Theorizing Anti-Racism Linkages in Marxism and Critical Race Theories

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racism has flourished. However, most of this work falls on one side or
advancement of anti-racist theory.
is a professor and Chair in the Department of Social
University of Toronto.
enakshi dua
Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality
and Women’s Studies at York University, Toronto.
University of Toronto Press 2014
Toronto Buffalo London
Printed on acid-free, 100% post-consumer recycled
Critical theory.
Bakan, Abigail B. (Abigail Bess), 1954–, author,
Dua, Enakshi, 1958–, author, editor.
HM480.T54 2014
University of Toronto Press acknowledges the nancial assistance to its
publishing program of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario
University of Toronto Press acknowledges the nancial support
of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund
Introducing the Questions, Reframing the Dialogue
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond
enakshi dua
Introduction to Chapter 3
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
Foucault in Tunisia
robert j.c. young
Not Quite a Case of the Disappearing Marx: Tracing the Place
enakshi dua
Introduction to Part II: Marx and Anti-Racism
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
Introduction to Chapter 6
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice:
Introduction to Part III: Legacies of, and Relationships
among, Key Anti-Racist Thinkers
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois:
, Writing Heresy
anthony bogues
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
audrey kobayashi and mark boyle
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements
in South Africa
eunice n. sahle
Part IV: Interventions in Race, Class, and State
Introduction to Part IV: New Interventions in Intersections
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua

the “Jewish Question”

Race, Sovereignty, and Empire: Theorizing the Camp,
sunera thobani

sedef arat-koç

This book represents a truly collaborative effort, as it reects both of
our long-standing commitments to social justice research and praxis.
supportive editor. We would also like to thank Carolyn Zapf, our copy
editor, for her careful eye in editing our chapters before publication.
We are grateful to the University of Toronto Press and to the anony
mous reviewers whose comments on earlier versions of the collection
contributed to a stronger volume.
We have also been aided by outstanding support. In the first stage
of the project, Vivian Lee was instrumental in organizing the initial
workshop that inspired the volume. Meghan Mills’s assistance in fol
lowing up with contributors helped to keep the collection on track.
Paul Kellogg provided technical support for the workshop. A special
edge her son, Jashan Dua, and her collection of nephews and nieces,
Akshay Goodrich Dua, Hannah Goodrich Dua, Alican Arat-Koç, Kan
ishka Christoffson, Rahul Christoffson, Kira Gellatly-Ladd, Savita
Gellatly-Ladd, Asha Motayne-Trotz, Kai Motayne-Trotz, Suvan Joshi,
Syona Joshi, and Jamie Rygiel-Baban. When Jashan was five and Ena
at her one day while playing with a Spiderman car. “Mom,” he said
stuff of their being. Abbie is still learning to comprehend and appreci
This book represents a genuine collaboration, greater than the sum of
its parts. It is both a finished project, of which we are genuinely proud,
and part of an ongoing work in progress, one part of a conversation,
that demands all due modesty.
Linkages in Marxism and Critical Race Theories

Introducing the Questions, Reframing
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
The aim of this collection is to advance critical scholarship in theorizing
race, racism, and anti-racism by recognizing the pivotal importance of
this collection will encourage related discussions across paradigms.
This collection is the product of a continuing conversation. The text
was preceded in September 2008 by a scholarly workshop held in
Toronto, Ontario, organized with the support of the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Queen’s University,
and York University. Re-theorizing race and racism, the theme of this
in this collection were developed from early drafts rst presented there.
Other contributions have been added to address particular issues not
discussed at the foundational workshop. The present collection there
fore builds on this initial conversation and shares further contributions
made to date. Rather than revisiting the historic polarization in these
bodies of work, we have attempted to shift the discussion towards an
integrated analysis regarding various entry points, case studies, and
Introducing the Questions, Reframing the Dialogue
tensions, we suggest, can be productively addressed and transcended
Clearly, a focus on Marxist and anti-racist scholarship encompasses
a breadth of literature that would be impossible to address in a single
volume. Certainly scholars working under the rubric of Marxism have
varied profoundly, according to their regional or historical focus, or
theorizations of power, identity, and discourse, while shedding light
on some aspects of the production and reproduction of race and rac
ism, have tended to obscure others. A number of Marxist theorists
have argued that postcolonial approaches to race and racism have
underemphasized materiality and capitalism, and that the turn to Fou
cault may in fact obscure our understandings of how race and racism
are related to capitalism (see, for example,
At the same time, the particular contribution of Marxist theory, his
tory, and
organization to postcolonial studies, conceptualizations of
racialization, and anti-racist emancipatory movements and ideas has
inspired an
expanding literature (see, for example,
Brennan 2002
Austin 2008
Blackburn 2011
). Within this total
ity, where
capitalism is understood as not only an economic but also a
social and political system, issues such as the role of centralized state
authorities, uneven development, and hegemony can be understood
in the context of racialization. Orientalism, European culture, moder
nity, and whiteness are constituted signicantly through a dynamic
global capitalist mode of production, and, institutionally and ideo
logically, within and among capitalist states within a global system
of power.
To address these issues, the rst two sections of this volume are orga
and racism. Following this introduction to the volume, we, as editors,
offer specic introductions to various sections. These begin with a sec
Introducing the Questions, Reframing the Dialogue
noted in the mid-1990s, the “two halves of the current debate about ‘late
global capitalism – have indeed largely proceeded in relative isolation
from one another” (1996, 257–8). An important element caught in the
abyss of this wider debate is the place of race and racism. This has impli
cations beyond abstract theory – not least in the context of increased
post-9/11 racial proling and border regulations, rising global migra
tion, emerging policy debates regarding multiculturalism and diver
sity, and the ongoing implications of the Arab Spring. We suggest there
is growing recognition among critical scholars that these debates have
Certainly, some scholars have attempted to offer
such an exploration. They include Marxist writers such as
Bolaria and Li (1985)
Galabuzi (2006)
Satzewich (1992)
culture, and nation. Similarly, postcolonial and/or critical race theo
Dei, Karumanchery, and Karumanchery-
are these tensions isolated from global events. Thus, we revisit various
writers to explore their insights and consider how these can contribute
to current debates. Fourth, as an emerging number of contemporary
theorists have been putting forward frameworks that integrate race,
class, and state, we ask if this work can offer models with which we can
These analyses inspire the next two sections of the volume. Following
a brief introduction from the editors consistent with the presentation of
earlier sections, “Legacies and Relationships” revisits and highlights
some classic thinkers, including their contributions and interactions,
through readings rooted in understandings of both Marxism and criti
cal race approaches. This section comprises three chapters: “C.L.R.
James and W.E.B. Du Bois:
Black Jacobins
Black Reconstruction
, Writ
ing Heresy and Revisionist Histories” by Anthony Bogues; “Coloniz
ing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon” by Audrey Kobayashi and Mark
Boyle; and “Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in
South Africa” by Eunice N. Sahle. The next and nal section of the vol-
ume, “Interventions in Race, Class, and State,” is briey introduced to
highlight the value of an intersectional approach to these issues. The
section includes four chapters that address new, or unpack earlier,
Introducing the Questions, Reframing the Dialogue
than forcing this extensive area of inquiry within the limited context of
acknowledge the serious limitation. The second notable absence is the
politics of social reproduction, gender, and sexuality. The intersections
of race, gender, sexuality, and class, and the varying forms of family
that shape and inscribe anti-racist theorization, regarding both daily
and generational social reproduction, are similarly pivotal to the ques
tions addressed in this volume. Signicantly, both of us have arrived
at the current project through intellectual journeys largely inspired by
debates emerging from the contributions, as well as the limitations, of
feminist and queer studies (see
Bakan and Stasiulis 1997
; Dua 1999,
. Rather than presume that these major
areas of enquiry could be adequately addressed in single chapters on
indigeneity and gender, we have opted to afrm their absence. We
note that these questions are addressed in some of the chapters, but
we recognize the limitations of the collection in providing a compre
hensive consideration of these important dimensions. We invite further
contributions for future publications.
As the volume proceeds, supported by editorial introductions and an

Others, of course, have fuelled the divisions. See Vivek Chibber,
(London: Verso, 2013).
Abu-Laban, Yasmeen, and Abigail B. Bakan. 2012. “Contested Origin Stories
Power.” In
Towards the Dignity of Difference? Neither ‘the Clash of Civiliza-
tions’ nor ‘the End of History,’
edited by Andy Knight and Mojtaba Mahdavi,
400–27. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Press.
Anderson, Kevin B. 2010.
Introducing the Questions, Reframing the Dialogue
We begin this collection with three chapters that examine the influence
of Foucault on critical race theory. Indeed, as many have noted, Fou
cault’s work has resonated with critical race theorists, leading to the
characterization that critical race theory and postcolonial theory are
cault made of Marx and Marxism. In this section, we ask if there are
alternate readings of Foucault’s writings that would allow for conver
gence with a Marxist epistemology. As authors in this section note, the
critiques made by Foucault and Foucauldian theorists are often con
flated with the critiques made by critical race theorists. These chap
ters therefore examine the specific critiques that notable critical race
theorists have made of Marx and Marxism, and just as importantly,
their significant – and often overlooked – points of divergence with
Foucault’s epistemology.
ing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse,” documents the movement to
Foucauldian approaches by many scholars theorizing race and racism.
Focusing on the interventions of Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, and Edward
Introduction to Part I: Foucault
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
formative, original, and nuanced reconsideration of Foucault. The
tional post-structuralist theorist, suggesting that the characterization
of Foucault’s work as devoid of considerations concerning materiality
needs to be re-examined. Young thus draws important attention to the
salience of common misreadings of Foucault that have been inscribed

enakshi dua
My chapter comes out of my intellectual and political history. As a
tually. Politically, it seemed to me that central to challenging any form
of oppression was the necessity of a praxis that addressed the power of
inist, I was quite aware of the contradictions within such a political
and intellectual positionality. Intellectually, I was profoundly engaged
with challenging Eurocentric aspects of Marxist development theory.
groups that focused on singular issues of sexism, racism, or imperialism.
Raising the issue of racism in feminist and left-wing political groups,
discourse, power, and identity to explore the complexities of race and
Deploying Foucault’s concepts, these writers suggested that
race and racism have been constructed through projects of modernity,
colonialism, and slavery that were premised on “knowing” the colo
nized. Drawing on Foucault’s emphasis on the social construction of
ties are located in discourses of “race.” These writers pointed out that
it was through knowing the Oriental or colonized subject that Euro
peans came to have an understanding and articulation of European
ness, whiteness, culture, democracy, and citizenship (see
Said 1978
Goldberg 1993
). Notably, much of this work also implicitly drew on
Foucault’s notion of power as diffuse and unlocalized – thus impli
cating white working class and white feminist identities in projects
Ware 1992
). I found these approaches to be powerful, in particular the
Foucauldian-inspired approaches to race and rac
ism? As the two theorists employ very different epistemological frame
As I reected on these matters, I began to question the perceived
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
While Marxists and postcolonial theorists have offered important
race and racism. Thus, in this chapter, I delineate the bodies of work
that specically address race and racism, which I refer to as “critical
race theory.” I use the terminology of both postcolonial and critical race
theory to address a continuum of critical scholarship on theorizing race
and racism. My narrowing of the scholarship is heuristic: it allows a
race and racism. Complicating my use of the term “critical race theory”
is that this term has emerged with multiple meanings in a number of
where it is deployed in reference to a specic theorization of race that
refers to anti-racist legal theory, as well as to feminist approaches to
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
deal of oversimplication, caricature, and trivialisation has crept into
tion that postcolonial theory is complicit with imperialism obscures the
attraction that many have had to Foucauldian-based concepts, includ
ing discourse, identity, and regulation, as well as the contributions
characterizing postcolonial theory as being devoid of considerations of
material relations, these critics not only polarize theorizing about race
and racism, but obscure the tensions that actually inscribe this body of
Moreover, under the rubric of “postcolonial theory,” many theorists
ping a genealogy. As inuential as these two theorists have certainly
The re-evaluation of the possibilities for Marxist approaches to race
intellectual and political currents during this period. First, in the wake
of 1968, a broader re-evaluation of Marxism took place within the Left
in the West. A number of theorists, including Raymond Williams, E.P.
Thompson, Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, and Ernesto Laclau, began
to question the economism that was widely perceived to characterize
post-war Western Marxism.
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
institutional practices of racism operated, the Left responded not only
Within this economic, political, and intellectual context, theorists
Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Louis Althusser, and Robert Brenner.
While most of these theorists overlooked questions of race and rac
ism specically, this body of work generated a number of writings on
how to theorize modes of production, capitalism, the state, and class.
In addition, as Abigail Bakan suggests in “Marxism and Anti-Racism:
capitalist forms of slavery were not associated with racism, Hall argued
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
signicantly different relations to capital? (339)
Finally, Hall pointed out that if we concede that racism is the product
of multiple historical forces, this requires a reassessment of a Marxist
epistemology that does not allow for racism, in turn, to affect economic
In contrast, Hall argued that race has an autonomous effect
also, the modality in which class is ‘lived,’ the medium through which
class relations are experienced, the form in which it is appropriated and
‘fought through’” (1980, 341).
Complicating the study of the role of economic forces and class was
the question of the social construction of white identities. Indeed, a
focus of the CCCG’s RPG was the lack of analytical attention given to
the study of whiteness by Marxist and sociological theorists. As Hall
pointed out, suggesting that race is a modality through which class
ways, are articulated in part through race” (1980, 41). Identifying white
ness as a site of study raised a number of thorny issues. As Hall noted:
It is not simply sufcient to see racism as operating as a false ideology,
where white workers are “duped” into identifying with the interests of
capital/ists. This is no mere racist conspiracy from above. For racism is
also one of the dominant means of ideological representation through
which the white fractions of class come to “live” their relations to other
fractions, and through them to capital … This is not to treat racism as, in
any simple sense, the product of an ideological trick. (341)
Gilroy (1987)
phobia, Englishness, Britainness, militarism, and gender differences.
temological and ontological tools required to study race and racism.
A number of valuable studies have helped illustrate the depth of the
the social construction of race and practices of racism throughout the
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
In this context, Edward Said’s text
provided an opportunity to re-examine the history of ideas regarding
race. It also opened new conversations regarding the ways in which
East is produced as voiceless, sensual, despotic, irrational, female,
and backward. By contrast, the West is produced as moral, dynamic,
democratic, rational, male, and progressive. Notably, in undertaking
Importantly, Said’s turn to Foucault was as much tied to understand
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
while Said attempts to illustrate how Europe constructed the “Orient”
as an imaginary and united whole, Said in turn constructs a West that
Moore-Gilbert (1997)
through which power circulates” (204). And echoing Said, Hall argued
which projects of modernity, colonialism, and capitalism intersect in
Notably, in “The West and the Rest,” Hall expanded on Said’s use of
an avenue through which scholars could explore the ways in which the
structural conditions of colonization and decolonization come to shape
subjectivity, and, under such circumstances, limit how the colonial sub
ject is able (and unable) to resist. I would suggest the move to subjec
tivity allowed those theorizing race and racism to overcome some of
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
inside, was also tied to discursive operations of nation, representation,
subjectivity, knowledge, politics, and resistance, is it possible to com
bine the insights of two such different approaches? While a number
of theorists have suggested that synthesis is not possible (see, for
Bhabha and Comaroff 2002
a conclusion is not obvious. As Quayson has suggested, it would be
“very stimulating to be able to attend to both the discourse and materi
seeming polarization of the two approaches, the task remains to think
through these tensions in a creative and constructive manner.
Notably, a number of scholars continued to work with Marx’s epistemology.
For example, see the interview with Himani Bannerji in Chapter 6 of this
Notably, a critique of economism and a re-evaluation of the relationship
ideological reading of signication.
as noted, “[I]t is true that in its adoption of the Althus-
serian version of Marxism the Birmingham Centre was part of the dominant
mood of left intellectual culture during this period, which was overwhelm-
Notably, Hall’s engagement with Marxism and thus theorizing race and
racism was rooted in the larger project of the Birmingham Centre for Con-
temporary Cultural Studies. As a longstanding member of the Centre, Hall
was active in the Centre’s debates on culture and ideology, putting forward
a number of critiques of economic reductionism and the concept of articula-
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
argued that as black and minority politics are
really distillations of class conict, any movements that are based on a
notion of a black community are ultimately doomed to failure.
Notably, Hall does not generalize these critiques to all Marxists. He points
Gramsci’s concept of hegemony at a site that can offer particular insights
that allow theorists to overcome such limitations. Hall states, “Gramsci
may help to counteract the overwhelming weight of economism (Marxist
and non-Marxist) that has characterized the analysis of post-Conquest and
Notably, for much of his intellectual career, Hall had been raising crucial
questions of Marxist approaches to economy and ideology (see, for exam-
Pointing to the role of the unconscious was a crucial move, as it allowed
Bartolovich, Crystal. 2002. “Introduction: Marxism, Modernity, and
edited by Crystal Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus, 1–20. Cambridge:
University Press.
Bhabha, Homi. 1984. “Representation and the Colonial Text: A Critical Explo-
Cambridge University Press.
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). 1982.
The Empire Strikes
. London: Hutchinson/Centre for Con-
Clifford, James. 1988.
Revisiting Genealogies: Theorizing Anti-Racism beyond the Impasse
–. 1996. “The After-Life of Frantz Fanon: Why Fanon? Why Now? Why ‘Black
The Fact of Blackness: Frantz Fanon and Visual Repre-
, edited by Alan Read, 13–31. London: ICA.
Globalization and the World-System: Contemporary Conditions for the
Representation of Identity
, edited by Anthony King, 41–68. Minneapolis: Uni-
versity of Minnesota Press.
–. 2010. “Life and Times of the First New Left,”
hooks, bell [Gloria Jean Watson]. 1992. “Representing Whiteness in the Black
, edited by Lawrence Grossberg, Cary
Nelson, and Paula Treichler, 338–42. London: Routledge.
Janmohamed, Abdul. (1983) 1988.
Colonial Contest.
New York and London: Routledge.
Quayson, Ato. 1999.
Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice or Process?
Said, Edward. 1978.
. London: Vintage Books.
San Juan, Jr, E. 2002. “Postcolonialism and the Problematic of Uneven Devel-
Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus, 221–39. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Scott, David. 2005. “Interview, Practice and Theory: Interview with David
90 (Winter).
London: Routledge.
White Mythologies: Writing History and the West
Introduction to Chapter 3:
Foucault in Tunisia
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
Robert J.C. Young’s chapter “Foucault in Tunisia” is a particularly sig
of common misreadings of Foucault. These have been inscribed in the
materialism”: namely Marxist and Foucauldian. In so doing, Young
actually does address issues of materiality in his writings. Foucault, he
suggests, illuminates the way in which knowledge “works in the realm
of materiality and the body, in the domain of objects and specific histor
ical practices” (399). Thus, for Young, Foucault’s framework is not only
Young suggests that such an acknowledgment allows us to inter
Gayatri Spivak, as offering an intermediary space where the differing
Foucault in Tunisia
robert j.c. young
Foucault’s Silence: Sidi-Bou-Saïd and the Context of
It is not only with respect to discourse that Foucault has been a central
Robert J.C. Young
curiously circumspect about the ways in which power operated in
these arenas. Challenging this absence, Ann Laura Stoler has teased out
the implications of his concept of biopower for the history of colonial
racialized practices
Stoler 1995
). Foucault’s own silence on these issues
is striking. In fact his work appears to be so scrupulously Eurocentric
Foucault in Tunisia
Robert J.C. Young
specically as the “Western episteme” ([1966] 1970, 378; cf.
Foucault in Tunisia
)’Orientalism describes a system of apparent knowledge about the Orient but one in which “the Other”
from that Orient is never allowed, or invited to speak: the Oriental
Other is rather an object of fantasy and construction. Among postcolo
nial critics, this account of the discursive representation of Orientalism
has subsequently been balanced by attention to the reality which that
representation missed or excluded and has inspired a whole movement
Robert J.C. Young
notion of discourse is therefore rened through a number of concepts
that make it clear that in most respects the concept of discourse is very
different from any conventional notion of text. It does not refer to sen
tences, propositions, or representations, and is not organized or uni
ed according to any psychological, logical, or grammatical categories.
Foucault in Tunisia
The point about Orientalism however, in Said’s account, is that it devel
of representation that misrepresents what is really there. This implies
an ideology-versus-reality distinction, or signier-signied distinc
tion, which Foucault’s analyses explicitly reject. Indeed Said’s stress on
Robert J.C. Young
following Said, it is the last that corresponds to Foucault’s analytic
description: a discourse amounts to a “regulated practice” that accounts
for a group of statements. It is not an all-encompassing, amorphous
category, neither homogeneous nor unied. A discourse is rather made
are diffused and scattered in locational terms, but which make up a
regularity. Much of
The Archaeology
is taken up with dening how the
density of systematicities, a tight group of multiple relations” (76).
Foucault rejects the straightforward idea that a discourse could be
common style and manner, or a system of concepts, or that develop a
medicine, economics, or grammar, their objects, the statements made
Foucault in Tunisia
object or concepts that it constructs. The regularity of a discourse will
the formation of concepts and strategies. Discourse analysis consists of
hinges. Only Hom
Bhabha (1994)
has fully engaged with the Foucauld
ian account of enunciation and developed it into a unique instrument of
Robert J.C. Young
Foucault in Tunisia
brought into its domain according to its rules. The boundaries of a
discourse will therefore be permeable, but this does not undermine
the consistency of its own rules of formation. Rather, it reinforces the
degree to which any discourse will be in a permanent state of inter
action with languages, events, circumstances, other discourses, as all
intrinsic parts of its own operation. Foucault employs the term “posi
tivity” to describe the modality, the mode of being, the conditions of
Robert J.C. Young
)?” Who, in other words, has the
institutional, legal, and professional status that allows the speaker to
occupy this discursive site? Foucault uses as his example the complex
or documentary eld, which includes not only the books and treatises
traditionally recognized as valid, but also all the observations and case-
positioned differently in relation to his various professional activities:
Foucault declares that he will
look for a eld of regularity for various positions of subjectivity. Thus
a thinking, knowing, speaking subject, but, on the contrary, a totality, in
Foucault in Tunisia
subjects” (122). Foucault does not, as McNay observes, provide an
account of the means whereby certain subjects are enabled to take up
model does not preclude analysis or foregrounding of the forms and
Robert J.C. Young
One is dealing with events of different types and levels, caught up in dis
tinct historical webs; the establishment of an enunciative homogeneity in
number of principles from which everything else would ow, as inevitable
Foucault’s remark here indicates that his idea of discourse is almost the
very opposite to Said’s as elaborated in
. Within an “enun
ciative regularity” Foucault suggests there are “interior hierarchies,”
developing in a tree-like structure, with “governing statements” at the
root, but burgeoning differential activities at the branches (147). Within
a single discourse, although the general eld, “the denition of observ
able structures and the eld of possible objects,” will operate as the
tinct from or even incompatible with each other, will be developed at
Nothing would be more false than to see in the analysis of discursive for
mations an attempt at totalitarian periodization, whereby from a certain
moment and for a certain time, everyone would think in the same way, in
spite of surface differences, say the same thing, through a polymorphous
vocabulary, and produce a sort of great discourse that could travel over in
any direction. (165)
Moreover, discourses are themselves made up of relations with other
discourses. There is no vast, smooth surface of a unitary generalized
discourse; rather, there are varied, distinct systems of statements. Fou
cault calls these the “archive.”
The unity of a discourse therefore lies not in its concepts, its represen
tations, its themes, but in its underlying system of rules. A discursive
historical processes.
Foucault in Tunisia
These systems of formation must not be taken as blocks of immobility,
static forms that are imposed on discourse from the outside, and that
dene once and for all its characteristics and possibilities … A discursive
formation … does not play the role of a gure that arrests time and freezes
Robert J.C. Young
analysis operates as the exact opposite of all attempts to recover forms
calls “the living plenitude of experience.” Discourse is not about the
direct representation, or misrepresentation, of experience. Foucault’s
There is not, on the one side, a discourse of power, and opposite it, another
discourse that runs counter to it. Discourses are tactical elements or blocks
operating in a eld of force relations; there can exist different and even
trary, circulate without changing their form from one strategy to another,
opposing strategy. ([1976] 1978, 21–2)
Power works through a “dominance without hegemony,” in Ranajit
Guha’s phrase, and it is this characteristic of the production of power
realized; it is rather “a multiple and mobile eld of force relations,
Foucault in Tunisia
of Sexuality
goes further to suggest that repression, rather than being
restrictive, has the very opposite effect and breeds a proliferation of
and repression, far from silencing anyone, produced a proliferation
of subaltern discourse – as indeed it did. The sites of enunciation and
forms of discourse would in many cases be different from those of the
colonialism, it would operate as a counter-discourse. For Foucault, the
shows that there can
be counter-discourses, but within the terms of a particular discursive
apparatus, only certain subalterns will be authorized to speak. This
that operate elsewhere for different constituencies and institutions.
A Foucauldian Model of Colonial Discourse
If we take the problems that have been articulated with respect to colo
nial discourse outlined earlier, it can be argued that a colonial discourse
developed according to Foucault’s model would not be vulnerable to
most of the objections posed. The problem of historicity, the objection
that colonial discourse dehistoricizes, or that it produces a textualized
version of history; the labyrinthine questions of representation and its
relation to the real; the complaint that the uniform homogeneity of colo
Robert J.C. Young
involved a political activity and organization that developed its own
forms of knowledge as part of its activities of domination and exploita
historical emergence of colonialism as a specic practice that operated
according to successive administrative regimes. Colonial discourse
would necessarily be different from the kind of discourses, such as that
of psychiatry or medicine, analysed by Foucault. First, it is not that of
a profession, nor of a discipline, nor a self-constituted body of knowl
gration, and so forth.
Foucault in Tunisia
Robert J.C. Young
according to different rules and would therefore not work directly
within colonial discourse proper. Such analysis, however, would have
to be concerned with demonstrating the dialectical deconstructive
This chapter was originally published in Robert J.C. Young,
An Historical Introduction
(Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), 395–410.
This essay was written before the publication of Foucault’s Lectures at the
The Location of Culture
Bolton, Kingsley, and Christopher Hutton. 1995. “Bad and Banned Language:
Foucault in Tunisia
Colonial Language Policy in Hong Kong.”
Robert J.C. Young
West Africa, 1884–1915
. Chur, Switzerland: Harwood.
Said, Edward W. (1978) 1985.
Orientalism: Western Representations of the Orient
–. 1986. “Foucault and the Imagination of Power.” In
Foucault: A Critical
, edited by David Couzens Hoy, 149–55. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. 1971.
Iron in the Soul
Scott, David. 1995. “Colonial Governmentality,”
Social Text
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 1987.
In Other Words: Essays in Cultural Politics

