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Adolph Reed, Jr. : Marx, Race and Neoliberalism

Article d’Adolph Reed, Jr. paru dans New Labor Forum, Volume 22, Issue 1, Winter 2013, p. 49-57

UNITED STATES – CIRCA 1959: people holding signs and American flags protesting the admission of the “Little Rock Nine” to Central High School. (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

A Marxist perspective can be most helpful for understanding race and racism insofar as it perceives capitalism dialectically, as a social totality that includes modes of production, relations of production, and the pragmatically evolving ensemble of institutions and ideologies that lubricate and propel its reproduction. From this perspective, Marxism’s most important contribution to making sense of race and racism in the United States may be demystification. A historical materialist perspective should stress that “race”— which includes “racism,” as one is unthinkable without the other — is a historically specific ideology that emerged, took shape, and has evolved as a constitutive element within a definite set of social relations anchored to a particular system of production.

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Adolph L. Reed Jr. : Black Particularity Reconsidered

Article d’Adolph L. Reed Jr. paru dans Telos, March 1979 (39), p. 71-93

These young African Americans signal black power as they enjoy having their photographs made while members of the Ku Klux Klan get ready to march from Selma to Montgomery retracing the 50 mile march in 1965 lead by the late Dr. Martin Luther King. (Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Over forty years ago Benjamin pointed out that “mass reproduction is aided especially by the reproduction of masses.” (l) This statement captures the central cultural dynamic of a “late” capitalism. The triumph of the commodity form over every sphere of social existence has been made possible by a profound homogenization of work, play, aspirations and self-definition among subject populations — a condition Marcuse has characterized as one-dimensionality. (2) Ironically, while U.S. radicals in the late 1960s fantasized about a “new man” in the abstract, capital was in the process of concretely putting the finishing touches on its new individual. Beneath the current black-female-student-chicano-homosexual-old-young-handicapped, etc., etc., ad nauseum, “struggles” lies a simple truth: there is no coherent opposition to the present administrative apparatus.

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Paul Gilroy : Black Fascism

Article de Paul Gilroy paru dans Transition, No.  81/82 (2000), p. 70-91.

 

 

In 1938 C. L. R. James wrote that “all the things that Hitler was to do so well later, Marcus Garvey was doing in 1920 and 1921. He organized storm troopers, who marched, uniformed, in his parades, and kept order and gave colour to his meetings.” James later abandoned this prewar analysis, but his words evoke controversial questions about Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA).