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+6 votes
I'm especially interested in investigations of: what race is, whether it is real, what its function is, and how it might be gotten rid of, that are non-Marxist or anti-Marxist.
by (8.0k points)
edited by
Well so far there have been some interesting texts brought up, but I haven't been able to find even a single book on the philosophy of race that was written by an anarchist. (Not that that would be the only type of writing that could be interesting, but I asked the question because I was getting bored and frustrated with the Marxist writing I had been finding).

To answer your question, though, the reason why it might be useful to have something like this is because science (e.g. physical anthropology) can tell us that there's no biological reality to the idea that there are different races of humans, but it obviously can't tell us what to do about it. If you're interested in analyses of why people think there are races and act like there are races, social theory and political theory seem like good places to look.  Questions like 'what would it mean/entail to do away with race?' obviously force people to engage in 'speculation' because that isn't something that's happened before (well, at least as far as I know).
Go to this compilation by individualist anarchist Wolfi Landstreicher (anti-politics.net/distro/download/wd-vol2iss7to9.doc) and read the nice article called "I dream in color" where he deals with the issue of race from an anarchist perspective while critizing liberal and leftist approaches to it.

edited to make into comment
sorry iconoclast! this was totally an answer to the question! argh.

@dot: could you clarify what you mean by "...the idea of combating racism by refusing its benefits"? Are those benefits the self-rightous indignation, or is this a wholesale rejection of privledge and money, or do you mean that philosophically you refuse  that it benefits anyone? Thanks, confused....

Race does not exist as far as racists mean it: race implies a sub-species within a general class of species. Few racists would deny that all white, asian, black ect. people share commonalities, but they are convinced that there are inter-species differences, for example, as i just used in the bigotry question, donkeys and horses are a different type of animal, and when they fuck they create mules. Black + white fuck = a mixture of skin color, but no significant racial/genetic differences. Some of what I'm saying may be technically wrong, but race is ultimately an illusion. I don't look like any of the white people I know (except my family slightly), and my skin tone is dramatically different than most other white people I know.

My stance on the gender/sex is somewhat similar: of course there are differences, but those differences are clearly not as marked as our society believes them to be.

the race traitor line is that white people should reject whatever privilege they can reject. so whenever they perceive someone treating them better, they should act against that (i don't have examples from the journal, but i would guess things like--no one shadowing you in a store to make sure you don't steal anything? then steal something. cops relying on your support in some kind of scenario? don't give it to them... etc).

1 Answer

–1 vote

Go to this compilation by individualist anarchist Wolfi Landstreicher (anti-politics.net/distro/download/wd-vol2iss7to9.doc) and read the nice article called "I dream in color" where he deals with the issue of race from an anarchist perspective while critizing liberal and leftist approaches to it.

by iconoclast

by (53.1k points)

the link given by iconoclast was out of date. the correct link is anti-politics.org/distro/download/wd-vol2iss7to9.doc but i have also uploaded the article to theanarchistlibrary.org.

another relevant reading is aragorn's article, the prison house of color...

i find this question always timely, and never more so, unfortunately.

dot, I'm glad you revived this question because it's one I kind of still have.

When I asked it, I was completely ignorant of afro-pessimism (Wilderson, Jared Sexton et al) and only vaguely familiar with the concept of biopower (Foucault, Esposito, Agamben). At present those two avenues seem like the closest thing to a viable answer.

This thread -- whatever else one might want to say about it -- could really go a long way as a reading list, for someone interested in the question: http://anarchy101.org/10064/ready-serious-conversation-about-blackness-civil-society?show=10064#q10064

I'm not sure I quite agree with the spirit of the question any longer. I've become a lot more sympathetic to (certain kinds of) Marxist thought in general, so that for me it would now have to be posed a little differently.

Anyway, I hope this will prompt someone to chime in with something new.
re-pose re-pose pose differently!

that's so tantalizing. meanie.

dot, I thought links were supposed to be comments instead of answers especially links that are "lengthy articles that have to be carefully parsed to find the relative material?"

It doesn't address the question like what is race and/or is it real, it's function and so on. It crticizes of anti-racists in 'Murica and of some zine called race traitor and how the author supposedly treat individuals based on individuality as "the way" instead of "racial or ethnic" makeup. It doesn't outright define what race is, but kinda blindly beats around the bush implying race is based on different phenotypes and to a lesser extent geographical origin, imo. I giggled.