Marx: Tracing the Place of Material
enakshi dua
A pervasive assumption in the many genealogies written about the rela
tionship of Marxism to postcolonial theory is that the two paradigms
are polarized and oppositional. For those who work within postcolo
decline of Marxism. For example, Robert Young, editor of
cultural and economic objective of much of the third world” (1998, 8).
Writers working within a Marxist framework have responded that
sequences of these “missing” components have led some, in an extreme
formulation, to suggest that postcolonial and critical race theorists are
In this chapter, I contest the characterization that those theorizing
Young 1995b,
cault’s conceptualization of discourse as a phenomenon that “produces
reality,” one that “produces domains of objects and rituals of truth”
A number of theorists agree with Ato Quayson’s argument
that “there is a need to attend to the material, social and economic fac
tors within which any discourse is framed” (1999, 7). The concern that
Foucault’s conceptualization of discourse marginalizes material rela
tualizations of power, resistance, subjectivity, identity, and history. It
that “Foucault requires some supplementation” (2005, n.p.).
While a number of key theorists have registered concerns with Fou
Edward Said: Power, Resistance, Subjectivity,
As we have seen, Edward Said, in
was pivotal in intro
Notably, the same year as
was published, Said published
an often overlooked article, “The Problem of Textuality: Two Exemplary
Positions” (1978b), in which he expands on his reservations with Fou
that focuses on a historical analysis, in this
motive forces in history such as prots, ambition, ideas, the sheer love
of power” (ibid.). In addition, Said points out (what would later be
Young 1995b
analysis is itself characterized by an Orientalist ontology.
He does not seem interested in the fact that history is not a homogenous
Williams, Jacques Derrida, E.P. Thompson, Roland Barthes, Noam
Chomsky, Eric Hobsbawm, Georg Luk
cs, and Louis Althusser. While
personal disciplines of authority. Though obviously anxious to avoid vul
In a subsequent chapter, “Travelling Theory,” Said elaborates on con
paradoxical relationship with Foucault. On one hand, Said recognizes
the signicance and utility of Foucault’s conceptualization of power.
He unequivocally states that in his opinion, “Foucault has no peer, and
what he has done is remarkably interesting by any standard. As he says
for power to work it must be able to manage, control, and even cre
elaborate on the implications for thinking about resistance. He rearticu
lates his paradoxical relationship with Foucault. On one hand, he notes,
“Foucault was certainly right – and even prescient – in showing how
discourse is not only that which translates struggles or systems of dom
ination, but that for which struggles are conducted” (153). Said also
concurs with Foucault’s argument that power is unremitting. “Foucault
argued that in the modern period, there is an unremitting and unstop

text, the individual writer, resistance, and subjectivity. Particularly if we
alongside “The Problem of Textuality” (both of which
customs, or religions of the colonized, was consistently put at the ser
Thus, Said’s conceptualization of discourse, ideology, and power
does lead him to conate the spheres of knowledge, culture, and mate
rial relations, illustrating that the three are intimately connected and
constituted through each other. Each aspect of the Orientalist formation
reinforces the others. Pre-existing notions of an “Orient” allowed for
peoples and cultures for study. Such study provided representations
of the customs of subject peoples. These representations of the colo
tity. Second, Hall suggests that a productive way to resolve the tensions
However, Hall goes on to note a number of signicant reservations
reference to material
Hall points out that without integrating the concept of ideology into
a conceptualization of power, Foucault’s understanding of discourse
Thus, Hall argues that a nonreductive concept of ideology would
point to processes of normalization, regulation, and surveillance.
decentred subject with that of Marxist concepts concerning the power
of dominant groups and resistance. On the one hand, Hall posits that
constitutive struggle.
ism has been a genuine struggle to synthesize aspects of Foucauldian
epistemology with that of Marx(ism); similarly, this struggle is one of
the principle sources of its productivity. While my focus has been on
the writings of Edward Said and Stuart Hall, beginning with Said’s ini
Balibar, Robert Young, Ania Loomba, David Scott, Ato Quayson, and
the socio-cultural congurations of the postcolonial world order, with
plenty of room for internal development and debate” (1999, 13).
I would suggest that synthesizing Foucault and Marx has led to
ism, colonialism, nationalism, culture, modernity, and whiteness.
of nowhere, but are located in the experience of the subject in labouring
In addition to these theorists, notably both Bhabha and Spivak have cri-
Foucault proposed his concept of discourse as an alternative to Marx’s
concept of ideology, which he argued was problematic for three concomi-
tant reasons. First, Foucault maintained that “it [ideology] always stands in
the domination of ideas as the fundamental force in the creation of
the subject. As much of his writing illustrates, the modern subject is
formed through minute and pervasive material practices exercised on the
body through which the modern well-disciplined subject is produced.
Third, Foucault challenged Marx’s notion of ideology because the concept
Notably, many other writers have also attempted a synthesis of the writ-
ings of Marx and Foucault. For examples in Marxist theory, see
Moore-Gilbert 1997
, most reviews of Said’s
work have overlooked his references to both Marx and Marxist thought.
I will argue these references to Marx and Marxism signal crucial insights
into Said’s epistemology.
Concomitant to Foucault’s rejection of the concept of ideology is his
rejection of the Marxist idea that the subject is an ideological construct in
which the true self is repressed
). Having rejected the
phenomenological subject, Foucault elaborated a new theory of power, in
which power does not repress the subject but rather creates it (ibid.). For
It is important to note that this article was published in the same year as
. As I will suggest, reading “The Problem of Textuality: Two
Exemplary Positions” (1978b) in relation to
Notably, Janmohamad, Porter, and Gandhi have made similar criticism of
Balibar (1992)
As a result, Hall points out that anti-racist projects focusing on reconstruct-
ing a national culture so those racialized as minorities can nd legitimate
positions from which to speak within it are as important as more tradi-
tional forms of class struggle (1997, 404).
Ahmad, Aijaz. 1994.
Classes, Nations, Literatures
. London: Verso.
Balibar, Étienne. 1992. “Foucault and Marx: The Question of Nominalism.” In
, edited by Timothy J. Armstrong, 38–56. New
York: Routledge.
Balibar, Étienne, and Immanuel Wallerstein. 1991.
. London: Verso.
Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977,
translated by Colin Gordon, Leo Marshall, John Mepham, and Kate Soper;
edited by Colin Gordon. Brighton, UK: Harvester.
–. 1982. “The Subject and the Power.”
, edited by Paul Rabinov. New York: Pantheon
–. 1988. “Technologies of the Self.” In
Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with
, edited by L.H. Martin, H. Gutman, and P.H. Hutton, 16–49.
Razack, Sherene. 2002.
–. 1986. “Foucault and the Imagination of Power.” In
Foucault: A Critical
, edited by David Couzens Hoy, 149–55. Oxford: Blackwell.
Culture and Imperialism
. New York: Vintage.
Said, Edward, and Gauri Viswanathan. 2001.
Power, Politics, and Culture:
Interviews With Edward Said
San Juan, Jr, E. 2002. “Postcolonialism and the Problematic of Uneven Devel-
Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus, 221–39. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlighten-
. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. doi:10.1215/9780822386186.
–. 2005. “Interview, Practice and Theory: Interview with David Scott,” by
90 (Winter).
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 1988. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” In
Introduction to Part II:
Marx and Anti-Racism
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
In order to disrupt the claim that Marx’s vast body of writing does not
offer critical resources with which to study race and racism, this sec
tion is comprised of two articles that revisit Marx’s work in order to
propose alternative, and arguably more accurate, readings. Notably,
such a claim can overlook the number of critical race theorists who
work within a Marxist framework. In this section, we look at two such
theorists. First, Abigail B. Bakan, in a chapter titled “Marxism and Anti-
essay titled “Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice: Reec

presented as chaotic and inexplicable, “messy” and apparently arbi
), re
ading difference through Marx suggests that this
apparent chaos can be rendered knowable. Difference can be under
stood not as the result of unchanging relationships that point to frag
mentation, or as multiple but universally equivalent forms of power,
but as processes of social conict disciplined by an underlying – if
what Raya Dunayevskaya has termed the assertion of the revolutionary
subject, anti-racist responses also develop, which attempt to challenge
and overcome certain forms of difference grounded in alienation and
oppression while stressing unity against capital and imperialist power
racism to the machinizations of strictly economic life” (7–8). Frances
Henry and Carol Tator trace the origins of the notion of a specically
“cultural politics of difference” (1999, 108) to Cornell
West (1990)
analysis of racism as part of the construction of “discourses of domina
tion” in Canada rejects what they see as the simplistic reductionism of
Marxism in favour of an approach inspired by Foucault based on cul
tural studies (Henry and Tator 2002, 31–2).
and Antonio Gramsci, but rejects the general Marxist framework as
Eurocentric and a victim of Orientalism (
). Theodore
challenges classical Marxist views from within a Marxist
whiteness as integral to the emergence of the consciousness and divi
sions in the US working class. Allen attempts to redene the concept of
class formation in the process.
the complex and often contradictory experiences of racism
Marx’s work, while prescient regarding the general workings of capi
talism as a system, was also marked by the dominant Eurocentrism and
Orientalism of his place and time (
Anderson 2010
). A long legacy of “vul
gar Marxism” has engendered particular challenges in moving beyond
Himani Bannerji acknowledges the problematic tension, insisting on
the integration of Marx and Fanon in explaining the complex interac
tions and intersections of class and race as well as gender. She calls for
an understanding of difference as “more than classicatory diversity,”
the continuing power of ‘race’ along with class as a source of socially
structured inequality – is surely one of the great political challenges of
the twenty-rst century” (2006, 118, 248).
The “Difference” in Marx: Exploitation and Beyond
If racism cannot be reduced mechanistically to a system of exploitation,
it is also important not to reduce Marx’s conception of exploitation to
a purely economistic category isolated from oppression and alienation.
Resnick and Wolff (1989)
relationship of class exploitation to other forms of difference by indicat
ing that it is not only the process of surplus production that shapes class
relations in the capitalist system, but also the process of surplus distri
bution. These processes are not only connected in the lived experience
of capitalist social relations, but are also the subject of Marx’s
While much attention has been devoted to volume one where the pro
cess of surplus production is expounded, it is in volumes two and three
where the essential place of class-based patterns in the reproduction of
capitalist social relations is analysed (
serve to dene and redene certain human characteristics. As Resnick
and Wolff argue:
not quantiable. It is, however, no less “real” in shaping how humans
relate to one another, either in ways that are solidaristic, which resist
Meszaros 1972
Marx aimed to challenge the notion that human suffering, and
human alienation specically, were natural, the inevitable result of the
will of God or of a spiritual being outside the realm of human action.
Distinct from Hegel, Marx considered alienation to have material roots
Alienation creates a sense of aloneness and isolation, grounded in a

by certain ascribed characteristics of physical or cultural traits, that
construction of difference, a component in the making of the European
ruling class, expressed the development of a culture, ideology, and
in Europe and throughout the Americas
. Whiteness, though apparently neutral,
capitalist expansion, as part of a single historical process.
Allen (1994, 1997) identies the use of whiteness as a means to
develop a system of social control in the US antebellum south. Those
be recruited in the interests of social control to the “promoted” status
of the “white race.” This was an elite response specically to threat
employing classes have customarily always exercised this privilege with
regard to women of the laboring classes. What the “white race” did that
lifelong collaborator, Frederick Engels, was free of certain prejudices
of his time. Given that their lives and experiences predated univer
sal suffrage and the social movements against oppression that have
contributed to the common sense of the Left today, this should not be
surprising. The point emphasized here, however, is that signicant ele
it dees quantication; but unlike alienation, and like exploitation,
specic oppression of sections of classes, or what we may call special
oppression. Class oppression is the lived form of the experiences of the
exploited, but can include those who are not directly exploited, such
as the unemployed. Marx often referred, for example, to the oppressed
than collectively. Thus, “[e]conomic conditions had rst transformed
of capital has created for this mass a common situation, common inter
The twofold nature of oppression for Marx is related to the contradic
tory relations associated with exploitation. Capitalism in its dynamic
industrial form unites the working class in common labour removed
from sources of subsistence other than the wage economy; but it also
Discrimination in access to the distribution of the social wage –
services such as medical care, public education, the justice system, and
so on – are similarly affected by special oppression.
Oppression is uid, operating in part to render the exploitation
cs 1971
222). It is also
a means through which certain sections among the oppressor group
within the working class can explain their sense of alienation from oth
ers, who are more like them than different, but with whom they feel a
The sense of privilege cultivated among one section of workers over
nature of that material benet is variable. Individuals in the oppres
sor group can and do develop a sense of superiority over other work
that sense of superiority is part of how oppression operates in capitalist
Oppression is distinct from both exploitation and alienation; it is part
This chapter is substantially based on the following article: Abigail B.
–. 2004. “Marxism, Oppression and Liberation.”
Labour/Le Travail
Bakan, Abigail B., and Daiva Stasiulis. 2005.
Women in Canada and the Global System
. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Balibar, Étienne. 2002.
. London: Verso.
Banaji, Jairus. 2010.
Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production as Exploita-
Galabuzi, Grace-Edward. 2005.
Canada’s Economic Apartheid: The Socialization of
Racialized Groups in the New Century
. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.
–. 2007. “Marxism and Anti-racism: Extending the Dialogue on Race and
A Socialist Annual
Gilroy, Paul. 2004.
. New York: Columbia University
Gramsci, Antonio. 1971.
Selections from the Prison Notebooks
. Translated by
Quentin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International
Henry, Frances, and Carole Tator. 1999. “State Policy and Practices as Racial-
ized Discourse: Multiculturalism, the Charter, and Employment Equity.”
cs, Georg. 1971.
. Introduction and translation by Rodney Livingstone. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press.
A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production
. Volume I of
edited by Frederick Engels. Translated by Samuel Moore and Edward Avel-
ing. Moscow: Progress Publishers.
Early Writings
. Edited and translated by T.B. Bottomore. New York:
. Edited and introduced by C.J. Arthur. New York:
Ireland and the Irish Question
. Moscow: Progress Publishers.
C. Tucker, 24–51. New York: W.W. Norton.
Grundrisse: Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy
. Translated
. Introduction by Frederick Engels. New
York: International Publishers.
–. 1975. “Marx to Sigfrid Meyer and August Vogt in New York, 9 April 1870.”
Selected Correspondence
cow: Progress Publishers. Transcribed by Rick Kuhn.
Rosdolsky, Rudolf. 1977.
The Making of Marx’s ‘Capital
Introduction to Chapter 6: Marxism
and Anti-Racism: Reections
ideology, social forms and political content, is incalculable” (1995, 14).
Notably, as Bannerji explores issues such as colonial discourse, racism,
whiteness, identity, and nationalism, often drawing on the ideas of a
number of anti-racist theorists such as Fanon, Said, Goldberg, and Fou
cault, she consistently reads these issues and writers through Marx’s
epistemological frame. Her work thus offers important parallels with
those who employ a more Foucauldian framework. At the same time,
Bannerji’s corpus of writings offers important ways of thinking with
and through Marx to theorize race and racism.
In “Introducing Racism,” Bannerji begins with a discussion of the
process by which “non-white” women are silenced, raising the issue
of whiteness that is central to anti-racist theorizing. However, unlike
many critical race theorists, Bannerji goes on to locate the processes of
whiteness and othering in the context of Marx’s concepts of ideology,
social relations, and capitalism. While chiding contemporary feminist
and Marxist theorists for not illustrating “how the organization of race
1995, 51), she insists on the utility of Marx’s contribution as an “attempt
Introduction to Chapter 6
of Gramsci’s notion of hegemony ([1987] 1995, 51). This allows her, in
in the contexts of culture and ideology.
For him the project consists of an introjective and constitutive theorizing
world … This can only be done in relation to our world, namely, to the
history and social organization of capital and class – inclusive of colonial

Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and
depending on the changing reality.
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
that complexity of being, which is a “social” and not an empty being,
in continuous and dynamic relations, in responsive and creative rela
consciousness. My approach is not one of rejection of the empirical
reality or science. By “science,” I mean the activities of the enquiring
spirit that promote critical insight. In that sense history, for example,
historical, social, and cultural realities is not understandable
class, gender, and racialization. The point of departure for my critique
mediations – both understood here in the sense they are discussed by
Raymond Williams, involving social relations, institutions, organiza
picture – and
this has to be a picture that does not swallow up all particularities
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
for example, do we understand the differences and similarities of
patriarchy as it is experienced by women of different social groups and
You were a student of Dorothy Smith, and you have often indicated
you see Dorothy Smith’s contribution, specically to understanding
There is much in my work that I can trace to Dorothy’s writings, but I
cept of race and the processes and practices of racialization: her for
mulations of the everyday world as problematic
and her reading of
of the doors of experience, with its specicity, you embark on an under
of social reality. You enter the path of exploring social organizations
and relations and possible forms of consciousness, modes of mediation
found in any felt and named social moment. If racism is the entry point,
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
content, becomes important for us by understanding not just the word
but its placement in speech or writing. Her grasp of Marx’s “three
tricks” for producing ideology, in elaborating how ideology is created
through certain technologies of mental labour – as ways of displac
ing words and their meaning through de-socializing, de-historicizing,
and de-politicizing – becomes the focal point of her reading of institu
stereotype and a social judgment of inferiority. And then you try to look
at what name you were called, where else you have heard it or seen it
in written form, who called you this name, and all the surrounding
circumstances. The dynamics of relations in a particular locale are now
placed in a context, at the bus stop, in a city, in a nation state with a
colonial history and familiar to practices of slavery, indenture, and con
quest of the aboriginal peoples. From this spatial location and moment
in time, you start summoning prevalent knowledge and an analytical
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
of its own, “race” takes on a life that separates it from everything social.
mark after it, or quotation marks around it, as I do, you can begin to see
To emphasize further, some uses of language are denitely ideologi
cal. Take the example of the concept of “human nature.” When you
ask in a classroom, do you think racism will continue, or how did it
begin, a large number of students will say that it is human nature to
be racist. Now, that sort of treatment of language, which naturalizes a
social construction and its ramied practices, is evident in all relations
of oppression and is reproduced through what Dorothy calls “textual
mediation,” as well as what Gramsci calls “common sense.” They are of
course not the same thing. From Dorothy’s work on language and social
relations in
Writing the Social,
we know that concepts or language are
forms of sociality. It is not the lexical but the use aspect of language that
that create systems of meaning. We have to deny the substantiveness
or independence of these ideological notions from social reality, and
Dorothy’s reading of Marx, Bakhtin, and Mead can help us in this.
While speaking of Dorothy’s use or reading of Marx’s critique of
ideology, I should point out that her reading of this is quite unique.
create an illusion of homogeneity. No one can for all time give the char
either the Arabs themselves or the Europeans. And Said misses uttering
that fact explicitly, even though he may imply it.
In fact, that is the problem with trying to singularize and homog
enize, to particularize and essentialize. That can lead us to a stereo
typical or racialized use of language. I think that Dorothy’s work, her
reading of Marx and its use, challenges this taken-for-grantedness, this
query regarding the textually mediated nature of practices of power,
the production of relations of ruling. She understands how texts feed
into texts as living mental labour feeds on dead mental labour, and the
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
The resistance to colonization is often expressed by nationalism and
creates a national imaginary, which consists of a resisting identity and
aims to create a state. But not all such resistances are typically national
ist in either content or form. The word “nationalism” signies resistance
with the political aim of structuring a state while also dening a cul
tural identity. But not all responses to colonialism are geared towards
a state formation. And even within the nationalisms of the colonized
there are differences.
To give an example, there is a mistake in thinking that everything
popularity as they were not in English.
People took what they were ready for and needed to take. They
learned a language, through which they read all kinds of works –
including Karl Marx, Tom Paine, or William Godwin, and so on – and
fashioned a new vocabulary and politics. From these kinds of chaotic
cultural and political formations, only some parts were selectively,
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
The amount of poverty that dawned on India thanks to British rule,
they might like to reverse some of it. They consider the existing class
relations as a natural reality of sorts and accept the organization of capi
cultural identity.
But there is still another form of the nationalism of the colonized,
anticolonial Leftists of the Third World talked about. This is a national
ism that calls for a decolonization – true decolonization, not a false one.
critique of the politics of the national bourgeoisie in
reproduced oppressive relations and rely on forms of other national
isms. And they have. But it is not because they are socialist that these
unequal relations and ideas have been reproduced, but because they
Marxism and Anti-Racism in Theory and Practice
This text originated as a face-to-face interview conducted by the editors
with Himani Bannerji on 17 June 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. We are grateful
The Writing on the Wall: Essays on Culture and Politics
(Toronto: TSAR Press, 1993), see especially the Introduction;
Through: Essays on Feminism, Marxism and Anti-racism
(Toronto: Women’s
Press, 1995), see especially the chapter “The Passion of Naming.”
, Part I (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976).
Raymond Williams,
Marxism and Literature
(Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1977), see especially the Introduction and the chapter on ideology.
Dorothy E. Smith,
The Everyday World as Problematic
(Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1987).
Dorothy E. Smith,
The Conceptual Practices of Power: A Feminist Sociology of
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990).
For more on experience, see the chapter “But Who Speaks for Us?” in my
Thinking Through.
Dorothy E. Smith,
Writing the Social: Critique, Theory and Investigations
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999).
Edward Said,
(New York: Vintage, 1994).
Selections from the Prison Notebooks
, ed. Quintin Hoare
and Geoffrey Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971).
Introduction to Part III: Legacies
Key Anti-Racist Thinkers
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
Marxism is often narrowly associated with writers located in the West;
even among key contributors in the West, writers of colour are often
neglected. However, since Marx and Engels wrote their classic texts,
many theorists from the global South and writers of colour –
Naoroji, M.N. Roy, Amilcar Cabral, C.L.R. James, W.E.B. Du Bois, and
in critical dialogue with Marx’s writings. Collectively, these writers
raise important questions regarding the approach of Marx and Engels
from this engagement. Bogues argues that James and Du Bois centralize
the slave/black worker as a social type and recast the Marxist historical
narratives regarding revolution and the nature of the political economy
departs from Marxist orthodoxy by pointing out that there were two
systems of labour in the United States and Europe: the exploitation of
white labour and slave labour based upon racial oppression. Du Bois
Fanon, and Biko. Sahle argues that Gramsci introduced the issue of the
role of intellectuals in his analysis of historical transitions, following the
revolutions in Europe that saw the emergence of social orders charac
terized by what he terms “revolution without a revolution.” Fanon and
Biko point to similar processes, but focus particularly on the context of
colonialism, allowing us to understand South Africa’s complex transi
tion from apartheid to formal democracy. Sahle also highlights the role
of feminist anti-racist activists such as Meer.
While these various intellectuals focus on different political geogra
phies and conjunctures, collectively they draw attention to how power
dynamics shape historical transitions, marking shifts from one social
order to another. This section of the volume highlights the wider global

C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois:
Writing Heresy and Revisionist Histories
“The Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil and gifted with second
sight in this American World.”
–W.E.B. Du Bois,
“To establish his own identity, Caliban, after three centuries, must himself pio
neer into regions Caesar never knew.”
Two gures whose writings and political practices are increasingly
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
in the authors’ historical and political analysis. In pursuing this path, I
explore how black intellectual production occurs, its engagement with
radical, political theory, and the discursive practice which ensues from
I begin this exploration with the understanding that the Western
tems of classication, naming, and categorization based upon
conceptions placed on the margins, made invisible,
simplistic social constructions of savage/civilized, rational/irrational,
Christian/heathen binaries or into conceptions of the so-called other.
ontological and epistemic erasure. Both these forms of erasure have pro
ing and construction of intellectual traditions as well as the
history of thought. Erasure makes invisible, creates a veil that does not
recognize a black intellectual tradition. Thus, from the perspective of
the Western intellectual tradition, the black radical tradition
to be viewed as particularistic, mired in fossilized, irrational concep
tions and myths not worthy of serious study.
In the contemporary period, we discuss the nature of racism and the
barbarities of colonialism, but there is not much debate on the general
edge. The issue here is what the Latin American philosopher Enrique
Dussel calls the “underside of modernity”
and how this “underside”
has produced a radical intellectual tradition that engages in a critical
dialogical relationship with various Western radical critiques (Marx
ism, existentialism, critical theory). In the eld of postcolonial theory,
object, the black radical intellectual as critic is rst of all engaged with
challenging the various knowledge regimes of any dominant power.
What C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois did in their books
(1938) and
Black Reconstruction
(1935) was to place squarely before
us historical knowledge about two major events that reorder the nar
rative structures of Western radical historiography. Both texts created
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
that challenged a major mode of historical narration in the 1930s. All
far removed from the debates within the Western tradition about the
nature of the political intellectual in the 1930s.
think that since we are speaking about counter-narratives, what is
being argued here is very similar to the Gramscian argument about the
creation of counter-hegemonic ideas. Of course in one sense, the radi
cal black intellectual is, to use Gramsci’s term, an “organic” intellec
tual. But he or she is organic with a difference. While in the Gramscian
mode, radical organic intellectuals provide the missing inventory for
the spontaneous philosophy of ordinary people, they do so within a
framework and discursive practice that does not call into question their
own ontological natures. Moreover, in their efforts at promulgating
counter-hegemonic conceptions, the subordinate classes and groups
who are non-racialized subjects take seriously some principles that are
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
In Trinidad, James had shown interest in the Haitian Revolution. In
, he opined that Toussaint L’Ouverture
was a seminal gure in Haitian history for uniting the country, a feat
that had never been achieved before.
In a 1971 lecture in London,
Aimé Cesaire’s
historical practices. James, for example, in the rst preface of
didn’t just fall from a tree. It is the result of a whole series of circumstances
by which I thoroughly master, as I did in those days, Marxism. I had come
from the Caribbean with a certain understanding of Western Civilization.
I had read the history of the Marxist movement, and I had written four
hundred pages on the Marxist movement, from its beginning in 1864 to
was the person who wrote
As a radical Marxist historian, James’s historical imagination had
been stirred by reading Trotsky’s
Oswald Spengler’s
The Decline of the West
. Histories on an epic scale,
the narrative of the large historical canvas, were to become for him
Black Jacobins
were the anticolonial revolutionaries in Africa and the
Caribbean, and European Marxists. Its political purposes were two
fold. In the rst instance, the book was a vindication of the capacity
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
of the colonized African to govern. James makes the point in the IBW
lectures, “I was trying to make clear that black people have a certain
Trade to the United States of America, 1638–1870
Harvard Historical Studies program. Du Bois’s education in the hal
lowed halls of an elite Western academy did not exclude him from racial
oppression and the vicissitudes of being a racial object. He observes in
[H]ad it not been for the race problem early thrust upon me and envelop
ing me, I should have probably been an unquestioning worshipper at the
shrine of the social order and economic development into which I was
born. But just that part of that order which seemed to most of my fellows
nearest perfection, seemed to me most inequitable and wrong.
Du Bois’s efforts to vanquish racial oppression in America made him a
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
liberalism which he advocated was politically exhausted. The NAACP
Du Bois was intellectually and politically engaged with American lib
eral pragmatism. Like other pragmatists of the time, he operated within
the connes of what John Dewey has called a “renascent liberalism.”
However, while pragmatism was the frame, the fact of race exploded its
efcacy. The struggles against racial inequality pushed the boundaries
its incapacities to handle any revisionist historical narratives that high
lighted the self-activities of the slave population, so Du Bois turned to
lin. However, at the time he was not moved to engage in any serious
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
Reconstruction period was “a hideous mistake.” This position was the
dominant one taught in schools and formed the core of America’s social
memory at the time. It obviously served to reinforce the social location
of the black population and white supremacy. It was compounded by
the appearance of D.W. Grifth’s lm
What theory of history informs
Black Reconstruction
The Black Jaco
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
James afxed an appendix titled “From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Fidel
these differ from or in what ways were they related to the concep
tions and practices that emerged in the French Revolution? James did
not pose these questions, but his achievement was to reorder any his
torical narrative about what has been called “the Age of Revolution.”
His writing operation therefore was a delicate one, so what were some
of the conundrums that bedeviled him?
In the IBW lecture, James states that if he were rewriting
, there were two things he would do differently. In the rst
instance, he would not rely so heavily on the archives of French colo
nialism; and second, he would pay more attention to the activities of the
Both of these self-critical comments are important,
does not trouble
of rescuing the Haitian slave revolution from oblivion and granting
the slaves agency, James had mixed feelings about these revolutionary
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
European and American revolutions of the period had dodged: what
to do about racial slavery? This was not a minor question. The colonies
of plantation slavery were the foundation of the colonial powers; racial
the Marxist categories and framework from which he is writing, Du
Bois, on the other hand, makes a frontal challenge.
announces its rupture with Marxist orthodoxy,
States were black workers. Early in the text, Du Bois makes the point
that there were two systems of labour in the United States linked to race
and slavery. In one system there was the “exploitation of white labor,”
which existed both in Europe and the United States, and then there was
slave labour in the Americas, based upon racial oppression. Du Bois is
not content to note the existence of these two systems, but thinks about
their relationship. In doing so, he makes the following point:
structure, but of Northern manufacture and commerce, of the English fac
tory system, of European commerce, of buying and selling on a world-wide
scale; new cities were built on the results of black labor, and a new labor
problem, involving all white labor, arose both in Europe and America.
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
peripheral to the world system; they were an organic part of it with
only for Marxist theory but also for American history. Investing the cat
egory of labour with some new meanings, Du Bois then offered a differ
ent narrative about the nature of labour in the West.
By calling this movement a general strike, Du Bois, like James,
made the slaves into a different social category. In Du Bois’s case, this
stance was consistently maintained. In the end, Du Bois gestured to
call the Reconstruction a period that was in part a “dictatorship of
labor.” He observes in a footnote, “I rst called this chapter the Dic
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
if the prosperity of European imperialism was built on the massacre of the
Paris Communards, America’s rise as a participant and leader in world
plunder was built on the unbridled deceit and terror which broke Black
Reconstruction in the South.
Du Bois was more successful than James in writing about the social mind
of the slaves. In the IBW lectures, James makes the point that while he
“transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before a single white
man, into a people able to organize themselves and defeat the most
powerful European nations of the day.”
Du Bois’s probing of the ideas
of the ex-slaves about freedom and their attempts to construct demo
realm of history and into that of political theory.
The Mapping of Transformation
In probing the ideas of the slaves about freedom, Du Bois points us to
the slaves’ political language of this freedom. In exquisite lyrical prose,
he describes this freedom as “the coming of the Lord.”
There was to be a new freedom! And a black nation went tramping after
the armies no matter how it suffered; no matter how it was treated, no
ter … they prayed; they worked; they danced and sang; they studied to
learn; they wanted to wander … they were consumed with desire for
schools. The uprising of the Black man, and the pouring of himself into
political theory, following Enlightenment secularization, regards reli
gion as “opiate” irrationality or the sighs of the oppressed. However,
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
In Du Bois’s historical schema, the defeat of the Reconstruction rever
berated throughout the world and established the ground for the char
acter of the “American Century” and the intensication of colonialism
Independence, he wrote:
What is our attitude toward these new lands and toward the masses of
tude of deepest sympathy and strongest alliance … We must remember
20th century will nd nearly twenty millions of brown and black
people under the American ag, and … that the success and efciency of
of Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Indians and Hawaiians.73Du Bois links the fate of African Americans to that of other non-white,
non-European peoples. As things stood, however, by the 1930s the
defeat of the Reconstruction project and the consolidation of Jim Crow
of people on the basis of skin colour. It is perhaps not an accident that
It was in this context that Du Bois sought to propagate an
historical possibility. He painted a picture of radical world history
that had been made invisible because of the nature of Western his
torical knowledge. In the end, he bemoaned the fact that “[a] great
human experiment was present in Reconstruction, and its careful sci
entic investigation would have thrown a world of light on human
Heresy, Double Consciousness, and Black Radicalism
connections to Marxism and to extract from this relationship and their
writings some understanding of the distinctive elements of black radi
cal intellectual production. James, as we have stated before, was a
Marxist by 1934. His sojourn on the terrain of Marxism took him by
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
many of his later interviews, James spoke as an independent Marxist –
one who had attempted to use Marxist categories in a creative way.
political intellectual in the black radical intellectual tradition can lead
us in another direction.
It is the heresy developed in the political and historical writings of
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
and to elaborate the ideology of its existence required the creation of
a trained group of men of ideas. The rapid emergence of schools and
universities in tandem with the growth of the modern state in Europe is
testimony to this relationship. So intellectuals emerged rst as priests,
in the transformation of what Foucault calls “pastoral power.” By
the time of the French Enlightenment, intellectuals, organized in the
On the other hand, for the radical black intellectual there is the per
formance of a double negative; there is a double critique that makes
possible a different form of criticism. Extending Gilbert Ryle’s distinc
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
constructions. In other words, the questions of history are not posed
by the past but by the present. It is from this standpoint that we should
imperfect, with much omitted, much forgotten, much distorted … There is but
The most obvious ones surround the issues of race and the legacies of
This chapter is adapted from Anthony Bogues,
There are, of course, exceptions to this; see, for example, Cedric Robinson,
The Underside of Modernity: Apel, Ricoeur, Taylor and the
(New York: Humanity Books, 1996).
The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spac-
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), 65.
For a discussion of the American Civil War and Reconstruction as a site
of memory contestation, see David W. Blight,
There has been a long history of vindication in black historical thought,
which should not be a surprise since historical knowledge has been one
way in which the humanity of the racialized black body has been negated.
Thus, there is a turn in black historical writings to vindicate the black as a
human being by recourse to history that proves this humanity. One of the
A vindication of the capacity of the
Negro race for self-government and civilized progress, as demonstrated by histori-
(New Haven: William Stanley, 1857).
For a discussion of this, see Michael Walzer,
Quoted in Jeremy Jennings and Anthony Kemp-Welch, eds.,
For a revealing discussion of James’s early life, see C.L.R. James,
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
Beyond a Boundary

World Revolution (1917–1936): The Rise and Fall of the Com-
For the importance of this text to international Trotskyism, see Anthony
Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of CLR James
For a discussion of this group and its newspaper,
within the context of radical anticolonialism and as an example
of radical black thought, see Anthony Bogues, “ Radical Anti-Colonial
Thought, Anti-Colonial Internationalism and the Politics of Human Soli-
International Relations and Non-Western Thought
Shilliam (London: Routledge, 2011) ch. 12.
For a discussion of James’s early writings in Trinidad, see Reinhard
West Indian Literature of the 1930s
(Westport, CT: Greenwood
Press, 1988).
C.L.R. James, “The Old World and the New,” in
At the Rendezvous of Victory
(London: Allison and Busby, 1984), 211.
These lectures have been published as C.L.R. James, “Lectures on ‘The
Small Axe: A Journal of Criticism
8 (2000): 65–112.
There is still an engrossing debate about history and its relationship to
literary production. For some readings on this debate, see Roger Chartier,
On the Edge of the Cliff: History, Language and Practices
(Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1997); Hayden White,
Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 1987); and F.R. Ankersmit,
Historical Representation
ford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001).
The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo
(New York: Vintage, 1989), xi. This is the edition used through-
out this essay.
James, “Lectures on ‘The Black Jacobins,’” 71.
W.E.B. Du Bois,
(New York: Schocken Books, 1968), vii–viii.
W.E.B. Du Bois,
The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study
versity of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), xvi. First published in 1899.
See Lewis R. Gordon,
(New York: Routledge, 2000),
ch. 5 for an excellent review of the philosophical signicance of Du Bois’s
early sociological work. Another assessment of Du Bois’s sociological contri
butions can be found in Ronald A.T. Judy, ed., “Sociology Hesitant: Think
ing with W.E.B. Du Bois,” special issue,
This text has remained until today perhaps the most studied text of Du
Bois. In it he develops the idea of double-consciousness. For a version of
this text with essays by different critics, see W.E.B. Du Bois,
, Norton Critical Editions (New York: Norton, 1999).
W.E.B. Du Bois,
John Brown
(New York: Random House, 1996), reprint.
W.E.B. Du Bois,
The Negro
(New York: Henry Holt, 1915).
See John Dewey,
W.E.B. Du Bois,
(New York:
Atheneum, 1969). This is the edition used throughout this essay.
David W. Blight,
Beyond the Battleeld: Race, Memory, and the American Civil
W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and
the American Century, 1919–1963
(New York: Henry Holt, 2000), 45.
W.E.B. Du Bois, “Marxism and the Negro Problem,” in
W.E.B. Du Bois: A
, ed. David Levering Lewis (New York: Henry Holt, 1995),
ical historical narratives about the world over the last two hundred years.
The volumes, all published by Vintage Books, are
Age of Capital, The Age of Empire,
The Age of Extremes
. What is interest-
ing to note about this work are its silences. However, for our purposes, in
, Hobsbawm argues that the “French Revolution …
revolution of its time.” He then goes on to describe the rise
of the Jacobins and asserts that their actions in the revolution “helped to
create the rst independent revolutionary leader of stature in Toussaint-
Louverture.” After this reference, the Haitian Revolution is consigned to
historical oblivion. What I am suggesting here is that no serious examina-
tion of the “Age of Revolution” can occur without study of the meaning of
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
the Haitian Revolution for that period, since it successfully overthrew one
of the foundations of the modern world – racial slavery.
Eric Williams,
Carolina Press, 1994), reprint.
See for a discussion of this point C.L.R. James, “The Atlantic Slave Trade
and Slavery,” in
, ed. John A. Williams and Charles F. Harris
(New York: Vintage Books, 1970), 123.
The Black Jacobins
C.L.R. James, “Revolution and the Negro,” in
tionary Marxism: Selected Writings of C.L.R. James, 1939–1949
McLemee and Paul Le Blanc (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1994), 77.
James, “Lectures on ‘The Black Jacobins,’” 65–112.
The Black Jacobins
For discussions of some of these views, see Carolyn Fick,
Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below
Tennessee Press, 1990). See also the various articles by John K. Thorton,
25, nos. 1 and 2 (1991): 58–80. There are, of course, major
disputes about this. See in particular the work of David Geggus; his “Slave
Resistance Studies and Saint Domingue Slave Revolt: Some Preliminary
Considerations” (Miami, FL: Latin American and Caribbean Center, Occa-
sional Paper, 4th series, 1983) is a good example of the main arguments in
in Haitian religious prac-
Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou
(Los Angeles:
University of California Press, 1995).
For an excellent discussion of this and the importance of Haitian vodou as
“a project of thought,” see Joan Dayan,
ley: University of California Press, 1998).
I have made a claim that the Haitian Revolution should be considered as
a dual revolution. There were two revolutionary processes that owed
into each other, an anti-slavery one and an anticolonial one. These two
processes and their relationship also make the revolution a distinctive one
in which new questions were posed about freedom. See for a discussion of
this point, Anthony Bogues, “The 1805 Haitian Constitution: The Mak-
ing of Slave Freedom in the Atlantic World,” in
James, “Revolution and the Negro,” 77. Where there was no historical
neglect, the revolution was seen as a manifestation of the bourgeois-
democratic revolution of the period. For this discussion, see Eugene D.
From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in
the Making of the Modern World
Press, 1979), ch. 3.
, Volume 1 (London: Penguin, 1976), 53.
Democracy’s Discontent
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univer-
sity Press, 1996). For a discussion about the ideology of free labour during
the Reconstruction period, see Heather Cox Richardson,
Reconstruction: Race, Labor and Politics in the Post–Civil War North, 1865–1901
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).
representatives, particularly after the 1870s and before black political
equality was destroyed.
W.E.B. Du Bois,
observe that in this footnote Du Bois makes it clear that he was studying
Marx’s theory of the time. He does not use the appellation to describe his
work, and I think that is the only sign of hesitancy in this 737-page text.
He does, however, continue to think in these terms throughout the text,
particularly in his description of the political actions of the black ex-slaves
(New York: Interna-
tional Publishers, 1937), 11.
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
William Gorman, “W.E.B. Du Bois and His Work,”
Forest Tendency. Gorman was a political name; his real name was George
Rawick, and he went on to write histories of slave life in America. I want
to thank the late Jim Murray for my copy of this paper.
The Black Jacobins
W.E.B. Du Bois,
(New York: Dodd, Mead and Com-
pany, 1979), ch. 1.
W.E.B. Du Bois,
Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil
(New York: Dover
Publications, 1999), reprint, 17.
W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Present Outlook for the Dark Races of Mankind,”
Church Review,
Literary Culture
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 203.
Social Darwinism in European and American
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 205.
See Kent Worcester,
C.L.R. James: A Political Biography
versity of New York Press, 1996) for a review of James’s political life.
(London: Allison and
Busby, 1980).
C.L.R. James (Talk, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS, United States, 9 May
1972). Thanks to the late Jim Murray for sending me a copy.
Pierre Bourdieu,
University Press, 1995), 171.
Étienne Balibar,
(London: Verso, 1994), 200.
Gilbert Ryle, “The Thinking of Thoughts: What Is ‘Le Penseur’ Doing?”
University Lectures
cal Theory Today
, ed. David Held (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press,
The Writing of History
(New York: Columbia University
Press, 1988).
Quoted in Arnold Rampersad,
The Art and Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois
(New York: Schocken Books, 1990), 315–16.
. New York: International
Balibar, Étienne.
. London: Verso, 1994.
University Press, 1987.
Blight, David W.
Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil
University Press, 1995.
The Writing of History
. New York: Columbia University
Press, 1988.
Du Bois, W.E.B.
New York: Ath
eneum, 1969. First published in 1935. This is the edition used throughout
this essay.
Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil
. New York: Dover Publications, 1999.
Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept
. New York:
Schocken Books, 1968.
The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study
phia Press, 1996. First published in 1899.
New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1979.
The Underside of Modernity: Apel, Ricoeur, Taylor and the Philo-
New York: Humanity Books, 1996.
Gorman, William. “W.E.B. Du Bois and His Work.”
11, no. 3 (1950): 80–6.
James, C.L.R. Article without title.
The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution.
New York: Vintage, 1989. First published in 1938. This is the edition used
throughout this essay.
C.L.R. James and W.E.B. Du Bois: Writing Revisionist Histories
–. “Lectures on ‘The Black Jacobins.’”
Small Axe: A Journal of Criticism
. London: Allison and Busby, 1980.
–. “The Old World and the New.” In
At the Rendezvous of Victory
, 211. London:
Allison and Busby, 1984.
–. “Revolution and the Negro.” In
Selected Writings of C.L.R. James, 1939–1949
Paul Le Blanc, 77–87. New York: Humanities Press, 1994.
World Revolution (1917–1936): The Rise and Fall of the Communist International
The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing
. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.
, edited by David Held, 48–66. Stanford, CA: Stanford University
Press, 1996.
, Volume 1. London: Penguin, 1976.
Ryle, Gilbert. “The Thinking of Thoughts: What is ‘Le Penseur’ Doing? Uni-
versity Lectures 18, University of Saskatchewan, 1968.
Democracy’s Discontent
. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 1996.
Walzer, Michael.
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
audrey kobayashi and mark boyle
One of the most intense conversations to have explored the themes
relationship from two very different places, and their intellectual and
political interests radiated in very different directions.
Sartre’s and Fanon’s respective backgrounds was their differing ideas
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
irrespective of their particular form and hue, concealed a universal
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
the two thinkers contributed to anti-racist scholarship, provide a brief
description of their intellectual relationship and its ruptures, and end
with a discussion of how Sartre’s ruminations on racism, anti-racism,
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
Psychiatric Hospital in Algeria, where his radical approach to treat
ment involved patients directly confronting their cultural experiences
of blackness. It was from this cultural and geographical location that he
wrote his later books, including

