Race, Gender and Class

May 2024 Forums General discussion Race, Gender and Class

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 86 total)
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  • #91503
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    You refer to "millions of people" who don't form relationships on the basis of what I define (roughly-speaking) as kin instincts: it would be good to see evidence for this. While I don't necessarily doubt that is true, I would suggest that such people are overriding an instinct to procreate within their own racial or ethnic group.  In your view, that is a good thing. In my view, it might not necessarily always be a good thing, but no matter how you define the terminology,

    I would have thought that the evidence is all around you, in the street,  on the TV, in the sports stadiums, etc where people said to be of "mixed race" are numerous.Here's the figures from the 2011 UK Census:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/2011-census-mixed-race-jessica-1484384and from the 2010 US Census:http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/27/census-more-people-identify-as-mixed-race/You say that such "race-mixing" might "not necessarily always be a good thing" ? Can you give any examples of it being a "bad thing".

    #91504
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    i just want to comment on the situation i have often come cross often and that is light skin is better than dark skin. Throughout the world there are various cosmetics and applications for both sexes to lighten the skin (some quite dangerous). Black appears not to be beautiful for dark skinned black people.This is i think not one of aesthetics or race but class. Think back to why we call the aristocrats blue-bloods – because pale skin that showed the veins revealed that you did not work in the fields under the sun or become weather-beaten.Similarly in Third World light skin denotes someone who is city bred, works in an office or school, not outside, doing manual labour.Every successful movie star or singer seems to be light skinned, the menial domestics remain darker. Michael Jackson was no isolated victim and that is the tragedy.Lighter skinned blacks has been demonstated to have better jobs and be higher up the pecking order than blacker blacks in such places as Cuba and Brazil. Thus again reinforcing the cultural class aspirations of the poor with a demand for skin lightening products.Many everyday popular brands re-focus their advertising to the alledged skin lightening qualities of their products such as Nivea to exploit the local market and increase profits. Where in the West it is usually about anti-ageing claims, elsewhere its the blackness of skin.As for kids looking like parents, from anecdotal evidence a lot of asian women want light skinned, big nosed, round eyed mixed parentage babies. Cosmetic surgery in Asia for the more "western" look is big business. 

    #91505
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    You refer to "millions of people" who don't form relationships on the basis of what I define (roughly-speaking) as kin instincts: it would be good to see evidence for this. While I don't necessarily doubt that is true, I would suggest that such people are overriding an instinct to procreate within their own racial or ethnic group.  In your view, that is a good thing. In my view, it might not necessarily always be a good thing, but no matter how you define the terminology,

    I would have thought that the evidence is all around you, in the street,  on the TV, in the sports stadiums, etc where people said to be of "mixed race" are numerous.Here's the figures from the 2011 UK Census:http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/2011-census-mixed-race-jessica-1484384and from the 2010 US Census:http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/27/census-more-people-identify-as-mixed-race/You say that such "race-mixing" might "not necessarily always be a good thing" ? Can you give any examples of it being a "bad thing".

    Can I take it, then, that you do not consider race to be a social construct afterall?  Otherwise, I think your position is self-contradictory. I agree that the evidence for miscegenation is all around us, but this does not help you establish that race is only a social construct, it just indicates that some people will breed outside their own wider kin group under the influence of propaganda and a particular consciousness that is accepting and encouraging of race-mixing.  This is likely to happen under a more globalised system of capitalism which relies on the migration of cheap labour.  Explain why so much effort needs to be put into propagandising the benefits of multiculturalism ('race-mixing'), if not because it suits an agenda.  Isn't this an effort to overcome and discourage instinct-level behaviours, drives and inclinations that would otherwise see people develop relationships mainly among those with whom they self-identify?  Please don't reply with something banal like "well, we all self-identify as human beings".  Of course, we are all part of the human family, but we are also part of smaller, extended racial families.  In support, I refer to the fact that most people still breed within their own racial group, and thus they perpetuate their own racial group.  This is real, observable human behaviour but it is something you cannot explain within the theoretical position you adopt, partly because you ignore 'race' as a construct when it suits you. Furthermore, white people do have this inconvenient tendency to flee residential areas that become non-white.  In fact, the Census data that you refer to seems to confirm this.  Why do white people do this?  

