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Communist Dialectics


It’s No Privilege to Live in Racist Capitalism!


The capitalist mass media bombard us with vicious racist and xenophobic lies.  They need to keep alienated white or native-born workers from turning their anger against the wage-slavery that exploits us all.  But anti-racist anger is rising.  So they also need to pacify black workers and youth and to separate “white allies” from “people of color.”
The key to this so-called “anti-racism” is to hide the material basis of racism, capitalism itself, behind the smokescreen of “white privilege.”
Capitalists created racism by forcing some workers (“blacks”) into conditions of super-exploitation and super-oppression.  Others (“whites”) were still exploited and oppressed, but to a lesser degree.  That allowed the racist rulers to convince them that they were “different” and “better.” 
The capitalists called indigenous people “savages” to justify genocide and expropriation of the lands where they lived.  They used a thousand propaganda tools, starting with children’s books, to convince exploited workers in imperialist countries to identify with their rulers’ wars of conquest.

Capitalism thus invented the idea of “race” and the ideology that justified it, and with it the divisive theory of “white privilege.” 
The magazine Foreign Affairs, published by the powerful imperialist Council on Foreign Relations, dedicated its March/April 2015 issue to “The Trouble with Race.”   The lead article was by Kwame Anthony Appiah.  He is an Anglo-Nigerian philosopher important in Critical Race Theory, invented at a 1989 University of Wisconsin conference.
Appiah admitted that race is “socially constructed” rather than a valid biological category.  But he hid its historical material roots in class society. 
Instead, he claimed that human beings are biologically predisposed to “essentialism” and therefore to creating racial categories.  So, he said, “it would take a massive and focused effort of education, in schools and in public culture, to move into a postracial world. The dream of a world beyond race, unfortunately, is likely to be long deferred.”

That “dream” will be “deferred” until communism has ended wage slavery, the material basis of capitalist racism.  Then we will continue to mobilize massively and successfully not only against racist ideas but also to destroy all remaining vestiges of racism in practice.   The “postracial” world will be a communist world.
But Appiah has a different goal:   “Wouldn’t it be better to organize our solidarities around citizenship and the shared commitments that bind political society?” he asked. 
Translation:  don’t let racism stand in the way of building nationalism and patriotism, especially in a world increasingly at war.
Critical Race Theory has grown into a broad theory of “intersectionality and privilege” that is pushed especially in majority-white churches and colleges.  Supposedly we each have many intersecting “identities.”  Even a white woman minimum-wage worker, for example, is told to recognize her “white privilege” and “straight privilege” and “citizen privilege” although she doesn’t have “male privilege” or “class privilege.”
According to this “identity theory” almost everyone is “privileged” somehow.  Nobody is described as “exploited” or “oppressed.”  It focuses our attention on “our own privilege” instead of on building a system without privilege.  It physically segregates “white people” and “people of color” within so-called “anti-racist training.” 
Identity Theory hides the truth that all the forms of prejudice and super-exploitation we know today, all the “-isms” and “-phobias,” are rooted in class society.   Every ruling class has used a combination of ideology and armed force to “divide and conquer” the exploited masses.  It might be caste or tribe, gender or race, religion or nationality, dis/ability or sexual preference, and usually a combination of these.
“Privilege” theorists howl that communism “privileges class over race and gender.”  Communism actually says that only a united working class, led and inspired by communism, can overturn the foundation of all structures of oppression. 
Communism recognizes differences in the principle “From each according to ability and commitment, to each according to need.”  But it also calls on all oppressed people to “identify” ourselves as part of the international working class.  Communism will abolish classes, creating the material basis for us to identify ourselves as part of all humanity. 

As we mobilize the masses for communism we begin to change ourselves and those around us.  We build connections and learn from our increasingly diverse collective.  We struggle to overcome stereotyped attitudes and habits.  And we develop the confidence that communism will win.  

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