and ironic – importance. Post–World War II Paris was one of the most
productive incubators of Marxist thought. Recovering and healing from
the atrocities wrought by Nazi occupation, Parisian leftist intellectual,
cultural, and political life became preoccupied by the deviant course
Marxism reached its apex during the violent struggle for Algerian
It was in that context that Sartre and Fanon – neither of whom was
Algerian – crossed paths. As a student, Fanon saw in Sartre’s early
and, in particular, the philosophical ideas
subjectivity. Using Sartre’s ideas, Fanon wrote eloquently – initially in
about the colonial creation of the black subject.
But Fanon also condemned Sartre, accusing him in
of having appropriated history as a white man who could never
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
that opening, however, notwithstanding comments made in interviews
towards the end of his life that indicate that his thinking culminated in
greater hope.
As a public intellectual, Sartre was lionized and adored by some,
repudiated by others, often misunderstood, miscategorized (to the
On the one hand, he was profoundly inuenced by Marx, whose work
he viewed as the basis for understanding history. Marxism was, to use
Sartre’s own words, “a theory of conditioning in exteriority” (1974, 36).
Sartre’s unwavering commitment to Marxism was based on two major
aspects of Marx’s writing: (1) the contention that history is a process
of class struggle structured by particular modes of production and, by
extension, that the appropriation of the means of production – through
capitalism or, more specically, colonialism – leads to material scarcity,
and (2) his belief that Marx provided the key to understanding history
proper and the basis for an end to history as we know it. In brief, these
issues are identied in
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
common interests were based in “non-communist Marxism” (1999, 12).
Catalano 1986
Sartre’s explicit writing on “race” begins with
published three years after
wherein he extends
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
and intellectual and moral traits, I believe in it no more than I do in
ouija boards”
Sartre [1946]
Sartre was one of the rst white Western thinkers to advance post-
racialism as a political goal. In “Black Orpheus,” he describes Europe
as “no more than a geographical accident” (1964b, 14) and racism as a
product of European colonialism that was generated socially and could
be transcended. He urges Europeans to “tear off our white tights in
order simply to be men” (15). Notwithstanding that racism is itself a
product of a capitalist and colonial system, the fact of blackness means
that another double movement is required: both the willingness of the
European to shed whiteness and the willingness of the colonized to rise
The unity which will come eventually, bringing all oppressed peoples
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
Black Skin, White Masks
also contains a visceral response to “Black
Orpheus” in which Fanon lashes out at Sartre’s presumption to know
We had appealed to a friend of the colored peoples, and this friend had
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
. And Sartre’s mistake was not only to seek the source
Sartre has destroyed black impulsiveness. He should have opposed the
unforeseeable to historical destiny. ([1952] 2008, 112–13)
The balance of the fth chapter in
presents a
troubled and, in many places, contradictory assertion of Fanon’s claim
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
call for overcoming, or transcending, race as a basis for advocating a
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
of colonialism. Jonathan Judaken likewise argues that Sartre moved
from an existential understanding of anti-Semitism as the product of
the white gaze to a recognition, in the
ization of racism and its enmeshment in the system of production and
exchange goes beyond the terms of his earlier reections on antisemi
tism and his support of the negritude negation of colonialism … reach
ing full fruition in his existential Marxist writings” (2008, 38).
The shift in both men from a phenomenological/psychological
understanding of racism to a demand for revolutionary action is thus
well recognized in the work of Judaken and Bernasconi. There is much
debate, however, about the meaning of violence. Clearly the language
of violence, or its possibility, permeates both
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
According to Ro
, Sartre’s take on violence along
that road was “curiously ambivalent.” The
that show both the violence of colonialism as oppression and the hope
of counterviolence, or “anti-praxis,” for overturning the colonial sys
tem. Sartre’s ambivalence is not resolved, but Santoni notes that per
haps the preface to
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
signicance of spatiality for understanding Sartre’s anticolonialism
Boyle and Kobayashi 2011
One of the most signicant aspects of Sartre’s anti-racist spatial
required a major spatial reorientation. Paige
has recently
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
as looked at is to apprehend oneself as spatializing-spatialized
emphasis added). This concept underlies both Sartre’s starting point
for the process of racialization as the dialectic of reciprocal constitu
tion and, of course, provides Fanon’s major theme for understanding
the construction of negritude. But the concept also carries forward in
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
rejuvenated French Existential Marxism ultimately failed, and he was
left to conclude that there was no particular meaning or intelligibility to
history. Anti-imperial movements were distinct, separate, and histori
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
negating the subjectivity and agency of the colonized, thus textually rep
licating the repressive operations of colonialism. In agency, so it seems,
begins responsibility. (462)
Gates does not mention here, however, that there is a parallel ambigu
ity throughout
over Sartre’s simultaneous intel
Without falling into a trap of coaxing devotion ourselves, however, it
seems that if scholars have seen in Fanon more than he actually had to
give, they have taken from Sartre substantially less. If Fanon has become
eminently usable, to use Gates’s term, Sartre is remarkably underused.
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
post-postcolonial echo – began with the desperation of a single Tuni
According to Andre
32), Sartre expresses the tension in
: “The essential thing is contingency. What I mean is that existence is
not, by denition, necessity … But no necessary being can explain exis-
Many scholars have written on the contradictions and failures of Sartre’s
Aronson (1980)
This line comes from “The Itinerary of a Thought,” the text of an interview
and later included in a compilation of essays translated by John Mathews
Sartre 1974
We have used the 1964 translation by John MacCombie. The most recent
uses a later translation by S.W. Alle
Sartre 1976b
59–60). The translations differ in a number of small but signicant ways
that are not germane to our present purposes.
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
Aronson, Ronald. 1980.
Jean-Paul Sartre: Philosophy in the World
and Verso.
Sartre’s Second Critique
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Arthur, Paige. 2008. “The Persistence of Colonialism: Sartre, the Left, and
Race after Sartre: Antiracism,
Albany: SUNY Press.
Badiou, Alain. 2007. “The Event in Deleuze.” Translated by Jon Roffe.
Bergner, Gwen. 1995. “Who Is That Masked Woman? or, The Role of Gender
110 (1): 75–88.
Bernard Frechtman. New York: Citadel Press.
. Translated by Richard
Philcox. New York: Grove Press.
Colonizing, Colonized: Sartre and Fanon
–. 1963.
Audrey Kobayashi and Mark Boyle
McBride, William L. 1981. “Sartre and Marxism.” In
, edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp, 605–630. Illinois: Open Court.
Poster, Mark. 1975.
Existential Marxism in Postwar France: From Sartre to
Presented at the First International Deleuze Studies Conference,
Cardiff (UK), 13 August 2008.

Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist
Movements in South Africa
eunice n. sahle
The objective of this chapter is to explore the contributions of intellec
tuals to anti-oppression struggles and movements, drawing on exam
ples from South Africa. The first section offers conceptual foundations,
which draw upon analytical insights from thinkers associated with
Fanon. From the historical materialist tradition, it draws on the work of
Antonio Gramsci. The section also discusses some limitations of these
thinkers by incorporating insights from feminist thought and high
lighting the contributions of women intellectuals, such as Fatima Meer,
to anti-racist struggles. The conceptual framework hinges, therefore, on
der. The premise of this first section is that while the work of Fanon
The second section situates the argument specically in the South
African context, with a focus on Steve Biko’s contributions to anti-
racist social thought and struggles. This section also briey considers
the question of forms of social oppression and responses to them fol
lowing the transition to multiracial democracy in South Africa, Biko’s
legacy, and the contributions of Fatima Meer – an activist as well as
a social theorist – to social struggles against oppression, including
racial marginalization. In light of engagement with Biko’s and Meer’s
signicant contributions to anti-oppression struggles and emancipa
practices of knowledge production. In this respect, their contri
butions act as an important reminder of the critical role that diverse
intellectuals from the African continent have played in cultural, politi
cal, economic, and intellectual processes in the context of signicant
constraints. These constraints are generated not only by local struc
tures of power, such as the apartheid system, but also by a globaliz
production and
The role of intellectuals in anti-oppression social struggles in the con
text of unequal structures of power, both locally and globally, continues
to be a matter of great scholarly interest, as evidenced by the work of
South African scholars such as Aswin
in his Harold Wolpe
Memorial Lecture. The exploration of the intersection of intellectuals
and anti-oppression movements is
not restricted to South Africa, as
indicated in the writings of feminist scholarship on the World Social
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
Fanon, Intellectuals, and Oppression
Fanon foregrounds the role of intellectuals in social struggles in his
seminal text
involvement in such struggles as a form of social action that they choose
consciously in light of historical realities and specic social formations
order (
). In his discussion of what he refers to as “native
“must out of relative obscurity discover its mission” (1963, 206). Fur
ther, it is important to note that while he considers intellectuals as cru
cial social actors in anti-oppression struggles, he does not assume that
all of them will become involved in emancipatory political projects.
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
systematically demonstrated how European colonialism
The process of Eurocentrication of the new world power in the following
place, new social identities were produced all over the world: “whites,”
“Indians,” “Negroes,” “yellows,” “olives”, using physiognomic traits of the
peoples as external manifestations of their “racial’” nature. Then, on that
basis the new geocultural identities were produced:
European, American,
Asiatic, African, and much later, Oceania. (171)
Generally, colonial ideology and practices of racism have had signi
cant psychological effects, for they “dehumanize[d]” (
Fanon 1963
non-European peoples, not just in Africa but in Asia, Latin America,
the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Essentially, under colonial racist
nonbeing” (
Fanon 2008
xii), lacking social recognition. For Fanon, in
such a space “the man of color,” for example, “encounters difculty in
elaborating his body schema. The image of one’s body is solely negat
ing. It’s an image in the third person” (90). In addition, Fanon’s work
indicates that in the context of colonial racialized social orders, these
ideologies have material effects. Overall, they enable the exploitation
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
of economic resources for the benet of European colonial interests. As
Fanon argues, under colonial rule “it is evident that what parcels out
a given race … The cause is the consequence; you are rich because you
are white, you are white because you are rich”
, 4
all, throughout his seminal work on colonialism (1963 and 2008), Fanon
elds” (ibid.). Intellectuals closely aligned with structures of power
locally and globally play a crucial role in consolidating such structures.
In any event, Gramsci did not just introduce the concept of organic
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
ideologies become “party,” [they] come into confrontation and conict,
creating the hegemony of a fundamental social group over a series of
subordinate groups … [Thus] the development and expansion of the par
ticular group are conceived of, and presented, as being the motor force
of a universal expansion, of a development of all the “national” energies.
Control of structural, ideological, and material power, and access to
these sources of power, tend to enable factions of the powerful social
Gramscian dialectical approach to the concept of hegemony, powerful
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
transforming the nation; it consists, prosaically, of being the transmis
class, resulting in the restoration of oppression along social class lines.
In Gramsci’s view, a successful passive revolution occurs when the rul
ing class is able to absorb demands from the subordinate classes in a
reformist manner, thus ensuring no radical departure from the exist
ing political and economic arrangements. Drawing on examples from
European revolutions in the 1800s, Gramsci refers to this type of tran
sition process as a passive revolution, characterized by reformist pol
itics. In the specic case of the creation of the Italian state, Gramsci
examined the role of various class elements – specically the Moderates
(mainly industrialists from North Italy) who controlled the Piedmont
state and the Action Party (a radical party) – in shaping the form of the
state that emerged. The bare bones of his thesis are that the moderates
geoisie, mainly Southern landlords, and formed an alliance that pre
vented a radical break in Italian power structures after the unication.
He describes the Italian passive revolution in the
One may apply to the concept of passive revolution (documenting it from
which in fact progressively modify the pre-existing composition of forces,
and hence become the matrix of new changes. Thus, in the Italian Ris
orgimento, it has been seen how the composition of the moderate forces
was progressively modied by the passing over to Cavourism (after 1848)
of ever new elements of the Action Party, so that on the one hand neo-
was impoverished … This element is therefore the initial phase of the
Fanon, Gramsci, Oppression, and Gender
The preceding discussion indicates the important contributions from
the work of Fanon and Gramsci to an examination of the role of intel
lectuals in anti-oppression movements in a given historical context.
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
to press most heavily upon them. At the same time, the experience of
their ‘blackness’ has varied considerably among different sections of
Consequently, this chapter’s further departing point from Fanon and
Gramsci is the contention that intersectional theorization of oppres
sion articulated by African American feminist scholars, leading among
debates concerned with social oppression. For Collins, an intersec
tionality framework in the study of social oppression allows for an
text generates “intersecting oppressions” (2000, 228). For instance, she
by intersecting oppressions of race, gender, and class. But this com
monality is experienced differently by women” situated in different
The chapter’s additional point of departure is its suggestion that an
intersectional approach offers a nuanced perspective on the question of
oppression in the context of historical transition such as the one that led
to the establishment of multiracial political democracy in South Africa
in 1994. From this perspective, it is not only class oppression that has
been reproduced in the post-apartheid era, but also gendered and racial
ized forms of oppression. Lastly, another point of departure relates to
Fanon’s and Gramsci’s approach to intellectuals and anti-oppression
movements. Gramsci’s work, for instance, represents the organic intel
lectual in universal terms. Harmless as this gender neutrality seems, it
their nationalist project from a gendered lens is ignored. Commenting
on this feature of Fanon’s work in the case of the Algerian anticolo
nial struggle, the Algerian feminist scholar Marie-Aimée Heli-Lucas
suggests that it is a “myth” to promote the notion that “the Algerian
woman [was] liberated along with her country,” for it ignores the lived
experiences of women who were involved in the country’s anticolo
nial movement and were oppressed in the context of the struggle (1999,
271–2). Not only were gender hierarchies reproduced in the anticolonial
movement because “even in the hardest times of the struggle, women
were oppressed,” but also their work was “conned to tasks that would
not disturb the social order in the future” (274).
proach to the study of the role of intellectuals in anti-oppression strug
gles. They both ignore the fact that historically and in the contemporary
era, women have contributed to such struggles. For example, in South
Africa female organic intellectuals such as the famed critical sociologist
Fatima Meer contributed to various anti-racist movements during the
apartheid era. In the years 1946 to 1948, Meer participated in the anti-
racist passive resistance movement, which was led by members of the
South Africa Indian Congress. She joined the passive resistance while
, 115)
resistance movement was a response not only to historical injustices that
Indian people had experienced in South Africa, but also to the intro
duction of Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Acts. These
state-sanctioned racist measures were aimed at restricting ownership of
property by people of Indian descent to specic areas in exchange for a
cians to represent them in parliament. Speaking against these measures
and their racist foundations in one of the passive resistance’s docu-
ments, Meer states, “We have tried to point out to the white man of this
country that we, as human beings, are just as good as them, but they
have always tried to make us believe that we are their inferiors and that
we should not enjoy the same rights and privileges as they do” (113).
of a woman who was told that it was a real live baby” (ibid.). The passive
resistance movement played a major role in the anti-racist struggle for
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
it “initiated” discussions at the United Nations
on racial oppression in
South Africa, not just as it pertained to members of the Indian commu
nity but also to other marginalized communities. This United Nations’
process led to the “mobilization of world public opinion in support”
of anti-racist movements in South Africa (29). By the 1950s, Meer was
among leading women organic intellectuals such as Helen Joseph and
Lillian Ngoyi who actively participated in processes that led to the
establishment of the Federation of South African Women (FSAW) on 17
April 1954. She was a member of FSAW’s National Executive Commit
Walker 1982
) and was involved in the 1956 anti-pass protests
that FSAW organized. FSAW was a non-racial organization
membership from Black, White, Indian, and Coloured women. Further,
FSAW was committed to both the anti-racist nationalist struggle and to
gender equality as indicated in its Women’s Charter, which it launched
The discussion thus far has attempted to provide a conceptual
grounding to the central objectives of this chapter. In this regard, it
of struggles against oppressive social-political orders and the role of
intellectuals in such struggles. Further, it has highlighted the contri
analytic insights from the preceding section, the discussion that follows
explores Steve Biko’s contributions to struggles against oppression in
South Africa, with a particular focus on his role in anti-racist struggles.
While taking different forms, racist power structures and social prac
tices have been a salient feature of South Africa’s political-economic
power structures for centuries. In the main, from the seventeenth cen
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
Furthermore, intellectuals played a key role in struggles against racism
in the country. Taking insights from the previous conceptual discussion
as a reference point, the discussion that follows focuses on Steve Biko’s
contributions to anti-racist struggles in South Africa.
underpinned the South Africa Union Government, which had emerged
in 1910. Like other members of oppressed communities, his life expe
riences and chances – including his intellectual formation and social
activism – was heavily inuenced by the apartheid racist social struc
ture, which was established in 1948. As he states, “I have lived all my
conscious life in the framework of institutionalized separate develop
political, and economic order. In post-apartheid South
Africa, his contributions to anti-oppression struggles in South Africa
are being re-articulated in various ways. In the discussion that fol
lows, the analysis highlights his insights on sources and modalities of
racial oppression and his major contributions to anti-racist struggles in
social and economic oppression. A core concern he shared with Fanon
was an exploration of how colonialism had produced and enabled the
reproduction of racism, a process that had served the interests of the
minority European population in different historical conjunctures in
South Africa. Broadly speaking, Fanon’s and Biko’s focus on racism
existential philosophy,” which, as philosopher Lewis Gordon states, has
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
institutional and otherwise, presented them as neutral projects for the
good of humanity at large. These agents ignored and normalized the
horrible effects of racism and other repressive colonial ideologies and
racialism emerging in his country. As he stated, “[W]e are looking for
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
either Fanon or Gramsci. In particular, Biko’s approach can be con
ceptualized as having an intersectional analytical sensibility. None
intersectionality” approach, for he neglected an overt engagement,
In his exploration of social oppression, the black man is not only the
subject of racial oppression, he is also the social actor who will
”“his empty shell” (29). Thus, even though women were involved in
organizations and social movements in which Biko was a key
social actor as a founding member and leader, their participation was
gendered, for they were generally relegated to spaces and positions
socially constructed as women’s domains. As Mamphela Ramphele
argues, in the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
horizons and helped me examine social relations in a challenging manner.
Fanon, Césaire, the Black Panthers, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X
were the popular authors, orators and heroes of the time. (218)
The BCM encouraged the participation of women at the grassroots
level, especially in the community projects that it established as a strat
egy to address economic, health, and other social disparities existing
under the country’s racist social structure (215). Further, in an effort
to create a space to enable the mobilization of women, the BCM lead
ership launched the Black Women’s Federation (BWF) in Durban in
1973. The BWF acted as a national umbrella body for organizations of
“women from all walks of life” (216). Participants at the conference that
launched the BWF included Fatima Meer, Winnie Mandela, and many
other women engaged in anti-oppression movements.
As an organic intellectual then, Biko made signicant contributions
to the anti-racist struggle. In particular, he played a key role in the cre
ation of anti-oppression organizations in South Africa. For example, in
1969 he was a founding member of the SASO and its afliated organi
in efforts that expanded the intellectual and mobilizing space for anti-
racist struggles. Biko and others activists formed SASO with the objec
students in student organizations and in the broader national anti-
oppression struggle (1978, 5). For Biko, the formation of SASO – which
white liberal organizations considered as “Black racism” and which
real help” because the organization was “too amorphous” – was neces
themselves from the doldrums,” they would remain there (4–5).
Writing to the presidents of the Students’ Representative Council in
February 1970, Biko reiterated the importance of SASO’s emergence: in
his view, it was a direct response to the closing up of non-white students’
organizational space by the apartheid state. From his perspective, plac
ing the historically black university Fort Hare “under the direct control”
of the apartheid state in 1960 was one of the many strategies introduced
by this racist state aimed at limiting the organizational capacity of non-
white students (9). Throughout the 1960s, as Biko explains, non-white
students in Fort Hare and other universities such as the “University
College of the Western Cape (for Coloureds), University College of
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
[and the] University College of Durban (for Indians)” (9–10), found it
increasingly difcult to articulate their grievances given the strict con
trols by university authorities under the directives of the apartheid
state. Further, the exclusionary practices of the National Union of South
had rendered non-white students’ involvement invisible (5). According
apartheid system, and it became an important resource in the political
mobilization of members of these oppressed communities. Blackness
in the Biko sense could be called upon to create a unied identity of
resistance that could lead to stronger solidarity among the oppressed,
a process that could enable them to remain united in the face of the
apartheid state's sustained strategies of divide and rule. For Biko, unity
among the oppressed was an important tool in the ght against racist
oppression. In the struggle against the apartheid system, he insisted
that members of the oppressed communities had “to resist all attempts
at the fragmentation” of their resistance in order to ensure “solidarity
and relevance to the situation.” According to him, “Black people needed
to recognize the various institutions of apartheid for what they were –
oppression, even under these unfavourable conditions (1978, 96).
Moreover, through the BCM, Biko engaged in practices of knowledge
production geared to the liberation of the oppressed. In publications
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
“complicity” (29) of black people in their continued oppression because
of what he considered to be their internalization of the racist narrative
and the naturalized representation of political, economic, and cultural
tionally. According to Biko, “the black man” had been “reduced to an
obliging shell” who “looks in awe at white power structure and accepts
what he regards as the ‘inevitable position’” (28). While he is angered
by this situation, argued Biko, the black man directs his deepening
anger not against the system but “in the wrong direction – on his fellow
man in the township” (29). From Biko’s perspective, practices of knowl
edge production that drew attention to the structural and other sources
of racial oppression were an important starting point for black people
in their anti-racist struggles. Such a process denaturalized structures
of oppression by locating them within the power dynamics governing
economic, cultural, and political processes in apartheid South Africa.
An understanding of the role of power structures in racial and eco
nomic oppression and of the “complicity” of the oppressed in this
process was central to Biko’s intellectual work. In his formulation of
anti-racist social thought, knowledge was power, for it contributed to
committed to social liberation. As part of this process, Biko invoked the
practice of “conscientisation” (125), which involved oppressed social
groups interrogating their social conditions, understanding them, and
guring out how to address them. Through listening to each other and
of oppressed communities could generate ideas that would contribute
not only to their understanding of the mechanisms of oppressive social
orders but also to their ability to respond to them (ibid.). From such
processes, they would emerge as critical knowledge producers, and
thus as organic intellectuals in their own right.
gathered to study their history and share strategies for anti-oppression
struggles against South Africa’s racist and repressive social structure.
Further, these schools enabled the reproduction of critical agents of
social change by offering workshops for high school students and
From the perspective of agents of the dominant and coercive colo
nial and apartheid social orders, local history in South Africa and in
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
have thought of the current state of affairs in the country. While the
associated with the apartheid system are gone, social exclusion along
racial lines – among other social divides – continues in the era of democ
racy. This is not to say that nothing has changed for the historically
marginalized communities. The transition to multiracial democracy
rise of numerous social movements that strategically engage with the
state, such as the Treatment Action Campaign, a social movement that
), and many others (see generally,
Ballard, Habid, and
Valodia 2006
). Further, some public policies for “racial redress” have
been instituted by the post-apartheid state. For example, while viewed
in some quarters as being “racist” and ineffective, afrmative action
policies in the public service have been created as mandated by the
Employment Equity Act, No. 55 of 1998 (EEA). By 2007, Blacks (in the
accounted for 52 per cent, Coloureds 8 per cent, and Indians 8 per cent”
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
have had limited room to manoeuvre in pressing the state to deliver on
basic economic rights. The role of the ANC in the transition to multi
racial democracy echoes Fanon’s theorization of nationalist struggles
in the 1950s, which saw the nationalist elites fail in what he refers to as
their “historical mission” (Fanon 1963). While the ANC-led transition to
the post-apartheid era has seen the involvement and inclusion of elites
drawn from historically marginalized communities in the making and
consolidation of South Africa’s new historical bloc, essentially the pas
sive nature of this process has resulted in the reproduction of economic
power and social privilege. Overall, social groups that beneted from
Even campaigns aimed at remedying some of the social harms gen
erated by the apartheid system have been resisted by members of the
post-apartheid historical bloc, such as South Africa’s former president
Thabo Mbeki. This bloc resisted calls by social movements and organic
intellectuals such as the late Dennis Brutus
for multinational corporations to pay reparations to those who suf
fered under apartheid’s racist capital accumulation regime that benet
ted these corporations. As Patrick Bond argues, in his effort to contain
demands for reparation, “Mbeki and his justice minister Penuell Mad
una went to even greater lengths to defend apartheid-era prots, argu
ing in a nine-page brief to a US court hearing a reparation case, that
by ‘permitting the litigation,’ the New York judge would discourage
‘much-needed foreign investment and delay the achievement of the
Overall, while some segments of historically marginalized commu
nities, notably members of a small African elite that has emerged
apartheid South Africa (
majority of Africans and other historically marginalized communities
sion. In the case of gender inequality, Shamin Meer argues that while
some opportunities in the public sphere have opened up for women
working-class or poor rural women who have made gains but rather
mainly white women, as a result of empowerment strategies that
aimed making proportional the numbers of women workers in pub
In general, both in rural
and urban social geographies, “the most marginalised under apartheid
bear a heavy burden in post-apartheid economic restructuring. Farm
“echoes of apartheid past” are present in contemporary South Africa
where “evictions, relocation and disconnections” by the
governing elites
5) are a core part of their economic policies. In this context,
terms such as “agitator [and] radical” (ibid.) that were deployed in the
apartheid period to delegitimize social struggles are invoked by the post-
apartheid historical bloc and its organic intellectuals to refer to the
work of anti-oppression activists such as Fatima Meer and many others.
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa 235
Meer’s involvement in social struggles in Chatsworth emerged fol-
lowing a visit by her Concerned Citizens Forum (CCF), during which
marginalized residents in Chatsworth shared their social grievances
emerging from their living conditions and experiences (8). According
The residents took Meer from house to house showing her how many of
them were unemployed, single mothers or aged and in rm … As is the
ers’ socio-economic circumstances. While this was being planned, Winnie
Figure 9.1 The above picture was taken by the author at the memorial forum
held in Chatsworth, Durban, on 17 April 2010 to celebrate the life and work of
Fatima Meer. Her active involvement in social struggles against injustice was
echoed by speakers at this forum and others organized following her death to
could well have summed up the interim results of the research. The statis
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
8 September 2001. From the perspective of the South African state, the
country had been chosen to host the intergovernmental conference
because of its “experience in defeating institutionalized racism and the
processes put in place for a peaceful transformation to democracy and
reconciliation.” As such, the state saw the conference as providing an
, 121). However, CCF and members
of community-based organizations had a counter-narrative. The lat
ter was based on the knowledge by these organizations of the lived
experiences of marginalized communities as well as the organizations’
“expos[ure] to” the ANC-led historical bloc’s “economic policies that,
but for a small crony elite, actually entrenched white control of the
wealth and deepened Black misery” (122). From these organizations’
perspective, the conference provided a political opportunity structure
to “attack the ANC for its Thatcherite policies and expose its hypocrisy
on the question of race” (123). Leading up to the conference, CCF orga
it resulted in the reproduction of historical patterns of social power and
intersected forms of oppression along race, class, and gender lines. This
development was enabled by the neoliberal conjuncture in which the
transition occurred and the existence of a historical bloc committed to
the deepening of a neoliberal project as indicated in its economic devel
opment blueprint: Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR).
The discussion further demonstrates the political agency of marginalized
communities. Through their organizations, the contributions of organic
intellectuals such as Meer, and their links to forums such as the CCF and
others, these communities challenged the hegemonic drive and policies
of the ANC-led historical bloc during WCAR and in their everyday prac
tices of resistance to privatization of public goods such as social housing,
water, education, and electricity that were contributing to the deepening
of historical forms of social exclusion. The projects of resistance by these
communities against social oppression based on race, class, and gen
der embody the best of Biko’s and Meer’s work as organic intellectuals.
Mngxitama, Alexander, and Gib
18) in contemporary South Africa, but also Meer. These organic
intellectuals, and others who continue to emerge are making signi
cant contributions to the reproduction of the critical scholarly tradition
in South Africa, elements of which this chapter has highlighted. These
intellectuals live in “spaces of resistance that now appear and disappear
and are revived in different forms and different parts of post-apartheid

