn't follow and is false besides).

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There are more links on the China topic for Antiblackness than there were for surveillance in my opinion. I think that the link of omission will be a formative option every year but I can think of a few others. Economic growth is one, that America's drive for money leave blacks in the dust and only privileges the white upper class. The economic system in America was established through the exploitation of the black body meaning all growth within the system furthers Antiblackness. For International relations, you could get a link I the fact that sharing American ideals with China means sharing racism and Antiblackness with China. IR is literally the racial ideals of America gone global, an attempt to spread whiteness throughout the world. And focusing on growing relationship with allies completely ignored the daily struggled of being black in America.

 

 

I don't know these are just some basics thoughts I had but I think Antiblackness will win lots of rounds next year if run correctly.

If we wanna be really anal with Wilderson; it's not global "spread of whiteness throughout the world" but rather more about the global spread of antiblackness throughout the world. I'm sure you already know this, but Wilderson says that the entire world operates off of the two (ontological) axioms of blackness and antiblackness; you could argue that whiteness is a facet of antiblackness but to say that whiteness is what results in the gratuitous violence conducted on black bodies is an egregious misinterpretation. 

 

I don't agree with anything Wilderson is saying so don't destroy me on this ; _ ; - I will, of course, answer any inquiries about what I said above :^)

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anti-blackness in china looks REALLY different than anti-blackness in the US too. an aff that reads wilderson cards should always lose to the orientalism PIC that says "understand the contextual uniqueness of asian anti-blackness and generalizing Wilderson is american exceptionalist".

One of my debaters is really persistent regarding this question of blackness structuring all other forms of oppression - When you say "contextual uniqueness" do you mean to say that the generalization going on with Wilderson's understanding of blackness doesn't assume the historical precedents which gave rise to racism in China; one of which wasn't informed by what Wilderson describes as anti-blackness in the United States? Would an explanation of the history of Chinese racism as being derived from other social conditions - none of which involve the United States - be a sufficient response to this idea that antiblackness in the United States is what structures antiblackness in China? 

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Antiblackness is a global structure  is it not , like my question i am kinda curious on is like could an antiblackness aff that mitigates antiblackness be like yo - we meet diplomatic - by adressing the root cause of antiblackness - then china as the oriental junior partner is gonna be doing better overall against the orietnal forms of violence? 

Dead ass curious 

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That really doesn't follow at all.

 

Actually, the antecedent isn't even true ("the" economic system?  There were multiple, and not all relied on slave labor.  And that's not the only problem with that claim).  But even if it was, the consequent does not follow logically.  (Compare: The Coca Cola corporation was founded on the exploitation of cocaine, so all growth of the Coca Cola corporation furthers cocaine use.  The consequent manifestly doesn't follow and is false besides).

I think Wilderson would disagree, in fact I think his thesis is that America as a whole is built on the predisposition of the black body. America was founded through changing the ontological condition of Africans into blacks, a subhuman positionality, then using blacks to build a country for them. America would not have gained power unless it took power from the blacks. The economic system didn't just rely on slave labor, but on the destruction of the black body.

 

 

The world writ large and civil society are preconditioned on the destruction of the black positionality

Wilderson, Professor UCI, 2003 (Frank B., “The Prison Slave as Hegemony’s (Silent) Scandal”, Soc Justice 30 no2 2003, Accessed 8-4-12, MR)

There is something organic to black positionality that makes it essential to the destruction of civil society. There is nothing willful or speculative in this statement, for one could just as well state the claim the other way around: There is something organic to civil society that makes it essential to the destruction of the Black body. Blackness is a positionality of "absolute dereliction" (Fanon), abandonment, in the face of civil society, and therefore cannot establish itself, or be established, through hegemonic interventions. Blackness cannot become one of civil society's many junior partners: Black citizenship, or Black civic obligation, are oxymorons.

