A quote about Capitalism/Racism

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Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,279
here
"all conceptions of race in the modern world are grounded in predatory capitalism"


See 40:50 for the approx time when he makes this statement.

Anyway, I'm wondering what to make of this claim. It sounds problematic to me. For instance, how does capitalism work in a place like Japan, where there is seemingly just only one single "race," or at least Japan has a much more homogeneous population than does a place like the US. Are his words/arguments just sophistry? Is he being emotive, describing capitalism as "predatory?"

On the other hand, maybe I'm misunderstanding him. I tried to have this conversation elsewhere and someone responded to my criticism with the reply of: "He didn't say capitalism is grounded in race relations. Of course you can have capitalism without race relations."

Thoughts?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,217
T'Republic of Yorkshire
"all conceptions of race in the modern world are grounded in predatory capitalism"


See 40:50 for the approx time when he makes this statement.

Anyway, I'm wondering what to make of this claim. It sounds problematic to me. For instance, how does capitalism work in a place like Japan, where there is seemingly just only one single "race," or at least Japan has a much more homogeneous population than does a place like the US. Are his words/arguments just sophistry? Is he being emotive, describing capitalism as "predatory?"

On the other hand, maybe I'm misunderstanding him. I tried to have this conversation elsewhere and someone responded to my criticism with the reply of: "He didn't say capitalism is grounded in race relations. Of course you can have capitalism without race relations."

Thoughts?
In Japan, for the most part, foreigners are relegated to menial roles and jobs, the ones that the natives don't want to do. Chinese, Koreans and the occasional East European do the midnight shifts in 7-11s. They get paid less and treated even worse. Of course, there are high level exceptions like Carlos Ghosn (but that didn't work out so well), but they are few and far between.

In some respects, the performance of Japanese companies and products on the global stage is reflected in racism, or perhaps culturalism. For example, NTT Docomo, the Japanese telecoms company, had contactless pay-by-cellphone and smartphones a long time before Apple did. Why aren't they the market leader instead of Apple? Because Japanese companies often make the mistake of thinking that the baka-gaijin (idiot foreigners) cannot possibly understand these products unique to the Japanese market.
 
Aug 2019
11
Ashrakhan
Just to be clear, I have never heard of this man before and I didn't watch the whole video before writing a reply because it immediately became clear to me that indeed you are misunderstanding him.

He is not saying that capitalism needs race/racism to work. He is saying that capitalism uses other concepts as scapegoats and burdens them with the responsibility of social inequality to draw the people's attention from the system itself.
Quote "[...] to talk about whiteness and blackness becomes a way of rationalizing social structures [...] so to talk only about race means we hide and conceal the social structures that are generating unbelievable suffering for everybody."

You are right though, he is most certainly being emotive.
 
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sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,618
San Diego
"all conceptions of race in the modern world are grounded in predatory capitalism"


See 40:50 for the approx time when he makes this statement.

Anyway, I'm wondering what to make of this claim. It sounds problematic to me. For instance, how does capitalism work in a place like Japan, where there is seemingly just only one single "race," or at least Japan has a much more homogeneous population than does a place like the US. Are his words/arguments just sophistry? Is he being emotive, describing capitalism as "predatory?"

On the other hand, maybe I'm misunderstanding him. I tried to have this conversation elsewhere and someone responded to my criticism with the reply of: "He didn't say capitalism is grounded in race relations. Of course you can have capitalism without race relations."

Thoughts?
Well, if he's being rational- as opposed to simply racially reactionary- ( to a hammer, everything looks like a nail ) then what he is referring to is that Prior to the age of discovery by the west- there were no concepts of slavery being based upon race.

Africans did not enslave people predicated upon race- nor did romans,- nor egyptians, nor any other pre-renaissance culture.

The age of discovery, however, was driven by capitalist venture economics- and ultimately gave way to colonialism, which was driven by capitalist hegemonic economics.

By sheer happenstance of history- it was the western Europeans who first attained the advantages of global seafaring and warring capabilities due to technology that was the confluence of ancient greek science with arabic maths and northern european religious protestantism- So as colonialism emerged- the depredations on other peoples was largely seen as the superiority of the Western Europeans to the darker complected peoples whose less advanced technology enabled european economic dominance.

But the drive to dominate was fueled by capitalist venture- not by any pre-existing sense of racial entitlement. That is, certainly everyone felt Their culture was the 'best' culture- the British vied with the french and spanish, etc... but it was capitalist economics that drove the idea that ALL europeans were somehow superior As A Group- and the things that defined that group in a ven diagram came down to Christianity ( of whatever stamp) and caucasian skin and technology.

