Race, Gender and Class

October 2021 Forums General discussion Race, Gender and Class

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 86 total)
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  • #91533
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Hi TomUsing your above example of the Scottish "race".What "race" would I be if I were born in London, and my parents one Latvian the other Greek, moved to Scotland when I was five years old?Your idea of "race" includes a large element of social construct with a mix of biology. I would be interested to know where you got it from, as you have no hesitation in questioning the authenticity of HollyHead's post?The old timers, the scientists who coined the four "races" we generalise human kind with still today, thought of "race" in terms of biology, with varied mixes of religion, behaviour and technological ability.I would still be interested to know if you think there are only four "races" or rather were only four "races" as bequeathed to us by the originators of "racial science"? Go on give it a rough guess, using your definition.As for my definition of instinct it does not refer to reflexive behaviour. It refers to complex patterns of behaviour that are not taught.I would be interested to read a list of human instinct. But please do not dish out a list of biological reflexes such as yawning or shivering. It needs to be non learnt complex behaviour.

    I have not given the example of a Scottish race.  I was referring to the idea that the term 'race' can be used colloquially in order to illustrate the problem inherent in definitions, that they do not confer a full understanding of a topic and have to be applied practically and usefully in order to make sense.  For instance, we could define 'National Socialism', let's say, as belief in racial communities.  On that basis, all sorts of peoples around the world could be accused of Nazism, but not usefully.  That is an absurdum, and perhaps even not a very good example, but hopefully it illustrates the point.I didn't get my definition of race from anywhere.  I just made it up.And I was not questioning the authenticity of HollyHead's post.  I already know the contents of the post are authentic because I followed the link and viewed the source.  However, I do look forward to HH's response to the questions posed, which are very relevant, no?I will get to the 'four races' question and the other points later. It's 4 a.m. and the only reason I am still up is that I have something to finish.  It's not a good time to think about a subject like this.One final word, though.  You say that your 'definition' of insinct does not refer to reflexive behaviour.  Well, I was not aware that you had provided us with a definition, as such, but maybe you did and I have just forgotten.  Whatever, in my view what you have written on the subject implies that you think instinctive behaviour is reflexive only, but if you are resiling from that then fine.  

    #91534
    Ed
    Participant

    `Hi Tom would you be willing to try out this quick game it's designed to help people see the ridiculousness of race.Downloadable version (better)http://www.gamesforchange.org/play/guess-my-race/Online versionhttp://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_01-sort.htm

    #91535
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    i got 4

    #91536
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91537
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi EdThat was very hard, I only got 6. Very interesting test that goes a long way to prove what we are saying about "race" on this forum.Yet people insist on claiming it is "apparent from walking into any cosmopolitan town, city or university,"The test could be taken as a good example of walking into said city and attempting to identify the people into their "racial" groups. Virtually impossible to score well."Race" or human diversity? Take your pick.

    #91538
    ALB
    Keymaster

    There are two separate arguments going on here:(1) Does it make sense to talk of humans having "instincts" in their social behaviour (as opposed to their bodily reactions)?and(2) If we do, is an aversion to "race-mixing" one of them?If the answer to (1) is "no", then (2) falls. But even if (1) were to be the case, then (2) would still have to be proved.

    #91539
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    When we have finished (if ever we do) with "race", there are still gender and class left to discuss.It's gonna be a long one.

    #91542
    HollyHead
    Participant
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    FULL TEXTThis is an unattributed statement consisting of various assertions.  It is not a scientific.  Who wrote this statement (i.e, who are the individual authors)?  What is the connection between 'Ed Hagen' and the statement and what are Ed Hagen's political affiliations, if any?  What peer-reviewed sources are cited in support of the assertions in the statement?  What are the authors' own academic reputations within anthropology?  Did the statement have the sanction of the executive organ of the AAPA?  Is there any evidence that the statement broadly reflects the views and opinions of the membership of the AAPA?  If no such evidence was collated, or if the evidence is not peer-reviewable, and if the membership has not raitified the statement, then what is the legal and scientific status of the statement itself?  Why has the statement been 'modified' and what were the modifications and what is the editorial history of the article?Well?…Would you care to comment?  Would you also like me to dissect the above statement while I'm at it?  I will, literally, take it to pieces.  I will be very glad to, it's just that I do have other things to do, but you do seem to think – bless you – that if a statement has a scientist as author and broadly supports your own prejudices, then it should be taken as gospel.

