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Capitalism
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    Hello,

    Some people seem to think that capitalism is racism and racism is capitalism. I don't mean that there's racism in capitalism, some people are discriminated against in capitalism. I mean that the two are inseparable as far as the history of the Americas goes. I'm not sure if I agree. What do you think?
  • esmart December 2011 +1 -1
    Capitalism is an economic term. Racism is a cultural disease. Bigotry is the human expression of racism. Capitalism and racism can exist at the same time at the disadvantage of free markets.
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    Hm. I guess the people who make this claims say that racism is capitalism, that racism is the economic system of capitalism because it was inseparable from slavery (which is racism). I don't think they mean bigotry or prejudice. They really mean that capitalism is racism, not that it is racist. What do you think?
  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
    Capitalism is fundamentally an economic system. Every economic system has its infrastructure (economic structure) and superstructure (political [e.g., government], cultural, spiritual / religious , ideological structures). Capitalism is one in the series of economic systems based on private ownership. This kind of ownership is by definition exclusive (i.e., haves and have nots, rich and poor) creating classes of people, masters and slaves, division of labor, a system of exploitation of labor and the environment to maintain and advance the interests of the ruling class. Exploitation of labor is slavery and has happened to various degrees in a society depending on the economic system present and its stage of evolution. Slavery takes different forms and slaves are also exploited at various degrees often divided and set against each other in various categories in competition but all along at the mercy of the ruling class. Racism, sexism, nationalism, religious and ethnic bigotry, ideologic bigotry, and especially economic bigotry against the poor the unemployed and the homeless, etc. are various forms of carving up the slaves to benefit the masters protecting and increasing their profits. As such the masters use the slaves to beat up each other. All of them including racism are perverse antisocial manifestations of impoverished and abused minds. They are inseparable from history of the Americas and the rest of the world for that matter.
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    Yes, but, they don't mean racism has manifested itself in the superstructure of society. They mean that the structure of society is racism because capitalism only developed with the slave trade. The slave trade made capitalism possible (starting from the 1500s). That means that capitalism is inseparable from racial slavery, and racial slavery from capitalism. Is this wrong? Historically, it seems right to me.
  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
    "The slave trade made capitalism possible (starting from the 1500s). That means that capitalism is inseparable from racial slavery, and racial slavery from capitalism. Is this wrong?"
    Yes that is wrong. It is even difficult to call that a correlation because racial slavery existed long before capitalism. For example, it was present among the Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans and also present among the black African slave traders and Arabs long before the European Capitalism took off in late 14th to early 15th century. The burgeoning capitalism in Europe in the form of Italian City States (home of the initial banks) and the British bourgeoisie which already had started a sizeable manufacturing using wage-labor financed many of the voyages of discovery well before the slave trade developed in the Americas. Cheap wage-labor (i.e., poorly compensated labor, which is the source of profit itself) was the key ingredient in capitalism, aside from cooperative large-scale production. Racism and classic slavery (i.e., in the form of Black slaves) was just a more profitable (but in no way essential) means of expanding capitalism.

    Color was an effective way of keeping a lobor population captive (for obvious reasons) and systemically dehumanizing them to keep the labor costs down and profits high while using the rest of the population (i.e., non-black mostly white population who were mostly working class themselves)to unwittingly help the capitalists through their indoctrinated bigoted minds - worse but similar to the attitude towards non-European immigrants especially latinos and middle-easterners up to current times. Encouraging this attitude is highly profitable even in the face of high unemployment when the capitalists have their pick of the crop maximally exploiting not just the traditional "minority" working class but the "white" ones also. The competitive nature of capitalism ensures rivalry among the individual members of the working class fighting for crumbs especially when devoid of a class consciousness. The capitalists encourage this as a means of divide and conquer with some of the ugliest scenes represented by resentments against the migrant workers. But as the economy has become "globalized" and the US is fast sinking to a "developed nation" or "third world country" status, the "immigrant" threat will be less of a factor even though all forms of division among the working class will be highly exploited for profit and control.
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    Hm. That's an interesting take on the issue--quite informative, actually. I don't think it quite undermines the idea that capitalism is racism, however, mostly because I think you may be mistaken about a few things you said.

