Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Other Red Pill: Race to the Bottom

So why bring all of this up at all?  What good is Marxist materialism in the 21st century, decades after the collapse of the USSR?  Because it is desperately needed.  The previous two entries in the Other Red Pill series describe how the lack of understanding of class in a materialist context is causing terrible distortions in racial and sexual politics, as well as enabling the widespread acceptance of neo-liberal economics.  With no understanding of class rooted in economic relations, persistent inequality across racial and gender lines can only be explained by either an entrenched culture favoring one group over the other, or an appeal to innate biological differences between the unequal groups.

Suffice it to say, these explanations are not helping racial and gender relations any.  And it's only going to get worse.  Discussions between feminists and men's rights activists, or between Black Lives Matter supporters and the Alt-Right certainly do lack class.

This isn't to say that culture and identity don't matter.  They do.  But making these factors central puts the cart before the horse, so to speak.  If you've been following the Other Red Pill series since the beginning, you should know that the most fundamental relations that people engage in boil down to physical survival and sustenance, which is most certainly material and economic in its character.  Economic relations and forces of production are therefore the base of your society.  These activities, over time, end up shaping the politics, culture, dominant belief systems, personal relationships and so on.  These more cultural and personal matters are thus the superstructure upon which the base is constructed.

Racial prejudice, for example, is commonly seen in terms of being a moral failing or the result of ignorance.  And for white people, racism against people of color is seen today as being worse than that: it is actually an instrument of oppression.  Evidence cited for this later claim is the ongoing economic inequality between whites and black people, and the subsequent poverty and social problems that result.  Therefore white people must stop being racist if blacks are to achieve equality. This necessitates the existence of a class of educated sociologists in media and government to monitor and police the words and behaviors of whites to make sure they are not racist.  Suffice it to say, many white people are not happy about this.

These views are not entirely wrong, but are but a part of a much bigger picture.  Whence comes racism and resulting racial inequality?  All forms of extractive economics - systems that work by screwing over one segment of the population to benefit another, tend to have to rationalize this conduct in a way that makes it morally palatable to its beneficiaries, victims and onlookers.  If you were a Spanish Conquistador and you just waltzed into 15th century central and south American and just took their gold and bound the natives to the land in an incredibly exploitative system of forced labor, you might feel like a bit of a prick, right?

Not if you had religion, and had God on your side and were saving the native's souls by converting them to the one true faith!  That made it okay, and that gold then becomes more guilt free.  It's easier to grow fat off plantation slave labor if you tell yourselves that your dark skinned slaves are less human than you are, and that you're really doing them a favor by having them work for you.   More compact cultures built around these kinds of rationalizations for the flagrant exploitation of whole categories of people more effectively work to ease guilty consciences.  So you tell yourselves whatever you have to: a shoehorned interpretation of the bible that refers to dark skinned people as the children of Cain and therefore cursed and deserving of mistreatment, or pseudoscience involving skull measurements and other racial characteristics to conveniently brand the slaves as an inferior race.

But the bottom line is always, well, the bottom line.

For a variety of reasons, not least of which being that the industrial mode of production made chattel slavery less competitive, though the plantation states losing the Civil War (for that reason) hastened the process, said chattel slavery fell out of use.  But the racist ideas it gave rise to (the superstructure) didn't go away because they still had a place in the underlying relations of production (base), even after slavery and later Jim Crow segregation were finally defeated: racial prejudice enabled the paying of lower wages to black workers (rationalized according to their "laziness"), dividing the working class and weakening the unions.  This resulted in all workers regardless of color doing less well as a result, though many even in the white working class were loathe to give up the ego stroking sense of supremacy over blacks that racism gave them.  As Lyndon Johnson put it:
I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it: if you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.
Due to their long period as slaves, and then as victims of legal discrimination, blacks and other minorities had far fewer opportunities than whites to accumulate capital and pass it on generation to generation.  And since capital is where wealth in a capitalist society really comes from, as I'm sure you've guessed, this compounds the problem.  Less capital means less cultural influence as well, not to mention politicians exploiting racial sentiment to keep their more economically populist rivals out of office.  So you can see now that culture ultimately flows from economy, though is also quite capable of having a life of its own that is slow to change, feeding back into the economic system incentives to keep the existing cultural system in place.