 

 

 

 

 

The capitalist system was created through the exploitation of the black body – any progress results in anti-black violence 

 

Gabriel and Todorova 2, Satyananda J., Evgenia O., “Racism and Capitalist Accumulation: An Overdetermined Nexus,” Journal of Critical Sociology, 2002 

The pervasiveness of racial consciousness cannot help but shape the economic relationships in contemporary capitalist social formations. The interaction of racialized agents shapes the parameters of a wide range of economic processes such as market exchange transactions, employment contracts, pricing, capital budgeting decisions, and so on. The fact that one can observe patterns of differential economic success and failure based on racial categories is evidence of the impact of racism upon agents. Economic theories, both Marxian and neoclassical, have attempted to explain rational behavior of agents in the context of the market for labor-power. The Marxian approach has been to make sense of this market in the context of capitalist exploitation, for which the market in labor-power is a precondition. Capitalism presupposes the existence of free wage laborers. In the Marxian tradition, direct producers become "free" to sell their labor-power as a result of determinate social and natural processes. It is in this process of gaining capitalist freedom that the rationality of wage laboring is formed. Capitalist freedom came to exist in contrast to serfdom and slavery. In this sense, it was born of a complex association of ideas. In some instances, this would have included, from the earliest stages of capitalist development, ideas produced within racist paradigms. The wage laboring consciousness necessary for an agent to be willing and able to sell her labor power would have been influenced, in the Western Europe and Great Britain of early capitalist development, by aristocratic racism and then later by white supremacist racism. The perception of capitalist freedom, in contrast to serfdom or slavery, would certainly have made it easier to create, reproduce and expand the wage laboring consciousness. Thus, the creation of labor markets would, necessarily, be very different in an environment where direct producers view themselves as already free. There are countless stories of the difficulties of creating labor markets in African colonies, for instance. The classic case is that of Tanganyika, under German colonial rule, where resistance to working as wage laborers was so strong that entire villages would move rather than submit to the labor market in order to meet the imposed hut taxes. These villagers had lived as communal producers, collectively performing and appropriating surplus labor. Their history was one of collective decision-making, communal freedom, and the absence of racialized consciousness. Capitalist freedom did not appear to be an attractive alternative. This was not the case in Britain, Western Europe, or the United States, where the perceived alternative was, in many but not all cases, serfdom or slavery. Under those conditions, the legitimacy of capitalist freedom was less likely to be challenged. We have already mentioned the importance of dissociation to creating a wage laboring consciousness, one in which the individual can sell her labor power like so many bushels of tomatoes. The various forms of racialized consciousness that were prevalent in most capitalist social formations, having already produced forms of dissociation and alienation in the consciousness of direct producers and others, may have been critical to the rapidity with which labor markets were established and expanded 

 

 

 

The discussion of civil society is forever tied to the discussion of policing. The existence of a denigrated position allows and structures violence and policing – the existence of the non-human allows for the human and the world to exist

Wilderson, Professor UCI, 2003 (Frank B., “The Prison Slave as Hegemony’s (Silent) Scandal”, Soc Justice 30 no2 2003, Accessed 8-4-12, MR)

In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon makes two moves with respect to civil society. First, he locates its genuine manifestation in Europe - the motherland. Then, with respect to the colony, he locates it only in the zone of the settler. This second move is vital for our understanding of Black positionality in America and for understanding the, at best, limnitations of radical social movements in America. For if we are to follow Fanon's analysis, and the gestures toward this understanding in some of the work of imprisoned intellectuals, then we have to come to grips with the fact that, for Black people, civil society itself- rather than its abuses or shortcomings - is a state of emergency. For Fanon, civil society is predicated on the Manicheasm of divided zones, opposed to each other "but not in service of a higher unity" (Fanon, 1968: 38-39). This is the basis of his later assertion that the two zones produce two different "species," between which "no conciliation is possible" (Ibid.). The phrase "not in service of a higher unity" dismisses any kind of dialectical optimism for a future synthesis. In "The Avant-Garde of White Supremacy," Martinot and Sexton assert the primacy of Fanon's Manichean zones (without the promise of higher unity), even in the face of American integration facticity. Fanon's specific colonial context does not share Martinot and Sexton's historical or national context. Common to both texts, however, is the settler/native dynamic, the differential zoning, and the gratuity (as opposed to the contingency) of violence that accrues to the blackened position. The dichotomy between white ethics [the discourse of civil society] and its irrelevance to the violence of police profiling is not dialectical; the two are incommensurable whenever one attempts to speak about the paradigm of policing, one is forced back into a discussion of particular events - high-profile homicides and their related courtroom battles, for instance (Martinot and Sexton, 2002: 6; emphasis added).

 

 

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That really doesn't follow at all.

 

Actually, the antecedent isn't even true ("the" economic system?  There were multiple, and not all relied on slave labor.  And that's not the only problem with that claim).  But even if it was, the consequent does not follow logically.  (Compare: The Coca Cola corporation was founded on the exploitation of cocaine, so all growth of the Coca Cola corporation furthers cocaine use.  The consequent manifestly doesn't follow and is false besides).

