the linked destinies of the racial query and capitalism | EUROtoday

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“You can’t have capitalism without racism” : it was within the nervous laughter of an meeting coming to debate socialism that the political chief Malcolm weekly The Militant, the sentence is barely audible. Today it constructions an unlimited motion of thought which irrigates a part of historic analysis. It is to the lengthy historical past of this concept that Sylvie Laurent's ebook is devoted, Capital and race. History of a contemporary hydra (Threshold, 512 p., €25).

If Karl Marx had clearly emphasised that capital ought to be outlined not as a factor, however as a category relationship, the racial query remained comparatively marginal in his analyses. Among theorists such because the sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois, creator of Souls of black individuals (La Découverte, 1903, 2007) or the political scientist Cedric Robinson, creator of Black Marxism. The genesis of the black radical custom (Entremonde, 1983, 2023), race is handled like class in Marx: it not designates a organic actuality, however a social configuration, a relationship of domination which has its roots in capitalism.

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We won’t discover on this ebook an financial historical past of “racial capitalism”, thought-about from the standpoint of its practices and its actors. There “new history of capitalism” (“new history of capitalism”) which, within the United States, has taken up this analysis program, has largely handed over in silence.

In order to assemble her demonstration, the creator as a substitute goes by means of a gallery of portraits. From Christopher Columbus to Frantz Fanon, through Adam Smith and Rosa Luxemburg, it convincingly reveals the continuity of the hyperlinks between financial thought and racial thought, the place custom tends to separate these two analytical grids.

Double hoarding operation

The story begins in 1492. Against interpretations which as a substitute emphasize the sluggish transition from feudalism to capitalism, the creator highlights the significance of colonization within the creation of worth. Here it’s primarily based on the fable of Robinson Crusoe. Behind this parable of civilizing capitalism, from Daniel Defoe's novel, lies a double operation of land grabbing and racialization of the indigenous inhabitants. The abolition of slavery within the nineteenth centurye century, didn’t put an finish to those mechanisms. It noticed the beginning of a brand new type of colonization and racial inferiorization now claiming to be “civilizing mission of capitalism”.

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