     TomPerhaps your response to my posting of the AAPA statement might have been more useful had you in fact "taken it to pieces" rather than indulge in an obvious bit of smoke screening.In an efort to keep down the temperature of this debate I shall ignore the ad hominem nature of  some of your comments.How can you say that it is "unattributed"? It is clearly an "official" statement by the AAPA which claims to be the world's leading professional organization for physical anthropologists. Formed by 83 charter members in 1930, the AAPA now has an international membership of over 1,700.Their Journal (American Journal of Physical Anthropology) is published by John Wiley (an academic publishing house) and is peer reviewed:The AAPA statement is a contribution to an ongoing debate. It appeared originally in their official journal. Ed Hagan is the journal editor.Hagan is Associate Professor at Washinton State University, Vancouver, and has published many (refereed) articles and contributions to collections of academic essays. Not being a qualified anthropologist I can only make a guess at his reputation. His position suggests to me that his views are at least worthy of consideration.His Home Page is here: http://anthro.vancouver.wsu.edu/faculty/hagen/   Are you suggesting that because the statement was posted on the internet it has no significance?I think as the editor his political views are irrelevant. Have you any evidence that they do in fact colour the findings in this case?The original statement (The Race Question) was drafted by UNESCO in 1950 by the following experts:Professor Ernest Beaglehole (New Zealand); Professor Juan Comas (Mexico); Professor L. A. Costa Pinto (Brazil); Professor Franklin Frazier (United States of America); Professor Morris Ginsberg (United Kingdom); Dr Humayun Kabir (India); Professor Claude Levi-Strauss (France); Professor Ashley Montagu (United States of America) .It was subsequently revised by Professor Ashley Montagu, after criticism submitted by Professors Hadley Cantril, E. G. Conklin, Gunnar Dahlberg, Theodosius Dobzhansky, L. C. Dunn, Donald Hager, Julian S. Huxley, Otto Klineberg, Wilbert Moore, H. J. Muller, Gunnar Myrdal, Joseph Needham, and Curt Stern.The revisions were made in order to emphasise the tentative, provisional, nature of the statement.

    #91543
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    HollyHead wrote:
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    FULL TEXTThis is an unattributed statement consisting of various assertions.  It is not a scientific.  Who wrote this statement (i.e, who are the individual authors)?  What is the connection between 'Ed Hagen' and the statement and what are Ed Hagen's political affiliations, if any?  What peer-reviewed sources are cited in support of the assertions in the statement?  What are the authors' own academic reputations within anthropology?  Did the statement have the sanction of the executive organ of the AAPA?  Is there any evidence that the statement broadly reflects the views and opinions of the membership of the AAPA?  If no such evidence was collated, or if the evidence is not peer-reviewable, and if the membership has not raitified the statement, then what is the legal and scientific status of the statement itself?  Why has the statement been 'modified' and what were the modifications and what is the editorial history of the article?Well?…Would you care to comment?  Would you also like me to dissect the above statement while I'm at it?  I will, literally, take it to pieces.  I will be very glad to, it's just that I do have other things to do, but you do seem to think – bless you – that if a statement has a scientist as author and broadly supports your own prejudices, then it should be taken as gospel.