What the hell was the tobacco, cotton, sugar, and rice trade founded upon? Certainly not indentured servant hood.. the only reason the north didn't use slaves was because the farming land was absolute garbage. You should also remember that the southern economy was incredibly more prosperous than the north for quite some time simply because it was able to profit off of free labor. 

 

I do agree that it does seem asinine to assume that all economic relations are an act of antiblackness simply because whites originally profited from slavery, but I do think you're just historically inaccurate in your understanding of the foundations of America. 

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One of my debaters is really persistent regarding this question of blackness structuring all other forms of oppression - When you say "contextual uniqueness" do you mean to say that the generalization going on with Wilderson's understanding of blackness doesn't assume the historical precedents which gave rise to racism in China; one of which wasn't informed by what Wilderson describes as anti-blackness in the United States? Would an explanation of the history of Chinese racism as being derived from other social conditions - none of which involve the United States - be a sufficient response to this idea that antiblackness in the United States is what structures antiblackness in China? 

I think that's exactly what it is. China's extreme ethnic homogeneity means that most antiblackness is formed from a vacuum -- lack of exposure to blackness -- getting filled in with (1) run-ins with random "bad" black people [Nigerians run most of the drug trade in Beijing, for example, so if you don't like drugs, you don't like them, and if they're all the Black people you know, then you don't like Black people] or (2) weak opinions from media (e.g. there's a vague sensability based on media portrayals of Black people as all muscular rappers ). 

 

Both of those differences matter too - if anti-blackness isn't an entrenched animus (like anti-Japanese sentiment is in China, jesus fuck), the solvency mechanism for it looks different. Without the pervasiveness of an irrational redneck-southerner-style prejudice, many things like legal reforms might work. When lawyers and judges are subtly anti-black, they can subvert the law's function subtly as well. But when there's no deep-seated hatred like there is in the U.S., a "burn it all down" approach not only doesn't solve, but is completely unnecessary. 

 

So you could explain this in round in one of several ways:

 

1) Perm. The net benefit is understanding unique positionalities of anti-blackness in China

2) Solvency takeout. Their understanding of anti-blackness is wrong because (relevant historical conditions that change Wilderson's analysis)

3) Orientalism kritik (personal fav, b/c it's more offense on the flow and could be a discourse K) - representing Western subjects as a neutral default and then projecting them onto Chinese subjects/subjectivities is racist, self-defeating, and inaccurate.

 

Antiblackness is a global structure  is it not , like my question i am kinda curious on is like could an antiblackness aff that mitigates antiblackness be like yo - we meet diplomatic - by adressing the root cause of antiblackness - then china as the oriental junior partner is gonna be doing better overall against the orietnal forms of violence? 

Dead ass curious 

Not without biting the K - and I think your post accidentally suggests why. China as "the oriental junior partner"? Yikes fam. Chinese anti-blackness isn't a weaker/lesser form of U.S. anti-blackness. Naming them the same thing is almost misleading; they have different origins, different ongoing causes, different consequences, and as a result require different methods to solve. Anti-blackness isn't global in the sense that there's not one single, master signifier of anti-blackness. 

 

That problem - the generalization of anti-blackness - actually goes deeper into Wilderson's analysis than just this topic, because it implies that even generalizing about anti-blackness in the U.S. is misguided (though without the orientalism issues). Smug liberals in New Hampshire have a very different, and honestly very much more dangerous form of anti-blackness than mouthy rednecks in Alabama. Young children have a very different anti-blackness than adults whose opinions have crystallized over decades. Women have a confusing relationship with anti-blackness because rape culture makes sexual assault a legitimate fear, but anti-blackness overdetermines that actually legitimate fear as especially pertinent to Black people. That (the poststructuralist reply to Wilderson) isn't necessarily an argument you have to win to win the orientalism k, though, because you could suggest that similarities in the U.S. are strong enough to justify generalizing, but you start biting orientalism stuff when you say "yeah, China is basically junior U.S."

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PNdebater: not a single thing you typed provides warrants for 'the economic system was founded on antiblackness' => 'all economic growth -> more antiblackness'.  I mean, sure, we can argue about the antecedent all day, but that doesn't prove the consequent follows from it, even if the antecedent is true.

 

 

I think Wilderson would disagree, in fact I think his thesis is that America as a whole is built on the predisposition of the black body. America was founded through changing the ontological condition of Africans into blacks, a subhuman positionality, then using blacks to build a country for them. America would not have gained power unless it took power from the blacks. The economic system didn't just rely on slave labor, but on the destruction of the black body.