    It's not true that racial slavery existed before the 1500s. Slavery did exist throughout history, but it was never correlated with race. The idea of races is a recent phenomenon, it did not exist as a category in Roman times or any other time before then. Slavery in many of those time periods was usually correlated in other ways, such as conquest of one peoples by another, the relationship of a person to the state, or through geographical boundaries named, say, Athenian versus Barbaric. So, it's not true that racial slavery existed among the Egyptians, Greeks, or Romans, although slavery certainly did exist. I'm not sure that point is disputable.

    And, although you're right about capitalism emerging especially out of the Renaissance in Europe, capitalism in the Americas although financed by emerging capital in Europe was quickly interrelated with racial slavery. Almost as soon as Columbus set foot in the Americas, the Americas were being "cultivated," "civilized," "pioneered" by slaves who were slaves on the basis of supposed race. So, capitalism, the accumulation of capital by the Old World quickly becomes primarily based upon shipping, trading, and catching more racial slaves, and using them as labour. The capitalism that emerges from the 1500s, in other words, almost immediately, or almost as soon as it expands to the Americas, cannot be separated from racial slavery. Capitalism vied historically in the Americas is therefore essentially the worst form of racism. I don't think that it's enough to say that slavery was just the most profitable means of expanding capital. It was essentially the only way to expand capital on the magnitude envisioned by kings and queens.

    I'm not sure I caught the rest of what you said, but it does seem right that racism as an ideology and not just as slavery becomes a way of indoctrinating people and maintaining the status quo. In that sense, racism as ideology in the superstructure does take on a new form from racism *as* the structure of society.

    One thing that I think is interesting to note, however, is that although clearly the Americas were built on racial slavery, which I think is the same as saying "based on capitalism," there was another kind of wage-slavery that made the "development" of the Americas possible, which was not racial in nature--the use of immigrant labour. Interestingly, this new type of labour was primarily based on the simple need new immigrants had to earn a living, and it was multicultural--something we Canadians might want to remember as we continue to glorify diversity and multiculturalism in society. In that sense, it could be wrong that capitalism is racism, since at least part of capitalism in at least NA emerged from indisputable exploitation of immigrant labour. But, on the other hand, the primary form of generating capital is for a very long time based on racial slavery, until former slaves become integrated into massive cheap labour, the kind we all know about today.

    I'm curious to see what you think about that....
  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
    "It's not true that racial slavery existed before the 1500s. Slavery did exist throughout history, but it was never correlated with race. The idea of races is a recent phenomenon, it did not exist as a category in Roman times or any other time before then."

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by "racism". I define "racism" using its broadest definition expressing prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race. As such it is as old as slavery, as should be expected, since every time a human being is exploited (i.e., treated as unequal) there will necessarily be a "dehumanizing rationalization" necessary to justify that act apart from the profit motive itself (e.g., sexism, racism, nationalism, ethnocentrism, religious bigotry, etc.).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism#In_history
    http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i7737.html

    "And, although you're right about capitalism emerging especially out of the Renaissance in Europe, capitalism in the Americas although financed by emerging capital in Europe was quickly interrelated with racial slavery".

    Sorry, but wrong again. The concept of racism in the Americas was not there at the beginning even at the start of the slave trade, rather it developed due to the economic necessity of "divide and conquer" differentiating white indentured slaves from black ones.
    http://www.isreview.org/issues/26/roots_of_racism.shtml

    One important notion of which we have been blinded by the fanciful propaganda of the capitalists feeding us with fictional "democracy" that we "enjoy" is that we (the 99%) are all slaves - slaves to the welfare system for the capitalists / capitalism. That is because we have no "freedom" to choose serving this or that master (this or that employer / big corporations and banks at the end of the line) who then use our labor in form of profit to feed upon and use it in a systemic way (structured by their government, institutions, and money relations) against us maintaining their rule and parasitism. The "racial slavery" in its modern understanding, developed in 17th century Americas, was just a more narrow / divisive use of this power when labor was a much more significant cost to production (because of the relatively low level of technology), whereas now it is relatively abundant (i.e., as high rate of global unemployment also attests) reducing the purely economic reasons for its use. However, the political capital / advantage for its continued use for purpose of division and control remains ever more valid today than in the past. That is why racism is an integral part of capitalist economics and politics (same can be said of sexism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, religious bigotry, other divisive politics).
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    That's an interesting article on racism--too long to comment on. But, I'm afraid you are mistaken about racism and its origin, and therefore about capitalism being racism and racism being capital.

