On not becoming Chinese: The racialisation of compliance

As philosophy departments in the West come under greater pressure to provincialise themselves, calls to give ‘non-Western’ philosophical traditions their due have grown louder – and rightly so. But for all that is surely right about ‘diversifying the curriculum’ as a project driven by the relentless work of anti-racist and decolonial activists, the institutional co-optation […]
Tapestry of Emperor of China glanked by elefant and servants and a fanastical architectural structure

What a body can do

On 11 Brumaire, Year XI [November 2, 1803], a Guadeloupe tribunal sentenced Millet de la Girardière to be placed in an iron cage in the square at Pointe-à-Pitre and left there until dead. The cage employed for this public torture is eight feet tall. The criminal confined therein straddles a sharp blade. His feet are […]

Hegel’s racism for radicals

Contemporary societies are not the first to confuse their desires not to be racist with their desires to minimise the scope of race. A few years ago, for instance, the University of California Humanities Research Institute summer workshop, ‘Archives of the Non-Racial’ (2014), noted that by the nineteenth century, the ‘non-racial’ emerged as an intellectual, […]

The society of enmity

Perhaps it has always been this way. [1] Perhaps democracies have always constituted communities of kindred folk, societies of separation based on identity and on an exclusion of difference. It could be that they have always had slaves, a set of people who, for whatever reason, are regarded as foreigners, members of a surplus population, […]

Figures of interpellation in Althusser and Fanon

Figures of interpellation in Althusser and Fanon Pierre macherey The text that Althusser published in 1970 under the title ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’, where he puts forward the thesis of the individual’s interpellation as subject, is no doubt one of his most innovative, but it is also particularly disconcerting: its exposition, in exploiting a […]

Empiricism and Racism

Empiricism and Racism Martin Barker A story has been told about the first case when slavery was tested in a law court. It happened in New Amsterdam, one of the Dutch colonies in America, in the seventeenth century. An indentured servant at the end of his period of indenture was kept as a slave by […]

Racism: the New Inheritors

RACISM – THE NEW INIIIRITORS Martin Barker PART I – THE NEW RACISM “1 think the nation can expect that, when they are announced, the Conservative proposals on immigration will be common-sense proposals. ” (William White law , March 1978) “Common-sense is the practical ideology of the ruling class. ” (Gramsci) 1 Introduction The resurgence […]

Philosophy and the Third World

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• PHILOSOPHY liD TIB TIIRD WORLD ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• O.1.Ladimeji When dominant and subordinate groups exist in close relation to each other, the dominant group which usually has control of the centres of intellectual orientation will set about constructing a world-view in which the subordinate group has its submission ontologically determined, and will begin systematically indoctrinating members […]

Blindspot on race

Letter Blindspot on raceJohn Macmurray 6–9 April 1998, Aberdeen This, the first conference to be held on John Macmurrayʼs philosophy in his native Scotland, reflects a revival of interest in his work on both sides of the Atlantic – an interest which predates the publicity given to him as Tony Blairʼs favourite philosopher. Indeed the […]

Fanon, phenomenology, race

Fanon, phenomenology, race David macey ʻThe black man is not. Nor the white.ʼ [1] Thus Fanon in the concluding section of Peau noire, masques blancs (1952), in my translation. It is quite impossible to work with the existing versions, the most obvious index of that impossibility being the unfortunate decision to translate the title of […]

Towards a phenomenology of racial embodiment

When one realizes the indeterminacy of racial categories, their fluid borders and cultural variety, it is often tempting to adopt a nominalism about race: that race is no more real than phlogiston or witchcraft. In this essay, I resist this conclusion primarily on phenomenological grounds. Race is real, certainly more real than phlogiston, though like […]

Actually existing postcolonialism

Actually existing postcolonialism Bill schwarz From the start, there has always been an ambiguity in the academic literature on the postcolonial. Does the term ʻpostcolonialʼ refer to a historical process that has already occurred, such that we are currently living in a historical epoch ʻafter colonialismʼ? Or does the idea of the postcolonial refer not […]

Hegel’s racism?: A response to Bernasconi

Robert Bernasconi’s article in RP 117 has harsh and important things to say about some philosophical heroes of the Enlightenment, especially Kant, and it deserves serious critical attention. [1] This response is not directly concerned with the central claims of the article but with a marginal, though still significant, aspect: its treatment of Hegel. It […]

Enigma variation: Laplanchean psychoanalysis and the formation of the raced unconscious

In The Racial Contract, Charles Mills argues that contemporary structures of white domination in the West operate by means of an epistemology of ignorance for white people. [1] White people suffer from cognitive dysfunctions such that they cannot understand the racially (and racistly) structured world in which they live and, indeed, helped create. For Mills, […]

The Roma in Italy: Racism as usual?

On 30 October 2007, Giovanna Reggiani, a 47-year-old Italian woman, was robbed and murdered in a deserted area of northern Rome. The man accused of murdering her was a Romanian Roma, Nicolai Romulus Mailat, who had been living in one of the ‘unauthorized’ settlements in Rome. The media immediately reported horrific stories of torture and […]

Sarkozy’s law: The institutionalization of xenophobia in the new Europe

2008, www.lexpress.fr/actualite/societe/les-roms-craignent-une-contagion-de-la-vague-de-racismeitalienne_546904.html?p=2. [archive] 5. ^ European Network Against Racism, Press Release, 19 May 2008, http://cms.horus.be/files/99935/MediaArchive/pdfpress/2008–05–19%20anti-Roma%20events&20Italy.pdf. 6. ^ Il Giornale, 5 September 2008. 7. ^ ‘Italy Reassures EU that Fingerprinting Gypsies is Legal and Not Racist’, International Herald Tribune, 24 July 2008, www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/07/24/europe/EU-EU-Italy-Roma.php. [archive] 8. ^ www.wsws.org/articles/2008/aug2008/ital-a06.shtml. [archive] 9. ^ ERRC et al., ‘Security a la […]