 

Wilderson is welcome to disagree... that doesn't make him right.  I'm going to try to take you seriously, but your tendency to talk in sweeping generalities is going to make it hard to know what exactly it is you're talking about.

 

For example: What is this 'Founding of America'?  You mean the political event that was the founding of the United States?  You mean the colonial event that was the colonization of the Americas?  You mean the exploration event that was the discovery of America?  You say 'build a country for them', so i'm going to assume the first.

 

First, you can't change the ontological condition, that's a contradiction in terms.  If it can be changed, it's a contingent historical fact, and can be changed again.  If antiblackness is ontological, it cannot be changed and can never have been changed.  (This is a general problem with Wilderson - antiblackness is not ontological, and your argument here pretty much concedes that).

 

Second, the south using slave labor for plantation farming is hardly 'building a country'.  Did it build the economic prosperity of the South? Sure.  But the country?  The country is, in any real sense, a political document - the Constitution.  And while there was a compromise on slavery (the 3/5th clause), it wasn't the foundation of the political document, but a compromise to get all the states on-board.  The foundations were (classic) liberal political theory, most directly John Locke's 2nd Treatise on Government, which has absolutely nothing to do with antiblackness or any racial concepts.  

 

The North, on the other hand, built its prosperity on industry without reliance on slave labor.  Nothing in industry required the destruction of black bodies.  (If you'd like to argue otherwise, be specific.  What black bodies were destroyed and why.)

 

Finally, what does this have to do with the economic system?  What system?  Be specific what you mean here.  I mean, you throw three cards at me, but only one of them addresses a specific economic system or how that system was racist (and it's claims are sweeping generalities with no evidence).  (preemptive note: the southern plantation system was not capitalism.  It was a form of mercantilism that predates Capitalism and has its roots in the Latin American hacienda system - importing slave labor was an attempt to create a system of exploitation similar to what the Spanish had instituted in Mexico and South America with native populations, but where there were insufficient natives to enslave and exploit.  Which also means that antiblackness isn't actually primary, it's rooted in anti-native american-ness).

 

 

The world writ large and civil society are preconditioned on the destruction of the black positionality

Wilderson, Professor UCI, 2003 (Frank B., “The Prison Slave as Hegemony’s (Silent) Scandal”, Soc Justice 30 no2 2003, Accessed 8-4-12, MR)

There is something organic to black positionality that makes it essential to the destruction of civil society. There is nothing willful or speculative in this statement, for one could just as well state the claim the other way around: There is something organic to civil society that makes it essential to the destruction of the Black body. Blackness is a positionality of "absolute dereliction" (Fanon), abandonment, in the face of civil society, and therefore cannot establish itself, or be established, through hegemonic interventions. Blackness cannot become one of civil society's many junior partners: Black citizenship, or Black civic obligation, are oxymorons.

 

There isn't a warrant anywhere in this card.  It's just a series of claims.  (There may be warrants following this text that you did not produce, but they are not here to be analyzed.  No seriously, this is an egregiously cut card.)

 

 

The capitalist system was created through the exploitation of the black body – any progress results in anti-black violence 

 

Gabriel and Todorova 2, Satyananda J., Evgenia O., “Racism and Capitalist Accumulation: An Overdetermined Nexus,” Journal of Critical Sociology, 2002 