    Your definition of racism is wrong. It's wrong because race does not exist at all biologically, so part of the injury is not just in discrimination but from the actual categorization itself violently imposed through the coercion inherent in private ownership of the means of production and the monopoly of violence. In other words, historically, race as a category was not just a matter of a name or rationalization, just as someone is called "Fred" or "Roman." Race was forced upon people through the threat of being whipped, branded, punished in other ways, or killed, something people could not escape because they were not those possessing the means of coercion itself--like guns or an army strong enough to fight back. It was also forced upon people because they had no choice but to work in plantations, farms, or cities since they were not the owners of these places themselves. This, however, is not a phenomenon that occurs throughout history before the 1500s as you say. What you now in the 21st Century think was slavery based upon race was in fact slavery based upon ethnicity, arguments from nature, the relationship of the state to certain people, or geography. What's happening here is that you're imposing the same false indoctrination stemming from the 1500s onwards to history before then. Yet history itself shows no such origin of racism.

    "Sorry, but wrong again. The concept of racism in the Americas was not there at the beginning even at the start of the slave trade, rather it developed due to the economic necessity of "divide and conquer" differentiating white indentured slaves from black ones."

    Though I can appreciate the article you linked too, it is only one among the wealth of knowledge that shows otherwise (unfortunately my sources are not electronically based). It is true that at the start indentured servants who were white were also used to cultivate the colonies in America along side so-called "blacks," showing that exploiters were willing to use people of different so-called races. But notice also that the concept develops quite quickly by 1640, at least in America. At that time, you start to see the first instances where people are being treated differentially as slaves according to the fictional idea of race by courts in colonies. That's only roughly one life-time and a half. So, it is certainly true that, as I said, "...capitalism in the Americas although financed by emerging capital in Europe was quickly interrelated with racial slavery".

    Aside from that, by mid-17th Century and the 18th Century, slavery according to race (people called "Negros") is established. That means that the capitalism that develops as early as roughly 150 years after its inception in the 1500s is inextricably tied to racial slavery. And since racial slavery is the worst form of racism (as it is a phenomenon where people are forcibly categorized according to a fictional race and because it is a phenomenon where people are exploited according to a fictional idea of race) capitalism *must be* racism, and racism *must be* capitalism. The economic necessity you talk about is itself racism, and racism is that economic necessity.

    That's not to say that theoretically capitalism could occur without occurring as it did, but historically as a matter of fact, capitalism did not. Therefore, the capitalism that grew from the 1500s and whose historical affects have not yet died is racism.


    "One important notion of which we have been blinded by the fanciful propaganda of the capitalists feeding us with fictional "democracy" that we "enjoy" is that we (the 99%) are all slaves - slaves to the welfare system for the capitalists / capitalism. That is because we have no "freedom" to choose serving this or that master (this or that employer / big corporations and banks at the end of the line) who then use our labor in form of profit to feed upon and use it in a systemic way (structured by their government, institutions, and money relations) against us maintaining their rule and parasitism."

    I couldn't agree more. I don't see how we are free completely, although you do have to admit that we have some freedoms we did not have under feudalism and other systems. I think a more accurate description is that we are free in some ways, but unfree in others.

    "The "racial slavery" in its modern understanding, developed in 17th century Americas, was just a more narrow / divisive use of this power when labor was a much more significant cost to production (because of the relatively low level of technology), whereas now it is relatively abundant (i.e., as high rate of global unemployment also attests) reducing the purely economic reasons for its use."

    I have no idea what you mean by this. I don't see how a much more significant cost to production means that racial slavery is a more divisive use of the power to exploit. It's definitely not explained by your statements.

    "However, the political capital / advantage for its continued use for purpose of division and control remains ever more valid today than in the past. That is why racism is an integral part of capitalist economics and politics (same can be said of sexism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, religious bigotry, other divisive politics)."

    I don't know what you mean by this either. Why is it more valid today that racism is used (if it racism is understood in this way) for political/capital advantage and for division and control? You don't explain this, nor do you explain why racism is an integral part of capitalist economics and politics since you don't show the first part.


    If we disagree, one thing that is indisputable is that race and racism develops with capitalism, that is, the history of capitalism is that history of racism at least in the Americas. It would be nice to read an account where capitalism is not racist, but the only instances I can think of historically in the Americas are where immigrant labour was used (like indentured servants and later ordinary immigrants).

    Please show me somehow that I'm wrong. I can't see how the facts point otherwise....