Further, in the spirit of the overall concerns of this volume, the chapter
does not engage in the extensive debates pertaining to the merits and limi-
tations of these traditions in the study of political, economic, and cultural

Quijano’s concept of “coloniality of power” captures the reproduction of
colonial ways of knowing and political and economic power arrangements
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
following the end of formal colonial rule. As he states, “[C]olonial struc-
ture of power produced the specic social discriminations which later
In her book, Conway engages with this question extensively from a femi-
nist perspective. She shared some of her work in a public lecture titled
“Women, Gender and Feminism: At the Edges of Global Justice,” that took
place at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill on 2 April 2011.
Staggenborg (2011)
Gramsci (1971, 51–113)
For a feminist critique of Fanon’s approach to the gender question in the
context of the Algerian nationalist struggle, see
The government of the rst prime minister of independent India, Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru, played a key role in these discussions. The country had
led a “complaint” concerning racial oppression in South Africa prior to
its independence and continued to raise this issue following independence
from Britain (
ited the contributions of women to anti-oppression struggles. For instance,
although some women did become leaders in their own right in other anti-
oppression movements such as the African National Congress and Pan
Africanist Congress, these movements were characterized by sexism and
While not new, the 1960s saw the deepening and consolidation of these
strategies by the apartheid state especially after the the Sharpeville massa-
cre on 21 March 1960. During this period, key anti-oppression movements
such as the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress
were banned.
A political opportunity structure opens possibilities for social movements to
For more information on the Foundation, see
Mngxitama, Alexander, and Gibson (2008)
The nature and role of some intellectuals in contemporary social move-
ments in South Africa is highly contested. For instance,
shack dwellers movement – have been romanticized in various stud-
ies. However, Fatima Meer’s signicant contributions to anti-oppression
struggles in the post-apartheid era are well known and respected (see,
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
). Speakers at memorial forums held to
celebrate Meer’s work, which the author attended in the spring of 2010,
echoed Meer’s contributions that are highlighted in Desai’s work and
beyond. The forums were held in Chatsworth and at the University of
Kwazulu Natal, respectively.
See the photo, taken by the author at a memorial forum held in Chartsworth,
Durban, on 17 April 2010 to celebrate Fatima Meer’s work, indicating some
The state repealed this Act in 1991.
During the author’s visits to Chatsworth, especially while attending the
To review the Durban Social Forum origins and declaration, see
Interviews with members of the women’s circle, June 2012.
For extended discussion of GEAR and South African’s neoliberal project,
Ballard, Richard, Adam Habid, and Imraan Valodia, eds. 2006.
Voices of Pro-
. Scottsville, South Africa:
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.
Bartolovich, Crystal, and Neil Lazarus, eds. 2002.
. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
I Write What I Like
. London: Bowerdean Press.
Böhmke, Heinrich. 2010. “The Branding of Social Movements in South
, April 2010.
Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South
. London: Pluto Press.
Talk Left, Walk Right: South Africa’s Frustrated Global Reforms
ville, South Africa: University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal Press.
Buthelezi, Sipho. 1991. “The Emergence of Black Consciousness: An Histori-
cal Appraisal.” In
Mpumlwana, and Lindy Wilson, 111–29. Cape Town: David Philip.
. New York: Routledge.
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
Imraan Valodia, 133–54. Scottsville, South Africa: University of KwaZulu-
Natal Press, 2006.
Mngxitama, Amanda Alexander, and Nigel C. Gibson, 1–20. New York: Pal-
Intellectuals, Oppression, and Anti-Racist Movements in South Africa
Terreblanche, Solomon Johannes. 2002.
A History of Inequality in South Africa,
colonial Theory: A Reader
. New York: Columbia University Press.
Introduction to Part IV: New Interventions
abigail b. bakan and enakshi dua
versation forward, suggesting examples of theorizations that address
the relationships among race, class, and the state in new ways. The aim
is to reconfigure the questions and move beyond historic tensions. Cri-
tiques that Hall and Gilroy have made of Marxism are that it conflates
class with race, ignores whiteness, and fails to examine the relation
shaped, and continue to shape, the place of state and sovereignty in
geographies of nationhood. Framing the analysis in the recent condi
tions of racialization generated by the “War on Terror,” Thobani offers
a critical examination of Agamben’s
as a post-structuralist
text and Hardt and Negri’s
in the framework of neo-Marxism.
She argues that neither of these inuential texts offers sufcient focus
on “the relationship of race to Western sovereignty within the global
Part IV: Interventions in Race, Class, and State
Bartolovich, Crystal. 2002. “Introduction: Marxism, Modernity and
, edited by Crystal
Bartolovich and Neil Lazarus, 1–17. Cambridge: Cambridge
Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511483158.001.

In this chapter,
the Jewish question is revisited, considered in the con
Marxist and an anti-racist analysis. The argument considers the role of
Zionism in the transition of Jewishness from non-white to a specic
World War II, Western geopolitical context. This analysis is informed
by an engagement with both Marxist and postcolonial literatures that
have attempted to problematize the intersection of political economy
and ideology, grounded in specic contexts that generate and repro
duce relations of power. It is also informed by an extensive literature
addressing “race” as a socially constructed assignment of cultural and/
or phenotypical characteristics in unstable and ambiguous productions
The “Jewish question” has taken different forms in various contexts
of race, class, and colonialism. As Hannah Arendt noted, “It has been
Arendt 2000
Regarding the political context of the twenty-rst century, the “Jew
state established in the shadow of the Nazi holocaust and which is rec-
ognized to bear a “Jewish” identity. While the association of states with
identity is a constructed and contested political claim, Israel is also a
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
state established through military force on expropriated indigenous
Palestinian national territory and sustained through the permanent
expulsion of and denial of equal citizenship to the Arab Palestinian
population (
Pappe 2006
Abu-Laban and Bakan 2008
Bakan and Abu-
). These realities have become embedded in contemporary
debates surrounding the Jewish question.
political crisis of the Middle East region, and the concomitant geopoli
tics of post-9/11 global imperialism, suggest interconnected relation
specic congurations at the intersection of race, class, and colonialism.
Abu-Laban and Bakan 2011
). Moreover, the context is not static,
The transition to whiteness, signicantly, presumes a shift from
in motion during the war against fascism led to a more inclusive version of
whiteness. Anti-Semitism and anti-European racism lost respectability …
Theories of nurture and culture replaced theories of nature and biology.
Instead of dirty and dangerous races that would destroy American democ
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
he argued in favour of legal emancipation as a democratic right and
context, identifying the period of the Nazi holocaust and the 1967 war
Zionism in post-war hegemony. The argument concludes with a con
for the purpose of this discussion to refer to two distinct phenomena
in addressing the Jewish question. Historic anti-Semitism, as anti-
Judaism, was dissimilar from modern anti-Semitism, as anti-Jewish
latter was considered a feature of biological assignment associated with
“Jewish blood.” Jews have historically been the victims of both anti-
Judaism and anti-Jewish racism, which tend to be termed, confusingly
and without differentiation, “anti-Semitism.”
Where then does “anti-Semitism” t into discussions of racism?
There is considerable debate regarding the origin of modern racism and
its relationship to capitalism, particularly concerning the signicance of
ever, as Helen
the public discourse of modernity regarding the frame of possessive
“Race,” as a constructed, ascribed condition of birth and inheritance,
emerges historically in association with specic scientic and biological
justications associated with colonialism and the enslavement of Afri
). To rationalize the ideology of univer
sal equality, associated with capitalism, with the economic reality of the
capture of humans and the subordination of forced human labour to
work in the protable plantations of the Americas, the notion of heredi
tary race was generalized as part of the hegemonic project (
Bakan 1987
Blackburn 1988
. Whiteness can be understood,
then, as an element of the construction of difference in the hegemonic
bloc historically associated with the making of the Euro-American rul
ing class. It was emergent in the period of colonial expansion and the
Atlantic slave trade throughout the Americas, in close association with
Baum 2008
Whiteness, though apparently neutral, became dened
“black” in racialized slavery. But the binary of white-as-neutral versus
black-as-other, though claimed to be rooted in the biologically ascribed
differences of blackness, was and is unstable.
European Jews, though not black, as non-Christian were also not
white, and were the victims of various forms of discrimination, col
lectively referred to in contemporary parlance as anti-Semitism. What
could be considered pre-modern anti-Semitism (anti-Judaism or reli
gious prejudice) and modern anti-Semitism (anti-Jewish racism) were
distinct, but also related in specic contexts. An important marker link
ing one to the other was the generalization of the
Protocols of the Elders of
. Originally a collection of documents based on articles produced in
was circulated after the Russian Revolution
of 1917 as a “clumsy forgery that attributed the rise of bolshevism to a
tionally. Notably, ruling class interests in the West coincided with those
in the East. As Sacher summarizes:
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
Circulated throughout Europe by a group of embittered White Rus
sian émigrés, the
was republished in the United States by the
renowned automobile manufacturer Henry Ford. Indeed, for several years
Ford’s private newspaper, the
published book,
The International Jew,
quoted extensively from the
and issued repeated warnings against the putative Jewish menace to
world order. (ibid.)
On the other end of the political spectrum, immigrant workers inter
nationally, including many European Jewish refugees in the West,
anti-oppression politics. Signicantly, one of the central attractive ele
ments was the Bolshevik party’s opposition to the Russian Tsarist state,
which was notoriously violent towards the Eastern European Jewish
As capitalism developed in Eastern Europe in the eighteenth and
version of
modern racism. Violent pogroms – massacres of Jewish
organized by Tsarist
This was the message of capitalism in Eastern Europe for the Jewish
people. It was also the background for the waves of emigration from
Eastern Europe to Western Europe, the United States, and elsewhere
2008). Whiteness, then, is a relational characteristic. Anti-Jewish racial
ized stereotypes in contemporary times continue to be widely accepted
in signicant regions of Canada, the United States, and Europe.
over, neo-Nazi organizations and adherents that specically defend the
legacy of Hitler’s genocidal politics continue to be active, promoting
racism against Jews and other minorities, and advancing such notions
as denial of the reality of the holocaust. However, in liberal Western
states, most formal educational and political barriers that were in place
If citizenship on grounds of Jewish rights to freedom of culture and reli
gious expression was unattainable within other state forms, the Zionist
ll the vacuum. The dramatic historical failures of the major emancipa
tionist projects regarding Jewish oppression – with both enlightenment
liberalism in the West and the shattered dream of universalist commu
nism in its Stalinist incarnation in the East witnessing renewed accom
modation to anti-Semitism as anti-Jewish racism – left an atmosphere of
overwhelming despair regarding prospects for achieving Jewish equal
Weinryb 1978
of post–World War II global capitalism coincided with the denigration,
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
academic discipline of political science. It is a conservative political
perspective closely associated with empire and colonialism, but self-
proclaimed through the expression of the language of equity, or in mod
ern terms, anti-oppression politics. This renders Zionism a complex
ideology, slippery in its efforts to escape comparison or analysis, not
least from the perspective of critical scholarship. Zionism presents as a
necessary corrective to modern anti-Semitism. In Israel, it is the ideo
with an increasingly conservative social movement, where redress for
Really existing Zionism has involved a racialization project associ
associated with notions of apartheid (
Bakan and Abu-
Jewish whiteness. Moreover, though the gender dimension of this con
struction takes us beyond the scope of this chapter, it is notable that
a model of the “new Jew” as framed by modern Zionism’s founder,
Theodor Herzl ([1896] 1988), is consistent with the European enlight
Freeman-Maloy 2006
Mearsheimer and Walt 2007
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
a national one) – had an immediate right to residence in Israel with
full citizenship participation. The establishment of the state of Israel
on very specic terms therefore effectively constructed a similarly spe
interests, notably linked to policies that would accord with expansion
of Western interests in the Middle East.
This transition to whiteness enabled diasporic Jews to access a level
of inuence and status previously unknown, contrasting sharply with
the historic normalization of Jewish oppression, and modern anti-
Semitism, in the Western world. However, this specically constructed
Israeli Jews, indicated by the exclusionary positioning of Zionism’s
“internal others,” the Mizrahim. As Joseph Massad aptly summarizes:
In addition to defending European Jews against anti-Semitic attacks, Zion
ism was also going to make available to them a whole range of economic
activity denied it in Europe, especially in agriculture and soldiery. Hence,
the objective of the Zionist movement was not simply to transplant Euro
pean Jews into a new geographical area, but also to transform the very

Turning Points: The Jewish Question, the Holocaust,
and the Six-Day War
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
an inspiring promise of emancipation for Jews in the rst years of the
1917 Russian Revolution, the counter-revolutionary moment associ
pre-modern anti-Judaism, was once agai
n enlisted by the post-Tsarist,
and post-emancipatory, “socialist” state (
Rothenberg 1971
Another signicant turning point in the entrenchment of Zionist
Day War of 1967, when the territorial borders of occupation expanded
more deeply into remaining Palestinian homelands in the Gaza Strip,
the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Neve Gordon aptly summarizes
Israel’s relationship to the Palestinian territories and population:
For many years … the occupation operated according to the coloniza
people and normalize the colonization, while exploiting the territory’s
resources (in this case land, water and labor). Over time, a series of struc
1990s to another guiding principle, namely, the separation principle. By
I mean the abandonment of efforts to administer the lives of
or going through checkpoints), while insisting on the continued exploit-
ation of nonhuman resources (land and water). The lack of interest in
or indifference to the lives of the colonized population that is character
sections of the New Left in the United States from the mass of the anti-
racist movement associated with black civil rights and black power.
IV. Zionism and Post-war Hegemony
racism that Zionism emerged as a more credible political force. A new
munity, coinciding with Western geopolitical interests in the post-war
scramble for empire. The forces that combined to establish the state of
other Western powers, serving as a kind of sub-imperialist power in
the Middle East region
owever, as a country that wel
comes Jewish emigrants from any country in the world, it also serves as
a place to address the “problem” of Jewish refugees. Zionism today is
therefore a political ideology with both historical and religious claims;
territory that has been the home to Palestinian Arabs – of many reli
gious backgrounds – for thousands of years. Zionism was a marginal
political ideology until sustained outbreaks of anti-Semitism in Europe
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
rendered it meaningful
, 26). Zionism has been presented
as a way to address the Jewish question, based on an assertion that
Jews are a single national people that has been dispersed, and therefore
Ronald Storrs, the rst British military governor of Jerusalem, put the
case, the Zionist enterprise was “one that blessed him and gave as well
as him that took, by forming for England ‘a little loyal Jewish Ulster’
in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism” (Schechtman, quoted in
In the 1920s, an even more overtly self-conscious imperialist wing of
the Zionist movement, which became known as the revisionist move
ment, was led by one Ze’ev Jabotinsky. This wing specically saw the
need for a military strategy of domination and control over the indig
enous Palestinian population, referred to as the strategy of “The Iron
Wall.” Jabotinsky maintained there could be no peaceful accommoda
tion with the Arab Palestinians. In response to critics, he defended the
morality of conquest. In Jabotinsky’s words:
A sacred truth, whose realization requires the use of force, does not cease
thereby to be a sacred truth. This is the basis of our stand toward Arab
relationship to the United States. Following the 1967 expansion of
Israel into Palestinian territories, this relationship became much closer;
Israel proved effective in repressing the development of a pan-Arabic
nationalist movement under the leadership of Egyptian leader Abdul
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
r (
Gordon 2008
Sacher 2007
Finkelstein 2003
As David Theo
Goldberg notes:
Israel was an anomaly at its founding, reecting conicting logics of world
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
however, is endemic to the construction of Israel’s political economy
Bakan and Abu-Laban 2010
Conclusion: Towards Consistent Anti-Racism
Israel’s state structure has come under strain periodically over the
decades, both outside and inside Israel, most clearly perhaps in the
ing Palestinian resistance is at the centre of the exposure of this con
). There is, however, a widespread
presence of Zionist Israel advocacy organizations that falsely claim to
be representative of all Jewish people and which serve as active oppo
This process was well established in the post-war years, when sections
of American Jews, as white, actively struggled to be distinguished from
). In the post-9/11 context, Jewish
organizations that are closely tied to Israel advocacy have articulated
particular distance from the Arab/Muslim population domestically
). As Noel Ignatiev has noted, draw
ing on the example of the divisions of Irish immigrants from black
, 14). At the other
end of the spectrum, Stuart Hall, who pioneered the advancement of
Jewish diasporic identity with Zionist political positioning regarding
Israel/Palestine, and on this basis rejected both the identity and the
Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin, writing from a perspective of Jewish cul
diasporic cultural Jewish identity that is inherently anti-Zionist, noting
how such an identity is grounded precisely in its absence of uniformity
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
). Specically challenged were notions that
I am indebted to Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Paul Kellogg, Amelia Murphy-
Beaudoin, Kevin Ovenden, and Alan Sears for comments on earlier drafts
of this paper. Sections of this paper and earlier iterations were presented
at Historical Materialism Toronto, York University, Toronto (May 2010);
Department of Political Science Colloquium Series, University of Alberta,
Edmonton (October 2010); Historical Materialism London, University of
London, London (November 2010); and Historical Materialism New York,
New School for Social Research, New York City (May 2011). Earlier itera-
tions of some of these ideas are in Bakan (2003).
Notably, the reference point in global politics is largely the Ashkenazi or
European Jewish experience. Such a reference point does not have the same
relationship to the ongoing subordinate status of Sephardic or African Jew-
ish populations internationally. The implications of these issues for the lat-
ter groups are important, but are, however, beyond the focus of this chapter.
The term “anti-Semitism” has come to articially equate Jewish experience
with the biblical, linguistic, or cultural category of “Semite.” However, in
the context of the vernacular, a third meaning of the term “anti-Semitism” is
used in regard to legitimate criticisms of the policies and practices of the state
The relationship of racialization and religion is signicant and operates
differently in specic historical contexts. A full discussion of the relation
Regarding the normalization of such stereotypes, common discourse sug-
gests a measure. In January 2011, a doctoral student re-told me the fol-
lowing “joke” that had been recited to him over a meal in an established
Answer: because air is free.” The phenotypical stereotype of the Jewish nose
and the cultural stereotype of Jewish nancial avarice, both encapsulated
in this casual conversation as “humour,” indicate the continued normaliza-
tion of anti-Semitism as anti-Jewish racism. This is indicative of, arguably,
traditional or “old” anti-Semitism. It is not coterminous with the politically
constructed notion of a “new anti-Semitism,” contrived to discredit chal-
lenges to Israeli state practices, particularly regarding Palestinian rights (see
The failed efforts in the politics of Jewish emancipation span the examples
of the French enlightenment, marred by the Dreyfus Affair
Post-1967 is notably a period of the increasing political ascendancy of the
Christian Zionist movement in the United States, asserting both a remark-
able anti-Semitism and a strong identity with Jews as the “chosen people.”
In rejecting international law regarding the 1967 occupation, the Christian
Race, Class, and Colonialism: Reconsidering the “Jewish Question”
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The US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan raise politically urgent
questions about the ways in which sovereignty is being reshaped