     TomPerhaps your response to my posting of the AAPA statement might have been more useful had you in fact "taken it to pieces" rather than indulge in an obvious bit of smoke screening.In an efort to keep down the temperature of this debate I shall ignore the ad hominem nature of  some of your comments.How can you say that it is "unattributed"? It is clearly an "official" statement by the AAPA which claims to be the world's leading professional organization for physical anthropologists. Formed by 83 charter members in 1930, the AAPA now has an international membership of over 1,700.Their Journal (American Journal of Physical Anthropology) is published by John Wiley (an academic publishing house) and is peer reviewed:The AAPA statement is a contribution to an ongoing debate. It appeared originally in their official journal. Ed Hagan is the journal editor.Hagan is Associate Professor at Washinton State University, Vancouver, and has published many (refereed) articles and contributions to collections of academic essays. Not being a qualified anthropologist I can only make a guess at his reputation. His position suggests to me that his views are at least worthy of consideration.His Home Page is here: http://anthro.vancouver.wsu.edu/faculty/hagen/   Are you suggesting that because the statement was posted on the internet it has no significance?I think as the editor his political views are irrelevant. Have you any evidence that they do in fact colour the findings in this case?The original statement (The Race Question) was drafted by UNESCO in 1950 by the following experts:Professor Ernest Beaglehole (New Zealand); Professor Juan Comas (Mexico); Professor L. A. Costa Pinto (Brazil); Professor Franklin Frazier (United States of America); Professor Morris Ginsberg (United Kingdom); Dr Humayun Kabir (India); Professor Claude Levi-Strauss (France); Professor Ashley Montagu (United States of America) .It was subsequently revised by Professor Ashley Montagu, after criticism submitted by Professors Hadley Cantril, E. G. Conklin, Gunnar Dahlberg, Theodosius Dobzhansky, L. C. Dunn, Donald Hager, Julian S. Huxley, Otto Klineberg, Wilbert Moore, H. J. Muller, Gunnar Myrdal, Joseph Needham, and Curt Stern.The revisions were made in order to emphasise the tentative, provisional, nature of the statement.

    Thank you, but my questions were neither a smoke screen nor ad hominen.  They are highly-relevant to a proper review and evaluation of purportedly academic material.  You say that the statement is "clearly" an "official" statement of the AAPA.  I beg to differ.  In fact, the scientific value of the statement is unclear.  As far as I can tell, the statement has been published in the AAPA journal, but that does not confer on it official status as representative of the AAPA or its members.  In fact, it's apparent from your further information on the antecedence and editorial history of the statement that it has nothing to do with the AAPA other than its journal editor likes it and decided to publish it in the AAPA's journal.  That tells us nothing scientifically and it does not follow that the sentiments and (so far as they can be described as such) assertions in the statement are broadly accepted by AAPA members as reflective of physical anthropology.  Based on what I now know about the statement, I would say it cannot have been intended to be a definitive summary of the state of scientific knowledge, rather it is primarily a political statement having its origins in an explicitly political body (UNESCO).  That it was/is written by scientists does not detract from that conclusion; scientists have political and social views just like everyone else.  The wording of the statement is not unreasonable but it is of little or no probative value in this debate and in terms of your arguments about race as a purely social model. 

    #91544
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    jondwhite wrote:
    Saw this post on revleft and don't entirely agree with it (don't believe in patriarchy but do in safer spaces) but thought there was enough interesting in it to share herehttp://www.revleft.com/vb/race-gender-and-t177310/index.htmlone of the reasons why i broke with old school left communism (was pretty close to the icc at one point as in i actually met with them and write for them and was like 1 inch to become a member) is that left communists are pretty bad at the whole gender/race thing theoretically. i disagree with the privilege politics paradigm but i do not dismiss the fact that there is such thing as a patriarchy. there is a part of the icc platform that says "race is an illusion" or something similar but race is a material reality, for better or worse. for example, i've seen left communists call "feminism" bourgeois and build a strawman out of it cuz' they compare it to ordinary leftist bourgeois feminism. however, feminism in general seems to me to write about the disadvantages of being a woman in general, so it seems silly to call that bourgeois. feminism is a term vaguer than anarchism and marxism. i had an epiphany about this when every women i agreed politically with also called herself a sort of feminist. i also think that its ok for women or minorities to organize "safe spaces" to discuss their own shit outside men or white people or whatever, however that doesn't really mean i am really down with identity politics or whatever so i want to discuss how to basically deal with the race and gender issue without some shitty left communist outdated reductionism-into-class or the other extreme which is leftist identity politics or north american therapy sessions where some hippie girl calls out some dude for being sexist while at the same time that dude calls her out a white suburbanite and everyone plays the game of who is more privilieged or who manages to guiltrip the other one more. in my experience, priviliege politics, at least practically, treat the whole race and gender issue as more or less separate things to class, even if they theoretically sometimes pay lipservice to that sort of stuff. i recently read an article by some endnotes gal called "communisation and the abolition of gender" and gave a very interesting perspective about woman, patriarchy, and class. basically said that gender issues form some sort of manifold with class issues, because they cannot exist separately from each other. for example, there can't really be women liberation in capitalism because women get pregnant (unless babies are made in test tubes), so this implies a lot of disadvantages in the labor market that can only be countered artificially through laws and reforms, cuz' if it were by the sheer will of the market, women's labor is objectively more problematic for capital valorization. some theory/praxis like this needs to be developed i think, to use critique of political economy to develop a theory of gender and race, to avoid the boring declaration that "class is the only thing that matters", or the shitty pseudo liberal fluff that has post structuralist, critcal theory. so that's basically my position, that race, gender, disabilities and class form a manifold that have value signatures in the market and have to be smashed more or less at the same time as capital is smashed. i am still being kinda vague, because i haven't made up my mind completely about this sort of stuff.