  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    So, he seems to agree with me that race is invented by mid 17th Century (not very long after 1500s), and that people categorized as "Negro" or "White" start being treated differently. So we have the invention of racism by mid 17th Century (categorization according to race and differential treatment according to the categorization of race). So, it appears that as capitalism develops, so does racism, so racism is capitalism, and capitalism is racism. I was right :-(

    Also, notice that slavery did not preclude other forms of exploitation of other groups. As I said, immigrants very quickly become cheap labour for the owners of the means of production--in essence, multiculturalism. Notice also that while this is the case, the *main* form of production is slavery, so capitalism is racism, and racism is capitalism.

    Lastly, I don't like how he perpetuates race as he talks about "black folks" and "white privileged elite." It's better to say "racialized" to denote how people are categorized not just as some political category, but through the coercion inherent in the ownership of means of production and monopoly of coercion. Otherwise, he sounds like a racist himself.

    (Also, rather than giving reasoned argument, the guy sounds like an evangelical trying to convince his people. I'd shy away from this type of argumentation. It's not good for anyone trying to understand the world, and least of all to people trying to change it).
  • slave December 2011 +1 -1
    I view people in shades of grey and not black and white. I myself am an atheist but consider myself wise enough not to judge people or value them based on their religion or even ideas. He articulated some very important points without claiming some divine manipulation in the works which is laudable considering his background not just as a religious person but even as a critic of "racism". But just because I showed the guys' video does not mean I agree with everything he said - I am much more critical than that. The main point was regarding the race relations and the socioeconomic reasons behind it rooted in the class structure of capitalism. He got the history of origins of racism wrong as you did. That is because not much research had been done on that subject until recently (review the source I provided you earlier). I have older friends from the middle east countries which until mid 20th century were feudal and report (based on talks with their extended family covering several generations over the last 5-6 decades, the cultural relics and traditions, as well as historical documentations and many anecdotal evidence) that racism was prevalent long before the European and American colonialists established themselves in the area (likely due to the slave trade within the "muslim / arab" world). Another scholorly book that I recommend that may also be of interest:
    http://books.google.ca/books?id=WdjvedBeMHYC&pg=PA32&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I am not sure what you try to accomplish be just repeating "racism is capitalism, and capitalism is racism. I was right :-(" Please understand that I am no defender of capitalism nor racism but I will not let someone misguide themselves or others based on something that is not true. We need to understand and respect "truth" as is, rather than as we like it to be, because if we don't understand reality as it is we can not ever have a hope of changing it or rather come to terms with it in a sustainable way. That would be another kind of "dream", even though it is not "the American Dream". You have stated multiple time "Please show me somehow that I'm wrong. I can't see how the facts point otherwise...." which I first took seriously as a sincere expression but in retrospect see it as a self-serving expression of false humility. I suggest you reconsider your approach as this site is for advancing the movement by evidence, helping it to grow, not by wasteful insistence, dragging it to dirt. If you were working for the capitalists with that attitude you likely would have already been fired by now - as they would insist on your productivity. Let us accept when the ideas are proven wrong and learn and help build the movement. No one has ownership of any knowledge or experience. Your ideas and identity are not even yours, nor are my ideas and identity mine. Hopefully you would appreciate that knowing that you consider "race" not a real or factual concept. So I hope you stop personalizing your approach as if this was a match that you had to win, and rather focus on the content and evidence of each argument and address the issues in context as we try to advance this movement collectively.
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    Hehe. I understand that when people have no other way of supporting each claim they make, they lend themselves to ad hominem attacks quite quickly, as you have already started to do. I expected as much.

    I have, in fact, provided reasons for all my arguments, even my comments regarding the person you posted ranting without giving reasoned arguments. However, when it comes to the point on race as an invention of the 17th Century, all you can really say is: "no it didn't." But the examples you give of Egypt, Roman times, etc. are not clearly demonstrative of racism, especially when you alter your definition of racism to account for those facts.

    What you have to admit is that the idea that racism is a recent phenomenon is an established historical view, even if it is one that other historians may disagree with (with reasons). In that case, there are two conflicting views: one says racism is capitalism and vice versa, and it is grounded in the fact that race is an invention after the 1500s, exactly when capitalism develops and not before, and an opposing view, that racism was prevalent across all of history and is just a method of divide and conquer. Now there must be decision about which is right. As I said, I can point to examples and trends in history to support my view. All it seems you can point to is a strange definition of racism that includes discrimination in general, and a man who by his own behaviour resembles an evangelical, using the same racist language and concepts he seems to be trying to remove from society.