The pervasiveness of racial consciousness cannot help but shape the economic relationships in contemporary capitalist social formations. The interaction of racialized agents shapes the parameters of a wide range of economic processes such as market exchange transactions, employment contracts, pricing, capital budgeting decisions, and so on. The fact that one can observe patterns of differential economic success and failure based on racial categories is evidence of the impact of racism upon agents. Economic theories, both Marxian and neoclassical, have attempted to explain rational behavior of agents in the context of the market for labor-power. The Marxian approach has been to make sense of this market in the context of capitalist exploitation, for which the market in labor-power is a precondition. Capitalism presupposes the existence of free wage laborers. In the Marxian tradition, direct producers become "free" to sell their labor-power as a result of determinate social and natural processes. It is in this process of gaining capitalist freedom that the rationality of wage laboring is formed. Capitalist freedom came to exist in contrast to serfdom and slavery. In this sense, it was born of a complex association of ideas. In some instances, this would have included, from the earliest stages of capitalist development, ideas produced within racist paradigms. The wage laboring consciousness necessary for an agent to be willing and able to sell her labor power would have been influenced, in the Western Europe and Great Britain of early capitalist development, by aristocratic racism and then later by white supremacist racism. The perception of capitalist freedom, in contrast to serfdom or slavery, would certainly have made it easier to create, reproduce and expand the wage laboring consciousness. Thus, the creation of labor markets would, necessarily, be very different in an environment where direct producers view themselves as already free. There are countless stories of the difficulties of creating labor markets in African colonies, for instance. The classic case is that of Tanganyika, under German colonial rule, where resistance to working as wage laborers was so strong that entire villages would move rather than submit to the labor market in order to meet the imposed hut taxes. These villagers had lived as communal producers, collectively performing and appropriating surplus labor. Their history was one of collective decision-making, communal freedom, and the absence of racialized consciousness. Capitalist freedom did not appear to be an attractive alternative. This was not the case in Britain, Western Europe, or the United States, where the perceived alternative was, in many but not all cases, serfdom or slavery. Under those conditions, the legitimacy of capitalist freedom was less likely to be challenged. We have already mentioned the importance of dissociation to creating a wage laboring consciousness, one in which the individual can sell her labor power like so many bushels of tomatoes. The various forms of racialized consciousness that were prevalent in most capitalist social formations, having already produced forms of dissociation and alienation in the consciousness of direct producers and others, may have been critical to the rapidity with which labor markets were established and expanded 

 

Where to start...

 

1. Differential results is not prima facia evidence for racism.  The authors fail statistics forever.  (I'm going to concede there was an effect of racism, but that you can detect differences between any two or more arbitrary groupings of people is not evidence for it.  That kind of claim implies a total ignorance of statistics.  Imagine you throw three blue darts and three green darts at a dart board.  The sum of the green darts score higher.  That's due to chance, not because you're biased against blue darts).

 

2. The first sentence is kind of key here.  It explicitly treats racial consciousness as something separate from the economic system.  Yes, given people hold significant beliefs about racial membership, it is going to affect their actions (in the economic realm and elsewhere).  That's not just true of contemporary 'capitalist social formations' (whatever that means - capitalism is an economic system), but any and all systems, including 'contemporary religious social formations' (church / congregations), 'contemporary political social formations' (parties), and other economic systems including 'contemporary marxism/socialist formations' (social and otherwise - Cuba or Venezuela, for example).  

 

I might note that if the problem is 'racial consciousness', then the solution can't be militant black pessimism (ie, Wilderson) which drives a different narrative of racial consciousness.  The solution has to be the elimination or minimization of racial consciousness.  Otherwise you just get different racism determining the outcome.

 

3. "In some instances, this would have included, from the earliest stages of capitalist development, ideas produced within racist paradigms. The wage laboring consciousness necessary for an agent to be willing and able to sell her labor power would have been influenced, in the Western Europe and Great Britain of early capitalist development, by aristocratic racism and then later by white supremacist racism."

 

First, weasel words.  Which ideas?  What racist paradigms?  

 

Second, the early capitalists in Great Britain were anti-aristocrat.  Aristocratic ideals didn't contribute to the rise of Capitalism - rather, the rise of Capitalism depended on the rise of rule of law, which came about in Great Britain as a limiter on the power of the aristocracy and monarchy.  The early capitalists were fundamental in ending serfdom in GB, which happened against the wishes of the aristocracy.  (For the origins of Capitalism and it's development, I'd start with Robinson and Acemoglu's excellent and specifically contextualized discussion in Why Nations Fail).  Notably, aristocrats in mainland europe generally opposed capitalism and the creative destruction it entailed.

 

Third, how is racism intrinsic to early capitalist development.  Be very specific.

 

4. Contra the author, slavery and serfdom don't involve labor markets.

 

5. "The classic case is that of Tanganyika, under German colonial rule, where resistance to working as wage laborers was so strong that entire villages would move rather than submit to the labor market in order to meet the imposed hut taxes. These villagers had lived as communal producers, collectively performing and appropriating surplus labor. Their history was one of collective decision-making, communal freedom, and the absence of racialized consciousness."

 

The author is fundamentally unbelievable on their claims here.  Not in the historical fact regarding resistance to colonial rule, but in their interpretations of why.

 

Decision-making was not communal.  Village elites made decisions.  This is evident in problems with productivity in Africa today, where in a lot of countries local elites still effectively control the land around villages, which disincentivizes farmers making capital improvements that increase productivity, because the elites could just give control of the improved land to a favored subordinate the next year. (Why Nations Fail discusses Africa in some detail on this point).

