At the Flashpoint of Class & Race

K. E. Benois for usareally.com 

Photo: flickr.com/Marck

We are at present passing through an interesting economic and socio-political transition in which prior conceptions of social struggle are being laid to rest. Our mental image of ‘the poor’ and ‘the rich’ is changing, and this change promises an uncertain future with limitless potential for violent outbreak. A key factor in this process which stands at the mouth of an unrestrained river of capital mobility and liquidity, is the dangerous racialization of class resentments.

In ancient societies, there could be no class conflict. Taking the strictest example, the Indian caste system made such a conflict an absurdity. To ask a man in such a system to revolt against and effectively pillage the effects of the class above him was tantamount to asking him to be another person. Deeply held religious and cultural beliefs instilled in people a sense that everything was as it should be: the poor, for example, were poor because of particular spiritual reasons, and revolting against the material effects of this was as effective as decapitating a weed. When these systems broke down largely due to the freeing up of economic forces in the wake of capitalism (roughly in the lead up to the 1700s), class distinctions became entirely arbitrary. The poor were now deprived due to certain exploitations and random disadvantages of birth. These sentiments would give rise to socialist and Marxist critique, but such theories deeply overestimated the resentment between classes, at least in Europe.

The first sign of this theoretical failure was the collapse of the 2nd Communist International, which predicted class solidarity in the face of WWI. Contrary to the theorists, French working class soldiers quite readily went to their deaths against German working class soldiers. Racial/ethnic/national hatreds proved to be greater motivators for abhorrent violence than simple economic jealousy. In fact, these differences were often exploited by communism in the last century, from the Baltic executioners of the last Russian tsar, to the numerous Jewish commissars, to the Red support for native African populations against white colonists. The simple fact is, when an economically rooted conflict enters a racial dimension, trust and reconciliation become harder and violence becomes more inevitable. This is what makes current economic changes in the United States particularly troubling.

With the gap between the richest and poorest Americans growing continuously[i], this startling trend of wealth accumulation is taking on an increasingly racial dimension. Due to apparently unstoppable mass migration, both legal and illegal, the demographics of the entire country are shifting rapidly, a phenomenon often referred to as the “browning” of America due to the majority of immigrants arriving from poorer countries south of the equator[ii]. These migrants typically take on poorly paid service and agricultural jobs, a trend which we see repeated in Europe. Lack of prior education as well as start-up capital and other traits means non-white migrants are building a new ‘working class’. The white working class meanwhile, is effectively vanishing. With the collapse of American heavy industry, an entire segment of the population is disappearing in a frenzy of opioid deaths, suicides, and moribund birth rates[iii]. While whites are decreasing as a percentage of the American population, their economic background and prospects are becoming more uniformly middle class.

While many will say that in spite of flashpoints such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the Charlottesville mayhem, racial tensions are exaggerated, they fail to take note of the economic landscape slowly taking shape in America. It’s the classic neo-Marxist centre-periphery model (that in the era of neoliberalism, the working class was effectively outsourced to poorer countries in the global south[iv]), except now the centre and the periphery are colliding due to huge population shifts, in large part brought about by the machinations of the global elite. Yes, almost all the cheap goods the West consumes come from sweatshops and steelworks abroad, but the countries playing home to these no-hope conditions have skyrocketing birth rates[v], an easily accessible image of the Western ‘paradise’ shown on the TV screen, and the technological facilitation for long-distance travel.

We have seen what happens when what are interpreted as arbitrary class divides, marked by differences in status and economic security, fall along racial lines. In Rhodesia and South Africa the relatively wealthy white minority of Anglo and Dutch stock could not contain an outbreak of violent revolution on the part of the black majority population who lived in much poorer conditions. The fact that the average ‘native’ South African or Rhodesian generally lived a far more comfortable and easier life than those in neighbouring countries such as Botswana or Namibia made little difference, and the same will be said for the superior conditions of non-white Americans. To their mind, the only people they will compare themselves to will be the wealthier white middle class. This is dangerous. It’s a recipe for conflict and violence which few are paying attention to.

Of course, we are prognosticating about the future. There’s no telling where global events will push the needle tomorrow, but the pressure gauge of an increasingly divided and alienated country is beginning to rattle. We know who is watching all of this happen and doing little to mitigate it. We know who has kept many areas of the global south in a perpetual cycle of war and corruption from which people flee. We know who silences the critics of mass migration with arbitrary prison sentences (see Tommy Robinson in the United Kingdom[vi]). We know who profits from the cheap labour provided by poor and uneducated migrants. The question is, what’s the endgame? Do the technocrats of the New World Order believe that they will rule the ruin that their policies produce? Time will tell.

[i] DePillis L. America's Wealth Gap Is Bigger Than Ever. CNNMoney. https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/03/news/economy/wealth-gap-america/index.html. Published 2017.

[ii] Martin M. The Browning of a Nation. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2013/03/26/175361660/the-browning-of-a-nation?t=1533413292582. Published 2013.

[iii] There's A Larger Problem Behind The Opioid Crisis... Lown Institute. http://lowninstitute.org/news/blog/theres-larger-problem-behind-opioid-crisis/. Published 2017. Accessed August 4, 2018.

[iv] Mouzelis N. The Debate on the Neo-Marxist Approach to Development. Modern Greece. 1978:33-55. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-05006-2_2

[v] These countries are predicted to have the biggest populations by the end of the century. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/these-countries-are-predicted-have-worlds-biggest-populations-end-century-1051116. Published 2018.

[vi] Tommy Robinson Gives POWERFUL Interview with Tucker Carlson. Published 2018. YouTube.

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