    In any case, I ask you again: exactly what proof is there that your view of divide and conquer is right? What exactly is this based upon? It's not enough to just say that the Roman Empire was racist. How was it racist if the idea of race was not yet invented? And if it was, you should point to specific examples, maybe even quotes of texts that show this. You haven't at all proven aside from the lofty presentation of confusing sentences that your view is right. I'll ask you again very clearly so as to clear up this discussion: what makes the conquer and divide thesis right, and the racism is capitalism wrong? State exactly the reasons. If you give facts, you must show how those facts show the divide and conquer thesis is true!

    Aside from that:

    "I view people in shades of grey and not black and white. I myself am an atheist but consider myself wise enough not to judge people or value them based on their religion or even ideas."

    What does this have to do with the discussion we're having? Who is being judged by their ideas? And in what way? Exactly what did I say that judges people according to their ideas? I pointed to very real facts about what the man said: that he uses racist language and makes points without any reasoned argument.

    "He articulated some very important points without claiming some divine manipulation in the works which is laudable considering his background not just as a religious person but even as a critic of "racism"."

    Which points did he make? He points to a few historical facts in the beginning of his rant, of which I said that I agreed and actually support the racism is capitalism thesis. But the rest is just rhetoric and theatrics. In fact, if you listen closely to what he says, he simply assumes that slavery was about conquer and divide but he doesn't say why or how. If you disagree, why not point exactly to the section where he says why this was a case of divide and conquer and why that shows that an opposing view like the racism is capitalism thesis is false. You can't, because he's too busy talking like an evangelical trying to convert his flock. Show me with reasons and facts that I'm wrong, rather than use a guy practicing theatrics to prove your point.

    "But just because I showed the guys' video does not mean I agree with everything he said - I am much more critical than that."

    Well, then why post it in response to a very long response to your original points and then defend him as if he's being unfairly attacked by me? Posting it would imply that you posted it because you think it responds to the discussion we were having: that it is true or false that capitalism is racism.

    "The main point was regarding the race relations and the socioeconomic reasons behind it rooted in the class structure of capitalism. He got the history of origins of racism wrong as you did."

    Yet if that was the main point, point to exactly the evidence he gives for that claim. He gives absolutely none, as you haven't either. You're making an argument from authority by simply posting a guy who supports your own thesis. And again, I ask, why is the view of the history of origins of racism wrong? I can point to specific examples--slavery in the Americas from 17th Century onward and all its laws and practices explicitly calling people "Negros" versus "masters"--but what examples can you point to. Again, I'll ask, what is the proof that racism existed before the 1500s and not only after? Restating the premise is not support for it.

    "That is because not much research had been done on that subject until recently (review the source I provided you earlier)."

    This is not true either. There is a *ton* of research on racism that has been done for years. Remember that because one source you provide says so, that doesn't mean it's true, since there is also a host of other material that would disagree. I think the original conflict is really in choosing which is right, and so far, there is no evidence for the divide and conquer thesis except in simply looking at history and saying that this was an example of divide and conquer. What exactly establishes that slavery in America is divide and conquer other than saying that it is?

    "I have older friends from the middle east countries which until mid 20th century were feudal and report (based on talks with their extended family covering several generations over the last 5-6 decades, the cultural relics and traditions, as well as historical documentations and many anecdotal evidence) that racism was prevalent long before the European and American colonialists established themselves in the area (likely due to the slave trade within the "muslim / arab" world)."

    That's not really support for anything. Who says that they're right? Who says that they're not imposing the modern concept of race from the 1500s onward to that history before then? Again, I'm asking you: What is the evidence? What are the reasons?

    "I am not sure what you try to accomplish be just repeating "racism is capitalism, and capitalism is racism. I was right :-("

    I'm not trying to accomplish anything except to see what evidence there is that this is in fact wrong. I drew this conclusion based on the arguments provided, which you still have not shown to be wrong.

    "Please understand that I am no defender of capitalism nor racism but I will not let someone misguide themselves or others based on something that is not true. We need to understand and respect "truth" as is, rather than as we like it to be, because if we don't understand reality as it is we can not ever have a hope of changing it or rather come to terms with it in a sustainable way."