    Where did you hear this sort of political nazism? I know communists and they're all good people; that's all they want really, well most of the young ones, is a new radical communism that has learned from the past.  Democracy has a part as well.

    #91540
    twc
    Participant
    Tom Rogers wrote:
     I would define race specifically as a biological, sociological and physiological expression of local variation within a human population which aggregates into sufficient discrete commonalities among the sub-population that it can be distinguished to a greater or lesser extent from other human populations, near and far, but with sufficient plasticity that the subject population shall remain, above all, human and still able to breed within other human populations and otherwise share the universal human experience.  The local variations should be measurable so that the expressions of race can be classified, recognised and falsified using accepted scientific methodologies.  In that respect, race is both a social construct and a physical and material reality and can be deployed conceptually using various modes and means.  Now, I am not an anthropologist, and this being my own definition, it should be treated as provisional as I am sure it reflects an imperfect understanding of the subject.  I am not going to use this home-brewed definition to enumerate the different races for you, but I do think the definition above is testable.

    "Race" as "Expression"You define "race" as a measurable "expression" of human biology, sociology and physiology.But "expression" is not a directly measurable attribute of any thing/process. It can only be inferred indirectly from directly measurable attributes of a thing/process.Your definition comes preloaded with the directly un-measurable category "race" but fails to specify any directly measurable categories that "race" purportedly "expresses". It lacks any prescription of what measurable categories to measure, and so lacks one of the essential preconditions for making the definition scientific.Your definition comes preloaded with the unstated rule that whatever directly measurable categories are measured they will "express" the directly un-measurable category "race". Your definition of "race" is, as it must be for you, appropriately racial.But your definition necessarily relies on directly measurable categories to "express" a directly un-measurable category "race". It is scientifically obliged to establish a criterion of proof for testing whether selected measures "express" the non-measure "race", but it explicitly fails to meet this scientific obligation.So your definition lacks an explanation that links observation to theory — an explanation of how "race" happens to "express" itself. Without a link between theory and observation, your definition lacks another essential precondition for making it scientific.Naturally, your definition implies its own unstated criterion of proof. It unquestioningly assumes point blank that positive associations between measured attributes are ipso facto "expressions of race". That is pure nonsense without a theory of "race". Pure wishful thinking.Your definition's implied criterion of proof is thus racial, as is appropriate for your theoretical stance that "race" exists and needs only to be found. But its methodology reveals your unstated theory of "race" — whatever attributes happen to measure positive on some arbitrary scale are unquestionably "expressions of race".To make sense of clusterings of racially "expressed" measures, you have little choice but to establish a racial scale — a theory of "race". Otherwise nothing in your definition makes sense.So far your definition reveals itself as subjective, ill-defined, imprecise, apparently unconscious of its presuppositions, and scientifically useless."Race" as StrategyIn apparent openness, your definition actually seems to imply not science but strategy. Its implied strategy is to define "race" as the necessary outcome of an exhaustive search for positive associations among undisclosed measurable attributes of human biology, sociology and physiology.Such a strategy is the reverse of normal science. It proceeds from observation to theory, rather than from theory to observation. You wish to establish a new paradigm [like Newton and Einstein] from observation to new theory. Except those heroes of science were motivated by a deep crisis in existing theory. What is your deep theoretical crisis?Your strategy implies a search algorithm. Definitions that imply realization by search algorithm might be expected to state the problem unambiguously. They might be expected to helpfully specify objective criteria for search target, search procedure and search termination — telling us what to seek, how to seek it, and when to terminate.Your definition lacks these helpful algorithmic essentials. It is therefore algorithmically vague and so incapable of unambiguous implementation.Nevertheless, your definition implies its own well-defined condition of search closure. The target may be unknown and the methodology may be undefined, but the closure is crystal clear. The search for evidence of "race" can terminate upon finding whatever it is able to transform into whatever it's looking for.