Racial inequality, then, can be seen as a rationalization brought about by the opportunities for colonial economic exploitation.
If you need people to work for no money to work your sugar plantation, it is very convenient to be able to capitalize on some overt physical trait that differentiates a class of people that you can then use to justify your dehumanization of those people- So that you can exploit them for their labor or natural resources.

Dread Scott is the legal interpretation that Black people are NOT fully as human as White people.

No roman ever thought that way- Sure, they thought if you weren't roman, you weren't ****... but they did not think that a white, non-roman was any different than a black non-roman.


As a result- all modern notions of racial superiority/inferiority can be seen as artifacts of capitalist opportunism.

The proof of this is Japan. Who always thought of themselves as the best "culture" in the world ( not unlike Romans thought of Rome, or the French think of France ) but it was not until the Forced opening of Japan to western trade- and japan beginning to adopt western style capitalist economic models that that cultural conceit turned toxic to the point of their thinking of Chinese, and other Asians as being Lesser HUMANS, not just a lesser culture OF humans.

The profit incentive creates the NEED to be able to de-humanize some group of people.


Prior to global trade and colonialism... you see a similar dynamic emerge due to capitalism, but because the people you needed to exploit were no different from you in appearance, you had to invent the concept of Blue Blood and Aristocracy to justify your exploitation.
 
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Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,279
here
In Japan, for the most part, foreigners are relegated to menial roles and jobs, the ones that the natives don't want to do. Chinese, Koreans and the occasional East European do the midnight shifts in 7-11s. They get paid less and treated even worse. Of course, there are high level exceptions like Carlos Ghosn (but that didn't work out so well), but they are few and far between.

In some respects, the performance of Japanese companies and products on the global stage is reflected in racism, or perhaps culturalism. For example, NTT Docomo, the Japanese telecoms company, had contactless pay-by-cellphone and smartphones a long time before Apple did. Why aren't they the market leader instead of Apple? Because Japanese companies often make the mistake of thinking that the baka-gaijin (idiot foreigners) cannot possibly understand these products unique to the Japanese market.
Japan made great economic strides before and after the Second World War, right? Were these advances always predicated on foreigners doing the work? And what percentage of this work is done by foreigners? I always thought Japan was reluctant to allow too many foreigners into the country, even if it was for only work.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,217
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Japan made great economic strides before and after the Second World War, right? Were these advances always predicated on foreigners doing the work? And what percentage of this work is done by foreigners? I always thought Japan was reluctant to allow to many foreigners into the country, even if it was for only work.
Before WW2 yes - there were a lot of Koreans in Japan, as Japan had annexed the country. After WW2, less so. The economic growth was driven by low cost manufacturing (remember Doc saying to Marty "No wonder it's fried, it says Made In Japan"?) much as China is now.

A lot of the non-Chinese and Korean foreigners are there as students. The Koreans are often zainichi (second generation Koreans) but there are first generation Koreans too, judging by how good their Japanese is. I'm less sure about the Chinese. Some are there illegally, conducting tourist scams, but some are certainly working legally, I'm not sure how.

Remember that Japan has a fast aging population and needs immigrants to do some jobs, and relations have thawed between Japan and China over the last few years, with China being Japan's largest trading partner.

Japan is a deeply racist society, which is not immediately obvious to foreigners. It's not outright racism but it's ingrained and subtle. Most Japanese probably wouldn't even be aware that they're doing it.

In Okinawa, many businesses will refuse to serve "military personnel" - code for US servicemen.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
The various branches of the genus canis are divided into species, Canis lupus for the wolf, Canis anthus for "Anubis" etc, yet they are all a type of wolf and can interbreed. Bowser is Canis lupus, yet we further sub divide this branch of the wolf family into "breeds" in order to differentiate them. It would be difficult to understand what type of domesticated wolf we are talking about if we just called them all wolves and not labradors or collies etc. So while we group them under the genus canis, they are essentially the same species, and removing the artificially bred domesticated wolves from the picture, show not much more differences between them that we see within humans, yet the trend is to try and not admit that there are differences between us. So, let's abolish the term "race" and do to us as we have done to wolves, and other species, and differentiate us by breeds, thus avoiding these old "capitalistic and imperialistic" terms. I'm quite happy to be described as an "English Redface", or whatever, with no connotations that I am inherently better, or worse, than, for example, a "Spectacled Japanese".
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,803
No roman ever thought that way- Sure, they thought if you weren't roman, you weren't ****... but they did not think that a white, non-roman was any different than a black non-roman.


.
I think the romans thought precisely that way..... Its just that the "other" as far as romans were concerned, were not black africans (of whom they saw extremely little especially in the early days of the republic) but gauls, then germanic tribes and others..... Julius Caesar bragged about killing a million gauls and enslaving another million... You dont brag about doing that sort of thing to equals, clearly to Julius and other romans, the gauls were "untermensch"
 
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