 

And there was no absence of racialized consciousness.  The Hutus and the Tutsis were killing each other in Rwanda over a tribal conflict that predates colonialism.  Sierra Leone in the 60s and 70s had the rail infrastructure (built by the British) torn up and destroyed because it benefited some tribal groups over others, and when a different tribal group siezed government power, they destroyed the rail system to hurt their rivals.  (Also in Why Nations Fail).  The conflict in Darfur province of Sudan was fundamentally racist.  (I use the past tense because the genocide is at this point complete).  Heck, the Atlantic Slave Trade that Wilderson et al. take as fundamental to antiblackness only existed because of racial conflicts internal to Africa which led some tribal groups to enslave others and sell them for profit.  That conflict and slave-taking predates the discovery of the Canaries, much less the discovery and colonization of the Americas.  Your authors are being positively pastoral here, and that kind of idyllic nostalgia for a past that never was is the opposite of serious scholarship.

 

Finally, that wasn't a challenge to 'capitalist notions of freedom'.  African tribal social structures survived colonialism - resistance was effectively the resistance of an entrenched local aristocracy who refused to adopt the ways of the colonizer because it threatened their local control, just like aristocracies in europe fought the spread of capitalism and the end of serfdom.  (A key example in the European situation involves trains as well.  Both Austria and Russia were highly skeptical of and limited the expansion of the rail system in their countries, because they felt it made it too easy for serfs to leave their land and disappear to elsewhere - it threatened their local control, so they opposed it). 

 

------

 

The last Wilderson card is also light on warrants, which are non-existent for its critical claims.  The warrants, if they exist, are in the work of these other scholars - Wilderson is mostly summarizing and contrasting here.  The only warrant actually in the card is at the end, about policing.

 

I'd suggest Wilderson is just wrong here on several levels.  On the one hand, in a world with no policing, there'd be nothing to stop people from committing crimes.  Considering the epidemic of violence in black inner city communities, that actually hurts black communities more.  On the other hand, that anarchal world without civil society would rapidly empower armed gangs that vie for control of territory.  The successful ones would eliminate rivals and claim larger chunks of territory.  They'd institute rules and enforce them.  In short, they'd create a police force, and become a nascent state with a 'civil society' (such as it was) they protected.  (Given humanity's long history of strongmen and authoritarian regimes, these organic states are unlikely to be bastions of freedom.  Also, given our fear of difference, they're likely to be profoundly racist and religiously bigoted too).  Basically, what you get is a dystopian version of the Nozickian argument.

 

I would also argue that the basis for our civil society is Rule of Law, not antiblackness.  While imperfectly implemented, that we even perceive these things as injustices at all proves that we've accepted the fundamental logic of Rule of Law.  RoL is a young concept, dating to the 16-17th centuries in England.  Yes, people abuse the system in ways that disrupts RoL, but that abuse of the system isn't the system itself.  Prior to RoL, these kinds of injustices weren't even noticeable.  In Aristocratic europe, aristocrats simply had the right to abuse their peasants and determine guilt without trial.  No one questioned it because it was part of the "natural order".  (Why Nations Fail also spends significant time talking about the benefits and origins of Rule of Law).  

 

Rule of Law is also at the roots of the end of legal slavery, not just in the west, but worldwide.  (The islamic world also has a long history of slavery and antiblackness, and that black slavery predates european black slavery by centuries and continues past the end of slavery in the west.  British opposition to slavery and its 19th century global enforcement against slave trading in its colonies and on the seas was a significant cause of its end).

 

Nothing in this Wilderson card demonstrates that all economic growth feeds antiblackness though.  In fact, all your cards are curiously silent on economic growth.

 

What the hell was the tobacco, cotton, sugar, and rice trade founded upon? Certainly not indentured servant hood.. the only reason the north didn't use slaves was because the farming land was absolute garbage. You should also remember that the southern economy was incredibly more prosperous than the north for quite some time simply because it was able to profit off of free labor. 

 

I do agree that it does seem asinine to assume that all economic relations are an act of antiblackness simply because whites originally profited from slavery, but I do think you're just historically inaccurate in your understanding of the foundations of America. 

 

Yes, the south's mercantilist agrarian economy was based on slavery.  (Which was an institution founded upon and modeled after the Spanish hacienda system).  

 

The north's industrial economy, the actual (mostly) capitalist system, was not.  These are entirely separate systems.  (Which is why i ask about which economic system - because pretending there's only a single economic system in the early US is farcical).