Ultimately, however, economy is the stronger of the two most of the time.  Racial prejudice gradually faded - it was removed from the core structure of the plantation economy by the abolition of slavery, and phased out politically over the next century when Jim Crow segregation was challenged by the civil rights movement.  I would not be the only one to notice, however, that when the man who's name is synonymous with the US civil rights movement - Martin Luther King Jr. began talking about inequality in terms of class and economics, even going as far as to plan a poor people's march on Washington for all races, that's when he got assassinated.

The FBI's notorious counter intelligence program may be (officially) shut down, but perhaps it's more the case that it has actually been institutionalized to an extent that it's no longer really needed.  Radicalism is perfectly fine and acceptable in the US and other western nations these days, as long as it's the right kind of "radicalism."  Provided that power is defined in terms of race and gender, media and academia that have become more rather than less corporate and beholden to corporate and advertising revenues are, in fact, quite supportive of "radicalism."

There's always space in mainstream media for cultural criticism, provided it stays cultural.  Major media conglomerates will give front page space to black nationalists who see racism everywhere.  But especially in the trailer courts and dilapidated rust belt suburban neighborhoods.  There's always room to criticize the ethnic composition of the cast of the latest Marvel superhero movie, or even the ethnic composition of the board of directors at Sony, Viacom or Time-Warner.  So long as there's no criticism of how powerful these institutions actually are outside of an identitarian context.  Firing troublemakers on the pretext of "racism" is actually a good way to keep the status quo the status quo, as a matter of fact.

But most of the time, things don't have to get so messy.  People who want to be "left" and fight oppression now have acceptable channels through which to do so: attack white people and their privilege, which all white people must have in equal measure, because ... because reasons.  And sometimes the reasons are valid.  The white man's racism is not to be condoned.  It's worked against the common interests of all of the have-nots for far too long now, as the LBJ quote above indicates.

To criticize the lower class white man for his racism when appropriate is one thing.  To charge the lower class white man as being a beneficiary in equal measure with all other white people in a system of power over which his lack of class gives him no control is quite another, and is itself an act of oppression geared towards preserving rather than undermining the real power structures.  He is made an acceptable scapegoat for the evils of an unacceptable system, despite his own very real powerlessness.  It is important that alt-leftists call this out in a manner that does not turn these tables on the poor black.  You've been red-pilled now, you should know where people's attention really needs to be focused.

One wonders if President Obama marvels in a manner comparable to President Johnson before him, over just how easy it is to pick the pockets of the lowest black man so long as he can look down on the best white man for his "racism."  Their loyalty to Obama at the polls tells the story.

But white people who rightly get annoyed by this - the white people who actually lack the power that the upper middle class sociologists define as a key ingredient to real racism - the white people who've never been that much closer to the top of the social hierarchy than blacks due to the fact that they've never owned anything more than their own labor power to sell in a country that's always been hostile to worker's rights - can then blame "the left" and its "cultural Marxism" for demonizing whites and their culture.  But the poor white must above all remember, it's the "left" and especially "Marxism" that he has to blame.  If there's anyone that both poor blacks and poor whites need to be steered clear from, it's that Marx guy.

I can't help but wonder if the souls of those dead conquistadors; the ones who were just doing God's work and the dead plantation owners who were just preserving the natural order of things aren't looking at the women's studies and black studies department theorists and shaking their heads with that mixture of admiration and shame that comes with the knowledge that you've finally been utterly and completely out-classed at your own game.

Whatever success they have from here, the SJWs have been utterly successful at what I firmly believe their true purpose was.  They've truly beaten the Ku Klux Klan at their own game.  We're to busy checking our privilege now to be the 99% any more.  And that's the important thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The DSA Left

Has our Time Finally Come ? This surging "Democratic Socialists of America" left, outlined in this American Interest Artic...