    I could say the same about what you're proponing. I could say that you are in fact trying to misguide others based on a Marxist theory that is not true. What solves the conflicting claims is the reasons provided, and I have provided many of them with specific examples, not just theatrics mixed with a few facts as the man you posted did. I agree we need to respect truth, but you speak as though it is assured that your view-point is the truth, while the thesis that racism is capitalism is not. And in fact, it's not. It is an established thesis, but one which could be questionable according to reasons. Sitting on a pedastel and claiming that you hold the truth while others are mistaken, as your comment implies is your attitude at least as of the last post, is *not* repsecting truth. This comment is just cheap and condescending.

    "You have stated multiple time "Please show me somehow that I'm wrong. I can't see how the facts point otherwise...." which I first took seriously as a sincere expression but in retrospect see it as a self-serving expression of false humility."

    I'm serious when I say this. What you take as false humility or a sincere expression is your decision. I'll say it plainly another way so that you have no confusion about my intentions: Show me exactly why slavery from the 1500s onwards is divide and conquer and not racism is capitalism. If you point to facts, show me exactly why those facts show the divide and conquer thesis and *not* the other thesis. Nothing you've said so far shows why or how.

    "I suggest you reconsider your approach as this site is for advancing the movement by evidence, helping it to grow, not by wasteful insistence, dragging it to dirt."

    Please don't speak to me as if you are an authority making demands of his/her subordinate. I suggest you reconsider your condescension, as I have given only reasons for my view-point rather than arguments from authority and ad hominem attacks. Exactly what is it that I have said that has dragged this movement to dirt? Please provide specific examples so that I am certain of what appears to be your own false-humility to the movement for liberation and change.

    "If you were working for the capitalists with that attitude you likely would have already been fired by now - as they would insist on your productivity."

    What attitude is that? The attitude of asking why exactly you hold a view and the view under test is wrong? The attitude of pointing out that the evidence you show in support of your own thesis is marked by a man ranting without reasons? I think it's clear that the hypothetical situation of being fired for supposed lack of productivity is a move to ad hominem on your part, and an attitude of superiority. In fact, as of the last post, you moved from responding to claims to simply attacks. Stick to the issue, who cares what the capitalists would do or wouldn't do.

    "Let us accept when the ideas are proven wrong and learn and help build the movement."

    I hate to burst your bubble, but if you review the discussion, you haven't proved anything wrong except by arguments to authority, ad hominem attacks, and a restatement of the claim you're trying to make: this was divide and conquer. You did not show why your definition of racism is right. You simply said that that was what it was and you did not respond to the response I gave to it. You have not shown why the divide and conquer thesis is wrong other than by pointing to a few books or articles, and a man ranting on stage. Respectfully, I think you need to get off that pedastle you think you're on and start giving real reasons for your claims. An attitude of superiority is no reason(s) for any of your claims.

    "No one has ownership of any knowledge or experience. Your ideas and identity are not even yours, nor are my ideas and identity mine. Hopefully you would appreciate that knowing that you consider "race" not a real or factual concept. So I hope you stop personalizing your approach as if this was a match that you had to win, and rather focus on the content and evidence of each argument and address the issues in context as we try to advance this movement collectively."

    I am not personalizing anything. In fact, nothing I pointed to shows that I personalized "my approach" as if it was a match I had to win. I think you're allowing your own attitude of superiority and authority, and your ad hominem attacks as of the last post to stop you from considering very clearly presented reasons for the thesis. In fact, I have focused on the content and evidence, you as of the last couple of posts have focused on arguments from authority, ad hominem attacks, and simply not responding to each of the points I had responded to. If you don't believe me, review the discussion carefully to see that I have responded to all of your points with reasons, while you have not. I also think you should stop talking for others, or make it appear as if your talking for the movement, while I speak only for myself. This is clearly your attitude of authority and superiority seeping through.

    If you've managed to get through all of this, or haven't, I'll ask one simple question again to clarify the *entire* discussion:

    Why is the "divide and conquer thesis" right (arguments from authority and ad hominem attacks left aside) and the "capitalism is racism" thesis wrong? Why/how do historical facts show that the "divide and conquer" thesis is right and the "capitalism is racism" thesis is wrong?

    Prove it!





  • gott5gott5 December 2011 +1 -1
    Tim Wises conclusions have a many holes as the Louisiana levies.
  • gott5gott5 December 2011 +1 -1
    His talk does say racism breeds corruption..............is this any secrect?
  • economicsystem December 2011 +1 -1
    It's a very strange video, I'm not sure I understand it.
  • MiddleGround January 2012 +1 -1
    Capitalism is a an economic system, BUt it can have discriminations under it. Racism, sexism, etc...