Race, Sovereignty, and Empire:
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
a circumstance in which the sovereign suspends the rule of law. The
state of exception has become the rule, and the capture of “bare life,”
that is, life stripped of all rights, lies at the heart of sovereign power.
Agamben has famously argued that the concentration camp is exem
survivors in the very testimonies that are referred to by Agamben.
makes mention of race and the Third World, it
does so in passing; the relevance of race and the Third World to theo
rizing “global” sovereignty is entirely dismissed by Hardt and Negri.
s argument that the “modern” state system has
been transcended by a postmodern sovereignty based on the decline
of the nation-state system, attending to the role of race and coloniality
in global relations reveals a strengthening of the repressive powers of
Western nation-states.
My main argument in this chapter is that the omissions of race and
an alternative way of theorizing sovereignty that recognizes modern
practices of sovereignty as re-enacting ongoing histories of “race,”
colonialism, and empire. The constitution of Western forms of sover
eignty as universalist has been integral to Western domination of the
non-West, and both Agamben’s and Hardt and Negri’s texts reproduce
this ideological practice while rendering irrelevant the extensive Third
World (including Muslim) critiques of – and resistance to – Western
domination of the global order.
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
Afghanistan, such as it had been, was deemed entirely disposable due
to the “fanatic” and “hyperpatriarchal” nature of the Taliban regime.
Although a few legal scholars and activists dened the Afghan war as
Hussein’s regime.
In the ideological framing of the War on Terror, however, questions
of sovereignty, and of the legality and illegality of the two invasions,
were quickly shunted aside as secondary. Ideologically, the invasions
of Afghanistan and Iraq soon morphed into each other in public dis
course as the larger objective, that of protecting Western civilization,
women’s rights, and freedom from the Muslim world gained ground
among different political constituencies in the West. In the United
States, Vice President Cheney publicly defended going over to the
“dark side” to defeat an enemy so “evil” that any and every measure to
ain, the Labour leader, Tony Blair, supported such a view, as did the
Canadian Liberal government, including the then high prole leader
ship contender, Michael Ignatieff. The attacks of 9/11 were dened as
so unprecedented, the enemy so heinous, that a state of exception and
the suspension of the rule of law had become imperative.
declaimed as “unjust.” One claimed international legal sanction hav
ing secured a vague UN resolution, the other failed to commandeer a
similar pronouncement. One regime was dened as “medieval” and
was the common ground on which the sovereignty of Afghanistan and
Iraq could be so readily destroyed by the US-led occupation forces with
countries were invaded and occupied, the meaning of sovereignty in
the “post” colonial era demands urgent attention, as much for effective
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
these weapons. Sovereignty and the right to self-
and inside the juridical order.”
With the power to suspend the rule
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
law, which he denes as the “protagonist” of his book.
This gure,
who could not be sacriced but could be killed with impunity, allows
Agamben to differentiate his analysis from Foucault’s regarding the
origin and function of bio-power. Agamben outlines the crux of his
The Foucauldian thesis will then have to be corrected or, at least, com
Islamist as (potential, if not already actual) “terrorist” and “unlawful
combatant” has stripped him/her of every right and protection offered
by the state and placed him/her outside the rule of international law.
As is widely known, the Geneva Convention was treated by the Bush
Administration and its allied states, including Canada, as inappropriate
to the “new” form of warfare required to destroy the Islamist enemy. In
the “globalized” state of exception that is the War on Terror, the rule of
to it: this body can be, indeed, as many already have been, incarcer
ated, tortured, even assassinated by state and state-mandated “private”
mercenary forces who operate above the international regime of law,
citizenship rights, and entitlements. Although Guantanamo Bay and
Abu Ghraib may well prove to be the clearest illustration of the “zone
of indistinction” that the state of emergency described by Agamben has
brought into being in the early twenty-rst century, Agamben cannot
black and brown (who “look” like Muslims), have become constituted
violence of European empires, but was constituted as the very antith
) that was the Western “wo/
man.” The “Western” tradition of constituting bare life, to use Agam
ben’s terminology, has thus, from its very inception, relied on constitut
and this racializing tradition has remained ongoing within the “mod
politico-juridical order. Moreover, even in the camp that captures
Agamben’s attention, it was not just any body, but a specically racial
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
the proper province of sovereign power was likewise an articulation of
racial-as-modern power.
As I discuss below, the key categories that concern Agamben, namely
“modernity,” “sovereignty,” “bare life,” the “camp” and, most particu
larly, the “West,” were all borne of the racial violence that constituted
the global order under Euro-American domination. Without the slight
est regard for the historical experiences and political philosophies of
those ontologically and juridically placed outside the West, Agamben
naturalizes the category of the “West” as existing in, of, and for itself,
Western” world; it was in constituting the non-West as the West’s
original site of exception – the colony, with its native reserves, enslaved
African bodies, and Arab medinas – that the West constituted itself as
such, as a unitary entity. Instead of making an argument for the inclu
sion of these “less-than-human” racialized Others into Agamben’s
framework, I demonstrate below the pervasive presence of racial poli
tics even in Agamben’s chosen site of study, the Nazi camp, albeit his
analytic bent is such that it covers up this presence and obfuscates an
understanding of the specic relation of race to sovereign power.
Although Agamben’s interest lies in tracing the trajectory of the state of
exception and the capture of bare life by sovereign power, the relation
of race to bare life within Western sovereignty goes unexamined – and
is consequently reduced to redundancy – in his analytic frame.
exception within modernity ignores the historical antecedents of the
racialized logic of violence concentrated not only in the hands of the
to the Nazi regime’s identication of Jewish people in Europe for elimi
nation on the basis of their “racial” inferiority, considered by the Nazis
terror in the camp;
gure marks “the moving threshold in which man passed into non-
death-in-life, the
emaciated, with the glazed eyes and stunted movement that revealed
a near-death status, apparently recalled for the Jewish survivors the
Muslim in prayer.
However, lest one think that such identication resulted in a rela
tion of solidarity felt by the Jewish survivor, him/herself racialized as
“Semite” and “Oriental,” with the racialized gure of the Oriental/
Arab Muslim in the Western imagination, that it may have forged a
bond in recognition of their shared cultural and historical experiences,
thy for him either. The other inmates, who continually feared for their
ers who collaborated, the Muslims were a source of anger and worry;
for the SS they were merely useless garbage. Every group thought
about eliminating them, each in its own way.”
The fear and hatred
of the Jewish survivors towards this gure, who represented to them
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
amply attested in the survivors’ testimonies referenced by Agamben. It
was thus not sympathy, but terror and fear turned into hatred, that asso
vivor; it was the Jew-as-Muslim who was to perish in the camps, for, as
Agamben astutely points out, “[W]ith a kind of ferocious irony, the Jews
knew that they would not die at Auschwitz as Jews.”
In other words,
the Jew who died at Auschwitz did so as a
; the Jew who sur
testimonies of the survivors reveal the extent to which they believed
to avoid this Muslim-in-the-Jew, guarding their own humanity by an
absolute denial of their identication with the Muselmann-as-Oriental.
These testimonies give rise to a troubling question: was the severing
of the bond of his/her shared humanity with the Muselmann a condi
tion of possibility for the Jewish survivor to leave the camp alive as
European, not Oriental? Could it be that the desperate conditions in the
camp reveal that the only possible condition for survival was race-as-life
(European), and the turning away from race-as-death (Oriental)?
Muselmann? Could it be that it was in identifying the gure of the Mus
racial object, as the real Oriental, so utterly degraded and
degenerate that s/he was really not human at all, that the Orientalized
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
Jew became European? Could it be that it was in severing him/herself
from this quintessential racial Other of Europe that the (European) Jew
ish survivor managed to cling to his/her own humanity, staking his/
her claim to the status of the human by expunging the Oriental (that is,
to be found within his/herself? If that was the case, than Auschwitz
death of Jewish Orientalness. Certainly the pressure on Jewish people
in Europe to convert to Christianity and to assimilate was intense dur
self was a process of race-making, a process by which the subsequent
redenition of the “West” as Judeo-Christian was to become possible.
This is precisely the denition of the “West” that has emerged hege
monic in the War on Terror. The camp, then, as the site of the destruc
tion of the racial Other as bare life, became also a site of the birth of
the racially same, that is, the Jew-as-Westernized-self. The cost of this
expulsion of the racial Other in the Jewish self was to prove devastating
to the survivors, who were to remain forever haunted by the gure of
The publication of
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
could maintain peace and stability while defending the Empire from
This tradition persisted through the
Middle Ages, and with the rise of modernity, two different concepts of
international right emerged, the rst being the idea of “treaty mecha
Church and landed aristocracy by the rise of the bourgeoisie and its
form of secularist law vested in the state through the legitimizing
liberal concepts of the “social contract” and democracy.
The conceptualization of “postmodern” sovereignty that
ents emerged “under a single logic of rule,” argue Hardt and Negri,
with the “sovereign right of nation-states (and the international right
that followed from it)” being replaced by the “rst postmodern global
gures of imperial right.”
Initially “centred” in the “supranational
role of the United Nations and its various afliated institutions,”
this new form of sovereignty moved beyond its origins to transform
national constitutional and juridical processes through the develop
ment of global institutions, including the World Bank, the International
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
to act in collaboration with others under the umbrella of the United
The new order, they argue denitively, is notable
more for
its differences from the “old” imperialist empires of Europe than for its
similarities with them. Hardt and Negri go on to argue that Empire has
given rise to new forms of subjectivity: whereas the “purity” of identi
ties had been policed by imperialist nation-states through their exclu
sions of racial Others, Empire’s postmodern sovereignty “manages
hybrid identities, exible hierarchies and plural exchanges through
simultaneously treating “Europe” as a sovereign, pre-existing entity.
This allows them to evade the recognition that Europe
Europe –
that is, constituted itself as a unitary, even if not fully unied, entity – in
and through its racially constitutive encounter with the colonized Other.
There was no “Europe,” and as is the case with the War on
Terror, no
Euro-American “West,” outside of this ongoing mutually
racial engagement with the “rest.”
In his study of the origins of the modern doctrine of sovereignty
and the system of international law which it founded, Antony Ang
hie rejects the contention that sovereignty historically emerged within
Europe and was subsequently extended to the rest of the world, or even
that the system of international law based on the sovereignty doctrine
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
and Negri, was “a moment of great innovation and rupture in the
genealogy of modern sovereignty.”
Exemplifying “an extraordinarily
the American constituents thought that only the republic can give order to
democracy, or really that the order of the multitude must be born not from
a transfer of the title of power and right, but from an arrangement internal
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
secular-liberalist terms, and for
revolutionary “neo-Marxist”
The limitations of Hardt and Negri’s analytic frame result from its
postmodern – Western nation-state and the invasions and occupa
tions of Afghanistan and Iraq become highlighted, as do the forms of
integration, contestation, and complicities that are available to vari
ous sectors of the population in their relationships with the “Western”
state form. Such a centring of race and coloniality also helps reveal the
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
changing forms and practices through which both race and coloniality
are being rearticulated in the War on Terror.
perspectives from the Third World and those injured most acutely by
the very sovereignty that is the object of their respective study. In this,
they help extend the reach of this violence by erasing the political chal
lenges and intellectual contributions of the Third World.
I would like to thank the reviewers of this chapter for their insightful com-
This chapter is based on a research project funded by the Social Sciences
and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I would like to acknowledge
a previous version of this chapter, published as “Empire, Bare Life and the
11, no. 1 (2012).
Michael Mandel, “Illegal Wars and International Criminal Law,” in
Third World and International Order: Law, Politics and Globalization
, ed. Antony
Anghie, Bhupinder Chimni, Karin Michelson, and Obiora Okafor (Leiden/
Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2003), 117–32. Pointing out that the UN
passed two resolutions on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks, Michael Man-
del argued that neither of these resolutions specically mentioned the use
of military force. The UN Charter allows for war only when it is deemed
“absolutely and demonstrably necessary,” Mandel argues, and even then,
“[n]ecessity is entirely a matter for the Security Council with only one
exception: the strictly limited right of self-defence” (119). Given that the
United States claimed the right to defend itself in launching this war, Man-
del examines this right to self-defence that is enshrined in the UN Charter.
He notes that the right depends on four factors: it is of limited duration
until the UN can intervene; only the state that carried out the initial attack
can be attacked in self-defence; there must be an element of necessity for
war; and the attack conducted in self-defence is required to be proportional
to the initial attack (121). By these criteria, Mandel concludes that the US
war in Afghanistan is illegal and violates the UN Charter. He goes on to
make the following case: “The Security Council passed two resolutions on
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
Mandel expands on this right of self defence: “In the rst place, and most
importantly, the right of unilateral self-defence (viz. not authorized by
the Security Council) in Article 51 is expressly stated as a
Mandel points out that in 1986 the United States argued at the World Court
that Nicaragua allowed insurgents from other countries to operate from
its territory, and therefore the United States was acting in “collective self-
defence” when it bombed and mined Nicaragua’s harbours. The World
court rejected this claim (ibid., 122–3).
Giorgio Agamben,
Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
(Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 1998).
For an alternate analysis of the category of the “West,” see Stuart Hall,
See Ward Churchill,
and Patricia Monture-Angus,
Thunder in My Soul: A Mohawk Woman Speaks
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 1985).
Press, 2001).
Giorgio Agamben,
Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive
York: Zone Books, 2002), 14.
Wolfgang Sofsky, quoted in Agamben,
Remnants of Auschwitz
on Ryn and Klodzinski’s study, which offers the following explanation
for the use of the name “Muslim” for the most dejected Jewish inmates of
the camps: “They excluded themselves from all relations to their environ-
ment. If they could still move around, they did so in slow motion, without
bending their knees. They shivered since their body temperature usually
fell below 98.7 degrees. Seeing them from afar, one had the impression of
seeing Arabs praying. This image was the origin of the term used at Aus-
chwitz for people dying of malnutrition: Muslims.” Quoted in Agamben,
Remnants of Auschwitz
Feliksa Piekarska, quoted in Agamben,
Remnants of Auschwitz
See Ziauddin Sardar,
Press, 1999); and Edward Said,
(New York: Vintage Books, 1978).
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
Jewish Self-Hatred: Anti Semitism and the Hidden Language of
(Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986).
Jewish Self-Hatred
This is an argument that I develop more fully in my soon-to-be published
Race, Sex and Terror in the 21st Century.
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri,
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2000). For some excellent responses to
Empire’s New Clothes: Reading Hardt and
(New York: Routledge, 2004). For discussion of US imperialism and
Empire, see also Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, eds.,
The Empire Reloaded
(London: The Merlin Press, 2004).
was written before the attacks of 9/11, Michael Hardt
argued in an essay written after the attacks that “nation-states are no
Hardt and Negri,
, 10–11.
Ibid., 11.
, 70). Rejecting the dominant worldview of the time that vested
power in a transcendent entity, “[t]hey inherited a dualistic consciousness,
Hardt and Negri,
, xv.
As Hardt and Negri explain, “Imperialism was really an extension of the
sovereignty of the European nation-states beyond their own boundar-
, xii). Most juridical theorists of the international order and
As Hardt and Negri explain,“Through its contemporary transformation
of supranational law, the imperial process of constitution tends either
Race, Sovereignty, and Empire
Ibid., xiv.
Hardt and Negri argue that Empire is also dened as a system in which
the materiality of the juridical order entails a shift from the disciplinary
’s Eurocentrism has been pointed out by Kevin Dunn, who argues
Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Hardt and Negri,
Hardt and Negri,
(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007).
Agamben, Giorgio.
Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
. Stanford, CA:
Stanford University Press, 1998.
Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive
. New York: Zone Books,
Anghie, Antony.
Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
In thinking about the relationship of race and class, there is an urgent
need to historicize and contextualize race-thinking in the present, to
take account of its complexity and contradictions in the post–Cold
War era of neoliberal globalism. This chapter investigates the analyti
cal possibilities offered by pushing the boundaries of the concept of
whiteness “beyond race.” Arguing that class under neoliberalism is
increasingly conceptualized in racialized and culturalized terms, the
emerging in different parts of the world. In the world that emerged
after the Cold War, post-socialism and post–Third World, “whiteness”
is increasingly related to a form of class identity. In the ways in which
white identity may be denied poor whites and a white “underclass”
but claimed by the globalized elites in non-European countries, white
ness seems to be specifically associated with a transnational bourgeois
new, global capitalist modernity. Even though these new developments
appear to have increased the flexibility of whiteness as a narrowly
racial category, they do not represent the end of its racial connota
tions, as the new formulations involve a continuation, and even further
entrenchment, of the links of whiteness to a Euro-American capitalist