 

Historical newsflash: the north's industrial economy won.  Not only that, but the entrepreneurial nature of the capitalist system led to the innovations that ultimately eliminated the need for a large agrarian workforce, including solving the (subsequent to slavery) problem of share-cropping that kept black families in the south impoverished.

 

The modern US economic system's roots aren't in slavery, they're in industrialization.  Plantation farming is a dead-end system.  It's only remaining economic relatives are in hellholes like Uzbekistan (A dictatorship where school children are used as slave labor for their cotton industry).

 

Anyway, that was the basis of my claim, which is far more historically accurate than anything Wilderson has written on the subject.  (I'm not sure what you found problematic, since all i questioned was that it was one system).

 

(I'm not sure I believe you on 'incredibly more profitable'.  I mean, substantially profitable, yes.  But Boston and New York were major harbors for reasons that had little to do with plantation farming directly.  Capitalism could only take off in the northern states because northern capitalists were able to accumulate wealth to invest in profitable ventures.)

 

Anyway, my more important point (that even assuming a slave-driven economic origin of american capitalism, it doesn't necessarily imply any economic growth feeds antiblackness) still stands.

Edited by Squirrelloid
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And there was no absence of racialized consciousness.  The Hutus and the Tutsis were killing each other in Rwanda over a tribal conflict that predates colonialism.  

Stopped at this part of the post because this is some made-up historical revisionist bullshit. 

 

http://www.globalissues.org/article/429/rwanda

 

And as Robbins summarized, “the Rwandan disaster was hardly a simple matter of tribal warfare or ancient hatreds. It was the case of an excolonial, core-supported state threatened with core-initiated economic collapse and internal and external dissension resorting to genocide to remove the opposition that included, in this case, both Tutsis and moderate Hutus.”

 

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/etc/cron.html 

 

Both Germany and Belgium turned the traditional Hutu-Tutsi relationship into a class system. The minority Tutsi (14%) are favored over the Hutus (85%) and given privileges and western-style education. The Belgians used the Tutsi minority to enforce their rule.

 

 

 

Edited by Snarf
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I would also argue that the basis for our civil society is Rule of Law, not antiblackness.  While imperfectly implemented, that we even perceive these things as injustices at all proves that we've accepted the fundamental logic of Rule of Law.  RoL is a young concept, dating to the 16-17th centuries in England.  Yes, people abuse the system in ways that disrupts RoL, but that abuse of the system isn't the system itself.  Prior to RoL, these kinds of injustices weren't even noticeable.  In Aristocratic europe, aristocrats simply had the right to abuse their peasants and determine guilt without trial.  No one questioned it because it was part of the "natural order".  (Why Nations Fail also spends significant time talking about the benefits and origins of Rule of Law).  

 

Rule of Law is also at the roots of the end of legal slavery, not just in the west, but worldwide.  (The islamic world also has a long history of slavery and antiblackness, and that black slavery predates european black slavery by centuries and continues past the end of slavery in the west.  British opposition to slavery and its 19th century global enforcement against slave trading in its colonies and on the seas was a significant cause of its end).

 

 

So from what I understand; you're saying that people denouncing certain acts as an "injustice" grants legitimacy to the claim that we have "accepted the fundamental logic of Rule of Law." I don't necessarily understand what you mean by Rule of Law here so I need some clarification; when you speak of Rule of Law do you mean the literal legal writ written a few centuries ago that served as the legal foundations for the establishment of the Articles of Confederation and then the United States, or do you refer to something else - like a Kantian ethical universalism - that serves as a basis for our actions? I understand the following sentences could be interpreted as, "Yeah I mean literal legal writ because my Europe examples exemplifies how prior to Rule of Law, the aristocrats could do whatever they wanted." But this still begs the question of what you mean by Rule of Law? 

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Rule of law is being used to refer to the notion that the government has a social or moral monopoly on use of force, I think. It's not the literal document, it's the respect people have for such documents.

It's true that the Hutus and Tutsis peacefully coexisted prior to colonialism, but to say there was no awareness of race or ethnicity at that time seems like exaggeration. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_Hutu_and_Tutsi seems to support the idea that they were at one time genetically distinct, which would imply some kind of migration occurred, and obviously at the time of migration the two groups would not have self-identified with each other. The notion of race, culture, ethnicity, and class that existed at that time was probably somewhat muddled and very different than the European one, but I don't think it should be thought of as nonexistent.

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Stopped at this part of the post because this is some made-up historical revisionist bullshit. 