    #91506
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    i just want to comment on the situation i have often come cross often and that is light skin is better than dark skin. Throughout the world there are various cosmetics and applications for both sexes to lighten the skin (some quite dangerous). Black appears not to be beautiful for dark skinned black people.This is i think not one of aesthetics or race but class. Think back to why we call the aristocrats blue-bloods – because pale skin that showed the veins revealed that you did not work in the fields under the sun or become weather-beaten.Similarly in Third World light skin denotes someone who is city bred, works in an office or school, not outside, doing manual labour.Every successful movie star or singer seems to be light skinned, the menial domestics remain darker. Michael Jackson was no isolated victim and that is the tragedy.Lighter skinned blacks has been demonstated to have better jobs and be higher up the pecking order than blacker blacks in such places as Cuba and Brazil. Thus again reinforcing the cultural class aspirations of the poor with a demand for skin lightening products.Many everyday popular brands re-focus their advertising to the alledged skin lightening qualities of their products such as Nivea to exploit the local market and increase profits. Where in the West it is usually about anti-ageing claims, elsewhere its the blackness of skin.As for kids looking like parents, from anecdotal evidence a lot of asian women want light skinned, big nosed, round eyed mixed parentage babies. Cosmetic surgery in Asia for the more "western" look is big business.

    ALB asked for an example of how race-mixing might not be a good thing for societies.  I refer to the above, being one example among many.  The truth is that multiculturalism is simply part of the ideological justification for capitalism.  Societies of mixed race suit those who have rootless utilitarian attitudes.  I would say that the working population in Britain is politically-weaker than ever today and this is partly (though not wholly) due to multiculturalism (i.e. the acceptance that the population of the country should not be racially-homogenous).  I am not suggesting that people cannot or should not co-operate across racial and cultural boundaries to achieve a better society, but I do think it is a mistake to assume that people can be bound together simply on the basis of their material interests alone.

    #91507
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Hi TomEarlier you asked me about instinct.I am of the opinion that humans are not instinctual creatures. The following quote is taken from an earlier thread "Human Nature? Whoopee!"Here is the link.http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/general-discussion/human-nature-whoopee?page=3

    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Inborn complex patterns of behaviour that must exist in every member of the species and that cannot be overcome by will.Or simply put, non-learnt, unalterable behaviour. Examples being spiders web building and sea turtles heading for the sea after hatching.

    I don't want to stray too far off topic, but the above quote sums up instinct pretty well. Please feel free to prove otherwise.Now back to "race". The following is a nice little comment found on a blog, answering a Professor with a similar position to yourself, (that it is obvious by looking around we have different "races" of humans.)"Obviously genes can vary with geography. I don't think any reasonable person would deny that. That isn't at all the same thing as saying that race is a biologically meaningful concept. The point Sternberg is making is that the races we've invented based on skin color are completely arbitrary classifications. Different human traits vary independently of each other, and they don't obey sharply differentiated boundaries, but vary along graduated clines. If we divided humans into groups based on some other characteristic, such as body proportions, skull shape, or blood type distribution, we would get a completely different set of "races." Sure, traits like cystic fibrosis and susceptibility to prostate cancer are more or less prevalent among certain populations. But "Africans" or "Europeans" are only rough approximations of those populations. Because different human populations aren't genetically isolated from each other, they haven't become clearly defined and biologically meaningful races." Now again we must look at the early taxonomists, privileged men obsessed with classifying "creation". Usually with a hierarchic slant.Let us take their favourite classification, skin colour. It seems obvious that "races" exist. If so, how many? And how do we work it out, what do we use to base our "races" on. Skin colour alone shows vast difference, likewise hair, nose, skull shape etc. What of height, stature. Size of hands and feet. The list of human characteristics are endless. Given enough time and a powerful enough computer it may be possible to break down human populations into countless "races".Instead humans still use just four "races" to generalise. A bit like those who insist you can tell all there is to know about people based on the twelve signs of the zodiac.I and many others on this forum are pointing out the flaws of "race". We say it makes the notion a bit ridiculous and completely useless.You say otherwise.So to clarify your position it may be helpful if you could please tell us how many "races" of humans there are?