neoliberalism works. As Wendy Brown suggests, neoliberalism is not
just a historically specic mode of organizing the economy, the state,
cize and contextualize race-thinking in the present would need to take
into account its complexities in the post–Cold War era of neoliberal
globalism and the new imperialism. Such a project would need to
involve an approach to critical race theory that takes political economy
and geopolitics seriously. In a period of neoliberal globalized capital
social and cultural difference is ever more important in middle class
culture and minds, as well as in material class reality and relations. The
political and ideological signicance of this situation is that a cultur
alist perspective tends to present/represent the dispossessed and the
powerless as culturally alien. This perspective on class difference and
uneven development leads to notions of incommensurable, irreconcil
able, cultural differences, and therefore has enormous implications in
shifting the gaze from capitalism and neoliberal globalization to the
poor themselves as the source of problems.
, Mamdani argues that the period after
the Cold War, typically characterized as the era of globalization, is
‘culture’.” He points out that the current hegemonic use of the term
is very different from a material and lived notion of culture, “the cul
ture studied by anthropologists – face-to-face, intimate, local, and
– [and that] the talk of culture is highly politicized and comes in
large geo-
cized ways, it is employed precisely to avoid discussing issues socially,
historically, and politically. Rather, what is presented is an essentialist
notion of culture that explains politics as an outcome of the cultural
South are being recongured along new lines. In this context, “North”
“redundant” for the economy.
As the “South” has grown in both North and South in this era, so has
there been the appearance, as Dirlik points out, of “the First World in
the Third.” An important actor in the articulation and popularization of
culturalist conceptions of class in this context has been the rising global-
identied new middle classes, who are increasingly linked, materially
and ideationally, with a transnational bourgeoisie. Mike Davis and Daniel
Bertrand Monk argue that the contemporary period of neoliberal global
ism is characterized by an “unprecedented spatial and moral secession
of the wealthy from the rest of humanity.”
Compared to earlier periods
of developmentalism in postcolonial Third World states and the welfare
state in the First World, in recent decades an increasingly transnational
bourgeois elite, along with the new middle classes, have been in a pro
cess of cutting their obligatory social solidarity with other social classes.
Their relationship to their local and national surroundings has more and
more become characterized by disembeddedness and extraterritoriality.
Physically embodied in gated communities, gentried neighbourhoods
in globalizing and “global cities,” and in other new urban formations,
these classes now live in gilded “dreamworlds” that represent “willful,
middle class discourses concerning the working class as well as on the
notion of the “underclass,” especially popular in the United States. This
is followed by a look at the new middle class discourse regarding the
urban poor in Third World countries and an examination of Oriental
After explaining how and why these discourses constitute the hege
monic common sense about social inequalities in the present (geo)polit
of culturalism in terms of class relationships and solidarity.
of the Working Class
The Notion of “Underclass” in the United States
Under neoliberalism broad sections of the working class are being
materially and ideologically placed outside what are thought to be
imperialist struggles.
The overwhelming popularity of the term “underclass”
class differences it represents, as well as in its association of whiteness
Introducing the term to a broad
The term “underclass” has gained increased popularity in the United
States since the 1980s. The term emphasizes social and cultural differ
ences that go far beyond what class inequalities would produce, denot
ing a form of marginality, an existence outside what are thought to be
historical parallels with the Victorian notion of “dangerous classes,” as
well as with Oscar Lewis’s more recent notion of “the culture of pov
Despite the parallels, though, there is an important difference
from the latter. As Malik points out, “the culture of poverty” was taken
eliminate it, whereas the conservative use of “underclass” suggests
that state intervention to eliminate the difference may be unnecessary
Representations of the White Working Class
What is said about the more overtly racialized “underclass” also has
signicant implications for the working class proper, as well as for the
white working class. In her work on Britain, Beverly Skeggs argues
that signicant shifts have taken place in recent years in the position
attitudes and practices (not named and known directly as class).”
What Skeggs calls “the rebranding of class” involves the ways in
which class is dened as a cultural property and as cultural practices
class has been identied with excess, waste, and entertainment, and
as lacking in taste, unmodern, backward, escapist, dangerous, unruly,
It is also seen as a resource, some cultural elements of
which can be “convertible and propertisable” for the middle class.
public spaces; and urban planning schemes that enable freeways to
bypass slums or “eye-sore” areas. Such separation and segregation of
classes in space corresponds to a fragmentation of the city, in physical
and material, as well as social, administrative, political, and economic
terms. Gated communities represent the fears of the middle class occu
pants against those located outside the walls, as well as a withdrawal of
the middle class from the public sphere. Gated communities, gentried
neighbourhoods, exclusive public spaces that keep the poor at a dis
advertisements for these developments is the creation of new forms
of subjectivity that buy into a transnational bourgeois identity and
Leela Fernandes argues that “the management of liberalization” in
India “occurs through the production of the boundaries” of the new
middle class, “boundaries that are simultaneously constructed through
politics of distinction from
and a
within the dominant national culture.”
In addition to helping middle class citizens separate themselves from
their working class counterparts and express their elite status, gated
as part of a global elite. Class segregated spaces become signicant in
the material and discursive construction and representation of spaces
in a transnational culture, a “‘global’ culture of consumption.” In his
study of the elite housing projects sprouting up all over the big cit
Anthony King argues that these spaces help create the “complex con
identities are being formed.”
“[I]nternational” and “India” are positioned as being mutually exclusive,
rather than inclusive of each other. Thus, advertisements for the Manhat
here, therefore, is “other” than, or different from, India. Take, for exam
designer homes” (but not, apparently, in India).
upper classes to a country of their own, somewhere up in the stratosphere
where they merge with the rest of the world’s elite. This Kingdom in the
specically parody the daily habits, patterns, and mannerisms of those
sectors of the population who are seen as not tting in with Turkey’s
aspirations to become part of the European Union or Istanbul’s aspira
tions to become a “global city.”
What may seem ironic about the “cosmopolitan” aspirations of the
nationalism left. With the demise of the Third World, Prashad argues:
active, dynamic, and modern individualists perfectly deserving of dif
ferentials in pay and treatment.
Analysing the terms used by leading
Polish magazines for the impoverished people in urban and the rural
areas, Alison Stenning conrms Dunn’s and Buchowski’s observations.
She argues that the adjectives used are quite similar today to those
used by the new right in Western countries for “post-industrial com
In a radical shift from the ofcial ideology of the socialist
Kideckel refers to the “unmaking” of the working class.
that even those parts of the working class once considered to be the
labour elite, such as miners, presently experience not only economic
uncertainty and insecurity, but also indifference towards their con
ditions in academic and political realms, where any concerns for the
plight of workers are “marginalized and delegitimized.”
here refers specically to the cultural connotations of being identied
as belonging to a (globalized) capitalist modernity. It is also associ
ated with perceiving class and treating subordinate classes as cultural
ized others. What we see through analyses of the different contexts of
different contexts are discourses and practices that involve a “cultural
ization of structure” and a “naturalization of culture.”
of class also assumes processes of racialization, where “culture dis
…naturally occurring difference, a simple fact of life, and a self-sufcient
As Aziz Al-Azmeh has argued, culturalism
I have concluded not only that culturalism uses the same gures and
tropes that had been previously employed in racialist discourses, but
that like racialism it operates in a rather simple manner, which consists
of neoliberal capitalist globalization have remarked, one of the most
important characteristics of this period is the marginalization of sig
economy. This marginalization takes place at both international and
national levels. Dirlik argues that globalism involves an acceptance of
will share in the fruits of global capital.
As Robert Cox perceptively observed in the mid 1990s, years before
substitution as the dominant development strategy enabled the
national bourgeoisie to cut loose its obligatory social solidarity with
other social classes. Instead of cross-class alliances, Prashad argued,
“[t]his class looked forward to a rearrangement of alliances, with a closer
relationship with the ‘West’ for economic gain and consumer pleasure.
The erosion of the Third World state allowed this class to carry the
standard of the First World.”
James Ferguson’s analysis of the nature of the shift globalism rep
resents focuses specically on the (former) Third World. Neverthe
less, some of his arguments are also applicable to the former socialist
countries. According to Ferguson, the shift from the previous (devel
opmentalist) modernization project to the more recent globalist one
marks a radical change in the way inequalities are seen and addressed.
standard of living, a
As it moves from
, modernization becomes an exclusion
ary project, despite all the talk about “multiple” or “alternative moder
nities.” The social, economic, and cultural fragmentation that results
is of great signicance. Ferguson suggests that “[t]he status categories
of the contemporary global order … may even come to resemble the
xed status categories of the preindependence era, when the color bar
poor, black, second-class world of the ‘natives.’”
of the global hierarchy, unable and not expected to move up, their sta
tus increasingly comes to be seen as naturally or even racially beneath
the ones who have achieved the status of modernity.
implications of this are very signicant. As modernization ceases to be
a promise for all, as ranks in the global order become “not stages to be
passed through, but nonserialized statuses, separated from each other
The increased class distance throughout the world that neoliberal,
capitalist globalization represents materially, but also in social, cultural,
psychological, and political terms, leads to a neoliberal subjectivity on
the part of the middle classes, some of whom benet from the changes
are experiencing increased insecurities in the new economy, a new
form of subjectivity often arises, born from the spatial and institutional
paranoic concern with ‘law and order.’”
marginalized classes. It makes othering “absolute” and “naturalizes”
and justifying the inequalities suffered by those losing or marginal
ized by neoliberalism as related to their “culture,” lifestyle choices, and
wrong values. Culturalism leads to invisibilization, or otherwise paro
dying, to criminalization, and to pathologization of the poor, marginal,
and those struggling under the new economic order. It constitutes the
poor and marginalized as outside the modern nation and globalized
modernity. In doing so, culturalism discourages, disables, or invali
among those negatively affected by modern capitalism and neoliberal
ism. As culturalism may be central to the ways in which subjectivities
are produced under neoliberalism, challenging culturalism is essential
to challenging neoliberal governmentality and hegemony.
Wendy Brown,
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), 223.
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and
the Roots of Terror
(New York: Pantheon, 2004).
Arif Dirlik, “Interview,” in
, ed. Shaobo Xie and Fengzhen Wang (Calgary: Univer-
sity of Calgary Press, 2002), 9–46, 34 for the quotation.
tienne Balibar, “Is There a ‘Neo-Racism’?”
tienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein (London and New
York: Verso, 1991), 7–36; Pierre André Taguieff, “The New Cultural Racism
Arif Dirlik, “The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of
Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial
Mike Davis, “The Urbanization of Empire: Megacities and the Laws of
Social Text
Davis, “The Urbanization of Empire,” 11.

Wasted Lives: Modernity and Its Outcasts
Polity Press, 2004).
Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, “Introduction,” in
Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism
(New York: New Press, 2007), ix–xiv, xiv for
Routledge, 2005).
The Meaning of Race: Race, History and Culture in Western
Keith (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), 93–107, 100 for the
The Meaning of Race
Work, Consumerism and the New Poor
UK: Open University Press, 2005), 76.
Oscar Lewis, “The Culture of Poverty,” in
spectives from the Social Sciences
, ed. Daniel P. Moynihan (New York: Basic
The Meaning of Race
Class, Self and Culture
Beverley Skeggs, “The Re-Branding of Class: Propertising Culture,” in
, Class, Self and Culture
, 117.
Class, Self and Culture
, 118.
in Most of the World
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 132.
Hatice Kurtulus¸, “Istanbul’da Kapal Yerles¸meler: Beykoz Konaklar
Istanbul’da Kentsel Ayrs¸ma
, ed. Hatice Kurtulus¸ (Istanbul:
Anthony King, “Speaking from the Margins: ‘Postmodernism’, Transna-
tionalism, and the Imagining of Contemporary Indian Urbanity,” in
ization and the Margins
, ed. Richard Grant and John Rennie Short (Palgrave
Arundhati Roy, “Listening to Grasshoppers – Genocide, Denial and
Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrink-
Oya Baydar, “Ötekine Yenik Düs¸en I
stanbul Dergisi
, no. 23 (1997): 74–9. Ironically, Oya Baydar is oth-
erwise known as a left-wing intellectual who had to live in exile in Europe
following the Turkish military coup of 1980.
Ays¸e Öncü, “I
stanbullular ve Ötekiler: Küreselcilik Ça
Olmann Küresel Kozmolojisi (Istanbulites and the Others: The Global
Cosmology of Middle Classness in an Age of Globalism),” in
Küresel ve Yerel Arasnda
Yeni Orta Snf
stanbul: L&M (Leyla ile Mecnun) Yaynlar, 2005).
stanbullular ve Ötekiler,” 135–6. Like the term
has no meaning in the Turkish language. Whereas
sibly adopted from Hungarian,
created in popular culture in this period.
in Turkey in recent years, there have been some changes in notions of
who “ts in” in Istanbul or Turkey’s other major cities. Even though
people with less “European” and more “visibly Muslim” appearances
have become part of the recent notions of who “ts in” to the city, class
exclusions still apply.
Anand Teltumbde, “Hindu Fundamentalist Politics in India,” in
, ed. Vedi R. Hadiz (Abingdon and New York:
Vijay Prashad,
The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World
(Amherst, MA: The New Press, 2007), 217.
Michal Buchowski, “The Specter of Orientalism in Europe: From Exotic
Other to Stigmatized Brother,”
Anthropological Quarterly
Edward Said,
Buchowski, “The Specter of Orientalism in Europe,” 465.
Alison Stenning, “Where is the Post-Socialist Working Class? Working-
David Kideckel, “The Unmaking of an East-Central European Working
Hann (New York and London: Routledge, 2002), 112–132.
Ibid., 114.
Buchowski, “The Specter of Orientalism in Europe,” 474.
The terms are Susan J. Smith’s in her article “Residential Segregation and
, ed. Malcolm
Cross and Michael Keith (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), 128–43.
Aziz Al-Azmeh, “Postmodern Obscurantism and ‘The Muslim Question,’”
Dirlik, “Interview,” 37–8.
Robert Cox, “Critical Political Economy,” in
Understanding Global Disorder,
Against Paranoid Nationalism
The Darker Nations
James Ferguson, “Decomposing Modernity: History and Hierarchy after
(New York:
Columbia University Press, 1998), 47.
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New York: Verso, 1991.
. New York: Colum-
bia University Press, 1998.
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. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2004.
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Baydar, Oya. “Ötekine Yenik Dü
stanbul Dergisi
“The Urbanization of Empire: Megacities and the Laws of Chaos.”
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, ix–xvi. New York: New Press, 2007.
Dirlik, Arif. “Interview.” In
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–. “The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capi-
Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives
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stanbullular ve Ötekiler: Küreselcilik Çagnda Orta Snf Olmann Küresel
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An industrial army of workmen, under the command of a capitalist, requires,
like a real army, ofcers [managers], and sergeants [foremen, overlookers],
work of supervision becomes their established and exclusive function.
John R. Commons, the staid liberal reformer who founded academic
labour history in the United States, and Ernest Riebe, the funny, fight
ing cartoonist of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), doubtless
had very little in common politically. Commons supported American
goals strayed beyond collective bargaining. Riebe offered IWW publi
cations the adventures of Mr. Block, the clueless, conformist anti-hero
whose misadventures showed just how much misplaced faith in the