[If only Kuhnian revolutionary science were always so easy to prosecute!]Your definition unconsciously stacks the deck to ensure its own pre-determined success. For it, any clustered association is ipso facto an "expression of race". Your search for "expression of race" is satisfied once it finds something — anything — that it can use to justify itself. Really, so easy!Such facile closure on seeking evidence of "race" parallels the esoteric entry into ancient mysteries — you would not have sought me if you had not already found me."Race" as MetaphysicsOf course, you are only a wishful Kuhnian revolutionary scientist. You are more naturally a metaphysician.Your open-ended definition sets in train on open-ended "research program" that forces its implementation to establish the credibility of your definition's unstated-but-assumed metaphysics.Yours is not a scientific "research program", in which assumptions are consciously brought out into the open and made explicit for all to see, and where positive results are predictively subservient to clearly formulated criteria.For your definition's implied "research program", the dominant but unstated over-riding criterion is embodied in unstated but implied metaphysics — everything that measures positively has got to be an "expression of race". Your program — like the dominant program in cosmology among the ancients — is inextricably subservient to its motivating metaphysics.Such a "research program" is an unconscious parody of Plato's cosmological "saving of the phenomena", where geometric epicycles predict the behavior but only do so by subverting the explanatory physics. The ancient cosmologists honestly acknowledged that they were engaged in predictive geometry of periodic systems, and were decidedly not engaged in exploring physical reality."Race" as MathematicsYour definition implies mathematical analysis of measured categories that cluster to reveal "races". But clustering alone does not turn measured clusters of category frequencies into "expressions", let alone into "expressions of race".[In fairness, many of the great pioneering mathematical statisticians began similarly motivated.]Clusters must be proven to be more than mathematical — or more than predictive mathematically — to be "expressions of race". Otherwise they might be "expressions" of "non-race", just as epicycles are mathematical figments and are not physical actualities.We simply don't know what the mathematical clusters may indicate because your definition doesn't define "race" apart from whatever presumed "expressions of race" happen to cluster together."Race" without DeterminismYour definition clearly needs a scientific theory to force the conviction that it lacks for others than yourself. It needs a robust theory of how human biology, sociology and physiology "express" themselves to reveal "race".But you, its author, disown any scientific theory outright. In a previous post you protested "… when have I claimed adherence to biological-determinism (or any form of determinism, for that matter)?".You presumably then place your faith in "appearance" alone — the very thing that always has to be explained deterministically by science. The very thing that forms the fundamental basis of non-science from creationism to climate skepticism.Science, unlike your definition, relies on determinism. For your definition to be scientific it must derive from a theory of how "race" determines its measured "expressions". Yours is apparently unable to do so, or you have chosen not to do so.Without determinism, clusters of measured categories remain just so many clusters without further scientific significance, without necessity, unproven because unprovable, devoid of science."Race" as TaxonomySo your definition finally resolves not into science but into a non-explanatory taxonomy — even if you deem it to be and dress it up as science.We are not surprised that scientific "race" must parade as science. Its "science" is designed to emerge without encouragement directly from its loaded "taxonomy" of association of the kind you wish to gather.But, when dealing with the "races" of humanity, loaded taxonomies always "express" political views, just as you've "expressed" yours in association with "race" in previous posts.Supporters of scientific "race" roundly protest the "politics" of its non-supporters — just as you have done in previous posts. They prefer to sit back and let the "facts" of loaded "taxonomies" ineluctably "speak for themselves" — just as your definition is intended to issue forth consent.For supporters of scientific "race", taxonomy trumps science. Science becomes superfluous baggage. Let the scientist squirm before the might of loaded classification. Nothing could be more obvious than "race" when you can measure it, cluster its "expression" and taxonomize it.Measure but Why?Just what do you want to measure in order to determine a cluster of attributes that inexorably separate person from person? What motivates you to embark on an enterprise to divide fellow humans?.Biology, sociology and physiology are disparate things — apples and oranges territory. You seek cross correlations between distributions of disparate attributes taken from such disparate domains.Do you propose measuring length of nose, flaring of nostrils, hair of chest, intellect, beauty, refinement, cannibalism, matriarchy, patriarchy…?.Your definition is cautiously silent on what to measure. Yet your terminology is incautiously provocative about "race"  — you distinguish a "sub-population" from "other human populations" and refer to a "subject population".As to your definition's much-ado about scientific methodology — such methodological ballast betrays the non-scientist adding what he deems necessary to bolster the scientific credibility of his definition.But I see where your methodological ballast is directly targeted and singularly focused. Its [presumably Popperian] falsifiability applies only to locating an "expression of race" at its precise elevation on your presumed racial scale of cross-category clustering. Naturally these indispensable cluster measures [of something, whose significance is assumed but that we readers of your definition know not what] must always be Popper falsifiable.Significantly though, the racial scale itself and the "race expressed" in the racial scale is not declared to be Popper falsifiable.At long last… I have found your definition of "race" to be either unconsciously obtuse or to be consciously devious. Shining through its imprecision is one shimmering light of crystal clarity — "expressions of race" must be found because they exist.What amazes me about your definition is how deftly it smuggles in assent to your primary assertion of the existence of "expressions of race".