    This is all straw man stuff and I feel I've dealt with these points already and so I won't repeat ad naseum what I have already stated earlier in the thread.  The response to the 'Professor' is just begging the question.  The writer is quoted using the term 'races' in the last sentence, but he uses it in the context of 'biologically-defined groups', which is not what I have referred to (and which I doubt is what the 'Professor' – whoever he was – referred to), but there are clearly somatic differences (not just skin colour, nor even based on skin colour necessarily) and these are differences between distinct groups of people and those differences have arisen from evolution and are discretely definable and classifiable.  To deny this is just silly.  To suggest that racial classification is invalid because different population groups share certain characteristics is very disingenuous.  Race is apparent from walking into any cosmopolitan town, city or university, just as it's apparent that if I jump from the twentieth floor of an apartment block I am going to fall rapidly to earth, due to the force of gravity.  Is gravity a social construct?  I would invite anyone who thinks so to try the experiment.  This whole discussion reminds me of an encounter I once had with an ethical relativist.  I asked him how, if he is an ethical relativist, he was so certain that moral universalism is a bad thing.

    #91508
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I forgot to mention, Thailand's Miss Universe entry last month had a Thai mum and Austrian dad.

    #91509
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    I agree that the evidence for miscegenation is all around us, but this does not help you establish that race is only a social construct, it just indicates that some people will breed outside their own wider kin group under the influence of propaganda and a particular consciousness that is accepting and encouraging of race-mixing.  This is likely to happen under a more globalised system of capitalism which relies on the migration of cheap labour.  Explain why so much effort needs to be put into propagandising the benefits of multiculturalism ('race-mixing'), if not because it suits an agenda.  Isn't this an effort to overcome and discourage instinct-level behaviours, drives and inclinations that would otherwise see people develop relationships mainly among those with whom they self-identify? 

    You cannot get animals to act against instinct, instinctive behaviours are automatic and ingrained, all you can do is get a stronger instinct (self preservation) to supervene.However, since you are unable to substantiate your claims about the "observable fact of race", how in the name of snut can instinct do it?  How, for instance, can instinct tell an African from an Australian?

    #91510
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    Can I take it, then, that you do not consider race to be a social construct afterall?  Otherwise, I think your position is self-contradictory.

    No you can't. That's why I put the word "race", "racial" (but not racist) in inverted commas.

    Quote:
    I agree that the evidence for miscegenation is all around us, but this does not help you establish that race is only a social construct, it just indicates that some people will breed outside their own wider kin group under the influence of propaganda and a particular consciousness that is accepting and encouraging of race-mixing.

    and

    Tom Rogers wrote:
    The truth is that multiculturalism is simply part of the ideological justification for capitalism.  Societies of mixed race suit those who have rootless utilitarian attitudes.  I would say that the working population in Britain is politically-weaker than ever today and this is partly (though not wholly) due to multiculturalism (i.e. the acceptance that the population of the country should not be racially-homogenous).

    What is this? A party political broadcast on behalf of the BNP?I'm against "multiculturalism" too, but for the opposite reason to you. But, first, multiculturalism is not to be equated with ""acceptance that the population of the country should not be racially-homogenous". Nor is it to be equated with the simple existence of different cultures and cultural traditions, which anyone (whatever the "race" you would put them in) can share. Different food, different music, etc. That's a good thing which I'm sure will still exist and flourish in a socialist society. I imagine you don't eat in Indian restaurants or listen to reggae music."Multiculturalism" is the government policy of encouraging historically-evolved cultural groups to identify with that group and to construct and teach them a concocted history to that end. I'm opposed to it on the ground that it encourages identity politics instead of class politics. As was well explained in an article from Class War in 2007 which can be found by typing "cowley club" + "class war" + "multiculturalism" into a search engine (perhaps someone can find an easier way of accessing it. It's from the Summer 2007 and entitled "Multiculturalism — The Newspeak of the Left Cop".)You appear to share the concern of some pro-capitalist apologists that multiculturalism is proving couter-productive from their own point of view in that it encourages members of cultural groups to identify with their group rather than with "the nation" or "the country" and are beginning to think that the French government's policy of assimilation would be better. But that might not be good enough for you as it still accepts that the population of Britain would still be what you call "racially-homogenous" and would not discourage "race-mixing".

