Posts Tagged: politics

Review: The Education of Booker T. Washington

Washington often talked about the embrace of manual labor as a virtue — in opposition to the fetishization of education as providing an “easy way out” from the hardships of a newly attained freedom. Here perhaps there could have been a more solid intervention by West: this presented an opportunity to investigate how concepts of industriousness and social independence throughout labor (although not labor in the cities) animated Washington’s political imagination. West writes that Washington was inconsistent about his portrayal of the black race as most industrious, or less industrious etc. (97), but in his very telling (and damning) quote that “notwithstanding the cruel wrongs inflicted upon us, the black man got nearly as much out of slavery as the white man did,” Washington seems to imply that slavery served as a kind of labor-training for American blacks (a notion he also contradicts in other statements).

Review: The Education of Booker T. Washington

Washington often talked about the embrace of manual labor as a virtue — in opposition to the fetishization of education as providing an “easy way out” from the hardships of a newly attained freedom. Here perhaps there could have been a more solid intervention by West: this presented an opportunity to investigate how concepts of industriousness and social independence throughout labor (although not labor in the cities) animated Washington’s political imagination. West writes that Washington was inconsistent about his portrayal of the black race as most industrious, or less industrious etc. (97), but in his very telling (and damning) quote that “notwithstanding the cruel wrongs inflicted upon us, the black man got nearly as much out of slavery as the white man did,” Washington seems to imply that slavery served as a kind of labor-training for American blacks (a notion he also contradicts in other statements).

Review: Origins of the New South

Woodward’s cast of characters is dizzying at first glance. At the beginning of the conflict are the “Redeemers,” these latter-day Whigs gained political power on a platform of restoring “home rule” and overthrowing the legacy of corruption left by the Radicals. They were extremely distrustful of legislatures, and espoused a program that conveniently aligned with factory owners, railroad men, and merchants of Charleston, Columbia and other cities. In the end, this plan did little to promote the growth of an indigenous, and independent, Southern capitalist class; the introduction of new Southern economic development was subject to the leadership of Eastern capital interests, thus, Redeemers were the middlemen in a process that pinned Eastern capital interests against the “unredeemed farmer” and the Southern freeman.

Review: Origins of the New South

Woodward’s cast of characters is dizzying at first glance. At the beginning of the conflict are the “Redeemers,” these latter-day Whigs gained political power on a platform of restoring “home rule” and overthrowing the legacy of corruption left by the Radicals. They were extremely distrustful of legislatures, and espoused a program that conveniently aligned with factory owners, railroad men, and merchants of Charleston, Columbia and other cities. In the end, this plan did little to promote the growth of an indigenous, and independent, Southern capitalist class; the introduction of new Southern economic development was subject to the leadership of Eastern capital interests, thus, Redeemers were the middlemen in a process that pinned Eastern capital interests against the “unredeemed farmer” and the Southern freeman.

Review: Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life argues that the invocation of “race” obscures the nature of social inequality, masking problems of an economic and political nature under the guise of race and racism. Fields & Fields argue that despite the inadequacy of the term, race has become a real abstraction, i.e., an ideology. Key to their understanding of the emergence of race is the role that it played in justifying — and rationalizing– the system of American black slavery.

Review: Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life argues that the invocation of “race” obscures the nature of social inequality, masking problems of an economic and political nature under the guise of race and racism. Fields & Fields argue that despite the inadequacy of the term, race has become a real abstraction, i.e., an ideology. Key to their understanding of the emergence of race is the role that it played in justifying — and rationalizing– the system of American black slavery.

Liberalism and Marx: An interview with Domenico Losurdo

PN: Concerning the radical inspiration for the framework you set up between Toussaint and the French Revolution, the striking thing about the Haitian Revolution is that it caused a division within France. It was not simply Toussaint versus the French liberals; the Haitian Revolution actually caused the French liberals to split and led to disarray. It raised another problem: Insofar as France could militarily continue to defend itself from counterrevolutionary forces in Europe, at this particular moment, it still depended on colonial production. It therefore seems to me that the Haitian Revolution posed the problem of the radicalism of liberalism straightforwardly and there were a number of responses. Is it possible to call Toussaint a liberal because he believed in the promises of liberalism?

Liberalism and Marx: An interview with Domenico Losurdo

PN: Concerning the radical inspiration for the framework you set up between Toussaint and the French Revolution, the striking thing about the Haitian Revolution is that it caused a division within France. It was not simply Toussaint versus the French liberals; the Haitian Revolution actually caused the French liberals to split and led to disarray. It raised another problem: Insofar as France could militarily continue to defend itself from counterrevolutionary forces in Europe, at this particular moment, it still depended on colonial production. It therefore seems to me that the Haitian Revolution posed the problem of the radicalism of liberalism straightforwardly and there were a number of responses. Is it possible to call Toussaint a liberal because he believed in the promises of liberalism?

Marx after Marxism: An interview with Moishe Postone

MP: I think what Marx is trying to do is delineate a form of social relations that is fundamentally different from that in pre-capitalist societies. He maintains that the social relations that characterize capitalism, that drive capitalism, are historically unique, but don’t appear to be social. So that, for example, although the amazing intrinsic dynamic of capitalist society is historically specific, it is seen as merely a feature of human interaction with nature. I think one of the things that Marx is trying to argue is that what drives the dynamic of capitalist society are these peculiar social forms that become reified.

Marx after Marxism: An interview with Moishe Postone

MP: I think what Marx is trying to do is delineate a form of social relations that is fundamentally different from that in pre-capitalist societies. He maintains that the social relations that characterize capitalism, that drive capitalism, are historically unique, but don’t appear to be social. So that, for example, although the amazing intrinsic dynamic of capitalist society is historically specific, it is seen as merely a feature of human interaction with nature. I think one of the things that Marx is trying to argue is that what drives the dynamic of capitalist society are these peculiar social forms that become reified.