    I took a Government test in my state to qualify for a Government job. had I been a 'black' 'female' 'veteran' I would have gotten extra points on my test. So how is that fair for me? Why did I get discriminated against next to the African American lady with the Army Veteran status sitting next to me that I didn't know? Seems to me like a bit of discrimination against me to access to the same Government job position that I also need and would work hard doing to fee my family and pay my taxes with(?)
    Does this have to do with Capitalism... or just the discrimination under it?
  • slave January 2012 +1 -1
    The special "allowance" / "credit" / "extra points" you see on such tests is a way of admitting / or making up for the discrimination that existed in the previous generations (or even currently in other venues) that kept that particular population (here based on race) disadvantaged (relative to the rest of the "white male" applicants / workers). Of course the ruling class (represented by the government) doesn't come and admit its discriminating past. It rather consciously fosters even more discrimination by keeping silent as the larger "white male" workers who is also beleaguered but lacks WORKING CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS turns against its own (i.e., the "black female" workers) crying unfairness - creating an actual "fight for the crumbs" among the working class - rather than the unfairness of capitalism itself which depends on its entirety on exploiting labor, including by divide and conquer as in discrimination.

    In order to exploit labor most effectively (i.e., for highest profit) capitalism resorts to many tactics among which "divide and conquer" is a pervasive and old favorite. As such capitalism is by definition a "discriminatory system" and "discrimination" (e.g., racism, sexism, etc.) is one of its identifiable superstructural (e.g., political) features serving its economic infrastructure (i.e., profit / capital maximization).
  • MiddleGround January 2012 +1 -1 (+1 / -0 )
    Slave.... As I sat next to that black female veteran, who I can almost guarantee was born in Western PA, with the same opportunities that I shared and had, I wondered who was being discriminated against now(?)...

    I agree with you slave. fighting for crumbs as they watch from their ivory towers... excempt from the rules and discriminations that they created. heck... they MAKE the rules.

    Agrees: slave

  • slave January 2012 +1 -1
    I empathize with your sense of injustice but am concerned about your core emotional conditioning at the hand of the capitalists. It seems like intellectually you appreciate the divisive rule of the ruling class, whereas on a deeper emotional level you resent the individual "black female" for the injustice or at least part of it. Now I am reading between lines here and after two similar posts that is the sense I get. As such I am not arguing on the basis of what you specifically state rather its overall presentation. Only you could now the basis for this by checking your first emotional reaction against this specific issue (the "government test credits"). When you encounter this topic, are you first disgusted by the "black female" veteran having an advantage over you (in a way blaming her race and sex status as a source of your disadvantage / oppression)? Or is it rather that your first reaction of disgust is at the rulers, once again dividing (by whatever rationalization or excuse) in order to conquer.

    Once again I am asking about your EMOTIONAL REACTION and not your intellectual reaction / understanding. The distinction is very critical because emotional reactions override intellectual reactions especially in times of poor attention e.g., stress. i.e., they are by definition a big part of our "subconsciousness". In neuroscientific terms they have to do with the brain circuitry of limbic system, where the neuronal wiring is more crude and processing faster, on the "intuition" level, also significantly energy-dependent. Not surprisingly, this is the seat of our long-term memories, often charged with emotions, many of which are formed during our childhood (a very emotional period of our lives). Understanding this would allow us greater insight into our mind's hierarchical framwork, the real strength and weakness of our convictions, and potentially predictive of our behavior in different settings (e.g., supportive vs. stressful).

    Once we identify the inappropriate framing of our mind / emotions and consequent behavior, we can then use various cognitive and behavioral psychological techniques to reframe them to something more appropriate. Examples include "socratic questioning" (as the one we have been using) / "cognitive analytical techniques", "cognitive behavioral techniques" (e.g., cognitive restructuring and exposure therapy such as "desensitization"). Such framing / reframing can even be tested by psychological techniques and even viewed by brain imaging (e.g., fMRI - functional MRI).

    Of course, the movement provides many of these resources even though they are not labelled as such. And if we consider our current social state of affairs as a sociopathy (i.e., social pathology) by which all of us are affected / infected one way or another, it would be reasonable to consider a movement such as OWS also trying to treat the social disease / sociopathy (with its varied manifestations in our personal psyche) fundamentally rooted in the dysfunctional economic structure of capitalism.