    #91511
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    "Multiculturalism" is the government policy of encouraging historically-evolved cultural groups to identify with that group and to construct and teach them a concocted history to that end. I'm opposed to it on the ground that it encourages identity politics instead of class politics. As was well explained in an article from Class War in 2007 which can be found by typing "cowley club" + "class war" + "multiculturalism" into a search engine (perhaps someone can find an easier way of accessing it. It's from the Summer 2007 and entitled "Multiculturalism — The Newspeak of the Left Cop".)

    http://www.cowleyclub.org.uk/index.php?download=Multiculturalism%20Class%20War%2092.pdf

    #91512
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Thanks. I see I did remember it more or less accurately, though I forgot how embedded in Class War's analysis is their three-class view of society. It was the conclusion that was good:

    Quote:
    Multiculturalism claims to be the solution to the oppression and discrimination within capitalist society. In reality it is a deeply conservative elitist ideology concerned above all with dividing our class against itself in order to best ensure the ruling classes continued domination.

    Ironically, Class War's distinction between a "middle class" and a "working class" also "divides our class against itself".

    #91513
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi TomYou keep referring to human instinct, yet when I challenge it you fail to provide any answer.Instinct has a meaning, it describes fixed behaviour in animals, behavour that can not be controlled. If what you call instinct can be overridden then it is not instinct. It is not rocket science, just a bit of basic scientific description.As for "race" the early "racial scientists" thought they were recording actual biological "races" of humans. If you now say a biological definition of "race" is irrelevant, then what basis for "race" do you have?All you give is the fact we can see physical differences of skin colour.Again I ask you to define the number of "races" of humanity and perhaps show how we can explain the classification?If you fail to do so all you are left with is a vague idea that skin colour etc makes us a specific "race" and is therefore a social construct.

    #91516
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    Can I take it, then, that you do not consider race to be a social construct afterall?  Otherwise, I think your position is self-contradictory.

    No you can't. That's why I put the word "race", "racial" (but not racist) in inverted commas.

    A look back at your previous posts shows that you have repeatedly used the terms race, mixed-race and racial groups, etc. and you have ascribed meaning to them, at one point accusing me of insulting people in mixed-race…sorry, "mixed-race"…relationships.  

    #91514
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Hi TomYou keep referring to human instinct, yet when I challenge it you fail to provide any answer.Instinct has a meaning, it describes fixed behaviour in animals, behavour that can not be controlled. If what you call instinct can be overridden then it is not instinct. It is not rocket science, just a bit of basic scientific description.As for "race" the early "racial scientists" thought they were recording actual biological "races" of humans. If you now say a biological definition of "race" is irrelevant, then what basis for "race" do you have?All you give is the fact we can see physical differences of skin colour.Again I ask you to define the number of "races" of humanity and perhaps show how we can explain the classification?If you fail to do so all you are left with is a vague idea that skin colour etc makes us a specific "race" and is therefore a social construct.

    You suggest instinct cannot be overriden – are you sure about that?  I'm pretty sure I can provide you with some examples of when it can and is overriden among humans.

    #91515
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    I agree that the evidence for miscegenation is all around us, but this does not help you establish that race is only a social construct, it just indicates that some people will breed outside their own wider kin group under the influence of propaganda and a particular consciousness that is accepting and encouraging of race-mixing.  This is likely to happen under a more globalised system of capitalism which relies on the migration of cheap labour.  Explain why so much effort needs to be put into propagandising the benefits of multiculturalism ('race-mixing'), if not because it suits an agenda.  Isn't this an effort to overcome and discourage instinct-level behaviours, drives and inclinations that would otherwise see people develop relationships mainly among those with whom they self-identify? 

    You cannot get animals to act against instinct, instinctive behaviours are automatic and ingrained, all you can do is get a stronger instinct (self preservation) to supervene.However, since you are unable to substantiate your claims about the "observable fact of race", how in the name of snut can instinct do it?  How, for instance, can instinct tell an African from an Australian?