    #91541
    twc
    Participant
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    Right, so what is a racist [if race does not exist]? This still doesn't answer my question.In that respect [of my definition], race is both a social construct and a physical and material reality and can be deployed conceptually using various modes and means.

    I have studied your definition of "race". It defines "race" in terms of itself. Your definition is either circular or recursive [which is fine if intended to be algorithmic, although no algorithmic targets and processes are specified, and the terminus is subjective]. Either way, your definition of "race" is preloaded with itself, and can be presumed to exemplify to others how you and they might deploy the concept.So I stand on  equal footing regarding what you mean by "race" and on how you deploy it conceptually, and am now able to answer in your  terms your unanswered question "what is a racist if race doesn't exist?".But first I must  teach myself how to emulate your conceptual deployment of "race".Your definition starts with "race" as an abstract concept that initially signifies nothing. It seeks determinations based on measurable human differences until the abstract human nothing becomes concrete human everything — for if any belong to "race" so do all. We are in this together. As outcome of your recursive definition we are now concretely racial.I now must become adept at wielding your algorithmic selector — "whatever is statistically different among humans is an expression of race", and must be popped into its own "racial box". This is how your definition teaches me to deploy "race" conceptually "using various modes and means".So your definition and your conceptual deployment are exclusively "racial" because you unquestioningly attribute "racial expression" to statistical difference. They are "racial" because they do not countenance any other explanation. No other explanation is possible because if one "racial" explanation of human difference is subverted by another kind of  explanation of it, then so might they all. Your project would be wrecked.So your necessarily exclusive combination of racial definition, racial selection and racial deployment provides a perfect instance of "racism" — seeing "race" circularly in appearance interpreted racially as "expression of race".Your definition is adequate to "racism" even if not to "race".Your exclusively racial vision appears when you question the political motives, and so the scientific integrity, of some of the great theoreticians of evolution and anthropology, and re-appears when you challenge a Position Statement of an anthropological society as not being a position statement of that society. This is another example of yours that I must learn from in order to deploy "race" conceptually.But to the pressing question:Your definition of "race" is far too imprecise to deliver anything conclusive. It is incapable of proving that "race" exists as a "physical reality". In that important sense your "race" doesn't exist.Your conceptual deployment of "race" resolves into seeing "expressions of race" in measurable human differences. In that important sense you are teaching and you are deploying racism.Your own exemplary definition and your own conceptual deployment of "race" supply the answer to your own pressing question "what is a racist if race doesn't exist?"