in United States History
pensable, and why too much of Marxist scholarship is slow to appre
hend the “specic history of the United States” where race, capital, and
class are concerned.
Lowe argues that Marxism has too often stopped at allowing for race-
making processes like the slave trade and the seizing of native lands
only in an early period of primitive accumulation, though race-making
continued to matter greatly in the history of capitalism. She insists that in
the world’s most developed capitalist nation the connection of race and
exploitation persisted and ramied, driving the accumulation of capital
and shaping subsequent strategies of rule. “In the history of the United
States,” Lowe writes, “capital has maximized its prots not through ren
dering labor ‘abstract’ but precisely through the social productions of
‘difference,’ ... marked by race, nation, geographical origins, and gen
It will not do, of course, to simply turn things over and make
management all about race. But Commons was right that race hovered
over and permeated the processes through which US labour was chosen
and bossed. “Race management” came into being far before scientic
management, and the two for a time coexisted as complementary rather
than alternative strategies to extract production and prot.
Indeed, if anything, Commons’s formulation underplays the broad
playing of races against each other.
subordinating them to one discipline, the new industrial employers
were ... adapting the plantation model.”
The words “overseer,” nam
ing the manager who surveilled and sped up the labour of slaves, and
“supervisor,” naming the manager performing just the same roles in
industry, have the same literal meaning. Similarly, the word “factories”
had named the West African staging areas gathering labouring bod
ies for the slave trade and then for the production of cotton, making
Antebellum US politics, as well as economics, turned on the rela
tive merits of free versus slave labour. Such discussions easily devolved
into considerations of the (dis)abilities of African American labour, in
the elds and especially in manufacturing, as against those of “white”
labour or of the “Irish race.” Far from simply arraying the industrial
italists in the two regions study and debate not only the relative merits
of slavery and free labour, but also the productivity of “black” versus
“white” workers. In the 1850s, 20 per cent of all manufacturing capital
was invested in the South, and the slaveholders most inclined towards
pro-slavery Southern nationalism often led the highly theorized and
quantied charge for more such investments. When white skilled
workers protested to the federal government over their replacement
by slaves in the Norfolk Dry Dock in 1830, management’s response
showed how thoroughly difference could be quantied and how easily
Calculations leading to the replacement of free Black workers in ser
vice and seaports in the North by desperately poor Irish immigrants
underbid African Americans in terms of wages. But the transition
from one group to the other, and the threat that other reversals could
comparison, as did the turn from native-born to Irish women in
arbitrary power.”
The assumption that a race, as well as a group of individuals, was
In any case, the formation of workers into a gang that, as many planter-
terms. “You could never depend on white men,” the refrain went, “and
Walter Johnson
has shown that race management reached even into the understanding
of the value of so-called mixed-race slaves. Lighter-skinned women,
for reasons situated at the intersection of European standards of beauty
and the practice of sexual exploitation by masters, were more highly
priced than darker-skinned “African” women. But among slaves who
were men, a light skin generally decreased value as managerial “com
backbreaking labour in sugar production less well and that they were
more likely to be unmanageable workers prone to running away.
The most celebrated “scientic” pro-slavery thought to emerge
from the Deep South came squarely out of the imperatives of manage
attacks. On the latter score, the idea that Southern masters believed that
they knew, and therefore could develop, the Negro, loomed large. In
one planter-expert wrote of acting on the conviction “that man is as
much duty bound to improve and cultivate his fellow-men as he is to
cultivate and improve the ground.” Paternalism and Christianity g
ured in his arguments, but so too did claims to a managerial knowledge
plantation South was often about this promise of racial development, it
meshed perfectly with the reality that planters proted from growth in
the value of their slaves, not just in the value of crops. Managing in ways
designed to produce unscarred slaves developed these people both as
preventively ...
curable, preventable diseases aficting only a minority of slaves to sug
gesting a more constitutional and obdurate problem.
Cartwright specied two distinct ways his supposed knowledge
was a race manager’s wisdom. He rst chided Northern scientists for
being blind to matters so clear to masters and overseers who were in
daily contact with slaves, claiming that free Blacks in the North dis
symptoms almost universally, but that the absence
of masters made both diagnosis and cure impossible outside the South.
However, he then conned real knowledge to the slaveholding class,
underlining the conclusions drawn by some advice literature on slave
management that insisted that the master’s racial knowledge excelled
that of overseers. The latter, he complained, wrongly dismissed slave
and inferiority.
Such claims, as W.E.B. Du Bois long ago observed, had far-reaching
impact on the development of white supremacist thought far beyond
the South. To the “watching world,” a racism designed to manage
what Du Bois called “slave industry” seemed “the carefully thought-
out result of experience and reason.” Indeed in other, and even more
unlikely, areas as well, the seminal, if controversial, intellectual work
of Professor Cartwright grew out of race management. In his tortured
foray into theology in order to develop the minority pro-slavery posi
tion that Africans were a pre-Adamic separate race who proted by
enslavement under superior Caucasians, Cartwright read plantation
management back into the Bible’s earliest pages. He hinged a circu
ways workers might be pitted against each other in the United States.
adventurous enemy.”
The old argument that the “English-speaking
race” embodied wise management continued to add its part to empire
building. In 1896, Andrew Carnegie, commenting on British actions in
Venezuela, would write of the “dubious” ways that indigenous land
European experts in Asian, Mexican, South American, Australian, and
African mines in signicant measure because they could so loudly pro
Such engineers often gained experience in western US mines, where
decisions regarding which “races” (the term then marked differences of
European nationality as well as broad “colour” divisions) could live in
the “white man’s camp” were central to all management. In Columbia
University’s ambitious 1950s interviews of mining engineers with far-
ung careers, Ira Joralemon was one interviewee who learned race (and
In Arizona’s Ajo mine, he recalled, “a lot of Papago Indians” did the
dangerous and hard work of sinking the pit. Swedes from Minnesota,
typed as “jackpine savages” when they mined in proximity to Indi
Swedes, according to Joralemon, were so tough that the “squaw men”
around Ajo, who lived with their families out in the desert, called the
and racially divided labour worldwide. South African mines became
the site of the most spectacular inux of US management. There fully
half of new gold mines had US managers by 1895; William Honnold
was among the most powerful of the Yankee engineers. Insisting that
“some employers are unqualied or temperamentally unt to manage
crude labor,” Honnold held in 1908 that “to recall American experi
ence” with the “efciency of negroes” could clarify much in South Afri
can mines, where he resisted proposals to bring in African American
very worst thing that could be introduced.”
As central gures in the cult of the Yankee mining engineer, Herbert
“modern” transnational couple. Herbert gave the name “Golden Age”
to the triumph of US engineers in the world’s mines. Though press-
agented as the “Doctor of Sick Mines” and the nation’s “
adventure-capitalist exploits brought efciency to Africa, China, and
isolated areas of Australia, Hoover might as easily deserve the simpler
title of “race manager.” In Australia, he thought that the “saucy inde
pendence” and “loang proclivities” of local white miners required
a counter-weight. Hoover ranked groups of indigenous Australians
mines and miners was the Chinese dislike of seeing foreigners make
The ratios of race and productivity that
ferences, similarly varied wildly. In 1900, he supposed that Chinese
miners produced a fth of what white workers did, since for the former
group “to work, in the sense of Western miners, is an unheard-of exac
tion.” Two years later, the Chinese worker had “no equal” in the world
for crude labour, though an accompanying chart counted him only a
quarter as productive as the “American” in such work, and for one-
twelfth the pay. For miners, the newly calculated ratio was 1:8, with
Chinese miners paid a sixth as much and therefore less protable than
in 1909, Hoover produced a
chart on South African mines, amalgamating data on African and Chi
nese workers there. He also purportedly reected on data from the Chi
man equals from two to three of the colored races.” In more highly
Hoover’s memoirs explained the productivity differences as racial,
though all of his writings offer the possibility, common in progressive
thought, that longstanding cultural habits mattered as much as biology
in making race. “Our inventions and machinery came out of our racial
them work efciently.” The Chinese, “a less mechanical-minded people
than the European-descended races ... require many times more men to
Groping towards an ersatz uniting of the interests of capital and
labour around race, Hoover departed substantially from the editorial
view of the inuential
Engineering and Mining Journal
, which maintained
native labor may be available,” arguing that it could be trained up to
“American or European” standards, rather than deal with sickly and
However, he never argued that non-
white labour must be barred from unskilled work, only that wages,
were the atavisms of race. The come-and-go hopes of Melville’s mis
anthrope as he sought the perfect racial and national types to produce
the ideal worker seem utterly at odds with the science of management
that Frederick Winslow Taylor is credited with inventing in the late
Spanish-American-Cuban-Philippines War. He did so with “racial”
attributes much in mind. Schmidt’s name, and Taylor’s description,
emphasized that Schmidt’s agreement to submit to the new system,
and his ability to produce, owed in part from his membership in
the German “race.” Schmidt embodied the strength, doggedness, and
love of savings thought by Taylor to be peculiarly concentrated in the
Pennsylvania Dutch, as Germans in the area were called.
Taylor’s racial logic in the Schmidt example did not run through the
whole of his writing. His desire to uproot the arbitrary power of fore
Race and Management of Labour in United States History 359
Figure 13.2 Untitled chart from Pittsburgh Central Tube, 1925, in the Urban
League Archive. Reprinted from John Bodnar, Roger Simon, and Michael
Lives of Their Own: Blacks, Italians, and Poles in Pittsburgh, 1900–1960
(Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983), 240.
As early as 1913, Hugo Münsterberg’s classic
Psychology and Industrial
“instinct” to be submissive, albeit punctuated by the occasional “brave
frenzy of self-assertion.”
In 1920, when the Social Science Research
Council (SSRC) “mapped” industrial relations, enumerating well over
identied the problem of labour turnover with what Sanford Jacoby
calls “the foremen’s hire and re approach,” it undermined the most
and therefore at odds with the longer rational logic of capitalism.
Rather, it has been central to such logic.
The staying power of what has been called the “foremen’s empire”
in the face of scientic management might be considered as a triumph
ment. It is in this specic realm that Commons’s remarks again become
critical. As early as 1904, Commons heard from an employment agent
had been “systematized” in his factory, which rotated favoured groups
workers productively on edge. Indeed on the rare occasion when the
adequacy of the racial knowledge possessed by foremen was directly
questioned by management experts, the framing of the issue was likely
to be around the concern that the races were being too much pitted
against each other with the fear, especially after the wave of racial terror
during and after World War I, that lower management would appear
The epigraph is from Marx’s
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy
, 3v. (Chi-
cago: Charles H. Kerr, 1906), I: 364.
(New York: The Mac-
Millan Co., 1907), 150. In “Taylorism, John R. Commons, and the Hoxie
Nyland provides an account of Commons’s relations to scientic manage-
ment and to Frederick Winslow Taylor himself around the issues of trade
unionism and restriction of output. See also, Yngve Ramstad and James L.
Starkey, “The Racial Theories of John R. Commons,”
Research in the History
Twenty-Four Cartoons of Mr. Block
(Minneapolis: Block Supply Company, 1913), unpaginated. For the context
of the cartoon, see David Roediger,
Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essays
on Race, Politics, and Working Class History
(London and New York: Verso,
Cartooning and the Making of American Popular Radicalism in the Early
Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the
(New York: Monthly Review Press, 1975); Antonio Gramsci,
“Americanism and Fordism,” in
Selections from the
and ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: Interna
, ed. Anna Grim
shaw and Keith Hart (Cambridge, MA, and Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1993),
173–9 (on Ford) and 181–5; Lisa Lowe,
Immigrant Acts: On Asian American
(Chapel Hill: Duke University Press, 1996), 25 for quotation.
The interesting Australian revisionist defenses of Taylorism as “radical” and
as cooperating with unions in a “challenge to capitalist property rights” in
ways allegedly compatible with Marxism also ignore questions of race and
management. See Nyland, “Taylorism, John R. Commons and the Hoxie
Report,” 986 and 1013; and D.J. Kelly, “Marxist Manager amidst the Pro
Capitalist Economic
(New York: International Publishers, 2000), 118.
Immigrant Acts
Cheryl Harris, “Whiteness as Property,”
William Cronon,
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1983).
Native Americans and Wage
The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the
(London: Verso Books, 1998), 565 for quotation.
Walter Rodney,
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
(Washington, DC: How-
ard University Press, 1981).
Robert Starobin,
(New York: Oxford
University Press, 1971), 11 (on manufacturing capital) and 12–14; Linda
and Race in the Norfolk Dry Dock Affair, 1829–1831,”
2007): 65 (“hammered”); for the iron industry, see Charles Dew,
Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge
(New York: Norton, 1994), esp. 107;
Noel Ignatiev,
(New York and London, Rout-
ledge, 1995); David R. Roediger,
The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the
Making of the American Working Class
(London and New York: Verso, 1991);
Concepts of Free Labor in Antebellum America
Haven:Yale University Press, 1991); and Starobin,
Strong, see Dale T. Knobel,
Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community
Samuel Cartwright, “Dr. Cartwright on the Caucasians and the Africans,”
On accountancy, see Geoff Burrows, “The Interface of Race and Account-
ing: A Comment and an Extension,”
101–13 and Richard K. Fleishman and Thomas N. Tyson, “Interface of
Race and Accounting: A Reply to Burrows,”
2002): 115–22; Willie Lee Rose, ed.,
A Documentary History of Slavery in
(Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999), 337–44 on half
hands and full hands; Breeden, ed.,
Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves
(Cambridge: Belknap Press,
2004), 132, 149, 178, and 212; Joseph P. Reidy, “Obligation and Right: Pat-
terns of Labor, Subsistence, and Exchange in the Cotton Belt of Georgia”
and Steven F. Miller, “Plantation Labor Organization and Slave Life on the
Cotton Frontier: The Alabama-Mississippi Black Belt, 1815–1840,” both in
Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas
ed. Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan (Charlottesville: University of Virginia
Press, 1993), 140–1 and 164–5, as well as 15 of the editors’ introduction to
the volume. On race and driving, see Robert William Fogel and Stanley
Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Slavery
(New York:
slaves; Frederick Law Olmsted,
A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States: With
(New York: Dix and Edwards, 1856), 204–6; and
The Cotton Kingdom: A Traveller’s Observations on Cotton and Slav-
( New York: Da Capo Press, 1996
)Mastered by the Clock: Time,
Slavery, and Freedom in the American South
Carolina Press, 1997), esp. 133–50 for dramas eventuating when masters
attempted to uses clock time to impose work discipline on slaves holding
Walter Johnson,
Unsigned, “Laborers for the South,”
bound”); Samuel Cartwright, “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro
1 (September 1851): 331–5. See also “Dr. Cartwright on the Ser-
pent, the Ape and the Negro,”
31 (December 1861): 507–16 and Dr. S.
Cartwright, “Negro Freedom an Impossibility under Nature’s Laws,”
On the various uses of “nigger” see Roediger,
Wages of Whiteness,
and 180; Bernard Mandel,
Labor: Free and Slave
Illinois Press, 2007), 63; Cartwright as quoted in Eugene D. Genovese,
Cartwright, “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” 331–2
(“absconding”), 332 (“whipping the devil”), 333 (“half asleep,” “negro
Cartwright, “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” 334 (“rascal-
ity”) and 331–6; William E. Wiehoff, “Enslaved Africans’ Rivalry with
White Overseers in Plantation Culture,”
429–55; Breeden, ed.,
William Van Deburg,
(Westport: Greenwood Press, 1979), esp. 3; Geno-
, 366–7; Starobin,
W.E.B. Du Bois,
(New York: Free
Press, 1988), 39. Cartwright’s views on race and the Bible are laid out in
“Unity of the Human Race Disproved by the Hebrew Bible,”
1860): 131 (for the quotations) and 129–36. For the long, rollicking critique
of his views on Ham, see Unsigned, “Dr. Cartwright on the Negro –
8 (May–August 1862), esp. 66–7; George Fredrickson,
On Cartwright’s use of work as a cure and on his managerial impulses
man, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1857), 157 (“good boy”),
182 (“misanthrope”), 161–2 (“Lascar”), 115–28. On Melville and race, see
Carolyn Karcher,
Shadow over the Promised Land: Slavery, Race, and Violence
in Melville’s America
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 1979).
Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of Emanci-
(Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2006), 202–3.
Unsigned, “A Picture of the West Indies,”
The Chinese in the Post-Civil War South
siana State University Press, 1984), 53–4. See also Matthew Pratt Guterl,
“After Slavery: Asian Labor, the American South, and the Age of Emanci-
Journal of World History
for the varied ways experiences of white Southerners with Chinese work-
ers in Cuba inuenced the debates, 211–21. On Forrest and the KKK in the
Piedmont, see Paul Ashdown and Edward Gaudill,
Bedford Forrest
Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan
Violence, and Reconstruction
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 1999), 135–7.
Stephen Ambrose,
Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Trans-
continental Railroad
(New York: Simon and Schuster, 2000), 153, 327, and
passim. On “race,” immigration, and the toleration of industrial accidents,
see Michael K. Rosenow, “Injuries to All: The Rituals of Dying and the
Politics of Death among United States Workers, 1877–1910” (Unpublished
Great Short Works of Herman Melville
ed. Warner Berthoff (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2004),
355–61, 358 for the quotations; Carolyn L. Karcher, “Melville’s ‘The ’Gees’:
A Forgotten Satire on Scientic Racism,”
Herman Melville, “Benito Cereno,” in
Great Short Works of Herman Melville
South Seas after the Civil War
(Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006).
Ronald Takaki,
Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America
York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 161.
Andrew Carnegie, “The Venezuelan Question,”
CCCCLXXI (February 1896), 129–144, esp. 133. Cf. “Lo, the Poor Indian,”
4 (November 10, 1924): 9 for an even more extreme sense that
Mining Engineers & the American West: The Lace-Boot
Shula Marks and Stanley Trapido, “Lord Milner and the South African
History Workshop Journal
Honnold as quoted in John Higginson, “Privileging the Machine: Ameri-
can Engineers, Indentured Chinese and White Workers in South Africa’s
, 278; George H. Nash,
The Engineer, 1874–1914
(New York, 1983), 72–3 and 330–3; Joan Hoff Wil-
Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive
(Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland
Press, 1992 [1975]), 33–7; Herbert Hoover Scrapbooks (Hoover Presidential
Pre-Commerce Papers; “Notes on Stopping on the Rand During 1907,” in
HL, Box 55, Pre-Commerce Papers (for the comparison of “shifts”); Her-
bert Hoover,
Principles of Mining: Valuation, Organization and Administration
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1909), 161–5; “Hoover to Dear Mr. Congressman
[John Baker]” (February 19, 1924), in HL, Box 289, Commerce Papers; and
the draft dated February 13, 1924, in the same box (on “Asiatic immigra-
tion”); Herbert Hoover, “The Kaiping Coal Mines and Coal Field, Chihle
Herbert Hoover,
The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover: Years of Adventure, 1874–
(New York: Macmillan, 1951), 69–71 and Hoover,
161–5. For a provocative exploration of the relationship of the use of race
in management to more contemporary concerns about technology and the
control of workers, see Michael Perelman, “Preliminary Notes on Technol-
ogy and Class Struggle,”
Labor Tech: Bringing Technology to Serve the Labor
Thomas Arthur Rickard, ed.,
(New York: Engineer-
, 32–3; Hoover,
, 71; on Ford, see Stephen
The Five-Dollar Day: Labor Management and Social Control in the
Ford Motor Company, 1908–1921
(Albany: State University of New York
Jessica Blatt, “‘To Bring Out the Best That Is in Their Blood’: Race, Reform,
Frederick Winslow Taylor,
(New York:
Norton, 1967 [1911]), 44 (for the quotations) and 41–7.
David Montgomery,
The Fall of the House of Labor: The Workplace, the State,
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univer-
sity Press, 1987), 242 (for all quotations, including Worman) and 43. See
also Sanford M. Jacoby, “A Century of Human Resource Management,” in
Industrial Relations to Human Resources and Beyond: The Evolving Process of
, ed. Bruce E. Kaufman, Richard A. Beau-
mont, and Roy B. Helfgott (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2003), 148–50.
Unsigned,“The Iron Industry’s Labor Supply,”
Iron Age
(“such labor”); John M. Williams, “An Actual Account of What We Have
Done to Reduce Our Labor Turnover,”
71 (May 1917): 64 (quotations on grinders, nishers, and forgers); John
Bodnar, Roger Simon, and Michael Weber,
ians, and Poles in Pittsburgh, 1900–1960
(Urbana: University of Illinois Press,
1983), 240 reprints the chart.
Working Toward Whiteness
, 75–7; for the Iron Range, “Industrial
Progress and Efciency,” in Volume 16, Part 18, “Iron Ore Mining,” in
“Reports of the Immigration Commission, Immigrants in Industries,” Sen-
ate Documents, 61st Congress, 2nd Session 1909–1910, Volume 78, Wash-
ington, Government Printing Ofce, 1911, 339–41, with thanks to Thomas
Bernard Doray,
From Taylorism to Fordism: A Rational Madness
(London: Free
Association Books, 1988), 83–4.
Labor and Monopoly Capital
Nation’s Business
53 (June 1917): 385–92; “The Southern Negro in Cleveland
) 19 (July 1924): 41–4; “Negro Labor
During and After the War,”
12 (April 1921): 853–8; “Working and Liv-
ing Conditions of Negroes in West Virginia,”
21 (August 1925): 256–9;
and esp. “Industrial Employment of the Negro in Pennsylvania,”
A Piece of the
(Berkeley: University of Califor-
nia Press, 1980), 25; Roediger,
Working Toward Whiteness
is quoted from his “Social and Industrial Problems,”
39 (March 1904): 18 (for the quotation) and 13–22; Ramstad and Starkey,
context, Bari Jane Watkins, “The Professors and the Unions: Academic
Yale University, 1976).
Hugo Münsterberg,
York: Houghton Mifin Company, 1913), 50, 27–8, and 69.
On Ford English School, see Daniel M.G. Graff, “Ford Welfare Capitalism
in Its Economic Context,” in Sanford G. Jacoby, ed.,
(New York:
Columbia University Press, 1991), 98 and (for the quote) 99. For “hunkie”
(or “hunky”), see Roediger,
Working Toward Whiteness
Frank Julian Warne and J.R. Commons, “Slavs in Coal Mining,” in John
Trade Unionism and Labor Problems
Company, 1905), 46; David Colcord, “A Beast That Nurtures Children,”
Nation’s Business
18 (November 1930), 32–4 and 170–1. Cf. Mark Pittenger,
“‘What’s on the Worker’s Mind’: Class Passing and the Study of the
Industrial Workplace in the 1920s,”
of Job Structures in the Steel Industry,” in
Black-White Unity: Covington Hall and the Complexities of Race, Gender,
Towards the Abolition of Whiteness: Essays on Race, Politics,
and Working Class History
(London: Verso, 1994), 127–80; see also Amy L.
of the Modern Industrial Labor Force
(Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2003), 191–220, 219 for the role of Immigration Service
and the Public Health Service in rming up distinctions that “tended to
Ordway Tead,
Instincts in Industry: A Study in Working-Class Psychology
(Boston and New York: Houghton Mifin Company, 1918), 13, 89–90, and
The “map” is reproduced in Bruce E. Kaufman’s excellent
Press, 1993), 14–17. See also 19–63 for an account of the early evolution of
Working Toward Whiteness
, 76; John R. Commons, “Introduction
(New York:
Macmillan, 1920), xix; Jacoby, “Century of Human Resource Manage-
, 4v.
(New York: Macmillan, 1918–1935), 3: xxv and 322–33, esp. 328 for Don
D. Lescohier’s section on personnel management; Ramstad and Starkey,
38 (February 1904): 533–43 and Commons, “Social and
Industrial Problems,” 19 (“physical exertion”) and 17–22; Harold M. Baron,
(Somerville, MA: New England Free Press, 1971). For the last Commons
quote, and a ne discussion of the labor process in packing, see James R.
Niles Carpenter,
Nationality, Color, and Economic Opportunity in the City
(Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press, 1970), 118–30; Her-
(New York: Harper and
Brothers, 1931), 147; Fred H. Rindge, Jr, “From Boss to Fore-Man,”
53 (July 1917): 511–12; Kaufman,
From Taylorism to Fordism
Our aim in the preceding chapters has been, as stated in the introduc
tion, to revisit, reframe, and extend critical analysis of racism and anti-
racism, drawing on the most constructive elements of Marxist and
racism and its attendant relationships.
This overarching aim has shaped the various sections of the volume
and the specific chapters within each section. To this end, we have sug
either a dismissive or laudatory approach, the first section of this col
lection critically assesses the strengths, weaknesses, conceptions, and
decentralized power.
of “difference” without abandoning or minimizing Marx’s pivotal
contribution on totality, originally drawn from Hegel and the German
idealist philosophical tradition. Within this frame, Marx’s work can be
ference, but also about alienation, privilege, and oppression. Concepts
such as privilege can be explained in relationship to specific histori
minimizing or reducing matters of racialization or consciousness.
A rereading of Marx’s epistemology is also offered by Himani Ban
bring intersections of Marxism and critical race theory into sharp relief.
This reading is presented through the history and contemporary lega
cies of slavery, colonialism, capitalism, and resistance.
The contributions of Frantz Fanon are being increasingly revisited in
current discussions of racism and colonization, but rarely are Fanon’s
works placed in a close dialogue with Marxism. Audrey Kobayashi
and Mark Boyle address this lacuna. As Kobayashi and Boyle suggest,
oppression. We are reminded of the critical role of Steve Biko in the
South African resistance movement, who, in life and since his untimely
death seventeen years before the transition from apartheid in 1994,
serves as a model of an organic intellectual in advancing anti-racism
to Fatima Meer, who, like many women intellectuals and activists, is far
(who died in 2010) was no less an organic intellectual than Biko, deeply
rooted in and advancing the movement, grounded simultaneously
in a struggle to challenge oppression and exploitation. The massive,
transformative resistance to capitalism and apartheid in South Africa,
attended to by Sahle, offers a rich experiential moment in the advance
begins with a consideration of the post-9/11 realities, but moves to a
close reading of diverse meanings of sovereignty in the works of Gior
gio Agamben (
) and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (
). Thobani maintains that neither the post-structuralist Agamben
nor the neo-Marxists Hardt and Negri engage meaningfully with the
question of sovereignty in the global order, and argues that the failings
of both contributions rest on problematic or absent attentions to race
In the next chapter of this section, Sedef Arat-Koç alerts us to a new
She illustrates the ways in which the language of “culture” blurs not
only race, but, centrally, class, in our understanding of neoliberalism on
sively deployed to simultaneously reinscribe meanings that advance
racialized hegemonic states and classes. Importantly, Arat-Koç’s chap
is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics
and Public Administration at Ryerson University. Arat-Koç’s research
Ottomanism” in Turkish foreign policy and its relationship to the politics
of imperialism in the Middle East. Some of her recent publications
include “Invisibilized, Individualized, and Culturalized: Paradoxical
Invisibility and Hyper-Visibility of Gender in Policy Making and Policy
Canadian Woman Studies/Les cahiers de
) 29, no. 3 (Spring/Summer 2012); “New Whiteness(es),
Beyond the Colour Line? Assessing the Contradictions and Complexi
ties of ‘Whiteness’ in the (Geo)Political Economy of Capitalist Global
ism,” in
States of Race
, edited by Sherene Razack, Malinda Smith, and
Sunera Thobani (2010); “Contesting or Affirming ‘Europe’? European
Enlargement, Aspirations for ‘Europeanness’ and New Identities in the
Margins of Europe,”
Journal of Contemporary European Studies
is Professor and Chair of the Department of Social
(OISE), University of Toronto. Her research addresses anti-oppression
politics and Marxist theory, with a focus on intersections of gender
race, class, political economy, and citizenship. Her books include
Citizenship: Migrant Women in Canada and the Global System
Daiva K. Stasiulis), winner of the 2007 Canadian Women’s Studies
Association annual book award; and
and Dialogues from the Left
articles have appeared in numerous international and Canadian jour
Republic of Ireland. Boyle graduated with a first-class honours degree
in geography from Glasgow University in 1988 and a PhD in geogra
phy from the University of Edinburgh in 1992. His core research inter
ests have been in the area of urban geography and, more specifically,
the politics of urban development in older industrial cities. He is also
interested in the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, and his recent work
(with Audrey Kobayashi) seeks to reintroduce Sartre’s theory of racism
and colonialism into postcolonial geography. His publications include
(PhD, 1983, UCLA) is Professor and Queen’s
Research Chair in the Faculty of Geography at Queen’s University,
Kingston, Ontario. Her research interests revolve around the question
of how process of human differentiation – race, class, gender, ability,
national identity – emerges in a range of landscapes that include homes,
American, and Diaspora Studies and Curriculum in Global Studies at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her
teaching interests are development studies, international political econ
Achcar, Gilbert,
; epistemic
erasure of Africans and, by
Western intellectual tradition,
Eunice; South Africa
racial oppression of,
Algerian War of Independence,
Allen, Theodore,
Althusser, Louis,
Anghie, Antony: on colonialism
as constitutive of sovereignty in
; on the sovereignty
of the Third World,
Sartre, Jean-
ism” and the bourgeoisie in the
notions of culture as essentialized,
Archaeology of Knowledge, The
Arendt, Hannah,
Atlantic slavery,
Auschwitz: gure of the Musel-
Bakan, Abigail B.,
; on Israel’s halting of Arab
national sovereignty in the Middle
the role of Zionism in post-World
Western geopolitical
on Zionism as divisive force in
support of a Euro-American impe-
Balfour, Arthur J.,
Balibar, Étienne,
Banaji, Jairus,
on creating systems of meaning
through language,
; on Dorothy Smith’s analysis
Dorothy Smith’s contribution to
Gramsci’s notion of hegemony,
essentialized cultural identity,
on identity,
; “Introducing
; on slavery,
Thinking Through
use of Dorothy Smith,
of reexive Marxism,
Baum, Bruce,
Bedford Forrest, Nathan,
“Benito Cereno.”
Melville, Her-
political agency in South Africa,
struggles in South Africa,
political agency in South Africa,
; knowledge production,
on the oppressed emerging as
organic intellectuals,
; as or-
black intellectual production,
Western epistemic erasure of
Africa and Africans,
the heresy of,
Black Power,
; heresy and,
tual production
; rupture with Marx-
black representation,
women; Biko, Steve; Meer, Fatima;
South Africa; women
; role of slaves in
Western transition to,
; Sartre
on oppression, colonialism, and,
derclass” in the US,
capitalist hegemony,
Carnegie, Andrew,
Carter, Jimmy,
CCCS (Birmingham Centre for Con-
Birmingham Group,
Cheney, Dick (US Vice President),
culture: Arat-Koç on notions of, as
and essentialized cultural identity,
Davies, Carole Boyce,
de Beauvoir, Simone,
difference: cultural politics of,
Doray, Bernard,
; on rela-
postcolonial theory,
Du Bois, W.E.B.,
affect on vindicationism,
’s rupture
epistemic erasure of knowledge
and the “propaganda of history,”
break from Foucault,
Ferguson, James,
First Temple: destruction of,
Fleishman, Richard,
Ford, Henry,
Ford Motor Company.
; on agency,
The Archaeol-
the archive,
concept of ideology,
; on importance of desire
in knowledge construction,
on limits of Foucault and impor-
tance of ideology,
Industrial Workers of the World
intersectional approach to oppres-
“Introducing Racism.”
Frederick Law Olmsted on,
Islam: Taliban regime’s afliation
War on Terror,
; and the War on
Terror as state of exception,
; Six-Day War,
Israeli state, construction of: and
construction of Jewish whiteness,
Israel lobby,
Jabotinsky, Ze’ev,
rewriting of history,
the heresy of
King, Anthony,
knowledge production,
contribution to emancipatory,
; Meer’s contri-
bution to emancipatory,
sixteenth century Europe,
Kobayashi, Audrey,
Mark Boyle on Sartre and Fanon’s
exploration of the relationship
; French Existential,
Gilroy’s critique of,
and ideology,
postcolonial/critical race theory,
; relevance to co-
Sartre and,
Sartre and “Existential Marxism,”
; Sartre and Fanon on,
Third World,
Bannerji, Himani; Du Bois, W.E.B.;
McGeever, Brendan F.,
Meer, Fatima,
ments in South Africa,
tory knowledge production,
; as female organic intellectual,
Meer, Shamin,
; and the construction of the
US transcontinental railroad,
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice,
Meszaros, Istvan,
; Israel’s halting of Arab
national sovereignty in,
; Zionism as divisive force on
Zionism’s support of a Euro-
Mignolo, Walter,
; dangerous working
Muslim bourgeoisie: in Turkey,
ogy of the War on Terror,
racial proling of,
Nasser, Abdul,
National Association for the Ad
vancement of Colored People
pro-slavery Southern,
racist oppression in the capital-

intellectuals; Gramsci, Antonio;
Meer, Fatima
; as ideology,
; Sartre
; Sartre and Fanon on,
relation to,
; Dorothy Smith’s con-
towards analysing,
; and slavery,
altered focus after 1924,
and gang labour,
; and US management over-
racial oppression,
; Atlantic slavery and
; cultur-
; as ideology,
; Sartre and,
Razack, Sherene,
Rodney, Walter,
Roediger, David,
on subjectivity,
; use of ideology,
The World, the Text, and the Critic
San Juan Jr., E,
Sartre, Jean-Paul,
social relations,
Asiatic Land Tenure Act,
; Indian Representation
; Marikana massacre in,
; passive resis-
anti-oppression movements and
anti-racist struggles in,
Treatment Action Campaign,
Steve; Meer, Fatima
; impact of the War
on Terror on the nature of,
relationship of race to Western,
; of the Third World,
Agamben, Giorgio
transnational bourgeoisie,
transnational bourgeois
transnational theory,
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,
; growth of conservative
Muslim bourgeoisie in,
Tyson, Thomas,
racialized stereotypes in,
capitalism and the “underclass”
tion for American Jews in,
; Civil War (
; construction of white-
; construc-
Europe and,
; emergence of
tation and oppression of African
and occupation of Afghanistan,
; Reconstruction and racial
oppression in,
; ruling class,
immigrant groups in,
; re-
redenition of, as Judeo-Christian,
; West Bank,
Western colonial discourse,
Western Europe: Jewish emigration
Western intellectual tradition:
epistemic erasure of Africa and
Africans by,
Western sovereignty,
; construction of,
; as feature
construction of difference,
expansion in the Americas and
Williams, Eric,
Wolff, Richard,
women: affect of colonial and social
oppression on,
on Dorothy Smith’s analysis of the
African American women; Biko,
Steve; Meer, Fatima; South Africa
; Bakan
; in Britain,
; in Eastern Europe,
erasure of, through culturaliza
; in the (former) Third
; Hall on the,
World, the Text, and the Critic, The
Said, Edward
World W
; role of
Zionism in post-, Western geopo-

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