    So can instinct be overriden or not?  You seem to be confused on the point.  I would say that just because instinct is ingrained, it need not follow that it is insurmountable.

    #91517
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    Can I take it, then, that you do not consider race to be a social construct afterall?  Otherwise, I think your position is self-contradictory.

    No you can't. That's why I put the word "race", "racial" (but not racist) in inverted commas.

    Quote:
    I agree that the evidence for miscegenation is all around us, but this does not help you establish that race is only a social construct, it just indicates that some people will breed outside their own wider kin group under the influence of propaganda and a particular consciousness that is accepting and encouraging of race-mixing.

    and

    Tom Rogers wrote:
    The truth is that multiculturalism is simply part of the ideological justification for capitalism.  Societies of mixed race suit those who have rootless utilitarian attitudes.  I would say that the working population in Britain is politically-weaker than ever today and this is partly (though not wholly) due to multiculturalism (i.e. the acceptance that the population of the country should not be racially-homogenous).

    What is this? A party political broadcast on behalf of the BNP?I'm against "multiculturalism" too, but for the opposite reason to you. But, first, multiculturalism is not to be equated with ""acceptance that the population of the country should not be racially-homogenous". Nor is it to be equated with the simple existence of different cultures and cultural traditions, which anyone (whatever the "race" you would put them in) can share. Different food, different music, etc. That's a good thing which I'm sure will still exist and flourish in a socialist society. I imagine you don't eat in Indian restaurants or listen to reggae music."Multiculturalism" is the government policy of encouraging historically-evolved cultural groups to identify with that group and to construct and teach them a concocted history to that end. I'm opposed to it on the ground that it encourages identity politics instead of class politics. As was well explained in an article from Class War in 2007 which can be found by typing "cowley club" + "class war" + "multiculturalism" into a search engine (perhaps someone can find an easier way of accessing it. It's from the Summer 2007 and entitled "Multiculturalism — The Newspeak of the Left Cop".)You appear to share the concern of some pro-capitalist apologists that multiculturalism is proving couter-productive from their own point of view in that it encourages members of cultural groups to identify with their group rather than with "the nation" or "the country" and are beginning to think that the French government's policy of assimilation would be better. But that might not be good enough for you as it still accepts that the population of Britain would still be what you call "racially-homogenous" and would not discourage "race-mixing".

    It's not a party political broadcast on behalf of anyone.  In fact, as far as I know, my views on this subject bear no relation to those of the BNP.  But you're obviously very angry about it all.  I just hope you're not getting too upset.You state that "multiculturalism is not be equated with "acceptance that the population of the country should not be racially-homogenous".  I think this is naive in that you cannot rely on an academic or theoretical definition of multi-culturalism to explain how it works in society, which is what I am talking about here.  In practice, the evidence from multi-cultural societies is that one racial group tends to dominate another.  Of course, because you do not recognise 'race' as a valid term at all, to you multi-culturalism is simply the co-existence of different cultural groups, whereas to my mind, multi-culturalism is simply a code word for race-mixing.  You then state, ""Multiculturalism" is the government policy of encouraging historically-evolvd cultural groups to identify with that group and to construct and teach them a concocted history to that end." It follows from what I have just stated that this is also wrong in that multiculturalism is not just 'multi-cultural', it is also multi-racial, with different racial groups existing within the same geo-political space.  All the evidence from where this is tried is that one racial group tends to dominate over the other – South Africa is one example, though of course you would deny this and say that South Africa is not under black majority rule because race is a social construct.  Your views might have more practical currency in a place like Brazil, but even there the white majority remains dominant and controls the wealthier regions and cities. Of course, a sizeable minority of white people in Brazil have black or Amerindian ancestry as well as European, but that in itself does not discount my contentions given that the way Brazilian society works economically and socially is still favourable to whites, suggesting an informal racial apartheid.  Obviously much of this intersects with the socialist argument, but I also think it lends credence to the idea that race (regardless of whether it is a social construct or not) remains a significant delimiter in society and therefore of deep, possibly primordial, significance to human beings.

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