    #91545
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I'm just reading a book which criticises the author of this book, The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality, Walter Benn Michaels, but it seems to put the case against "identity politics" (as opposed to class politics) quite well. In other words, that capitalism can live with (and even encourage in the interest of economic efficiency) "race" and gender equality but not with social equality.More on his views here:http://newleftreview.org/II/52/walter-benn-michaels-against-diversityhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyruiScXqcUhttp://www.amazon.com/The-Trouble-Diversity-Identity-Inequality/dp/B001GQ3DTC

    #91546
    Tom Rogers
    Participant

    He's not saying anything original, and while I can't fault his observations, he doesn't explain why we have this "identity politics" or why people might be so willing to accept it.  Attributing a philosophy or viewpoint to the priorities of capitalists doesn't explain why and how it exists and why it is so widely-accepted.

    #91547
    Tom Rogers
    Participant
    twc wrote:
    Tom Rogers wrote:
    Right, so what is a racist [if race does not exist]? This still doesn't answer my question.In that respect [of my definition], race is both a social construct and a physical and material reality and can be deployed conceptually using various modes and means.

    I have studied your definition of "race". It defines "race" in terms of itself. Your definition is either circular or recursive [which is fine if intended to be algorithmic, although no algorithmic targets and processes are specified, and the terminus is subjective]. Either way, your definition of "race" is preloaded with itself, and can be presumed to exemplify to others how you and they might deploy the concept.So I stand on  equal footing regarding what you mean by "race" and on how you deploy it conceptually, and am now able to answer in your  terms your unanswered question "what is a racist if race doesn't exist?".But first I must  teach myself how to emulate your conceptual deployment of "race".Your definition starts with "race" as an abstract concept that initially signifies nothing. It seeks determinations based on measurable human differences until the abstract human nothing becomes concrete human everything — for if any belong to "race" so do all. We are in this together. As outcome of your recursive definition we are now concretely racial.I now must become adept at wielding your algorithmic selector — "whatever is statistically different among humans is an expression of race", and must be popped into its own "racial box". This is how your definition teaches me to deploy "race" conceptually "using various modes and means".So your definition and your conceptual deployment are exclusively "racial" because you unquestioningly attribute "racial expression" to statistical difference. They are "racial" because they do not countenance any other explanation. No other explanation is possible because if one "racial" explanation of human difference is subverted by another kind of  explanation of it, then so might they all. Your project would be wrecked.So your necessarily exclusive combination of racial definition, racial selection and racial deployment provides a perfect instance of "racism" — seeing "race" circularly in appearance interpreted racially as "expression of race".Your definition is adequate to "racism" even if not to "race".Your exclusively racial vision appears when you question the political motives, and so the scientific integrity, of some of the great theoreticians of evolution and anthropology, and re-appears when you challenge a Position Statement of an anthropological society as not being a position statement of that society. This is another example of yours that I must learn from in order to deploy "race" conceptually.But to the pressing question:Your definition of "race" is far too imprecise to deliver anything conclusive. It is incapable of proving that "race" exists as a "physical reality". In that important sense your "race" doesn't exist.Your conceptual deployment of "race" resolves into seeing "expressions of race" in measurable human differences. In that important sense you are teaching and you are deploying racism.Your own exemplary definition and your own conceptual deployment of "race" supply the answer to your own pressing question "what is a racist if race doesn't exist?"

    I confess I am little nonplussed by this post.  I like to think that I am a reasonably intelligent person, or at least thoughtful, but I am not an academic, nor do I puport to be and this is not an academic discourse.  I should certainly be in a better position to respond to you if you would convey your thoughts in clear English rather than wrapping yourself in academic terminology and…well…sesquipedalian rumination.  However I suspect  you're just being facetious here and I don't expect a reply, though I may be wrong.  It's hard to tell.Let's just take one point.  You start by asserting that my definition of race defines race "in terms of itself."  This could be true, but then it seems to me that much, perhaps most, definitional language is "recursive" as you put it.  Try defining something as simple as a 'chair' without falling into recursion.  Some people would reply that a 'chair' is simply a piece of furniture with  a seat, back and legs designed to accommodate one person, but that's a description, not a definition.The truth is that a valid definition can be recursive.  For instance, to take a different example, try defining a 'Jew' without being recursive.  I would suggest the very definition of a 'Jew' is recursive.  Of course, you might then tell me there is no such thing as a 'Jew', which is fine, but there is still an intelligible and accessible definition available.

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