 

http://www.globalissues.org/article/429/rwanda

 

 

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/etc/cron.html 

 

I'm interpreting the competition between various kingdoms (8 at one stable point) with definitive Hutu and Tutsi affiliations of their monarchs, as conflict.  I mean, it's not like we have great documentation.

 

Regardless, the local recognition of a difference between Tutsi and Hutu is older than colonialism in Rwanda.  Colonialism did not create that racial consciousness, it was already there when colonialism arrived.

 

What colonialism did do was pick winners and losers from among those groups.  In particular, the Germans backed the most successful of those monarchs (a Tutsi monarchy that had been absorbing the other kingdoms) and strengthened his rule - basically used him as a puppet in exchange for providing soldiers.  The Belgians then took control following WW1, and ultimately distributed power among Tutsi chieftains they felt they could control, much like their administration of the Congo.  

 

So yes, the colonial administrators certainly didn't help matters, and helped cause the circumstances of the genocide.  But they didn't create the racial consciousness - they exploited the existing racial consciousness.

 

(I'm not claiming colonialism was good here, nor that it had no responsibility, just that it didn't create racial consciousness).

 

In a similar case, one of the big problems with middle eastern states is that they're based on British administrative units, not anything representative of actual groups on the ground.  So you put a whole bunch of tribal and racial groups together in countries that don't get along.  The current strife in Iraq is a case in point here.  (And the Kurds, in particular, have been victims of colonialism both by the British and the Ottomans before them).  Colonialism didn't create these groups - it was the insensitivity of the colonial powers to their existence and differences which led to situations where oppression was inevitable.

 

Finally, i don't consider the killing of moderate Hutus at all counter-indicative of this.  Perceived collaborators with the 'enemy' have generally been considered targets in conflicts.

 

Edit: We also shouldn't whitewash the Tutsi collaboration in this.  From your first source:

"Not surprisingly, Tutsi welcomed these ideas about their superiority, which coincided with their own beliefs. In the early years of colonial rule, Rwandan poets and historians, particularly those from the milieu of the court, resisted providing Europeans with information about the Rwandan past. But as they became aware of European favoritism for the Tutsi in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they saw the advantage in providing information that would reinforce this predisposition. They supplied data to the European clergy and academics who produced the first written histories of Rwanda. The collaboration resulted in a sophisticated and convincing but inaccurate history that simultaneously served Tutsi interests and validated European assumptions. "

 

The Tutsi certainly seem to think they were involved in a racial conflict with Hutus, and used European favoritism to promote a 'history' that favored their group.

 

So from what I understand; you're saying that people denouncing certain acts as an "injustice" grants legitimacy to the claim that we have "accepted the fundamental logic of Rule of Law." I don't necessarily understand what you mean by Rule of Law here so I need some clarification; when you speak of Rule of Law do you mean the literal legal writ written a few centuries ago that served as the legal foundations for the establishment of the Articles of Confederation and then the United States, or do you refer to something else - like a Kantian ethical universalism - that serves as a basis for our actions? I understand the following sentences could be interpreted as, "Yeah I mean literal legal writ because my Europe examples exemplifies how prior to Rule of Law, the aristocrats could do whatever they wanted." But this still begs the question of what you mean by Rule of Law? 

 

Rule of Law is the idea that the law applies to everyone equally.  "Lex, Rex" as it were.  ("Law is king").  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law

 

Before Rule of Law, there was no reason to expect the same law to apply to the aristocrats and the monarch as to the peasants.  The monarch, in particular, was the embodiment of the state, and was the law in some sense.  Before Rule of Law, a Monarch typically had the power to declare law as he saw fit, subject only to his ability to enforce it.  Law was a matter of getting enough nobility on-board to have sufficient force of arms to compel obedience, otherwise the monarch risked noble revolts.  How you get to Rule of Law in England was a long, complicated process that started with the Magna Carta (beginning the process of nobles claiming power from the king), and involving the English Bill of Rights (1689).  Over time, more and more segments of the population gained the effective power (military in the case of nobility, economic in the case of capitalists, disruptive in the case of laborers) to demand a seat at the table.  Capitalism had a key role in this expansion in Great Britain, whose ideas of rule of law were brought to the colonies that became the United States.  

 

(The Napoleonic Wars and the Napoleonic Code - informed as it was by French revolutionary ideals - is a key part of the story in continental Europe, although it's probably also complicated there too).

 

Anyway, without a concept of Rule of Law, there's no basis for recognizing injustice on the basis of differential treatment by class or group, because it's Rule of Law that makes us believe all people should be subject to the same laws.

Edited by Squirrelloid
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