Our society is a historical social system, meaning it is an overarching structure that operates according to certain rules and exists and has existed in time and space (historically). That historical social system is capitalism. Capitalism is a world economy predicated on the endless accumulation of capital (productive materials and goods used for the further acquisition of more of these things). This process is fed by a class struggle in which capital tries to squeeze more and more out of work forces and work forces resist this squeeze. Thus a division of labor has been created by the capitalist world economy that allots specific roles and rewards to hierarchically organized social groups. Among other social lines this division of labor has been organized along is “race”.
“Race” is a nonsense. It doesn’t actually exist. Anthropologist Robert Sussman tells us that “race” is a cultural and ideological myth, there are no sub-species of humans, our evolutionary history has not allowed for even the slightest speciation to occur. Instead we have simply developed different cultures based on our group historical experiences. Race itself is simply a post-facto justification for a specific ethnic organization of the aforementioned division of labor. This division of labor is “white supremacy”, those socially designated as members of the “white race” are allotted better roles and rewards than those socially designated as members of other “races”. Let us keep this in mind as we introduce another key aspect of the story.
Social systems, like all systems, move toward and away from equilibrium. Once they establish themselves their rules of operation keep them going and drown out processes that are outside themselves so that those processes become “noise”. However, the contradictions inherent in the rules of operation for the system eventually lead away from equilibrium and the noise, in effect, becomes too loud to ignore. This creates “bifurcation” where multiple possibilities assert themselves creating real historical “choice”.
For reasons we will not go over here capitalism is now approaching it’s point of bifurcation. Suffice it to say that capitalism has run up against it’s political, cultural, and geographic limits. It’s existed for 500 years and continual accumulation of capital can’t continue forever. However, here we will explore how the recent uprisings against racist police brutality in America which have not failed to garner international solidarity are expressing empirically the fact of approaching bifurcation. Let us start with a consideration of the racial division of labor in the United States as it effects black people.Continue reading Racist Murder In America And The Bifurcation Of The Modern World System