Racism and Race - ARE The (Primary) Answer - Part IV
(NOTE: This is Part IV of a four part series: Links for the prior parts are: Part I - https://www.georgemarx.org/2023/07/newer-partial-table-of-contents-more.html,
Part II - https://www.georgemarx.org/2023/07/table-of-contents-plus-07142023.html
Part III - https://www.georgemarx.org/2023/07/table-of-contents-07222023.html )
Marxism and Socialism fail as being “The Answer”. They are very important tied in with racism and other systemic oppression.
“The Working Class” in opposition to “The Owning Class” is a simple binary. Envisioning “The Revolution” of The People overthrowing our despotic wealthy people has historic precedents which are especially relevant today.
Post World War I Germany grew increasingly split between radical causes of the left and the right. The right played upon the fears and traumas of the day. Hitler and his Nazi brethren scapegoated Jews, Gypsies, Gay-Lesbian People, and Differently Abled People.
Today’s scapegoats include: Socialists (often middle of the road Democrats), Trans People, Immigrants, The Chinese as well as Putin.
While class is often minimized – denied and ignored, it also doesn’t work as a simple binary. It is certainly true that core parts of the Super Wealthy build useful alliances. They strongly support a divide and conquer strategy which disempowers and overpowers a tremendous number of people.
Some major Evangelical Lutheran leaders, and to a lesser degree The Catholic Church Establishment, and other religious forces, further push the binary based dichotomies.
The Patriarchy is weaponized in seeking to deny women far more than bodily autonomy. There is another false dichotomy where women often are The Enforcers, against other women and trans people.
All of these weapons use the manipulation of The Other, seemingly by potential allies/fellow members of the othered identity.
During slavery days, the wealthy slaveowners were significantly kept on top by poor white people (mostly men). They were The Good Christians enforcing the Patriarchal, very profitable slavery system. It made slave states – the wealthiest states, while also profiting Northern industrialists greatly.
Today’s USian reality is trying create such a system again. Fascism is both very present, and moving towards becoming our entire system.
We have The Super Wealthy. Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk come to mind – as prime examples. Other super wealthy people like Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison aren’t on the surface exploitative like Elon Musk is. At the same time, they will never confront the basic exploitation of the majority of USians. Confronting the systemic class issues in meaningful ways would threaten their own wealth and power.
Then we have the wealthy, and the almost wealthy. They generally profit from the status quo. Most of them aren’t hurt by the super-wealthy. There also is their hope that they will significantly increase their wealth. They certainly won’t confront systemic exploitation.
Then we move down to the upper-middle class. I am one of this sizeable group of people. We have a moderate amount of potential power. We are the first group of people which has significantly increasing numbers of The Others. Asian-Americans and Black People are moving up in increasing numbers. As the percentages of college students are increasingly female, women are increasingly threatening the Patriarchy.
We are divided amongst ourselves. A few of us are very active in serious work towards positive systemic change. Far more dabble in and out of the work. We may have been very active for a few months after George Floyd was murdered. Then we pulled back for a variety of reasons. A lot of us are more interested in spectator sports, music, theater, and similar. Our families and close friends matter much more to us.
We don’t have the time to waste on stopping Fascism from taking over, and we don’t seek it coming (either). The powers to be don’t care and those beneath us (sic[k]) need to do the(ir) work. We are self-absorbed.
When we, particularly the cis-upper-middle class white men, don’t do the work consistently – staying with it and building towards substantive change, we pass the burden on to the others, who have less privilege.
Others are already doing the work. They are lead from “the bottom” - on up. Black, Queer Women – are among the most active and effective in doing the work. They work in allyship with each other particularly. They know both the importance of the work, and that they can’t effectively do it on their own.
To focus on class, particularly with a Marxist/Socialist analysis, generally creates a simplistic, false binary. Though we have an oppressive power structure rooted in The Patriarchy, which aptly fits the binary model, “The Working Class” - simply is not the truth, nor effective, in understanding who we, The People, are.
If we, the privileged, upper-middle class white men were truly, deeply part of The People in opposition to those who oppress us from far above, we could, and probably would, wake up from Our Slumber. As we woke up we would be effective parts of a serious coalition, that would methodically end the oppressive reality that deeply hurts the least privileged 80-90% of our people.
The Marxist/Socialist models, allow people, often quite privileged white people, to live in their bubbles. They extol the importance of “The Revolution”. Meanwhile The Right – often through The Republican Party, are pushing us into a Fascist State, where Christianity, Racism, and more are weaponized successfully.
The Revolution that we face today is coming at us from The Right.
The Patriarchal State that we face today is fueled most deeply by Racism. The building of Race, starting over 350 years ago, is the most powerful weapon of today. Barack Obama – both was tokenized in important ways, because of his Blackness, and served as a lightening rod for the racism to unite in supporting Donald Trump and Republicans in general as they pushed a message of fear and division.
A Black candidate for vice-president in 2024 can be two- totally opposite things. For the Democrats, Kamala Harris, is a potential liability, in part because she is Black. For the Republicans, a largely token Tim Scott, could serve as a potent weapon to keep Black People from voting, or voting for the Democrats in 2024.
CNN and even PBS – and the Democrats – live in a false binary reality where controversy and division fuel the power(s) of The Opposition. Democrats are scared to openly – directly – bluntly take on Racism and Abortion and The Power of The Oppressors.
Yes, they do talk about taxing the wealthy, to pay for the costs of today. It is doubtful if they would do this more than tokenly, if they had the votes, which they are far from having. The war in The Ukraine – is a War of – big defense contractors, and smoke and mirrors. The horrible reality of Putin – shields us from the (additional) dangers of NATO and The USian “EMPIRE”.
We don’t learn from history! Underneath it is Racism. Slavery is still a part of our DNA – as toxic Christianity, “socialism”, out children and much more are clobbered by false – buzzwords – like[GM1] : “Wokeness” hide us from the literal heat-wave of serious climate change.
Black People and secondarily Brown People face the brunt of our system, and regardless of class, they face systemic oppression. While George Floyd, and many of those murdered are poor, middle-class Black Men and Women – are often collateral damage – simply by being Black.
The Black Policeman off the job, out of uniform, as well as The Black Professor, driving his expensive car, are simply Black People. When they encounter another police officer, or a scared white person, their class won’t save their life. The Black teacher, including The Black Professor, face a school and college world where toxic racism persists, despite DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) trainings at their schools.
In the end race, and racism are the most important. Class is also important, and frequently minimized or ignored. Hopefully our actions coming out of curiosity and seeking allyship will triumph over fear and trauma.
We have a lot of work to do – both today and tomorrow – and well into the future!